Pres. Obama and apologies

This puts it in perspective:

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Traductora says:

    I am completely outraged…by Obama. We didn’t burn these Korans by mistake, but because that was the prescribed way of disposing of a defaced Koran (defaced by Muslim prisoners writing messages to each other in the margins). The Administration should never have apologized but should have explained the matter immediately to the Afghan government and should have told them to make sure the Afghan people knew it and understood it.

    Aside from that, was there any apology when the US burned the troops’ personal Bibles because it was feared that this evil book would offend the Muslims?

  2. digdigby says:

    Just a correction. The Bibles that were burned were in an Afghan language and sent by an evangelical group through complicit U.S. troops. The group showed no sensitivity to the incredible danger they posed to our guys. Of all the laughable efforts of Protestant bibliolatry nothing can beat the old ‘Bible Societies’. One minister in the late 19th century says that of the hundreds of thousands of bibles distributed in Borneo he didn’t know of one conversion brought about. He did mention that the Bible Societies were the single greatest source of toilet paper in that part of the world. Our troops having to pray in secret and hide crosses during Gulf War One while fighting for the Saudis and Kuwaitis – now that was indeed sickening.

  3. S. Murphy says:

    The apology was entirely appropriate as a desperate attempt to dissuade offended parties who might have been halfway on our side last week from murdering American advisors in their offices this week. It was too late, but that’s not Mr Obama’s fault. Burning a Koran may be an appropriate means of disposal, but sa with th disposal of any other copy of a sacred text, it has to be done the right way — and these yahoos apparently took a box of Korans out to the burn pit where they burn the *garbage*. And now they’re horrified that their friends are getting killed.

    Lest somebody misunderstand, by ‘yahoos,*’ I am referring to the fools who actually did the deed, and their chain of command, which obviously gave them garbled and incomplete or simply stupid guidance.

    What the leadership should have done was find a Muslim chaplain and seek instruction – and maybe let him take care of it, or, preferably, hand over the Korans-with-notes-inmates-were-writing – to -each – other – in- the -margins to our Good Friends, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, to ensure proper disposal. Instead, they said, ‘hey, tell Specialist Shmuckatelly to take these out to the burn pit.’ I hope there’s relief for cause and dismissal from the service, at minimum, in somebody’s future. (Not Spec Shmuckatelly – it’s not his fault he lacked the education and intelligence to do what his superiors didn’t bother to do. But his lieutenant, his captain, his major, his lieutenant colonel – they need to go down hard.) [Perhaps you have missed the point.]

  4. xavier217 says:

    Brass knuckles are always a nice touch.

  5. ContraMundum says:


    Great thinking, there. If Caesar sends the legions in, then out of “sensitivity” to them we should halt evangelism. Gotta have priorities! And we know that Caesar, in stark contrast with those missionaries, really is making a lasting transformation of Afghanistan to a peaceful, stable, free, and prosperous society: a little piece of Crawford, TX in central Asia.

    If you’d actually spent some time trying to evangelize, you’d already know three things: (1) The number of conversions is likely to be low, but that’s no excuse for sitting on your hinders. (2) The seed you plant may grow and bloom long after you have left the scene. It’s not about your immediate gratification. (3) Conversion can only be brought about by the Holy Spirit, not by any missionary.

    If you’d spent any time around *serious* Protestants, you’d also know that they are fully aware of Acts 8:26-39.

    Ugh! Too many Catholics misapply the quote “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words,” which may or may not be from St. Francis of Assisi, to justify never, ever, ever saying anything. Usually the non-verbal “preach the Gospel always” is also reduced to giving donations to some charity, or even paying taxes so that Uncle Sam can feed the poor.

  6. digdigby says:

    1) What the hell are we still doing in Afghanistan propping up a sharia government of pederasts and drug dealers as bad as those we are fighting? And they mock and loathe us.
    2) I believe the 5 Plymouth Brethren martyrs of 1956, young men who were missionaries to S. American natives and said, as they were attacked, “We came to save them, how can we kill them not having preached Jesus, to save our own lives?” – I believe they are saints in heaven.
    3) The record of the missionary Bible Societies and the belief of just dumping millions of bibles everywhere is misguided at best and hilarious at worst.
    4) To associate our military presence, however misguided, with an evangelical Christian effort is….there are no words for how counter-productive that is. You don’t have to go to Afghanistan to evangelize, start with your neighborhood.
    5) There are millions of secret Christians in desperate circumstances throughout the Muslim world, they listen to a Coptic priest, Father Zakaria for instance on the radio who has a HUGE secret audience and a huge price on his head.

  7. catholicmidwest says:

    You are correct about the saying, “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” St. Francis left a small collection of things the he actually did say, and this is not among them. American Catholics use it widely as an excuse to run incognito about their faith when they are ashamed of it in public. They fail to recognize that no matter how “nice” they are, if they don’t identify themselves as Catholics in public, people generally take them for “nice” pagans about 99.9% of the time.

  8. catholicmidwest says:

    BTW, for those that intend to preach with their actions, then your actions had better be heroic, because anything less is not preaching.

    Things that are not heroic: Going along with the flow because it’s easier, using birth control, voting for abortion-touting politicians, getting an abortion (!), being ashamed of your faith, disobeying your bishop on matters of faith and morals, shoving your works of mercy off on the government to do for you, etc etc.

  9. S. Murphy says:

    Fr. Z, no, I didn’t miss the point of the cartoon. I’m just a lot more angry about Americans dying because other Americans handed the enemy an information operations coup on a silver platter than I could possibly be about the president’s attempt to mitigate the situation.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m against the HHS mandate, the gospel of birth control, and the sacrament of abortion, and the rhetoric of ‘freedom to worship’ as much as anyone here.

    ContraMundum – the legions themselves can’t evangelize on Caesar’s dime. Tends to backfire anyway. ‘Missionary’ is a swear word to a lot of Native Americans (well, or at least to the liberal academics who love them from a nice, safe distance). Digdigby’s right, though, on the point that the Bibles that were burnt weren’t troops’ personal Bibles, and that having those troops deliver Bibles to locals who didn’t want them would have caused more harm than good.

  10. ContraMundum says:

    To associate our military presence, however misguided, with an evangelical Christian effort is….there are no words for how counter-productive that is.

    I never said that the military should be subservient, or even “sensitive”, to the missionary effort. I did, and do, criticize your implication that missionaries should suspend their activities in order to make it easier on US and NATO troops. That lack of association cuts both ways.

    Are you also going to mock Fr. Longenecker’s “evangelize with holy cards” idea? It’s not the least bit more likely to have success. Most of the holy cards will end up in the trash. Maybe some people will use them as toothpicks.

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