Today, 15th August - the Celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary - departing Bishop Muskens of the provincial Diocese of Breda in the southern Netherlands - is shocking us with a proposal for non Muslims to use the name of 'Allah' for God.
I have to give the reader fair warning: this is an interesting story if you're into it, but there are no abbreviations or short-cuts here.
The cleric's proposal is an education on a number of levels. At first sight his proposal isn't a contribution to 'the multicultural society' or a shot at syncretism, but rather a further step in the mono-cultural and mono-religious direction - of Islam, that is: a proposal to voluntarily give up the single most essential principle of Western culture, our name of God and all what that entails, presumably in exchange for .... what?
On an intellectual level the proposal is a typical Postmodern one: truth does not exist, all cultures/beliefs are equally valid. This ridiculous Marxist lie gives birth to the further fallacy, that everything under God's sky that shares a generic term, is by consequence 'the same'.
We touched on that yesterday, when we educated the Dutch in relation to the new Robert Spencer book "Religion of Peace? Why Christianity is and Islam isn't", that not all religions are 'the same'. Departing Bishop Muskens falls into the same trap with his proposal, which entails that Allah and God are fully synonymous and readily interchangeable.
Not being a theologian, it doesn't befit me to go into this very far, but obvious differences are that the Christian God is a threefold principle, who loves man, whom He created in His image, and - not without significance - is knowable, intelligible, which brings Natural Philosophy so far as to posit: the more Intelligible, the more Being.
Until Marxism taught us better by blessing us with minorities, this idea gave rise to the equality of all men - and by extension to human rights and democracy, to scientific enquiry (investigations into nature and the universe), and the idea - simply abhorred by Muslims and Postmoderns alike - that humanity progresses towards a teleological, predestined end game.
Allah on the other hand, is One and transcendental, flighty and chaotic, and is basically unknowable to us poor humans, who are His playthings, to dispose over as He sees fit.
An investigative short cut to Bishop Muskens relevant Wikipedia entry learns he didn't attend seminary. Well, it figures - also in relation to a number of things he has said in the past - he does seem to suffer from an intellectual lacuna which plays tricks on him at crucial times.
A few years ago the Red Bishop gave us the first shock, in admitting - in reference to wars and genocide - he has a problem with Christianity, stemming from the apparent existence of evil and injustice in the world. To him it doesn't follow that Goodness cannot even exist in the absence of Evil.
Catholic Scholasticism, which gave us Natural Philosophy (or Moral Law - Pope Benedict XVI is at present working on a popular re-introduction) is taught at seminaries, and teaches human voluntarism or free will, rendering such miseries not mischievous Acts of God, but simply the result of human action.
If men hadn't free will, how can we possibly come to any moral decisions? This lays the basis for the idea, that the only natural environment for man, is liberty. This being the reason why mentally and emotionally mature people prefer freedom over Statism and Collectivism.
Those ideas obviously aren't part of the Red Bishop's theological tool kit. The cleric has made a habit out of transmitting the wrong message. A few years back, at the time of an economic downturn, he came up with the morally deplorable missive that it is "okay for the poor to steal a loaf of bread".
That was probably not what he literally said - and apparently it is part of Catholic morality provided the choice is misappropriation or starvation - but in a rich country like the Netherlands where dying of hunger isn't an issue, his words in practice meant that it was acceptable to defraud the state, if that could get you a social security benefit.
So now we are faced with the Bishop's proposal of dhimmitude. Reactions to his words are mixed, but it figures that the chairman of the Dutch Muslim Council "has no problem with it" and that the difference between the two is "in the details"; I dare say that - seen from the perspective of a sterile religion, the scientific approach to Creation, liberty and human rights, might seem mere details - they are however the essential substance of Western existence!
That bastion of Marxist Catholicism, the peace movement Pax Christi, thinks the proposal is 'worth further deliberation in such polarizing times' (that's probably after they've gotten over the regret, they haven't thought of it themselves!).
The site of the Diocese of Breda goes into historical, linguistic and cultural detail  and it is of course very reassuring to read that 'Allah' has really very little to do with Muslims, Islam or the Koran, as this name of God already existed before the Islamic conquest. But that explanation begs the question, what then - for crying out loud - is the meaning of the proposal in the first place?
To placate the Copts and other 'oriental Christians' so that they don't take to the Arab streets, shouting Hell and Brimstone over some perceived grievances, while committing arson and murder in the process? What a load of BS!
The poison has been in the bloodstream for decades: after Red Catholicism and Liberation Theology, thank Heaven! we've got dhimmitude as a vehicle to destroy the Roman Church from within (see Chart II: the Subversion Program).
Red Bishop Muskens is about to join a monastery to spend the last days of his activist life growing giant cauliflowers, or brewing monastic ale, or perhaps playing a significant role in the production of traditional monastic cheese, but I dare say - for Catholicism his goodbye doesn't come a moment too soon. At least Pope Benedict XVI will have one relativist element less to deal with.
The clarification on the site of the Diocese of Breda concludes with the assertion that if Muslims and Christians address God with the same name, "this contributes to harmonious living together." I posit that quite the opposite is the case, and that it would be far better if - instead of proposals to merge - we would engage in actions of mutuality and respect.
Bees Pee Upon Them All!