Indulgences, forgiveness and moral excuses

Progressives see religion, especially Christianity with disdain. The see those who follow religion as superstitious ignoramuses who are either mislead or worse Conservatives. But for all the disdain and loathing that Progressives aim at the religious they sure like to misuse and misinterpret religious doctrine for themselves.

Take the use of indulgences, what are indulgences? From the Vatican site:

“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”

“An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.” Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead.

In Medieval times indulgences were paid to the Catholic Church to wipe/minimize or atone for the sins committed during their lifetime. This doctrine as with many others got corrupted to the point the indulgences were sold to the highest bidder. Doing penance for your sins, if you could build a new wing to the cathedral an official certificate would be given for your penance. Your parents are long dead but they may not have been able to receive last rites or a confession to be absolved of their sins before dying, you could now pay or buy an indulgence for them and spare them the suffering in purgatory or in some cases Hell.

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They are the same!

 

Trigger warning! This might offend some of my Progressive readers.

Another week and we have more beheadings, in Tunisia of a French mountaineer and of course right here in Oklahoma (a workplace violence incident, a la Major Nidal a few years back). We have also begun bombing ISIS/ISIL/IS in Syria with the assistance of the air forces of some Arab countries and apparently the French. None of this has anything to do with Islam but with ISIS and a new group the Khorassan an al-Qaeda group based in Syria. To demonstrate this we even let President Assad know of the bombing raids to ask permission (this has enraged our Moderate Allies in Syria, who are battling Assad as well as ISIS and who we are asking to be the boots on the ground to get rid of ISIS and Assad who these Moderates rebelled against, starting the whole chain of events). If you are confused don’t worry, the Administration is too but it will all work out because of, crickets… oh yeah, we are now in the 21st Century and that is how we do things now.

In the meantime, our Top Minds from the President on down we are marshalling forces against the real enemy, Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and CO2. Our State Department, our Defense Department and now by Executive Order our entire Federal behemoth will mobilize to finds ways to combat this greatest of enemy. Much like we did during WW2, we will now take AGW into account in all its decisions. That the Earth has not warmed in 18 years despite our continued emission of CO2 in increasing amounts and that Climate scientist have proposed at least 52 excuses explanations for that fact a meeting of all the Heads of State was convened at the UN Headquarters in NY to discuss the non problem.

Islam is a Belief of Blood

This is a repost from the blog The conservative citizen, as a mental exercise after you read it replace the names of the places with Harlem, Chicago, New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis and the names of the people with Sharpton, Jackson, Holder, Obama, etc.

Then read it again.

BY DAVE THE SAGE on SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 • ( 1 )

– by Amil Imani –

From Peshawar Pakistan to Nairobi Kenya, from Damascus Syria to Benghazi Libya, Muslims are on a killing rampage. The civilized world is shocked and distressed. Some mutation seems to take place in the humanness of the person the minute he announces his subservience to Islam by reciting the Shahada: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” The individual becomes intolerant, violent and the shedding of blood becomes central to his life.

The Greek had their gods, so did the idolater Arabs before Muhammad appeared on the scene. Muhammad chose a minor idol as god and the only god and elected the name of Allah for him. According to Muhammad, Allah is not only the god; he is the all-everything god, embodying all imaginable attributes that were previously monopolies of different gods of the polytheists.

What in fact stands out as Allah’s dominating attribute, is his intolerant and violent nature. He is nothing like the all-merciful the Quran claims. But he certainly is the most wrathful. Since commissioning Muhammad as his emissary and giving him the manual of mayhem called the Quran, the world has never seen a day of peace. Apparently that’s just the way Allah likes it.

In Search of Meaning, why do they do it?

When Polish Jew, Henri Tajfel, left Poland to study Chemistry in Sorbonne, France he did not know that when he returned that none of his immediate family and few of his friends would be alive. The Second World War would find in France, where he volunteered in the French Army and later would become a prisoner of war a year later.

He would face a dilemma, announce to his captors deny he was a Polish Jew or claim to be a French citizen. In the end he admitted to being Jewish but claimed French citizenship. This act probably saved his life as he survived the war in a series of POW camps. This experience also embarked him on a quest to find out the reasons for prejudice and intergroup relations.

After the war he worked with a Jewish organization helping to resettle Jewish orphans and the UN’s refugee Organization, but it was his work in social psychology that is the most influential to this day. After moving to the UK to study psychology and graduating his research examining different areas of social psychology, social judgment, nationalism and prejudice that I want to talk about.

Moderate Muslims, How do we define that?

Kabul University 1970s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the 9-11 attacks by al-Qaeda on the US, there have been many who have postulated that a modern Caliphate lead by groups like the Islamic Brotherhood would be that answer to the problems in the Middle East. The thinking that this would unite the Muslim Arabs into a Confederation that would bring stability and prosperity under Islam to the region. This is a change from the Pan-Arabism movement in the early part of the 20th Century, a Socialist minded movement that reached its peak once the Egyptians under President Gamal Abdel Nasser adopted it as official policy. Pan-Arabism as the movement was called had socialist roots, supported by the Soviet Union and some European Socialist countries was a failed attempt to re-establish a Caliphate though this early modern version was leftist ideologies not as the earlier versions which were based on theological basis.

091014_0519_ModerateMus2.jpg

Kabul University 2012

The movement was gaining adherents but the defeat against Israel in 1967, started its demise. Though the leaders of the movement were ideologically Socialists, Israel was used to whip up sympathies among the less ideologically inclined. One thing the Pan-Arabism movement and the newer Islamic based movements is that they both agree, we, the West is the enemy. Western society is incomparable with their Eastern and religious tendencies. It is ironic that the only truly Western country in the Middle East is Israel, though the Leftist leaning academia and Media are always attacking. It is these same intellectuals that are influencing official policy and don’t pass an opportunity to inform us that Islam is the Religion of Peace, that most Muslims are Moderate and if that fails they try to convince anyone who would listen that the extremist are not really Muslims but just fanatics.

15sims_CA0_600

An example of a caning session in moderate Indonesia.

As we gear to once again intervene in the region, it is important to understand that there is an underlying issue that try as many are is the problem. This is a struggle not only of which religion will dominate, not just the area but the World, it is a struggle of two competing philosophies: East vs. West.  The theological conflict started long ago with the creation of Islam, when the Arabic tribes banded together under the Islamic flag and invaded Christian, Jewish and Persian lands. They swept West across North Africa and into Spain only to be stopped in Southern France they also invaded West past the Levant into Anatolia, into the Balkans until they were stopped at the gates of Vienna.

Some pro-Islamists like to call Westerners, Crusaders an allegory to failed attempts by European countries to regain their Holy Lands or at least access to them. Forgetting their own excursions into other territories and their own atrocities. Like the enslaving and trade of Western women and men. The very word slave though its origins date to Roman times was used to describe those from those countries that were enslaved by Roman and later Muslims raiders. Much like they did centuries later in Africa ages before any European.

The ideological conflict is more recent, a result of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Socialist thought throughout Europe and the rest of the World. The weaknesses of the Ottoman Empire were already evident, even before then. Fundamentalist in Ottoman Empire had already made their presence felt. Late in the 18th century, a Wahhabi rebellion had to put down, when the House of Saud, whose descendants would later establish and rule Saudi Arabia, joined with the radical cleric Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, and rebelled against Ottoman rule. Among its main complaints; that the Ottoman Turks were too westernized and it version of Islam was impure, full of idolatry and Western influence.

The origins of Fundamentalist Islam are old, they can be traced to the teachings of Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah who died in 1328, and who wanted to return to earlier interpretations of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and who viewed any adaptations after the first 300 years of Islam as unnecessary and a deviation from true Islamic teachings. Modern fundamentalist movements, Wahhabism, Salafism, and Jihadism all borrow heavily from his teachings. One of his teachings was the opposition to giving undue religious honors to Mosques or other religious antiquities, other than the holiest one in Mecca and Medina, which is the justifications that the Taliban borrows to destroy the Buddhist sculptures in Afghanistan, the destruction of Tomb of Jonah in Iraq by ISIS or its promise to destroy Karbala, the Shi’as holiest shrine.

As the West became more influential and powerful, we also have become more secular. This is hampering our understanding of Islam as we look at it and compare it to Christianity. Most Leftists can tell you the evils of Christianity, the danger of allowing Christian thought in schools, Christian thought of abortion, birth control, etc. Too many see Christians and by extension any who ascribe to a religion as innocent, ignorant or just plain deluded for believing in superstitions.

Palestinian Woman Stoned for adultery

Still others who believe in Christianity or other religion including Islam are unwilling to accept all the tenets of the religion. They view religion as something that can be adapted to the changing society, adopting or dropping those tenets that conflict with their views. They will willingly blind themselves of that which they may find objectionable or use false equivalents to justify their lack of acceptance.

True enough most Muslims are not looking to subdue the West and to convert all infidels to their religion. They prefer to live their lives quietly and worship their religion the same way that most others do. They do not seek or act with the same barbarity and view many things that are committed by Fundamentalist with horror and despair. I know quite a few that feel that their religion needs to embrace its most peaceful messages. Many wish and pray that the Fundamentalists would just go away.

 

Full disclosure, my best man at my wedding 23 years ago was from Bangladesh and Muslims and is still my best friend and my younger sister converted to Islam about a decade ago, her husband is also Muslim. I do not have hate towards Muslims but I do have reservations about the overall ignorance about their religion by so many people. The ignorance about the fact that while many oppose slavery, female circumcision, polygamy, honor killings, stoning, caning, suicide bombing, beheadings, etc. they are allowed and even encouraged by proponents of their religion.

 

Islam and the Decadent West

Many Muslims view the West as vulgar, decadent, lacking morals, worshipping false idols and in need of salvation. This is a view that many others also share, and I am not talking about religious adherents but even atheist. They also believe that Islam is the way to salvation and it is their duty as Muslims to ensure that will happen. Are they the silent majority of Muslims, the Moderate ones who are just waiting until Western society just falls apart so that they may pick up the pieces and establish order under Sharia Law?

Perhaps, but their acceptance of things which are viewed so barbarically in the West, will mean that whether a majority or not their acceptance even if it is by silence will put them in conflict with us. Is not that they are wrong in some respects about the West, it is not that despite what many would like to believe our involvement in the ME is causing the rise of ISIS or other fundamentalists groups. The issue is whether we as a society are willing to accept that which Muslims accept and will adapted ourselves or whether we will defend our Western philosophy or freedom and those liberties which believe in and live by, even if we have forgotten what those are. Or are willing to give up on those principles and devalue life.

Are there Moderate Muslims? I guess it depends on what the definition of a Muslim, is.

 

 

 

 

 

Diversity- contd

Mark Steyn’s has a new post on his site that touches on the subject in my previous post. His is entitled: The Reformation of Manners, though manners have very little to do with the issue. A primer:

“Underneath the watchful eyes of the digital panopticon, however, the Islamization of the west will continue. Not every Muslim wants to chop your head off. Not every Muslim wants to “groom” your 11-year-old daughter. But these pathologies nest within Islam, and thrive at the intersection of Islam and the west. As long as Islam is your biggest source of population growth – to the point where Mohammed is now the most popular boy’s name in Oslo – you’re not “tackling” the issue, and certainly not “head on”.

“In a bizarre column even for the post-Conrad National Post, Afsun Qureshi suggests the best thing you could do to lessen the likelihood of being set upon by Muslims is to learn to recite the shahadah, “a testimony to the identity of Allah as the one true God, and Muhammad as his prophet”. She might be right. Wearing a burqa might help, too. Or the shalwar kameez. On the other hand, most of those Syrian men paraded through the desert in their BVDs to their rendezvous with death knew the shahadah, and a fat lot of good it did”

The last paragraph a reference to an article in the National Post, one of Canada’s leading newspapers who an article that must be read to be believed.  Wether willingly or unknowingly is proposing that we pretend to be Muslims in order to co-exists with Muslims. This plays into the same message that groups like ISIS are using to recruit impressionable recruits; Inevitability. They all preach that “Allahu Akbar”, their God is Greater, join us or be else.

Steyn concludes as follows;

So now, in the new multiculti Britain, the child sex trade is back, as part of the rich, vibrant tapestry of diversity – along with Jew-hate, and honor killings, and decapitation porn. The solutions to the internal contradictions of multiculturalism are (a) David Cameron’s expanded security state; (b) Afsun Qureshi’s universal prostration before Islam; or (c) an end to mass Muslim immigration. The last is too obvious for any viable western politician ever to propose it.

Read the whole thing.

A failure of ideology is driving the ME and Ferguson

 

⇒UPDATE⇐

 

 

The picture shows a map of the 5 year plan of ISIS/ISIL. Eventually they want the whole World under their flag and their religion, Islam. This is their plan, this is what they tell their recruits all over the World. We can argue all we want about whether ISIS/ISIL really represents Islam or not but this is what they are aiming for. The White House and the State Department spokespersons twist themselves into pretzels trying to explain that this is not what the Muslims religion is about or that we are not at war with Islam, yet what we say had little relevance to what they (ISIL) believes. Despite denials to the contrary and the revisionist history that is taught in today’s schools the spread of the Muslim faith was achieved mostly at the end of a sword, smaller versions of the knifes that being used to decapitate people today.

It is true that most major religions have had dark pasts, where religion was used as a justification for many barbaric deeds, but I find it extremely misleading this great campaign that is going on to pretend that Islam is nothing but a “peaceful” religion, ergo any atrocities committed in the name of Islam by its followers means that they are not truly “Muslim” or not part of its teachings. It is true that most Muslims are not violent or extreme fundamentalist in beliefs that only wish to worship and follow their religion in peace but denying that there are some that are some that feel differently is naïve, and dangerous. The very term “extreme fundamentalist” entails that it is the same religion only an extreme (strict) fundamentalist (earlier, primary, core) version of the religion. Pretending that because the Muslim faith has change into a more moderate version of its earlier self, those that follow the more fundamentalist version are not practicing the same religion is spurious.

The Telegraph in the UK has an article titled “British jihadists: How Britain became the Yemen of the West”, which offers one prescription with dealing with the European jihadists that have joined the fight in the ME, but the article fails in other areas because it is at fault of the same problems that others are having failing to see the influence of religion on the matter, and why it is appealing to some many. The article states the following;

“Dreadful as the murder video of the journalist James Foley was, it is by no means the worst thing posted online by, or involving, British and Western jihadists this week. In the jihadists’ theatre of savagery, Britons and Westerners have for several months taken principal speaking parts. The Foley video’s real significance, perhaps not fully understood in the general shock, is different. Until now, the Islamic State (Isil) has shown little interest in threatening the West. In that video, this started to change, with “John the Beatle” promising the “bloodshed of your people”. The ransom demand sent to Mr. Foley’s family, published yesterday, is even more explicit: “Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, government and citizens alike,” it says.”

This, ignores all the previous threats as non-existent, of course the public way in which it was carried out was bound to get attention. Until now those that have died or believed to have died were all considered a sort of collateral damage to the hostilities in the area. This was very clear into its extent and its message. But, in our secular society everything is viewed through a secular lens and this is where the article fails. The article explains the appeal of the jihadists this way, it was our fault;

“Britain’s key failing is that it was tough where it should have been liberal, and liberal where it should have been tough. It extended detention without trial and stop-and-search: sweeping measures that affected everyone and left Muslims, most of whom are completely blameless, feeling under attack. At the same time, it was ridiculously tolerant and indulgent towards a small minority of Muslim radicals.”

And then dismissively,

“Throughout history, bored, maladjusted and sexually frustrated young men have sought excitement and identity through violence. Where a non-Muslim adolescent might only have the outlet of gang fights in shopping centres or punchups in pubs, young Muslims have the glamour, thrill and wider meaning of Middle East combat. The connections they can make online, with others far away, and the ease of travel in the globalised world complete the picture.”

Kids will be kids, maybe we can create a “time-out” corner for this young adults Kids, to go to so that they won’t join those fighting, killing, raping and bombing with ISIS, but as the author warns we have to be careful so as not to radicalize more susceptible young ones. Now the prescription as the author sees it, is to let the educate the possible recruits,

“A potential British Isil recruit may not be too bothered that he could end up dead. But around half of the Britons who have died so far in Syria and Iraq were killed not by the regime-infidel enemy but by their own side through in-fighting, and if that same potential recruit knew that, it might put a different complexion on it.

If young men in Bradford and east London heard stories from disillusioned British Isil fighters who felt they were treated as cannon fodder that would do 20 times more good than any number of heartfelt condemnations from middle-aged politicians or “community leaders”.


A young man goes to the ME and if he survives and returns we will use him to tell other young men not to go, this is assuming that the young returning will be so disillusioned with their jihad that they will be willing to do so, and completely forgets those that return and tell a completely different story or that want to pursue or start their own jihad closer to home. Winning strategy! Ok, sarcasm off. This is not exactly a new strategy, something similar has been tried here with gang members but for all the hoopla it has had limited success. That has not stop us from trying as Chicago is attempting use past gang members to help its runaway gang problem, again after an earlier initiative in 2012 failed to deliver and crime spiraled out of control. Other cities, Atlanta, Detroit, Charlotte, Houston, Oakland, Cleveland, Little Rock, Memphis, Dallas, to name a few have tried the same approach all with little or limited success as they fail to address core issues that cause the gangs to be attractive, in the first place, to young man. All this amounts to be what St. Augustine described as the “cruel optimism” of people: our desire to believe the best in people and if we just tell them why something is wrong them will stop doing it.

Charles C. W. Cooke writing in the National Review writes, “H. G. Wells’ famous prediction that the First World War would be the “war to end all wars” was met with skepticism by the British prime minister. “This war, like the next war,” David Lloyd George quipped in the summer of 1916, “is a war to end war.” History, he sighed, is not shaped by wishful thinking.”

He continues,

“This week, responding to the news that an American journalist had been executed in Syria by the Islamic State, President Obama contended that the group “has no place in the 21st century.” One wonders: What can this mean? Is this a statement of intent, or is it a historical judgment? Certainly, insofar as Obama’s words indicate a willingness to extirpate the outfit from the face of the Earth, they are useful. If, however, they are merely an attempt to shame the group by explaining that in 2014 the good guys no longer behave in this manner, it is abject and it is fruitless. As a matter of regrettable fact, IS does indeed have a place in the 21st century — and, like the barbarians who hypothetically had “no place” in the Roman Empire, it is presently utilizing that place to spread darkness and despair. Assurances that “our best days are ahead of us,” I’d venture, are probably not going to cut it with the mujahideen.”

“Many among us seem incapable of believing that it is. On Reddit, users are furiously debating whether the footage was faked. Elsewhere, others are seeking explanations as to what might have pushed Foley’s killers to such extraordinary lengths. Perhaps, they ask, IS’s behavior is the fault of something else. The United States’ invasion of Iraq, maybe? Or the legacy of colonialism, or of global inequality? Do these men just need running water? This instinct is folly, the product of the mistaken conviction that man is perfectible and his nature pliant, and that there is something intrinsically different about our age. “The lessons of history endure,” Oklahoma University’s J. Rufus Fears observed beautifully, “because human nature never changed.” “All the human emotions,” Fears added,

 

Are the same today as in Egypt of the pharaohs or China in the time of Confucius: Love, hate, ambition, the lust for power, kindness, generosity, and inhumanity. The good and bad of human nature is simply poured into new vehicles created by science and technology.

That is the false ideology that must be countered, that because we have become more “civilized” that we have seized to be human, that those instincts and feelings that drove humanity 10,000 years ago or 14 years ago are now different, why? Especially when at the same time we are sending a completely different message as our culture becomes more primitive, when the desires of the flesh are more important, when we excuse those that loot, rob and steal as innocents and denigrate those that try to be productive as evil. We are still human, we can redistribute happiness or success. The thought that if we allowed the Islamist to have their own country will be enough to satisfy them and leave other be is the same wrong ideology as that of those that believe that if we give more to certain groups will satisfy them and lead them to happiness and advancement. History can teach a lot about human nature, what it cannot do is make us listen.

UPDATE

MSNBC host Chris Matthews questioned Monday why ISIS is not grateful to the United States instead of threatening this country, noting “we did their work for them” by removing secular dictators like Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.  H/T  The Daily Caller

““What did we do against ISIS except allow them to exist by breaking up the Iraqi government under George W. Bush?” Matthews asked. “We created their opportunity. How are we their enemy? I don’t get it. What did we do to them, to ISIS?”

Mohyledin tried to explain the broader regional context, noting the long-standing support of many secular Arab governments by the United States. But he was quickly cut off.

“Wait a minute, we helped knock off Gaddafi, we took a pretty strong stand against Syria, we knocked off Saddam Hussein,” Matthews interjected. “We knocked off all the secular leaders. Why aren’t the Islamists happy with us?”

“Factually, we did their work for them,” the MSNBC host asserted. “We pulled the rug out from under all these people who were secularists so that these Islamists could grab those countries. What’s the knock, what’s the knock on us?”

 

He does not understand why the US is being targeted after all not only did we provided the opportunity, but we removed the opposition yet they are not satisfied by our stumbling benevolence. This is a perfect example of the thinking that if we give extremist something that they should be grateful and go on about themselves, but ignoring that root cause of the issues by just addressing one. This is willful ignorance as well as arrogance in that we are in essence saying, here you go young wild child here a country now go play and leave me alone. The problems in the ME date far back, it is not because of Israel, the Palestinian lack of a State,  US involvement in the region or British colonialism (though the latter did make a mess of things), they date to the early days of Islam when several tribes in the desert in Arabia and went on to conquer everyone in their path until they were stopped.