The “I” Word

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Carl Olsen at Catholic World Report looks at the inability of many of our leaders to utter the “I” word:


The same facts can be found in the essential March 2015 essay “What ISIS Really Wants” by Graeme Wood of The Atlantic. Over a year later, his insistence that all of us, including our political and religious leaders, take seriously the theological premises of ISIS in order to confront Islamism directly and intelligently sounds even more urgently upon us:

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.

Alas, many leaders refuse to be so acquainted, and thus acquit themselves poorly. President Obama, in a statement made yesterday, said that “this was an act of terror and an act of hate”, refused to indicate the obvious connections to radical Islam, and then managed to turn the horrific event into a litmus test of American tolerance:

In the coming hours and days, we’ll learn about the victims of this tragedy. Their names. Their faces. Who they were. The joy that they brought to families and to friends, and the difference that they made in this world. Say a prayer for them and say a prayer for their families — that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable. And that He give us all the strength to be there for them, and the strength and courage to change. We need to demonstrate that we are defined more — as a country — by the way they lived their lives than by the hate of the man who took them from us.

As Jim Geraghty of National Review fumed in his “Morning Jolt” newsletter: “Some Islamist bastard goes on a killing spree, and suddenly Americans need to prove they have the right values?” In the world of progressive moral calculations, certain actions are always the fault, in some way, of the American people. Likewise, the Archbishop of Chicago was also unable to identify the ideological motives at hand:

“For you here today and throughout the whole lesbian and gay community, who are particularly touched by the heinous crimes committed in Orlando, motivated by hate, driven perhaps by mental instability and certainly empowered by a culture of violence, know this: the Archdiocese of Chicago stands with you. I stand with you,” the letter read.

“Let our shared grief and our common faith in Jesus, who called the persecuted blessed, unite us so that hatred and intolerance are not allowed to flourish, so that those who suffer mental illness know the support of a compassionate society, so that we find the courage to face forthrightly the falsehood that weapons of combat belong anywhere in the civilian population…”

What makes Abp. Cupich’s statement all the more disappointing is that he also states, “We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence which so deeply upsets the desire for peace of the American people and of the whole of humanity.” But no mention of Islamism, radical Islam, ISIS, or related matters. Those are empty words. You might as well walk in the Sahara Desert and hope you’ll fall into an Olympic-sized swimming pool every time you jump off a sand dune.


Go here to read the rest.  Most of our leaders would sooner eat ground glass than recognize the problem that Islamic terrorism poses internally in the West.  These same leaders have been enthusiasts for mass imigration from Islamic countries to the West.  How can you lead the fight against a problem when you simultaneously act to make the problem worse?

More to explorer

PopeWatch: Trolling

PopeWatch suspects the Pope is just trolling us now:   Vatican City, Feb 14, 2019 / 05:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis


  1. It is high time the Catholic media point this stuff out and recognize that Abp. Cupich’s posturing is representative of almost every Catholic bishop in this country.

  2. But the real basis of all ideologies is economic; ideologies is the product of the forces and relations of production.

    As Karl Kautsky, speaking of the Hussite revolutionaries of the 15th century and the Anabaptists of the 16th put it, “The direction of social development does not depend on the use of peaceful methods or violent struggles. It is determined by the progress and needs of the methods of production. If the outcome of violent revolutionary struggles does not correspond to the inten¬tions of the revolutionary combatants, this only signifies that these intentions stand in opposition to the development of the needs of production.
    Violent revolutionary struggles can never determine the direction of social development, they can only in certain circumstances accelerate their pace…”

    Bloch, too, speaks of “the reflexes of these actual struggles [in the relations of production] in the brains of the participants, political, juristic, philosophical theories, religious views and their further development into systems of dogmas…”

    Islam is merely the superstructure; what we should analyze is the base.

  3. The idea that all ideologies are at base about economics is complete and total hogwash, a Marxian hangover from the 19th century. Such statements do not survive a half hour of historical analysis.

  4. Your last question is profound.
    “How can you lead the fight against a problem when you simultaneously act to make the problem worse.”

    That question applies to many of the adopted sins that the current administration cuddles.

    Abortion on demand.
    Transgender acceptance.

    If they are not labeled as problems but viewed only as choices than you haven’t begun to solve any of the illnesses, you only postpone the solutions.
    You increase the number of confused individuals and the illnesses grow.

    Take pornography.
    Protected by the freedom of speech and press, it’s an acceptable form of entertainment. Yet it is adding to an epidemic of perverse behavior and misunderstandings on the identity of and respect for the opposite sex. Promiscuity and the increase in STD’s are linked to a distorted acceptance of a contagion that has grave consequences.

    Yet….the illnesses are not important enough for the public to address them as a least not a problem enough to write in legislation that would make it painful for promotion of pornography via all forms of media. Until the general consensus views it as a serious problem, the degradation continues.

    Mental illness is treatable, yet the action today is acceptance and pride of the illnesses.

  5. Donald R McClarey wrote, “The idea that all ideologies are at base about economics is complete and total hogwash…”

    Of course it is. Ideologies are not “about” economics; they are determined by economics – A very different proposition.

    It is the forces and, particularly, the relations of production, that determine peoples’ outlook and world-view, along with the structures and institutions of society.

  6. “Of course it is. Ideologies are not “about” economics; they are determined by economics – A very different proposition.”

    And equally hogwash. What economic basis led to Islam sweeping across the Middle East and Africa in a few decades of the seventh century? The idiocy that some intellectuals will believe is absolutely stunning.

  7. What do you say about “it’s the economy, stupid”?
    Just the recognition that food sources, means of gathering or producing can effect the development of cult and culture is not necessarily Marxism. It speaks to recognizing that meeting people’s perceived needs is a road to power. Two chickens in every pot!
    I agree with Donald McClarey that it doesn’t explain the history of Islam.
    Our president and Mrs. Clinton have each at times suggested that poverty is at the root of radicalization of young people but I think we have seen that to be false.
    Islam is simply diabolical.

  8. What do you say about “it’s the economy, stupid”?

    I’d say that it was damn lie, since the recession was over.
    So maybe forget Marx and focus on Gramsci. It’s the narrative stupid (and economic narratives are the easiest sells).
    I’ll concede that why that should be so raises interesting/troublesome questions.

  9. Donald R McClarey asks, “What economic basis led to Islam sweeping across the Middle East and Africa in a few decades of the seventh century?”

    The whole epoch, from the end of the 4th to the beginning of the 9th century has been named by historians as the Volkswanderung. The Arabs, like the Franks, the Burgundians, the Goths, the Huns, the Mongols and others too numerous to count, were pastoral peoples, accustomed to migrate with their herds and flocks, as Gibbon recognised. This is the economic structure that made the conquest possible.

    Belloc explains very well why Islam was so readily accepted by the conquered peoples of the Middle East and North Africa: “There was indebtedness everywhere; the power of money and consequent usury. There was slavery everywhere. Society reposed upon it, as ours reposes upon wage slavery today… There lay upon the freemen, already tortured with debt, a heavy burden of imperial taxation; and there was the irritant of existing central government interfering with men’s lives; there was the tyranny of the lawyers and their charges… To all this Islam came as a vast relief and a solution of strain. The slave who admitted that Mohammed was the prophet of God and that the new teaching had, therefore, divine authority, ceased to be a slave. The slave who adopted Islam was henceforward free. The debtor who “accepted” was rid of his debts. Usury was forbidden. The small farmer was relieved not only of his debts but of his crushing taxation. Above all, justice could be had without buying it from lawyers. . . .” Note how economic impulses predominate.

  10. As usual MPS Belloc was a poor historian. The conditions he noted had existed for centuries without any Arab mass conquest. The conditions he noted existed under the Arabs, after their conquest of much of the then known world, with a vengeance. The conditions he noted existed under the Eastern Empire that successfully resisted the Islamic tide for eight centuries. Your citation of Belloc merely underlines that the thesis that all ideologies are determined by economics is simply hogwash. What caused the Islamic conquests was the birth of a fanatical new faith that initially swept all before it. There was no economic basis for its success. Contra Belloc there was little mass conversion of the subject populations to Islam for economic advantage. That was a slow process that took centuries under Islamic domination, hence the survival of a Coptic minority in Egypt down to our own day.

    As Christ said, Man does not live by bread alone, and contra Marx that is certainly the case in the realms of ideas and faiths.

  11. over at over at Mahound’s Paradise I read:
    Alexis de Tocqueville:
    I studied the Quran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. So far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself
    Letter to Arthur de Gobineau, 1843:

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