The following is a contribution to a comment thread within the pages of the National Post Religious Blog, "Holy Post".
Have any of you good folks read George Weigel's, "The Cube and the Cathedral" or any of his recent writings which offer persuasive argument and evidence as to the imminence of a conflict of cultures and religions that cannot be avoided? I think he gives us the key to understanding this culture and religious conundrum.
First by pointing to the changing demographics of Europe, with a Christian birthrate that is insufficient to maintain a significant role within the social and political countries of the near future; certainly insufficient in the face of the of high birth rates of Islamic immigrants. (Please spare me the migrant worker/immigrant name game. The difference does little more than point out the prejudices of the proponents of the word game).
That is a demographic fact.
Further, Weigel points out that there is a subset within Islam which he refers to as "Islamists" or "Islamic fascists" which recruit within the greater Islamic community. This violent and Jihadist group is truly our enemy for they would deny us our right to live and believe as we do now as Christians and secularists. "Infidel" is a pejorative term which expresses the different manner in which they view non-believers. The epithet is infused with an evil nature and thus when viewed within the theological blinders of Wahabism they must see Christians, Jews, and all other faiths are beliefs to be forcefully opposed
Yet this danger must be measured against the majority of the Islamic faith whose understanding of the rights of religious thought, belief and expression are compatible with western societal convictions.
To hold the views of groups like al Quaeda as being representative of Islamic thought is as silly (and dangerous) as Muslims accepting the likes of Jim Jones (or any other cult leader) as representing modern Christian though. To put it in secularist terms, it would be as insane as presenting the Grand Knight of the K.K.K. as the exemplar of American Democratic thought!!
The Swiss Catholic Bishops have expressed immense disappointment with the results of the referendum. A media campaign of a right wing party in the final two weeks of the campaign strongly swung the vote. A campaign that propagandized the worst images of Islamic extremism, playing to the cultural fears within the small and relatively homogenious society of Switzerland. Their complaint is that it is a blatant attack upon the freedom of expression of faith in the public square.
If the state has the right to so oppress Islamic faith, we as Christians cede to them the same power over our faith as well.
Those who have previously posted that we should practice a "tit for tat" policy with Islamic countries are neglecting to consider the examples of Jerusalem or virtually all of the Middle East (Arabia being the exception). The three faiths that claim the same Abrahamic and Mosaic roots, have churches, mosques and synagogues that have co-existied for thousands of years. To those who would demand a right to open a Christian church on the Temple Mount or within the al-Aqsa grounds would blanch with indignation of a Muslim community demanded to set up a mosque in the Vatican!
While there are legitimate restrictions the are required of any religious community (we don't allow for human sacrifice no matter whatever claim of religious rights), there must be sufficient room offered within our present and future society to allow for freedom of religion, and public religious expression.
We can use noise legislation to control any public calls to prayer, just as bells are controlled now within Christian bell towers, but we must not let the illegitimate suppression of religious expression stand unchallenged, lest we become the "baby" that gets thrown out with the "bath water".
Instead of playing to societal unease in the face of the demographic crisis (at least from a Christian perspective) Christian's must be engaging honestly and openly with the various Islamic communities (Sunni, Shia, etc.) in helping them to develop the arguments of faith such as Christian formulated as we transitioned from "Christendom" through to our modern western societies of today.
Actions that threaten religious rights of expression such as this vote has brought before the Muslims of Switzerland serve only to make the task of their scholars to bring about an Islamic "enlightenment" to their faith communities that much harder.
Fr. Tim Moyle
03 December, 2009
- American Papist Blog
- American Spectator
- Archbishop Tim Dolan's (NY) Blog
- Big Blue Wave
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC News Site)
- Catholic Dialogue Blog
- Catholic Education Resource Center
- Catholic Exchange
- Catholic Heritage Website (Ireland)
- Catholic Insight
- Catholic News Agency
- Catholic Online
- Catholic Sensibility
- Catholic, and Loving It
- CTV News Site
- Ethics and Public Policy Center
- First Things
- Fr. Raymond De Souza - National Post Columnist
- Fr. Raymond deSouza personal blog
- Freethroughthought blog (excellent site)
- Friar Rick's Webblog
- Get Religion.org
- Global TV News Site
- Holy Post - National Post Religious Blog
- Inside Catholic Blog
- New Advent
- Pave the Way Foundation
- Priests for Life Canada Website
- ProLife Blog
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke
- Rosary for the Bishops
- Salt & Light TV - Canadian Catholic Television Website
- Sandro Magister
- Sane Conservatism
- SoCon (social conservative)
- Sylvia's Website: Canadian Clergy Sex Abuse Cases
- The Catholic Register
- The Hermeneutic of Continuity
- The National Post: Canada's National Daily
- The New Jesuit Review
- The New York Times Website
- Vox Nova
- What Does Prayer Really Say - Priest bolg
- Whispers in the Loggia
- ► 2019 (973)
- ► 2018 (1328)
- ► 2017 (1711)
- ► 2016 (2020)
- ► 2015 (2204)
- ► 2014 (2437)
- ► 2013 (1381)
- ► 2012 (1527)
- ► 2011 (1437)
- ► 2010 (997)
- Excellent post on the issue of privacy vs security...
- Is it right to call the church 'evil' ?
- Bonne et heurese année (Happy New Year)
- Prayer for Priests
- The best and worst news stories of 2009
- What "Evangelical" really means
- ... and then there was one
- An absolute Christmas must see!! "White Christmas...
- A Merry Christmas Card for my friends & family
- Does Science provide evidence for the truths of fa...
- Great debate from National Post: Church stand of M...
- Archbishop Martin (Dublin) seems to get it!
- Applying business practices to faith ... and it wo...
- Vatican announcement
- There are happy priests!!!
- I've been challenged to make a statement about how...
- Bishops CAN have an effective voice IF they are wi...
- Bioethics source book for Catholics
- What will they think of next?
- British government intrusion into Jewish faith
- Looking for something good to read... or a last mi...
- Quebec used to be the most Catholic of Canadian Pr...
- Vatican official explains the difference between j...
- Human Rights Commission menaces Christian organiza...
- Just-War Tradition explained
- Balance is a hard thing to find in avoiding the Su...
- The Soviet Socialist Republic... of Massachusetts?...
- SoCon Blog posts insightful piece on the role of m...
- Population control and answer to climate change?
- Just how big is the universe?
- Remember the Club of Rome?
- Scriptural lesson on religious dialogue
- Parental rights disappearing in Germany
- The question of religious freedom throughout the w...
- The Great Consolidator
- The Catholicism Project
- CCCB (Canadian Bishops Conference) publishes sex a...
- American Babylon: Richard Neuhaus' final book rev...
- British legislation menaces Church right to choose...
- Different standards for Catholic vs Protestant cle...
- "The Final Call" starts a multi part investigation...
- Bishop Jim Wingle (St. Catherines) addresses Catho...
- How to define the "Catholic Identity" of higher sc...
- My dear friend and mentor - Fr. Richard Neuhaus (R...
- Holy Father hale and healthy!
- Please comment on the pro-life argument presented ...
- John Denver & the Muppets - nice song to quiet the...
- This is what I've been trying to say....
- Midnight Mass time change at Vatican: Is the Pope...
- If this is true... than thank you Your Excellency ...
- Drawing strength and inspiration from the witness ...
- New Jesuit Review
- Tiger Woods story
- Communion ban for politicians with vote pro-aborti...
- "Holy Post" Blog column
- Taken from some of the comments from this blog
- Vatican studies the use of the internet by priests...
- McLeans Magazine on the Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse ...
- Debate on Freedom of Religion as framed by the Swi...
- Science: the new religion of the modern age
- More strident voices challenges the role of faith ...
- My more feeble attempt to argue,.. "a la Neuhaus"...
- One of the BEST arguments for the role of religion...
- Cuban Church joins the Virtual World of the Blogos...
- Bishop Jim Wingle (St. Catherines) addresses Catho...
- An Irish priest responds to the Dublin abuse repor...
- I'm back
- ▼ December (67)