The Enemy Within

Around the turn of the century Australians became aware of a growing religious minority within their society which was not readily assimilating and did not share the same mainstream values.   Although professing loyalty to Australia, many questioned this as their ultimate loyalty was to clerics overseas.  This group also claimed to worship the same God but most people agreed that the religion was incompatible with Biblical Christianity.  Their isolation was enhanced by their tendency to build their own schools, where women in repressive neck-to-toe robes and head-coverings taught the religions traditions of their country of origin.  Many of this religion were involved in violent struggles overseas against our allies, and some were involved in terrorist acts.  This group also tended to have more children than mainstream Australian families, increasing the anxiety among Australians that their values would be overtaken.

Of course I am talking about the turn of the 20th century and the Irish Roman-Catholic minority.  With the benefit of hind-sight, most of those fears turned out to be unjustified and the Catholics have assimilated into society.  What was once a very firm distinction between Protestant and Catholic has increasingly turned into co-operation, as in the recent World Youth-Day events.

What then of the enemy within?  Could it be that our real struggle is within ourselves, and we externalise it at our peril?


34 thoughts on “The Enemy Within

  1. I don’t believe that the Catholics have ever taught that the only way one can truely be assured of going to heaven is to die while trying to kill non-Catholics.

    The point being that the differences between Islam and Christianity are somewhat bigger than those between Protestants and Catholics.

  2. I don’t believe all Catholics felt the same. My parents are very “left” wing Catholics/Christians and never said a bad word about non-Catholics.

    But yes, there were alot of bad things done in the name of God, and that is still happening in religions, it’s still a work in progress

  3. I also suggest that the Catholics have done their fair share of throwing their weight around when they had the numbers (ever heard of the inquisition?)

    If 90% of people where evangelical/fundamentalist Christians (like me) we might have very different laws on a couple of issues.

    So why aren’t fundies like me a threat to the adulterers, fornicators or soddomites of the world? (The afore mentioned – rightly or wrongly – could once be put in jail when Christian fundies where in power). The answer is that at 1 or 2 % of the population we have no political power to speak of.

    98% of the population no longer take their Catholicism or Protestanism seriously. I suggest thats the main reason the Catholics are so well intergated.

    Similarly in Australia the fundamentalist Muslims are no (large scale) threat due to numbers.

    I don’t live in Europe but if some of the statistics are to be believed Eurabia could become a reality in coming decades. When the majority are fundamentalist Muslims (due to superior birth rates) the laws will follow. Say hello to Sharia when that happens – if not before. In Europe you’ll be integrating with the Muslims alright, as a Dhimmi living under Sharia.

  4. I’ll also add that serious Christians whether Protestant or Catholic don’t go around beating up people (or conducting inquisitions) for not being Christian, it kind of goes against Jesus’ words in scripture. Turn the other cheek, don’t resist an evil man, love your neighbour etc

  5. I agree, state and church shouldn’t mix, because of religious zeolots. Interesting about Muslims in Europe, friends of mine from Denmark have been saying the same thing.

  6. The problem is that Islam is not just a private religion but also a political system (like communism is a political system), it doesn’t just want your private prayers and devotion but also your public subserviance to it. It wants to be the law of the land.

    At least that is the theme of this video which I thoroughly reccomend

    http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-871902797772997781

    I sugest its one of the reason that trying to force democracy on the middle east (invade them and force them to be democratic) doesn’t work. In Islam there is only one right set of laws, the laws given by the Koran, thus rulership should be by those laws not some vote by comittee on what people feel is best (democracy). The people who understand the Koran the best then should lead, according to that view. In other words its a theocracy which means the clerics rule.

  7. I don’t think they would admit that to loudly thought, especially in the West, that they want to rule, On tv the other night, watching a muslim/australian being asked the hard questions came to naught as they danced around the topic (topic being gays/gay marriage) I don’t know any myself, except Cat Stevens

  8. To the West? No they are not stupid. To each other? Yes. (See the above video).

    Here is a video (only 5 min this time) putting a face on some Muslims in Europe not doing their bit to “integrate”.

  9. Oh dear, I don’t think Australia will tolerate it too much, we have a low percentage of church frequenting as it is, I don’t see them being to big here

  10. I think the problen in Europe is a demographic one as shown in this video (I don’t think we have the same problem in Aus)

    (I think we’re managing 2.1 without Muslim immigration)

  11. I think the problem with Europe is that political correctness (and ultimately their rejection of Christ) has left them defenceless against Islam. Just as AIDS doesn’t kill you directly but just your immune system, then an opportunistic infection kills you, similarly PC has in my opinion weakened the West and left it defenceless so that it can be taken over against Islam.

  12. I could spend all day posting videos on Islam but I’ll stop the spam attack with this one last video.

    I can’t really talk about Eurabia without mentioning Mark Steyn (who wrote The End of Europe)

    ‘The End of Europe – Mark Steyn (1 of 5)

    You might want to skip the fist 4:58 secs which is all just intro to Steyn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlkEYoKC-kA

  13. Correction in above video you might just want to skip to 7 min were it actauly starts talking about Islam

  14. well, i agree there is a problem but i don’t think all of Europe has rejected God. I study history and the Danish especially were very Christian and very old fashioned, they are a well organised country and very fair and caring of their underpriveliged but then my Danish friend said that is why so many came to their country to immigrate because of their good welfare system, free dental for example.

    Anyway, Europeans I know are very civil, very decent people, very family oriented, of course that’s just been my experience here.

  15. I don’t doubt for a moment that Europeans are on the whole decent family oriented people, I’ve never suggested otherwise. (Atheists often still claim a moral system as unjustified as it might be).

    When I say that Europe has rejected God I did not mean that you won’t find a single church in Europe or that they are all atheists to a man. I mean it as a general characterisation of the culture; in the same sense that one can say that Germany adopted Nazism in the 1930s, it doesn’t mean every last German was a die hard nazi.

  16. No, what i meant was Europe is an ancient culture, and has learnt from mistakes/human screwups, I mean gosh look at Roman history and culture. Germany adopted Nazism because, they were going through a bit of a depression, and were looking for answers, well pls let’s not get started as Hitler was a Catholic I think, really those type of tyrannical leaders and followers, its more about psychology, the group mentality, same as Russia, even China. Anyways a bit off track, because i am more concerned about religion, that’s not of God, that’s a worry and the west’s inertia regarding suffering and their fellow man.

  17. I remember i heard a preacher say “evil begins in the heart of man” and I thought that’s a bit strong, but now Im older I see it’s true

  18. On the topic of Europe learning form history – I think that the rise of political correctness and the West’s self hatred can be traced to WWI and WWII. I think the mass slaughter in those wars ultimately lead to our current lack of civilisational confidence, which is behind PCness, which opens the way for Islam to take over unopposed.

  19. Gosh, what a condensed version of history and psychology, i like it. I think pc was formed because we were such a-holes, yes, but i think there has been healing and reflection, its not just those wars that scarred us, it was genocide and other atrocities. And yes pc put our guard down, but particularly with Australia, i don’t think we are that “nice”, we won’t put up with a religion that is so nonsensical….

  20. “Could it be that our real struggle is within ourselves, and we externalise it at our peril?”

    Interesting thoughts Wazza2. For me, fear of the other is a faith and love issue. Faith in God, love of neighbour. Not that all fears are unfounded, but if we can resist fear we’ll be able to get some perspective. If we can resist hatred we may see that our enemy’s struggles are not unlike our own and his intentions may not be as malevolent as we think. At the least then our opposition will be rational and balanced with our thoughts untainted by fear.

    Some of these issues are very deep rooted though. The strength of feeling against Catholics for example is still very intense in some quarters. Not that I’m a RC apologist.

    The rest I can’t even begin to broach but to say I remember reading a speech from the 20s(?) given by an influential moslem cleric in which he appealed to Jews and Christians to join together with them against the rising common enemy of materialism. I think agnostic and atheistic materialism with token spiritualities will probably take over the world, not Islam.

  21. Materialism has taken over the world I believe, one of my children has been caught up in that, it’s so entrenched with Christmas etc. I must admit I even got caught up in it too and God pulled me back.

    In regards to religion, any religion/government that violates human rights law is breaking the law.

  22. “I think agnostic and atheistic materialism with token spiritualities will probably take over the world, not Islam.”-hal

    Agnostic and atheistic materialism with token spiritualities have already well and truely taken over the world! There’s pretty much nothing left for them to conquere, they’ve been victorious already, are already thoroughly in charge.

    Until Islam rises to replace them that is.

    By the way a word of advice; if you ever bump into this guy in the video below in person, what ever you do, don’t share your thoughts with him on Islam not being able to take over the world (unless you’re well armed). I think you’ll find he doesn’t kindly to yout view point

    Taking over the world is the unashamed goal of Islam. People like you hal are why they will succeed.

  23. “…People like you hal are why they will succeed…” – Pheonix7

    Whoa! Pheonix, what sort of a comment is that?

    Little bit of condemnation from one follower of Christ to another? A bit harsh, in my view.

    If anything takes over, it will be because of that kind of thing, if we don’t watch ourselves. If we don’t watch ourselves, there’s no hope for anyone!

    Looking forward to reading this thread more closely.

  24. “…the west’s inertia regarding suffering and their fellow man…”

    – yes, I have to agree. Poverty provides a climate where extremist groups can offer hope, a kind of bonding family, and support, if no one else bothers to. If an extreme Islamic group is providing these things for people, which they do in certain populations, their ranks will swell.

    The more people are left in marginalised situations, the more fuel we provide for extreme groups of all kinds.

    Don’t forget it was the Pope who started the Crusades, where millions of Muslims (and other non-Christians) were massacred, which apparently gave rise to the first suicide assassins.

    The mixture of any dominant religion with government is very dangerous, in my view. Our faith in Christ means of course we can have that influence our decisions in matters of politics or things we have responsibility for, but to impose our faith on others would be against our faith. You can’t legislate any kind of faith. I worry about the extreme Christian right; I think it gives Christianity a bad name; it seems to claim that if you don’t support its issues you aren’t Christian, yet allows other abuses to proceed unchecked in the name of Capitalism.

    (I am not really left or right in my politics; I’ll look at each issue on its merits according to my understanding, I hope. Of course, my understanding on many things is limited.)

    I don’t want to demonise Muslims. God created them just as He created us, and loves them just as much. We need to remember and treat them accordingly. Doesn’t mean we have to accept their law or customs as acceptable; some of them are particularly unacceptable in my view, in particlar aspects of sharia and tribally derived mutilations. Demonising the people doesn’t assist them coming forward into the 21st Century though. Tackling poverty and providing good education might.

    It’s interesting what we’ve been hearing about Afganistan lately – the Taliban are apparently better at providing order within their societies than the US supported government. Therefore the people are supporting the Taliban. Apparently, if a government can’t provide the organisation including basic social services required of government, without corruption, the people will gravitate towards those who can provide these things. The Taliban are doing a better job of this than the official government. There is rampant corruption undermining the official government; the West is of course now seen as supporting that corruption; this gives the Taliban a much better foothold as a provider of what people really need to help them lead stable lives.

  25. The above is another example of where the West on a macro level, and we on a micro level, need to watch ourselves and our own standards if we want a better world.

    Of course one day Jesus will provide a better world, but until then, we can apply what He has given us in our lives and around us as salt, and have faith. He will prevail in the end.

    (I have the view that before the end, there will be persecution and darkness, rather than a world led by some kind of a Christian government.)

  26. My apologies for the personal attack.

    Sorry my frustration got the better of me.

    I’m a great believer in attacking the argument not the man, so sorry I broke my own code there as well.

    Let me reiterate what I said before though

    It is precisely because “agnostic and atheistic materialism with token spiritualities” have already taken over the Western world that the West is presently powerless to defend itself against a force like Islam.

    I don’t know what the outcome will be in the long run, but that danger is there and very real – based mainly of European deomgraphics (the atheist/agnostics materialists losing the will to reproduce).

    Either the West will shed its wishy washy Postmodernism in the nick of time, develop the ability to decide what it does stand for, develop the ability to declare some world views ‘bad’ at least enough to cope with the Islamcist threat or it will be defeated by Islam.

    Either way probably won’t be good for Christians. (Under the first option we will probably get caught up with the anti-Muslim fundamentalist drive. Under the second option the Muslims get us).

  27. I think its pretty obvious from scripture that before the end there will be “persecution and darkness rather than some Christian form of government”. The only question is who the persecuting, darkness that comes to power is exactly.

  28. The Muslims are trying out for that slot at present, like Hitler and his Nazism who had a decent go but ultimatley lost, the Muslims may mose too, but they are currently a more than plausable contender for end times bad guy.

  29. One of our problems in the West is our democracy – which I believe in. But it has given rise to short term political time frames. Some of the Islamic nations have much longer time frames – they are willing to do something today that will reap dividends decades from now, as the Saudi’s have from establishing schools in some places in Indonesia decades ago, when the area didn’t have such a large Muslim population.

    If the West is majority driven by short term time frames (3 to 5 year terms), it will be very difficult to achieve anything of value.

    Now I am sounding very pessimistic. It is depressing to think about these things. It’s at this point that I always turn back to having faith that God will bring good out of all things, one way or another.

    One thing is certain – the dominant political players never survive forever, even if their dominance is centuries long.

    Also, the internet has changed many things. That may also have more effect in showing people in fundamentalist regimes that there is another way. Providing they have access.

  30. “I’m a great believer in attacking the argument not the man, so sorry I broke my own code there as well.” – Pheonix

    That’s great Pheonix – it didn’t seem like you.

  31. “My apologies for the personal attack.”

    🙂 Cheers. I don’t feel too attacked but I appreciate that you guys are so civilised about things.

    “Taking over the world is the unashamed goal of Islam. People like you hal are why they will succeed.”

    If you don’t like my ideas on this you’ll be livid at some of my other thoughts!

    I don’t usually watch the vidoes, sorry. I miss out on a few things that way.

    But, no, I don’t think they’ll succeed.

    “Taking over the world is the unashamed goal of Islam.”

    Taking over the world has been the unashamed goal of many groups and still is. Some Christians even think they’re taking over the world. The scientologists think they’re taking over the world.

    Anyway, I don’t think Protestants could ever embrace Moslems like they could (but it’s extremely unlikely that they ever will) the Catholics. Neither should they. There are clear and undeniable divisions between us. However, if early Christians where able, as was once said of them, to “comfort their enemies and make them their friends”, and evidently didn’t compromise their faith but did actually argue vehemently and in fact take over the entire world of their time with the Gospel of Jesus Christ then it’s obviously desirable as opposed to some of the possible alternatives to emanate from fear and hatred like pogroms and war. Which I think are the likely results of majorities, people with power, becoming very afraid of and intolerant toward other people, minorities, as is borne out through innumerable examples from history. The Horror of RC domination was their intolerance of other groups.

    There are problems, there are things to be concerned about, sure. My point is we tend to persecute and become irrational toward what we fear. From the burning of heretics to the Nazi ovens, intolerance is the fuel and we tread a fine and potentially dangerous line when we arouse these passions in people.

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