Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fr. Robert Hart on Antichrist

With Mohammed all of the many kinds of heresy were combined into one new religion. Can we not see at least an echo, if not a fulfillment, of I John 2:18? "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."

Who is this one antichrist that sums up the work of all the heretics who had come before, be they Legalists, Gnostics or Arians? Be they Montanists with a "new prophecy" or Pneumatamachoi that deny the Holy Spirit? All of these antichrists had the system of their doctrine swept up into the substance of Islam by the antichrist himself, who I have long identified as that raider who came out of the desert to convert the cities and cultures of Middle Eastern Christianity into an extension of the desert, a place of barrenness.

Be sure to read more by Fr. Hart at The Continuum.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

On the Term Islamo-fascism

I'm not interested in using terms for their pejorative effectiveness, but rather their accuracy in designating something.

According to Wikipedia (the authority for everything now), "Fascism is a radical political ideology that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism."

Because Fascism is a historical term that refers to the international threat fought during the Second World War, I think it misleading to use the term Islamo-fascism to refer to the current Islamic menace. I prefer instead to refer to the enemy as Islamism, highlighting the religious aspect of its radicalism.

While authoritarianism, militarism, anti-semitism, and anti-liberalism characterize the enemy we now face, several crucial features are missing that would identify them with the older enemy of half a century ago.

Most importantly, Islamism manifests no nationalistic element. While Islamists oppose the existence of an Israeli state, they do not organize their hopes around the destiny of any particular nation or ethnic group. The absence of a nationalistic cause disqualifies Islamism from being identified as fascistic.

Furthermore, Islamist states (like Iran and Libya) have been known to experiment with both communist and corporatist economic programs. While Hitler and Mussolini hated communism, Islamism does not define itself as the opposition of international communism, which has lost its impetus as a worldwide movement.

Given their current political alliances (formal or informal) with Cuba, North Korea, Venezuala, and the liberal left in western countries, Islamist groups show a willingness to ally themselves with communists or otherwise who opposes America's liberal-capitalist hegemony. At the risk of painting with too broad a brush, the left's nearly unanimous siding with the Palestinians against the Israelis, the presence of Iranian diplomats during North Korea's missiles tests in July, and this month's Cuban meeting of the Non-Aligned powers (led by prominent leftist and Islamist national leaders), all point to a convergence in interests between the two groups. So while naming this phenomenon Islamo-communism would be joining what is ideologically incoherent, the term Axis of Evil is an apt designation.

Concluding, Fascism and Islamism represent different ideologies interested in divergent objectives (e.g., racial purity vs. religious purity). While sharing similar features, they are also dissimilar, being threats that arose for distinct historical reasons. Islamism is therefore a better designation than Islamo-fascism. Islamists are currently alligned with the heirs of the communist legacy, but this alliance appears temporary and pragmatic in motivation, unless one has special apprehension of the spiritual powers that may be at work.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A New Quote for the Day

I want to apologize to my loyal readers for failing to update UO over the last two months, because there is much to comment about that has happened recently. Screaming out for attention has been the controversy sparked by the Pope's statements in Germany and Venezualan President Chavez' address to the U.N. However, the purpose of this blog is not so much to comment on curent events as they happen, but to apply a particular theological viewpoint to facts gleaned from from both history and current events. That said, we are living in momentous times for the world, as significant as the terrible world wars that took place last century.

Something else I should mention is that I have been extended the honor of being an official contributor to De Regno Christi, a blog dedicated to discussing the implications of Jesus' rule for the civil power. Be sure to check there frequently for some of the the best Presbyterian thought on the topic. To my knowledge I am the only Anglican monarchist contributing to the blog.

Signing off for now, here is a great quote from a reader of Peter Hitchen's blog:

It has seemed to me for some time that what unites such incongruous allies as Leftists and extremist Muslims is nothing more or less than a common antipathy to Christianity/Judaism. Of course the reasons for this antagonism are completely different in the two camps but they find a shared focus in a hatred of Christian America, and of confidently expressed Christianity in Europe. Interestingly, this incongruous and increasingly powerful alliance can best be characterised as 'Anti-Christ'.

This is exactly my view. Modern liberalism and Islam find common cause because they are both manifestations of the spirit of Antichrist. Their present alliance may even amount to something more significant for the warfare of Christ's Kingdom in the world. Time will tell.