Category Archives: Religion

The Crusades in Context

by Paul Stenhouse MSC PhD

Fr Stenhouse, an expert on the Middle East and editor of Annals Australasia, debunks the constantly repeated claim that Christians and Muslims lived in peace until the Crusades.

CURRENT wisdom would have it that ‘five centuries of peaceful co-existence’ between Muslims and Christians were brought to an end by ‘political events and an imperial-papal power play,’ that was to lead to a ‘centuries-long series of so-called “holy-wars” that pitted Christendom against Islam, and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and mistrust.’[1] A school textbook, Humanities Alive 2, for Year 8 students in the Australian State of Victoria, carries the anti-Christian/anti-Western argument further:

Those who destroyed the World Trade Centre are regarded as terrorists… Might it be fair to say that the Crusaders who attacked the Muslim inhabitants of Jerusalem were also terrorists. [2]

Muhammad died in Medina on June 8, 632 AD. The first of the eight Crusades to free the Holy Places in Palestine from Muslim control and offer safe passage to the Holy Land for Christian pilgrims, was called only in 1095. At the risk of sounding pedantic, the period in question is not ‘five centuries’, but four hundred and sixty-three years; and those years, we contend, were not characterized by ‘peaceful coexistence’.[3]

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the epiphany – the story of the three wise men

Matthew 2: 1-15 translated by Ronald Knox

1 Jesus was born at Bethlehem, in Juda, in the days of king Herod. And thereupon certain wise men came out of the east to Jerusalem, 2 who asked, Where is he that has been born, the king of the Jews? We have seen his star out in the east, and we have come to worship him. 3 King Herod was troubled when he heard it, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 so that he assembled all the chief priests and learned men among the people, and enquired of them where it was that Christ would be born. 5 And they told him, At Bethlehem in Juda; so it has been written by the prophet: 6 And thou, Bethlehem, of the land of Juda, art far from the least among the princes of Juda, for out of thee will arise a leader who is to be the shepherd of my people Israel.7  Then, summoning the wise men in secret, Herod questioned them closely upon the time of the star’s appearing. 8 And he sent them on their way to Bethlehem, saying to them, Go and enquire carefully for the child, and when you have found him, bring me back word, so that I too may come and worship him. 9 They obeyed the king, and went on their journey; and all at once the star which they had seen in the east was there going before them, till at last it stood still over the place where the child was. 10 They, when they saw the star, were glad beyond measure; 11 and so, going into the dwelling, they found the child there, with his mother Mary, and fell down to worship him; and, opening their store of treasures, they offered him gifts, of gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 Afterwards, because they had received a warning in a dream forbidding them to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by a different way. 13 As soon as they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and said, Rise up, take with thee the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt; there remain, until I give thee word. For Herod will soon be making search for the child, to destroy him. 14 He rose up, therefore, while it was still night, and took the child and his mother with him, and withdrew into Egypt, where he remained until the death of Herod, 15 in fulfilment of the word which the Lord spoke by his prophet, I called my son out of Egypt.

The Muslim white slave trade

One of the main ideological weapons with which the haters use to beat the white West is slavery. The self-loathers in the west are the ones that most clearly articulate the terrible story of the kidnap of black Africans for work as slaves on the plantations of the Americas. There is rarely mention that slavery was common throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa. Muslims were for centuries champion slave traders. Indeed, they specialised in white slavery for a discerning market of rich Arabs. Blondes and redheads were luxury items. Muslims raided the settlements along the coasts of Europe sometimes emptying whole villages. Estimates of up to one and a half million whites were kidnapped. Dr Taylor Marshall discusses Muslim white slavery on his website under ‘The Sexual Motivation for the European-Muslim slave trade.’ Some pertinent quotations follow:

Muslim men wanted to purchase fair skinned, blonde or redheaded European girls as sex slaves.

Muhammad repeatedly taught that Muslim men may copulate with slave girls without sin or fault. Even Muslim wives recognized this right of Muslim men. So Muslim men wanted to buy what they believed was “the best.”

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David Marr: The left’s purveyor of calumny par excellence

David Marr’s Quarterly Essays on Tony Abbott and Cardinal George Pell have been among the most politically damaging of any writing that has come from the left. They have been damaging not because Marr mounts irresistible argument backed by unassailable evidence. No, they were damaging  because of Marr’s considerable talent as a writer  – a postmodernist writer with the creative power of a skilled novelist. Marr is a writer of ‘faction’ – fiction that is presented as fact. I make my case for Marr’s status as a postmodernist writer of ‘faction’ in chapter 13 of my just released ebook TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION (paperback due February 2019).

Nobody has been more scathing of David Marr’s ‘political analysis’ than Gerard Henderson of the Sydney Institute. Below is his devastating critique in Media Watchdog No. 343 of Marr’s essay on Cardinal Pell. 

Continue reading David Marr: The left’s purveyor of calumny par excellence

Christmas Culture – the King James version of the Nativity

One should distinguish between Christianity as the cultural backbone of Western Civilization and Christianity as religious belief and commitment. You can acknowledge the cultural force of the stories of the Old and New Testaments – like the stories of Job, Daniel in the lions den, and the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son – without committing oneself to the doctrines of the various Christian confessions.

That is not to discount the indispensable place of Christianity as a religion in Western Culture. Edmund Burke claimed (in the Reflections) that  man is a religious animal and warned (with great prescience) that if people get rid of Christianity something else, more than likely evil, will come to fill the void. No, the Edmund Burke Society is primarily concerned with culture and proposes that the Christmas period is the time to reflect on the second greatest event – the birth of Christ – in the New Testament for its cultural importance. We can connect this reflection with the English language as its vehicle.

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Muhammad’s Bloody Creed

Islamic groups, leftists and empty-headed multiculturalists did everything they could to foil the publication of Robert Spencer’s new book on the history of jihad. No wonder. With the possible exception of thuggee stranglers, there has never been a religion more devoted to rape, murder and conquest.

The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS
Robert Spencer
Bombadier Books 2018

Once upon a time in a primitive land of polytheist idolaters far, far away, an egomaniac zealot with high ambitions hit on a bright idea.  On learning of the ancient Jewish prophecy of a Messiah, and the newish Christian communities’ worship of Jesus as the “Chosen One”,  he decided to nominate himself  as the latest in the line – the  Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets.  If the Angel Gabriel could give the name ‘Jesus’ to Mary, why couldn’t Gabriel be recruited to authenticate Muhammad’s pronouncements?

The polytheists who worshipped 360 idols in the Ka’aba of Mecca thought this was fake news and made life difficult for the would-be prophet-poet. In thirteen years he attracted only 150 followers.  So he decamped to another town. The Jews of Medina first welcomed him as a protector, but after they heard his story about travelling to Jerusalem and then to Paradise on a winged white horse with a human head, and questioned him on religion, they declared him a phony. Muhammad decided a new business model was needed: conversion by the sword. Beginning as a highwayman raiding passing caravans, he invented a unique rallying cry: “Allahu Akbar!” (My) God is the Greatest!  The shout inspired his followers to kill, loot and enslave. It continues to terrify the world 1400 years. later.   Read on…

Spineless Brugge caves in

Brugge (Bruges), in Flemish Belgium, is one of the most beautifully preserved medieval towns in Europe. The place with its magnificent Gothic buildings oozes Christian Europe. It is a must visit for anyone touring the Low Countries. While the visitor can wander around the town centre, silenced by the architectural beauty and the history it breathes, the town’s custodians act as if their cultural eyes have been ripped out.

The spinelss organisers of the Christmas market in Brugge, Belgium, have caved in to multiculturalism. They’ve changed the name from kerstmarkt (Christmas Market) to Wintermarkt (Winter Market). Their excuse is that ‘Christmas’ is offensive to other faiths.  We all recognise that for the snivelling excuse that is. We all know which faith Brugge’s organisers are grovelling in front of.

What a disturbing thing it is to witness the actions of those culturally gutted.

Announcement about the Winterbine Tetralogy

A REORGANISATION OF THE WINTERBINE SERIES

My original post was a rather complicated explanation of my proposed reorganisation of the Winterbine series. To keep it simple, I will take the backstory out of The Castle of Heavenly Bliss and In This Vale of Tears as the basis for a new novel. 

The new novel will be the first book in the series with In This Vale of Tears the second, and The Castle of Heavenly Bliss the third. The chronological sequence would then be right. The fourth book is still in the planning which makes the series a tetralogy.

Book One will develop the early story of Fr van Engelen, his niece Anneke, and Gerda Vrouwendijk with the location of the story in Holland and England (Middelburg, Amsterdam and London). New characters, some Australian, will appear. The period will be from 1946 to 1972. The social background will be the 1960s student revolution. The themes of Gnosticism and the Goddess will be established.  There will be no change to the story although I will make small adjustments in The Castle of Heavenly Bliss. This first book, with the provisional title A Time of Distress (from Luke 21), will provide the groundwork for the following three books.

I will begin developing Book One in January 2019 after I have finished with Tony Abbott: The Times of Revolution. Stay alert for developments.

THE WITCH HUNTERS – released 15 August 2017

My new publication (15 August 2017) THE WITCH HUNTERS is available in paperback and ebook format on Amazon.com and in ebook format on smashwords.com. 

I am offering a special promotional price of $0.99 on smashbooks.com. The offer runs until after the Pell trial. For the special price, go to the title page and fill in the code SL98 after you have clicked the ‘buy’ button.

In This Vale of Tears featured novel for reading club

Caroline Chisholm Library’s Catholic Reading Club invited me to attend their March 31 meeting as the author of the month’s featured novel, In This Vale of Tears. I was delighted that my book had been chosen for discussion and equally delighted to attend the meeting. I was a little nervous, though, because I had not experienced this sort of literary ‘examination’ before. It would be embarrassing if nobody much liked my book!

I am aware that the themes of my novel and its Catholic setting are not to everyone’s liking.* But one may think I would be safe with the people in a Catholic Reading Club. Regretfully, it does not work that way. The paradox is that the members of a Catholic Reading Club are likely to be more discerning about a story of women in a female religious order than the general reader. Continue reading In This Vale of Tears featured novel for reading club