Saturday, December 1, 2007

An odd editorial remark

Last month, Robert Spencer introduced in a Dhimmi Watch
post a news story about a public letter of apology written by prominent Christian clergy and spokespersons—apologizing to the Muslims of the world and asking their forgiveness. And what were they apologizing for? Here is what they wrote:

We want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the “war on terror”) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbours.

Although the letter, later on, does adumbrate after the manner of the classically Patristic “Apology” some of the catechistic basics of the Christian faith, its weak-kneed syncretism—not to mention its abject apology in the modern sense—serves to vitiate the largely stalwart tradition of Christendom whose believers for centuries stood up against the menace of Islam and for the most part had no theological difficulty in condemning Islam unapologetically as the clearly anti-Christian creed that it is. (Examples of the anti-Christian nature of Islam involve, most pertinently, the Trinitarian doctrine and the divinity of Christ, both examples of the Islamic concept of shirk—in effect, polytheism—which the Koran (2:191 and 2:217) says is a crime worse than murder; or the fact that in their daily quinary prayers, all Muslims include the profession that “God neither begets nor is begotten”—a clear and direct repudiation of orthodox Christology and Trinitarianism: the very heart of the Christian faith.)

Now what struck me as odd was the editorial remark in Spencer’s brief introduction—otherwise unobjectionableto this story:

And there's nothing essentially wrong with such a gesture: no community has a monopoly on evil, or is entirely free from it.

To which I must say: Well, there’s nothing essentially wrong with such an editorial remark—but there is something wrong with such a remark contextually.

I.e., in this context—which Spencer knows very well, and to which he even adverts in the next breath (scil., “. . .Muslim groups worldwide have never, in any context, offered a similar gesture. Where are the apologies for the jihad conquests and dhimmitude?”)—it is singularly inappropriate to mention the essential rightness of the Christian virtues of humility, meekness and mercy, in our
context of an ongoing confrontation in the world between Muslims and non-Muslims, a context that positively bristles with disingenuousness, disinformation, unilateral unfairness and outright oppression and violence by Muslims against Christians throughout the Muslim world.

There are appropriate times to mention that essential truth; and there are times where it is better not to mention it. This applies to the idiotic Christians who wrote and published that letter proclaiming that precious essence and in doing so not only casting pearls before swine, but also throwing the raw meat of fellow Christians—real Christian men, women and children grievously oppressed if not in mortal danger in various Muslim countries around the world—to the wolves. And this also applies to Spencer for adverting, so wildly out of context, to that same, precious essence.

I think it would be appropriate in this context to quote that book of the Bible that had the wisdom to know that essence is not, at least in this life, an absolute:

To every thing, there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

. . .

A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up. . .

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.

(Ecclesiastes, 3:1-5)

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