The Thinking 

Galliawatch on Events in France

September 20, 2012


French Islamic poster ("Don't touch my prophet")

MUSLIM rioting on the Champs-Elysée, a glowing speech by a French bishop at the inauguration of a new mosque, the closure of a museum dedicated to Joan of Arc in Rouen and the new Islamic exhibit at the Louvre —- the blogger Tiberge at Galliawatch has these and other must-read posts about events in France.

—— Comments —-

Michael writes:

When I was in high school, the foreign language I chose to learn was French. In French class, we even prayed in French at the beginning of the period, being a Catholic school in the early ’60s. In one of the prayers we said, “St. Jean D’arc priez pour nous.” Occasionally I drive past the old school long since shuttered, caused by the black undertow that engulfed the neighborhood. Above one of the entrances, can still be seen the motto of the school, “Morals, Religion, Education,” carved in stone. Currently I happen to be halfway through The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail. The events in France, indeed all over the Muslim world, coupled with this book are making me feel even more concerned than I have been. The sense that things are becoming irreversible is no longer just a paranoid idea but fast becoming reality. Now, what to do?

Laura writes:

Things are bad but not as bad as the apocalypse depicted in The Camp of the Saints.

Remember Joan of Arc. Despair is sinful.

Ingrid writes from Italy:

Michael’s comment wondering whether things were even reversible at this point.It reminded me of a book I read this summer, Trial, Tribulation and Triumph, by Desmond Birch.

I won’t go into many details, but the book contains summaries of reputable, approved Catholic prophecies regarding the end of the  world and the conditional minor chastisement, followed by a time of peace, that is likely to happen before that. The book is well-researched and reasonable, and written from a Catholic viewpoint – no hysteria, no unapproved revelations, no rapture and no absolute predictions.The author’s premise is that the end of the world is absolutely not imminent, but that this minor chastisement could happen in the relatively near future.

The book left me wondering if we are indeed heading towards this minor chastisement. (And if it happens, it will not be minor compared to anything except for the times of the Anti-Christ – it will probably be a very difficult time of wars, natural disasters, famines and death, if the prophecies are accurate.) Some countries that figure prominently in the propheciesare France, Italy, Germany and England.

Despite the unpleasant nature of the events described in the book, I think that it is a good antidote to despair – we are reminded that no matter how grave a situation seems, that God is ultimately in control and that if we stay faithful to him and to his Church, we will ultimately save our souls.

Jane S. writes:

I’ve not read Camp of the Saints but I must say, things in France are much worse than most people realize. Lawless suburbs, crippling strikes that go on for weeks, metro stations that can erupt as underground war zones within minutes. In the summer of 2004, they had a heat wave in France that killed 13,000 people, most of them elderly. That’s a catastrophe of Third-World proportions, taking place in the country that was the heart of Christian Europe for a thousand years. It was a dress rehearsal for Obamacare.

My niece and her husband moved here from France a couple of years ago. They admired the way that suburban residences are not battened down with huge iron security gates and bars on all the windows. They were very surprised to learn that you can discuss politics openly in public, criticize the government in restaurants, without looking over your shoulder.

For an accurate depiction of what France is currently like, I recommend the movie From Paris With Love. Even the John Travolta character expresses surprise at how bad Parisian slums are; it being Paris, he expected them to be a little more chic.

SJF writes:

Note the good bishop uses the formulation, “Catholic Christians.” I always stop reading or listenting when I hear that phrase from a prelate of the Church. Yes, the Church founded by Christ is really just one of many selections that we can make among the many (is it 20,000 and counting, now?) Christian denominations. Seems like the diversity/multi-culti meme has infiltrated the Church. These fools display cowardice when what we need at this point is courage.

Jane S. writes:

The Islamic art at the Louvre is not an “exhibit.” The Louvre has added a new $130 million wing, the Department of Islamic Art, which will house the largest and most significant collection of Islamic art in Europe.

According to the BBC: “This is the most significant and innovative architectural extension to the Louvre since I.M. Pei shook the venerable institution with his glass pyramid in 1989…At the time, there were many who argued that his structure would destroy the classical beauty of this palace of art. Now, of course, it is among the most popular attractions in Paris.”

The single biggest donor is Saudi Prince Waleed Bin Talal.

This makes me sick. I mean, this is the Louvre. What’s next, the Sistine Chapel?

Laura writes:

Yes, that was an error on my part. Tiberge specified that it was a wing, not an exhibit.

There is much beautiful and interesting Islamic art that deserves to be studied and seen by Westerners, but there are obvious political motivations behind a wing of this size and the hoopla about it. The 3,000-square-metre addition officially opens tomorrow. From the news agency RFI:

The Islamic art department’s director, Sophie Makariou, said the new wing has tripled the department’s exhibition space.

More importantly, the wing aims to change perceptions about Islamic culture.

“It’s about showing Islam with a capital ‘I’,” she said, pointing out the vast history of Islamic culture, and not just its religion, has had a huge influence on the history and development of European civilisation.

The new wing and its magnificent roof within the Visconti court of the museum will be visible from the wing that houses the Louvre’s other great acquisitions, including the Mona Lisa.

The French President, François Hollande, will inaugurate the wing on Tuesday before it officially opens to the public.

Jane S. writes:

To paraphrase Mark Steyn: in a traditional society, you have many different varieties of culture: high culture, low culture, pop culture, folk culture, counterculture. And everyone understands and accepts that some forms of culture are better than others.

In liberal society, everything is reduced to a flat, drab monoculture. It’s all a matter of personal tastes. Some people like Mozart, some people prefer Tupac Shakur. No one has the right to say that Mozart is objectively better than Tupac Shakur. One person’s preferences are just as good as another’s.

The problem with a society like that is, Mozart is the thing that disappears. Eventually Tupac is all that’s left. Then there’s nothing left to compare him to. There’s no way of knowing what he’s supposed to be as good as.

And so it goes when the Louvre decides to give over an entire wing to Islamic art. There may be many beautiful forms of Islamic art that are worth studying. But that does not mean that Islamic art is on a par with the collections in the Louvre. The art of the Louvre tells the story of Western Civilization. It is full of meaning. Islamic art cannot do that. Representation of the human form is not allowed. It is limited in the meaning it can convey.

A lot of celebrated Islamic artistic achievements were produced by non-Islamic artists anyway. Shah Jahan commissioned Persian architects and designers to build the Taj Mahal. Legend has it that, after it was completed, he had their eyes put out so they would never be able to design something that topped the Taj Mahal. Which sums up the Islamic attitude towards cultural achievement rather well.

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