A Defending Crusader…

The best defense is to be good and offensive…or something like that.

Weak Christianity

Posted by Godefroi on July 3, 2007

Fjordman has written a couple of articles in which he discusses the impact that Christianity has had on the U.S (primarily) culture, and the West in general. He has many good points, not the least of which is the idea that the “turn the other cheek” principle has been taken so far that there is now a culture of mass guilt, and an accompanying need to demonize ourselves, our history, and our heritage, while at the same time sympathizing with all sorts of atrocities committed against the West because of said heritage.   In this, we are slowly rapidly digging a grave for ourselves, our children, and our freedom.

Many excerpts below, with some emphasis and comments. The original work can be found at Gates of Vienna, and a follow-up at Brussels Journal
 

 [The Jihad] has turned the civility of the United States and Europe, into a weapon and turned it against us. It has weaponized niceness, it has weaponized compassion, it has weaponized the fundamental decency of Western Civilization. It has weaponized our desire for peace. It has recognized that our goodness is no match for its savagery, and will continue to exploit that fact until we lose and they win. (…) We have become too civilized to defeat our enemies, perhaps too civilized to survive. The dagger of our decency stabs us in the back.”

– American writer Raymond Kraft

“Quite a few individuals among the anti-Western crowd hate Christianity passionately [A disturbing trend that I’ve noticed is the rise of anti-West sentiment actually within the west]. You have to be an imbecile to believe that Christianity and Islam are ‘almost identical,’ meaning ‘just as bad.’ [which I mentioned here] There’s a world of difference between the religious founders and their followers. Yes, it’s true that the Church has at times suppressed dissenters, including scientists. This is common knowledge. But to present Christianity as exclusively anti-science is factually wrong. Christianity’s concept of a rational Creator whose logic could be uncovered and predicted provided a crucial basis for the Scientific Revolution in Europe, although some would claim to also see the hand of Roman engineering skills combined with Greek logic in the Industrial Revolution. Still, even though most of the criticism dished out against Christianity is wrong, that doesn’t mean that no just criticism can be given. Christianity has many great qualities, some of them under-appreciated today, but it does contain some ideas that can be potentially problematic when confronted with Islam.

As one poster on American anti-Jihad blog Little Green Footballs said:

Jesus was persecuted

Jesus was poor

Jesus was a prisoner

Jesus was executed by the state

Therefore:

Those who are persecuted are more Christ-like than those who are not

Those who are poor are more Christ-like than the rich

Those who are incarcerated are Christ-like

Those who are executed are Christ-like

One can easily pick verses out of the Gospels and some of Paul’s letters (namely Galatians) to provide scriptural justification for the second set of assertions.

Here is where the nefarious logic really gets going in these writings: To be persecuted is proof of one’s inherent goodness and sanctity regardless of why or by whom you are being persecuted. Every prisoner is the face of the persecuted Christ; every homeless person is the persecuted Christ.  [While I can see the logic in this, it’s patently false.  Those who are persecuted simply for their belief in the risen Christ are “persecuted Christians”]

This love for suffering can potentially make — and has in the past made — Christians into perfect dhimmi material. Muslims inflict suffering upon others, thus following the example of their religious founder, and Christians suffer, thus following the example of their religious founder. Cynically speaking, Islam and Christianity can thus make a perfect yin-yang couple.

The Italian Renaissance philosopher Machiavelli was more attached to Roman than to Christian culture, and held the view that Christianity was totally unsuited as the basis for any empire. His ideas were echoed by the 18th century English historian Edward Gibbon, who stated in his work The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that the preceding advances of Christianity were responsible for the downfall because it made the Romans too soft. But the eastern half of the Empire, centered around Constantinople, was just as much Christian, and yet survived for another thousand years after the fall of Rome in the West. The collapse of civil society in Western Europe in the 21st century has been preceded by the retreat of Christianity. There is a strange kind of irony in this that might have surprised Mr. Gibbon.

The 20th century Irish author C.S. Lewis, who converted to Christianity following long conversations with good friends such as writer J. R. R. Tolkien, insisted that the “turn the other cheek” idea in no way means that Christians have to be pacifists, and he was probably right. After all, if Christianity had to be a pacifist religion, Islam would have overrun the West a long time ago. There are those who believe that Marxism could only have been produced within the matrix or wider cosmology of Judeo-Christian culture.

It would be more than a little ironic if ideas that may ultimate have been partly derived from a Judeo-Christian or wider, Western cosmology have later been used to harass Christians, but it would hardly be the first time such a thing has happened. Human rights, initially an outgrowth of the Judeo-Christian West, are now used to prevent Western nations from upholding their borders and from retaining their Judeo-Christian heritage. It is possible to argue that our one-world Utopians are secularized versions of Christian universalism.

This thesis gets strengthened by the statements of Michael Gerson, a speech writer and advisor for U.S. President George W. Bush, in the Washington Post :

The Christian faith teaches that our common humanity is more important than our nationality [which is true]. That all of us, ultimately, are strangers in this world and brothers to the bone; and all in need of amnesty  [yup…still true]. This belief does not dictate certain policies in a piece of legislation, but it does forbid rage and national chauvinism. And this is worth a reminder as well.”

“Although some of the destructive ideas I mentioned earlier are not always directly related to Christianity, they have adopted certain aspects of Christianity or at least ideas derived from Christian cosmology. However, they have upset the balance, and the resulting secularized religions have become caricatures of the original, sometimes highly dangerous ones. These post-Christian political religions believe in human perfectibility. That sounds like an attractive proposition, but its track record shows that this ideal has caused a lot of pain in real life.

Some observers are aware of the fact that notions such as human rights are ultimately based in Christianity. I don’t always agree with the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas, who does have some quirky ideas, but he is right when he says that ‘Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.'”

“Our guilt complex does have its roots in Christianity, but it has been transformed into something else. Christianity believes in sin, but it also believes in forgiveness and redemption. According to the new post-Christian creed, we are told to feel vaguely guilty all the time for some unnamed sins. This makes us weak to resist attacks from outside because we will always feel that any act of aggression is justified. This guilt complex is destroying us, leaving us mentally disarmed in front of every enemy. Unlike in Christianity, where Christ sacrificed himself to wash away your sins, in this new Christianity without Christ, there is no possibility of redemption. And since it’s unbearable for us to live with this guilt for real or perceived past sins (again, a secularized version of the Christian concept of original sin), the only way we can free ourselves of this sin is to rid ourselves of our culture and everything that makes us “us.” We thus end up sacrificing ourselves. This secularized, post-Christian version of Christianity clearly isn’t sustainable. If left unchanged it will leave us powerless in front of Islam, and we will lose.”

The below are comments from the Gates of Vienna post that I think are worth highlighting.

“That’s why medieval, Christian Europe knew it had to fight Islamic invasions, while modern, secular Europe doesn’t. (The bloodiest naval battle in human history was Lepanto, fought to keep the once powerful Ottoman Empire from invading Italy and turning St. Peter’s into a mosque.) And that same pattern holds in the U.S., with the secularized left most willing to downplay the threat of Islamists in a way that almost seems bizarre from those who, a few short years ago, were warning us that harmless Baptists were mutating into theocrats.

It short, it’s not Christian virtues that weaken Europe, it’s the warped continuation of some of those virtues in the total absence of others, particularly a deep and pervading sense of the nature of evil that means that it often can’t be fought by words, international institutions, or diplomacy. One of Jesus’ last remarks to his disciples was to sell their cloaks to buy swords for self-defense.”

“…the balance inherent in Christian thought and the teachings of Christ is particularly apt. Christianity stripped of Christ and the balance thus conferred has morphed into the grotesque caricatures of Christianity we are witnessing today such as multiculturalism, political correctness, leftism, pacifism, socialism, relativism etc…In order for us to survive our current crisis we need MORE religion – not less. But we need a vigorous, vibrant and passionate Christian warrior ethic to emerge such as that which existed in the past.”

“Christianity’s fundamental flaw may be found in its own Scriptures, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Love your neighbor as yourself, and by the way, anything that walks on two legs anywhere on the planet is your neighbor. [This is not true…while we are all God’s children, the ‘Good Samaritan’ parable clearly teaches that not everyone is your neighbor] If Europeans of the early Christian era had taken this aspect of the faith seriously, their history would have been very dull, and very short. Regrettably, Christian churches have begun to take this impracticable universalist doctrine seriously of late.”

“Guilt is not a Christian burden; our sins were nailed to the cross. While their goal may be peace, a laudable goal, their sense of guilt ensures that their methods will be no more successful than a cargo cult. It’s not Christianity that is the problem- the problem is its antithesis”

“Love defends its children against all brutalities.

Or it is less than love.

It is dilute “empathy”, or wan “decency”, or gutless “compassion”, or kumbaya “we’re all the same”.

And, by that time, your children are dead from your indecisive dithering.

True love does not flinch from opposing those who would destroy it, or its loved ones.

Surrendering to the hateful out of a misguided understanding of what love is is silliness, and suicidal.

Watch a sparrow chase a hawk to understand Love.”

and more comments from the BJ article.

“The Israelites chose to enter into a covenant with God. Mosaic laws are His laws for them at that time, to keep then spiritually clean, and to point to the need for a messiah. Jesus fulfilled the mosaic law which no longer apply. Jesus’ only two commandments are ‘love God’ and ‘love your neighbors like yourself’

Thus to please God, true Christians don’t kill, steal, cheat, fornicate, etc…In the New Testament or Greek scripture, Jesus’ followers have killed and kill no one, or steal, or do unneighborly things. Those who kill in the name of God are not Christian by definition. Thus those who kill – and churches which ordered or condoned killings – are false Christians and practice false religion. Indeed ‘the whole world is under the power of the wicked one’ or Satan. 2 Co 11:13 says ‘For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light'”

Here’s an interesting comment from Robert Spencer’s (of Jihad Watch) “Blogging the Qur’an” series going on at HotAir.  While not related, it’s relevant.

“If this becomes a struggle between Islam and Christianity, Christianity will lose. You can’t turn the other cheek to Islam.”

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