Question [obviously condensed by necessity]: I was intrigued by...the second of the letters you printed, the one that began with “What has the Catholic Church done to make you so hateful?” I think I can help with a more objective perspective. ...The lead article in December’s issue, “The King of the Jews,” was so poorly written I sent a copy of it to the friends who introduced me to TBC. I marked on it all the obvious examples of stereotype I could find—and they were numerous. I was shocked that you could seemingly write that all Muslims are terrorists. I lived five years in West Africa and had numerous friends who were Muslim, but only one seemed to me to have any potential of becoming a terrorist. But the concern of this letter...is your tendency to make sweeping generalizations and stereotypes. I suspect this is part of the problem that exists in your dialogue with Catholics. ...Stereotypes and generalizations (intentional or subliminal) are the bases for prejudice, racism, hate and pride....Depending on your current relationship with Karl [Keating] and others, an apology may be in order. You might find that a desire to know how things you may have said affected them may open the doors to a fruitful dialogue and...maybe even to a deepening friendship.
Response: Thank you for your letter. You say you marked on the December article “all the obvious examples of stereotype” and sent it to your friends. I’d like to see those examples. It may surprise you (since you suggested that I look to “a third party” to give me some objectivity) that ten or more people go over my articles very carefully and give me their suggestions for improvement. Oddly, not one said a word about “stereotypes” or “generalizations”! You give me one example: that I “write that all Muslims are terrorists.” I couldn’t find where I said or even implied that. I did say that “Islamic fundamentalism...brazenly employs terrorism worldwide.” That is a fact. How does stating that fact set up “stereotypes” or claim that all Muslims are terrorists?
I gave numerous quotations from the Koran and from leading Muslims to the effect that it is the religious duty of every Muslim (obviously all Muslims do not live up to their religion any more than do all Catholics or all Protestants) to destroy Israel; I stated that all Muslim scholars agree it is the sacred duty of every Muslim in every age to wage jihad to cause the entire world to submit to Islam. Do you accuse Muslim scholars of stereotyping? I mentioned that “there are more than 100 verses in the Koran about fighting and killing in that quest.” I presented the facts from history that Islam was spread with the sword, and documented as much as possible in a brief article that this is still the official teaching of Islam to this day. Where is the stereotyping? That you have known Muslims (as have I) who were kind and loving people does not change the official and fundamental teaching of Muhammad, the Koran or Islam’s leaders today.
You accuse me of “stereotypes and generalizations...[which] are the bases for prejudice, racism, hate and pride.” A serious charge indeed—so serious that for my own good I hope you will supply specific examples so that I can apologize where needed and avoid such error in the future.
You characterize Islam as having some apparently minor “theological error” and say “but at least they believe in God.” In fact, their Allah is not God and I hope by now you understand that from reading the February Q&As. You suggest the same unimportant “theological error in Catholicism” and add, “but at least they believe in Christ crucified.” Yes, but their “Christ” is crucified perpetually on their altars and is transmuted into a wafer for ingestion into the stomach. Furthermore, the “merits and graces” He won on the cross can only be received in installments via Roman Catholic sacraments plus good works, prayers to “saints,” the wearing of medals and scapulars, etc., leaving one in need of purification in purgatory before entrance into heaven. Theirs is not the Christ of the Bible nor the biblical gospel that saves.
As for apologizing to Karl Keating, I surely would if I were aware of a need to do so. If you know of something I have said or done for which I should apologize, please tell me.
Your letter emphasized “grace.” Does grace mean to ignore facts and to cover them over by accusing those who present them of “stereotyping and generalizing”? I trust you will send a copy of this letter to your friends.