Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis reveal their cunning plan to bring those dreaded Muslims on side and blame everything on the atheists: In the secular age, it is crucial for people of faith to stick together. Good luck with that.
This is such a brazen plea for anti-secularism, and a worry about Islam, disguised as the reaching out of the hand of friendship. Many Muslims will see right through it, as atheists see right through the machinations of all religions.
It really is laughably abysmal to see these men trying to make a temporary truce, like competing Mafia families : Cosa Nostra begets Nostra Aetate: Our Thing In Our Time: the unbelievable things we have to do to survive.
we find ourselves challenged by a new but no less troubling set of global issues which make a reaffirmation of the principles of the document [Nostra Aetate] immensely significant
The global issues that are troubling them are the rise of an Islam that reminds them of their own barbaric history, and a failure of their religions to persist and grow without such barbaric means of repressing dissent.
Today, as we travel together to the Vatican for a historic audience with the Pope, at which we will discuss some of these challenges ..
I’d love to be a fly on that wall at that meeting, because you can bet that what’s said won’t be published, especially when it comes to dealing with Islam.
Jewish and Catholic shared history has been so deeply stained with the blood of innocent men, women and children, whose only crime was a sincerely held personal religious conviction ..
No. The crimes have been many, including the spilling of the blood of innocents and the persecution of each others’ faiths, as well as the persecution of those that don’t share the faith. Judaism is a small sect and inherently insular by the nature of its propagation – they like to keep it in the family – so it hasn’t seen the degree of in-fighting that has plagued Christianity, but it does make a lot of noise for its size. Christians have spilled and burned the blood of many fellow Christians on the grounds of ‘sincerely held personal religious conviction’. And Islam does the same – and as is often pointed out, the greatest number of victims of Islam are Muslims.
Religious conviction is full-square responsible for so much divisive hate and death. And where it isn’t directly responsible, it can be so easily co-opted to any cause, and even turned into the primary motivator that pulls other believers along with it. The Quran and Hadith make excellent ISIS recruitment manuals. Do you live in Pakistan and have a business grievance with a neighbour? Claim he destroyed a copy of the Quran, or that he blasphemed against the prophet. Problem solved.
In many places to be a person of faith can be, in and of itself, an act of courage
The greatest courage required is in the face of fellow religionists. And this has been evidently so for millennia. In fact, except for a few specifically and genuinely peaceful sects, there’s a bloody history to religion, and the Abrahamic religions are the greatest culprits and their own victims. Violent secular threats to religion have been predominantly a 20th century mechanised political phenomenon – but, hey, that’s good enough to blame all atheists for those crimes against humanity.
The worse you get from a humanist atheist is a lack of privileged presumed respect, and occasional derision. Now that seems pretty tame, when you consider how the religious, especially Cardinals, Bishops and Imams have been blaming every natural disaster on the evilness of atheists (and when necessary on other believers that don’t agree with them). How does an atheist pointing out your irrationality compare with your claim to the atheist’s irrationality and condemnation to a fiery eternity? The only reason you get away with it is because atheists don’t believe in your crazy hell – water of a ducks back. Death for blasphemy (or apostasy) has been and still is a repressive force used by religion.
To confess your belief in God no longer commands universal respect for a deep commitment to a lofty ideal, self-discipline and moral conviction.
Damned right it doesn’t. The metaphysical claims of your religions are no more than myths, and yet you build a life and a career out of conning other people into the same belief, taking every opportunity to catch them at birth and indoctrinate them, and you think you deserve respect?
In many societies you are more likely to be dismissed as naïve, unsophisticated and narrow-minded.
Damned right you are. What’s most laughable is the way in which you take some fundamentally flawed premises and heap sophisticated complexity onto it, and you think that results in some sophisticated substantiated truth. It’s built on such erroneous foundations that it doesn’t matter how sophisticated the obfuscating edifice you build on top, the foundations are rotten. And you deserve to be called out on it.
As such, when a view is expressed which is informed by one’s faith on issues such as assisted dying, the value of family life or social responsibility, that view is often treated with scepticism, as though it is somehow less rational or ill-founded.
You have as much right to offer up your reasoning about human suffering and come up with ways to deal with it. But as soon as you tell us your faith informs you of what to think, that makes no difference.
If you think
(a) “assisted dying is a good thing because it releases suffering”,
(b) “I want to relive suffering in a person’s inevitable death”,
(c) “God tells me so”,
then I’m listening to (a) and (b), but (c) tells me nothing, adds no useful information about the problem. However, it does make me suspicious of the reliability of your argument, because there is nothing in (c) that prevents you turning your argument to
(a) “assisted dying is a bad thing because the suffering is necessary”,
(b) “I don’t want to relieve the suffering”,
(c) “God tells me so”.
And all of this amid the alarming increase in the brazen persecution of Christian, Muslim and Jewish minorities which has become one of the most pressing and shameful issues of our time.
Ah, now we come to the duplicity of this statement. You don’t want to inflame your Muslim co-religionists, because they are dangerous – as the link in that sentence shows.
That link, incidentally, is misleading. The article is a little better: “A grim irony of the Charlie Hebdo murders and recent violence in Copenhagen is that Arab Christians endure far more vehement insults at the hands of Wahhabists than do Muslims from secular satirists in the West.” As is generally the case. When ‘secular’ regimes in the Middle East give believers a hard time they do it to everyone, not least the atheist activists, and they co-opt Islam to do it when convenient. But, it does no harm muddy the waters and pretend that the satirical and sceptical rhetoric from ‘militant’ atheists is comparable to the actual death threatened and often carried out by fellow religionists.
That is why it is more important than ever for faith communities like ours to cultivate close working relationships.
You bet. Because the real threat is fellow religionists. There’s no need to suck up to atheists because they only rhetorically abuse your intelligence rather than your earthly body – all of a sudden earthly matters are important.
We share so much in common – a great respect for the tradition that stretches back thousands of years behind us, and a determination to ensure that that same tradition will stretch out long into the future.
Yes you do. But your fundamental differences are a casmaclyptic. The inter-faith stuff is a sham, a band aid over a gushing wound. Christian and Muslim faiths are pretty quick on the draw when it comes to accusations of blasphemy – but there is inherent blasphemy at the very core of the beliefs of your fellow religionists. The core beliefs of Christianity and Islam are far greater blasphemies than any atheists can come up with.
An atheist simply matches the Christian belief with a single non-belief.
An atheist simply matches the Islamic belief with simple non-belief.
A Muslim not only rejects the Christian belief, but adds a blasphemy in turn – a double whammy, a two-pointer.
We are committed to our stewardship of the planet, …
And who gave you that authority? Each of your fictional gods?
… teaching peace and pursuing it, …
If only that was all you did.
… bringing Godliness into the world, …
Whether we want it or not – and if you get us young enough not to know whether we want to not: bonus!
… promoting social responsibility
A good start: stop persecuting people that don’t believe what you believe would be a good start. That would be socially responsible.
… and encouraging society to look after its most vulnerable.”
Having made them most vulnerable in the first place, by subduing them to authority. Get a man to submit to god, then get god to give you the reins. That’s how it works.
These shared objectives became ever more possible after Nostra Aetate. They will be the antidote for negative views of faith that have crept into the world, …
I’m afraid not. You think you’re showing your common ground? That only exposes your incompatible differences that make a mockery of your metaphysical claims to authority.
… and they will make clear its limitless potential for achieving greatness.
Yes, we know power and control of peoples lives is your goal. But thanks for spelling it out.
We pray that the normalisation of Catholic-Jewish relations in recent decades will offer valuable lessons for others around the world consumed by religious and cultural hostilities.
Coded message to Muslims again.
Let this jubilee year in the Catholic Church be a catalyst for all faith communities who are “on God’s side” to work positively and collaboratively and harder than ever before for the sake of all humanity.
Well, yes, for the sake of all humanity let’s hope the co-operation between the faiths gets them to tone down their divisive agendas. Of course as that happens it will be the *secular that you hope to suppress.
* And on we go with this misrepresentation of secularism and the conflating of it with atheism. Secularism is actually a benefit to the inter-faith stuff. It prevents some state religion monopolising the faith arena and persecuting minority faiths. Unfortunately the secular vision of free expression is a tad inconvenient to the religious, particularly if it comes with the rational idea of not indoctrinating children in faith schools. Free thinking is the most dangerous long term threat to any religion, while other religions the internecine conflicts among believers of different sects are temporary struggles for supremacy.