Am I alone to be getting very fed up with pusillanimity? In case the last word is unfamiliar to you it means faintheartedness. The word came to mind as I read about the Muslim reaction to the Pope’s recent speech. Not that there is anything fainthearted about the Muslim’s reactions. However, the more I learn about the context of the Pope’s speech, the words he has uttered since and the comments others have written on his behalf, the more that word comes to mind.
As I understand it, the Pope quoted from an obscure writer of the ancient past and he was not and is not owning those words, merely quoting them to make some guarded point. What a pity! As a major world leader of embattled Christianity, he would do well to be a lot more direct in his criticism of Islam, as it now exerts itself around the world. If only he had said that Islam is rapidly becoming a force for evil and that the rest of us should unite to defend ourselves from it. Instead he has half apologized for his words. I know some conservative writers are trying to say we should read between his lines as he has only expressed regret for the protests. Surely, the violent protests erupting around the world, as Muslim mobs burn churches, shoot a nun and threaten much more of the same, are clear evidence that Islam is most certainly not a religion of peace. Nor is it remotely a religion of toleration, intellectual dialogue or compromise. In fact it is precisely the opposite of these things and its protagonists make no bones about it. They are in our faces at every opportunity making it clear that they totally reject peace, dialogue, tolerance and compromise. It seems to me that a large part of the world’s Muslims are seizing on every little incident to exercise their muscle on the streets and intimidate the rest of us.
It would have been better if the Pope had told the media to get lost when they pursued him for words of apology. Better still if he had said “I didn’t go far enough”! Leaders should only make statements they believe to be true, they should make them in clear, unequivocal language and they should never apologize afterwards just because they have offended someone or some group. To fail to do this is to be fainthearted in my book. The Pope, like President Bush and many other decent men, is wilting in the face of media hostility as much as he is wilting in the face of Muslim violence. Because these people do not understand the power of the Media Class and the agenda it is pursuing, they are stunned by the responses to statements they have made in innocence.
The media, led by the BBC in the UK, and the Leftist news agencies and Press Corps in the USA have once again spotted an opportunity to get someone who is always on their hit list. In every report one can sense the implicit meaning. It is that the Pope has caused a problem with insensitive sentiments and ill-chosen words and that he should issue an abject apology to the world’s Muslims so that normality can return. People who depend on the mainstream media will come to the conclusion that the Pope is at best accident prone and at worst a troublemaker and should say sorry and then shut up. When the Pope speaks a sentence with the words “apology” or “sorry” in it, no matter how cunningly phrased, the media makes it look like a retreat, though too little too late. And the Muslim outrage then continues for a bit longer and for as long as there are infidels to terrorize and churches to burn down and of course media people to amplify it all without being judgmental.
I don’t think the Media Class cares much about what the Pope hinted at, nor about Muslim sensibilities, but it does care a great deal about his views on abortion, adultery, same-sex marriage, family life and other moral issues. If the public can be persuaded to feel that he should shut up about Islam, it can be more easily persuaded to feel that he should shut up about everything else. The Media Class is willing to play footsy with the deadly Islamic threat in order to destroy President Bush and it is willing to do the same to destroy this Pope and his Church.
We should not underestimate the Media Class. It is very smart at news manipulation, having had a great deal of practice. At the same time as it has been highlighting Muslim anger around the world as a general theme, it has been careful not to arouse ordinary people near home. Thus the BBC and others largely ignored the threatening Muslim mob outside Westminster Cathedral last Sunday as Catholic worshippers came and went. The masked men (all foreigners it appeared) with their hate-filled placards could not have been “toned down” for the cameras, for these people are for real in their murderous intent. Unlike media people who believe they can always rewrite the script and edit this or that out of reality, the Muslim activists are beyond control.
Again faintheartedness was on display, as lines of London policemen looked on, unwilling to make arrests for fear of inflaming the Muslims. If this had been a BNP crowd protesting immigration or Christians opposing same-sex marriage those policemen would have had them all under lock and key within an hour.
Fortunately, a worshipper attending the Church service had a camera, recorded the scenes and posted them on a website. Thanks to the Internet, some real and important news seeped out into the world once again. Leaders may be fainthearted, but some ordinary people are not. Perhaps we should all carry cameras and notebooks and be ready to find real news.