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Allah at Catholic University

WaPo observes that Catholic universities are enrolling increased numbers of Muslims in recent years - an interesting, if expected, trend. The article relates minor tensions but overwhelming harmony in this inter-religious condition.

On the one hand, this reflects well on America and Catholicism, which treat foreigners and religious minorities in their midst with respectful hospitality. The same is not routinely true of the treatment offered to Christians in Muslim lands.

It's also noteworthy that Muslims prefer Christian (even, or especially, doctrinal and conservative Catholic) surroundings in America. Both faiths likely recognize radical secularism as a greater threat to world order than diverse religions. Hence, Islamic terrorists do not tend to target churches, but Wall Street, the military and Washington. Islam's problem is not, foremost, with American faith, but its perceived faithlessness. A relevant perspective on Islamic sensibilities.

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Discussions - 5 Comments

Interesting post. Reminds me a lot of the books of Peter Kreeft who argued that conservative Catholics have a lot more in common with conservative Muslims, Jews, and fundamentalist Christians than in with their own liberals. After teaching at a school (as a conservative Catholic) where the fundamentalists were extremely anti-intellectual and haughtily righteous about being the only Christians, I have developed many serious doubts about Kreeft's scheme. The common enemy may be secularism, but that is often not enough to overcome divisive theological issues.

A conservative friend of mine who teaches in Arlington, VA public high schools (and is therefore used to sophisticated high-achievers) remarked that he enjoyed the Muslim students, who were eager to argue against abrotion, gay rights, etc.--though they weren't so good when it came to polygamy.

In my opinion (and it's a minority opinion in conservativism and on this blog), our political persuasion will continually play defense until we abandon what Larry Arnhart calls "metaphysical conservativism." Resting our sense of social order on the "old man in the sky" just isn't going to be a winner much longer. It's true, people will always need religion of some kind, but increasingly it just isn't enough to say "God wills it" when discussing abortion, gay marriage, governmental power, etc. I agree with Arnhart that a view of human nature rooted in evolutionary science supports most conservative contentions, and science is the langauge of the Left (at least, that's what they fall back on, although they certainly aren't consistent in this regard). We need to defend our positions (and indeed proselytize) using reason and science rather than traditional authority. Otherwise, you end up making common cause with people who want to turn the clock back to the 8th Century.

That's my 2 cents.

I tend to agree.

The defense mounted must use the language of science and reason.

But I'd say the strength of the conviction should be rooted in God. Not simply in the notion of "natural law," but in the personal conviction that God is indeed the traditional ... nay, the ultimate authority.

And it should be a conviction demonstrated through non-verbal actions. As Jesus himself said:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you.'" (Matthew 7:21-23)

From what I understand, in the Bible the verb "know" or "knew" always refers to personal insight based on experience and relationship.

So, bottom line -- live the conviction, but do not use empty words of faith.

Anyway, I figured it out after taking my wife to get some sushi tonight. We ordered four or five different Digital Media Sales, a seared spicy tuna salad, and a sprite. It wasn't until the end of the meal that I figured out how I felt about it. Kristin saved the last piece of a roll for me because it was my favorite out of all of them and I told her to eat it.

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