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Klavan On The Culture

The Holy War at Home

September 23rd, 2013 - 7:47 pm

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It’s hard for me to believe there is anyone who calls himself a God-fearing, red-blooded American patriot who hasn’t read my novel Empire of Lies, but just in case: there’s a scene toward the end where the protagonist is interviewed on TV about Islamic terrorism — and makes the mistake of speaking plainly. He wonders aloud if maybe we are not engaged in a holy war to determine which image of God will win out. Of course, all politically correct hell breaks loose and he becomes a social pariah.

I remembered this scene this past week when it very much seemed to me that two of the sides in this holy war each opened fire in its own particular way. On the one hand, the Islamists slaughtered Christians and others in Pakistan and Kenya. On the other, the new pope gave an interview in which he expressed a fresh and beautiful vision of God’s merciful love for his human creation. Hey, from each according to his philosophy, as Karl Marx might have said if he had been right about anything.

Almost equally interesting was the reaction of the western media to these events: they did everything they could to mis-represent them both in context and in themselves. According to the Media Research Center, major media tied themselves in knots to keep from conveying the news that the attacks in a Nairobi mall and a Peshawar church were the work of Islamists. Journalists know that religion may be criticized as a retrograde and violent force in the world, but when a religion is criticized it can only be Christianity. That’s a central tenet of the journalistic religion! Which is Stupidity.

As for the Pope Francis interview, in a headline that looked as if the MSM were doing a satire of themselves, the New York Times, a satire of itself, announced dishonestly, “Pope Says Church Is Obsessed With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control.” Like, yeah, that’s what the pope really said. We believe you, New York Times. Cause you so smart. Idiots.

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Top Rated Comments   
Yep, look at all the newspapers, news outlets, pop-culture television shows, and movie that are CONSTANTLY trashing atheism. I mean, just LOOK.

Those poor atheists can't catch a break, guys. What with all the anti-atheist commentary that spews daily from the mouths of the media outlets.

Oh, the secular humanity!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Islamists are using murder to win that battle. The Christians are using reason. The Islamists will kill their enemies wherever they find them. The Christians are constrained to love their enemies and forgive them."

Jesus wasn't refering to war when He instruced His followers to "love your enemy;" He was speaking about loving someone who was an "enemy" in a social setting. At one point Jesus instructed His followers to buy swords for self-defense. During war, or in any other setting when someone is trying to kill or maim you, the use of deadly force in self-defense is a Christian duty. I believe Thomas Jefferson was more clear-headed on this point than Mr. Klavan.

“As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also.” Thomas Jefferson
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. We have replaced Aquinas, Loyola, and Mendel with Marx, Freud, and Darwin. The results are obvious.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (94)
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When are you going to understand? "Which image of God"?? There is only One God, and there is only One "image" of God, the Bible. Get this: Allah is NOT God, has never been God, and can never be God! God's name is Yahweh; He tells us so that we will be sure to fight against any imposters. Allah, MAY mean god, but it is used as a name. Since Allah is a false and pagan god, He is no better than His creator, Satan. Yahweh is God!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Allah is not the same as Yahweh, why did the Archangel Gabriel ensure Islam existed under God's command? I heard about the origin story during my history classes in College, heck, even my religion classes. The only way Gabriel would have ensured Islam's existence is if he turned against God, and knowing he was effectively the second most responsible entity for Jesus's coming into this world (the first obviously being God the Father Himself), I find that extremely unlikely. Not to mention it isn't even covered in the New Testament at all in either case (which would have been a vitally important detail to mention in there especially considering how Islam would have been created by that time in the 600s). And I'm doubtful it was one of the Fallen Angels as well: God basically had his own son nailed to the cross just to exterminate Sin, and knowing how he is perfectly willing to exterminate populaces, violating his own ten commandments (ie, Sodom and Gomorrah and ordering King Saul to commit absolute genocide against a certain group of people) just to ensure his full reign on humanity, I'm doubtful that God would have dropped the ball on his major victory there by letting a fallen angel pose as one of his own and then create Islam. Besides, why didn't the real Gabriel fight that angel and kill it when it tried to pose as him and tell Mohammad to leave and forget everything?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He who fears god fears everything — earth and sea, air and sky, darkness and light, sound, silence and dreams" - Plutarch

I don't see "red blooded" Americans as quivering, timid, fear filled individuals.

As much as the Religious Right (& conservatives) would like that to become a fact)--along with Obama-Lama-Ding-Dong & _his_ socialist bullies.



46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
You do not know what you are talking about. The "Religious Right (& conservatives)" do not want Americans to be "quivering, timid, fear filled individuals." Obama, and his socialist bullies, definitely. If this is what you believe, then you have no understanding of Christianity or Conservatism.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Anyway, the pope’s remarks did cause a bit of a furore, with leftists lamenting that Francis had almost burned the Bible but, damn it, not quite, and conservatives worried that the man was showing liberalizing tendencies and some Catholics trying to pretend that it was all business as usual…"

I try not to think in terms of left and right in the Church because we are supposed to be brothers serving one another and striving to be humble in service. Christian life is a life of service in truth. In any case Francis was always humble, always modest, he is no poseur, he is not sending political gestures that must be interpreted by the gallery. One day he says take it easy and don't get bent out of shape by homosexuality and the next day he excommunicates Nancy Pelosi, and then delivers a strong message to Catholic doctors about abortion.

It looks to me that he is only doing his job. A pastor in very difficult and challenging times steering a boat that has known better days in the midst of a tough storm.

"Pray for me," he said. I am praying for him. He can do a lot of good with what he has.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He’s back — by virtue of the fact that philosophies that exclude Him do not describe reality."
Thanks Andrew, you have described perfectly what I'm thinking myself these days. If "we" would...just open our eyes...He is there, always has been. We are the ones who wander away from time to time.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
You've missed the point of the Crucifixion
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey Andrew, love you brother, but please let's tighten up the prose..."...'That' philosophies 'That'..."...because of 'That' in the same way 'That...science 'That'...
Whoa buddy...in two sentences (one complete, one partial) 23 words, 'That' is used 5 times...you will serve detention for one hour after school today, writing on the blackboard all the while "Over-using 'That' makes my prose lame if even if my ideas aint."
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
hello. the only war people have with religion is within themselves. if you believe in the Holy Spirit, an everlasting life, and being spiritually recycled during the next apocalypse- then why are you silent today about allowing any form of human slaughter, by any authority, under any circumstance? God is very specific: "Thou Shalt Not Kill".
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
An accurate translation of the Fifth Commandment is "Thou shalt do no murder." Many wars been launched against high evil because evil must be caged or destroyed, not subsequent to human frailty or stupidity, but merely, only because high evil (always murderous) must always be caged or killed.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
When God said "murder", he really meant any form of killing. This is best demonstrated when Jesus Christ, who is the Word Incarnate, the Son of God and Son of Man, and without capacity for sin, allowed himself to be nailed on the cross without resistance, and obviously not killing the soldiers out of self defense. Had He just meant murder as in murder instead of murder as in any form of killing, Jesus would have used his divine powers to massacre the Roman Soldiers who came to kill him, due to the ten commandments not forbidding killing out of self-defense, not to mention be joyful in committing the action.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Luke 22:36 succinctly puts the lie to your claim, EJ01. Jesus knew very well the need for, and the way of, the sword. It's clear that Jesus's teachings were to avoid violence where you can, but use it where you must.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps I should elaborate what I meant (and BTW, I was being perfectly honest, not a liar): Jesus hates hypocrites, right? Well, if he told his own followers to grab a sword in case they must, he most certainly would have done the same with the Roman soldiers as he must, only with his divine powers. The soldiers and Jewish people planned to kill him, so he can kill out of self-defense if it wasn't forbidden, yet he didn't, therefore it was forbidden, which made his statement to his disciples hypocritical.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
And the circumstances under which Jesus was incarcerated and killed most certainly would have made violence on his part a must, yet he failed to do so with his divine powers. Again, had the ten commandments, which Jesus, as the Son of God and Son of Man, was the living incarnation of it, truly just restricted it to murder, or unnecessary taking of life, Jesus would have massacred the Roman soldiers with his divine powers due to it being out of self-defense. And of COURSE Jesus would know the need for and way of the sword, since what DOESN'T he know, being omniscient and all? Problem is, he'd also know full well that killing the Roman soldiers right then and there out of self defense would have not violated the 10 commandments since he did it out of self defense, and would have done exactly that if it restricted murder and not self-defense.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Doesn't hold. Harvesting game is killing, but not murder. Executing a criminal after having tried same under law is killing, but not murder. Killing armed enemy combatants on a field of battle is not murder, unless a murderer uses the chaos of battle to so do. All murder is killing, but not all killing is murder.

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think you actually get it: IF it was indeed "Thou Shalt Not Murder" and not "Thou Shalt Not Kill," Jesus would not have surrendered to the Roman soldiers and allowed himself to be killed. Actually, quite the opposite, he would have used his divine powers to mow through them and kill them in the most horrifying manner specifically because they attacked him (or killed them out of self-defense). After all, logically, if only murder was prohibited from the Ten Commandments, that means Jesus would have absolutely no qualms or restraints about killing the entire platoon of Roman soldiers dispatched to ultimately kill him by manipulating tree roots or the earth to impale them or crush them, or generating fire on the soldiers or having rain come down their throat and cause them to explode from within or electrocute them or crush them in a black hole or anything like that, since it's not really breaking the Ten Commandments when he is doing it out of self-defense and not murder (exact words, after all). Besides, regarding the executing a criminal after having tried them as guilty, I actually would openly admit I murdered the criminal when sentencing him/her to death even if they deserved it, so at least one of those examples do not hold up with me at all.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, it is indeed "Thou Shalt Not Murder". And you misunderstand Jesus - the same Jesus who asked, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Ya gotta ask yerself, what if the Catholics are right?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm actually Catholic, and not in name only: Went to service and tried to make sure I followed the laws to the best of my abilities (Yes, that also extends to not killing). And Jesus's method did not exterminate sin despite the Gloria and Lamb of God hymns making it clear that he did ("Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.").
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The pope held up the individual human and his relationship with his loving heavenly father above rules and regulations…"

Yes, definitely refreshing.

Also refreshing (tho' definitely snarkier) yesterday the chief Vatican court Cardinal ruled that our little crazy Catholic Nancy Pelosi cannot receive Communion, that the discrepancy between her public pro-abortion views and her lifelong professed Catholic faith is irreconcilable.

Next up for a ruling of Faith Hypocrisy...Joe Biden.

(I don't think God gives a rats bazooka as to how some of his limited earthlings might define his status at any given moment)
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Three thousand three hundred and twenty six years after The Almighty gave us The Torah at Sinai, tonight I will dance in the streets of Jerusalem holding His gift in my arms as our grandchildren take turns riding on my shoulders.

Proof of G-d?
Open your eyes.

" The most significant aspect of the establishment of the state of Israel is the fact that Jews through the ages knew it was to come. ”
Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is it still a crime in Israel for a Christian to offer a New Testament to an Israeli citizen? Or has the Knesset reversed that law from a few decades ago when it was codified on Christmas Day?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
As an old Catholic, I can recognize a good confessor. That's the man I got in the Pope's interview; his concern for how to best help the sinner, his recognition in his first words that he is a sinner - these are precious gifts of Grace we have a right to be grateful for.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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