This week, yet another Survey came out showing that most who identify as “Catholic” are not,morally. Whatever happened to Catholics needing to “believe all the Church believes and teaches”? Where would we be if the priest who gave Dietrich Von Hildebrand instruction hadn’t required him to accept everything?
Yet we’re told that, because the vast majority of “Catholics” use contraception without batting an eye, that means it’s O.K. for Catholics to contracept. The majority of Cstholics think the Eucharist is a “symbol,” which in the old days would have meant anathema, yet somehow that tells society that “the Church” (including much of the hierarchy) thinks differently than the Magisterium, but those of us who *do* believe (and go to Confession when we fall short rather than literally parading our sins) are “extremists.”
So, when the media, politicians and even well meaning Catholics insist “Islam is a religion of peace, the majority of Muslims are peaceful,” I don’t buy it.
I went to a nominally Catholic high school where, for “religion,” we once had to sit through a lesson on Islam from one student. Back then, everyone said, “‘Islam’ means ‘submission.'” That’s what my classmate said in a pro-Islam talk. It’s what my professor and textbook in the Islamic history class I took for my multicultural requirement said. Only after 9/11 did it suddenly start meaning “peace.”
Jesus Christ preached to fight spiritually, not physically. As Tim Rice puts it, “To conquer death, you only have to die.” He was crucified–in part, because the crowds rejected Him for *not* conquering. Yes, Moses and the Judges took the Holy Land by force, and that is a Mystery in understanding God (most straightforward answer is that, before Christ, all mortal sin was literally mortal). Regardless, we regard Vlad the
Impaler, who protected all of Europe for a generation, as a monster. Do
Muslims do the same to their impalers? No, they honor them as caliphs because they follow in the footsteps of Mohammed.
That is the difference. Even when we honor those who’ve fought in just wars as Saints, it’s usually for what happened after more than before.
Yet why, in Islam or Christianity, does society point to the majorit’s beliefs and actions to represent the religion? As Fr. Dubay put it, you don’t judge a belief system by those who do it badly. You judge it by its heroes who best e employ its teachings.