September 08, 2006

That's My Church!


Former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami spoke at the National Cathedral last evening on "the role of the three 'Abrahamic faiths' in shaping peace throughout the world."

As it happens, I caught just a bit of the exchange at the press conference before the speech:

Reporter: Can there be peace between us?

Khatami: Peeeace........Nooooo Peeeace......

Reporter: What is it that you want us to do?

Khatami: Die.........Diiiieeee...........

At that point, the mic cut out.

G.K. Chesterton said something to the effect that one of the first results of a loss of faith was the loss of common sense. The Episcopal Church is often symbolized as a tripod built on three pillars: reason, scripture and tradition. I've long argued that the "reason" leg has grown so long that the whole thing threatens to topple right over. Inviting this man of all people to stand in this place and lecture us on peaceful co-existence is a sign, to me, both of the validity of Chesterton's remark and of the toppling our Church is experiencing.

YIPS from Steve-O: I can't wait for the spirit of comity and fairness to come into play so that Jimmy Carter is allowed to make a similar tour in Iran so he to can give learned and erudite speeches on the decadent nature of the West, the evils of America, and the stupidity of Christianity.

UPDATE: Oh, well. At least I'm not a Presbyterian!

UPDATE DEUX: I went back and looked it up. The Chesterton I'm actually thinking of is: "It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense." This, btw, is the apparent root (or one of them) of the most quoted line of Chesterton's that he never actually wrote.

Posted by Robert at September 8, 2006 10:52 AM | TrackBack

Well, Jimmah might not outright say that Christianity is stupid since he claims to be a Christian. Unless he renounced his faith at some point and I missed that part.

But I get your point.

Posted by: jen at September 8, 2006 12:14 PM

Gor'blimey, Steve-O, don't give these people any ideas. If Iran made the offer, I'm quite sure Jimmy would be up for the assignment.

Here we are in the twenty-first century, and that smug little electoral fluke is still stirring up trouble. It's as if Woodrow Wilson had to deal with criticism of his war policy from Millard Fillmore.

Posted by: utron at September 8, 2006 01:15 PM

I believe the Chesterton quote you are thinking of is:
"When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn't believe in nothing. He believes in anything."

Posted by: jd watson at September 8, 2006 02:37 PM

Excuse me, but Robert needs to be enlightened by a little fact that must have escaped his attention.

The OpinionJournal commentary that Robert links to in his Update isn't about all Presbyterians. It is about one particular Presbyterian denomination, the one named The Presbyterian Church (USA).

There are two other Presbyterian denominations within the USA, one being The Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the other being The Presbyterian Church in America.

It doesn't do Robert's credibility any good for him to imply that Presbyterians are all alike, when in fact they aren't.

Posted by: Dodo David at September 8, 2006 05:36 PM

Can I use "Gor'blimey" or is that a patented term?

Posted by: The Colossus at September 8, 2006 06:40 PM

Relax, Dodo. It was just a feeble joke to link to a somewhat relevant article. If it makes you feel any better, my own great-grandfather was a Presbyterian minister. Och, aye! Wee're put in this earth ta soofer, laddie!

Posted by: Robbo the LB at September 8, 2006 10:44 PM

Alright, Robert, I'll relax.

If your great-grandfather was a Scottish Presbyterian minister, then I can't be too harsh on ya.

By the way, if wee're put in this earth ta soofer, then are liberals put in this earth to make us soofer?

Posted by: Dodo David at September 9, 2006 11:08 AM