August 29, 2006

Convert to Islam or Die? Just cross your fingers!

Auto da Fe - Madrid - 1680
Everyone is glad that the two Fox newsmen held hostage in Gaza were released alive. That they weren't beheaded is evidence that the Mohammedan fanatics have taken to heart the advice of their PR Imams and are cooling the once popular practice of videotaped throat-cuttery. Such grisly deeds as Mr. Berg's beheading never had the desired effect on us infidels. Even the pro-Mohammedan western media saw this PR failing and wouldn't show the gore on TV or the newspapers. You can see the nastiness at Ogrish, but never on the nightly news.

What has replaced the long, blurry videos? The ones showing the tedious reading of charges in Arabic as a doomed infidel kneels in front of a rag-tag squad of AK rattling masked sheet-heads, followed by the fumbling horror of incompetent butchers beheading the writhing, screaming unbeliever? Forced conversion to Islam! What could be worse?

Forced religious conversions are nothing new. The Romans were known to force early Christians and others to offer a 'pinch of incense' to Jupiter to avoid martyrdom. The Christians of old let a few Jews escape burning at the stake at an auto da fe if they would convert and be babtised. The Christian conversion of the Slavs was accomplished at the point of a sword. Some even accuse the Catholic Church of forced conversions as late as WWII. But the key to all of these examples is that they happened in the past.

In the past! That is exactly where these brutal, uncivilized, primitive behaviors belong. The horrific ways of our ancestors are artifacts of the process by which we have sought to distinguish ourselves from the beast. We don't draw and quarter our outlaws any more. No one in America risks being broken on the wheel or having his flesh burned in a trial by ordeal. At least not at the hands of the government. Yet these very practices were part of our inherited justice system in the not so distant past. Obviously, we aren't clamoring to bring them back.

While this progress from brute physical torture/murder to theological torture/abjuratory anathema is good, I predict that the Mohammedan fanatics will not be happy with their new forced conversion to Islam program. I don't think westerners today are as doctrinaire as their predecessors; the ones that chose to feed the lions in the Roman Colosseum rather than offer to Jupiter. We will simply cross our fingers when we take the Mohammedan pledge! It isn't a sin to lie to the Devil, is it?
Addendum: David Koyzis, the Byzantine-Rite Calvinist, agrees that lying to the terrs wouldn't be wrong. Especially if the one doing the lying isn't a Christian: "To die for something as abstract as 'the West' while lacking an ultimate hope in redemption is almost certainly more than one can demand from a journalist steeped in a secular worldview."

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