Can't We Allah Just Get Along?

In case you had any doubt that Western Civilization is mired in a crisis of suicidal self-loathing and pre-emptive surrender, a Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands has publicly commented that Christians should begin to refer to God as “Allah” so as to make Muslims like us better — or at least bomb us less.

Unused to having their demands met before actually making any, a Muslim group responded that it had made no such request — although now that it’s known to be within the realm of possibility, I’m sure it will be considered as a future point for increased “tolerance.”

The bishop in question is Tiny Muskens (“Muskens” apparently being the Dutch word for “cojones”), who professes to believe that he is fostering understanding between religions with his spiritual version of “Would you like me better if I were blonde — or at least less obviously Christian?”

Perhaps rather than trying to increase understanding between religions, the Bishop (as a Christian priest and all) might want to focus on increasing understanding of, you know, Christianity.  Oh wait, I might have just committed a hate crime with that thought.  Please forgive me.  The Bishop’s appeal for appeasement is said to come at a time of rising tensions between Islam and Christianity in Holland –“rising tensions” apparently being the Dutch words for “violence by Muslims.”  Oops, hate crime.

One wonders where Christianity would be today had Christ had apostles of the same bent as Muskens.  A concise history of the faith might read: and then, after Christ died on the cross rather than yield to demands that the message of his faith be corrupted, the apostles carried his message to Rome — but nobody noticed since they decided to call God “Jupiter” and just tried to get along.  Who needs the blood of the martyrs when compromise and groveling work so well?

Thankfully, the Bishop’s grand idea has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Dutch public, but it comes on the heels of other disturbing efforts to hide the horrible Christian nature of Christianity from Muslim sensibilities.  As reported last year by the Brussels Journal, the bishops of Brussels opened up their churches as sanctuaries for Muslim Illegal aliens hiding from law enforcement in Belgium.  To make them feel more at home, the altar was removed, the statue of the Virgin Mary was hidden under a cloth (burkhas — not just for living females anymore!) and the churches were festooned inside and out with Green banners bearing the name “Allah” in Arabic script.  Doubtless, this made the churches less offensive to the fugitive Muslims within.  In unrelated news, church attendance by actual Christians in Europe is down for some reason.

At the risk of committing yet another hate crime by bringing up the obscene subject of proselytizing the gospel, I would remind the bishops that the Muslims in Europe represent a special opportunity for them — unlike Muslims in Muslim countries, the bishops can try to convert these to Christianity without fear of prosecution by the government.  They’ll probably get killed for trying, but then I guess that’s why bishops such as these seek to promote understanding between religions, rather than the spread of their own religion.  Again, the apostles burned with the passion of the faith.  Muskens and friends smolder weakly in the spirit of compromise.

Also, issues of core principle aside, does anyone really believe that Muskens’ gesture of subservient compliance would reduce tension with Islam one mite?  Suppose we did call God “Allah,” there’s still the minor source of conflict that Islam is aimed in large part at co-opting Christians and that the Koran specifically denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, or that he was crucified or resurrected.  And oh yeah, because the teachings of Jesus are thus considered invalid, there’s about a thousand other differences too.  Lack of a shared vocabulary is not really our central problem.

And to be blunt, we could all covert to Islam tomorrow and it would not reduce Islamist violence in the slightest, since the only folks more likely to be killed by Islamists than us infidels are other Muslims.  Would we become Sunni or Shia, by the way?  Personally I’m shopping the Alawite sect just to maintain my reputation for being a bit different.  Of course being a bit different is a capital offense to Islamists.

Conflict is always unpleasant and burdensome — but it is not always wrong or to be avoided.  If you believe in something transformative and significant, that carries consequences and can entail suffering.  If your faith is deemed offensive, it is your duty to offend; and if your identity as a Christian divides you from others, this division is acceptable.  If such thoughts sound too deep to have come from me, they didn’t.

“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.

From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." -Luke 12:51-53

There are worse things than conflict.  Loss of one’s core identity is surely among these.  More and more, Western Christianity seems embarrassed by its own existence.

I am uncomfortable talking about religion, both because I think it is a very personal thing and because I believe I make a poor choice of spokesman for anything Holy (hint: my beatification is not exactly pending).  But when church leaders themselves seem embarrassed by their own faith and so eager to compromise its ancient traditions, something has gone very, very wrong.

Let us pray that, when necessary, God will save the Faith from the Church.