The great ‘Christian terrorist’ unicorn hunt
By Selwyn Duke
It’s amazing how stupid smart people can seem when intent on putting a square peg in a round hole. This is seen continually when certain apologists try to dig Islam out of its hole — the one dug deeper every time there’s another terrorist act.
Consider the recent London jihadist attack by Muslim convert Khalid Masood. Globe & Fail columnist Doug Saunders, proving he missed his calling as a contortionist, actually tweeted that Masood, like the “authors of UK’s other big Jihadi attacks, was not a Muslim. Born Adrian Elms.”
He explained his “reasoning” in a second tweet: “Not Muslim by background. The question is where extremists are coming from — in UK, often Christian families.” In other words, relevant to Saunders is the faith Masood was “born into,” which he had no choice in, not the beliefs he consciously chose to embrace as an adult.
Question: if a godless child of atheists converted to Christianity and committed terrorism, would Saunders blame the act on atheism?
Then, I’m sure Saunders isn’t fond of Ronald Reagan and his policies. Does he blame Democrats for them because Reagan came from a Democrat family and was one well into adulthood?
Obviously, if Christianity were the issue in terrorism, we’d see actual professed Christians committing such acts — not just Muslims, a few of whom once were Christian.
Moreover, anyone with a lick of understanding knows that converts make the most zealous believers. Who is more passionate about chess? Someone born to chess-loving parents who is indifferent about the game or a person who decides as an adult to play it three hours a day?
But human pretzels abound. On the Friday edition of HBO’s Real Time, Heat Street columnist and former Conservative member of the U.K. Parliament Louise Mensch echoed Saunder’s rationalization. She then responded to host Bill Maher’s statement that Masood was motivated by his religion with, “It has nothing to do with Islam, the same way Timothy McVeigh had nothing to do with Roman Catholicism.”
Aside from how telling it is that jihadi apologists must reach back 22 years for an example of significant non-Muslim domestic terrorism — McVeigh bombed a government building in 1995 — we can be sure his act had nothing to do with Roman Catholicism: McVeigh was an atheist.
Another Real Time guest, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, responded to a Maher point about there being no Christian armies like ISIS with, “The IRA that blew up London for 15 years!” What’s tragic is that a media personality could say something so inane without blowing up his career.
The Irish Republican Army, as its name suggests, was defined by being Irish Republicans (not Christian), just as the Islamic State is defined by being Islamic. The IRA had three well-defined goals:
Moreover, the IRA was devoted to fighting one government in one place; it wasn’t a worldwide movement seeking to subdue all of humanity. Equating it with the Islamic State is, quite frankly, stupid.
While Maher deserves credit for standing up to this head-in-sand lunacy, his defense was lacking. His main response was to point out that the events cited by his pitiful panel were in the past; he also contributed to the problem by citing the “Inquisition” as also being analogous to Muslim terrorism. Yet this is like saying that today’s “Human Rights Tribunals” are also terrorist entities.
First, realize that it’s hard to find a civilization that didn’t have laws against heresy. Pre-Christian pagan civilizations such as the Romans and Greeks sure did; in fact, one of the crimes legendary philosopher Socrates was executed for was “mocking the gods.” There also were Protestant inquisitions along with the well-known Catholic ones.
But consider: the first inquisition wasn’t instituted until the 12th century. What happened to heretics for the first 1,100 years of Christian history?
Answer: they were judged by the government. They’d be brought before the local lord, who likely had little training in law or theology and who might want to dispose of the case before dinner. Consequently, his judgments were often arbitrary and capricious, and many people were unjustly convicted.
As a response, the Church instituted inquisitions — the first being in southern France in 1184 — for the purposes of bringing order and justice to the process. People forget that “inquisition” means “inquiry,” and that was the tribunals’ job: to inquire into the validity of heresy charges.
The result? Most defendants were acquitted or received light punishments — and none were executed by the inquisitions. This is because heresy was not a capital crime under Church law, only under government law. In fact, the now notorious Spanish Inquisition was considered in its time the best run court in Europe, with jails so good that criminals in state custody were known to purposely blaspheme in order to be transferred to them.
For more information, read my essay on the matter, that of medieval scholar Professor Thomas Madden, or watch the BBC documentary “The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition.”
Of course, Americans generally don’t appreciate thought-police bodies, but that’s not the point. The aforementioned Human Rights Tribunals — which render “hate speech” judgments — are inquisitions. Yet I don’t think Bill Maher would equate them with the Islamic State.
It’s only surprising that Maher’s panel didn’t also mention the Crusades, defensive wars that were designed to stave off Muslim aggression and which, quite possibly, saved Western civilization. It’s usually thrown in there when people are making up anti-Christian history.
Of course, it goes without saying that Christians did at times use violence, yet when done unjustly this violates the faith itself. And is sin surprising? Christians are just imperfect people trying to live up to a perfect standard. As G.K. Chesterton put it, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”
It’s also true that, on occasion, Christianity has been enforced with an iron fist. Charlemagne certainly did this. But what hasn’t been? Why, we spread democracy at a bayonet’s tip when invading Arab lands and engaging in “nation building.”
The reality, though, is that the Christian norm has been to spread the faith by the word; the Muslim norm has been conversion by the sword.
And perhaps this was reflected in a very interesting German study involving 45,000 young people. Released in 2010, it found that while increasing religiosity made Christian youth less violent, it made Muslim youth more violent.
There simply is no Christian analogue, in all of history, to today’s Islamic terrorism. It only exists in the minds of quislings who, wittingly or not, have become the propaganda arm of global jihad.
(Hat tip: American Thinker’s Rick Moran.)
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) is a traditionalist media personality whose work has been published widely online and in print, appearing at outlets such as The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily and American Thinker. Contact Selwyn Duke or log on to SelwynDuke.com.