"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fr. Samir: Obama on Islam pleases, but there are some lies and silences

Article Source: AsiaNews by Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, SJ on Obama's Speech in Cairo (On Religious Freedom); Photo Credit: AP:

"Here Obama goes a little beyond historic truth and uses mythical concepts to justify his position. He maintains that Islam has always been a tolerant religion. But this is ambiguous: religious freedom is not only a question of tolerance. Tolerance means allowing others to exist, it does not mean freedom of speech, freedom to preach or convert. Then he falls into the trap of myths when he uses the Caliphate of Andalusia and Cordoba a san example of this tolerance, placing it in direct contrast to the Inquisition. This is completely exaggerated myth. First of all the Inquisition was historically after the caliphate, but the affirmation is also wrong in its contents. There was a lot of persecution under the Andalusia Caliphate, of Christians, Jews and even Muslims: Averroè was forced to flee from Cordoba; the same fate for the Hebrew Philosopher Maimonide. He then points to Indonesia where he lived during his childhood. And here there is little to argue about. However the Indonesia of today is less tolerant than it was in the past. Despite this he seems conscious of the fact that steps need to be taken to ensure reciprocal respect. Among situations of difficulty he lists (a little out of place) the Maronites in Lebanon and (with no small measure of courage given that he is in Egypt) the Copts in Egypt. Finally he also cites conflicts between Sunni and Shiites to show that tolerance is needed also among Muslims themselves and not only with Christians.

He then gives some examples of tolerance “American” style. He speaks for example of the zakat, the juridical religious tax in support of other Muslims. But this is a private fact that no-one can impede, and yet he points to it as an important sign of tolerance. Twice or three times he calls in cause the issue of the veil and women’s’ clothing, to say that they have the right to dress as they desire, but this argument seems more aimed at satisfying Muslims, because it is not real issue of religious freedom. Instead the right to believe or not to believe, to be homosexual or not, to convert to another religion, are not addressed. He points to Saudi Arabia as an example of collaboration between religions, but says nothing of the lack of religious freedom in that country."
Read the article in full. (For Mr. Obama's Speech click here)

How tolerant Islam is to other faiths? It's really ambiguous.

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