Violence and Rational Dialogue

Already it has begun, with the bodies of the Christchurch victims not yet buried, and the emotional calls for condemnation even of the very hints of ‘Islamophobia’. Every one of our own political leaders has chimed in unison: Listen to the plaintive cries of the sentimentalists: Criticism of the ‘religion of the Prophet’, even a hint thereof, will soon be not only against the law, but against any semblance of good taste. Here in Canada, Motion-103, which condemns any disparaging words on Mohammed or his followers, may soon have new life as a full-born law, with police officers combing through twitter feeds. Witness the merciless dystopia of Britain, if you believe me not.

Mark Steyn has it correct, that shutting down debate will only lead to more violence. Watch the brief embedded video in his article, with Chelsea Clinton – yes, that one, whose liberal and ‘tolerant’ credential are well-nigh unstained – being berated by a finger-jabbing Muslim woman, blaming the privileged princess for the massacre, at one point an aggressive man yells threateningly, and poor Chelsea (I would have thought she would have Secret Service protection, but I guess not) gushing an apology, her hands over her oh-so-guileless heart.

Chelsea’s crime? Sending a critical tweet on the anti-Jewish comments of Ilhan Omar, an Islamic Somali woman elected to Congress in 2016. Ms. Omar has a rather dissident view of her faith, supporting, amongst other things that any ‘orthodox’ view of her religion would reject, LGBTQ+ rights. One might think there are a few logical leaps from tweet to massacre, but logic has never been a strong point in Islam.

While on terminology, the perpetrator of the massacre is being labelled as ‘right wing’, but he is anything but: In his schizophrenic 75-page manifesto rant – I wouldn’t bother reading it – he claims China as the model way to run a country and he is, paradoxically, an environmentalist. Then again, like the myriad culture-of-death supporters, he is against having children. There is a fine line between evil and insanity, and a consistent life ethic nor worldview does not seem his strong point.

Pope Benedict’s 2006 Regensburg address becomes more prophetic as time marches on. His central point is that a vigorous debate, on the basis of universally-agreed reason, is necessary to any pursuit of truth. As the Pope quotes the Emperor Manuel II Paleologus:

Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death

Indeed. If we suppress even discussing the truth – even with and amongst those far from the truth – all we will have left is the ‘strong arm’ of violence, and not the kind that will bear away the kingdom of heaven, but rather sow a whirlwind of hell on earth.