Skip to comments.Reza Aslan claims anti-fascist Pope Pius XI was a fascist
Posted on 06/19/2014 11:23:25 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
Nowadays if you parrot the accepted establishment opinions, you can rise far and fast, and be hailed as a respected scholar even if youre, well, dimwitted and arrogant. In particular, if you oppose Americas defense against the global jihad, hate Israel, love those who wish to destroy both the U.S. and Israel, and profess to debunk orthodox Christianity, you can become the next media star: hence Reza Aslan.
Why does it matter how vacuous Reza Aslan really is? Because he is a quintessential example of how those whom the mainstream media elevates as authorities are generally of the Emperors-New-Clothes variety, and the entire view of the domestic and international political situation that the major news outlets present is out of focus, misleading, and bringing this nation to catastrophe as is becoming increasingly apparent.
Reza Aslan is, of course, the supercilious, foul-mouthed media darling who keeps revealing his abysmal ignorance in interview after interview, making howling errors of fact, including his recent ridiculous claim that the idea of resurrection simply doesnt exist in Judaism, despite numerous passages to the contrary in the Hebrew Scriptures. He has also referred to the reincarnation, which Christianity talks about although he later claimed that one was a typo. In yet another howler he later insisted was a typo, he claimed that the Biblical story of Noah was barely four verses long which he then corrected to forty, but that was wrong again, as it is 89 verses long.
Interviewed at the BBC about Obamas meeting with Pope Francis, Aslan claimed that the founding philosophy of the Jesuits was the preferential option for the poor. But in reality, the Jesuits were founded in 1534, and according to the California Catholic Conference, the popular term preferential option for the poor is relatively new. Its first use in a Church document is in 1968 from a meeting of the Conference of Latin American Bishops held in Medellin, Columbia. So Aslan was only 434 years off recalling when he called Turkey the second most populous Muslim country, which was only about 100 million people off.
And now he has invoked Pope Pius XI as an example of how historically, Fascist ideology did infect corners of the Catholic world. In reality, Pope Pius XI concluded a Concordat with the Hitler regime in 1933, but after he saw how the Nazis were cheerfully violating its terms and persecuting Jews as well as Catholics, he issued the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge ("With Burning Anxiety") in 1937 with the original, pointedly, issued in German instead of the usual Latin. In it, he excoriated the so-called myth of race and blood, and declared: Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds. That statement is a direct rejection of the very heart of fascism.
Aslan has, of course, confused Pius XI with his successor Pius XII, who has been widely accused of fascist sympathies. Whether or not Pope Pius XII actually had fascist sympathies is not the point here, and it would be nice if the comments field werent devoted to that controversy, although it probably will be. The point is that such a renowned religious scholar such as Reza Aslan should not make such an elementary mistake. But this is, of course, the man who writes than for then; apparently thinks the Latin word et is an abbreviation; and writes clowns for clowns.
Aslan is less a religious scholar than he is a marginally literate, unevenly educated charlatan with a talent for telling the mainstream media what it wants to hear. His big secret is that he is really not all that bright, and is in way over his head, asked to comment all the time on matters that are way beyond his competence and he knows it, which is why he lashes out so ferociously against anyone who dares to challenge him.
So it was in this case. When I called Aslan out on his error, he responded: AslanGoldberg Moron Spencer doesnt realize that tweet was meant in conversation with @JeffreyGoldberg.
What? He was talking to Goldberg so it is all right for him to confuse two different and important historical figures with similar names? This response was typical of Aslans adolescent vacuity, but I was surprised he didnt claim it was a typo.
Even worse, Aslans agenda is ultimately insidious: he is a Board member of a lobbying group for the bloodthirsty and genocidally antisemitic Iranian regime. Aslan tried to pass off Irans genocidally-minded former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a liberal reformer and has called on the U.S. Government to negotiate with Ahmadinejad himself, as well as with the jihad terror group Hamas.
Aslan has even praised the jihad terror group Hizballah as the most dynamic political and social organization in Lebanon, and has also praised the anti-Semitic, misogynist, Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated in its own words, according to a captured internal document, to eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within. Aslan wrote: The Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt. And that is good thing. Millions of Egyptians obviously disagree. He has also applauded and called for the forcible shutdown of the free speech of those who hates a quintessentially fascist impulse.
Which sets the stage for his remarks on the fascist (actually anti-fascist) Pope Pius XI (oops, he meant Pope Pius XII) --- well, what difference does it make?
Glad Robert Spencer is there to blow he whistle. Looks like Aslan is going to need to be followed by a full ensemble orchestra of whistles-blowers.
It’s kind of hard to avoid the temptation to be supercilious oneself when dealing with the supercilious.
I’d give Reza a charitable pass on “Christianity talks about resurrection.” There’s no need to strain out gnats here to see the problems and deal with them. But he owes us an explanation if he thinks the bible wraps up Noah in 4 verses. In just what sense do you intend that, Reza? And if he keeps on being silly... well pray for his enlightenment and otherwise IGNORE him. Life is too short to tangle with nuts.
The same history revisionist who wrote “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”, in which he completely ignored the New Testament and gave us a Muslim view instead.
And I’d be curious if it even was a particularly accurate rendition of an Islamic consensus view.
I should probably know who Reza Aslan is, but I don’t.
I should probably care what he says, but I don’t.
Much of it is actually based on works that have already been discredited.
They don’t match up with good Christian theology that’s for sure... but I can understand even though definitely not agree with a Muslim who wants to publish a Muslim viewpoint on topics of Christian interest. Knowing the theological divides between Islam and Christianity can be helpful in evangelism. But this sounds like it falls short even on that basis. And so should be treated as a crazy screed, nothing more. It is not even disinformation. You walk up to an imam, you ask him if he believes something Reza’s book asserts... be real embarrassing if he says no.
Turkey is actually the fifth-most-populous mostly-Muslim country (after Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Egypt). In terms of Muslims living in the country, it is probably 6th (after Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nigeria). In both categories it is just marginally ahead of Iran.