Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Define Your Terms

Robert Spencer confirms my contention that the present struggle with terrorism is not only dealing with its attacking far-flung elements of Western Civilization 'round the clock and seeking a "death by a thousand cuts", but also to determine who defines the terms of discourse. Spencer, author of Religion of Peace: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't, says, "We should challenge the jihadist idea that Sharia equals justice. And we should call it tyranny. But that is not the same thing as formulating some genuine way to counter jihadist claims to represent true Islam. Inventing our own benign little Islam and hoping that Muslims will buy it won't do that."

An important article.


David Nybakke said...

For me there is something about these disccussions that inevitably falls short of the True Transcendence which is the ONLY way out of our cultural and religious violence. Is changing or defining the terms of discourse leading us to the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)? I am all for it if it does. I whole-heartedly agree that we need to cut through the bull and call violence - violence. Once we are able to see violence for and from its source we can begin to see through the haze of all discourse and take note of what Girard has been pointing toward and that is for us to break free of our pulsating and spiraling violence we need to cling to the One and Only True Transcendence Who stands outside the contagious swirl of mimetic desire - through obedient loving self-sacrifice.

So Athos, I know that you are pointing toward Christ in your effort to determine "who" defines the terms of discourse - I am not sure most journalists who write on Islamic matters are pointing toward the True Transendence, but rather they hang their discourse around the secular humanist approach.

Athos said...

Again, you are right, Aramis. It is astonishing to me the way that the press guards its entryways. For through their "portals" comes recognition and validity as a "source" (!) of true knowledge and substance. So, do we ever hear first-hand of René Girard? Does the New York Times or WaPo ever in an op/ed piece begin by saying, "JESUS once said..."

Of course not.

So, the article by Roger Scruton that Porthos lifted up a while back has to bring Girard and his study of Scripture in the back door -- after all the scraping and bowing to Hitchens, et al that must accompany "credible" news about religion these days.

And, of course, Scruton himself only gets admission because of his status granted to published authors on philosophy ... and we know how vapid and moldering the field of philosophy is today.

Yet, as Girard says something -- give me the citation if you have it, please -- the one direction that people could possibly go for meaning and substance they avoid like the plague; namely, the Christian faith in general and the Catholic Church in particular (the headwaters of all the "Christianities", as Ronald Knox said.