On the Middle East

As I’ve said before, I prefer for the two rival monotheisms to be at each others’ throats rather than united against Christianity.

Islam and Judaism are closer to each other than either is to Christianity, so it’s silly to think that we have to pick one or the other to favor.  I often hear from fellow conservatives that the Muslim God isn’t really God because Muslims reject the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation.  This is never said about the Jewish God.

I know this is kind of perverse, but don’t you kind of feel jealous of Islam that so many young men are ready to kill and die on its behalf?  I can’t imagine what it must be like for masses of young people to be inspired enough by Christianity to make any sacrifice at all for it.  We imagine that we’re doing pretty well if we can keep our children from defecting to the Left.  How the heck do those Mohommedans, with their false revelation, do it?

I appreciate a good neocon-bashing round as much as the next man, but at some point doesn’t what happens in Iraq become the responsibility of the Iraqis?  When do we get to that point?  To me, the instant association of “misfortune in Iraq” with “Bush” is starting to smack of American parochialism.

How to explain America’s overwhelming partiality toward Israel?  The Palestinian leadership is a nasty piece of work, but no worse than many “freedom fighters” we’ve supported in the recent past.  If Israel were the weaker party, I could understand supporting it as a move to weaken and destabilize the Muslim world, but Israel is certainly not weak.  Why not wash our hands of the whole damn mess?  Some blame Christian fundamentalists and their kooky End Times theology, but this is a group that is obviously powerless to affect policy on any other issue, so I doubt they would be all-powerful on this one.  Others say that the Jews are bribing or blackmailing the US government to do Israel’s bidding.  This explanation at least names a genuinely powerful interest group, but my impression is that American Jews are not as uncritically Zionist as many other groups.  To me, it is clear that American Zionism is a side-effect of Americans’ strong conditioning to regard any criticism of Jews as unacceptable.  It’s been drilled into all of our heads that only a bigot would say bad things about Jews or the way they use their influence.  (One may, of course, criticize individuals who “happen to be Jewish”, but not recognizably Jewish communities as such.)  Certainly, groups of Jews were heavily involved in setting up this conditioning process.  However, like all ideological weapons, it is no longer under the control of its creators.  If the American public comes to regard something as Jewish, then even the protest of all American Jewry will not keep it from enjoying immunity from criticism.

34 Responses

  1. […] Source: Throne and Altar […]

  2. “Islam and Judaism are closer to each other than either is to Christianity,”

    Is that true? Pascal says, “To show that the true Jews and the true Christians have but the same religion – The religion of the Jews seemed to consist essentially in the fatherhood of Abraham, in circumcision, in sacrifices, in ceremonies, in the Ark, in the temple, in Jerusalem, and, finally, in the law, and in the covenant with Moses. I say that it consisted in none of those things, but only in the love of God, and that God disregarded [réprouvait] all the other things.“ He produces numerous citations from the Prophets to this effect.

    He also observes that “The Jewish religion is wholly divine in its authority, its duration, its perpetuity, its morality, its doctrine, and its effects.”

  3. This article is a huge slap in the face to all of your European readers.

  4. Alte,

    Please explain. I don’t have your high IQ, remember. I don’t remember mentioning Europeans at all, or was that itself the slight?

  5. MPS,

    Pascal makes the same mistake as American Evangelicals of equating Old Testament Judaism with modern Judaism. Rejection of the Gospel is as fundamental to the latter as it is to Islam. Add to that the Jewish embrace of the sexual revolution, and one could argue that Jews are ideologically even farther from Christianity than Muslims are (not that we really need to decide which of the two is the more distant).

    Even in terms of religious “style”, Judaism and Islam are much closer to each other than either is to Christianity. Both Judaism and Islam are book-based, prophesy-centered religions; only Christianity is cultic/sacrificially centered.

  6. Isn’t Anno Domini Judasim basically Talmudic Rabbinism?
    I wonder why Europeans don’t share the American tendency to equate criticism of Jewish groups with anti-semitism? You’d think they’d have the same tendency.

  7. Has there ever been an even remotely successful effort to evangelize Muslims? I wonder if such a thing is even possible, if they would need to be conquered first.

  8. It’s a very good question why Europeans don’t have a problem criticizing Israel (and are, in fact, rabidly pro-Palestinian).

    My impression is that Jews don’t dominate Europe intellectually to the extent they do in America and that the communists maintained an alternative, non-Judaism-centered, narrative on WWII.

  9. The Jews share the Old Testament with us. This means they are far closer to us than the Muslims. If one reads the Koran, with its murderous verses, one can plainly see that this religion does not have its source in God, but in something else entirely. The state of Israel will have to answer for its actions in Gaza, certainly, but what of ISIS who use the alleged words of their Allah as their excuse to behead Christian children? I admit I am somewhat upset by having discovered this latter news just a short while ago, but I find it very hard to look upon Islam as anything but a horror. I certainly do not have this view of Judaism (or indeed any other mainstream religion).

  10. Proph: Apostatizing from Islam is punishable by death. Combine that with Islamic culture’s combination of superiority complex with victim mentality, and I imagine that evangelization becomes an even tougher sell than usual.

  11. Bonald, I think you’ve basically described the situation accurately. A few fine adjustments I’d add, since I come from a Jewish family and get a front-row seat to this stuff:

    -AIPAC (etc.) is certainly powerful, and the people claiming that America is totally subservient to Israeli puppet-masters are not completely crazy, but examples of anti-Israeli (and pro-Palestinian) sentiment are still incredibly easy to find in the mainstream media and clearly have reach. (I’m sure AIPAC wishes their critics were right, or more right anyway.)

    -I don’t really see how Islam and Judaism are closer to each other than Judaism is to Christianity. Muhammad wasn’t a Jew; Jesus was. The NT is built on top of the OT, even if certain bits of the former disavow the former. For centuries, many Jews have assimilated into Christian societies; Muslims mostly haven’t. Etc. Besides the beards, the head coverings, and the reading right to left, I don’t see your point here.

    -Every group likes to say “We’re not monolithic” but I think for Jews this is actually true to a relatively significant degree. The most rabidly pro-Palestinian people I know are Jews, for instance. (I like to ask them what they think they would happen if they went around asking for hugs and handshakes in the Gaza Strip.) Jews just like to argue, so they wind up on all sides of all kinds of issues.

    -One thing I admire about various Islamic sects is their pre-rational tribalism. It’s something the West has lost. Maybe that’s part of why the West has advanced, but it’s still something of recognizable value that one might reasonably be jealous of.

    -Paleocon criticism of Israel over the past few weeks largely strikes me as white ethnomasochism camouflaged in anti-Jewish sentiment. I don’t buy for a minute that these paleocons are anti-Semites, as many Jews have reactionarily assumed, but it cracks me up (and puzzles me) that the people who normally rally against white self-abasement start acting like bleeding-heart liberal college students when it comes to Israel vs. the Arabs That Arabs Abandoned. That’s the only mode available, I guess.

  12. “why Europeans don’t have a problem criticizing Israel”
    Simple. Absolute anti-Zionism addresses fundamental needs in French leftist ideology. Robert Redeker suggests that, post Cold War, the French left has replaced “sovietophilia” with “islamophilia,” and that “Palestinians and the contemporary Muslim masses replace the proletariat in the intellectuals’ imagination” as the pure, ideal alternative to Western capitalism. (Le Monde, 11/21/01). In other words, absolute anti-Zionism is French contrition coupled with a fetishisation of the ‘innocent’ Palestinians, which in turn results from the ideological need to fill the post-Soviet vacuum. Similarly, Alain Finkielkraut has argued that in Europe there reigns a “sacralisation of the Other.”
    Thus, Alain Finkielkraut argues that traditionally anti-Semites were Nationalists: “the French who worship a cult of their identity and who love each other in opposition to Jews.” “Contemporary anti-Semitism,” however, is the domain of the French who “do not love each other, who think in terms of a post-national future, who rid themselves of their Frenchness to better identify with the poor of the Earth, and who, through Israel, group Jews in the camp of the oppressors.”
    Pierre-Andre Taguieff argues that on one side stands the “cosmopolitan Satan,” the unholy trinity ‘United States/Israel/The West.’ On the other side stands the “dominated and the oppressed.” Thus the anti-Semitism recycles old stereotypes such as the rich Jew and the dominating Jew under the “varnish of progressivism.” The Jew is once more the stand-in for capitalism, imperialism, cosmopolitanism, indeed the whole economic order.

  13. Oops, I had a typo. It should read “The NT is built on top of the OT, even if certain bits of the former disavow the LATTER.”

  14. Bonald, did you read “The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit?”

  15. NZ,

    I have it on good authority that the loudaioi are not the Children of Abraham. I won’t mention who there father turns out to be.

  16. There is really no way we can just leave the Jews and the Muslims to sort it out on their own because we have large populations of Jews and Muslims living here in this country.

    As far as I can tell, the Muslims living here in the U.S. don’t really have any moral problem with the slaughter of Christians in Iraq (and I’m spending a lot of time around Muslims right now, as we are staying in Dearborn with a family member for a few weeks while we wait to move into our new house). I don’t hear them protesting; when pressed, they’ll sort of hem and haw and oh-yes-it’s-terribly-isn’t-it. It occurs to me that if they had sufficient numbers here, the slaughter of American Christians would not be unthinkable.

    Contrast this with the Jews. As far as I can tell, whatever their faults may be, Jews don’t wish to slaughter Christians and show no indication that they would do so even if they were the majority.

  17. Josh,

    I have not read it. I did read this though:


  18. It’s a very good question why Europeans don’t have a problem criticizing Israel

    The leftists and Islamofascists use Israel as a proxy for their anti-Semitism. There are speech-restriction laws against saying stuff like “Gas the Jews!”, so this is their work-around… not that they’re enforced anymore.

    Jews are still being used as scapegoats. Everytime the bloodthirsty Moslems rape or murder or rob a Christian (which happens every day here now, and will soon commence on a massive scale) the Gutmenschen come out in force to blame Jews because Israeli conspiracy mumbo jumbo bankers whatnot Palestine and they killed Jesus besides Islam means “peace” and sharia is our bright future.

    They will continue to do this, and you will apparently continue to aid them, until we are literally being slaughtered in the streets. So, thanks a lot.

    The fact that Islam is a gross bastardization of Christianity doesn’t change the reality that — unlike Judiasm — it’s a Satanic cult completely devoid of any absolute moral laws that is hell-bent on conquering the entire planet through violence. Why don’t you try reading the Koran (if you can stand it, as the entire book is grotesque and the text only sounds nice in Arabic) and the Torah and then see if the direct comparison doesn’t affect your opinion on the two religions?

    I’ll put it this way: nobody in their right mind would rather have a mosque than a synonogue in their neighborhood.

  19. Contrast this with the Jews. As far as I can tell, whatever their faults may be, Jews don’t wish to slaughter Christians and show no indication that they would do so even if they were the majority.

    We know this for a fact. Israel is the only true safe-haven for Christians in the Near East. If Israel is conquered by the Palistinians (the idea that the Moslems want peace with Israel is patently ridiculous — “peace” is literally synonymous for them with “caliphate” and there is no moral requirement for them to speak truth to lowly kufffar), then the Christian landmarks will all be blown to smithereens and the gang rapes, crucifixions, and beheadings will begin.

  20. I have indeed read a translation of the Koran in English and find your description unrecognizable.

    Whenever I note that one cannot discuss Judaism rationally, that is without abject groveling and self-abasement, without other Christians going hysterical, I always get commenters to prove my point.

  21. Where we differ, Bonald, is in your view that your opinion on Islam is rational. You may think it’s closer to Christianity than Judiasm, but I’ll just believe my lying eyes on this one. The proof is always in the pudding.

    Unlike you, I live surrounded by real, actual Moslems. I don’t just theorize about them on the internet. Think you’re displaying a bit of tragic overthink here.

    But we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, apparently. Not surprised to find yet-another American who doesn’t give a damn about whether we here will all soon be living under sharia, but I never fail to be disappointed by the lack of charity. Also, if you think I’m impressed by the bravery of your latent anti-Semitism, then you’ve got another think coming. I’m German. Fully a third of the country is virulently anti-Semitic and the other two-thirds only mildly so. You’re just mindlessly following the crowd on this one and the stuff you spouted here is the same crap that fills our media.

  22. Contrast this with the Jews. As far as I can tell, whatever their faults may be, Jews don’t wish to slaughter Christians and show no indication that they would do so even if they were the majority.

    You do realize that when Israel took the land, they drove off not just Muslims, but also the Christians? In many instances Christian Arabs were executed, merely for defending their ancestral lands. Many Christians had actually helped smuggle European Jews in to only be repaid by being told to pack their bags for Lebanon. Bear in mind these communities had survived centuries of Arab and Turkish oppression.

    Personally, I have never met a pro-Isreali Arab Christian.

  23. Alte
    I find your comments on this quite silly. First, the idea that Europeans might soon be living under sharia is as bizarre as it gets. How exactly will a small, though not insignificant, minority without any genuine political resources be able to impose an order like that on anyone?

    Secondly, you´re not the only European reader here and not the only one who live among “real, actual” Muslims. In general Muslims might be hostile to Europeans on some level and large communities of them undoubtedly brings dysfunctions with them but your characterization of Islam and Muslims are simply cheap, one-dimensional demagogy.

    As for the subject of anti-semitism I have never ever heard anyone blame the murder or rape done by a Muslim on the Jews or Israel and I live in Sweden, the nation with perhaps the most anti-zionist media in Europe. Either Germany is very different or you just make things up. The notion that more less all of the Germans is anti-semitic is equally bizarre unless you have an extremely wide and thus pointless definition of what anti-semitism is.

    Concerning the more general discussion in this thread about the difference between the US and Europe my impression is that hostility towards Zionism and Israel is considerably more common and accepted in Europe than in the US. Strangely enough, that same hostility becomes totally unacceptable if it were to include Jewish influence in general in the West. Then suddenly it´s more or less impossible to discuss these question whereas Americans seems to be at least somewhat more open about it. It is in European context thus important to treat anti-zionism from anti-semitism/criticism towards Jews in a wide sense as different and often separate tendenices. The Left is often anti-zionist and might or might have anti-semitic tendencies (whatever that means),while the Right is often pro-Zionist and might or might not have an anti-semitic tendencies etc.

  24. AndreasB

    You make a number of very good points.

    As regards Sharia, of course no one imagines that this is about to be adopted in any European country. However, given the long tradition of the recognition of “personal law” or, as the French call it, « Le statut personnelle », in matters such as marriage, legitimacy, guardianship and inheritance, a minority of jurists are open to the suggestion that members of the Muslim community should be governed by their own laws in these cases; something that already happens, when they are citizens of Algeria or certain other countries in the Maghreb or sub-Saharan Africa. I should add that, in France in particular, there is very strong opposition to allowing separate laws to apply to different groups of French citizens. If this is permitted, how is the Republic one and indivisible?

    Much of the resistance comes from within the Muslim community itself. Sihem Habchi, the president of the Muslim women’s movement, « Ni Putes Ni Soumises » [Neither Sluts nor Door-mats] in a forceful attack on “multiculturalism” demanded “No more justifications of our oppression in the name of the right to be different and of respect toward those men who force us to bow our heads”

    Another prominent Muslim woman, Fadela Amara, when she was Secretary of State for Urban Policies, deplored the religious fundamentalism clung to by some women through ignorance and isolation in ghetto communities and she is convinced that it will vanish away, when they are given better opportunities of intellectual enlightenment and of acquiring elementary knowledge in history and the sciences. “For this generation,” she declared, “the crucial issues are laïcité, gender equality and gender desegregation, based upon living together in harmony throughout the world, and not only in France”

    She places great faith in the Jules Ferry laws that make education at every level free, compulsory and lay,[ gratuite, obligatoire et laïque] as does another Muslim woman, Rachida Dati, who, as Minister of Justice (garde des Sceaux) defended the ban on the hijab in schools: “Pupils’ freedom of conscience, which is an internal freedom, in no way gives them ‘the right to express and manifest their religious beliefs’ in educational institutions, for that involves external acts which improperly introduce religion into the public domain of the school.”

    Islam is far from being monolithic.

  25. What would make an Islamic nation become Christian? Kicking their asses militarily with such blistering domination that they are impressed. These people understand one thing: power. They are Muslim because they equate their religion with hypermasculinity. If white western Christians stopped talking about God as if he were a Hallmark card, and instead showed the Arabs that God is a king, a conqueror, a power beyond all powers, they’d submit. As it is, they think Jesus and all of us Christians are girly-men.

    The only solution is to beat them into a senseless pulp.

    Boland is right about Jews and Muslims being closer to each other than either are to Christianity. For the record, Mohammed was a Christian, albeit from a heretical sect, prior to his alleged vision. Ill try to dig up which sect, its been a while since i read it.

    Pascal’s connecting Jews and Christian is sheer romanticism.

    Quick anecdote. My fundamentalist and virulently pro-Zion co-worker was talking about Jews being saved. I said, “But they don’t believe in Jesus. In fact, they hate him. And you of all people should know that if you want to be saved, you must repent and believe in Jesus. Jews don’t. So how can you say that they’ll be saved?” It was the first time he’d been confronted with the double-standard of American cornpone fundamentalism. We was flabbergasted. So I told him my answer, “They must be converted or be damned.” He wasn’t too pleased.

  26. I couldn’t agree more with The_Angry_Angolan about what would make an Islamic nation become Christian. This is something I’ve been saying for a while in a more general context: nations that engage in conflicts with inferior (poorer, more primitive, etc.) adversaries but remain sympathetic and apologetic to them are doomed. They will have to keep putting down uprisings and terroristic activity.

    From the losers’ perspective, being defeated by those who genuflect and apologize and shed tears is the ultimate humiliation. It’s like being beaten up by a girl.

    The difference is that I extrude this argument to Israel and the Palestinians as well.

    And I still think the notion that Judaism is closer to Islam than to Christianity is rather absurd.

  27. > And I still think the notion that Judaism is closer to Islam than to Christianity is rather absurd.

    Do you dare to disagree with our Elder Brothers in Faith?!

  28. Bonald, you’ll find that I dare to disagree with all sorts of people. It’s actually a borderline bad habit.

    If I hold a view that seems conventional, I have likely arrived at it after having changed my mind from an unconventional view, so I can at least coherently explain my reasoning.

    I come from a Jewish family and I read “dark enlightenment” blogs with admiration. That should tell you something.

  29. Darn. I’ll have to wait for someone else–a fellow goy–to pull that line on.

    May I ask what your Jewish family would think of the idea that they’re more like Christians than Muslims?

  30. I only discuss these kinds of things regularly with three or four of my family members. In those discussions I frequently disagree with their general characterizations of Jews, and I try to enlighten them about the real (often legitimate) reasons why Jews are resented by Christians. Things like that.

    I don’t think any of them would consider themselves more like Muslims than Christians though.

  31. @The_Angry_Angolian

    You will have to destroy the 8 centuries old bridal mysticism and its derivative that had its origin in origen that too the relationship of the church as to christ as bride to mean also individually each man is a bride of Christ expanded upon by Bernard of Clairvaux and subsequently by all the women mystics receptive to that idea.

    This which introduces eroticism into the relationship of the believer with Christ is what drove men away and dramatically changed the sex ratio of the church and subsequently since then women mystics have emasculated Christ and turned him into the figure by which many act in revulsion today.

  32. Indeed. Bernard of Clairveux is one of my least favorite saints for exactly the reason you stated.

    His point is valid to a point. The human soul is receptive. But he goes off the rails when he makes every human a female in order for every person to be the Bride of Christ. I think he was gay, but I’ve been told that I’m not allowed to say that. Ok, maybe he is not gay, but his theology is gayer than gay.

    I hate every movie with Jesus in it because he is always portrayed as this waifish little creature, so soft and weak. The sole exception was Gibson’s “The Passion” which have me the Jesus I know an love: a stud who makes Vikings, Huns, Mongols, and all other fierce people look like Sunday school cream puffs.

    As long as Jesus remains a Zeferelli twinkle toes, Muslims will eat us for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes taking up the cross means girding one’s loins, putting on the armor of God, and picking up shield and sword.

    Ten bucks says that if the twinkle toes in the White House let the dogs loose on ISIS, we’d solve many problems. I don’t mean flying the 82nd airborne into Iraq and setting up camp with Starbucks and internet. I mean letting loose the baddest of the bad special ops with one order: kill everything in sight and burn the remains, keep whatever valuables you can ship back home. This is the only thing the Muslims will understand. Once they know that we have no qualms about laying them to waste, that we have no stupid wealthy white liberal guilt about the a Crusades, then they will take their proper place in the world. Of course, we’d have to attack Saudi Arabia first, because they are the ones who fund terrorism with the US dollars they get from oil sales. But I’m all up for sending the Saudis back to camel herding where those lowlifes belong.

  33. The founder of the Knights Templar sissified Christianity? It amazes me to no end the sort of mental contortions some people will go through to prove to themselves that somehow it’s all Catholicism’s fault.

  34. Who ever blamed Catholicism? I never did.
    What ever is stuck in your craw, don’t ever say I blamed Catholicism. Bernard is not the Church, and the Church is not Bernard.

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