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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What the Church Taught About Islam in Religion Class in 1945

The Battle of Tours, 732
What the Church Taught About Islam 
in Religion Class in 1945
Sometimes thrift stores are a source of valuable information. Not long ago I found a religion text book for the Junior year of high school copyrighted in 1945 by Mentzer, Bush & Company in Chicago. It’s called The Ark and the Dove…as in “the Dove guides the Ark through the ages.”
Below is the entire excerpt on Islam (pp 290-292), which in 1945 was called Mohammedanism. There was no smarmy political correctness in Catholic religion classes in 1945.

Mohammedanism Threatens the Church
            Still farther to the East, gigantic forces were gathering for another and a prolonged assault on Christ’s Church. In the year 610 a man named Mohammed began preaching in Mecca, a city in Arabia. He claimed he was called to preach by the angel Gabriel. He opposed polytheism and taught a strange mixture of paganism, Judaism, and Christianity. In 622 he was forced to flee from Mecca to Medina. This flight is known as the Hegira.

In Medina Mohammed’s conduct became scandalous, his creed militant. The new religion came to be called Islam, meaning submission to the will of God. Its key book, the Koran, was compiled by Mohammed himself. It preached prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and at least one pilgrimage to Mecca during a lifetime. But it also preached fatalism–Kismet, “What is to be, must be.” It promised a heavenly reward of most extravagant and sensual pleasures and finally it added this doctrine: “The sword is the key to heaven. To die on the battlefield fighting against the ‘unbelievers’ is the surest way to this heaven of delights.”
Followers flocked to Mohammed and before his death in 632 most of Arabia was in his power. His last injunction to his followers was to propagate Islam by the sword. They obeyed, cutting a swath of death through Christian lands for a thousand years.
The Caliphs, successors and representatives of Mohammed, continued his work. Their religious followers were variously known as Moslems, followers of Islam; Arabs when of the West, Saracens when of the East; Moors when from Morocco, and later Turks, when of Turkestan. Wild religious fanatics they were, filled with zeal and love of plunder. Going on a rampage of conquest, with Constantinople and Rome as their goals, the followers of Islam spread like wild-fire in the last quarter of the seventh century. They rolled to the gates of Constantinople where, being checked, they turned south, and then west across North Africa to Gibraltar which was reached in the year 700.
Thus, while the Church was succeeding in her mission of converting the barbarians in the West, she was losing all of Asia Minor and the near east, as well as Africa. Nor was the end yet.

Eighth Century: St Boniface and Charlemagne
            Surging across the Straits of Gibraltar the Moors and Arabs overcame the Christian Gothic Kingdom of Spain and rushed on over the Pyrenees into Southern France. Here on the plains of Tours in 732 they encountered the Frankish army of Charles Martel, that is, the “Little Hammer.” The fate of the Christian West was hanging in the balance. From dawn til dusk the battle raged, indecisively, scimitar against battleax. Charles was everywhere. The Moslem leader fell. Darkness put an end to the bloody conflict and when morning came the Moslems had fled. Christendom had been saved. The Battle of Tours was over. 
            In the East also the Mohammedan invaders were checked before the city of the Eastern Caesars by the terrifying and mysterious “Greek fire,” 717-718. Constantinople thus became the eastern bastion, holding off the destroying forces of Mohammedanism and protecting a Europe ill-prepared to meet the dreaded foe.
The 732 AD Battle of Tours, described by the political left in 2016

In today's religion textbooks, the Battle of Tours and Charles Martel are probably described like this.


Mary's Child Mariann said...

There is this part of me that desires the not p.c. Donald Trump to win the election, burn the current crop of lies, and return education to clarity and most of all truth.

Thanks for sharing this buried treasure! Homeschoolers should consider this compare and contrast writing assignment, with each child submitting their writings to their Bishop asking for his input.

God bless you, and the family!

Stabat Mater said...

This four-part theology text can still be purchased at Our Lady Of Victory/ Lepanto Press. My children love these books. After comparing them to the "religion" books used in local Catholic high schools, these texts are a big impetus for me to continue homeschooling the souls entrusted to my care.

Praypraypray said...

Thank you very much for your excellent article. I definitely will be sharing it with others. :D