Allah = God?

by Jimmy Akin

in Islam

A reader writes:

The thought comes from one of your commenters, and I
think it’s worthy of a blog entry (because I’m trying
to work it out myself).
Is the Christian God the same god as the Muslim Allah?
I think most orthodox Catholics will answer yes, but
that generates the question, what does that mean?

The immediately obvious discrepancy is that Muslims
deny the Trinity. But other characteristics fail as
well. Muslims would shudder at the description of God
as "Father."

So if suffient characteristics of their description of
God diverges suffiently from our description of God,
do we have different gods?

I wrote a philosophical paper on this question a few years ago that I meant to submit as a journal article, but I’m afraid that I haven’t gotten around to it. At this point, I’m not even sure what hard drive it’s on, so I’ll have to do some digging around.

In the meantime, lemme see how well I can come up with a quick encapsulation of the overall argument.

For purposes of simplicity, let us consider the question of prayer, with the understanding that what is said about this topic can be applied in a general way to other forms of relating to the divine, such as offering praise, adoration, etc.

Prayer can be defined in various ways (lifting the heart and mind to God, petitioning God for some good, etc.), but let’s use an understanding of prayer that anyone can understand: Prayer is talking to God.

So the question becomes: When Muslims talk to Allah, are they talking to God?

We need not be detained by the fact that the word "Allah" is not the normal English word for God. It is the normal Arabic word for God, and it is used by Arabic-speaking Christians as a designator for the true God all the time.

We also need not be detained by alleged origins of the term in pre- and proto-Muslim history. Where a term comes from does not determine its meaning. How it is used determines its meaning (otherwise the word "nice" would mean "ignorant" since it comes from the Latin word nescius) and so, regardless of where the word came from, how Muslims use this word today is key to determining whether they pray to the same God we do.

How important it is to recognize present use is illustrated by the fact that Arabic-speaking Christians also use "Allah" as a descriptor of the true God. When they so use it, they have in mind a Trinitarian Being, the Second Person of whom became incarnate as Jesus Christ. That’s what Arabic-speaking Christians mean by "Allah."

Arabic-speaking Muslims (and other Muslims) obviously mean something different, and the question is whether their usage of the term is different enough that it would prevent prayers they address to Allah from being prayers addressed to God.

What characteristics does a Muslim typically envision Allah as having? I would advance the following list as some of the most important characteristics:

1) Is an uncreated being
2) Is the creator of the universe
3) Appeared to Abraham
4) Is just
5) Is merciful
6) Will raise the dead
7) Is not a Trinity
8) Is not incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth

Characteristics 1-6 are ones that Christians agree with Muslims about. It is characteristics 7 and 8 that are the key points of disagreement. Are they sufficient to keep God from receiving Muslim prayers directed to him?

Before answering that question, take note of this fact: A non-Christian Jewish person would say exactly the same list of characteristics applies to the God to whom they direct their prayers.

Christian tradition and the Bible itself acknowledge that Jewish individuals do worship and pray to God, even if they do not understand that he is a Trinity or that he is incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth. If you’re going to say that belief in the Trinity and the Incarnation are essential for worshipping or talking to God then you’re going to have a huge problem with Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium.

And yet the person’s understanding of God is different than the one that the Church proclaims.

I think that light on this question can be shed by recognizing that it is quite possible for us to talk to someone even if there are things that we don’t know about them or even if we have false beliefs about them.

To illustrate this point, let’s take the case of someone with a secret identity: Bruce Wayne.

Suppose that I am a paperboy who delivers copies of The Daily Planet in the neighborhood where stately Wayne Manor is located, so one of my customers is millionnaire playboy Bruce Wayne, who always comes out to get his paper promptly, being as interested in local and world affairs as he is. One day as I’m pitching The Daily Planet in the neighborhood, I see him out on his lawn, and I say, "Howdy, Bruce!" He waves back and says, "Hi, Jimmy!"

I had this (brief) conversation with him even though I–as a normal Gothamite (transplanted from Texas)–am totally unaware of the fact that he is secretly Batman. There thus can be things about a person that I do not know and do not believe about him, yet it doesn’t stop me from having a conversation with him.

This is analogous to the situation of the Jewish people in the Old Testament, who prayed to God even though the doctrine of the Trinity had not yet been revealed.

But it’s not analogous to the situation of someone after the revelation of the Trinity who has considered and rejected the doctrine, so let’s go back to the thought experiment.

Suppose that one day as I am pitching copies of The Daily Planet and I notice an article on page one by Lois Lane that is headlined BATMAN IS REALLY BRUCE WAYNE!

Now, I’ve read all of Lois’s previous attempts to prove that Superman is really Clark Kent, and every single time she’s run a story like that, it’s been disproved. So I long ago concluded that Lois Lane is an unreliable source on the subject of superhero identities.

When I see her latest such story, I just laugh and shrug it off, and when I pitch the paper to Mr. Wayne, I call out "Hey, there’s a story on page one that you should really get a kick out of! Haw-Haw!" and Bruce smiles and says, "I know. I already read it on the Internet and had a good laugh. By the way, the Internet is driving dead-tree newspapers out of business, so you should start looking for a new job. May I suggest apologetics?"

Bruce and I were able to have this conversation even though I had already entertained and rejected the claim that he is Batman.

So if I can talk to someone about whom I have false beliefs, what would prevent a person from talking to God even though he has false beliefs about God?

Let me go back to the thought experiment one more time to unearth an insight that should be of help.

The next day I’m tossing papers and I see Mr. Wayne on the lawn and there is a TV reporter there interviewing him. I toss him his paper and shout, "Hey, Mr. Wayne! Thanks for that tip about apologetics! I put in my application with a group in California!" and he calls back, "Good for you, son!"

Unbeknownst to me, the person I talked to this time was not actually Bruce Wayne. In reality, it was Chameleon Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes, who used his shape-shifting power to impersonate Bruce Wayne so that he coud be interviewed by a reporter while the real Bruce Wayne was being interviewed on TV with Commissioner Gordon at the same time across town, setting up "proof" that Batman and Bruce Wayne are two different people and thus once again denying Lois Lane the prize of outing a superhero.

In this case I believed that I was talking to Bruce Wayne, but in fact I was not. I was actually talking with Chameleon Boy.

In this case I had a massive number of false beliefs about the person I was talking to. I believed that he was (a) a human being, who was (b) a resident of Gotham and (c) a native of the 20th century and (d) from the planet Earth, and (e) a millionnaire and (f) a middle-aged man and (g) someone who possesses no superpowers.

In reality, I was talking to (a) an alien being, who will be (b) a resident of Metropolis and is (c) a native of the 30th century and (d) from the planet Durla, and (e) has no special wealth and (f) is a teenager and (g) possesses the power to change shape.

How could I get so much wrong about the person I was talking to and yet be talking to him? What was it that allowed my words to be addressed to him even though almost every belief I had about him was wrong?

It would seem that there is some set of minimal core criteria that allow me to talk to a person even though almost everything I believe about him is wrong. What might this be?

In the case of an ordinary conversation, I would suggest that the fundamental criterion of who we are talking to is something we aren’t always fully conscious of.

Suppose that on the third day I had a partner with me in the car, helping me roll papers, and after I finished speaking to Chameleon Boy, he turned to me and said, "Who were you just talking to?" I reply: "Bruce Wayne," and my partner says, "Who’s that?" Annoyed, I point and say, "That guy over there."

"That guy over there" is the real descriptor of who I was talking to. I believed that this person was Bruce Wayne (which was false) and that he was not Batman (which was true), but in reality I was talking to a particular person "over there." As long as there was someone "over there" (i.e., as long as I wasn’t hallucinating) then that is the person I was talking to, even if I was mistaken about the person’s identity and everything else about him.

Notice thus that we have to different kinds of characteristics that apply to the person I was talking to. The primary criterion is that he was "that guy over there," while everything else about him (the idea that he was Bruce Wayne, that he was not Batman, that he was a human, that he was a millionnaire playboy) were secondary criteria.

This is the way conversations work when we are talking to someone in person: The person we are talking to is the one who satisfies the primary criterion we have in mind–usually "that person over there"–even if none of the secondary criteria we have in mind apply to that person.

Upon discovering that none of the secondary criteria apply, we may say "Oh! I wasn’t talking to you!" but we refer in this case to who we intended to talk to, not who we were talking to. If I discover that the person I have been talking to is not who I thought he was, that doesn’t change the fact that I was talking to him.

So we’ve got a handle on how conversations work in person, but what about conversations with people who aren’t physically present and can’t think of as "that person over there"?

In this case, it seems to me, we have to decide which criteria we are going to treat as primary and which as secondary.

Suppose that I am a person who is unsure whether Christianity is true. I believe that God exists and that he created the world, but I am not sure whether he is a Trinity or whether he incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth. So I pray, "God, please guide me so that I realize the truth about you and whether I should become a Christian."

In this case, the primary criterion of who I am addressing would presumably be "Creator of the Universe" or something like that, and thus the Creator of the Universe would understand that I was addressing him, even though I am uncertain about other things concerning him.

Suppose, though, that I was a person who really hated Christians and was unwilling to address their God, even if he exists. In this case the criteria I am applying to the person I am addressing might be something like "the Creator of the Universe as long as he isn’t the Christian God."

In this case my prayer would be addressed to no one because, in fact, the Creator of the Universe is in fact the Christian God. Up in heaven, God would say, "Sorry, but if you’re really determined not to talk to the Christian God then you’re not talking to me. You’re talking to the void."

Now suppose that I believe that the Creator of the Universe isn’t the Christian God, but I’m willing to talk to him if he is. In this case my primary criterion is "Creator of the Universe" but "is not the Christian God" is a secondary criterion. As long as this is the case, I’m still going to be talking to God. Up in heaven, God will say, "Okay, you’re wrong about me not being the Christian God, but you’re still willing to talk to me even if I am, and so your prayers are addressed to a real Being."

If we’re going to ask about the prayers of Muslims in particular and whether they are addressed to God, I would say that it depends on the Muslim in question. Some Muslims may be so anti-Christian that they would be unwilling to talk to God–to Allah–if it turned out that he was the God of the Christians. Those Muslims would not be talking to God because there is no being that corresponds to the description "the true God who is not the God of the Christians." They would be talking to the void.

But the vast majority of Muslims don’t seem to be in that condition. They may not believe that God is a Trinity or that he incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth, but they are still directing their prayers to something like "Creator of the Universe" or "God who appared to Abraham" or "the one true God" or something like that.

This is what enables the Catechism to state that Muslims "acknowledge the Creator" and that "together with us
they adore the one, merciful God" (CCC 841).

Whew!

Okay, that ended up being longer than I meant it to, but I hope it sketches some of the philosophical basis for how a person can genuinely talk to someone (including God) about whom one has false beliefs.

That’s something we need to happen because, no matter who we are, at some point in our lives all of us have entertained false beliefs about God–even from misunderstanding perfectly orthodox catechesis in childhood–and we still need God to answer our prayers in those times and to guide us toward a correct understanding of him.

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{ 188 comments }

BillyHW December 7, 2006 at 6:15 am

Do language historians know what word Arabic Christians used for God prior to the 7th century?

Tim J. December 7, 2006 at 6:16 am

A JA.O classic…
Apologetics, a lesson in logic AND super heroes…
Thanks, Jimmy!
But how do I know you’re the REAL Jimmy, and not – say – Mystique in Jimmy Akin form?

Jeni December 7, 2006 at 6:16 am

This has given me some really good insights and more points to ponder!!

Bill December 7, 2006 at 6:20 am

So…Bruce Wayne…is…God? And Muslims worship…Chameleon Boy? So if she…..weighs the same as a duck….she’s made of wood…and therefore….

JD December 7, 2006 at 6:57 am

excellent article. But newsreaders in Gotham read the Gotham Gazette. Reading the daily planet would be akin to my Washingtonians and I receiving the times in the morning, instead of our beloved post. (or, for most of us, express)

Tim J. December 7, 2006 at 6:57 am

“So…Bruce Wayne…is…God? And Muslims worship…Chameleon Boy?”
Well, Bill, let’s put it this way (if this is not too sacrilegious)…
Batman is in reality a persona of Bruce Wayne. Jesus is in reality a person of God.
Batman and Bruce Wayne are really substantially the same being.
Jesus and God are really substantially the same being.
There are those who know both Batman and Bruce Wayne (like the Commissioner), but who do not know that they are both the same being. They believe in Batman, they believe in Bruce Wayne… they just don’t get the connection.
There are those who know both Jesus and God (like Muslims), but who do not know that they are both the same being. They believe in Jesus (as a prophet), they believe in God (as Creator)… they just don’t get the connection.
Muslims at least accept Jesus (in their own truncated and distorted way) as a prophet. Judaism seems often to portray Him as a wanna-be prophet, a misguided or even somewhat unhinged individual, not to mention what they teach about the Blessed Mother.
Muslims revere Mary, as well, in their own way.

JD December 7, 2006 at 6:57 am

my *fellow* Washingtonians.

TP December 7, 2006 at 6:59 am

Jimmy,
I thought the question was about whether the name “Allah” refers to the same thing referred to by the proper name “God” (surely, “Allah” and “God” aren’t always used as proper names, but I thought that this particular question used them as proper names). If that is so, the conditions for conversation – though insightful and a pleasure to read – aren’t germane to the topic. It is clear that conversation can occur where there are mistaken beliefs about who one is taking to. What isn’t so clear is whether the two proper names are co-referrential.
For that, you’d have to look at theories of proper names. Here are three theories of proper names that philosophers today employ, and how the question is answered on each.
Some people think that proper names are disguised definite descriptions. In that case, the proper name “God” would refer to that unique thing which is all good, triune, omniscient, creator of hte universe, and so on. On this theory, “God” and “Allah” don’t refer to the same thing, since the definite descriptions hidden in the two names are inconsistent – “God” includes the description “truine”, “Allah” doesn’t include it and denies it. (Bertrand Russel held this view of names)
Another view of proper names holds that names are still definite descriptions, but only a certain subset of the description is required for a name to refer. There is an inner core of attributes the name designates, and as long as the thing designated has at least some of those attributes, the name refers properly. So, if the inner core attributes of “God” and “Allah” are the same (which is an open question), the two names could be co-referrential. (John Searle holds this view of names).
One final view of proper names is a baptismal, or causal history view. Roughly, it goes like this. At one point in the past, someone performed an act of naming (I dub you Jimmy). That name is passed on down the ages. One could have every attribute of the thing wrong (e.g., I think you are a Mormon from Canada who hates cowboy boots) but as long as I have acquired the name through a causal history of it being handed down, I still refer to you when I use it. In this case, the two proper names are co-referrential IF the thing that was initially named is the same thing in both cases, and this whether or not anyone agrees on any attributes of the thing(s). (Saul Kripke holds this view).
So, I think the answer to this question — about whether or not “Allah” when spoken by a Muslim as a name of his God, and “God”, spoken by a Christian as a name of his God are co-referrential — depends on ones theory of proper names. If one holds Russel’s theory, they aren’t. If one holds Searles theory, they may be. If one holds Kripke’s theory, again they may be.
All the best,

Tim J. December 7, 2006 at 7:00 am

I would say that both “God” and “Allah” are not proper names, but titles or descriptions.

chris-2-4 December 7, 2006 at 7:09 am

Yeah, but… Would Bruce Wayne really get the Daily Planet?

Breier December 7, 2006 at 7:24 am

The last comparison is inopposite, inasmuch as it assumes doubt in Muslims and Christians. Furthermore, it doesn’t deal with the obvious question:
What if “Allah is the Creator of the Universe” and “Allah has no son.” are equally primary truths? There is no greater or lesser dogma, both are equally true. The Muslim does not think about “if the Christian God exists,” and more that Christians think about God, “If he is not a Trinity.”
The correct contrast would have been:
“The Muslim who beliefs Allah is Creator of the universe and that Allah has no son, and both of these are equally true, equally primary”
For in a simple being like God, there are no greater or less attributes, except perhaps according to our order of knowing.
I do not see how Jimmy answers that question. He made the question to easy for himself by dodging the Muslim who doesn’t have a doubt about Christianity. For that Muslim, it is impossible the Christian God exists, any more than it is possible to talk about God, if he did not exist. If the Muslim God did not exist, nothing would exist.

Brian John Schuettler December 7, 2006 at 7:32 am

SLU may not be Catholic anymore but it still sounds Jesuitical.

Breier December 7, 2006 at 7:34 am

Does a process theologian pray to God?
An Arian?
How about a Mormon?
A Satanist?
Why are we only focusing on traits of God as learned in natural theology? Why not focus on our supernatural knowledge of the divine essence?
If a Muslim denied that God was all-powerful, he’s no longer worshiping God?
But if a Muslim denies that God is a Trinity, he worships God?
If someone denies that God is merciful does he worship God?
At some point, aren’t we just referring to a word, with some traditonal “divine” attributes attached? How can you omit anything and still say it’s God?
If you omit any one divine attribute, particularly a supernatural attribute, have you not denied God?
I don’t see why “all-powerful” trumps “Triune.”

Breier December 7, 2006 at 7:37 am

It seems more reasonable to me to say that if you consciously deny any divine attribute, you’ve denied God and are praying to “nothing.” Just as a man who turned his back on a man and talked to a wall is talking to the wall, not the man.
Nevertheless, God hears the prayers of those in good faith, even if they are praying to sticks, stones, goddesses, or Allah who has no son. After all, prayer is not about teaching God anything, but about improving ourselves.

Dan Hunter December 7, 2006 at 7:37 am

Jesus said,
“You are either with Me or against Me”.He is referring to Himself as the third Person of the Holy Trinity.
If one does not accept Christ and everything He says then one is against God.
Since the Incarnation, the Jewish people have rejected Jesus,therefore God is rejected.
“No one comes to the Father accept through Me”
In Hoc Signo.

Anonymous December 7, 2006 at 7:43 am

As for Jews, they don’t have a denial of the Trinity or Christ’s sonship as part of their Creed. Their state seems analagous to the state of the people in Old Testament.
Rather than worshiping the “non-Triune,” I would think they simply leave that consideration out of things. So rather than “non-Triune,” that part is left blank. Their God is the same God they had in the Old Testament.
The question is whether starting from Christianity and denying the Trinity is the same as just never catching on to the doctrine.

Landrew December 7, 2006 at 7:53 am

Maybe it’s like the blind men looking at the elephant kind of thing. We see the Muslim (blind man) touching the elephant’s trunk and believing that God is like a snake.
The question is: is the Muslim’s understanding of the nature of God so different from ours that when he says God (or Allah), he is really talking about something different than when we say God?
Is he really worshiping God with just a deficient understanding, or is his understanding so different that it makes him worship something that isn’t really God at all, just an idea of man’s creation? That would be an idol.
When he meets the Lord in that hallway between death and life, will he reject or accept the living God because He is not what was expected?
Maybe no one this side of the grave can really answer that question.

Lurker #59 December 7, 2006 at 8:01 am

I work with this question a lot.
There is a problem with using the CCC on this issue. The sentence to 841, which you did not include says
…these PROFESS to hold the faith of Abraham…
It does not say that they actually hold the faith of Abraham, but only “they think they do”.
So this needs to be taken into account in your discussion, namely that the Muslims do not actually hold the faith of Abraham.
In other words if
Christians hold the faith of Abraham
Jews hold the faith of Abraham
and
Muslims do not hold the faith of Abraham
is
the Muslim God = YHWH?
Additionally, I find that the best way to deal with this question is to recognise that Islam was considered a heresy of Catholicism. So at the very best, we have to say that the Muslim understanding of Allah is a corrupted understanding of the True God.
SO how corrupted can an understanding get before you no longer worship God? This is a very fruitful question b/c it helps us understand how we are to relate to other religions, not just Muslims. And remember it is a quite ancient teaching of Catholicism that all other religions are either corrupted remembrances of the faith of Adam and Eve or twisting of the devils (cf. St. Justin Martyr and Carroll in Founding of Christendom.)

Rick Lugari December 7, 2006 at 8:06 am

But… If, as Catholics, we know that Mohammad was NOT a prophet of the One True God, yet Muslims pray to the god of which Mohammad was a prophet, can it still be said that they are praying to the True God?

Tim J. December 7, 2006 at 8:07 am

“Jesus said,
“You are either with Me or against Me”.”
Jesus also said “Whoever is not against us is for us.”.

Breier December 7, 2006 at 8:11 am

Whoever denies Jesus he will deny. We report, you decide.

Inocencio December 7, 2006 at 8:16 am

“He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Phil M. December 7, 2006 at 8:16 am

uhhh, I believe that’s “billionaire” playboy Bruce Wayne.

Anonymous December 7, 2006 at 8:17 am

One wonders, would John be called a rad-trad for writing this in 2 John?
“Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense. Anyone who is so “progressive” 7 as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him;
for whoever greets him shares in his evil works.”

Slowboy December 7, 2006 at 8:18 am

Funny, I tend to “think” like this:
1. God hears all prayers (He is God after all).
2. This is not dependent on my intellectual grasp of who He is but is a funtion of His omnesence unrelated to my limited knowledge.
3. Our ability to understand God and his answers to our prayers is related to our grasp of who He is. If we think God is illogical (or maybe trans-logical) if I understand the Muslim grasp of God correctly then we can see illogical answers as potentially being from God. A Christian would automaticly reject non-logical answers as not from God. (If I had the time I could make a story about Chamelion Boy telling Jimmy to take a job with Doc Octopus (or the WaPO!) and Jimmy accepting this as a good idea because it came from Bruce Wayne).
In this vein I might have a converstion with Jimmy and suddenly discover he is not a Mormon who hates cowboy boots. Then I would be faced with the choice of either deciding the person infront of me is not Jimmy or that my understanding of who Jimmy is needs to change.
In my mind the not unrelated question is what does a Christian do when invited to pray in a mosque. NPR trumpeted that Benedict XVI, “prayed to Mecca” while in Turkey.

Tim J. December 7, 2006 at 8:33 am

“He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Absolutely. But many who we THINK reject Christ do not really reject Him, but rather some caricature or distortion of Him – sometimes because His image has been twisted and defaced by the members of His Church who bear that image to the world.
“…As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Brother Cadfael December 7, 2006 at 8:33 am

would John be called a rad-trad for writing this in 2 John
I can’t imagine why he would be called a rad-trad for any reason, much less for writing what would more properly be considered a warning to rad-trads who think they know more than the Pope. (One “teaching of Christ” in which to remain is that Peter is the Rock.)

Francis DS December 7, 2006 at 8:35 am

What Muslims believe about God is what they read from the Koran, and nothing else.
Did the real God have anything to do with the Koran? No!
Does the Koran describe God accurately? No!
If you studied the Koran, will you get to know about the real God (the Trinity)? No!
In short, Muslims think they are talking with Bruce Wayne, but in fact they are talking with someone who has a T-shirt with ‘Bruce Wayne’ printed on it. That’s as close as they get.

TP December 7, 2006 at 8:41 am

“SLU may not be Catholic anymore but it still sounds Jesuitical.”
That’s a rude thing to say.
I don’t see how anything I said was Jesuitical (unless that’s a compliment now; in that case, thank you).
I said that whether you think “Allah” and “God” (when used as proper names) refer to one and the same object depends on your theory of proper names.
Suppose you think that proper names are disguised definite descriptions (as Tim J. and Breier seem to think). Then, the question is whether you need all the desciptions right to refer to something or not. If you do, then plainly Muslims and Christians don’t use “Allah” and “God” (as proper names) to refer to the same thing. If you think that there are certain attributes that are vital for reference and others that aren’t, or that one needn’t have them all right, but just most, then there is room for the terms to co-refer.
Suppose you don’t think that names are disguised definite descriptions. Then, the question of consensus on divine attributes is irrelevant to the question of whether Muslims(using “Allah”) refer to the same thing as Christians (using “God”). Rather, the question is whether the initial naming action performed to set the proper name “God” was performed on the same thing that the initial naming action that set the proper name “Allah” was.
The question of whether “Allah” and “God” refer to the same thing requires a theory of proper names. Pointing that out doesn’t seem, to me at least, to be an act of sophistry or casuistry.

SDG December 7, 2006 at 8:44 am

If you omit any one divine attribute, particularly a supernatural attribute, have you not denied God?

It seems more reasonable to me to say that if you consciously deny any divine attribute, you’ve denied God and are praying to “nothing.” Just as a man who turned his back on a man and talked to a wall is talking to the wall, not the man.

How about God’s simplicity? If someone thinks that the philosophical formulations of God’s simplicity are a crock, and in fact that they contradict the Trinity, does that mean when he prays to the Trinity he’s praying to nothing?
What if an Orthodox Christian denies the theology of the filoque? Granted, we’ve basically hashed that one out, but what if an Orthodox Christian unaware of what Nicaea II had taught and of the nuances of the discussion, regarded it as an error plain and simple to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son? Are his prayers addressed to nothing?

Inocencio December 7, 2006 at 8:45 am

Tim J.,
Exactly unless we hear the Church we reject Christ.
And if our brother sins against us, we follow Christ’s instruction to take it to the Church.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Maureen December 7, 2006 at 8:51 am

Re: paper delivery
There are people from other cities who take the New York Times, the WaPo, and (more to the point for a millionaire) the Wall Street Journal. Obviously, Gotham has a lot of fans of The Daily Planet. (Or Bruce is secretly subsidizing Jimmy’s paperboy career.)
Re: talking to God
The corollary to Jimmy’s theory is that we better be darned careful about saying that other religious faiths don’t really pray to God. I mean, if I’m thinking, “I want to talk to the Christian God but not the Muslim one,” I’m in deep kryptonite if God keeps a fatherly ear out for Muslims’ prayers. As He probably does.
Furthermore, none of us know anything about God except what God has revealed to us, and logical extensions thereof. Do we really want to theorize that God doesn’t hear the prayers of the ignorant and honestly mistaken?
I know I don’t, because I can only guess what important things I don’t know about God. I cling to His goodness and love, so I dare not deny it to others.
Judge not if you don’t want to be judged.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 8:56 am

Additionally, I find that the best way to deal with this question is to recognise that Islam was considered a heresy of Catholicism. So at the very best, we have to say that the Muslim understanding of Allah is a corrupted understanding of the True God.
Lurker#59:
Lutheranism was also considered a heresy by the Church, but do they actually worship a different God?

Esau December 7, 2006 at 8:58 am

Jesus said,
“You are either with Me or against Me”.He is referring to Himself as the third Person of the Holy Trinity.
If one does not accept Christ and everything He says then one is against God.
Since the Incarnation, the Jewish people have rejected Jesus,therefore God is rejected.
“No one comes to the Father accept through Me”
In Hoc Signo.

Jews don’t except Christ; does that mean they’re against God?
Mind you, they are the chosen people of God.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 8:59 am

CORRIGENDUM:
Jews don’t accept Christ; does that mean they’re against God?

Tim J. December 7, 2006 at 9:01 am

“Exactly unless we hear the Church we reject Christ.”
I’m not sure what you mean. Are you agreeing with me, or disagreeing?
All I’m saying is, the rejection of some distorted image of Christ would not necessarily mean that one had truly rejected Christ himself, or would at least reduce the culpability for such an act.

NewTrollObserver December 7, 2006 at 9:02 am

Two points regarding the Muslims and the Jews. (I’ll leave the Dharmic traditions for a later date.)
The CCC does say that Muslims “profess” to believe in Abraham’s divine encounter, but it also goes beyond that mere observation, stating the Muslims also, along with Christians, actually do “adore” (and not merely “profess” to adore) True Divinity. To wit:
841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”
Judaism in general consciously rejects the Trinity (just read Maimonides). However, Kabbalah has a less hostile reaction against the Trinity, since the Trinity could be seen as one particular mystical (experientially-based) understanding of God’s manifestations.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 9:12 am

But how do I know you’re the REAL Jimmy, and not – say – Mystique in Jimmy Akin form?
That’s just it; it’s not Jimmy Akin, it is James Akin!

Inocencio December 7, 2006 at 9:14 am

Tim J.,
I agree with you.
There will be a host of different personal opinions on this subject and I want to take it to the Church.
Since any quote of Sacred Scripture can be taken out of context we need to hear those who our Blessed Lord gave His authority.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Jeff December 7, 2006 at 9:17 am

Breier:
“All powerful” is part of the DEFINITION of God in Reason. It’s hard to know who or what you would be praying to without it. Though, I suppose, you could hold some weird theory about God having voluntarily given up his power or something…
“Trinity” is something revealed by God in FAITH. If you had to believe in the Trinity even to recognize God at all, that would mean you had to already have Christian Faith to do so.
One can arrive by reason alone, without any faith, at the conclusion that there is a God who created the universe. And one can act as his creature. Thus St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans.
And, thus the First Vatican Council. God remains apprehensible to the unaided reason.
Saying that you have to believe in the Trinity in order to pray to God sounds uncomfortably close to denying that God can be known through reason alone. Which is a heresy.
Allahu akbar, folks!

Esau December 7, 2006 at 9:21 am

I believe the following from the Great John Paul II would be appropriate:

MUHAMMAD?
A very different discussion, obviously, is the one that leads us to the synagogues and mosques, where those who worship the One God assemble.
Yes, certainly it is a different case when we come to these great monotheistic religions, beginning with Islam. In the Declaration Nostra Aetate we read: “The Church also has a high regard for the Muslims, who worship one God, living and subsistent, merciful and omnipotent, the Creator of heaven and earth” (Nostra Aetate 3). As a result of their monotheism, believers in Allah are particularly close to us.
I remember an event from my youth. In the convent of the Church of Saint Mark in Florence, we were looking at the frescoes by Fra Angelico. At a certain point a man joined us who, after sharing his admiration for the work of this great religious artist, immediately added: “But nothing can compare to our magnificent Muslim monotheism.” His statement did not prevent us from continuing the visit and the conversation in a friendly tone. It was on that occasion that I got a kind of first taste of the dialogue between Christianity and Islam, which we have tried to develop systematically in the post-conciliar period.
Whoever knows the Old and New Testaments, and then reads the Koran, clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces Divine Revelation. It is impossible not to note the movement away from what God said about Himself, first in the Old Testament through the Prophets, and then finally in the New Testament through His Son. In Islam all the richness of God’s self-revelation, which constitutes the heritage of the Old and New Testaments, has definitely been set aside.
Some of the most beautiful names in the human language are given to the God of the Koran, but He is ultimately a God outside of the world, a God who is only Majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us. Islam is not a religion of redemption. There is no room for the Cross and the Resurrection. Jesus is mentioned, but only as a prophet who prepares for the last prophet, Muhammad. There is also mention of Mary, His Virgin Mother, but the tragedy of redemption is completely absent. For this reason not only the theology but also the anthropology of Islam is very distant from Christianity.
Nevertheless, the religiosity of Muslims deserves respect. It is impossible not to admire, for example, their fidelity to prayer. The image of believers in Allah who, without caring about time or place, fall to their knees and immerse themselves in prayer remains a model for all those who invoke the true God, in particular for those Christians who, having deserted their magnificent cathedrals, pray only a little or not at all.
The Council has also called for the Church to have a dialogue with followers of the “Prophet,” and the Church has proceeded to do so. We read in Nostra Aetate: “Even if over the course of centuries Christians and Muslims have had more than a few dissensions and quarrels, this sacred Council now urges all to forget the past and to work toward mutual understanding as well as toward the preservation and promotion of social justice, moral welfare, peace, and freedom for the benefit of all mankind” (Nostra Aetate 3).
From this point of view, as I have already mentioned, the meetings for prayer held at Assisi (especially that for peace in Bosnia, in 1993), certainly played a significant role. Also worthwhile were my meetings with the followers of Islam during my numerous apostolic trips to Africa and Asia, where sometimes, in a given country, the majority of the citizens were Muslims. Despite this, the Pope was welcomed with great hospitality and was listened to with similar graciousness.
The trip I made to Morocco at the invitation of King Hassan II can certainly be defined as a historic event. It was not simply a courtesy visit, but an event of a truly pastoral nature. The encounter with the young people at Casablanca Stadium (1985) was unforgettable. The openness of the young people to the Pope’s words was striking when he spoke of faith in the one God. It was certainly an unprecedented event.
Nevertheless, concrete difficulties are not lacking. In countries where fundamentalist movements come to power, human rights and the principle of religious freedom are unfortunately interpreted in a very one-sided way-religious freedom comes to mean freedom to impose on all citizens the “true religion.” In these countries the situation of Christians is sometimes terribly disturbing. Fundamentalist attitudes of this nature make reciprocal contacts very difficult. All the same, the Church remains always open to dialogue and cooperation.

guest December 7, 2006 at 9:22 am

End

Esau December 7, 2006 at 9:23 am

The preceding was from CROSSING THE THRESHOLD by Pope John Paul II.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 9:27 am

Once again, as His Holiness said:
Yes, certainly it is a different case when we come to these great monotheistic religions, beginning with Islam. In the Declaration Nostra Aetate we read: “The Church also has a high regard for the Muslims, who worship one God, living and subsistent, merciful and omnipotent, the Creator of heaven and earth” (Nostra Aetate 3).
As a result of their monotheism, believers in Allah are particularly close to us.

Tim J. December 7, 2006 at 9:28 am

Sorry, Innocencio.
Just brain fog.

DGS December 7, 2006 at 9:33 am

Jimmy,
I read faithfully and appreciate the time and thought you put into your posts.
When you are trying to get from Metropolis to Gotham do you always travels via Paris, Melbourne and Hong Kong? ;)

Rosemarie December 7, 2006 at 9:33 am

+J.M.J+
>>>In my mind the not unrelated question is what does a Christian do when invited to pray in a mosque. NPR trumpeted that Benedict XVI, “prayed to Mecca” while in Turkey.
He didn’t “pray to Mecca,” he closed his eyes, touched (held?) his pectoral cross and prayed to Our Father in Heaven. No prayer mat or prostrations or any other element of Muslim prayer. Regardless of whether you believe that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, the fact remains that the Pope prayed a Christian prayer to the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
BTW, Pope Gregory VII said back in A.D.1076 that Muslims and Christians “believe in the same God, albeit in a different manner”. So it’s not a new, “post-Vatican II” concept. Of course, even if Muslims do believe the same God as we do, that does not make Islam salvific or equal to Christianity. As Dominus Iesus explains:
“Certainly, the various religious traditions contain and offer religious elements which come from God, and which are part of what “the Spirit brings about in human hearts and in the history of peoples, in cultures, and religions”. Indeed, some prayers and rituals of the other religions may assume a role of preparation for the Gospel, in that they are occasions or pedagogical helps in which the human heart is prompted to be open to the action of God. One cannot attribute to these, however, a divine origin or an ex opere operato salvific efficacy, which is proper to the Christian sacraments. Furthermore, it cannot be overlooked that other rituals, insofar as they depend on superstitions or other errors (cf. 1 Cor 10:20-21), constitute an obstacle to salvation. (21)
So, although Islam may acknowedge the same Creator God we worship, its rites and worship are not the worship and homage God wants from mankind. He may deign to hear their prayers in their ignorance, but He wants them to become Catholic and participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
(FWIW, Muslims themselves apparently believe that Christians worship three gods – Allah, Jesus and Mary – so they themselves identify Allah with the One we know to be the First Person of the Trinity. The Koran exhorts Christians to worship Allah alone and “say not three;” IOW, ditch the other two and worship just the one.)
In Jesu et Maria,

arthur December 7, 2006 at 9:40 am

Jimmy, with regards to the aspects of Chameleon Boy you stated that:
In reality, I was talking to (a) an alien being, who will be (b) a resident of Metropolis and is (c) a native of the 30th century and (d) from the planet Durla, and (e) has no special wealth and (f) is a teenager and (g) possesses the power to change shape.
You are in error, specifically with regards to point E. Have you forgotten the Chameleon Boy is the son and eventual heir of Rene Brande, the galaxy’s wealthiest industrialist?
For shame, Jimmy, for shame. :)
–arthur

Esau December 7, 2006 at 9:43 am

ROSEMARIE:
Your statement:
FWIW, Muslims themselves apparently believe that Christians worship three gods – Allah, Jesus and Mary
is not accurate. They respect and honor Mary, but they do not consider her as god.
More precisely, look in the Quran, in Sura 9 verse 29 in the Quran, a very famous text where Mohammed has some words about Christians in particular. He says: ‘Fight against those who say that God is the Messiah, the Son of Mary and Fight against those who say God is one of Three.’
Of course, the 2nd part of that is incorrect. We don’t say ‘God is one of three’ as if there were 3 gods.
When you read the Quran, it’s obvious that Mohammed didn’t quite understand Christianity itself; here, he misrepresented what we really teach and so, in that respect, he was condemning what we don’t teach.
Mind you, the above is based merely on the English translation though. The Arabic has a far more incendiary message.

Jeff December 7, 2006 at 9:43 am

Rosemarie:
Volumes of tafsir (or “explanation”) on this verse about Allah, Jesus, and Mary typically acknowledge that this is not the Christian doctrine of the Trinity today. They speculate that there was a group of Christians at the time of the Quran who did believe in this “Trinity” or something of that nature.
Anyway, the point is that few if any Muslims believe that Christians worship a Trinity of Allah, Jesus, and Mary.

Truefaith December 7, 2006 at 9:45 am

Interesting comments, how about this thought: God looks into the soul, and hears prayers based on the ‘purity’ of intent. Only God has the capacity to look into the soul of any particular individual–and know whether or not that person is SEEKING to worship the true God–even if the person’s knowledge of Him is distorted (i.e, the Moslems, the Jews, etc.) It seems that if one has a ‘pure intention’ to worship the true God, then humility in the individual would be present, thus opening the way for grace to become operative. God in His mercy would then give more supernatural ‘light’ to the soul, thus drawing them ever closer to a truer understanding of God as Trinity, yet at each step, the individual has the responsibility to accept or reject the ‘light’ that they’ve been given. I don’t think one can definitively say that EVERY Moslem is praying to the true God–some may have that ‘purity’ of intent, but only God can know ultimately.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 9:49 am

Assalamu ‘alaykum!
Again, about Mary, according to Islam, Mary is highly regarded and revered as a mother of one of God’s prophets, Jesus; not a god!

Esau December 7, 2006 at 9:53 am

Is Fr. Mitch Pacwa here, by any chance?
Someone’s got to give us a more accurate picture of Islam then what’s being mentioned here.
Who better than Fr. Pacwa who knows Arabic fluently and the Islam religion personally!?!

Rosemarie December 7, 2006 at 10:04 am

+J.M.J+
Well, I have read a few Muslims who believe that Christians either do or did worship Allah, Jesus and Mary. Maybe some of the more educated ones get it right, though.
True, they don’t consider Mary to be a god any more than we do. Perhaps I should have said they believe that we worship three “as gods” or as though they all were gods, since some Muslims still do believe that Christians are tritheists.
In Jesu et Maria,

AnonnyMouse December 7, 2006 at 10:05 am

It reminds me of St. Paul’s address to the people who (or is it whom?) were worshipping an “unknown God” and I say that because they (Islams) have part of it right.
Esau, I like the fact that Fr. Pacwa mentions that do not forget the Koran has 2 sections, like the OT and NT and the second one commands that all not converting to Islam can/should be killed.
I lived in Saudi Arabia for about 3 years and every Friday, their holy day, they would preach against Americans, christians etc. So it is understood, that all they have to receive is the word from their leader, and presto, they can kill us (christians, americans, etc). The reason I know this is that their “homily” is brodcasted on a loudspeaker and there is a mosque practically on every corner.
That said, the Pope is very wise to find common grounds for discussion with them.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 10:08 am

Well, I have read a few Muslims who believe that Christians either do or did worship Allah, Jesus and Mary. Maybe some of the more educated ones get it right, though.
True, they don’t consider Mary to be a god any more than we do. Perhaps I should have said they believe that we worship three “as gods” or as though they all were gods, since some Muslims still do believe that Christians are tritheists.

Don’t even give it a 2nd thought, Rosemarie!
It was a silly attempt at generating controversy so early in the morning given some interesting episodes in this here blog of Jimmy’s for the past week. ;^)
God bless!

SDG December 7, 2006 at 10:15 am

Esau: Did you read Rosemarie’s original comment correctly? She didn’t say that Muslims worship Mary. She said that (so she has heard) Muslims believe that Christians worship Mary.

Angus McWasp December 7, 2006 at 10:18 am

WAIT a minute, Jimmy! “Nice” DOES mean “Ignorant.”
At least it appears a number of smart people on this thread THINK it does.

Rosemarie December 7, 2006 at 10:23 am

+J.M.J+
>>>It reminds me of St. Paul’s address to the people who (or is it whom?) were worshipping an “unknown God” and I say that because they (Islams) have part of it right.
That passage is very pertinent to this discussion, since St. Paul told the Athenians, “What therefore you worship, without knowing it, that I preach to you” (Acts 17:23). This introduces the idea that men can offer natural worship their Creator though they are ignorant of His true nature.
Our Lord makes a similar point when He tells the Samaritan woman, “You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know; for salvation is of the Jews” (St. John 4:22). We could well say that Muslims also “adore what they know not”. Of course, as I stated above, this does not make Islam a true religion, just a manmade religion which contains some truths (all taken from Judaism and Christianity) along with many falsehoods.
In Jesu et Maria,

Anonymous December 7, 2006 at 10:23 am

Just a nice little fact that you may be interested in also,
We could buy in Saudi, Madonna’s or Mary medals (18 ct gold) and crosses but to buy crucifixes were hard and dangerous.
You might ask WHY on earth would you search for something like this in a country like Saudi?
Dirt cheap prices of gold.
(sorry for any misspelled words :0)

Esau December 7, 2006 at 10:24 am

Esau, I like the fact that Fr. Pacwa mentions that do not forget the Koran has 2 sections, like the OT and NT and the second one commands that all not converting to Islam can/should be killed.
AnonnyMouse:
Actually, a good point to bring up is that they do have the the first five books of the Bible, as far as what I have been told.
I believe that Fr. Pacwa also had alluded to this in one of the EWTN Threshold of Hope episodes, but it was a long time ago.

AnonnyMouse December 7, 2006 at 10:25 am

Amen Rosemarie.

AnonnyMouse December 7, 2006 at 10:28 am

The message about buying gold in Saudi was from me. Don’t know where my signature went.

NewTrollObserver December 7, 2006 at 10:30 am

How much of the Quranic criticism of Christian ‘worship’ of three divinities dependent upon Islamic conceptions of what it means ‘to worship’?
If certain Muslims identify ‘worship’ with ‘prayer directed to’, then, of course, Christians ‘worship’ Divinity, as well as the saints. In this context, Christians would suffer the same criticisms made against Sufis.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 10:31 am

SDG:
Esau: Did you read Rosemarie’s original comment correctly? She didn’t say that Muslims worship Mary. She said that (so she has heard) Muslims believe that Christians worship Mary.
I think you may have overlooked my last reply to Rosemarie.
It was just me being silly. My bad. ;^)

Michael December 7, 2006 at 10:39 am

Bruce Wayne is Batman?

Esau December 7, 2006 at 10:46 am

…the second one commands that all not converting to Islam can/should be killed.
AnonnyMouse:
Actually, AnonnyMouse, you bring up another interesting point here.
There is this certain requirement in the Quran that says:
“Fight against those who say that God is the Messiah, the Son of Mary and Fight against those who say God is Three.” (Sura 9 verse 29)
Now, some Muslims would say these verses don’t apply today and to those Muslims I say, “More power to you!”. We need more of the Muslim community convinced that those verses don’t apply today.
But, what the verses say in English is that non-believers are to be killed BUT there’s an exception for those who convert AND there is an exception for people of the book and that would include Christians and Jews and a few other groups who are willing to live in servitude or – well, that’s not quite the right word – who are willing to live in a status in Muslim society that is called Dhimmi.
DHIMMI are non-muslims who are typically Christians or Jews and a few others who are living in a Muslim society and are allowed to, at least, privately practice their own faith without being killed BUT they have to pay special taxes that Muslims don’t have to pay AND they have to assume the status of 2nd Class citizens AND also in the directive to subject non-believers to Muslim rule it includes an exhortation to make them feel thoroughly subdued and so they have to be in a rather abject condition.
Now, that’s what it said but in practice it wasn’t followed a lot of the time.
Even people of the book (Christians, Jews) were given a convert or die choice.
Further, when you look at the original Arabic of Sura 9 verse 29, the language is much stronger than it is rendered in the English translation. It doesn’t just say fight against them; it says kill them.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 10:56 am

NewTrollObserver:
Christians ‘worship’ Divinity, as well as the saints. In this context, Christians would suffer the same criticisms made against Sufis.
Do you think when I say: “I love ice cream”, that the word “love” there actually denotes the same kind of love I have for my family? for my country? for God?
More to the point, you need to expand your vocabulary and grasp the meaning of such words as latria, dulia, and hyperdulia.
Latria is the adoration due only to God. This is what we do when we worship and pray to God.
Dulia is the respect and honor given to angels and saints. This is what we do when we pray and give honor to the saints and angels.
Hyperdulia is a higher respect and honor given to Mary. This is because Mary was specially chosen by God the father to be the mother of His Son, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This is the due respect we pay to Mary when we venerate and pray to her.

Matt December 7, 2006 at 11:05 am

I too have an imperfect understanding of Him due to a) my finite mind and b) my imperfect soul. I think that the same goes for everyone, no?
Yet I pray to Him.
I agree with Truefaith.
“God looks into the soul, and hears prayers based on the ‘purity’ of intent.”

Nutcrazical December 7, 2006 at 11:12 am

What about Allah not being bound by reason (he’s not bound by anything at all), when God certainly is?

Jeff December 7, 2006 at 11:13 am

What Christ revealed is not just some doctrine of a Trinity, but the true doctrine of the Trinity.
Most educated Catholics don’t even understand it, but accept some ersatz version. I have encountered numberless errors in descriptions of the Triune God from the lips and keyboards of intelligent Catholics. Three separate persons is one of the common one.
A cursory read through the Quicumque Vult will show forth many a pitfall for the unwary Catholic.
So…are those of us with a mistaken idea of the Trinity not worshipping the One, True God? Or children who don’t get the philosophical fine points…what about them?
I think this idea of only Trinitarians worshipping God is impossible.

Seamus December 7, 2006 at 11:14 am

“All powerful” is part of the DEFINITION of God in Reason. It’s hard to know who or what you would be praying to without it. Though, I suppose, you could hold some weird theory about God having voluntarily given up his power or something…
IIRC, the rabbi who wrote Why Bad Things Happen to Good People “solved” the perennial problem of how one can reconcile God’s goodness with his omnipotence by concluding that God wasn’t omnipotent after all.

Seamus December 7, 2006 at 11:17 am

As for Jews, they don’t have a denial of the Trinity or Christ’s sonship as part of their Creed. Their state seems analagous to the state of the people in Old Testament.
Well, Christian Scientists pretty explicitly deny the Trinity. (They hold that Jesus was God’s Son, but only in a way not fundamentally different from the way any of us can be sons of God.) If your argument is that Jews worship God but Moslems don’t, you’d have to conclude that Christian Scientists don’t, either, which strikes me as absurd.

Seamus December 7, 2006 at 11:31 am

Also, I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that Jews are in the same position now as they were before the Incarnation. After the rise of Christianity, Jews were faced with a pretty clear choice whether to accept the claims of Christianity regarding Jesus or to reject them. Those Jews who accepted them (together with those gentiles who also accepted the good news) became the nucleus of the Church; those who rejected them became the nucleus of what we now call Judaism. The situation of Jews today, who have implicitly considered and rejected the Christian claims regarding Our Lord, is not at all analogous to that of those for whom the question never arose. (Similarly, Eastern Orthodox who have considered and rejected Catholic claims of papal primacy and infallibility are in a fundamentally different position from bishops in Eastern sees in the days before those issues were consciously addressed.)
Besides which, the Catholic Church may not have included a rejection of Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Monothelitism, or Eutychianism in the Creed, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a firm belief about the number of persons, natures, and wills in Christ, so that modern-day Nestorians, Monophysites, Monothelites, and Eutychians (if there are any of them left) stand in a fundamentally different position than Christians in the first couple of centuries of the Church, who didn’t think much about the question one way or the other, or if they did came to conclusions different from those held by the Church today.

Josh December 7, 2006 at 11:38 am

Do language historians know what word Arabic Christians used for God prior to the 7th century?
Allah, which is simply the word for ‘god’. Allah is cognate with the the Hebrew word El, which is the Semitic word for God. In the OT God is referred to by several names/words, but Elohim (a plural form of El) is one of the most common, and is cognate with Allah. Aramaic/Syriac-speaking Jews and Christians refer to God as Alaha, which is also clearly cognate with Allah.

Paul December 7, 2006 at 11:50 am

I certainly think or write as articulately as some of the frequent posters here (and certainly less eloquent than our gracious blog host), but it seems the question has been somewhat confused.
Is it not two substantially different questions to ask the following:
Do we believe in the same God?
Do we pray to the same God?
To follow on from Jimmy’s analogy. Take someone who does not believe that Batman exists. This person passes Bruce Wayne at a party and says, “Hi!”. Well, He just spoke to Batman without believing he even existed.
Likewise take someone who is Hindu or follows a radically different theological concept than Christianity. That person’s prayers are offered to and heard by the one, true God. We know this, because 1) they are not heard by the non-existent god or gods that they are appearantly directed to and 2) God hears all of us and responds with our best interest in mind.
That said, clear statements from the Church already sampled by previous commenters have stated that Jews and Muslims basic theological structure is such that they BELIEVE in that same God as Christians.
I think the case would be different for someone who was a monotheist, but believe that God was evil.

Breier December 7, 2006 at 12:10 pm

Jeff,
You’re chasing a strawman. No one is saying only Trinitarians worship God. That would have prevented the Jews in the Old Testament from worshipping God, which is absurd.
Of course people who only worship the God known by reason are worshiping God.
The question is about those who go beyond reason and DENY a truth about god known by FAITH.
However, this whole question is semantic, since it begs the question about what we mean by “Worshiping God.” or by “the same” when applied to self-subsistent being. All the rest is squabbling about nominal definitions. Of course Muslims are monotheists, and yes their attributes of Allah have a lot in common with De Deo Uno.
I think your raising of the natural attributes of God is useful. Though the Pope’s remarks about the conflict between faith and reason in Islam raises the question of how totally applicable that is.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 12:10 pm

Someone help me out here since I haven’t read C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series since I was in elementary school a long, long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far, far away, but wasn’t one of the enemies (who happened to convert in the end?) in the final book, The Last Battle, was told that although he wasn’t for Aslan per se, but that, regardless, he was actually for him given the spirit of his intentions and the morals he lived out?
Since my recollections of this happen to be rather very, very, very vague given the length of time since I last read it very early on in my youth, I’d appreciate someone clarifying on this point.
God Bless!

Breier December 7, 2006 at 12:20 pm

On a more fundamental level, this is sounding so intellectual. Doesn’t faith play a fundamental role in worship? The material heretic about the Trinity still has the true faith, and which I might think gives some direction to his prayers. One might think of the prayers of the believing Catholic like a Tomohawk missile, and that of the Muslim like a Scud.
I don’t think we can say that faith is requird for worship, but it seems to me that more fundamental denials about God do aptly raise the requestion of what you are worshipping.
Example:
Someone who worships a God who “changes” and “evolves.” Meet process theology. Are they talking of God, or have they destroyed the idea of God?
As long as Muslim worships the natural God of reason (how deistic!), he no doubt worships God. But if that idea of God has become warped into a non-reality, how much warping before we’re no longer talking about the same thing?
Does the pantheist worship the same God? Surely he calls it “God.”
So the question is, why is omnipotence or omniscience so essential for being “the same God,” but the Trinity isn’t?
The only think I can think of is that all those attributes refer to the divine nature, knowable by reason, whereas the Trinity of persons refers to mysterious relations known only by faith.
But is it not possible for a false faith to give its own revelation about “God” that distorts his image beyond recognition? One thinks of Mormonism. Would you agree that they don’t worship the same God as us, much as they profess to?
As long as you worship the all-merciful, fair enough. But when you thank Allah for casting his wrath on the Christians; is that a prayer to a God or a devil? Let’s not forget that Mohammed was afraid about demonic influence when he received the Koran.

Kasia December 7, 2006 at 12:29 pm

Esau,
I love the Chronicles of Narnia! I know exactly what you mean. The young Calormene – I want to say his name was Eman or Emad or something – who ended up in Heaven with Lucy and Tirian and Jill and Eustace and…
The gist was, Aslan told him that whenever he swore an oath by Tash and kept it, he kept that oath by Aslan; anyone who swore an oath by Aslan and broke it did it by Tash. In other words, even though the man thought he was honoring Tash with his piety, since his motives were pure and good (he only intended to worship the True God, and was simply misinformed as to which one it was), he was in fact honoring Aslan.

Anonymous December 7, 2006 at 12:29 pm

Back to first principles. What is the philosophic definition of “the same?” One wishes there was a Summa article on this. We keep talking about the “the same” without having a definition. It’s rather maddening.

Megan December 7, 2006 at 12:43 pm

I thought the original question was whether the Muslim Allah is the same as the Christian God. Therefore it does not matter to whom one person prays; prayer to a God or an idol or misperception does not equate belief in the Truth, nor eternal salvation.

Anonymous December 7, 2006 at 1:09 pm

Do the Jesus Seminar and the orthodox Catholic believe in the “same Jesus”?
The Pope has been arguing against a divison between the “Jesus of faith” and the “Jesus of history.” In his new book he argues that the Jesus of history and the Jesus of the Gospels are the SAME. Presumably, referring to a man called Jesus who lived, what we know by reason, is not enough to call him the same Jesus. There has to be no divide between the faith and the reason. Of course, we can still talk about “Jesus” in common, but he’s not the same Jesus!
So Muslims and Christians talk about God. They both believe that only one God existst. But because of profound difference in what they mean they do not believe in the same God! There is someone in common by what they mean by God, but much that differs.
Mohammed is the prophet of Allah, but if in reality Mohammed is the prophet of a demon who gave him revelation and falsely claimed divinity, when Mohammed worshiped did he worship God, or a devil?
Did he not corrupt the Trinity of the triune God, and turn aside to worship something else?
Another example:
If the devil appears as a false apparation of Jesus and poor soul worships him; is he worshiping God or the Devil?

Esau December 7, 2006 at 1:23 pm

KASIA, MY DEAREST LOVE, GOD BLESS YOU ! ! ! !
I LOVE A GAL WHO LOVES THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA! ! ! ;^)
(…just don’t tell your boyfriend I said that, though!)
The below which you just posted is definitely that which I was searching for and referring to as regards that final book in the Chronicles of Narnia Series, The Last Battle:
Esau,
I love the Chronicles of Narnia! I know exactly what you mean. The young Calormene – I want to say his name was Eman or Emad or something – who ended up in Heaven with Lucy and Tirian and Jill and Eustace and…
The gist was, Aslan told him that whenever he swore an oath by Tash and kept it, he kept that oath by Aslan; anyone who swore an oath by Aslan and broke it did it by Tash. In other words, even though the man thought he was honoring Tash with his piety, since his motives were pure and good (he only intended to worship the True God, and was simply misinformed as to which one it was), he was in fact honoring Aslan.

Further, it is something that I am often reminded of whenever I read the following from Lumen Gentium:
16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*) In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(125) On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.(126);
But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.
Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128)
Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*)
Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*) She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life.

NewTrollObserver December 7, 2006 at 1:25 pm

Esau,
Yes, but does the typical Muslim think in terms of distinguishing the differences among latria, dulia, and hyperdulia? (Or does the typical Protestant, for that matter?)
For some people, if you pray to someone, bow to someone, or meditation/contemplate on someone; then for them that means you are engaged in ‘worship’ (of the highest kind) of that someone.

Anonymous December 7, 2006 at 1:29 pm

“yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father nor me.”
Could not this be aptly said of Al-Queda?
If the God’s of the Gentiles are demons, says the psalm, can’t that also be true in a monotheistic reality? Will the worshipers of antichrist be worshiping Christ? We talk in terms of abstractions, as if Islam was a theology class gone haywire. But what if the origin of those errors in theology are from the fallen angels? Does the origin of an error have any bearing on its cult?

Mary Kay December 7, 2006 at 1:35 pm

Esau, you know you really need to do something about that shyness of yours and tell us what you really think about the Chronicles of Narnia. ;-)
Jimmy, thanks a lot. I had this question filed away as “Thought Out” and now I’ve got to re-think it.

Breier December 7, 2006 at 1:40 pm

Esau,
A better quote is from Nostra Aetate. But in the end, this is just semantic debate. Noone hear believes Christian and Muslim conceptions of God, including both his inner life and divine decrees, or the contents of their respective revelations, are identical. And when people say the two aren’t the same, that’s all they’re asserting. Anyhow, enjoy:
“The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.”

Esau December 7, 2006 at 1:47 pm

Esau, you know you really need to do something about that shyness of yours and tell us what you really think about the Chronicles of Narnia. ;-)
Sure, my beloved Mary Kay! =^)
The Chronicles of Narnia are nothing but a product of ECUMANIA and the renderings of a false faith, saying that all men are saved!
This is outrageous and should be condemned!
It is nothing but a JP II invention and, therefore, is shameful!
How misleading can a series of books be to its flock! It is like saying to your children “I dont have any problem with you reading about lions and talking animals, just dont go out to meet them!” ;^)
[ sorry... I couldn't help it! ;^) ]

Maureen December 7, 2006 at 2:00 pm

The young man’s name was Emeth. (Which I believe means “Truth”.)

Esau December 7, 2006 at 2:01 pm

Breier:
Regarding your post:
A better quote is from Nostra Aetate. But in the end, this is just semantic debate. Noone hear believes Christian and Muslim conceptions of God, including both his inner life and divine decrees, or the contents of their respective revelations, are identical. And when people say the two aren’t the same, that’s all they’re asserting.
Actually, in my reply to Kasia, I was referring to the aspect in Lumen Gentium as it regards the possible salvation of even non-Catholics and attempting a parallel with this and that of the young Calormene (?) who ended up being saved in the end, though he, himself, was not originally a believer in Aslan (he believed in Tash) who is the allegorical figure for Christ.
As Kasia mentioned of the young Calormene who was ultimately saved:
…his motives were pure and good (he only intended to worship the True God, and was simply misinformed as to which one it was), he was in fact honoring Aslan.

Esau December 7, 2006 at 2:11 pm

The young man’s name was Emeth. (Which I believe means “Truth”.)
Thanks, Maureen!

Lurker #59 December 7, 2006 at 3:45 pm

——————
Lurker#59:
Lutheranism was also considered a heresy by the Church, but do they actually worship a different God?
Posted by: Esau
——————-
A heresy is a distortion of the truth. To what degree does a distortion produce an object that is no longer equivalent with the undistorted object? That is the real question that is underlying our whole discussion here.
Those who say Allah = YHWH say that the distortion in Islam is not great enough to make Allah ≠ YHWH.
Now this is important, the CCC and elsewhere do not use any language that says that the Muslim conception of Allah = YHWH, what is said is that “they worship the Creator”.
So the question that needs to be asked is, does the Church mean
1. the worship of Muslims is received by the Creator
OR
2. The specific worship of the Muslim Allah is synonymous with worshiping the Creator.
#2 is unlikely because we cannot say that a Catholic is allows to worship the Muslim Allah. In fact, the Catholic is specifically forbidden to worship as such by Vat 2 (cf. UR etc.)
Now #1 does not affirm that Allah = YHWH or ≠. It simply says that when Muslims worship, their worship ends up being directed towards the Creator. This is the same as St. Paul saying to the Athenians that their altar to the unknown god is directed to YHWH.
We are still at an impasse about Allah = YHWH.
Consider this: In many religion you can find a high sky God being very similar in attributes to YHWH. Please see Carroll’s Founding of Christendom opening chapters for a good discussion. Are these high sky gods = YHWH? People are worshiping one single creator god, even if with other gods and other ideas thrown in.
As you can see, we have a similar situation as with the Muslims, though the sky Gods are distortions of the faith of Adam and Eve, and Islam is a distortion of Christianity.
So as those that worship the sky gods “profess to” but do not actually hold the faith of Adam and Eve, Muslims “profess to” but do not actually hold the faith of Abraham. So as the worshipers of the sky god worship one creator god, just as we do, so to do Muslims who worship “one merciful God, mankind’s judge”, just as we do.
But none of that means that Allah = YHWH.
The answer that I will give to this is what John 4 gives to the Samaritan woman: “You worship what you do not know, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” In other words, the Muslim conception of Allah is deficient and does not suffice for salvation or to be standing in the truth.
As for my studies, I cannot see how when one looks at the personal attributes and commands of Allah and compares them to YHWH, either the Jewish or the full revelation of Catholics, that they refer to the same being. That said, Islam is not my focus, rather comparative religion so perhaps I need to go deeper.
As for the Lutherans, Salvation is from the Jews. Return the Church where salvation is.

Some Day December 7, 2006 at 4:02 pm

I am inclined to believe that Muslims are pagans.
Just consider this, the Muslims if killed for their “faith” will recieve 77 virgins in heaven.
What other religions believe that happiness is found there? Pagans.
Even if God suspended his laws, it is just an ugly thing to do.
I mean please? If they are not Catholics, they are either Jews, heretics, schismatics, atheists or pagans.
What are they?
Omnes Dii Gentium Sum Demonae…”

Some Day December 7, 2006 at 4:09 pm

And I believe to see Truth in an errant way, is not Truth.
Ergo, God is the Truth, and to see Him in an another way other than what He is( not measure, perspective) is not Truth.
Especially when that is deliberate.
Ergo that which they worship is not God.
Truth has on perspective. It cannot be manipulated. It ceases to be Truth.
Now in heresy, it applies the same, when it is deleberate. To see Our Lord in a false way on purpose is not to worship Him but offend Him.

Some Day December 7, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Correct me if I am wrong,
but in the muslim calander month of Ramadan, they cannot eat during the day, but yes at night because Allah cannot see them right?

Kasia December 7, 2006 at 5:48 pm

OK, not that C.S. Lewis trumps Lumen Gentium or Nostra Aetate. However, since my intellectual contribution to this kind of conversation is limited to children’s stories with grown-up ideas thrown in… (grin)…
“‘…lo! in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like the ostrich, and his size was an elephant’s; his hair was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes, like gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world, even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert. Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc [king] of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him, for I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves, and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yes I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.’”
It looks to me (again, bearing in mind that this is Lewis distilling one argument in a major theological issue into terms children can understand) like Lewis is arguing that Allah and God are *not* one and the same. The Calormenes always seemed to me to be a pretty clear allegory to Muslims throughout the series. Of course, Tash could also be Satan…but then the rest of the Calormene metaphor makes no sense. In this case Emeth (thank you Maureen!) was saved, not because Tash and Aslan were the same entity, but because Emeth’s real desire was for Aslan – he just didn’t know it.
Sorry to drag the tenor of the conversation down, if I’ve done so…

Kasia December 7, 2006 at 5:51 pm

LOL Esau. Not to worry – your secret is safe with me and the other fifty people on this thread. :-) Believe it or not, because of my thoroughly secular upbringing, it took me until the end of Book 3 (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – I’m old school about my Narnia numbering) to clue in to the Jesus metaphor throughout the books?
With love from your Narnia-loving sister in Christ,

Anonymous December 7, 2006 at 6:12 pm

someday,
can a man or woman fast (not eating and drinking) for 24 hrs a day for the whole month?

Kasia December 7, 2006 at 6:31 pm

Yeah, I’m with the anonymous poster…that’s a new one on me, Some Day. Where’d you hear that?

John December 7, 2006 at 6:37 pm

Whosoever does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God”. – II St. Jn 1:9
The Baltimore Catechism (No. 3) states as follows:
Q. 1148. How do we offer God false worship?
A. We offer God false worship by rejecting the religion He has instituted and following one pleasing to ourselves, with a form of worship He has never authorized, approved or sanctioned.
Islam clearly comes under the notion of false worship that (objectively speaking) is not render to God.
Pope Leo XIII, affirms in his encyclical “Satis Cognitum”: “Nothing is more dangerous than the heretics who, while conserving almost all the remainder of the Church’s teaching intact, corrupt with a single word, like a drop of poison, the purity and the simplicity of the faith which we have received through tradition from God and through the Apostles.”
One can not have it both ways, Vatican II is clearly pastoral, as there are countless teachings that clearly counter the borderline heresy of Vatican II, JPII and now B16 whom I once admired

borneon December 7, 2006 at 7:21 pm

sorry, i was the anonymous poster – forgot to fill in the name

borneo December 7, 2006 at 7:29 pm

john, you kept saying B16 committed heresy by praying in the mosque. let me ask you, were you there when he prayed? did he prayed according to the Islamic religious rites? did he ever mentioned his belief in Mohammed as the last and greatest prophet as Muslims do? do you know how Muslims pray? did B16 did the same?
answer me tis question since it was not answered in the previous topic….is our awesome God not God enough to be present in a mosque to hear B16′s prayer?
you seem to know everything that B16 does including his thoughts, intentions etc…..do you have special powers that we don’t which you can willingly use to accuse B16 and even JPII with?

Francis DS December 7, 2006 at 7:50 pm

john, you kept saying B16 committed heresy by praying in the mosque.
Surprisingly, if one says that a Catholic commits a sin by praying in a mosque, then that person is actually rendering too much deference to Allah, who presumably owns the mosque.
Wake up! Allah doesn’t exist. He doesn’t own the mosque. Yahweh does. And Catholics can pray to Yahweh anywhere, anytime.
What better place to call on God than to invoke His name in a mosque and ask Him to deliver the people in this mosque from their mistaken beliefs.

Sailorette December 7, 2006 at 9:07 pm

Kasia, Esau, I read through most of this thread hoping someone would bring that up.
Narnia was the first series of books I read clear through. I think I cried at that part. I know it brought tears to my eyes this time.
Personally, I don’t believe Allah is God– because Allah is the Muslim god (=~= Tash), reguardless of both words meaning “diety” in their respective languages.
Because people are people,though, they’ve got that famous God-shaped hole in their hearts, and some folks who are worshiping Allah really are searching for the God of Mary, Abraham and B16. (not traditional, but clearish)
I see good kids who are “Wiccan” when they really just want to fill that hole. (Oh, and they’ve been poisoned to just about any organized religion– generally by their parents.)

John December 8, 2006 at 4:34 am

Rosemarie, Esau and Inocencio
For 1300 years Popes such as Pius V, XI in Mortalium Animos an Encyclical decreed by Pope Pius XI on January 6, 1928 where he sternly warned all to dismiss any talk of ecumenism for only in the universal Church founded by Christ are the Truths manifested and salvation possible (ENCYCLICAL ON RELIGIOUS UNITY – FROM POPE PIUS XI – January 6, 1928 ).
This contradicts the post-conciliar church which is attempting today with their ecumenical bent by compromising the Truths and Traditions that Pius XI sought to guard so carefully.
Councils and Saints have taught us that we are not to worship with these false faiths, that the Moslem God is not the Catholic God, and Ecumenism (as only defined and still not defined if one looks through the V2 Documents as it was meant for Christian unity but like everything else in V2 somehow hijacked by those like JPII to apply to Moslems, Hindus, American Indians, Buddhism, etc)-How can the church after Vatican II with Nostre Aetete as well as Gaudium et Spes indirectly through inference to the Holy Spirit that we all worship the same God which has already been taught. This makes this and all of Nostae Aetate and the documents as a whole suspect and pastoral. You so many times as do others throw a blurb that I have to accept all or none-but how can one accept as in the court of law if evidence is tainted, it is thrown out of court!
And do not forget that “Allah” is the Arabic word for “God”. Jewish and Christian translations have to refer to the God of the Bible as “Allah” because there is no other word in Arabic. The Koran claims that the angel Gabriel wrote down the words of the Koran and gave them to Mohammed.
Paul’s gospel is simple: Jesus Christ was crucified, dead, and buried. The third day He arose from the dead. He ascended into heaven. He is Lord, God, and our one and only Savior. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and He will directly rule the world forever.
Galatians 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Rosemarie December 8, 2006 at 5:22 am

+J.M.J+
John:
You’re right when you state that Islam is “false worship.” Yet false worship is offered to God, as your quote from the Baltimore Catechism says:
Q. 1148. How do we offer God false worship?
A. We offer God false worship(snip)

So your own argument has turned on you: if the Muslims offer false worship as defined in the Baltimore Catechism, then they offer that false worship to God.
Granted, it’s not the worship God wants, but it is directed toward Him and not some other non-existent deity.
>>>Pope Leo XIII, affirms in his encyclical “Satis Cognitum”:
“Satis Cognitum” is an encyclical “On the Unity of the Church” It’s about non-Catholic Christians – it has nothing to do with Islam! It doesn’t even contain the words Islam, Islamism, Mohammedanism, Muslims, etc.
Once again, you’re quoting documents without paying attention to what they actually say.
>>>Councils and Saints have taught us that we are not to worship with these false faiths, that the Moslem God is not the Catholic God
What ecumenical Council stated that “the Moslem God is not the Catholic God,” John? Please give a citation.
Above I cited Pope Gregory VII, who said back in A.D.1076 that Muslims and Christians “believe in the same God, albeit in a different manner”. Was Pope Gregory VII a post-Vatican II Masonically-influenced modernist and heretic who refused to take up his cross? I don’t think so.
(For those who may be new here, on past threads on this blog John has called JPII “a modernist and a heretic,” said he was “Masonically-influenced” and that he “refused to take up his cross.”)
That Muslims believe the same God as we do is not a new, post-Vatican II concept
>>>And do not forget that “Allah” is the Arabic word for “God”. Jewish and Christian translations have to refer to the God of the Bible as “Allah” because there is no other word in Arabic.
You’ve got it backwards. Arabic-speaking Christians were calling God “Allah” (literally “the God” – a contraction of “Al Illah”) long before Mohammed came along. I have Arabic-speaking Christian friends who will tell you that.
In Jesu et Maria,

John December 8, 2006 at 9:16 am

Rosemarie
Like most secularists, you are not completing the thought and taking only a snippet
The Baltimore Catechism (No. 3) states as follows:
Q. 1148. How do we offer God false worship?
A. We offer God false worship by rejecting the religion He has instituted and following one pleasing to ourselves, with a form of worship He has never authorized, approved or sanctioned.
Islam clearly comes under the notion of false worship that (objectively speaking) is not render to God.
So you by searching out for truths in these false faiths and a questionable Moslem “God” as Nostre Aetate tells us to do, is therefore offering false worship as we are the ONE TRUE FAITH. If our faith is the one and only truth, why do we need, as Vatican II and the councilar Popes advise us to do, to seek out truth in other faiths? It is heresy
The “God” the Moslems worship would not kill and destroy those that do not believe in the Koran,or the prophet Abraham, as the Koran itself says and teaches
Just by that fact alone, then we can not worship the same God as God does not do that
The Second Vatican Council’s teachings were primarily in the areas of religious liberty and false ecumenism. These were previously condemned by:
Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos (1832)
Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors (1864)
Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei (1865) and Libertas
Humana (1888)
Pope Pius XI in Quas Primas (1925) and Mortalium Animos (1928)
Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis (1943)
THEREFORE, the Second Vatican Council is to be rejected as a false council because it has erred in its teachings on faith and morals.

Esau December 8, 2006 at 9:24 am

Hi Kasia & Sailorette:
I think I may have confused the primary issue of this blog post by my inquiry into the Chronicles of Narnia.
When I had asked:

Someone help me out here since I haven’t read C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series since I was in elementary school a long, long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far, far away, but wasn’t one of the enemies (who happened to convert in the end?) in the final book, The Last Battle, was told that although he wasn’t for Aslan per se, but that, regardless, he was actually for him given the spirit of his intentions and the morals he lived out

It was an inquiry to serve a personal curiosity that revolved around another issue entirely, that is:
…the aspect in Lumen Gentium as it regards the possible salvation of even non-Catholics and attempting a parallel with this and that of the young Calormene (?) who ended up being saved in the end, though he, himself, was not originally a believer in Aslan (he believed in Tash) who is the allegorical figure for Christ.
The “possible salvation of even non-Catholics” was what I was driving at (granted, this is an entirely other topic altogether and, yes, I do acknowledge that in the book, Tash and Aslan are separate entities).
However, it was the “possible salvation of even non-Catholics” that I was interested in and the desire to draw a parallel between the message of Lumen Gentium and that of the young Calormene, which is why I found Kasia’s thought in her post appropriate to this given the fact that the young Calormene was ultimately saved because:
…his motives were pure and good (he only intended to worship the True God, and was simply misinformed as to which one it was), he was in fact honoring Aslan.
In the spirit of Lumen Gentium, this may be said in the end also of those pious and devoted persons out there in other religions who strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.
As St. Paul says in Romans 2:14-15:
14 For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these, having not the law, are a law to themselves.
15 Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them:

amihow December 8, 2006 at 9:30 am

For Catholics God is reason. Is he for Muslims?

Esau December 8, 2006 at 9:32 am

Kasia:
Believe it or not, because of my thoroughly secular upbringing, it took me until the end of Book 3 (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – I’m old school about my Narnia numbering) to clue in to the Jesus metaphor throughout the books?
What’s tragic is the fact that the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the first book neglected the theme of the Passion narrative which was clearly present in the C.S. Lewis book (at least, from what I remember), when Aslan was going up to the altar to sacrifice himself for the salvation of others.

guest December 8, 2006 at 9:34 am


What’s tragic is the fact that the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the first book neglected the theme of the Passion narrative which was clearly present in the C.S. Lewis book (at least, from what I remember), when Aslan was going up to the altar to sacrifice himself for the salvation of others.

Esau December 8, 2006 at 9:34 am

Italics Off

Tim Brandenburg December 8, 2006 at 10:20 am

John, I see you’re beating your hobby horse again. It must be nice tossing out an entire ecumenical counsel as non-authoritative. I imagine the Protestants feel the same way about Trent.

Alyssa December 8, 2006 at 12:51 pm

James Kushiner’s mere comments on this issue…”Cross Down, Crescent Up”:
http://merecomments.typepad.com/merecomments/2006/12/cross_down_cres.html
I’m always amused when subjects converge.
Cheers!
Alyssa

Alyssa December 8, 2006 at 12:51 pm

James Kushiner’s mere comments on this issue…”Cross Down, Crescent Up”:
http://merecomments.typepad.com/merecomments/2006/12/cross_down_cres.html
I’m always amused when subjects converge.
Cheers!
Alyssa

Some Day December 8, 2006 at 1:09 pm

I see plenty of muslims fast on Ramadan.
But they eat at night because Allah cannot see them.
Omnipotence anyone?

sdben5 December 8, 2006 at 1:35 pm

If the muslim god and christian god are the same, then that “god” is not a just god; therefore contradicting required characteristic #4.

Josh December 8, 2006 at 1:53 pm

John,
I don’t think the intention of Vatican II stating that there are elements of Truth in non-Catholic religions was to imply that non-Catholic religions can supply for some deficiency in the Catholic Faith, for there is no such deficiency since in the Catholic Faith is found the plenitude of true doctrine and salvific grace. There are some religious truths accessible to human reason apart from Divine Revelation, such as the existence of God, which are part and parcel of many religions. The purpose of recognizing truth, wherever it is found, is to permit people of faith to cooperate in a world ever more hostile to religious belief and practice.
Now, on one hand, it might well be good in the abstract to point out truthful beliefs in non-Catholic religions, but in practice, I personally think the ecumenical movement has served to feed indifferentism rather than seek true unity in the Truth, despite noble intentions.

MenTaLguY December 8, 2006 at 3:45 pm

But they eat at night because Allah cannot see them.

Um, no. It’s because eating between the dusk and dawn prayers during Ramadan is explicitly permitted, not because Muslims think they can “get away with it” when Allah isn’t looking.

MenTaLguY December 8, 2006 at 3:47 pm

(There are also explicit excemptions from the fast for those who are sick, pregnant/nursing, or travelling.)

Cajun Nick December 9, 2006 at 5:16 am

Where a term comes from does not determine its meaning. How it is used determines its meaning (otherwise the word “nice” would mean “ignorant” since it comes from the Latin word nescius)
I know that this is only tangential to the current blog topic, but I wanted to link to
a podcast
that Fr. Bryce Sibley made about the etymology of the word “nice.”
I can’t help getting a plug in for Fr. Sibley when I can. I love Jimmy’s blog, but I sure miss Fr. Sibley’s A Saintly Salmagundi and his podcasts.
I’ll end this post with two thoughts that I mentioned at Fr. Sibley’s site:
From Peter Kreeft’s The Philosophy of Tolkien. In the section on the Philosophy of Language, Kreeft writes:
“The words are not mere labels for concepts. Rather it is in the words that the things live and move and have their being; …”
Kreeft then quotes Martin Heidegger: “For this reason the misuse of language, in idle talk, in slogans and phrases, destroys our authentic relation to things.” (An Introduction to Metaphysics)

John December 9, 2006 at 6:05 am

Tim Brandenberg
I see that you and JPII and V2 (Ecumenism at least) and the current Popes must be so much more intelligent than Pope Gregory XVI, Pope Pius IX, Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII and countless saints and martyrs who denounced participating in worship with these false faiths.
I guess having a “Rottweiller of the faith” in Cardinal Ratzinger become Pope worship Allah, bow towards Mecca has turned out to be for many of us a poodle of the faith and leading so many more Catholics into believing they can pick and choose what they want to believe in as even those who reject our Lord as God can be saved as scripture, church teachings for centuries and martyrs who gave their lives have taught and died for otherwise
Tradition and teachings must never be compromised, morality never changes with time, and V2 compromised and the church has paid the price unfortunatly, but she will rebound as she has for centuries when a Pope like Pius X is born and through the grace of GOD restores all things in Christ

Mary Kay December 9, 2006 at 8:25 am

John, I so did not need to come to this site to listen to you once more trash the Pope and Vatican II.
Jimmy’s given you two warnings and you’ve mentioned that two other blogs thought your hobby horse was unacceptable. For most people, that would be a cue for some introspective self-examination.
However, even if you are unwilling to be self critical, why foist your views on others? People here have taken the time, a good amount of time, to attempt a discussion with you. Your invariable response is to trash the Pope and Vatican II. Why do you go out of your way to trash others?
You have your views. Fine. Go to your indult Tridentine Mass and be happy. Please stop the trashing.

Kasia December 9, 2006 at 8:30 am

Esau,
I know – I was deeply disappointed in the Chronicles of Narnia movie. I know I’m a bit of a purist on books being made into movies anyway – I go to, say, Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter expecting to see a faithful rendering of the book – but it especially disappointed me because the entire Christian message of the book was gone. And, incidentally, one of the defining moments for Peter’s character was completely REdefined – in the book he has to kill Fenris Ulf; in the movie, he simply drives his sword into the ice and lets Fenris be carried away and presumably drowned. It sounds like a small thing, but I think it reflects a larger tendency in Western culture now to divorce oneself from the consequences of one’s actions, and to decry violence even when it’s justified. In the book, Peter HAD to kill Fenris – he was there EXPLICITLY to kill the children, and Peter learned a hard lesson of his future kingship by doing what was probably unthinkable to him before that: driving a sword into the Wolf’s heart, in defense of himself and others. In the movie…that’s watered down to the point of being unrecognizable.
As to your point about Lumen Gentium and “those pious and devoted persons out there in other religions who strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience,” it’s interesting. I’m glad you’re fleshing it out some, because I haven’t thought a lot about the ins and outs of the implications of the argument. The answer, I think, is “Yes, but” – yes…but…I think the distinction that’s drawn in Lewis’ example is that it’s not just the dictates of one’s own conscience that matters; it’s the essentially moral or immoral nature of the act as well. If I sincerely believe that flying a plane full of civilians into the World Trade Center is God’s will, I don’t know that that makes it less of a fundamentally immoral act. I think Emeth’s character, alone (in what we see) of the unconverted-before-death Calormenes, is highlighted as someone who was ignorant of the Truth in its specifics (Aslan), but who lived a life in accordance with the Truth. Thus the “if any man do a cruelty in my name, it is Tash he serves” bit…Make any sense, what I’m trying to say?
And Some Day, to be more specific, Mentalguy has it right: Muslims fast during the day but are explicitly permitted to eat after dusk. They aren’t doing it because they can pull one over on Allah at night. (That’s like that episode of That ’70s Show, where Kelso is talking about how God sees you at all times, and Forman points out to Kelso that God could see him when he was cheating on Jackie, and Kelso says “Nuh-uh! That was in my van. God can’t see through metal,” but I digress.) Muslim theology DOES teach that Allah is omnipotent, and I’m not aware of any inconsistencies with orthodox Muslim practice on that particular issue. I was just wondering where you’d gotten the idea that eating at night during Ramadan is permitted because Allah can’t see them.
I don’t pretend to be well-versed enough to even begin to consider John’s points, but this is the first time I’ve heard someone accuse Rosemarie of being a “secularist.” It’s also the first time I’ve seen a “secularist” start a post in the names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I could show you some secularists…but we’ll leave that for another post. :-)

John December 9, 2006 at 9:38 am

Mary Kay
Do have a discussion on the ills of the church, the problems that are within and without-without talking about a Pope who for 26 years kissed korans and held worship with pagan faiths and a council that has caused division and a loss of faith is like going onto an medical blog and not discuss the ills of smoking, lead, cancer, overeating, etc
I think maybe you have a hobby horse that you need to leave, if you could then offer me a justified response in an intelligent debate, then that would quite nice instead of egging Jimmy to try and ban a countervoice to your and a few others liberal voices.
You are like the child on the playground who loses in a basketball time and time again and then says “thats it I am taking my ball home….Daddy (Jimmy A)tell the bully to stop!
So please respond to my post above and lets have an intelligent discussion

John December 9, 2006 at 9:44 am

Kasia
Your comment in defense of Rosemarie as you said ” i don’t pretend to be well-versed enough to even begin to consider John’s points, but this is the first time I’ve heard someone accuse Rosemarie of being a “secularist.” It’s also the first time I’ve seen a “secularist” start a post in the names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I could show you some secularists…but we’ll leave that for another post. :-)
Kasia that is just that, the wolf in sheeps clothing that our Lord warned us about, oh they throw out a lot of nice religious verbiage, like the church does today, one day sound like the protector of tradition, while turning a blind eye to all the evils that are going on in their own house
My wife’s best friend married an ex Jesuit who always signed his letters “Yours in Christ” and was always spewing nice Catholic and religious words, well after 1 child and 4 years of marriage they are now divorcing and tales of abuse, verbal and physical, hatred for the church, his wife and threats of taking the child away back to Ireland all from someone who used such wonderful words
Actions speak-words mean nothing

bill912 December 9, 2006 at 10:41 am

I just checked my DVD of “The Chronicles of Narnia” to make sure my memory wasn’t playing tricks on me. In the movie, Peter *does* kill the wolf with his sword.

David B. December 9, 2006 at 10:46 am

“Actions speak-words mean nothing”
Ah, so the words, “this is my body, this is my blood,” mean nothing?
And the Bible is pointless?

Mary Kay December 9, 2006 at 12:36 pm

John, at the moment, I don’t have the time to participate on topics of interest, much less respond to someone who has repeatedly demonstrated an inability and/or unwillingness to engage in a two way discussion.
I pointed out that you’ve been told more than once, by more than one person, that your posts violate the rules and suggested you might wonder if that’s more than co-incidence. Your response was to accuse me of “egging Jimmy into trying to ban” you.
Don’t deceive yourself that others are unwilling to hear a countervoice. There have been plenty of instances of disagreement without the accusations you’ve made today.
I wish Jimmy had an Ignore button.

Steve Golay December 9, 2006 at 12:54 pm

Ms. Bat Yeor may not be a welcomed reference on this site (do not visit often enough to know) but regarding the Allah question I encourage everyone here (including Mr. Akin) to read:
Her review of Mark Durie’s excellent book, “Revelation? Do We Worship the Same God?” Located: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NzYwMDNjZDRiMTRkODUyMTQ1ZWYwMjA4OWI3NjYwMTM=
Her address in Munich, Nov. 4, 2006. There, she brilliantly summarizes Islam’s understanding of Scripture and Jesus (located at http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/
Bat Ye’or: Europe and the Ambiguities of Multiculturalism
Here is an address given by Bat Ye’or, the pioneering scholar of dhimmitude, at Paul Gerhardt Church in Munich, Germany, at Christian Solidarity International’s 29th Annual Meeting, which was held from November 2 to November 4, 2006.
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is for me a great honour to be invited by CSI, an organization that has been so active on so many humanitarian fronts in order to denounce slavery, war crimes and genocide, and to alleviate human suffering. And I am thinking particularly of its struggle on behalf of human rights and dignity in Sudan since 1992, and CSI’s freeing over 80.000 Christian and other Sudanese slaves under the leadership of John Eibner and Gunnar Wielback.
The globalization of our world and the policies that have led to large-scale Muslim immigration, adopted by the European Community from 1973, has introduced into Europe conflictual situations and prejudices common in the Muslim world against non-Muslims that have been documented by Orientalists familiar with Islamic theology, law and history. But the politization of history initiated by Edward Said has obfuscated the root causes of Islam’s traditional hostility toward Jews and Christians from the seven century onward. Edward Said was a Christian raised in Egypt and educated in America; he taught English literature at Columbia University. A great admirer of Arafat and a member of the PLO’s top Committee, he endeavored to destroy the whole scientific accumulation of Orientalist knowledge of Islam and replace it with a culture of Western guilt and inferiority toward Muslims victims. The obliteration of the historical truth that he constantly pursued from 1978 – starting with his book Orientalism – as well as his hostility to Israel, has prevented an understanding and the resolution of problems that today assail Europe and challenge its own survival.
I will examine the relations between Islam and Christianity, Islam and Judaism, Judaism and Christianity and the tensions created by a Muslim immigration into a European Judeo-Christian civilization. I will speak of those issues in that order.
In the relationship between Islam and Christianity, we can examine both the theological and the political levels. The theological pillars of Islam are: the Koran which is Muhammad’s revelation; the Hadiths, a compilation of his acts and sayings which have a theological and normative value; and the early biographies written about him. According to these three sources, Islam sees itself as the primal and sole true religion. Islam is the pure religion of Adam and has preceded all others. The Koran uses biblical names like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus and others but they represent different people than those in the Bible – and all are considered to have been Muslim prophets who preached Islam. Jesus is also a Muslim prophet called Isa, endowed with a different life; he brought a book: the Gospel, in which he preached Islam. We have, in fact, a Jesus named Isa, a Muslim prophet, and Yeshua, the Jewish Jesus, “born in Bethlehem of Judea” (Matthew 2:1). According to several hadiths, Isa has a mission: at the end of time he will return to destroy Christianity and impose Islam as the sole religion over the whole world. These hadiths, often quoted in sermons, speak of him killing the pig, breaking the cross – which means destroying Christianity – and the hadiths continue: he will suppress the jizya or poll-tax and the booty will be boundless. The suppression of the jizya refers to the suppressions of all religion other than Islam. In the Islamic optic, what is Christianity? Christianity is a falsification of Islam and of the true message of Isa, which is the same as that revealed to Muhammad: Islam. It follows that a good Christian is a Muslim. True Christianity is therefore Islam.
And what about Muslim-Jewish relations? They are more complex but they follow the same pattern. When Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina, he found there large Jewish tribes well organized with their synagogues and scholars. On their festive days they assembled and studied the Bible. Pagan Arabs were jealous and complained that they were illiterate and ignorant and didn’t have a book like the Jews and the Christians. Hence, Muhammad proclaimed himself to be the prophet whom the Jews were awaiting, an Arab prophet sent with a revelation in Arabic given by Gabriel, which was the same as that revealed to the Jews and Christians. The discrepancies between the Koran and the Bible were noticed by the Jews. Muhammad answered by accusing the Jews of hiding the truth and by saying that their Bible was a later falsification of the Islamic revelation given to the Muslim prophets: Abraham, Jacobs, Moses, and all the others. The true Bible was the Koran. Since Jewish objections hampered his predication, Muhammad decided to get rid of the Jews of Medina. Some were expelled and their belongings confiscated and shared among Muhammad and his followers; others – from 600 to 900 males, according to Muslim sources – were beheaded and their wives and children enslaved. This is the origin of Islamic hatred and accusations against Jews. Muhammad’s various decisions against the Jews in Arabia also set the theological jihadic laws against Christians and other non-Muslims. Muslim law gives to Jews and Christians the same legal status. That means that, in Islam, Jews and Christians are treated identically as “the People of the Book” (ahl al-khitab). Christians, whatever their efforts to dissociate themselves from Jews or from Israel, are put into the same category of the Jews by Islamic law.
In short: Jews and Christians are left with what? The true Bible is the Koran, the Holy Scriptures of Jews and Christians are just falsifications, and all the biblical figures are Muslim prophets who preached Islam. In practice, what are the consequences?
1) Biblical narrative in the Holy Land is Muslim history, and Jews and Christians had no history there as they came after Islam. Their history and their sacred scriptures are in the Koran. This motivates Muslim opposition to the legitimacy of the State of Israel. The Bible is considered a travesty of Muslim history.
2) Because Judaism and Christianity originate from one unique trunk, which is Islam, these two religions are unrelated. It is false to assert that Christianity unfolded from Judaism. This is why the Islamized Churches in the Muslim world have developed a kind of Marcionism, abandoning the Jewish Jesus in order to link Christianity to the Palestinian Arab Muslim Isa. This trend which originated in the Palestinian and Arab Churches (Sabeel Centre in Bethlehem) is growing in Europe, supported by the antisemitic/anti-Zionist wave created by Palestinianism.
Palestinianism is the new European salvific theology created to help the Arabs destroy Israel, but which in fact is eating away at the roots of Christianity. Palestinianism teaches that if justice is granted to the Palestinians, suddenly the global jihad and the persecution of Christians in Muslim lands will disappear. “Justice for the Palestinians” in reality means the elimination of Israel. This elimination will bring peace to the world. Since 1973, this has become a joint Euro-Arab policy. The cultural and media war to delegitimize Israel accredits also the Muslim belief that Jews and, therefore, Christians have no historical roots in the Holy Land. Another consequence of Muslim replacement theology is that when we speak of Judeo-Christian values, we are in fact referring to Muslim values. And when we refer to biblical narratives and figures, or to their iconography, we offend Muslims because they do not fit in the koranic model.
Now let us see the political context. Since Muhammad was a prophet, a legislator and a war leader, legislation and politics are united in the service of the religious expansion and domination of Islam. The ultimate goal is to impose Islamic rule over the whole world. In this perspective, Muslim political doctrine divides the world into two eternal enemies: the land of Islam (dar al-Islam) and the land of war (dar al-harb) inhabited by the infidels which must – in the end – be conquered by Islam. Between them no peace is possible, but only temporary truces in case Muslims are too weak to conquer them. This is the doctrine of jihad which is a comprehensive legal system of war based on theology that regulates every aspect of Muslim behaviour toward non-Muslims. Jihad is a religious duty incumbent on Muslims, individually and collectively, and this is preached regularly by imams in sermons worlwide.
Jihad covers several fields: military actions, terrorism, abductions, ransoming, enslavement, and armistice conditions, the jihad by the pen – that is to say, propaganda – and the jihad of the hearts, which means corruption. Jihad has been waged for thirteen centuries against non-Muslims and huge geographical areas have been conquered and their population subdued, enslaved, deported or massacred. The non-Muslim population targeted by jihad is given a choice: conversion to Islam or the payment of a ransom to the Muslim authority and recognition of its sovereignty. If they refuse both they will face war. After a land has been conquered and its population accepts to submit and pay a tribute for its security this population becomes a dhimmi people. It is “protected” by a pact of submission, called the dhimma. Protected from what? From the jihad onslaught. Non-Muslims dhimmis are protected only as long as they pay the tribute, which is a poll-tax, and submit to oppressive and discriminatory shari’a regulations.
Islamic law covers the rights and obligations of dhimmis in great details. This has been the subject of my research. I call dhimmitude the Islamic system of governing the non-Muslim peoples subjected by jihad. This system is linked to jihad and like jihad it is a theological, political and legal institution. Dhimmitude is, in fact, the peaceful continuation of jihad because it is dhimmitude that destroyed the massive non-Muslim majorities that were conquered.
It is my opinion that we are now living in a period of reactivated jihad and dhimmitude. Those of you who have laboured in South Sudan and Darfur and have seen the atrocities there will recognize these legal tactics of jihad described in my books or in any Muslim texts on jihad. What is happening in Iraq evokes the events in the 8th century described in Mesopotamia by the Christian Syriac cleric Pseudo-Dyonisos of Tell Mahre, quoted in my study on The Decline of Eastern Christianity which is available here in a German edition. These events are confirmed at that same period by Armenian chronicles and by Egyptian priests describing Muslim internal feuds and atrocities in Egypt against dhimmis, or by Jews in Palestine, and with the passing centuries the chronicle of the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioche (in Syria), Michael the Syrian, that covers a period till the end of the 12 century. We have countless accounts on the devastation by the Arabs and Turks in Anatolia, in the Balkans, and all along the European Mediterranean coasts and islands.
Today, as in the past, jihadist terror is waged not only against Israel, Judaism, but also against the West, that is Christianity. Beheading the enemies of Islam, like the prophet did when he set a sacred model by beheading the Jews who refused to convert – was repeatedly done by jihadists during all the jihad conquests of Christian lands. Abducting infidels for ransom fills up countless historical accounts. Suppressing by terror all criticism by infidels of the Muslim religion or policy is mandated in the land of dhimmitude. Jihad and dhimmitude are the two forces that have eliminated the indigenous non-Muslim populations from their Islamized homeland. Jihad today is displayed in all its traditional manifestations: military and economic warfare, terror, abductions, corruption for the control of the Western media, the universities and public opinion.
Dhimmitude is applied now against non Muslims – mainly Christians – in most Muslim countries. Shari’a laws or laws inspired by shari’a discriminate against non-Muslims, mainly Christians, the Jews having fled or been expelled. Now it is the Christians – in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and elsewhere – who are leaving because in Islam anti-Jewish hate is always connected to anti-Christian hate and vice-versa as it grows from the same source. Hence, anti-Zionist European policies adopted in order to protect Europe and local Christians from Islamism is useless.
Why have we regressed to a situation all too common throughout history till the 19th century and in some countries, the 20th? It is my opinion that 1973 was the fatidic date when political decisions were made that would lead Europe along the path to dhimmitude. It was the period – after the Kippur War – when European independent states, threatened with PLO terrorism and an Arab oil boycott, accepted to submit and adapt their foreign policies to Arab and Palestinian political demands. This is when the European Palestinian appeasement policy began. Europe helped spread the new death cult: Palestinianism, which is the sacralisation and legitimisation of the jihad against Israel. For decades Europeans have been conditioned by Euro-Arab Palestinian propaganda and Israel’s demonisation. To achieve this end a whole culture of denial of historic jihad and dhimmitude has been conceived and propagated throughout Europe. The responsibility for terror and war was deliberately shifted from the jihad ideology to Israel’s right of existence. Palestinianism is just the modern continuation against the Jews of the jihad onslaught waged against Christianity for over a millennium.
By justifying the Palestinian jihad against Israel, Europe entered into a suicidal dynamic. The repudiation of Israel’s historical legitimacy and its replacement by a jihadist world order with its own Islamic conception of justice denies Europe’s own sovereignty and legitimacy. In the Islamic context, Palestinians incarnate jihadist ideology against infidels and Muslim replacement theology; whereas, in fact, Israel represents the liberation of the Jewish people from the yoke of dhimmitude. For decades the European Union has provided the Palestinians with the intellectual, cultural and media ammunitions against Israel. It was Arafat, the subsidised “mignon” of Europe, who invented modern international terrorism – including air piracy against Israel in 1968 – and created a culture of hate and a policy of chaos since September 2000 that have now become global. Europe’s alliance with the Palestinians and the Arab world against Israel and America was based on its own denial of jihad ideology. Because of this denial Europe encourage a large-scale Muslim immigration for economic and strategic interests. This is why Europe is today deeply submerged by an anti-American and anti-Zionist culture.
For Christians, Israel is central in this context, because jihad is waged in the name of Islamic replacement theology, whereby Isa replaces Yeshua or Jesus, and the Koran replaces the Gospel. Christians are linked to the Jews by the Bible. If Christians want to break from this bond, they will have to forego the First Testament, including the Ten Commandments, the Prophets, and the Psalms and somehow, link the Gospel to the Palestinian Muslim Isa of the Koran. This is the challenge that Christians are facing now. And this is the spiritual meaning of Israel for Christians now: either Christians will resist or they will convert and Europe will become one more Islamized Christian territory. The jihad against Israel is also a war against the Christian world.
It is my opinion that Europe has become the new land of dhimmitude and I will explain why. I have described in Eurabia, my last book, the causes that have triggered the dhimmitude of Europe. I will not develop this theme now but I will explain why politically and intellectually we have become dhimmis.
We accept to have our life continuously disturbed and threatened by the global jihad. From the moment the European Community, instead of fighting terror, submitted to the Palestinian threats, it lost the control over its own security. European policy with the Palestinians is a total failure because it was deliberately based on false assumptions and the denial that the PLO’s war against Israel was a jihad. Europe gave an unconditional support for Arafat, and paid billions of euros without any control to the Palestinian Authority. The result of European’s unilateral solicitude for the Palestinians has resulted in the election of Hamas, a terrorist jihadist movement. Europeans behave like dhimmis who have to pay tribute money for their security and the development of Muslim economies without even being thanked. Massive Muslim immigration, linked with the 56 Muslim countries weighs heavily on European policy. We have seen it during the Danish Cartoons Affair. According to Islamic law, dhimmis cannot criticise the Prophet or say that Islamic law has a defect without risking death. Hence, the Islamic blasphemy laws – even at the United Nations – have been imposed on us, and particularly on the Western media. The Islamists control the foreign, domestic and security policy of Europe through terror, the ongoing intifadas in France and the policy of chaos in the suburbs, jihadist-martyrdom bombings in Spain and England and persistent threats everywhere. It is such threats that keep the level of anti-Americanism and the hate against Israel so high in Europe.
The European policy of symbiosis with the Arab-Muslim world which I have described in Eurabia has set up a vast Euro-Arab demographic, political, economic and cultural zone encompassing immigration and multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is a crucial dimension of the Euro-Arab strategic alliance. Since 1975 the texts of Euro-Arab meetings and of the EU require the establishment of cultural and political Muslim centres in European cities. The problem is that Muslims and Europeans have contradictory views on their common history. Europeans consider jihad a barbarous war causing huge massacres and enslavement, while for Muslims jihad represents a peaceful progression of Islam. Dhimmitude is a dehumanizing system, but for Muslims it is a generous tolerance offered to non-Muslims. In order to accommodate the Muslims and their integration in Europe, European leaders have promoted the Islamic view of history. Therefore, they have justified and lauded the tolerance of dhimmitude, as for instance the Andalusian myth. For this reason, Europeans ignore totally what is jihad and what is dhimmitude. While we are currently living a period of jihad, and while Europeans are already conditioned to dhimmitude, they do not realise it because the historical framework has been obfuscated.
Cultural jihad with its antisemitic, anti-American and anti-Western characteristics develops within the context of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism thus becomes the instrument for the subversion of Western thought, aimed at imposing Islamic historical and theological thinking such as the justification of Islamist terrorism – based on the Muslim self-perception of victimhood. The erroneous affirmation that it was Islamic culture that has triggered European civilization in medieval period, is an attempt to prove Islam historical, cultural and demographical legitimacy in Europe, and consequently the implementation of shari’a principles today. It also affirms Islam cultural superiority over the West.
To conclude: There has been several interfaith dialogues but with poor results. Europe has paid billions to Muslim countries worldwide but the culture of jihad is flowering in spite of Europe’s appeasement policy. Palestinianism which is a replacement theology was the tool that led to Europe’s Islamisation and dhimmitude. By joining the Muslim jihad against Israel, the Christian West has obfuscated its own history, and now faced with a global jihad it is unable to assess correctly the situation and defend itself. Israel represents the liberation of man from dhimmitude, whereas Palestinianism represents jihad and dhimmitude ideology based on replacement theology. Europe, enslaved by Palestinianism, has chosen servitude instead of freedom. If we want peace to prevail, the Muslim world must abandon the jihadist ideology, it must recognise Jews and Christians as different and not see them as apostate Muslims. And this must start with Muslim recognition of the legitimacy of Israel, because jihad started against the Jews and it can only end with the rehabilitation of the Jews and Israel, which will bring the rehabilitation of all non-Muslims. We can achieve it if we speak the truth, if we teach in our schools and universities jihad and dhimmitude. Then, masses of peaceful Muslims, liberated from the jihadist ideology of hate, will join us to build together peace. But we cannot help them if, ourselves, we are doomed in dhimmitude.
Bat Ye’or, born in Egypt, is a pioneer researcher on ‘dhimmitude’ and ‘Eurabia’. Her four major books translated from French into English are: The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam, (1985); The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude, (1996), German edition: Der Niedergang des Orientalischen Christentums unter dem Islam, (2002); Islam and dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide (2002), and Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, (2005). German translation in preparation.

John December 9, 2006 at 1:31 pm

David B says
“Actions speak-words mean nothing”
Ah, so the words, “this is my body, this is my blood,” mean nothing?
And the Bible is pointless?
My sentiments exactly-As scripture is very clear that one can only get to God through Jesus (his exact words) hence be saved, as do the words of 260 Popes and councils-the present post councillar popes especially JPII ride their Ecumania hobby horse, promote all that is “Good” in these false faiths, worship with them and even say that they can be saved when it is clear in both scripture and pre Vatican II teachings that this is NOT true-but 90% of those on this board and most Catholic threads have been brainwashed by the Modern day popes who one day talk about something that appears conservative then run off to meet with a rabbi to worship in a synagogue or a Imam to pray to Allah and Mohammad (Who knows how many millions of Catholics died because of his teachings).
That is what I mean by ACTIONS speak louder than words. These post Councilar popes and the laity of what is left of the church who have not either stopped attending or gone to find a traditional or even Protestant church, have brainwashed you into thinking that as long as a Moslem is a “Good Moslem” as JPII said on occassion, that he can be saved. That is the furthest from the truth unless our Gospels are wrong, but then again I would only wait for another retranslation of the bible to say just that

Cesare December 9, 2006 at 1:32 pm

Is the above post a violation of Da Rulz as it seems a cut and paste (long) of some other source?
John,
I like the indult mass (Preferably Tridentine-High) but remember that Alexander VI also said the Latin Mass and while he may not have kissed the Qur’an (merely a sign of respect?) or had an interfaith conference at Assisi, he assaninated people, he had 10 illegitmate children, and was a devotee of Horus and Isis (and I think Osiris) and other pre-Chirstian pagan, occultic and Medditariean mystery religions–nonetheless Latin language dominated, the Mass was in Latin, and he was a patron of the arts including Michaelangelo.
Pope John Paul II was, even if made some errors in prudential judgmement, was a good and holy man, known for personal virtue his entire life.
The kissing of the Qur’an and the Assisi get togethers are much overexaggerated.

Thomas AC December 9, 2006 at 1:35 pm

http://www.coomaraswamy-catholic-writings.com/Baptism%20of%20Desire.htm
Check out an interesting traditionalist perspective on baptism of desire
some of the so called “rad trads” would have all non Christians in Hell, and John Paul II

Thomas AC December 9, 2006 at 1:37 pm

http://www.coomaraswamy-catholic-writings.com/Philosophia%20Perennis.htm
Also some writings on Jesus’s descent into hell, universal salvation, knowledge and the sacred, and the so called perennial philosophy

Thomas AC December 9, 2006 at 1:40 pm

It is our hope that by posting this letter Catholics will be able to see the difference between the Tradition which is part of the Ordinary Magesterium of the Church and protected by the Holy Ghost, and the “tradition” which forms a part of the “Sophia Perennis” which is taught by the various Perennialist schools.
The letter from Dr. Coomaraswamy is reprinted in its entirety with only one brief note which does not affect the substance of his remarks.
J. Christopher Pryor
May 13, 2006
Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy writes:
It is unfortunate that “FAQS” [Editor’s Note: He is referring to the What is Perennialism?pae.]has chosen to write about a subject he knows so little about. In response, let me start by saying that are probably as many differing people claiming to be “Perenialists” as there are different groups of Catholics claming to be “traditional”. There have always been Catholics that can be called Perenialists in that they recognize the presence of Truth outside of Catholicism.
Consider the words of St. Iranaeus: “There is only one unique and the same God the Father, and his Word has been present to humanity from all time, although by diverse dispositions and manifold operations he has from the beginning been saving those who are saved, that is, those who love God and follow his word, each in his own age.” (Against Heresies, IV, 28, 2) And again: “Christ did not only come for those who, since the time of the Emperor Tiberius have believed in him, nor has the Father exercised his providence only in favor of people now living, but in favor of all without exception, from the beginning, who have feared God and loved him and practiced justice and kindness towards their neighbors and desired to see Christ and hear his voice, in accordance with their abilities and the age in which they were living.” [ibid, IV, 22,2 (SC bis, p. 688.,)
“Christ is the first-born of God, his Logos, in whom all people share. That is what we have learned and what we bear witness to. All who have lived in accordance with the logos are Christians, even if they have been reckoned atheists, as among the Greeks, Socrates, Heraclitus and the like. ” Justin Martyr, Apology I, 46 (PG 6, 397)
St Allbert the Great; “Examining the teachings of pagan philosophers in the light of sound reason, he demonstrated clearly that they were in fundamental accord with the tenets of the faith.” From the second Nocturn of St. Albert the Great, Nov. 15. )(Breviary Pius X). One could provide many similar quotations from the saints.
St Thomas Aquinas held with St Ambrose that all Truth, no matter where it was found had the Holy Spirit for its author, and further that extrinsic proofs could be used in support of the Catholic Faith. Indeed his Summa is full of quotes from extrinsic sources.
How could it have been otherwise when the Word was made flesh in the beginning. Did Moses not teach the truth? Some Catholic theologians have postulated a primordial tradition to explain this truth. Be that as it may, there is nothing that forbids a Catholic from having such an outlook.
What the author doesn’t seem to understand is that such an outlook has nothing to do with mixing or blending our religion with other religions – that is a new Church goal, and from a traditional and Perennialist point of view absurd. If God wanted a one world religion, He would have told us.
Perennialists are accused of having a great love for tradition. Of course people who are Catholic – whether or not they accept a Philosophia Perennis view, have a great love for Tradition. There is, after all, no such thing as an “untraditional Catholic”.
The authors of this piece have not done their homework. They are obviously completely unfamiliar with my father’s writings on Mediaeval Catholic art, to say nothing of his more metaphysical writings.
There is absolutely no reason to drag Evola into this discussion. For the record Evola advocated that the regnum should take precedence over the Saceradotum which from a traditional point of view is anathema. No one has ever seriously considered him as a perenialist. In a similar manner the author drags in the issue if “gnosticism,” whatever that is, the term was created only some 300 years ago. But this, it seems to me is just a bit more of mud slinging.
Which brings us to the question of Guenon. From a Catholic point of view, Guenon is somewhat of an enigma. He said much that was good, but many things that are unacceptable. His Freemasonic connections are of course bizarre. The best study of Guenon is by Jean Borella which I have reviewed in the magazine Sophia. In a nutshell, Guenon did not understand Catholicism.
I have no idea where the authors of this rather peurile piece came up with idea that Perennialists are against women. I suggest they read what Satan had to say about this in Malachi Martins’ excellent Hostage to the Devil. I myself have been married to the same woman for over 55 years and have the greatest respect for her. Moreover, I have known many other so-called Perennialists and seen no evidence of this.
Belief in conspiracy theories is obviously not a prerogative of Perennialists as anyone familiar with the internet must know, though like both Freud and St.Thomas, it is clear that nothing happens by accident.
It is no particular form of economics that perenialists advocate that I am aware of, though we would of course like to see a return to the principles of Catholic economics, not a likely event under the present circumstances. Somehow I doubt that the authors of this piece are aware that such even exists. In any event, neither capitalism nor its close brother communism/socialiam can be called Christian, much less Catholic. I am aware that V-II is an advocate of Socialiam, but as Leo XIII said, Socialism and Catholicism are incompatible.
The authors consider Perennialists to be anti-Jewish. This is rather surprising since it would seem to contradict their definition of the Perenialist heresy. Clearly Catholics venerate the Old Testament and the entire Jewish tradition. This in no way obliges them to venerate what scripture calls the “perfidious Jews” nor to admire the Zionists. It is again the new Church that no longer seeks the conversion of the Jews.
The, author claims Perennialists are against mechanical devices. Now I was an Assistant professor of Surgery, and subsequently of Psychiatry in a major NYC medical school (incidentally Jewish) for some 30 years. Surely I have found the use of mechanical devices acceptable. However, when one goes to the airport and sees almost everyone tied to their cell phones, or hears about how the internet is used by pornographers, one can see that our indiscriminate dependence on them is of questionable value.
The authors claim that Perennialists are delighted and look forward to the destruction of the world. This is pure tommyrot. That such will happen is predicted in Scripture in God’s good time, and we will all face the final judgment with fear and trepidation is certainly true. We are not here however to do more than fulfill the will of God.
The authors refer to several other authors, some of whom I am familiar with. It is some 30 years since I read Shumacher, but I can remember nothing he said that would be offensive to a Catholic. As for Eric Gill, he was one of my heroes both as Artist and as a Catholic. I know his works well and find he advocated nothing that Pope Leo XIII did not advocate.
Finally, let me speak to the matter of my conversion in which discussion I sense an ad hominum intent. Conversion is both a complex and a simple matter dependant on the grace of God. If I was taught as a Hindu to love and serve God, why would I not continue to believe that when I became a Catholic? And what is surprising about feeling uncomfortable in a purely secular society? I studied the Faith for some two years before seeking Baptism.
I have a somewhat unusual background, Deo gratias. My family has included both Jesuit priests and Hindu monks. I was as young man first introduced to the reality of God by Tibetan monk. I have walked by foot almost the entire length of the Himalayan chain. I have climbed mountains in Sikkim with professional climbers. I have traveled much of India and Sri Lanka. I have lived with Hindus and Sufi Muslims as well as with many wonderful Catholics. Many of these individuals feel about their religion much as I do about mine, I proffer no judgment about their beliefs, I know they are men of prayer and love God and feel they may well fall into those that St Pius X said belong to the soul of the Church. But as Muslims are fond of saying, “God knows best.” This does not mean that I am against conversion, and I am happy to preach when opportunity arises, “Christ, and Christ Crucified.” It should be absolutely clear that no can be saved be error. Those outside the Church who are saved, are saved by the divine Word (logos) which is Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Since my conversion I have never departed from the traditional Catholic faith, though I have often fallen from grace. I think my writings bear witness to my orthodoxy. I think any aspersions cast upon my Catholicism are completely unjustified.
Finally let me say that I have answered this diatribe because I suspect it is an attempt to undermine the value and intent of my recently published book on The Destruction of the Christian Tradition (World Wisdom Books). If my belief is a result of conspiracy theory or private paranoia, than I ask the author’s forgiveness. But if such is not the case, it is clear that they have stumbled into subject that is above their heads and their sincerity is not complemented with the truth.
Rama Coomaraswamy, M.D.+

bill912 December 9, 2006 at 3:39 pm

Uh, speaking of violations of Da Rulz…
Not. The. Worst. Rule. Three. Violation. Evah. But. In. There. Trying.

patrick December 9, 2006 at 4:49 pm

Just a question though. If i was a ‘secularist’ in the sense Mr. John puts it,
Am I automatically not allowed to invoke Our Lord, Our Lady and the Saints? Do I have to refer to them in disrespectful language since i was a ‘secularist’?
Am I automatically damned to Hell since I was born a Post-VII Catholic and the Gates of Hell already prevailed on the Church at that point (despite the Lord not promising it to) leading to so-called abominations?
When I pray in my bedroom, Am I praying to my bed?
Does my bed receive the Prayers adressed to Our Lord?
But, at least, I’ve seen Anti-Catholic Fundamentalists call Catholics Mary-Worshipers, Pagans and such. And right just on our own backyard, We have Ultra-Traditionalists calling us Liberals, Secularists etc.
I did not realize we’re being attacked from both sides, one from the outside, and the other from the inside.
If there’s anything that shows me Satan is trying to destroy the church, it’s gotta be the internal feud that goes on between ‘Ultra-Tradtionalists’, ‘Ultra-Liberals’, and the ‘Middle Ground Catholics’ about many things, especially the Church Post-VII.
If this continues on, Since we’re busy fighting and picking on each other, satan may not need to infiltrate the Church, he might even outright destroy it since no one’s left to guard it and we are all busy arguing against each other.
Thankfully, Christ promised that The Gates of Hell shall never prevail against His Church.
Vivatis in Christo, (I forgot I’m a secularist, i’m never supposed to use such words, much less in Latin)
patrick

David B. December 9, 2006 at 6:31 pm

John,
Ask santa for a new hobby horse, Please!

Kasia December 9, 2006 at 7:16 pm

Bill912,
Mea culpa – it must have been *my* memory that was playing tricks on me, since you checked the DVD and confirmed. I stand corrected on how Peter killed the wolf in the film. :-)
Kasia

Esau December 9, 2006 at 8:56 pm

Hi Kasia:
Thus the “if any man do a cruelty in my name, it is Tash he serves” bit…Make any sense, what I’m trying to say?
I believe we may be talking pass each other. When I said:
“those pious and devoted persons out there in other religions who strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience,”
That is actually what I meant.
Let me put it another way:
Unbeknownst to persons of other religions, when they commit an action in accordance to the Law (that is, the Law of God as revealed to us in Scripture), they, in the righteousness of their action, give glory to God, the Father of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
As St. Paul says in Romans 2:14-15:
14 For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these, having not the law, are a law to themselves.
15 Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them:

Tim J. December 9, 2006 at 8:58 pm

This Coomaraswamy feller has been cut and pasted ad nauseum in Jimmy’s combox before.
Pretty kooky stuff.

bill912 December 9, 2006 at 9:12 pm

Well, it coulda been me, Kasia. I’ve wondered if the improvement in my golf scores since I turned 50 is merely due to thinking I made a 4 on a hole, when I really made a 6. (And, if it is, don’t tell me; ignorance sometimes really is bliss).

Esau December 9, 2006 at 9:16 pm

Kasia,
If I sincerely believe that flying a plane full of civilians into the World Trade Center is God’s will, I don’t know that that makes it less of a fundamentally immoral act.
Also, Kasia, the dictates of conscience is one thing; the lack of one is another.
Muslims aren’t the only folks that have committed heinous actions as individuals in the name of their religion and believed what they were doing was right.
Christians (be they Protestant or Catholic) as individuals have committed several terrible ones as well, although they believed what they were doing was right.
What I loved about Pope John Paul II is that he didn’t play the blind fool to the mistakes the Church had made in its past in terms of the actions taken by certain individuals in it throughout its illustrious, yet tainted history.
Though, as far as faith and morals are concerned, the very fact that in spite of the presence of such corrupt individuals and the terrible actions by these Judas Iscariots, it shows all the more the power of Christ present in His Church, keeping the power of the Evil One from prevailing over her!

Esau December 9, 2006 at 9:18 pm

God Bless JP II!
May his example of great humility continue to teach us even unto today!

John December 10, 2006 at 3:45 am

I also think JPII was a wonderful and holy man-but he compromised the faith by his actions
Are you aware at Assisi the rabbis refused to sleep in rooms with crucifixes and had them all covered up, while we removed the blessed sacrament and all other articles and allowed hindu and buddhist symbols of worship to be placed on our sacred altar? There are other countless examples of this and a true and worthy Vicar of Christ, the leader of 1B Catholics at least in Baptism (how many practice??) would never ever do
Today our Pope prayed towards Mecca-what will tomorrow bring? Did any Imans reciprocate and pray to Jesus in a church?

Paul Libertini December 10, 2006 at 8:58 am

Tim J, like your art by the way especially the Mary
But I don’t understand what is kooky about Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy? He is an educated man, a medical doctor, convert to Catholicism, friend of Mother Teresa, Thorassic surgeon, prolific writer, friend of Fr. Dr. Malachi Martin, yes–too ultra traditional for my tastes but has many good points.
The points cited above are scripture, early Church Fathers and Elders, Saints, and Pope St. Pius X on the salvation of non Catholics as well as truth within other religions not by post V2 writers but by St. Pius X and Church Fathers.
They are logical, accurate, and you can disagree but no a priori dismiss as kooky. Calling him kooky without reason or to dismiss without discussion is unfair.

Mary Kay December 10, 2006 at 9:47 am

Paul, thanks for the info on Dr. C. I had skipped over his post because of its length (probably the reason for whatever the number in Da Rulz), but I’ll eventually go back and read it.

Ex nilhio December 10, 2006 at 1:12 pm

The word Allah certainly equals God. The question is whether the Islamic understanding/belief in/of God is the same understanding/belief as Catholicism. (Underelying it is that the Catholic belief of God is correct)

John December 10, 2006 at 1:18 pm

Kudos Paul
Dr K Cooky?
He is probably one of the most well respected Apologists of this era, a man of integrity who recently passed but I had the pleasure of meeting, a devout man deeply distraught of seeing what has happened to our Church

John December 10, 2006 at 1:21 pm

Of course I meant Dr C
God bless his soul whether you agreed with him in totality or not

Steve Golay December 10, 2006 at 2:19 pm

Ex Nilhio:
“The word Allah certainly equals God. The question is whether the Islamic understanding/belief in/of God is the same understanding/belief as Catholicism.”
Does the second affirmation cancel out the first? Those outside the Church (Christian or not) can approach a rightr understandning of God – and even the beginnings of a saving relaltionship with Him. All this is because of the breath of His Grace and the gift of the Natural Law.
I contend and my prior post((supports longish as it is) that Islam’s understanding of itself does not participate in the knowledge or saving grace. Period. Individual Muslim may, in spite of their religion, becuase the Natural Law and the Love of God always trumps. But Islam is a deliberate denial that God does or even has a desire to true knowledge of himself or to enter into a relationship with manking on the basis of the personal. A religion that fervently denies Being and Personhood is a conduit of nothing but rebellion. Therefore Allah does not = God.
Always amazed how far we get away from the oriignal intent of the post.

Tim J. December 10, 2006 at 2:28 pm

“But I don’t understand what is kooky about Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy?”
Well, I may have spoken without actually bothering to go back and verify what I thought I remembered.
I will try to find some of his writing on the web. I confess being mostly ignorant of him.
My apologies.
I do remember distinctly seeing huge portions of his writing cut and pasted into the combox of posts on very tenuously related topics.
His writing was also used – again cut and pasted in massive chunks – in defense of what I considered to be some pretty kooky opinions held by previous combox visitors.

Jared December 10, 2006 at 2:45 pm

*Sigh* Look … I know that Jimmy said that we should leave out the history of pre-Mohammedanism, but in the case of the word “Allah,” it does matter. Given that Allah, according to most sources with which I’ve come into contact, was initially one of about 600 pagan Arabic gods (the moon god, to be exact … which is signicant given the symbol the Mohammedans use), to say that “the word Allah certainly equals God” is not necessarilly so. How that plays into the rest of this, I don’t know. I do know that St. Paul seems to equate the worship of pagan deities with the worship of demons, which would mean that the Allah of pre-Mohammedan times is of demonic origin. Is Allah still that same individual? And just who was it that appeared to Mohammed under the guise of Gabriel? Certainly no good angel would do this.
I guess what I’m saying is that, while I can’t say what entity the Mohammedans currently offer tribute, the originators of the Mohammedan religion were not “of God” at the very least and quite possibly directly from the Hellish Lowerarchy.

Mary December 10, 2006 at 3:11 pm

If I sincerely believe that flying a plane full of civilians into the World Trade Center is God’s will, I don’t know that that makes it less of a fundamentally immoral act.
It depends on to what extent your sincerity springs from an invincible ignorance.

Kasia December 10, 2006 at 4:36 pm

Esau,
Thanks for the clarification – I see your point now. I saw “dictates of their own conscience” and my relativism alarm started going crazy. ;-) And I’ll be the first (well, OK, the second, since you are technically the first on this thread) to acknowledge that Christians have done horrific things in the name of their faith, and it isn’t all just buried in the Crusades and the Inquisition. I was just trying to follow the train of thought – philosophy has never been my best subject. :-)
Bill, the improvement in your golf game could also due to your getting more practice! I, for one, will assume it’s that. :-)

Sunny in Cali December 10, 2006 at 5:59 pm

One question:
No one here denies that Baptism is required for salvation.
So why argue that muslims can be saved when they in no way shape or form recieve Baptism.
Muslims don’t seem to love Allah the way we love God. It is more fear than love. But that is just my opinion.
Blessings

SDG December 10, 2006 at 7:32 pm

No one here denies that Baptism is required for salvation.
So why argue that muslims can be saved when they in no way shape or form recieve Baptism

Because there is such a thing as baptism of implicit desire.

Jared December 10, 2006 at 8:21 pm

Addendum to my prior statement: Let’s start with Jimmy’s initial statement that “We also need not be detained by alleged origins of the term in pre- and proto-Muslim history. Where a term comes from does not determine its meaning. How it is used determines its meaning (otherwise the word “nice” would mean ‘ignorant’…”
That’s true as far as it goes, but I don’t believe it applies here, not when it comes to personal names.
To test that assertion, we’ll use Jimmy’s Batman analogy. Before I begin, let’s say that the assertions about the name Allah being originally the name of an Arabic pagan moon-god. St. Paul says that we cannot eat at the table of devils (in the form of pagan gods). This would seem to me to mean that the word “Allah” at least initially referred to a demon whom the people of one particular region worshipped.
Now back to the Batman analogy: let’s say that you’ve got a bunch of thugs running around claiming to be henchmen of the Joker. Let’s go so far as to say that some of them actually do perform sort of good deeds (helping old ladies cross streets and stuff … albeit whether they wanted to get to the other side or not) but others go ’round knocking down lightposts and stuff. Now both groups (good and bad henchman-types) claim that they serve a man named the Joker. They all say that the Joker fights crime dressed in dark-colored spandex, a cape, and mask with pointed ears. The two groups disagree about the existance of the Ace the Bathound and while they believe that the Joker has a a younger masked sidekick named Superman, none of them believe that Superman actually does anything.
Commissioner Gordon has the latter group of these nincompoops (the evil lightpost-tippers) rounded up and, after further questioning them, shows them an artist’s rendering of the Batman.
At this point, these dorks say, “Yeah, dat’s da boss. Dat’s da Joker. You got a problem wid’dat? He told us to tell you dat Superman is just a regular mook like you an’ me. Well, uh, more like me; me an’ Supes’ is tight like ‘dat. You just a punk.”
At which point, Jim Gordon, shakes his head in pity and sends them back to their cells to await booking.
Do these lightpost-tipping men serve the Batman? What about the others, the old lady helpers? They all claim to serve the Joker, after all, and not Batman.
My apologies for the long-ish analogy. I hope it didn’t take too much of anyone’s time.
Mr. Akin, if you’re reading this, I’m not ridiculing your analogy. I rather liked it in fact. I just don’t think you can so easily discount the origin of the name Allah.

Veronika December 10, 2006 at 10:40 pm

I am Catholic, and American. Because of my work–I was in Souteast Turkey by Syria (Adana, Iskenduren) and even into Syria briefly.
I went to a “Mass” as it was the only one for hours (the closest Catholic Church was in Iskenduren many hours away from where I was and I think there was one in Antioch) that was “Greek” Orthodox (the Divine liturgy but not Greek besides the Kyrie Elieson), while I am not fluent in Arabic, and for this point I was in Turkey as a nation state–the Liturgy was in Arabic, the word Allah was used for God. So Allah is God insofar as Christians have an Arabic term for God. That does not mean that Islam may not be diabolical in origins (but individual Muslims may be well intentioned and have part of the truth) nor that Islam does not have a different view of God (even if the same name in the Arabic language of God) specifically as it relates to analogia entis (the analogy of being which Rahner and von Balthasar elucidate), the Trinity, the Incarnation, and other concepts but Trinity and Incarnation being the most important. (but either do some Protestants, although certainly most Protestants are Trinitarian and believe in the incarnation–but some do not, and either do Jews and both in English use the term God so the question in linguistics is does God=God)
By the way, wanted to meet my Sunday obligation, and told by a Catholic priest in Kazhakistan (somehow associated with Opus Dei) that an Orthodox service (and even sacraments) were legitimate if no Catholic church or priest or mass was around. In some parts of the world, believe it or not, there are not many Catholic Masses.
So Allah does = God But that does not mean that Islam has the same understanding or even that it is “good” on an absolute or inherent basis.

Josh December 11, 2006 at 12:35 am

Even if Allah was originally a moon-deity, that is totally irrelevant. The fact is that in Arabic, “Allah” means God, just like the Greek “Theos”, which was originally used of Zeus, Apollo, etc., and the Latin “Deus”, which was originally used of Jupiter, Mars, etc. With the exception of the Jewish people, every culture that has come to Christianity has been pagan. It is natural that terms used about the previous cult came to be applied to Christianity.
My point in the above is that the name ‘Allah’ is not relevant to the question at hand. My take is that the Muslim Allah is their mistaken conception of the true God, to Whom their prayers are certainly directed. The main issue with Islam is that it purports to be the true Abrahamic faith and part of Mohammed’s mission was to ‘correct’ the mistakes of Judaism and Christianity. Because we know that Our Blessed Lord is the fulness of revelation, the revelations to the Prophet were not genuine.
Since Islam is a false religion, as there can only be one true religion, it is not salvific. That a false religion makes certain true affirmations is not problematic from a Catholic standpoint, even in pre-V2 theology. God’s existence can be known from human reason, and certain of His properties can be deduced therefrom.
Nonetheless, Islam cannot save your soul. It is possible for individual Muslims to be saved despite Islam, however. But this is not something that can be relied upon, so me must evangelize, pray, fast, and give alms for the conversion of hearts.

Jared December 11, 2006 at 1:04 am

Here’s the problem, though … according to pre-Mohammedan mythology Allah (the moon-god) and his consort, the sun-goddess had three daughters Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat. Now, as can be seen in the Koran, Mohammed himself at least at one point thought that Allah was one in the same with the moon-god of Mecca.
Take note of Sura 53:18-20: “Verily, he saw one of his Lord’s greatest signs. Have you thought on Al-Lat and Al-Uzza. And Manat, the third, the other?”
Now, add to that the moon symbol for Islam, and I think you can see clearly that the Mohammedans never did make a clean break from their pagan origins. Would a Baal worshipper who tried to equate Baal with the God of Abraham be believed? Or a worshipper of Moloch?

SDG December 11, 2006 at 1:50 am

Didn’t the Hebrews borrow the name El from previous Canaanite usage? IIRC, El was the father of the gods, the husband of Asherah, the high god who was removed from day-to-day affairs, while Baal was the “local” high god and the husband or sister of Anat.
For that matter, the Hebrew scriptures sometimes call God Baal too!

Jared December 11, 2006 at 3:33 am

SDG: I guess I failed to type the entire name, but so do many Bible translations. By Baal, I meant Baal-zebub. Nevertheless, this distinction actually makes my point rather than debunking it. Baal-zebub worship was the reason Jehu slew Jezebel, the reason why Ahab was removed from the throne. Elijah surely didn’t believe that Baal-zebub and Yehweh were the same entity; if he had, he wouldn’t have slain 450 of Baal-zebub’s prophets. The point is, Baal-zebub (literally, “lord of the flies” … which, properly speaking, applies to Yahweh, since He is Lord of all, including the flies) is a proper name referring to a demon whom the people worshipped as a god.
In the context of Surra 53 and the crescent symbol (among other reasons), we can deduce that Mohammed meant the word “Allah” to be a proper name, referring to the moon-god and not the more general term for God.

SDG December 11, 2006 at 4:50 am

Baal and Baal-zebub are two different entities. Baal (“lord”) is the proper name of a Canaanite deity, the lord of the storm, day-to-day king of the gods, and husband/brother of Anat. Yet the Hebrews occasionally borrowed this name to refer to Yahweh, along with (much more frequently) the name of “El,” who in Canaanite mythology was the high and remote king of the gods.

Anonymous December 11, 2006 at 4:54 am

I think sometimes Opus Dei has a tendency to deify St. Escriva.

John December 11, 2006 at 6:05 am

SDG
AS far as Baptism of Desire, that applies to all faiths, and only if the desire it up to an including on their deathbed. But if we continue to have Popes who go on saying that people of all faiths can get to heaven WITHOUT adding what you stated, as per scripture (baptism) then the Popes are misleading, and by worshipping in a Mosque they just lead more sheet astray
Statistics are clear that their is a huge influx of converts to Islam, not the other way around, and this must be dealt with

bill912 December 11, 2006 at 6:28 am

Good link, SDG. I particularly like: “For, it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church.”

patrick December 11, 2006 at 7:51 am

Actually the Popes said that ‘Christ died for all men, but not all of those Christ died for will be saved’.
Though, why do people make a big fuss over the issue of why did the Pope face Mecca when praying? Is he not allowed to face the direction which contains Mecca?
It’s not as if he’s praying to any pagan god or to Allah; THAT would be the correct time when people should complain, if he ever did that. After all, how could we know if he DID pray to false idols? Can we read his heart? Is there evidence that he did, aside from pure speculation?
I agree though that we should do something about an increase in Islam. Sooner or later if that continues (God forbid) we might again be living in a society where we Christians are the minority and Islam is the number one religion, very much like in Medieval Europe.
Though, about the Baptism of Desire part, how about those persons who have not heard of Christianity who led upright lives?

Brother Cadfael December 11, 2006 at 7:56 am

From Dr. C in 2005:
“If we as Catholics believe we have an obligation of obey the pope, then we face a dilemma. If we obey these popes we must give up our Catholic Faith.”
Kooky is a good place to start.

SDG December 11, 2006 at 7:59 am

Though, about the Baptism of Desire part, how about those persons who have not heard of Christianity who led upright lives?

That is why there is such a thing as baptism of IMPLICIT desire. (BTW, “leading upright lives” isn’t enough.)
P.S. John, my earlier link on this subject was not addressed to the general topic of Allah = God, but to a specific question raised by Sunny in Cali, regarding the necessity of Baptism for salvation.

patrick December 11, 2006 at 8:18 am

Mr. SDG,I stand corrected. Thanks for correcting.

Anonymous December 11, 2006 at 8:22 am

“Kooky is a good place to start.”
Indeed, Brother Cadfael, what I have read about Rama Coomeraswamy so far hasn’t exactly encouraged me to take him seriously.
Sedevacantism is kooky. And FWIW, none of the following;
1) Holding a number of college degrees
2) Being a medical doctor
3) Being an acquaintence of Mother Teresa
in any way innoculates anyone against the disease of kookiness. Some of the biggest kooks I have ever known had Ph.Ds.

Tim J. December 11, 2006 at 8:24 am

Sorry. That last post was me.

Esau December 11, 2006 at 8:47 am

KASIA:
Esau,
Thanks for the clarification – I see your point now. I saw “dictates of their own conscience” and my relativism alarm started going crazy. ;-) And I’ll be the first (well, OK, the second, since you are technically the first on this thread) to acknowledge that Christians have done horrific things in the name of their faith, and it isn’t all just buried in the Crusades and the Inquisition. I was just trying to follow the train of thought – philosophy has never been my best subject. :-)
Bill, the improvement in your golf game could also due to your getting more practice! I, for one, will assume it’s that. :-)

No problem, Kasia!
God bless you!
I am very glad to see that I have a sister in Christ who so enjoys the Chronicles of Narnia as I did when as a youth!

Esau December 11, 2006 at 9:02 am

Also, Kasia, I am also glad that you remain ever cautious regarding statements made by folks that may hint a certain aroma of relativism. That is certainly a concern especially in our age.
God be with you, Kasia!

Ryan C December 11, 2006 at 12:20 pm

Baptism of implicit desire implied in St. Justin Martyr (151 AD):
“We have been taught that Christ is the first-begotten of God, and we have declared him to be the Logos of which all mankind partakes [John 1:9]. Those, therefore, who lived according to reason [Greek, logos] were really Christians, even though they were thought to be atheists, such as, among the Greeks, Socrates, Heraclitus, and others like them. . . . Those who lived before Christ but did not live according to reason [logos] were wicked men, and enemies of Christ, and murderers of those who did live according to reason [logos], whereas those who lived then or who live now according to reason [logos] are Christians. Such as these can be confident and unafraid” (First Apology 46 [A.D. 151]).”

Esau December 11, 2006 at 1:20 pm

Thanks, Ryan C.!
Although, no doubt, John (jtNova) will perhaps ignore this once again and go on with his tirade, regardless.

Esau December 11, 2006 at 1:56 pm

…by worshipping in a Mosque they just lead more sheet astray
John,
Did you get anything I mentioned at the beggining?
Just like the Christian Martyrs who may have prayed in the pagan temples at the time of Rome or in mosques at the time of the crusades, though they may have been their PHYSICALLY, they were actually praying to the Father of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, or even to Christ himself!
You mean to tell me that the physical place a person is in dictates to whom they send their prayers?
You do know that in spite of any place on earth being dedicated to whomever else it may be, God, OUR God, is ever present regardless!
What is God? Some limited being who cannot even step foot (so-to-speak) in places that have been rendered unto other gods?
If so, then, what kind of God is that?
Also, that would mean that all the prayers of the Christians who ever prayed in these places to our Lord at the time of persecution prayed in vain. Even more, their very faith was in vain if our God was only limited to those places consecrated to him! What a pathetic god! And to think God was the one who created everything — without whom all things existing would not have their very being!

Jared December 11, 2006 at 2:47 pm

SDG: Yes, this is originally so, but later (basically after Jehu was commanded to depose Ahab) the term Baal was (and is) exclusively used to refer to idolatrous practices. This is further emphasized by the pratice of eliminating the word “baal” from compound personal names and replacing it with the word bosheth (which means “shame”). For example, Isboseth (2 Samuel 2:10).

Jeb Protestant December 11, 2006 at 4:04 pm

When the Pope was in Turkey, did he tell a single Muhamadan the he should believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation?
Wouldn’t the “Vicar of Christ” tell Moslems that they are lost without Jesus?
Or does the Pope believe that all “good Moslems” are “anonymous Christians” shades of his buddy Rahner?

Esau December 11, 2006 at 4:07 pm

When the Pope was in Turkey, did he tell a single Muhamadan the he should believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation?
Wouldn’t the “Vicar of Christ” tell Moslems that they are lost without Jesus?
Or does the Pope believe that all “good Moslems” are “anonymous Christians” shades of his buddy Rahner?

Oh, yeah, after the event at Regensburg, as well as the continued persecution of Christians in that area already, why not provoke the Muslims even more by uttering all these things!

Esau December 11, 2006 at 4:09 pm

Jeb Prostitute:
Why not read the post above that said:
“I lived in Saudi Arabia for about 3 years and every Friday, their holy day, they would preach against Americans, christians etc. So it is understood, that all they have to receive is the word from their leader, and presto, they can kill us (christians, americans, etc). The reason I know this is that their “homily” is brodcasted on a loudspeaker and there is a mosque practically on every corner.
That said, the Pope is very wise to find common grounds for discussion with them.
Posted by: AnonnyMouse | Dec 7, 2006 10:05:15 AM

bill912 December 11, 2006 at 4:13 pm

Jimmy, you perform a valuable service: You give anti-Catholic bigots a chance to ride their hobby horses in front of Catholics who recognize their bigotry for what it is.

Esau December 11, 2006 at 4:22 pm

NBC: Pope’s Turkey trip a surprise success
By Keith Miller
Senior foreign correspondent
NBC News
Updated: 1:14 p.m. PT Nov 30, 2006
ISTANBUL, Turkey — The newspaper headlines here have been astonishing. “So Far So Good,” read one banner headline; “Alliance of Faiths,” read another. And splashed across the front page of most papers Thursday was a picture of a smiling Pope Benedict XVI waving a Turkish flag.
With gentle gestures and well-timed words, Benedict managed to charm the Turkish people and transformed his image from a crusty old anti-Turkish Islamaphobe to a politically savvy statesman in a matter of days. (He is set to return to Rome at midday Friday.)
Dire warnings
This is not how things were expected to turn out for Benedict’s visit to Turkey. Rather, there were dire warnings of mass demonstrations and fears that there might even be an assassination attempt because tensions were still so raw among many Turkish people over past perceived transgressions by the pope.
In particular, before being elected as pope the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke out against Turkey’s bid to join the European Union. And in September of this year, Benedict inspired the ire of Muslims the world over when he quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor who said Islam was violent and irrational during a speech at Regensburg University in Germany.
The mood the day before the pope arrived was ugly. Twenty-five thousand protesters gathered in Istanbul to demanding that he never set foot in their country. Most of the people at the demonstration were members of a conservative Islamic organization.
The papal tour had even seemed to fail to gain much support from the government, with so many ministers saying they had to be out of the country on business that one wondered who was going to run things during the visit.
Sea change
It all turned out much sunnier. After a building-bridges-inspired reshuffling of schedules, there to greet Benedict when he arrived in Ankara on Tuesday was Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who had originally said that he would miss the pope’s visit because of a previous engagement at the NATO meeting in Latvia.
And upon meeting Erdogan, Benedict immediately scored a home run by announcing that the Vatican was not opposed to Turkey’s entrance into the European Union and that he considered Islam a religion of peace.
With those words, Benedict instantly gained points on two hot-button issues and seemed to turn down the temperature a bit. At outdoor coffee shops the mood was relaxed, with most saying they were happy the pope was visiting, though others were still demanding an apology for the pope’s remarks linking Islam to violence.
On the same day, Benedict sat as still as a member of the choir as he listened to a lecture by Ali Bardakoglu, Turkey’s president of religious affairs, who, in a direct allusion to the pope’s remarks at a German university last September, said that references to Islam being spread by the sword encourage Islamophibia.
When the pope did speak he concentrated on what united Christian and Islam, not what divided it. Nothing he said amounted to an apology, but by both listening to the the implied criticism without contradicting it and by his unity-inspiring words, he seemed to calm a good deal of Turkish anger over his earlier speech.
“He was still Cardinal Ratzinger before he came to Turkey, but now he has become Pope Benedict,” said Cemal Usak, secretary general of the Istanbul-based Intercultural Dialogue Platform.
Blue Mosque
But the most dramatic gesture of respect and reconciliation came when Benedict bowed his head in prayer with Mustafa Cagrici, the head cleric of Istanbul, inside Turkey’s most famous mosque — the Blue Mosque — on Thursday.
With his visit, Benedict became only the second pope in the Roman Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history to step inside a Muslim place of worship. The other was Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who visited a mosque in Syria in 2001.
The event was carried live on Turkish television. And there was the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics deep in prayer inside the mosque. “This visit will help us find together the way of peace for the good of all humanity,” said the pope during the visit. Another home run.
Not world peace yet, but….
To be clear, no sweeping reconciliations have been achieved on this papal tour. For instance, the pope did not achieve an end to the divisions between Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics. (A major goal of his papacy — and this trip to Turkey — is to gain unity between the two ancient branches of Christianity which split in the so-called Great Schism nearly 1,000 years ago. In the Schism, two major branches of Christianity — the Catholic Church, based in Rome, and the Orthodox Church, based in Constantinope [now Istanbul, Turkey] — emerged. [The protestant branch of the church came in the 16th century after the reforms inspired by German cleric Martin Luther.])
But Benedict did have a symbolic display of unity with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians. The pope called for greater freedom for religious minorities and lamented the long-standing rift between Christians, saying, “the divisions which exist among Christians are a scandal to the world.”
The hurdles to achieve inter-faith trust are formidable, but as this trip winds up, both the pope and the Turkish people can be considered winners.
The losers were easy to spot: al-Qaida in Iraq and the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, both of which protested the Pope’s visit — al-Qaida calling it a “crusader campaign” against Islam — and expressed hope that the Turkish people would extensively protest the pope’s visit.
Let’s go to the scoreboard: Turkey has a population of 70 million people, 99 percent of whom are Muslim, yet they hosted the leader of the Catholic faith with dignity, respect and, on occasion, charm.
It was not an easy visit for both sides, but the world got a valuable lesson in tolerance.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15971974/

Seamus December 12, 2006 at 1:56 pm

My wife’s best friend married an ex Jesuit who always signed his letters “Yours in Christ” and was always spewing nice Catholic and religious words, well after 1 child and 4 years of marriage they are now divorcing and tales of abuse, verbal and physical, hatred for the church, his wife and threats of taking the child away back to Ireland all from someone who used such wonderful words
Yep, that proves it; he was a secularist too.

Jamie Beu December 13, 2006 at 2:11 pm

Do language historians know what word Arabic Christians used for God prior to the 7th century?
I’m wondering what the Arabic word for “Chameleon Boy” is. :-)

Francis DS December 21, 2007 at 1:14 am

Something relevant to this post:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: A Catholic weekly newspaper in Malaysia has been told to drop the use of the word “Allah” in its Malay language section if it wants to renew its publishing permit, a senior government official said Friday.
The Herald, the organ of Malaysia’s Catholic Church, has translated the word God as “Allah” but it is erroneous because Allah refers to the Muslim God, said Che Din Yusoff, a senior official at the Internal Security Ministry’s publications control unit.
“Christians cannot use the word Allah. It is only applicable to Muslims. Allah is only for the Muslim god. This is a design to confuse the Muslim people,” Che Din told The Associated Press.
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/21/asia/AS-REL-Malaysia-Catholic-God.php

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