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« Having it both ways | Main | The Bible and the Qur'an by Fr. Jacques Jomier, O.P. »

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

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Les

In the west, (including Europe) the secularists are ashamed of their Christian past, and the Protestants are ashamed of their Catholic past, and by dint of lies and browbeating, the aggregate has made the Catholic ashamed of his medieval past.

Amidst all of this self-loathing, few have the courage to challenge Islamic myths.

clive

"Those [Muslim] apologists who continue to perpetuate the myth of Islamic tolerance should contemplate the massacre and extermination of the Zoroastrians in Iran; the million Armenians in Turkey; the Buddhists and Hindus in India;"

Ah yes, the well known peacable rule of the Moghuls in India. In that regard there is a very interesting musuem of the Martyrs at the Sikh Golden Temple, Amritsar. If you have a strong stomach, go, see what the peaceful Moslems perpetrated against the Sikh peoples from the 16th through to the 18th centuries.

Freedom to worship. Not.

stephen sparrow

As I understand it. The first genocide of the 20th C occurred in Turkey during WW I: 1916 to be exact and the number of Armenian Christians rounded up and slaughtered was 1.8 million souls. Not just the one million mentioned above.

Celestial SeraphiMan

I too have been increasingly wondering whether the Crusades were simply a reactive effort to rescue the Eastern Christians and retake Jesus' homeland. However, I still can't help but wonder whether abuses of the Crusades were isolated or widespread. Surely the "Black Myth" had to come from somewhere.

One thought about "self-loathing": how can I be sure that "self-loathing" isn't a code-word for healthy self-criticism? Didn't John Paul II issue a widely publicized (if little understood) apology for historical abuses by Christians?

I could say much more, but I'm trying to be emotionally sober as I express my reservations about the polarized climate of the "culture wars". Hopefully, I managed to succeed this time.

Les

Celestial SeraphiMan, it is true that Christians need a periodic examination of conscience.

However, it is unhealthy to confess, regret or apologize for that which one is not guilty. Thus, historical clarity is absolutely essential.

"Surely the "Black Myth" had to come from somewhere."
Certainly, and one such place could well be in the mind and imagination of those with a particularly virulent hatred of the Church. I have known such people, even in our time, with the European religious territorial wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries long past.
And are we surprised that the Muslims might be inclined to perpetuate such mythology?

Remember, polarization is not necessarily evil, in and of itself, if it tends to serve a higher good. Christ himself said that he would tend to cause division among people, including families when some decided to follow Him and others refused. Ultimately unity can only be acheived in truth. In the midst of the culture war, the outcome of which is critical to our future freedom of religion, we need to seek truth and when we find it, hold onto it regardless of any polarizing effect. There are those who do not want truth, do not want to hear it, or believe it, if it impedes their lifestyle or self-interest in any way.

Finally, it is a Christian who has failed to follow Christ who may commit abuses. The abuses do not come from Catholic Christian teaching or doctrine. That is an essential distinction. As goes the Lord's Prayer, "forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us."

Daniel C.

If only Western leaders were as "polarized" as Seraphiman fears. Unfortunately, most join in what he describes as "healthy self-criticism", and what other observers have described as the Suicide of the West.

Cristina A. Montes

I have been spending these past "Dark Ages" (three days without electricity nor water nor contact with the outside world, due to a very strong typhoon here in the Philippines) finishing "The Shield and the Sword" (about the Military Order of St. John) and starting Thomas Madden's "A Concise History of the Crusades" by candlelight. Great reads!

I'm frustrated that, with a few exceptions, the history of the Western World is either not taught or taught badly in schools. History should not be a game of accumulating trivia in one's head or showing which culture or race or religion is the most evil. History should be, first of all, knowing the story: what happened and why it did; tracing a chain of causality among events.

It's a waste, because history is very rich and very interesting.

Celestial SeraphiMan

I should hope that you're not suggesting white-European "racial consciousness", because that's what the extreme right espouses in the name of Christianity.

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