Our leaders cannot comprehend what is going on, either when a whole Western civilization loses its faith and moral standards or when Islam reawakens to the implications of its own faith and its vision of world conquest.
Political realism, long associated with Augustine, constrains us to consider what Machiavelli later recommended to us—namely, to look at what men “do” do and not at what they “ought” to do. This advice would be more persuasive if, in fact, some men did not do what they ought to do or others do what they ought not to do. Both sides usually persuade themselves that they ought to follow their convictions. Machiavelli thought that if men did what they “ought” to do they would not survive the onslaughts and cunning of those who did what they had power to do whatever they could do. However, Augustinian realism did not, as in the case of Machiavelli, justify this careful look at what men “do” do as a reason to deny the distinction between good and evil so that any means could be used to accomplish their purposes.
The “realistic” look was “realistic” for Augustine precisely because good and evil were included in the look itself, in the reality as seen. To see and act on the reality of good or evil is to see reality in its fullest dimensions. Practical truth, in terms of acting according to an accurate description of what is there, is the first principle of realism as well as of political action. Thus, Maritain could rightly maintain in the Augustinian tradition that “justice, brains, and strength” need not be separated. They belong together. Or, to refer obliquely to Lord Acton, the lack of power can also corrupt absolutely. Not to possess and use responsible power in defense of what is right is itself an evil, a cowardice.
With this background in mind, we recall recent events from “9/11”, the bombings in Spain, England, Mumbai, Bali, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, twice in Paris, Lahore, and Brussels, not to mention the persecutions and beheadings in Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, Libya, Somalia, Chad, Syria, and the Sunni/Shiite inner-Muslim battles. What is the most plausible way to judge such continuing violence and its origins? To make this assessment, we have to acknowledge that Islam, in principle, is actually and potentially violent throughout its entire history. The basic reason for this method is obedience to the Law of Allah, not love for violence itself.
On the basis of evidence and theory, we cannot conclude from the fact that Islam is a “religion” that therefore it is not “violent” or is so only by abuse of its own founding. It is possible to be a religion and to espouse violence. (Were this not so, we would have to exclude many key passages on the Old Testament itself.) We cannot obscure what is there and affirmed to be there by Muslims themselves. Realism means that we can and should call what happens by its proper name. It also means that, if we cannot or will not make this proper naming, we are not realistic. We will inevitably suffer the consequences of our failure to state the truth of what is there.
These things are said not to promote counter violence against Muslims or to justify Muslim violence against others. Rather it is to respect Islam’s insistence that all those inside and outside of its enclosure be subject to the law of the Prophet. Whether we like it or not, this vision of world rule that is proper to Islam can only be called “religious” in nature. It is rooted in and promoted as a worship of the god called Allah. Not to take this wording seriously is unrealistic. The Muslims who claim that they can read their religious texts as if such violence is not advocated and justified may be applauded for trying to mitigate the historic record. But the fact is that those who see this violence as essential to the religion have the better side of the argument and are the better witnesses to what historic Islam stands for.
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HT: Dr. Tighe
I can't believe the author is a Jesuit!
And that’s fine with me.
Both Trump and Cruz (who I had very reluctantly supported because… he isn’t Donald Trump) are damaged goods. They have both been enthusiastically rolling in the mud and behaving like 3rd graders. Neither has a snowball’s chance in the hot stinky bad place of beating the wicked witch in November.
So who might the convention turn to in this unpleasant situation?
Despite all the talk of drafting Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney, I don’t see it. They are unpopular with the tea party crowd and if you are going to deny the nomination to the two men who actually arrived in Cleveland with a serious number of delegates then you need to show some consideration for the angry voters that sent them there. And there is no shortage of sound conservative alternatives out there that I think would be acceptable to both the establishment and the right wing of the party.
Here are a few that have come to mind as possible nominees from a brokered convention…
Sen Jeff Sessions of AL
Sen. John Thune of SD.
Former Sen. Tom Coburn of OK (I have always really liked him.)
Sen. Tim Scott of SC (the only African American Republican in the Senate)
Gov. Nikki Haley of SC
Gov. Greg Abbott of TX
Former Gov. Haley Barbour of MS (He is conservative to the core but also has cordial relations with the GOPe)
I doubt any of these people would be perfect. But I do think most would be acceptable to both the establishment and more ideological elements of the party. And most importantly all have strong conservative credentials and I feel confident that they could thump the wicked witch in November.
If either Trump or Cruz is the nominee I will skip that line on the ballot or vote for Gary Johnson.