So Am I Saying Bronze Age Thugs Shouldn’t be Challenged?
No. I’m saying that there are smart and stupid ways of challenging the Bronze Age Thugs at the darkest end of the Islamic spectrum. The stupid way is for the leaders of the Catholic Church to do as faux valiant comment box writers demand and engage in Narcissistic Political Theatre the way comments box writers do. The net effect of this approach will be to get the missionaries who are quietly at work in Islamic lands killed and to polarize the huge mushy middle in the Islamic world. That may make brave comments box writers feel really good about themselves (especially since they will be safe at their computers while people are dying). But it will not only make conversions less likely, but will drive more mushy Muslims toward bin Ladenite types.
The smart way is for the Church to affirm what can be affirmed in common, not piss off the great mushy middle in Islam, and do what can be done to foster conversion and keep violence to a minimum. In short, more or less what JPII is attempting at present. Ultimately, the solution to the problem of Islam is conversion away from Islam to Christ. That outcome is made much less likely if missionaries adopt the mentality of swaggering beer bellies in comments boxes and start labeling a billion people “towelheads”.
Mark, please, that I am talking about the Church, not the US. The US should continue to prosecute the War on Terror with full vigor. Caesar has his place too.