The Offense of the Crib

Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence – Caravaggio
Nativity by Carravaggio.

In the West, secularism has failed. As far-right politicians hostile to Islam emerge throughout Europe, I argue that Christmas presents a unique opportunity to promote understanding between Islam and Christianity.

Almost every year in France there is controversy concerning the erection of Christmas cribs in public spaces. The doctrine of the secular republic is clear: the state should remain resolutely neutral concerning religion, which is a private affair. Therefore, all public displays of religion should be discouraged.

Throughout the years, numerous mayors in French cities have stoked controversy by erecting Christmas cribs in town halls. The most notorious example of this is Robert Menard, a former journalist with CIA-funded Journalists Without Borders. Menard has never been known for his Christian piety. Instead, his particular éclat comes from his indefatigable desire to show Muslims that France remains a predominantly Christian country.
Much of the opposition to the likes of Menard usually comes from left-wing parties such as the French Communist Party or the Trotskyists France Unbowed. These people usually make the argument that public displays of cribs are not just a violation of secularism but are a deliberate provocation of Muslims by the far right.

However, both the pro-crib polemicists and the anti-crib secularists are wrong. First of all, I have rarely met a Muslim who didn’t like Christmas. Most Christians are unaware of the fact that the Holy Family is also in the Koran. In fact, Muslims even have a devotion to the Blessed Mother, whom their prophet Muhammed said was higher than his own daughter Fatima.  When Our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal in 1917, she may also have had a message for the Muslim world. All the accounts of Muhammed’s daughter suggest she was a paragon of virtue. Perhaps the Blessed Mother wanted Muslims to see the connection between Fatima and herself.

In a letter to Pope Francis this Christmas, Iranian President Raeisi referred to the importance of “Hazrat Maryam”, Blessed Mary common to both the Islamic and Christian religions.

Every year at Christmas, the Supreme Guide Iran visits the houses of the family’s of Christian martyrs of Iran’s patriotic wars. None of this is every acknowledged in the Western press.

Imams in Iran often talk about the imminent return of Jesus. There is a belief in the Christian tradition that the three Magi were Persian. Is Persia again proclaiming the return of our Blessed Lord?

In Ephesus, Turkey, there is a house that is believed by Christians and Muslims to have been Mary’s final residence on earth. Many Muslims go there to pray. It should be noted also that when Mary appeared in Fatima, most Portuguese women wore veils and head-coverings in public. Like in Islam, women’s head coverings in Christian countries were seen as a sign of modesty and humility.

Although the veil is no longer worn in public by Catholic women, except in the traditional Latin Mass, the question of sartorial propriety is hardly ever raised in the West. If, as Shakespeare says, the apparel oft becomes the man, what do our clothes say about us?

Appearing in a time when the Suffragette movement was taking off, Our Lady of Fatima said that ” Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much.”At this time, wealthy bourgeois feminists began to wear pants as a protest against the ‘patriarchal’ order.  In Deuteronomy 2:5 God says, ‘ A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor should a man wear women’s clothing, for anyone who does this is offensive to the Lord your God.’

In the West, there is scarcely any knowledge of the anti-suffragette movement.  Women in that movement were often highly active in poverty relief programs and charity.  Londsdale wrote about the English Poor Laws and Ethel Harrison was sympathetic to the Workingmen’s Association.These women saw the family as a natural social unit. For them, ‘women’s liberation was a ruse to break up the family and degrade women. 

Ethel Harrison was not a conservative. She was, in fact, on the far left, supporting the Paris Commune of 1870.

Positivist wilderness

Harrison was influenced by the ideas of positivist philosopher August Comte. Although Comte’s materialist sociology is in many ways a precursor of modern technocratic thought, he nonetheless believed that society would erupt in barbarism without religion. Comte, therefore, tried to replace Christianity with his own risible  ‘religion of humanity.  Apart from temples in France and Brazil, Comte’s religious ideas never found much official favour. But there is an important sense in which his ideas have triumphed, even if they remain officially unacknowledged. Comte seemed to realize the essential paradox of secularism: that one becomes secular in relation to the religious, that it is itself a moment in the development of religion. In Comte’s fantasy religion, the philosopher wanted the image of the woman he loved, to replace the Virgin Mary. Her portrait would hang in every temple of humanity. Comte had fallen in love with a married woman who rejected him. 

Comte believed that history could be divided into three periods: the theological period when natural events were explained with recourse to fiction and the supernatural; the metaphysical period in which religion and science coexisted, and the positivist period in which all phenomena could be explicated through the scientific method of observation and experiment. In a sense, the contemporary technocratic world is deeply Comtean, except that we have returned, not to true theology, but rather to the caricature of theology in Comte’s thought.

It is not the scientific method that governs our society but rather a sort of post-modern dogma which says that in a society without meaning, whatever scientists in positions of power say must be perceived as infallible.

In such a society, metaphysics is no longer necessary.  Human beings can be considered things, subject to the laws of structure. Just as simple-minded Catholics in the past were not required to follow the Latin mass, understand the abstruse mysteries of the faith but to follow a set of rules for their salvation, so it is in our contemporary positivist world.

The only difference being, of course, that while the former creed is true, the latter is manifestly false.
Former French minister of education Vincent Peillon has said that secularism is the religion of the republic and that Free Masons are the clergy.  He seems to have seen what Comte saw, namely, that secularism would have to return to theological fiction in order to perpetuate itself.

But Freemasonry is a poor substitute for Christianity. It excludes most of the public, in particular, the poor; its secretive rituals are grotesque and its temples are ugly. It is a perfect reflection of the organized mafia which calls itself the modern state.

But, at least Comte understood the importance of the chaste and beautiful feminine archetype as the basis for any religion.

Inoffensive religion

One would imagine that in an advanced scientific society, references to goblins, witches, and other figures of folklore and superstition would be a rare sight. But the opposite is in fact the case. Pupils in French secular schools see witches every day. One of the main textbooks in primary school, for example, is Mona, the Witch. There are witches on every page, as well as poems about sorcery and magic. Numerous textbooks have ‘friendly’ witches or dragons who accompany the pupils in their reading. 

Feminist Mona Chollet argues that the witch is a symbol of modern emancipated women. She tries to show that witches in the past were simply wise and independent women who resisted ‘patriarchy’. She completely ignores centuries of extensive documentary evidence that many of the witches burned at the stake were guilty of heinous crimes such as ritual infanticide and cannibalism.

The question of secularism is never raised in France when witches are increasingly displayed in shops during Halloween. It is rather strange, given the fact that Wicca is officially recognized as the fastest-growing religion in the world.

In this month’s edition of the magazine Tetu, Bilal Hassani, a transexual singer, appears on its front cover dressed up as the Virgin Mary. The image was made to offend Catholics. It’s the norm in Macron’s France: the public is not allowed to speak ill about those with financial power, ie the fake gods, but it is perfectly laudable to blaspheme against God.

The magazine in question wanted to put the filth on the Paris metro by the railway authorities correctly judged that it violated the principles of secularism. The positive aspect of all this is that the secularists have proven the Catholic Church to be correct: there is no such thing as a secular society. Occultism is the religion of this age of darkness.

In the apparition at Fatima, Our Lady revealed three secrets to three small children.
The third secret was never fully revealed to the public but it is almost certain that it pertained to the apostasy of the Catholic hierarchy.
Many of the leaders in the Middle East whose countries have been invaded by Western-backed Takfiris have been slandered as terrorists. But in the Middle East, it is Hezbollah, the Syrian Army, and Iran who have protected Christians. Were the terrorists to take over our own cities, our occultist leaders would probably direct them into churches and mosques.

In Arabic, Fatima means ‘chaste’, but also ‘the shining one’. In Portugal, the place of the greatest Marian apparition in history was called after a Muslim girl called Fatima who married a local Catholic prince, after the departure of the Muslim rulers from the Iberian peninsula. The occultists who govern this world are doing everything in their power to pitch Muslims and Christians against each other. 
Ultimately, the reason the Crib offends the secularists is because it represents spiritum paupertatis, the spirit of poverty.  The vain rulers of this world cannot bear to look upon the absolute humility for their Creator. They try to deflect from that fact by falsely claiming to be looking out for Muslims, insulting their religion by making the public believe that the Holy Family means nothing to them. In Koran 3.42it says, ‘O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and  chosen you above the women of the worlds.’

Christmas should be a time for Muslims and Christians to unite in celebration of the Nativity. We may not have the same understanding of its meaning, but both Christian and Islamic civilizations have a profound appreciation of order, harmony, and beauty. And what could be more beautiful than the idea of a perfect woman giving birth to the light of the world?

About Gearóid Ó Colmáin

Gearóid Ó Colmáin is an Irish journalist and political analyst based in Paris. His work focuses on globalisation, geopolitics and class struggle.

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