Monthly Archives: September 2016

THE CONFRONTATION BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM

We present this new essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

Some Historical Perspective.

There is no escaping the conclusion that before Islam began bringing Christians to their knees throughout most of the Middle East in the 7th and 8th centuries most of them had lost vital interest in their inherited faith.

Over the three centuries since Constantine had set Christianity on the way to becoming the only legal religion (Edict of Milan, 313 AD) serious Christians in the eastern parts of Rome’s Empire had been divided into mutually hostile camps by bitter doctrinal disputes. Then as intellectual commitment to the creeds succumbed to a secular spirit among the ruling elites, residual loyalties kept these divisions alive, so that what had begun as a partisan spirit had become a tribal  sprit (as in Northern Ireland in our own time.) This partisan tribal spirit prevented the taking of united measures of moral and intellectual defense when the existential challenge emerged from the deserts.

Intellectual vagueness made for easy compromise on the teaching of Scripture. Pride in “openness” to alternative religions added to weakness for religious novelty and superstition characterized the nominally Christian world precisely as the rigorous unbending doctrines of Islam appeared in their midst.

MUHAMMAD AND NIETZSCHE

We present this new essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

The Flight from Church.

When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18: 8b.

In the wake of the nerve-wracking catastrophe of 9/11 a pall of anxiety set in  – causing  some to imagine that a dramatic increase in church attendance was on the horizon. It did not happen. Instead, the mind of the world has become more escapist and more frivolous by the day. The amount of space given to world news in my newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen, has dropped – typically, to four or five abbreviated items – one half of one full page.

The descent of the popular mind into frivolous and escapist entertainments, including professional  sports,  and the decline of church attendance — both follow from the feeling that everything that is comfortable and agreeable in one’s life depends upon resistance to larger meanings. Nothing in the present culture serves to validate a visit to church on a Sunday morning. Any grown up person who prefers church to golf has a lot of explaining to do.

POPE FRANCIS’ DEVOTION ON BEHALF OF RELIGION

We present this new essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

On July 26, two Muslims slit the throat of a French Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Jacques Hamel, 85, while he was saying Mass before a typically small group of locals in his village church.

“I Do Not Like to  Speak of  Islamic Violence.

The assailants  were well-known to police as Islamic radicals with connections to ISIS; in fact, one of the two, born in Algeria, was required to wear an electronic surveillance device intended to thwart anything along the line of what he accomplished that day.

A journalist working for a French Catholic news agency sought the insight of the Pope. (Who better, after all, to explain definitively what an assault upon a Catholic priest must mean?) “Four days ago,” the reporter noted, “you told us once again that all religions want peace… When you speak of these violent acts, why do you always speak of terrorists but not of Islam?”

The Pope replied:

“I don’t like to speak of Islamic violence because every day when I open the newspapers I see acts of violence, here in Italy, someone kills his girlfriends, someone else his mother-in-law… If I spoke about Islamic violence I would also have to speak about Catholic violence …. Terrorism is everywhere…Terrorism increases whenever there is no other option, when the global economy is centred on the god of money and not the human person, men and women. This is already a first form of terrorism. You’ve driven out the marvel of creation, man and woman, and put money in their place. This is a basic act of terrorism against all humanity. We should think about it.”

It is certainly an inventive argument — that “terrorism increases whenever there is no other option” — but it builds (dare I say it) on a desperate, bottom-dragging morality.

Socialism: The Destruction of the Family

Socialism: One of the Two Great Destructive Forces of the Twenty-first Century

This post is the head of the thread on Socialism. The other great destructive force is Islamism: One of the Two Great Destructive Forces of the Twenty-first Century. Essays on Socialism are found through the links listed by topic below, in reverse chronological order of posting (most recent first) within topic. As a starting point the reader might read the short introductory note: Socialism: A Terminal Disease of Democracy.

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