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Crisis, Chaos, And Capitulation

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By CHRISTOPHER MANION

After the murderous attacks by a terrorist who mowed down kids and pedestrians with a rental truck in New York City, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a startling admission: He actually uttered the forbidden words, “Radical Islam.” He further revealed that the terrorist had been radicalized not in his home of Uzbekistan, but only after his arrival in the United States.
Not surprisingly, NBC News offered this headline in reporting the massacre: “Muslim Americans again brace for backlash after New York attack.”
Not to be outdone, Cong. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) bellowed tired banalities on MSNBC, wrapping up with his solution: New York should fight terrorism by “strengthening regulation of truck rentals.”
Meanwhile, New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan responded to the attacks by saying that we must “work towards greater respect and understanding among all people so that heinous and evil acts like this become a thing of the past.”
Consider: The terrorist, whom I will not dignify with a name, shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he careened on his murderous rampage.
Your Eminence, what is left to understand?
Moreover, if there is one salient fact to “respect,” Raymond Cardinal Burke made that fact perfectly clear: “There’s no question that Islam wants to govern the world,” he writes in Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ.
“There is no place for other religions . . . as long as Islam has not succeeded in establishing its sovereignty over the nations and over the world.”
Fr. James V. Schall, SJ, points out that “we have become used to such ‘terror,’ as we uncritically insist on calling it. This ‘getting used to it,’ however, is why such atrocities continue to happen. The strategy of those who initiate them is to deflect their enemies’ attention away from understanding Islam, what it says about itself. Such man-made flare-ups are like hurricanes. One follows another inevitably. No one can halt them. We can only prepare to mop up the next mess.”
But to “mop up” properly, Cardinal Dolan insists, we must do so with “understanding” and “respect.” If I may apply the words of Fr. Schall, the cardinal is indeed Islam’s “enemy,” but his attention has been “deflected away from understanding Islam.”
Fr. Schall respects Islam so much that he takes it seriously, on its own terms, not from the point of view of vapid sentimental happy-talk of Catholic versions of Rodney King — “Why can’t we all just get along?”
To the believing Muslim, Fr. Schall observes, “getting along” with Islam means surrender. “Islam is what those who take it most seriously, those who lay down their lives for it, claim that it is,” he writes.
“The duty of Muslim thinkers and believers, in different places and periods of time, is to select the best prudential means, be it arms or peace, to achieve a world order subject to the law of Allah. Ultimately, real peace on earth can only exist when everyone in practice submits to Muslim law. Until then, those not under Muslim law are technically at war with Islam, which sees itself involved in a just war against unbelievers of all sorts.”
Fr. Schall’s reflections, which appeared in Crisis Magazine in September, reflect his unflappable common sense that he has applied to Islam in the years following the historic Regensburg Address of Pope Benedict, another realist.
Schall’s article bears the striking title, “Why I believe in Islam,” reminiscent of the tireless work of Dr. Fred Schwartz fifty years ago regarding the Communist menace. “You can trust the Communists,” Schwartz insisted at every turn — “to do exactly what their ideology tells them to do.”
Cardinal Dolan’s remarks call to mind the remarks to Congress made by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone two years ago regarding the death of Kate Steinle. While walking along the docks with her father, Miss Steinle was murdered by a repeatedly deported illegal alien criminal who had sought refuge in San Francisco because it was a “sanctuary city.” The archbishop extended his condolences and prayers to the Steinle family, but insisted that we not use her murder as an excuse to apply “guilt by association” to the millions of criminal illegals already in the country.
Undoubtedly, Archbishop Cordileone would urge us to “greater respect and understanding” for illegal aliens. At least he is consistent: Two years after Steinle’s murder, he joined his fellow California bishops in supporting the continuation of San Francisco’s illegal “sanctuary city” status.

Sometimes the drivel dribbles down to the parish level – alas, to countless parishes. When our own rural parish in Virginia requested the use of our parish hall for a presentation on our bishop’s support of Muslim immigration, one Jeff Caruso, who has the peculiar role of diocesan lobbyist and spokesman, inserted himself in the process by forbidding the issue to be discussed on parish grounds, giving this “explanation”:

“The singling out of Muslims as a security threat also reflects a bias against one religion that is at odds with the teaching of the Church which views that religion as part of God’s plan for salvation.”

Well. Allahu Akbar, Mr. Caruso!
Let’s face it: The magnitude of the magisterial blind spot infecting the American hierarchy and its chancery apparatchiks is simply stunning. When one adds the virtual disappearance of the defense of the Church’s moral teaching, the affliction approaches the textbook definition of a “black hole” — nothing can come out of it, the gravitational field (in this case, ennui) is so strong.
Cardinal Dolan, who yearns for “greater respect and understanding” of Islam, once admitted to The Wall Street Journal that he and his fellow bishops haven’t taught the fundamental truths of Humanae Vitae for fifty years, even though the faithful are “hungry” for those truths so beautifully elucidated in that encyclical (WSJ March 30, 2012).
So much for the “greater respect and understanding” of the fundamental truths of the Catholic faith.

The Black Hole Plague:
Intellectual Chaos
Is Contagious

The Washington swamp is not alone. Consider how America’s intellectual life has deteriorated — three generations of increased illiteracy, widespread moral degeneration, and the destruction of our past by Big Brother’s Ministry of Truth and his ministers in so many of our once-revered institutions.
The chaos and rot extend far beyond our hierarchy (note: not “our Church” — which is unassailably the Mystical Body of Christ). One wonders what institution has been spared. Our entire federal government swarms with corruption and malfeasance. The FBI used to be sacrosanct. The IRS was once objective. The Department of Justice once stood far above the country’s chattering partisans. Both branches of Congress have abdicated their constitutional responsibilities to an unelected and permanent Deep State. Abortion extremists have made the courts a war zone.
Hollywood, the media, entertainment (even football!) are now oozing with rot. The notion of patriotism has been hijacked to mean love of the Military-Industrial complex. Civic responsibility — even the notion of citizen itself — is under siege.
Can a people thus besieged suddenly arm itself, morally and intellectually, in a community sharing a common good?
But wait . . . a “people”? That’s offensive! We pride ourselves in our diversity!
Sorry folks, that will not last. As Russell Kirk once made clear, when faced with the choice between chaos and order, the masses will always choose order. Even if a few eggs are broken.
Donoso Cortes (+ 1853) put it this way:
“There comes a time when a people must choose: Christ? Or Barabbas?”

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