Chesterton on Christianity and barbarism

Cathedral interior - Gothic arches

Wise words from the great G.K. Chesterton:

“If our faith had been a mere fad of the fading empire, fad would have followed fad in the twilight, and if the civilization ever re-emerged (and many such have never re-emerged) it would have been under some new barbaric flag. But the Christian Church was the last life of the old society and was also the first life of the new. She took the people who were forgetting how to make an arch and she taught them to invent the Gothic arch.

“In a word, the most absurd thing that could be said of the Church is the thing we have all heard said of it. How can we say that the Church wishes to bring us back into the Dark Ages? The Church was the only thing that ever brought us out of them.”

— G.K. Chesterton: “Orthodoxy,” Chap. IX – Authority and the Adventurer | http://bit.ly/2s1FelS

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Save Civil War history | Commentary | postandcourier.com

civil-war-soldiers_north-vs-south

“One hundred and fifty-two years after the War Between the States, people are still debating the greatest tragedy in the history of America, just as those who lived during that period could not find the right answer to close the argument. Thus, a war was fought to settle the issue. But the debate continues. Was it about economy or slavery? Was it about the right of secession?”

Source: Save Civil War history | Commentary | postandcourier.com

An excellent article by Thomas Pinckney Lowndes, Jr., an attorney in Charleston, South Carolina. Very excellent indeed! I fear, however, that Mr. Lowndes is preaching to the choir. Those who most need to hear these words are unlikely to do so, or to heed them if they read them, more’s the pity.

“The removal of monuments, names from schools and buildings, street names, and flags seeks to paint the South as evil. Thus, they must be buried, placed in the attic, not to be seen or spoken of again. This extremist attitude is radicalism to the core. It is this sort of inflammatory rhetoric that caused the great calamity of the Nineteenth century…

“Removal of all things Confederate does not foster common ground but divides…

“Ignorance is the poster child of extremism and extremism breeds radicalism. Enlightenment must eclipse ignorance. Respect for the sentiments of the various views as to the causes of that cataclysmic event of 1860-1865 are necessary for peace and desired tranquility in the country in which we all live. North or South, we are still Americans all.”

I fear greatly that we may be heading down a slippery slope leading to a new and more accurately-named Civil War: this time, not North vs South per se, but all against all. And it was not Southerners nor Confederates who precipitated this present crisis (*), but those who hate not only the Confederacy but all things American, as well: look at the attacks on Andrew Jackson, hero of the War of 1812, or Sam Houston, the father of Texas; against the Revolutionary-War-era Gadsden flag, even against such national forefathers as Washington and Jefferson. And the list could be lengthened distressingly.

This lunacy of radical historical revisionism and destruction of age-old symbols must end, and end soon, before we plummet off the precipice toward which we are rapidly sliding.

__________

* Some may cite the example of Dylan Roof, whose despicable murder of African-American church members appears to have sparked – or at least, served as an excuse for – the present strife. But is it just to blame an entire culture for the actions of one lunatic? Is that not the argument used by so-called “liberals” to justify the refusal of our present society to come to grips with the spectre of Islamic terrorism – and that happening now, not 150 years in the past?

Douglas Murray on mass migration, lack of borders

“The public are wondering whether this whole idea of mass migration, of this borderless world is such a good idea and I think the public has come to a different conclusion than the politicians.”

— Douglas Murray, in a BBC interview

Islam—Facts or Dreams? – Imprimis

Hillsdale_College_Logo.jpeg

We must deal with the facts of Islamic supremacism. But we can only defeat them if we resolve to see them for what they are.

Source: Islam—Facts or Dreams? – Imprimis | Andrew C. McCarthy

Written in February of 2016, this exemplary essay is just as cogent and important now – if anything, given the recent events in Manchester, England, even more so… since it seems we have learned little in the last year-plus! Here is an excerpt:

When [Omar Abdel Rahman, infamously known as the Blind Sheikh, mastermind of the first attack on the World Trade Center] said the scriptures command that Muslims strike terror into the hearts of Islam’s enemies, the scriptures backed him up.

When he said Islam directed Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as their friends, the scriptures backed him up.

When he said Allah enjoined all Muslims to wage jihad until Islamic law was established throughout the world, the scriptures backed him up.

You could counter that there are other ways of construing the scriptures. You could contend that these exhortations to violence and hatred should be “contextualized”—i.e., that they were only meant for their time and place in the seventh century. Again, I would caution that there are compelling arguments against this manner of interpreting Islamic scripture. The point, however, is that what you’d be arguing is an interpretation.

The fact that there are multiple ways of construing Islam hardly makes the Blind Sheikh’s literal construction wrong. The blunt fact of the matter is that, in this contest of competing interpretations, it is the jihadists who seem to be making sense because they have the words of scripture on their side—it is the others who seem to be dancing on the head of a pin…

Our investigators are good at what they do, and our top officials may be ideological, but they are not stupid. Why is it that they can’t say two plus two equals four when Islam is involved?

The reason is simple: stubbornly unwilling to deal with the reality of Islam, our leaders have constructed an Islam of their very own. This triumph of willful blindness and political correctness over common sense was best illustrated by former British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith when she described terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity.”

In other words, the savagery is not merely unrelated to Islam; it becomes, by dint of its being inconsistent with a “religion of peace,” contrary to Islam. This explains our government’s handwringing over “radicalization”: we are supposed to wonder why young Muslims spontaneously become violent radicals—as if there is no belief system involved.

This is political correctness on steroids, and it has dangerous policy implications.

Read the whole article. It’s sobering, but instructive – even enlightening. It should be required reading for every government official, and for every high school and college student. Heck, it should be required reading for everyone in the West!

A message from Her Majesty The Queen to the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester | The Royal Family

Her Majesty The Queen visits with one of the young victims of the Manchester suicide bombing at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and commends the Hospital staff.

The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert. I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured. I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care.

— Her Majesty The Queen

Source: A message from Her Majesty The Queen to the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester | The Royal Family

“Europe, rise from your knees…”

Europe, rise from your knees - Polish PM

Indeed.

Prime Minister of Poland Beata Maria Szydło makes a cogent comment in the wake of the Manchester bombing in England, where a Moslem suicide bomber, the British-born son of immigrants from Libya, killed 22 mostly teenage female (or pre-teen, in some cases) concert-goers and wounded 60 more. Most recent news is that two brothers and the father of the bomber have also been arrested, one in Britain and the others in Libya. Police are investigating ties to both ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Most official news reports seem to focus on Manchester remaining “united” and not letting this latest horrific incident “divide our community.” Sure, Britain, Europe, continue cuddling the vipers to your breast, and wondering why you’re getting bit…

Brexit: what’s happening, what should happen

Six Brexit Tests - UKIP

It is closing on a year since Britain’s historic “Brexit” vote, when a majority of Britons – 52% to 48% across the UK, 53.4% to 46.6% in England itself – voted to separate from the European Union (“Leave”), in a referendum in which more than 30 million people, nearly 72% of the British electorate, voted: the largest number of people to vote in any referendum or election in British history, according to reports at the time.

Yet what has happened in that time? Sadly, for many “Leave” proponents (the Anglophilic Anglican included, though I am not a British subject), not nearly as much as had been hoped. Prime Minister Theresa May did trigger Article 50, beginning the two-year process of disengaging, on March 29th, and it was signed by the Queen. Since then not much appears to be happening, at least in view of the public (though what is going on behind closed doors is always difficult or impossible to determine).

In an attempt to move things along, UKIP – the United Kingdom Independence Party, the biggest and most influential single organization to back Brexit – has issued the above brief manifesto, outlining six “Tests” to make sure Britain regains full sovereignty in the areas of law (restoring to the British Parliament powers that had been ceded to the EU), immigration and border control, territorial waters, international trade, and finance, and ensuring that this process is completed within the mandated two years.

Seems reasonable to me! It also seems to me a shame that any entity has to issue a “call” to such elementary, common-sense basics.