Yet they do not grasp the irony. Two of the churches were, in fact, Anglican. But JunkYardBlog reminds us that:
Actually the Anglicans were probably a pretty good choice. Except for the African Anglican churches, which are engaged in a life and death struggle in the midst of poverty, war, and genocide, and are rising to meet the challenges with resolve and spiritual clarity, most Anglican churches are pretty safe to attack. They aren't exactly big C.S. Lewis fans anymore, instead committing wholeheartedly to the timid relativism Lewis warned about.
If there weren't any pacifist Quakers or Unitarians around, an Anglican church probably makes a pretty good target if you are an outraged Islamist looking for consequences-free religious terrorism. Catholics will go all Oriana on you. JP II fired them up about Communism and look what happened to that. Baptists? They will shoot you. The choir probably has Tec-9s stashed under those robes. The Church of Christ? No, they'll shoot you, too, and then they'll shoot the Baptists for good measure. Pentecostals will do that glossolalia thing and get freak-out Jesus strength with +2 to hit and double damage. A Pentecostal acquaintance of mine, a level-headed teacher not prone to exaggeration, once told me he had seen a ninety pound woman in the grip of the Spirit lift the five-hundred pound top off of an altar and throw it across the room. You don't want to be caught pointing a Molotov cocktail at those people.
But in the Leftist dialectic, it's important to not to connect the dots between brutal violence and Islam. Because that would be dehumanizing, I suppose.
We have far too many voices in the West who have criticized the Pope's remarks and justified the psychotic Muslim response to them. It infantalizes Muslims by not holding them accountable for their actions and teaches them that they can get what they want from the West by threatening violence. As Glenn Reynolds writes of how The New York Times has covered the controversy:
Frankly, I'm pretty tired of "Muslim rage." If they're that insecure about their religion, maybe the problem isn't with the critics. I'm also pretty unimpressed with Western commentators who serve as enablers to such juvenile and destructive behavior.
"Baptist rage" certainly wouldn't get this kind of slack from the Times.
Baptists, notably, are not recruiting suicide bombers, nor crashing jetliners into skyscrapers, nor calling for the assassination of opponents. When a lone nut shoots at an abortion clinic, all of Christendom condemns the act. There certainly isn't dancing in the streets, as Muslims do. Someone get that memo to Rosie O'Donnell, who recently said “Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam.” To this, the Anchoress responds:
I gag. I barely want to waste the energy to respond to it, because she’s really not worth it. So, I’ll simply leave it to Ms. O’Donnell to point out to the rest of us the buildings that have been flown into, the throats that have been slit, the genitals which have been mutiliated, the raped women who have been killed for their victimhood, the countless suicide bombers who have died screaming “Jesus is Lord” as they blew themselves up, the gays who have been hanged for being gay, the raging Catholics who rampaged through the streets burning Andres Serrano in effegy when he submerged a crucifix in urine and called it “art,” the Christian who have murdered filmmakers for making less-than-flattering films about their faith…
Come on, Rosie, make your case and justify that moral equivalence you so easily, lazily, thoughtlessly burp out to the assured applause of your Upper West Side audience. Don’t point to a few sick extremists who have killed abortionists, unless you are willing to admit that the Christians themselves have condemned such violence. Show us the justification for your statement that “Radical Christianity Is Just As Threatening As Radical Islam.”
UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg adds:
I don't think the Pope's original comments have elicited nearly as much authentic rage as the images on TV would suggest. But I do think those driving these protests and whipping up anger know what they're doing. The West wants to be loved. It can't stand the idea that somebody — anybody — doesn't like us. This is doubly so in Europe and perhaps triply so at the Vatican. So much of European — and American liberal — foreign policy is based on the idea that being disliked is an enormous indictment, a sign of serious moral failings on our part, rather than resentment, envy or scapegoating on the part of those fomenting anti-Americans.
Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds. I really don't care if clitoris-slicing, adulteress-stoning, homosexual-hanging, hostage-beheading medieval barbarians like us. In fact, I take their hatred as a mark of pride. If our civilization was actually admired by such people, it would be a sign that something had gone gravely wrong. As far as Islamofascists go, oderint dum metuant.
CORRECTION: Preposition in second sentence of above paragraph changed from "of" to "if".