SAINT MARY OF THE CROSS
Anzac Day reminds us how war is “not glamorous but savage”.
In a way there’s no such thing as “war” – only human beings killing each other.
It’s an expression of what human beings are.
It’s human nature that is “not glamorous but savage”.
To end all war, we’d need to change human nature – what we believe, what makes us tick . . . .
That is why war is, one way or another, always about religion.
Isn’t everything that matters about religion? There are better religions and worse religions.
Australia’s religion (sport) won’t end war. ANZAC marches won’t end war. Rhetoric about consensus, multiculturalism etc. won’t end war.
Truth and falsehood are not the same thing.
Ending war would have to start with facing the truth about ourselves.
Vatican policy regarding Islam is that “The Holy See will continue to dialogue with Muslim leaders and teachers . . . in rejecting and in encouraging the condemnation of all violence in the name of religion . . . .” *
Hope has been expressed that such dialogue might trigger the collapse of Islamic jihadism — like Pope John Paul’s role in the “collapse” of Soviet Communism.
An excellent aim.
Yet is there not an un-mentioned, un-acknowledged, elephant-like element omitted from this discussion?
Namely that we are asking Muslims to disown Mohammed himself – yes, Mohammed himself, who personally endorsed violence to enlarge his flock?
Surely unlikely (humanly speaking) that such a rejection will happen on any major scale.
What result if it did start happening?
Even worse levels of slaughter — every convert, plus every accessible westerner — breaking out everywhere.
Are you (am I) ready to be crucified?
( * Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Head of Vatican Secretariat of State, April 17)
In his book “After Virtue”, Alasdair MacIntyre says it would be unfair to dismiss Karl Marx as a thinker on the basis of Stalin’s actions in the name of “Marxism”.
Likewise unfair to judge Catholic religion on the lives of certain historical popes.
He might today use the unfortunate illustration of modern-day child-abusing priests — enough to tempt one to give up being a Catholic . . . .
OK, so what about Islam?
Is it unfair to base our attitudes to Islam on the atrocities of Islamic State fighters . . . ?
But that isn’t the right question, is it?
Ask, rather, would it be unfair to judge Islam by the actions of the prophet Mohammed?
Nobody, Muslim or otherwise, denies that Mohammed himself personally advocated and used violence and beheadings against Christians and others — to spread the message of the merciful Deity.
The same could not be said about the founder of Christianity.
Comedian Russell Brand tweets that he doesn’t want drug-traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran shot by an Indonesian firing squad.
Comedians dabbling in vital issues on the strength of their being “celebrities’ is currently a big trend.
Considering themselves authorised to be “irreverent” — often specialising in unfunny indecencies….
Mr Brand’s humour focuses repeatedly on — and trivialises– his own past history of alleged drug use.
It might be better if he kept out of this important debate.
Let’s be serious about it.
Songwriter John Schumann was disappointed by his song, “I was only 19”, being used at recent Reclaim Australia rallies.
You can’t help esteeming Schumann’s lyrics — such realism plus such superficiality.
“A four week operation, when each step could mean your last one on two legs:
it was a war within yourself.
But you wouldn’t let your mates down ‘til they had you dusted off,
so you closed your eyes and thought about something else.
“Then someone yelled out ‘Contact’, and the bloke behind me swore.
We hooked in there for hours, then a God almighty roar;
Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon:
God help me, he was going home in June.”
Yes, those clashing with “Reclaim Australia” protesters call them “racists”. Perhaps justifiably in some cases.
But don’t we all fear our Australia being lost to alien domination, as in Sharia Law?
Those rallying to warn about this reality and those fearing the opposite (“racism”) really have a lot in common — yet they find themselves brawling with each other on the streets.
What is the solution?
The two factions must find a common cause.
Including Muslims re-examining their understanding of Allah himself. Plus disowning the violence of the Prophet Mohammed’s methods in his own lifetime.
That’s a lot to ask of them.
But it has to happen for civilisation in Australia and the world to have any long-term future.