I was going to post this as a reply to Friar Bob, but the reply became as long as the original post. Again, this is a subject which I could write a book on, and it defies quick and simple analysis.
Friar Bob explains the nature of Christ and peace:
Christians ARE enjoined to be “wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves”. Yet calling Him “pacifistic” isn’t really accurate by many contemporary uses of the word. Because today that often implies supine surrender regardless of the cost. It means go along with anything just to avoid a fight. It means Chamberlain-style negotiations with “Mr. Hitler” promising “peace in our time”. And none of that is an accurate description of Him.
He is, of course, entirely correct. Notions of the Just War entered into Christian thinking right around the time Constantine. Constantine was, of course, engaged in that perennial feature of Roman political life: the Civil War. Hardly a succession went by without intrigue, assassination and outright open war, the exception of the Five Good Emperors non-withstanding. Just War tells us that there are certain things for which Christians must fight, certain things that they cannot countenance.
Self Defense is, of course, paramount among these. But there are other things. Going to war to, say, stop the doings of Hitler is justified whether defensive or not. War purely for the sake of power, money, or love of killing is prohibited. But war to save innocents, defend your own territory and protect your loved ones is justifiable. Naturally, slippery Weasels will rationalize their wars thusly, claiming that the war they are fighting for money is really for the oppressed people of… wherever. But, nonetheless, the Just War theory requires a casus belli. World War I was, ostensibly, started by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This was the official casus belli even if the “unofficial” reasons were somewhat less pure.
The issue here is that in Christianity war must be justified. War for its own sake is not a feature of the religion.
Islam, on the other hand, requires the exact opposite. Against the denizens of the House of War, war is required unless there is some justification NOT to do it. Islamic nations do not require a casus belli. You not being a Muslim, or even being insufficiently Muslim is cause enough.
The reason is that Christ loved peace. It is true, he turned over the tables and cracked whips at the moneylenders. It is true he fought a culture war against the Pharisees. At the same time, Friar Bob’s assertion is on point: there are things Christ would not tolerate. Indeed, there are things that God has repeatedly declined to tolerate.
Nonetheless, the foundation of Christianity is peace and the foundation of Islam is war.
But Islam has been a good teacher for Western civilization. From Islam, the concepts of Jihad (Crusade), the ferreting out of the insufficiently pious, the heretic, the infidel were learned. Islam also brought back slavery into the Christian world.
It is difficult to overstate the damage Islam has done. Slavery continues to exist today in the Islamic world. Roman Christians BANNED the practice and freed their slaves. Rome, the great consummate slave regime of ancient history was forced to abolish the practice without even so much as a fight, because Christianity’s distaste for it was THAT great. Then Muslim slave traders, pirates and traffickers reintroduced the practice in places like Spain, and the borders of Byzantium, the Holy Land, etc… it is no coincidence that the Spanish & Portuguese were the first to reintroduce slavery, or that they formed, for a great while, the bulk of the slave traders. Even when the English picked up the practice, it was only after they had observed the other colonial powers doing it. This was around the time that increased contact with the Ottoman world was changing the perceptions of the West.
Even still, the Europeans knew the Good Book did not justify such activity, and made sure to practice these things only outside of their core territories. It was almost as if they felt guilt for what they were doing.
Islam feels no guilt for it.
Interestingly enough, as Europe finally achieved military supremacy over Islam in the 19th century, suddenly slavery begins to vanish. Imperialism has one last great flare in Africa and India, and then is gone forever. Religious Holy Wars become a thing of the past. Intolerance of heretics vanishes. Secular government, as in the 7th century Classical world, reasserts itself. The Divine Right of Kings is expunged. The Church loses power all over Europe, becoming ancillary to government, and finally cut off from it entirely.
Without the threat of militant Islam, Christianity dispensed with the foul tools they had copied from the Muslim world. They had no need of them any longer.
And yet history absolves the Muslims of guilt for these things, and blames Christianity instead. Christianity, which only used these tools when pressed for survival, and eliminated them soon after. While Islam has always practiced Holy War, and continues to do so today. They continue to ferret out Jews and Christians, exterminating them, exiling them or oppressing them. They continue to practice slavery and oppress women. And yet the WEST is decried as the Imperialist scum, the slavers, the oppressors, the killers. Furthermore, Christianity gets blamed for it, even though the Bible condemns these things.
It is disingenuous in the extreme, and proof of the Anti-Christian sentiment common in the West today. And, as Christians put down the tools of Tyranny, so did the Atheist Socialists pick them up and improve upon them.
Henri Pirenne was one of the first to tackle an interesting problem in the history of the Dark Ages and Late Antiquity, one that bears relevance to the proliferation of Anti-Christian hate today, to the rise of militant Islam and the creation of the Social Justice Movement.
His book Mohammed & Charlemagne posits something that those who aren’t familiar with my writings will find shocking: Islam is responsible for the Dark Ages. Emmet Scott follows up on this theory in a modern archaeological context, and goes one step further: Islam is responsible for the intolerance of Medieval Christianity. And I go a step beyond even that: Islam is responsible for the rise of intolerance in Western Civilization as a whole.
To understand this, we must go way back to the turn of the seventh century, on the eve of the Persian and Arab wars. We find ourselves a healthy, if somewhat reduced Roman Empire and a few relatively powerful Germanic successor states, all partially Romanized themselves to varying degrees. The economy was beginning to recover from the nadir of the 6th century, populations were beginning to expand again, and urbanization was increasing for the first time since the crisis of the third century. Archaeological evidence confirms this.
Then the Arabs come. They devastate Byzantium, conquer two-thirds of it, and wreck the Visigothic kingdom. The Frankish kingdom is cutoff from the sea, now a nest of Arab pirates, and the Byzantines are left to fend for themselves. Literacy drops precipitously as supplies of papyrus dry up. Economies languish as trade stops. Building stops, and the surviving states of Francia and Byzantium are forced onto a permanent war footing.
For three hundred years, the archaeological record is empty.
Very few writings date from this period. Even less exists in terms of building activity. Coinage is predominantly silver, and not much of that remains, either.
It is important to note that, prior to this activity, Christianity knew nothing of Holy War, or Inquisitions, or Heresy as we understand the term. Oh, sectarian violence was common enough that it was seen as something of a sport in Justinian’s Empire, especially in Egypt. But even the worst of heretics were generally suffered to live. Even when they were not, the Church condemned such killings, it certainly didn’t order them. Arian Christians ruled over Catholics in the West, and there was surprisingly little acrimony. Even the Jews, whom Europe would later try to exterminate, were tolerated without pogroms and inquisitorial activity.
Rome had always been a syncretic state, tolerant of many religions and Gods. It persecuted Christianity at first, it is true, but even as it did so, Christianity spread rapidly. Indeed, the primary reason for this was that Christians were seen as a danger to the state, not, as it so happens, because they were seen as a danger to Roman religion, which most Romans were lukewarm about anyway. High Paganism was a remarkably blase affair. In any event, something of this syncretic spirit was passed on to Christianity which was, due to Christ’s pacifistic nature, rather tolerant to begin with.
Conflicts within Christianity, and with paganism in the Roman Empire were, after Constantine’s day, exceptionally minor when compared to the Medieval times to follow.
Then Islam came, and history just stops for three hundred years. When the historical record resurfaces, you see heretics burned at the stake, Holy Crusades launched across the sea, and the Inquisition formed. It is worth noting that the Inquisition was strongest where Muslim influence was strongest (i.e. in Spain), and the prototype for the Crusades was also found in the Spanish Reconquista and in the border wars of Byzantium.
Christians learned of Holy War from the Islamic notions of Jihad. They learned of what would become the Inquisition from the ruthless ferreting out of Jews and Christians in Muslim lands, either for extermination, forced conversion, enslavement or the payment of the Jizya. In essence, the Christian world had to embrace these things to compete with Islam, and to retake the lands that had been lost to them, else the Muslim fifth column would give the enemy too great an advantage. Jews, who had before been tolerated to great degree, were now seen with the same suspicion and hatred that Muslims saw in them.
From the terrors of the Inquisition, we were to see the same activity in the secular world, from the French Revolution on up to the Gestapo and the KGB. Nothing, and I mean nothing like this existed in the Classical world. It wasn’t even a vague concept. Then Islam came and introduced the Christian world to the practice, and from the Christians, the Atheist Communists learned of it, and improved upon it.
Communism, like Islam, is a totalitarian ideology with which there can never be peace. You can never rest. Its eyes are everywhere. It will use every weapon at its disposal, no matter how evil or sinister, because the end justifies the means. And the end is the conquest of all of humanity. It will tolerate no less. Any peace with it is temporary, and only accepted if it is greatly to their advantage, so peace is generally a poor idea in the first place. Capitalism is like Islam’s House of War, with which war is always justified.
It is no wonder that the Progressives and the Muslims make common cause with one another. They come from the same place. Their goal is the same: complete domination of the world. Hitler once lamented that he found Christianity to be weak, and would have preferred if Nazi Germany had practiced a religion like Islam. He was unintentionally referencing a key point in Western history: Islam exterminated Classical civilization and greatly damaged the Christian civilization to follow.
What grew out of the remains of Classical civilization was contaminated with a great evil, one with which Western civilization has contended with ever since. It is as if the West has multiple personalities. Buried underneath is Greek philosophy, Roman notions of civilization and engineering spirit, and Christian religion. But interlaced with all of that is an intolerance, a hatred for man, a worship of death and a ruthless certainty of rightness. These are the gifts of Islam to the West. Leftists often bemoan the Imperialism and ruthless conquest of the Spanish conquistadors, yet where did they learn of this? They had just completed the Reconquista, 700 years of brutal warfare with Islam.
The kingdoms of the New World didn’t stand a chance.
Francis has commented on how the surety of rightness is a great evil. But where did it come from? Christianity expressly tells us that we are flawed, that we are sinners, and that the end does not justify the means. These things are anathema to Christianity. And, indeed, Christianity’s response to Jihad, the Crusades, simply could not be sustained, because it was so hard to justify death in the name of the Prince of Peace. Islam contains no such quibbles.
Three centuries of a thin historical record were spent fighting a life-or-death battle to the end with Islam. The West grew hard, abandoned much of its history, culture, tolerance and advanced civilization in order to survive. It had no choice.
What would things look like today if the burgeoning renaissance of the early seventh century were allowed to continue? Even the Germans were settling down, integrating into the old Latin world. Ireland was converted, thence to become a beacon of the Latin world. The Anglo-Saxons were coming around, places that Roman legions had never conquered were coming into the civilized fold. And Byzantium was the light of the Eastern world, the center of Christianity. It knew not of Holy Wars, or Inquisitions, or the burnings of witches.
But Islam did. And now so does the Progressive Left. Underneath it all, Christianity still tries to find the light of Christ’s words, his tolerance, his love. And even our enemies must couch their intolerant language in the same terms, lest they expose their totalitarian evil. But a virus still lurks in Western culture, one that has reared its ugly head time and time again.
And it must be expunged. Or else the terrors of the seventh century, as Islam wiped out the Classical world, will happen again. Whether it is the Muslims who do it, or the Socialists, it doesn’t matter. Because, in the end, both are the same.
One more rant for the wind.
Turn on the television, read the newspaper, click through any mainstream media website, and you will see the same thing, repeated over and over again like a mantra. White Males.
Straight White Males.
STRAIGHT WHITE CHRISTIAN MALES.
If you believe in the ravings of the lunatics in the media, you will see that White Men are the worst of the worst, the sludge at the bottom of the evolutionary barrel. They are the arch-oppressors of history, the Lords in a world where all else were peasants or slaves. And today, they will tell you, it continues in the hallowed halls of Science Fiction, in the graphics of the latest Video Game and even in the bowels of the New York subway system where, God forbid, some of them rudely take up more space than, perhaps, they ought to.
Everyone else is a victim of these people. The oppressors are, naturally, never victims themselves. If a million Somalis come to Minnesota, it is diversity, multiculturalism, tolerance, peace and love. If a million White guys moved to Somalia it would be Imperialism, conquest, war, cultural appropriate and hate.
So it is in Science Fiction, also. You can be anything, except a straight White Christian man. If you are not one, but you still believe that such men can and should rightly exist on this ball of dirt, you are an Uncle Tom, or you suffer from internalized misogyny, whatever.
It’s all bunk, it’s all a great big lie. They will speak of slavery, but not mention all the men who died to end the practice. They will speak of the Holocaust without tabulating all the Allied dead, scattered across Europe, to defeat the regime that perpetrated it.
They will speak as if White Christians have never suffered genocide. Really? My Armenian ancestors must have been wrong, then. What of Lebanon? What of the deaths of Iraqi Christians, cast out from their homes?
My grandfather gave me a book when I was a child, called “Exile.” It was about an Armenian woman, persecuted, raped and enslaved by Turkish Muslims. Her family was murdered. She was only spared because she was pretty enough to be utilized as an object in the harems and slave markets. It was a true story.
This was during World War I, far more recent than American slavery. Yet do we hear of it? Does anybody care? Do the Weasels of Social Justice even notice?
No. Because America is the Great Satan, a sentiment shared with the extremist Muslims of Iran and Palestine. Christianity is the horrible evil of history. Whites man is the Devil, and only in abject submission to the whims of the Weasels (see: John Scalzi) can penance be given.
The tiniest White male child, newborn in his mother’s arms, is stained with the sins of his ancestors. But all the good of his ancestors, all their great achievements and terrible sacrifices in the name of justice is counted for naught.
For a bunch of Atheists, they certainly believe in Original Sin well enough.
And so, to them, when an unrepentant White Man stands on the stage, recognized for his deeds, it is the greatest of all sins. It is blasphemy, heresy, all that is evil in the religion of Social Justice.
In the end, Social Justice and extremist Leftism is nothing more than Christianity, warped and twisted, bereft of hope, shorn of God and given over to the Prince of Lies. It is all of the worst, and none of the good.
The trolls of Tor, the PuppyKickers, the Anti-Gamergaters, the SJWs and Communists, are neither original, nor intelligent, nor tolerant, nor good. They are racists. They are sexists. They are haters. And it is codified in the Holy Books of their religion.
It is no wonder they find common cause with the worst movements of history, of Stalin, Pol Pot, Hezbollah and Mao. These are their prophets, and Marx is their Messiah. Hegel is their John the Baptist, and the horrors of the French Revolution their model for the blood sacrifice.
As the Christian symbol is the cross, so theirs ought to be the Guillotine.
Remember, whenever they complain of the White Male, all they are doing is calling you a Heretic, an Infidel. And, just as I am proud to be called such by extremist Islam, so am I proud to be known as such by the Weasels.
I look at racial prejudice, in some ways, as nearly inevitable. It is human nature to prefer those like you in various respects. I mean, look at us. Would we be a little extra suspicious of a Leftist who came in here? Probably.
I once lived near a Black neighborhood. It was pretty poor (I was broke at the time, and barely treading water). But there was an effort by the local Black church groups to clean it up some. They knocked on doors, trying to win folks back to Christ. When one of the church men came to my door, I could tell right away that he was uncomfortable. I wasn’t Black, and that changed things for him. Nonetheless, he smiled at me anyway and told me about his church, inviting me to come. He didn’t really want me there. I knew that by his expression. But he was also sincere in his perceived duty and faith.
I politely declined and explained that I was already a member of another church. He was relieved, but nonetheless pleasant with me. Was he a racist for judging me on account of my race? Probably. But that didn’t make him a bad man, or evil. He followed the Golden rule with me, and I with him.
I guess my point with all that can be summed up with two things:
1. Black churches seem to do a better job of fixing Black issues than any government agency, and they actually seem to CARE.
2. Just because prejudice exists, and all humans succumb to it in some fashion, doesn’t mean you must be evil or bad, or feel guilty for it. Indeed, doing your duty in the face of instinct can be a brave act.
And, perhaps most importantly, there was no mortal sin involved here. The Black church man did no wrong in preferring his church to be primarily filled with other Blacks. The corollary here is, what if it were a White church, and a White church man evangelizing for it?
This notion that prejudice is only wrong when Whites do it is fallacious in the extreme, and quite cowardly. Either prejudice is an absolute wrong, in which case all who succumb to it are evil (I don’t believe this), or it isn’t, in which case Whites have as much right to prefer to attend a White church as Blacks do with Black churches.
None of this invalidates the Golden Rule, however. Treat people as you would wish to be treated, at least as long as they are willing to reciprocate the gesture. I respect the Black church man who came to my door and did his duty, as his faith commands, in the face of his own misgivings. That he may have held a prejudicial view of my Whiteness doesn’t matter to me.
Why, then, should a White man’s similar preferences be demonized so much? It’s a very far cry from saying “I’d prefer to go to a church with others of my race, creed, and socio-economic status” to becoming some kind of genocidal eugenicist. And, in any event, the Planned Parenthood scandal seems to indicate that those of genocidal bent are primarily on the Left anyway.
Besides, is it racist to point out how most of this sort of violent thuggery is perpetuated by those of one particular race? I notice how the news media in question omits the attackers’ race, but it can be clearly seen in the video. I’m getting tired of this notion that prejudice is this terrible sin, when actual violent attacks and murders are, pardon the pun, whitewashed by the media. As usual, the Left has everything precisely backwards. They think the ThoughtCrime is worse than the RealCrime.
Today, I have only a quote for you. This one is Proverbs 26, and I believe it pertinent to the era of fork-tongued Congressmen, Presidential morons and the fools who voted for them.
Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.
2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.
3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.
4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6 Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7 Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool.
9 Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds everyone is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.
15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
I posted this as a reply over at Liberty’s Torch, but it bears reposting here as well.
“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.”
Human beings cannot detach themselves from the universe and know it objectively. They view from within, attempting to extrapolate what it looks like from without.
We once believed all things to be due to the agency of the supernatural. There was a God for rivers, a God for war, a God for farming and a God for sex. Whatever the activity, there was an agency behind it. Ancient philosophers gradually came to explain the existence of these things in non-supernatural ways and so, over time, less and less was ascribed to the divine.
Christianity merged Greek philosophy with Jewish monotheism and outsourced this, as it were, to one distant and all-powerful creative agency. St. Thomas called this agency the “First Mover.” Now, St. Thomas failed in his proof of God, for such proof would require one, again, to be detached from the universe. This is impossible for a human. Nonetheless, St. Thomas may have been more correct than he knew. His notions are entirely consistent with physics as we understand it today.
Science, today, has just become another buzzword. To most people the workings of the natural world are just as mystical and difficult to understand as they were for the wogs who prayed to river Gods. Your average man cannot explain Newtonian Mechanics much less Quantum Mechanics. He could not follow the intricacies of Climate Change data. But he trusts the priests, which we call “scientists” today, to interpret the signs and tell him these things. For the proles, you might as well be a sorcerer throwing runes in the air. As in history, the priests are tempted by corruption. They might, for instance, interpret the signs in their own financial and political interests.
Pop Culture tells us that Atheism is good and rational. All the scientists are doing it now, they say. And so people follow them into folly.
Disbelief in God is actually highly irrational. One could defend Agnosticism through rational argument. “I don’t know” is a valid answer to metaphysical questions. You could also defend personal knowledge of God rationally, i.e. you believe that God spoke to you or did a thing for you. You can’t prove this to another, of course, but for you the argument is still rational. Many come to faith feeling as if God touched them in some way.
To say God most definitely does not exist is claiming knowledge that is impossible for any human to possess. You cannot exit the universe and see it objectively. It is the height of folly, the celebration of ignorance.
But this is par for the course for the modern scientific priesthood. Science, remember, is not coextensive with rationality or logic. It is merely a method of experimentation and observation (one among many). It can explain a great many things within our universe, but it cannot comment on existence itself.
For that only philosophy, metaphysics, and religion will do. Even then, the answer will not be known for certainty until such time as you meet your maker.
In simpler terms, there will never be a time in human history in which an outside agency will not be necessary to explain existence. As Voltaire tells us, even assuming God did not exist, it would be intellectually necessary for us to invent him in order to comprehend our own existence.