Tundra Tabloids’ pal, Johnny Too Bad, is back, letting me know that he couldn’t digest the Pope’s recent mental oatmeal about Islam is peace:
“Last night, Frankie the Pope made me mad so i sat down and hit the keys:
Pope Francis and terrorism five days after the beheading of the 86 years old Catholic father, Jacques Hamel, by two ISIL terrorists, Pope Francis urged to not identify “terrorism” with “Islam.” According to Francis, it is not religion but a bad economy that inspires terrorist attacks. Terrorism grows when, Francis said, “money is made a god and it… is put at the center of the world economy.”
Pope Francis defends spiritual values over material ones, and, in his comments, he actually sets religion and terrorism in sharp contradiction; terrorism in any form, including the Islamic variant, grows not from religion but from the lack of it. On the other hand, the root of terrorist violence, according to Francis, is social injustice; it is not the lack of religion but money. Here we seem to have a pope defending the Marxist theory of class struggle.
In his way, Francis is coherent and well aligned with the mainstream ideas spread by many journalists, NGO’s, and politicians. According to Francis, terrorists are victims of those rich western sinners who have made money a false religion, thus creating the economic predicament of the otherwise innocent terrorists who have no other option but, for example, to shoot gays in a nightclub or children in a shopping mall.
Francis ignores the fact there is no buckshee terrorism. Terrorists are well funded by some very wealthy people. In fact, the money theory is seriously defective. Give more money to Hamas, and one day it will succeed.
Pope Francis repeats the meme of “terrorism has no religion.” Why is that? It is true that, according to some researchers, the goal of jihadists is to create tensions between European Muslims and non-Muslims, thus making it easier to recruit future martyrs.
In general, the common performance sported by journalists that “terrorism is not Islam” might serve the need to guide youth in not becoming radicalized. There are Muslims in Europe who love to enjoy the blessings of red wine, and many are caught between a rock and a hard place since Islam prohibits conversion to other religions.
For many Muslims it must have been a great joy to show solidarity with Christians against terrorists because it may have given them a ray of hope that one day Islam would go through reformation after which gay Muslims would be accepted as full members in their mosque. The Normandy mosque refused to hold a funeral for the terrorists who murdered father Jacques.
On Sunday, July 31st, the French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM), attended Catholic mass as a sign of solidarity. After these beautiful gestures, Francis just could not tell the media what, in the word pair “Islamic terrorism,” is the word that comes before “terrorism.” Instead, he had to tell how baptized Catholic Italians may commit crimes too, such as murder of mother-in-law. But what kind of example is that, seriously?
It sounded more like a Freudian slip, since mother-in-law jokes constitute a very popular humor genre. Sad to hear that your sister’s boyfriend just pulled the cord of his explosive belt, but my cousin, he’s a real badass as he put an overdose of sleeping pills into the tea of his mother-in-law. And guess what? He received full compensation from the insurance company, so now he drives a brand new Alfa-Romeo! How’s your sister, by the way?
There is more than that in Francis’ worldview. During the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) the Catholic Church released a very influential document under the title “Lumen Gentium” which states, “But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator”.
In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge (hu)mankind.” Francis’ worldview reiterates the popular meme of “Islam and Christianity have the same God.”
Just two weeks after he was anointed in March 2013, he gathered religious leaders together and said Muslims worship “the one living and merciful God.”
Moreover, if Hinduism teaches that every religion is an aspect of the same source from which all types of faith emanate, then Catholic Christianity in its full universalism may not differ much from Hindu teaching. This is true especially in the Jesuit theology which Francis himself presents. To be clear, this line of thought can be found in the core of the Christian texts and the corpus of church fathers’ theology.
This is Christianity plain and clear.
According to this tradition which originally stems from the theology of Justin Martyr from the second century CE, God creates everything through his Word which is called “Logos” in Greek, and this principle of Logos is seeded in every creature. God is in every grain of sand. However sinful the world is, it is not alien to God, for God is present in the world through his Logos-Word, Jesus Christ.
Of course, there is a fundamental difference between the Creator and creature, but according to Catholic teaching, God’s grace doesn’t destroy nature but perfects it. Hence, it is possible that, to some extent, any religion may obtain parts of the eternal truth. Islam as an Abrahamic faith is no exception. Since Lumen Gentium states, God’s eternal salvation plan includes all types of monotheism, Islam cannot be excluded from it.
Also, if any serious search for the truth may result the acceptance from God’s side, it means that religious faith, despite of the countless amount of its different forms, is essentially one and the same. Therefore, blaming Islamic faith for terrorism is to blame all religious faith for terrorism. My guess is, this might have been the reason for Francis’ rush to remind that Catholic Christians in Italy commit homicides too.
He neglects the fact that usually baptized Catholics who kill their mother-in-law, presumably by overdose of sleeping pills, do not proclaim they commit their crime in the name of Jesus Christ. When the Italian mafia murders their opponents, they never shout, “Jesus is Lord.” But every time a Muslim terrorist pulls the cord of an explosive belt, he or she shouts out loud, “Allahu akbar,” that is, “God is the greatest.”
Anyhow, to me it seems that the pope thinks that no matter the religion, an act of violence always means apostasy. Now, there are a couple of more things I find difficult in Francis’ statements. I know this is a bitter pill for many Christians to take, but the very existence of the Christian church is based not on love or gift of God but, put it simply, on competition. Christianity justifies its existence, not by the Triune God, but by the claim that the Christian Church is here to replace the Jews as God’s chosen people.
From the very beginning, in the New Testament, there is a fight between Christianity and Judaism, where Christianity competes to beat Judaism off the game. So it became a Christian standard to say that the church is the “New Israel” which replaces the old one. It is fair to say, this has been the root cause for the persecutions of Jews by Christians in church history. The struggle goes on as we see how eagerly certain Christian NGO’s are demonizing and delegitimizing the most important form of the present day Judaism, the Jewish state.
Later, when Mohammad the prophet for all Muslims proclaimed he had received the final revelation the Quran, the newly established religion got a divine mission to replace Judaism and Christianity with itself.
The meme of “Islam and Christianity have the same God” may be correct, but the dark side of the truth is that Christianity and Islam actually share the very same idea of conquest. And, this was said by Pope Francis himself in last May. As a South American descendant, Francis surely knows what he is talking about. Judaism, on the other hand, does not suffer from such self-righteousness.
After the destruction of Jerusalem in 135 CE by Hadrian, it took no less than 1808 years until Jews replied to oppression by violence. This happened in an extremely horrific situation, namely in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. This, I think, should be the lesson of sense of proportion. One final comment. Pope Francis is a theologian, but he is also a statesman and a politician.
Therefore, I find it baffling how easily he ignores the fact Islam is not just about private spirituality but about society, legislation, and political power. For most people, just one glance over at Turkey would be enough. And not only in Turkey where the Muslim Brotherhood’s AK Party has got a good boost in re-establishing a caliphate but in Europe as well.
There are alarming signs of what happens in Islamic school lessons in Germany. A recent report in Die Welt magazine showed that many Imams who leave their fingerprints in Islamic schoolbooks used in Hessen, Germany, are in fact die hard conservatives who promote fundamentalist reading of Quran.
How come, these Imams happened to be Turkish supporters of President Erdogan, which means almost for certainty, they promote the Muslim Brotherhood?