"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The "war on terror" and "the culture of death"

I concluded my previous post by deploring the relative inattention Catholic bloggers pay to the war with militant Islam, or "Islamism" for short, which is still misnamed in many circles as "the war on terror." The Vatican still seems more concerned with interreligious "dialogue" than about the prospect of Western defeat, even as NATO fights a resurgent Taliban and the Islamization of Western Europe proceeds almost inexorably. It's a systemic problem meriting further analysis and discussion.

Intelligent Catholics were not so torpid during the millennium that started with Muslim armies conquering much of the Christian world and ended with the Ottoman defeat at the gates of Vienna in 1683. That's because the fate of Western Europe sometimes hung by a thread during those ages. That the thread never snapped depended as much on hard-eyed realism, and the natural virtues of courage and fortitude, as on divine intervention. Near Tours in 711, Charles the Hammer put to flight a larger, better-organized Muslim army marauding beyond Spain through France; had the invaders conquered, the return of civilization to Western Europe would not have been Christian. The tenacity of the Spaniards and Portuguese never went unnoticed, or unsupported, as they fought to drive from the Iberian peninsula a Muslim occupation that would otherwise have engulfed them; they fully succeeded only after seven centuries, in 1492, after even the Crusades had been turned back. In 1565, the "Great Siege" of Malta by the Sultan's forces ended in their disastrous retreat, but only after truly astonishing heroism by the vastly outnumbered defenders, most of whom were knights from throughout Europe, nearly all of whom were killed; had Malta fallen, the Catholic navy at the equally important Battle of Lepanto six years later would never have had the opportunity to confront their Muslim enemy, much less to win as miraculously as they did. Indeed, what is now called "modernity," as well as that aspect of it which is known as the Counter-Reformation, would otherwise have been swiftly derailed. So why, after all that history, are so many smart Catholics so complacent about resurgently militant Islam?

In a comment on my previous post, "Dim Bulb" wrote:

[T]hat those who pimp for the culture of death would align themselves in some way with a "religion" of death and destruction disguising itself as Islam should shock no one. The former kill children in the womb, while the latter blow them up on buses. Both do it on the pretext of freedom from oppression. Both present themselves as victims to justify their atrocities. And are we not now seeing in this country, under the influence of Jim Wallis and with the support of people like Hillary Clinton, the rise of the "religious left?" One group has perverted a religion to justify its death-pedaling, the other is attempting to do the same.

Now most of the Catholic bloggers I have in mind do not belong to "the religious left," and therefore to the Western culture of death that DB has so eloquently described. But said bloggers overlook that the Western culture of death is the secular version of the Muslim culture of death. Both cry "freedom from oppression" while citing the wrong people as victims in order to "justify the atrocities." That, at a deep level, explains why the religious left seems relatively tolerant of, if not actively sympathetic to, jihad just as it once was regarding Communism. I intuit such parallelism as the work of one and the same staff office in hell. Authentically Catholic bloggers, I fear, don't see this because they are not attuned to the strategic picture of spiritual combat. Even the best Catholics are no longer trained to interpret events in terms of the cosmic if residual struggle between Christ and Satan. So, like the FBI and CIA prior to 9/11, they don't connect the dots.

Unless more of us start connecting them, the West will lose that two-front war whose aim is the complete destruction of what's left of Christian civilization. After the 20th century's culture of death known as totalitarianism, in which the Nazis, Fascists, and other nationalists on the Right were evil in the same ways as the Communists and other nationalists on the Left, we have no excuse. Each contemporary wing of the culture of death must be opposed with equal resoluteness. Onward, Christian soliders! And if the Left, whether religious or secular, wants to reject that idea as "theocracy" even as they counsel retreat from the real theocrats, so be it.
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