Thursday, August 21, 2014

This can't be true

That claim cannot be true. Many Neanderthals are alive and wandering around northern Iraq with machine guns and butcher's knives.

UPDATE Consider reading this ... for a Kiwi view.


Anonymous said...

Peter - your comment displays prejudice against the peaceful religion of Islam.

It also goes against the wisdom of your past leader, who wanted to see Sharia law in England because it is so excellent.

The only religious group that any self-respecting liberal would ever criticise is the evil, malevolent Christianity, and Christians are the only people who it is acceptable to call neanderthals for their beliefs.

Father Ron Smith said...

Oh dear. The Dodo IS still alive!

What Islam says may not be as important as what God says. And when we worship Jesus as Son of God, we have to treat all human beings as equals.

The problem here is not the Faith of Islam. It is the fundamentalism of a
puritanical form of Islam.

Anonymous said...

Islam is not a religion of peace, but of submission. Not, historically, necessarily brutal, but requiring submission nonetheless.

But, Peter, I did wonder what marked out the brutality of the IS thugs from that of, say, the SS? Or Pol Pot? Or the great terror in the USSR?

All absolutists, driven by ideologies allowing no room for dissent or co-existence. And not, sadly, people lacking in intelligence, but grossly abusing that intelligence to advance evil causes.

Andrei said...

LOL - the only reason why this is on your radar Peter as opposed to any other region of today's human carnage, e.g. Libya, Mali, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine is because Mosul is important to the Western robber barons who created and funded ISIS in the first place to depose the lawful leader of Syria who would not submit to their will.

Jean said...

There is a better way....

We would do well to look up the stories of reconciliation between perpetrators and victims in Rwanda at this time, and take note of their extreme courage in forgiving (after 20 years) what has to be among the most atrocious of atrocities. The stories show not only the suffering of the victims but the inner torment of the perpetrators. There actions today show us another way... to overcome evil with good.

I can not claim how I would react as an Iraqi Christian, nor that nothing should be undertaken to stop the training and actions of Al Queda. However, if we use their actions to justify a response of hatred do we fuel a fire it will be too hard to put out, is this their desire? Do we react or respond?

I was humbled when Shane Claibourne (US) referred to his trip to Iraq during the original conflict and meeting with Christian Iraqi's who asked him why are you killing our people? He was their enemy (not by faith) but by nationality, yet they welcomed him. St Paul also witnessed the execution of christian's, whose friends later accepted him as one of their own.

We do not war against flesh and blood (individuals) but against the powers and principalities of this dark world.


The Way of Dodo said...

Fr Ron

"Oh dear. The Dodo IS still alive!"

Of course Dodos are! We've already covered this.

"What Islam says may not be as important as what God says. And when we worship Jesus as Son of God, we have to treat all human beings as equals."

We are all made in God's image, agreed. However, if you know the Koran and the hadiths, (do you?) you'll know treating people equally according to Christian standards, and not imposing spiritual truths by violence, is most certainly not a shared ethic.

"The problem here is not the Faith of Islam. It is the fundamentalism of a
puritanical form of Islam."

True - but this puritanism and fundamentalism is firmly based on their holy book and the hadiths. The problem is the false faith of Islam.

The liberal, relativist mind will fail to grasp this. Whilst the liberal-modernist plays fast and loose with Christian scripture and attempts to justify departures from it teachings, he think Islam is capable of such intellectual contortions too. It isn't.

And, by the way, the decline of Christian morality in the West is one reason why Muslims feel alienated from our culture. They see us abandoning our own faith.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Commenters
All good points.
Nothing is easy here.
Of course the ISIS executioners are not 'Neanderthals' in the sense of low intelligence. 'Neanderthals' also carries inferences to a former era we all thought we had moved on from ...

The terror and horror in northern Iraq and Syria is materially little or no different to (say) Stalin's Russia and Pol Pot's Cambodia. (A possible slight difference is the way women are being treated ... ).

Father Ron Smith said...

"The liberal, relativist mind will fail to grasp this. - Dodo el Peter

And a conservative isolationist mind will fare better?

Jesus was/is the Great Liberator!

The Way of Dodo said...

Jesus isn't a liberal-modernist. Radical certainly but He has His standards! Perhaps God has a "conservative isolationist" mind. Scripture certainly gives this impression. One true faith and one path to follow.

Next you'll announce you believe in universal salvation - all paths lead to God - and that sin is really nothing to do with individual choice. No, its all been a terrible misunderstanding and is actually about genes, early childhood experiences and social situations.

Do read the Koran. Understand it. Get to grips with its vision of God and our relationship with Him and with one another - then comment on it. Ignorance may be bliss but it is still ignorance and there's no excuse for it.

Then reflect on our self absorbed, relativist culture where moral absolutes have been abandoned for the sake of great idol Self.

Family life, the bedrock of a society, is in decline. Serial monogamy - with the odd bout of adultery thrown in - is fashionable. We are even failing to replace our population. We do all we can to avoid 'old fashioned' restrictions on behaviour and especially the burdens of sexual continence and unwanted pregnancies. We abort children when we fail to prevent conception. All aided and abetted by liberals in the church who give all this a thin coat of theological gloss and preach a hippy-happy version of Peace of Love and Mercy, conveniently omitting God's Justice and Judgement.

Empty vessels.

Jesus is a liberator - not a libertine.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Peter
My long experience of moderating suggests that we are better to stick to issues that to weigh in against people (e.g. 'liberals').

I don't think any one group is responsible for the decline of the church and the decline of the West. Better to focus on the issues at work than nicknamed people groups ... all too soon (I find) criticism of groups becomes criticism of individuals ... upset, me thinking time to stop blogging ... one more voice suppressed!

Thank you

Anonymous said...

"to overcome evil with good" Jean.

I have a problem with this suggestion, if I have understood you correctly. It is problematic to subsume the word 'good' into the notion of 'non-violence'. It may be the very opposite of 'good' if you refrain from taking an action which would protect another person or group simply because the action is deemed to be intolerable within your set of values.

Your example of Rwanda takes us a little off course - IS is led by intelligent, highly educated, fabulously resourced, articulate men whose atrocities are legitimated, and in fact commanded, by Allah. Now I know that someone will cry 'foul! Islam is a religion of peace!' at this point; however, it makes little difference if Obama or anyone of us believe that Islam is a peaceful religion. IS, and Hamas for that matter, believe passionately that it is not - and they're the ones with the guns (and axes and missiles ...and hopefully no WMDs yet).

Lucy Eban

Jean said...

Hi Lucy

You will notice I also wrote I am not claiming "nothing should be undertaken to stop the training or actions of Al Qaeda/ISIS".

To overcome evil with good of course is a bible quote. I gave Rwanda as an example because these people with immense courage are doing just that. I do not know how intelligent the individuals are or were; but if someone butchers your family I am sure this probably does not rate high on the scale of importance to you. The good I talk about here is forgiveness; somehow forgiveness between perpetrators and victims in that place is managing to overcome object horrors. It also is evident that those who committed crimes of 'horror' did not come off scot free as we would believe inner torment shows in their statements.

Good and non violence. The bible ties the two relatively closely, pray for those who harm you, love your enemies, forgive as I have forgiven you etc. I wish I could say with conviction that I would respond this way in all things but I do not know.

My call in the last post, however, was not to fall into responding with hate (for I am sure this is what they wish to incite) but reason, as hate only blinds everyone not only to persecuting the guilty but also any one one 'feels' is associated (e.g. they kill one person lets kill 100), and to remember this as much a spiritual war as a physical one.

I am aware violence and taking land through force, if necessary, is written into the tenants of Islam - if not practiced by all.

Blessings Jean

Father Ron Smith said...

The 'tenants of Islam'?

The 'tenants' of Northern Iraq have formerly lived together in relative peace and harmony. What's changed?

Anonymous said...

My problem with referencing Rwanda is this: Rwanda was a genocide driven by race hate. On the other hand, IS and other Islamist groups are inspired, legitimated, authenticated … and any number of other things … by the Quran, by devotion to Allah, and by a powerful vision to establish a world-wide caliphate and impose Sharia law. None of these things were present in Rwanda.

‘Overcome evil with good’. Jesus tells his followers to live in a certain way: forgiveness, love for enemies and so on … we’re agreed on this; but we are to do this to OUR enemies, not our neighbours' enemies. In addition, Jesus is speaking to people who want to live under his Lordship, are grateful for being forgiven themselves, are relying on his strength and so on. I just don’t see what forgiveness or love for enemies has got to do with stopping IS.

IS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Al Nusra and their mates have declared themselves to be devoted entirely to the extinction of every Jew, every substandard Muslim, every Christian, every everybody until the world is clean and Allah is finally satisfied. The West can be reasonable, it can negotiate, it can show restraint … they will simply fill all the available space and won’t even stop to say, ‘thanks’. This is beyond dispute: look at Gaza, the Middle East as a whole, major European cities, and parts of the US. The only way IS and other aggressive Islamist groups will be stopped is by force. They will only stop when someone bigger and stronger and more determined than them makes them stop. This has little or nothing to do with forgiveness. It has everything to do with goodness, but it requires a different kind of goodness than perhaps we are all comfortable with.

In the West, it may well be that we have forgotten that real evil exists and as a result we don’t understand that it cannot be negotiated with, reasoned with or accommodated. It must be stopped – and when the evil doers have weapons, evil can only be stopped by force. If Bonhoeffer and his fellow conspirators had not struggle for so long against their own notions of civilised goodness, Hitler could have been assassinated and millions of lives would have been saved. Yair Lapid said recently, “Why didn’t they (the Jews of Europe) fight? That is the question that haunts me. That is the question that the Jewish people have struggled with since the last train left for Auschwitz. And the answer – the only answer – is that they didn’t believe in the totality of evil. They knew, of course, that there were bad people in the world, but they didn’t believe in total evil, organized evil, without mercy or hesitation, cold evil that looked at them but didn’t see them, not even for a moment, as human..”

It is for these reasons that I struggle with the relevance of ‘forgiveness’ in stopping the onslaught of Islam”
Lucy Eban

Jean said...

Hi Lucy

Your points are good ones.

I guess what I see as a danger is the emotional entanglement of 'nationalism' mixed with religion. Whether it is the ISIS declaring themselves as an Islamic State, the US pledging allegiance to their flag before God, Budhist Singhalese nationalism in Sri Lanka enciting violence against Hindu/Christian Tamils the list is endless....

Forgiveness didn't stop Jesus dying on a cross, nor Stephen being stoned, nor Rwandan's being killed; but acting in a way contrary to evil rather than responding in like did in the end.

How? I do not truly understand myself. Only that good is somehow, in the end stronger, than evil.

What the ISIS is doing and the teaching of Islam Jihard is wrong. The question is how to respond militarily or othewise without becoming like the very evil we abhor?

Peter Carrell said...

HI Jean
The question you pose is vitally important: if we do not ask such questions before taking action we may, indeed, become the evil we abhor.

However I cannot go all the way with you at this point because if we placed ourselves in a roughly analogous situation, the Second World War, it is pretty clear to me (and, I think, to many others), that sometimes the progress of evil requires force to respond to it.

In the case of Germany, for instance, it turned out that the evil we thought we were fighting against was only a portion of the true evil we were fighting against - the Holocaust not many were aware of.

In the case of Japan I accept completely the argument that the dropping of the nuclear bombs was justified: there was no other way to force Japan's surrender that did not involve the massive loss of Allied soldiers.

Out of the dreadful things that the Allied forces sometimes had to do (and, yes, some things it is argued we did not have to do, such as the bombing of Dresden), the evil was checked and something better has emerged for Germany and for Japan (without, incidentally, an ongoing cycle of revenge).

Now I do not jump from all that analysis to saying that we ought to attack ISIS militarily: the situation is different in various ways and reading around the media, there seems to be no agreement as to what to do. But I would agree with anyone who says that we should not rule out the possibility of military action.

Jean said...

Hi Peter

I am grateful I am not the one having to decide how to respond.

Unfortunately I think the case of Iraq is more complex at present than WWII. In this war Germany invaded Austria (one country invading another), then another etc. Islam has this potential but at present the different sects are not a cohesive body or even a nation state.

Iraq and Syria are largely internal conflicts (at the moment). With it seems even ISIS and Al Qaeda at odds with each other, and the ISIS attacking other Muslims sects as well as Christians.

Then there is the added complication of the US having stepped in previously and overturned the rulers of Iraq who they backed initially through arms/political support, and then backing out leaving multiple factions to form a cohesive country.

Then you have the added complication of ISIS and Al Qaeda both recruiting soldiers from other countries to join their jihads as well as targeted attacks (religiously or politically motivated?) such as the London bombing.

Pray? Send in a multinational military/police force to support the current government made up first of Iraq's neighbours who are also concerned and perhaps have a vested interest in the areas political stability???

Peter Carrell said...

Definitely pray!