Thursday, November 11, 2010

Peter Kreeft's Kappa Malong Malong

I have a great deal of respect for Peter Kreeft.  He's been out in the public square teaching our faith and courageously defending the Deposit of Faith for years.

I must say though that I'm puzzled by his treatise on Islam.

With my head so deeply immersed in what's going on in Boston, I first caught wind of it at Terry Nelson's blog Abby Road. (BTW - I hope you are visiting the fabulous bloggers linked in my blogroll).

Another one of my Catholic heroes,  John Zmirak (who moderated the debate) weighed in yesterday.

I really look forward to John's pieces.  He has a unique way of building momentum and then taking our foolishness and laying it to waste with acerbic wit.   As I read his piece..building my own excitement...waiting for the punch line...

It is this primal vigor that Kreeft finds admirable in Islam, and throughout the book he skillfully shows how it contrasts with the haughty, narcissicistic skepticism that prevails throughout the post-Christian West, even among many who claim to be somehow Catholic. (This problem is surely worse in Boston than almost anywhere else on earth, except perhaps Louvain.) And that is the message Kreeft repeated at Thomas More College -- reiterating what he suggested in Between Allah and Jesus: that terrorism, military jihad, and the use of violence to subjugate "unbelievers" are perversions of Islam, as witch-burnings, inquisitions, and religious wars were distortions of Christianity.

...Yes, yes, yes.  I couldn't wait for the delicious punchline!

Robert Spencer, the author of ten painstakingly researched books on political Islam (such as The Truth About Muhammad), replied that Kreeft was playing a dangerous game, scoring points against liberal Catholics -- who surely deserve it -- at the price of soft-pedaling the truth about Islam: that it is every bit as much an ideology as a religion. Orthodox Islam, as codified in the Koran and propounded by every authoritative school of interpretation, demands that Muslims seek to dominate the world, imposing on polytheists (such as Hindus) the simple choice of conversion or death. Christians and Jews face a third option: accepting with "willing submission" a second-class, servile status called "dhimmitude," which is comparable to the status African-Americans had under Jim Crow laws.  

Earlier this week, I interjected into a conversation on Facebook with some  Obama and Muslim rock redneck a who was warning Christians and Catholics in comment boxes that the post-Obama era would see the eradication of Christians and Catholics evangelizing in the public square.  He said he would fight it to his death.  After some back and forth [with the anti-Christian bigot] where several of us gave him the heads up on our Constitutional and civil rights and moreover our 2000 year history of martyrdom, we wished him lots of luck.    At one point, when pointing out the history of the codified violence in the Koran and its mission to wipe out the rest of us out with death, he "ROFLMAO".    "You mean to say you think Muslims are violent?"

I think there are many Muslims who have escaped the violent thugs but the victims of this 'religion' cry out to the heaven for justice and I told him he better be doing some research on what's going on in Muslim countries or better yet, go there himself.    I'm not going to make a mockery out of their deaths by pleading ignorance.

Anyway..back to John:

Kreeft deferred to Spencer's account of Islam in practice, but insisted on his main point: that the heritage of the Western Enlightenment is far more dangerous to the Church than the faith of Muslim immigrants. While orthodox Muslims threaten our bodies and our freedoms, the Enlightenment threatens our souls. "Our real enemies, as Christians, are demons....It's a fascinating exchange between two men with first-rate minds who love the Church.

That's it???


I can't say I disagree with this conclusion but in a period where our White House is occupied by an anti-American muslim terrorist sympathizer who treats our own military and police as the boogeymen, I think we ought to be a little less fatuous and a little lot more courageous about what the cult of Islam 'is'.

That is all.


TheLastCatholicinBoston said...

I have never been overly impressed with Peter Kreeft. I've read a book or two of his years ago. I think some of his material is intellectually 'creative' so brings to some an ooh or aah. I think his latest flies in the face of history.
Time will tell.

Jerry said...

Hi LastCatholic,

Thanks for the link. A very informative site. If only folks in the tolerant west will listen. But they wouldn't listen to the popes, the ones who preached the crusades and rid Europe of the scourge of Muhammad. Poor Kreeft won't listen, either.

Yes, the enlightenment is worse for the soul. But what Muhammad will do to our women and children is horrific. All Muslim immigration should be stopped. All building of mosques should be prohibited. And those who preach the Qur'an should be punished.

It's us or them, period. They know it, but will we realize it soon enough?

Anonymous said...


I watched the entire debate and was amazed by Kreeft's attitude toward Islam.

Apparently he bases his sanguine view of Islam on one Muslim student of his at Boston College. This student was serious about his religion in contrast to a class full of spiritually empty "culturally" Catholic BC students.

Kreeft took from this experience that religious minded people could form a common front against Enlightenment based decadence-to say the least this is an incredibly naive view. Muslims are not interested in forming a common front with non Muslims. They see the existence of other religions as an affront to Islam.The recent Muslim alliance with the Left is merely a tactical effort in order to weaken the resolve of the West. They despise the secularist Left even more than Jews and Christians.

Richard Spencer, who I didn't know (until this debate) was a Catholic, did an excellent job of "enlightening" Kreeft about real world Islam. By the end of the debate Kreeft was sheepishly admitting that if Muslims did take the Koran seriously then "bad" Muslims were preferable.

A very disappointing performance by Kreeft.


Carol McKinley said...

I've been caught up in my own tripe before. It is a humbling experience.

The false charity of trying to make out murderers of Christians and Jews out to be deserving of respect is intellectual dishonesty at it's best.

John Zmirak is as sharp as a tack. I can only imagine what was going through his mind.

I think I'll do myself a favor and skip the torture. I have enough piles of poo to wade through and keep my spirituality and sense of humour in check. I appreciate the review. Thanks.

Carol McKinley said...


I don't mean to include Kreeft in this generalization, but I think a number of men (including Obama) who are muslim empathizers are men with low self-esteem and deep-seated hatred for women. They would love to see a society where men dominated and controlled women like the muslims do.

It's a sicko world out there!

Jerry said...


Keep exposing how Muslims treat women, FGM and all. You would think the "my body, my self" crew would scream themselves to death over Islam, but no. The silence has got to be the weirdest inconsistency about the feminist movement and feminized media.

Mark Steyn has excellent articles about the Muslim hoard. Do you ever read him?

Carol McKinley said...

No. I hate to ask this...but where is his gig? Is he on NRO?

Jerry said...

You'll like Steyn. Extremely witty. He subs for Rush on occasion.

Here's some classic Steyn on the Muslim issue. That's on his own site,

Anonymous said...

A previous commentator said:

"Richard Spencer, who I didn't know (until this debate) was a Catholic"

Wait...Spencer WAS a Catholic? I thought he IS a Catholic?

Michael said...

If we are making corrections: it's Robert Spencer (not Richard),who is a Catholic.