Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hilaire Belloc's Prophetic Words about Islam

The words of Roman Catholic writer, Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953), writing in the early 20th century, when Christianity was the world's predominant religion and Islam was at a critical low, now seem prophetic in the light of current events.  Consider these quotes from chapter five of Belloc's book, Survivals and New Arrivals and from chapter four of The Great Heresies,"The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed":
"Islam presents a totally different problem from that attached to any other religious body opposed to Catholicism.  To understand it we must appreciate its origins, character and recent fate.  Only then can we further appreciate its possible or probable future relations with enemies of the Catholic effort throughout the world." 

"When the man who produced it (and it is more the creation of one man than any other false religion we know) was young, the whole of the world which he knew...was Catholic.  It was still, though in the process of transformation, the Christian Roman Empire, stretching from the English Channel to the borders of his own desert."  
"Now what Mohamet did was this.  He took over the principal doctrines of the Catholic Church--one personal God, Creator of all things; the immortality of the soul; an eternity of misery or blessedness--and no small part of Christian morals as well...  But at the same time he attempted an extreme simplification." 

"Many another heresiarch has done this, throwing overboard such and such too profound doctrines, and appealing to the less intelligent by getting rid of mysteries through a crude denial of them.  
"With the energy of his personality behind that highly simplified, burning enthusiasm, he first inflamed his own few desert folk, and they in turn proceeded to impose their new enthusiasm very rapidly over vast areas of what had been until then a Catholic civilization; and their chief allies in this sweeping revolution were politically the doctrine of equality and spiritually the doctrine of simplicity.  Everybody troubled by the mysteries of Catholicism tended to join them; so did every slave or debtor who was oppressed by the complexity of a higher civilization.  
"For centuries the struggle between Islam and the Catholic Church continued.  It had varying fortunes, but for something like a thousand years the issue remained doubtful.  It was not until the year 1700 that Christian culture seemed for a time-- to be definitely the master.  
"During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Mohammedan world fell under a kind of palsy...  At last by the end of the nineteenth century, more than nine-tenths of the Mohammedan population of the world...had fallen under the government of nominally Christian nations, especially of England and France." 
"Millions of modern people of the white civilization--that is, the civilization of Europe and America--have forgotten all about Islam.  They have never come in contact with it.  They take for granted that it is decaying, and that, anyway, it is just a foreign religion which will not concern them.  It is, as a fact, the most formidable and persistent enemy which our civilization has had, and may at any moment become as large a menace in the future as it has been in the past." 
"On this account our generation came to think of Islam as something naturally subject to ourselves.  We no longer regarded it as a rival to our own culture, we thought of its religion as a sort of fossilized thing about which we need not trouble."  
"That was almost certainly a mistake.  We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future.  Perhaps if we lose our faith it will rise."  
"Remember that our Christian civilization is in peril of complete breakdown.  An enemy would say that it is living upon its past; and certainly those who steadfastly hold its ancient Catholic doctrine stand on guard as it were in a state of siege; they are a minority both in power and in numbers.  Upon such a state of affairs a steadfast, permanent, convinced, simple philosophy and rule of life, intensely adhered to, and close at hand, may now that the various sections of the world are so much interpenetrating one and the other, be of effect. 
"We must remember that the subjection of the Mohammedan --a purely political subjection --was accomplished by nothing more subtle or enduring than a superiority in weapons and mechanical invention.  We must further remember that this superiority dates from a very short time ago." 
"A little more and there will cease that which our time has taken for granted, the physical domination of Islam by the disintegrated Christendom we know."
As Belloc predicted, a radical and militant Islam has arisen to fill the void left by Christianity's decline and the decadence of the West.  The ultimate answer to the threat of Islam from within or without the United States is not primarily a military solution; it is a spiritually renewed and virtuous people who believe and live their lives with faith in Jesus Christ.  

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