Saturday, May 28, 2016

Very exact, Chesterton!

"But there are some people*, nevertheless--and I am one of them-- who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger, it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy. We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy's numbers, but still more important to know the enemy's philosophy."

The problem is, when generals these days TRY to, they fail.

A Muslim who bombs other people is often supposed to do so because he takes the Qoran literally, takes Puritan measures to extremes (now, bombing people out of Puritanism is extreme, that is true, killing people at café Carillon because they enjoyed wine was that extreme : but there are ways of taking Islamic Puritanism to extremes without bombing).

And after stating things like these generals do state, they conclude that one has to fight Fundamentalism, but consider all non-Fundamentalist versions of Islam as essentially benign.

False on two points. Christian Fundamentalists are not known to bomb (there was a canular about Breivik being one, but he was as little that as Ken Miller was a traditional Catholic). And adapted Muslims are profiting from the bombings, it is often they who get the jobs for the security measures.

Don't get me wrong, they have, since the shootings, often been correct to me. But they do get these jobs. And that should worry people more than a Christian being a Fundie.

And at least in the most general sense, Chesterton himself considered himself a Fundamentalist:

"For these reasons*, and for many more, I for one have come to believe in going back to fundamentals."

In his day, it seems bomb throwers were usually irrelgious (consider a chapter in The Man Who was Thursday).

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Augustine of Canterbury

* Quoting : 1. Introductory Remarks on the Importance of Orthodoxy
from Heretics, by G. K. Chesterton

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