Saturday, October 23, 2010
One step forward...
And one step back.
A new sort of cultural Yalta is being established in practice: in the East, the monopoly of a single religion which grows more and more intolerant, Islam. In the West, pluralism, tolerance, and secularism. This Yalta, like the other one, will cause a cold war, to not say even more. Thus it is necessary, without hesitation or complacent weakness, to defend the rights of the Christians of the East to exist. (h/t to Arab Orthodoxy, here.)
Not for a second do I believe that modern Islam is our greatest threat. Secularization and unbelief are far more threatening and perilous....But Kristof is suggesting that Islam is something that it is not – that it is a humane religion happy to co-exist in the neighborhood. It is certainly not this. It is not tolerant of the existence of other traditions. "Islam" does not mean "peace" by a long shot: it means, as we all used to be taught, "surrender." One cannot equate it with Christianity's general ethical record in history: there is no contest in this regard.
Say anything you'd like about Islam representing "The Other" – but it should be kept in mind that the concern for "The Other" is made possible only in the pale of the Christian legacy (just as all liberalism and humanism, and even atheism, require the safe harbor of Christendom – despite the relentless ingratitude of these derivative -- and retrogressive -- traditions).
The God of Islam is not at all the Holy Trinity. Since the Incarnation, knowledge of God can only be Triune and Christological.
We do not have to be afraid of Islam. But Islam can be mean, and has nothing in common, theologically, with Christianity. (h/t to Second Terrace, here.)