Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Burning the Koran!

The Vatican weighs in on some goofy church's decision to burn the Koran as a publicity stunt. Looks like most of the world is rising up against the act.

You know, I've expressed my sympathies for muslims in the past on this blog. And I'll go further. But as someone who still remembers the "piss Christ" 'art' fiasco, I admit this irritates me.


Ilíon said...

I think it's our duty as free men to "offend" Moslems-as-Moslems.

Crude said...

Well, this is an area where you and I actually disagree sharply. But I've got to ask - why do you see it as a duty? Or even a positive thing in general?

Ilíon said...

For much the same reasons that it is our duty as free -- and moral -- men to "offend" the "nice" tyrants. Do you really not understand this? Do you really not understand that both groups are using essentially the same play-book? Do you really not understand that both are engaged in a type of passive-aggression, the point of which is to cow and ultimately control the rest of us?

Islam is our mortal enemy and, really, the enemy of all non-Moslems ... and, for that matter, of Moslems themselves. It has always been seeking to destroy us, and it will always seek to destroy us. There is no such thing, and can be no such thing, as a "moderate" Islam; any "moderate" Islam is not Islam.

Since "moderate" Islam is a contradiction in terms, it follows that there is no such thing as a "moderate" Moslem. Any so-called moderate Moslem either:
1) isn't really a Moslem (and yet, one can never predict that "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" won't strike him, turning him into a real Moslem);
OR 2) is a real Moslem, after all, but is engaging in the Islam practice of taqiyya.

Crude said...

For much the same reasons that it is our duty as free -- and moral -- men to "offend" the "nice" tyrants. Do you really not understand this?

It's our duty to offend the nice tyrants? What tyrants are these? Our meaning who?

Not trying to be difficult here, I'm really trying to figure out what particular contexts you're speaking in. Duty as Americans? As Christians?

I admit, I never heard of taqiyya. I'm just full of questions here, I know.

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

Is it a biblical duty to antagonize non-Christians? I can see that it is a duty to rail against Muslim outrage and scare-tactics WHEN they are stimulated and flaunted, but actively to seek to trigger such outrage...? I share Crude's basic mystification by that idea.

At any rate, according to Michelle Malkin, it doesn't take much of anything to "upset" most Muslims, which may create the ongoing space in which Muslim scare hysteria can and should be opposed with vigor. I do not she refers to the Koran-burning as an amateurish tactic to drum up numbers by a pastor, so I think she herself would more inclined to oppose Muslim madness than actively foment it.

Crude said...

I want to be clear here and point out that I'm playing some Socratic angle in asking my question, or going for some cute debate trick where the point of my questions is to draw Ilion into a misstep or something. I just really want to know where he's coming from on this.

I will state right out that A) I am insulted, even angry, at the amount of deference shown to muslims (and really, it's not just muslims) in this case, after being fed line after line about the sacred importance of shutting up and accepting, or even paying for as a taxpayer, stuff like "Piss Christ", and B) I also am not all that thrilled with the disproportionate outrage I've seen in some (even Christian) quarters being leveled at the pastor in question, screaming about how his acts are going to get soldiers killed and cause all kinds of misery, etc. You know, as if there is a direct line between 'burning the koran' and 'people die', and there's no interim point of 'because these and those people decided to take these actions, thinking them just'. I find that logic frightening, very close to screaming at some housewife to shut up and do as her husband says, because we KNOW how his temper gets when you talk back to him, and if he takes it out on the kids again it's all her fault.

Honestly, I'd like to see the results if this pastor goes through with his threat, and a few days later, his head's blown off or his family is murdered.

That said, I'm probably far more soft on the topic of muslims, because I view the threat they pose and the damage they've done to be shockingly minimal compared to the threat posed and damage already done by many western.. let's avoid the term "liberal" and call them "fake secularists". That's apt enough here.

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...


I'm with you. The disproportionate outrage is what Malkin is addressing in that piece. Have a looksee. I'm also more than "oh-brother, good-griefed" about the hysterical outrage about the Koran-burning. Compare the kerfuffle to when PZ "Pissy" Myers flagrantly and publicly announced his plan to desecrate a sacred Host, and did so. Not a blip, outside the pertinent subspheres of the blogosphere, anyway. And I'm not blind to the history of Islamic colonialism. So seeing Islam as an historical enemy of Christendom is not totally ridiculous, especially given that Islam is an "enemy of the Cross" (cf. Galatians 1) precisely for its denial of Jesus' Crucifixion. Yet you and I are Catholics, so, among other things, the 2. Vatican Council's 3rd § in _Nostra Aetate_ ( ) must influence our response to Islam in a way that Ilíon is perhaps neither bound nor inclined to heed.

Also, have a look at the Magis Center headed by Fr. Spitzer. He's scheduled to debate Hawking about the latter's latest book and was even featured on Larry König Live for a response he made to Hawking via Youtube.


Crude said...

The Myers thing comes to mind. Admittedly, less so, since really - while we notice him more due to our hitting the relevant blogs often, Myers himself tends not to register outside the pertinent blogs. But far more public examples exist - acts by Madonna, etc. And the response has typically been "You Catholics have to learn to be quiet and not complain when people exercise their free speech."

I also know the Church in particular has some moderating responses on Islam, though I admit it goes beyond that for me. I suppose I should outright say that I hold muslims in higher esteem than I do those fake-secular forces I've mentioned. After some back and forth with Ilion, I'll probably post on that.

And funny, I only just recently found out about Fr. Spitzer and his site! So I guess some good is coming of Hawking's book. If you haven't seen it, Paul Davies' take on Hawking's book is also of note. The main problem I have, though, is that the game Hawking is playing is wrong on multiple fronts. A) M-theory, as Roger Penrose pointed out, has not a shred of observational evidence in its favor. Hawking - who begins his book by saying "philosophy is dead" - apparently goes on to redefine "science" so broadly as to make metaphysics (but only his!) into science. When ID proponents and others are suspected of 'redefining science', all hell breaks loose. B) Even if M-theory and such had observational evidence in support of it - a tall order - it still does not begin to touch on the existence, much less the creative acts, of God. As Davies points out, we're still left with this strange overarching system tuned for universe production. Worse, we're still left with ultimate beginnings as Vilenkin points out, and to speak of 'law' being at work there is to remake 'law' to sound an awful lot like 'God'. C) But who is willing to say that Hawking is abusing science? I'm not sure even Spitzer is willing to make that move as opposed to questioning the man's conclusions. Who's willing to stand up and say that Hawking, everyone's favorite scientist, is mangling science? I suspect few of note.

Though I look forward to reading Grand Design sometime, because all indications by the reviews are that it's really bad. Not poorly written, but intellectually flaky and, from an advocacy position, desperate. I always wondered what the fallout would be if science started to hit a wall, particularly on cosmology. I think I'm getting the answer to my question.