Dymphna and I belong to a small rural Anglican congregation that worships in an old frame church not far from where we live. Despite the fact that it is an Episcopal church, and thus subordinate to the — gack! — ECUSA, it is not at all liberal. This is, after all, the remote countryside of Central Virginia. Most of our fellow congregants are older people who grew up around here, and are thus unafflicted by the PC disease that has infected the national church — as well as all the other mainstream Protestant denominations.
Yet our church is not what you’d call hidebound — we follow Rite 2 in the 1979 Prayer Book, sing from the 1982 hymnal, and accept the fact that women are now ordained priests in the Episcopal Church. We’re just average run-of-the-mill cultural conservatives. Our priest is a conservative, and sometimes even forwards me emails from tea party groups or the Blaze.
As a result, I don’t mind speaking up and revealing my political sympathies at church — it’s safe.
From time to time I pass on information acquired as part of my work here at Gates of Vienna, especially reports concerning the persecution of Christians in majority-Muslim countries. Other members of our church get their news mostly from the MSM, especially the television networks, which means they don’t hear much about the routine treatment meted out to Christians in Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt.
At the service this past Sunday, the news about the mass destruction of churches in Egypt was fresh in my mind, so I stood up during the announcements and gave an account of the previous day’s reports, knowing that my fellow parishioners would have seen virtually nothing about the atrocities on their TV screens. I explained that in a space of just three days, fifty-eight churches and Christian schools in Egypt had been torched and looted by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, and I reminded them that the Brotherhood enjoyed the full support of the Obama administration.
An elderly lady in the third row snorted, and said, “Huh! He’s a Muslim himself, isn’t he?”
Which made me wonder:
How how did that idea get through the MSM’s blackout curtains?
Next I spoke about the church-burnings in the German town of Garbsen and the Swedish city of Karlskrona (I had just read a brief report of the latter before leaving for church). I explained that Christians were being persecuted not just in the Muslim world, but also in Europe, especially in Britain, France, and Germany, where violence against Christians and churches was becoming increasingly common.
Another woman spoke up at that point, saying that she accepted that the reports were true, but she thought it was important not to raise too much of a fuss about them.
“Because,” she said, “you know what will likely happen if there’s a lot of noise in the media about all this — it will give the real radicals a reason to take to the street and start even worse trouble.”
I recognized her argument as an old favorite that predates the current administration. It was officially popular during the Bush years, and formed part of the strategy of “cleaving the radicals from the mainstream”. The idea was that when we point out the bad things Muslims do, or what imams and Islamic teachings say, we inflame Muslim sentiments against us and thus generate more mainstream support for the “radicals”, who are thereby emboldened and empowered to commit further terrorist acts.
If, on the other hand, we manage to restrain our righteous outrage and remain calm, the appropriate law enforcement agencies will be able to do their jobs more effectively, and violent extremists will be brought to justice that much sooner.
So the logic goes. It didn’t entirely convince me back in 2002 and 2003, and it convinces me even less now, after nine years of studying Islamic doctrine and the behavior of Muslims. In fact, our quiescence in the face of Islamic atrocities tends to have the opposite effect: it convinces the Islamic world that we are spineless infidel cowards who will roll over and show our soft underbelly at the slightest hint of their aggressive behavior.
Meek passivity is the cornerstone of dhimmitude. Non-Muslim dhimmis are expected to accept without demur whatever punishment the righteous soldiers of Allah inflict upon them — and be glad it’s not even worse.
This is the classic dynamic of the bully and his victim. If the bully experiences no resistance, it only whets his appetite for more vigorous bullying.
I didn’t have time to introduce these arguments — we did, after all, have a Eucharist to celebrate — but I spoke to the woman after the service. I explained that the passive acceptance by Christians of Islamic violence is the first step towards full Islamization, and that Lebanon provides an instructive example of what lies ahead for Christian countries if we don’t wake up to what is going on and resist it.
I don’t know how well I managed to get through, but the amazing thing is that we are actually having these conversations at church. Five years ago it couldn’t have happened — the congregation wouldn’t have had enough information to make sense of what I was talking about.
But five years of Obama have restructured what Steve Coughlin calls the “information battle-space”. Despite the best efforts of the legacy media to minimize the increase in jihad-related violence and lull their audience into somnolence, the word is getting out. From Baghdad to London, from Kabul to Paris, from Benghazi to Stockholm, from Cairo to Dearborn — it’s hard to hide the present-day realities of Islam.
Even from Episcopalians.