Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Party's Over...

And a lot of people aren't ready for the bill. Honestly, nothing should be shocking about Dubai unable to pay its debts. Or that China may not decide to permit the rest of the world to continue the binge its been on. Or, in fact, that China as the next superpower may not be a happy prospect, contrary to the tenor of the news coverage in recent months. Anyone else notice how Tibet dropped off the radar screen around the same time news stories holding up China as the hope for our economic salvation started appearing?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Anglicans and Catholics Together

This is
Rowan Williams, the nominal head of the world Anglican Communion...
Um. Wow.
He laid out a series of questions suggesting that decades of hard-won apparent reconciliation between the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations might have weak foundations.
You mean to tell me that real reconciliation of Anglicans with Catholicism threatens apparent reconciliation...?
He also proposed that a truly universal Christian church might have to be structured more like the Anglican Communion -- with no central authority laying down the law -- than like the Catholic Church, with the pope on his throne.
Isn't the Anglican Communion splintering? And the Catholic Church looking remarkably universal, held together in said universal communion Pope "on his throne"?
"Is there a mechanism in the church that has the clear right to determine for all where the limits of Christian identity might be found?" Williams asked. "Is the integrity of the church ultimately dependent on a single identifiable ministry of unity to which all local ministries are accountable?"
Not in Protestantism. And apparently the Archbishop of Canterbury is destroying his own office. Actually, since the Queen is also "nominally" the head of the Church of England, might she have something to say to Williams, who apparently has sold the farm? Of course, this is the same Christian leader who was all in favor of sharia law in the UK.
"The Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion," Levada said. Levada said "hundreds" of Anglicans around the world have expressed their desire to join the Catholic Church. Among them are 50 Anglican bishops, said Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia of the Congregation for Divine Worship.
Does this sound like a hostile takeover or the clean-up operation after the Titanic hit the iceberg?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

America and Jihad

Not a recent development:
...In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams sat down with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain, to discuss the unprovoked attacks of the Barbary pirates on American ships. Jefferson and Adams were understandably confused as to the motivation for the pirates to attack American ships when the Americans had no quarrel with them. They recorded Ambassador Adja's response to their inquiries; in a letter to Congress, Jefferson and Adams noted "that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise." The justification contained in this passage never mentions economic goods like oil or political issues like Israel, most notably because the first was not relevant at the time and the second did not exist. The central driver of the war was the religious duty of Muslims to subjugate the infidels.

So the splinter is not new, but the size question remains. How many Muslims subscribe to this radical ideology? The weight of the evidence is not encouraging. In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a speech where he referred to some of the teachings of Islam as "evil and inhuman." In response, seven churches in Palestine's West Bank and Gaza were attacked and a nun was shot in Somalia. Anjem Choudary, a lawyer in London, told an assembly that those who insulted Islam would be "subject to capital punishment." Protesters carrying signs that read "Behead those who insult Islam" listened to him as he explained, "The Muslims take their religion very seriously and non-Muslims must appreciate that and ... also understand that there may be serious consequences if you insult Islam and the Prophet."

The reaction of the Islamic community made the Pope's point for him...


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