Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mark Shea blasts the hysterical xenophobia of the radical right

Hat Tip: The Young Fogey
...Am I the only person who thinks that this is, well, barking mad? Does anybody outside the right wing nuthouse really think kicking 18 million people out of America for no other reason than "they're Muslim" is a great idea, the core of Truly Truly Americanism *and* of Truly True Catholic charity.

The Right is going insane. A hundred years ago, when Chesterton was asked "What's Wrong with the World?" his answer was succinct: "I am." Now the answer is from more and more of the Right is, "They are!"

We've been hearing for weeks that all people were saying was "Don't build the mosque at Ground Zero." Now it's starting to look more and more like the real message to all Muslim citizens from What's Wrong with the World is "Don't breathe American oxygen. Doesn't matter if you've never done a thing. Doesn't matter if you've been an exemplary citizen. Doesn't matter if you fought for your country. Doesn't matter if you have been a good neighbor. You are Other and you must leave." And who says so? Why Americans who are such truly true *real* Americans that they want to shred the Bill of Rights and then blame it on the people they mean to shove into the Atlantic when they are done shredding it.

No thanks. They tried that xenophobic crap 150 years ago...
Read the rest of this excellent post here.

I have been and remain a staunch critic of Islam as a religion and a culture. But what has been going on in recent weeks and months is nothing less than good old fashioned bigotry and 19th century Know Nothingism repackaged. As an American I am both disgusted and deeply embarrassed.


Anonymous said...

There are so many things wrong with this I can't even count them. Unfortunately they are connected to some very reasonable criticisms making it all but impossible to manage a proper deliberation without confusion.

I will say this to both sides. As a practical and inconvenient reality, "the west" and "the east" can and must be in perpetual conflict on the world stage.

Locally: The basis of a pluralistic society is that we all agree we don't really believe the things we preach, because if we did, we could not get along. (I'm speaking here not as individuals, but as cultures, religions and philosophical schools of thought.)

Even "the right"s charges that Obama is "destroying the country" can't be taken as real because if he were it would justify real and terrible behaviors.

As people start to realize that they must live what they preach, well... then the powder-keg is lit.

I've bought up before that Christians don't really believe abortion is actually murder. They believe it's immoral more on the level of pornography. Otherwise they would respond to it like murder and not like pornography, which is more the norm.

And thank God for that. If they thought it was murder and the nearly 50 million abortions a crime like unto genocide, we'd have a civil war. But they don't.

As long as Muslims don't really believe in Jihad, we're fine.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

The 'xenophobic right' recognizes something that Mark Shea doesn't: the dar-al-Islam is not compatible with secular democracy, which is the political structure that itself enables a pluralistic society. Therefore, America is well advised to insure that Muslims never become the market-dominant majority in any given area.

The gamble the open borders crowd is making is that exposure to a liberal society will transform illiberal peoples into nice, secular Occidentals like themselves. The downside risk, that instead the illiberal incursion will eventually subdue the liberal society, is never considered. The liberal society, refusing to admit the existence of a scale of value among peoples and cultures, is rendered incapable of defending its existence.

Fr. Andrew said...

There are not 18 million Muslims in America. In fact, that's off by about a factor of 10.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Fr. Andrew,
The report you linked appears to support the 18 million number. It cites a total of slightly .6% of the population as Muslim. Given an estimated US population of 307 million (ref CIA FactBook) that seems to be about right. Certainly it is not overstated by a factor of 10.


The Anti-Gnostic said...

John - assuming the results can be extrapolated to a population of 300M, then the result is 1.8M (.006 x 300M). The percent requires two decimal places.

Some of us still resist the descent into dhimmi status, even if you don't.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

AG & Fr. Andrew,
I stand corrected. You are right about the math, but wrong about the rest. A hundred and fifty years ago good Protestant Christians swore that Catholics could never assimilate into a free republic because they owed their first allegiance to the pope and had a religious duty to impose Catholicisms as a state religion. The only thing that's changed is the target of the hysterical xenophobia.

Under the mercy,

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Christianity allow for the existence of a secular sphere. Islam does not. You are either in the dar-al-islam, the dar-al-harb or the dar-al-sulh. Syria et al. maintain secular states against Islamic militancy but only via ruthless secret services. You are being terribly naive and I would prefer you make this gamble with your own patrimony. Your equivocation with US roman catholics is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that when Protestants were actually protesting and Catholics were actually enforcing their Catholic jurisdiction, Europe was a bloodbath.

My point still stands. The danger exists as long as people act in accordance with what they claim to believe. As long as it's all smoke and no fire, we can get along.

This is not just true of violence. But even one true Saint could turn an entire country inside out.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

nh - To add to your extremely thoughtful comments, current immigration policy is enforced by powerful central governments desperate to expand their tax bases. These central governments are the arbiter of the official creed: multi-culturalism.

Those governments are in serious and rapid decline due to decades of fiscal and imperial overreach.

The constituent nations of the American empire have little vested interest in the existence of its central government, which actually has a long and brutal history of intervention in their homelands.

The last time Americans had a serious argument, they killed over 600,000 of each other. And that was among family.

The West's current immigration policy is a radical experiment, and a time-limited one as far as I can tell.