The Spiritual Journey of Magdi Allam

Reprinted from AtlasShrugs.com.

The highest-profile convert to Roman Catholicism in recent memory, Magdi Cristiano Allam, has left the Catholic Church.

Allam, who was baptized in the Vatican by Pope Benedict XVI on Easter day 2008, explained that what “more than any other factor drove me away from the Church” was the “legitimization of Islam as the true religion of Allah as the one true God, Muhammad as a true prophet, the Koran as a sacred text, and of mosques as places of worship.”

Allam declared that contrary to all that, he was “convinced” that Islam was an “inherently violent ideology,” and that he was “even more convinced that Europe will eventually submit to Islam.”

Perhaps if the Church he joined in 2008 had been more resolute in standing for the defense of Judeo-Christian values and civilization, he would not have such a dark vision of the future. But there’s the rub: the determination to seek accommodation with Islam at all costs, even as Muslims persecute Christians with increasing ferocity all over the globe, is near-universal in the Catholic Church.

Everywhere Catholic prelates, even at the highest levels, pursue a “dialogue” with Muslim leaders, whose responses to that dialogue always solely involve not genuine discussion of matters of concern, but thinly veiled criticism of Christianity and calls to accept Islam. Those prelates are almost universally punctilious about avoiding ever saying anything remotely critical or challenging to their aggressive, expansionist partner in this “dialogue,” although that partner is convinced of his own superiority and of the inevitability of the removal of all obstacles to his will.

And as if to illustrate the reasonableness of Allam’s frustration, Matthew Schmitz of First Things, one of the leading Catholic publications in the United States, took the opportunity of his apostasy not to engage in any introspection about the Church’s resolutely irenic clinging to the 1960s-era model of “dialogue” even as it is confronted around the world with an increasingly violent and supremacist Islam, but to excoriate Allam, a former Muslim, for his misunderstanding of Islam: “In retrospect, Allam’s disappointment seems inevitable. If we mistake Islam for a mere ideology of violence, we risk mistaking Christianity as merely an ideology that allows us to oppose that violence. Yet Christ did not come to this earth or found his church to oppose Islam but to propose the gospel. Not to eclipse the moon, but to reveal the Son.”

Magdi Allam knows far better than Matthew Schmitz, who has previously written an apologia for Islamic law, glossing over its elements that mandate the subjugation of women, the oppression of non-Muslims, and its denial of the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience, that Islam is not “a mere ideology of violence.” But whatever else it is, it is also clearly exactly that: an ideology of violence (cf. Qur’an 2:190-193; 4:89; 8:39; 8:60; 9:5; 9:29; 47:4, etc.). Schmitz thinks that Allam’s recognition of that fact, and frustration with the Catholic Church’s general failure to grasp its implications, disqualifies him as an analyst of the Islamic jihad threat: “Benedict’s pontificate has come to an end; in time Islam will, too. Neither event should affect whether or not one affirms Christian truth or chooses to be in communion with the bishop of Rome. That Allam so grievously fails to understand this aspect of Christian truth ought to warn us against the judgment of Islam he shares with many other anti-Islam advocates.”

I don’t know Magdi Allam personally and don’t know anything beyond his published statements about why he has left the Catholic Church. I am not going to leave the Catholic Church over its failure to defend those powerless Christians who are facing ever more violent persecution from Muslims worldwide, as I am aware that the Church is made up entirely of imperfect, sinful people. I also know, with all due respect to those to whom respect is due, that the charism of infallibility is nowhere taught as inhering in bishops’ or even popes’ prudential judgments about how to deal with the threat of jihad and Islamic supremacism.

I share Magdi Allam’s frustration over that failure of the Church to address that persecution in any meaningful way. I share his outrage over statements like that of Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, who barred me from speaking at a Catholic conference over concerns that “Mr. Spencer’s talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” Why would a talk about “extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally” undercut dialogue with Muslims who profess to reject those atrocities and the interpretation of Islam that underlies and justifies them? If they reject the jihadists’ understanding of Islam, why wouldn’t they welcome and applaud an honest discussion of that understanding of Islam, which presumably they oppose as much as I do?

And that is the problem with all this spurious “dialogue.” Muslim Brotherhood theorist Sayyid Qutb explained: “The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [the society of unbelievers] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.” That’s what “interfaith dialogue” is for Islamic supremacists: a vehicle for proselytizing.

Magdi Allam is right, and righteous, to be appalled at Catholic leaders’ failure to understand that, and – despite all their rhetoric about identifying with the downtrodden — to “speak truth to power” and “give voice to the voiceless” in any sense beyond rhetoric. I am sorry that he has left the Church, and hope that the bland complacency and excusing of Islam-inspired atrocities of Catholics like Matthew Schmitz will soon give way to a recognition that what Magdi Allam sees so clearly is indeed a real and immense threat, and that his prophetic voice must be heeded, before all is lost – which could be quite a bit sooner than anyone thinks.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.  

  • MikeWood

    Thank you Robert. God be with you.

  • John

    All these Catholic leaders who fail to understand Islam and try to engage in stupid dialog with it also fail to understand Christian truth and do no behave according to it. That's why I am not leaving the Catholic Church because of them. They are wrong and the Church is saint. Period.

  • Whateverman

    So, bobby spencer, everytime I ask the following question my post is deleted. You stated stated that your family left Turkey because they were given the choice of converting to Islam or die. The problem is that the Ottoman were not know to have done that (ask the many jews that found refuge in Turkey after running away from Catholic Spain and other Christian parts of Europe). On top of it all, your timeline doesn't jive. You're family left during Ataturk, who stripped every religious symbol and connection.
    I submit to you that you are a phoney and a charlatan.

    • Whateverman

      bobby spencer, the first part of my comment was not aimed at you but at the overzealous admin who, in the goal to protect the feelings of some insecure contributors to this site (I am looking at you, greenfield…), would delete any dissenting or challenging posts. What good is it to preach free speech to your neighbor when you can't even tolerate it on this measly website, where the stakes are quasi-microscopic.
      So I want to commend you for addressing my post, eventhough it was insulting towards your person (apologies for that, btw. But I feel that you know that what you say is not correct but say it anyways. and your methods in dealing with people who disagree with you are not quite honorable. No offense intended) .
      Now, let us address the history of both Christianity and Judaism in Ottoman Turkey, where you claim your ancestors. It directly contradicts your anecdotes and narratives. I will post several points to that effects. Whether you will address them is your prerogatives. Happy Easter, by the way.

      • Whateverman

        Under the Ottoman Empire, Christians and Jews were, in principle, tolerated in accordance with Sharia law. In practice, the degree of tolerance variety by time and place.
        Orthodox Christians were the largest non-Muslim group.
        Forced conversion of those raised by a non-Muslim father is counter to Sharia law, and was not a standard practice. However, anyone whose father was Muslim was usually legally required to be Muslim or face execution for apostasy.

        • Whateverman

          Civil status
          Ottoman religious tolerance was notable for being much better than that which existed elsewhere in other great past or contemporary empires, such as the Byzantine or Roman Empires. Of course, there were isolated instances of gaps between established policy and its actual practical application, but still, it was the modus operandi of the Empire.
          Under Ottoman rule, dhimmis (non-Muslim subjects) were allowed to "practice their religion, subject to certain conditions, and to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy" and guaranteed their personal safety and security of property, in return for paying tribute to Muslims. While recognizing the inferior status of dhimmis under Islamic rule, Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, states that, in most respects, their position was "very much easier than that of non-Christians or even of heretical Christians in medieval Europe."For example, dhimmis rarely faced martyrdom or exile, or forced compulsion to change their religion, and with certain exceptions, they were free in their choice of residence and profession.[8]

          Negative attitudes towards dhimmis harbored by the Ottoman governors were partly due to the "normal" feelings of a dominant group towards subject groups, to the contempt Muslims had for those whom they perceived to have willfully chosen to refuse to accept the truth and convert to Islam, and to certain specific prejudices and humiliations. The negative attitudes, however, rarely had any ethnic or racial components.In the early years, the Ottoman Empire decreed that people of different millets should wear specific colors of, for instance, turbans and shoes — a policy that was not, however, always followed by Ottoman citizens.

        • Whateverman

          Civil status
          Ottoman religious tolerance was notable for being much better than that which existed elsewhere in other great past or contemporary empires, such as the Byzantine or Roman Empires. Of course, there were isolated instances of gaps between established policy and its actual practical application, but still, it was the modus operandi of the Empire.
          Under Ottoman rule, dhimmis (non-Muslim subjects) were allowed to "practice their religion, subject to certain conditions, and to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy" and guaranteed their personal safety and security of property, in return for paying tribute to Muslims. While recognizing the inferior status of dhimmis under Islamic rule, Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, states that, in most respects, their position was "very much easier than that of non-Christians or even of heretical Christians in medieval Europe."For example, dhimmis rarely faced martyrdom or exile, or forced compulsion to change their religion, and with certain exceptions, they were free in their choice of residence and profession.

          • Western Canadian

            Civil status
            Ottoman religious tolerance was notable for being much better than that which existed elsewhere in other great past or contemporary empires, such as the Byzantine or Roman Empires.*******

            And who taught you this load of rubbish? Perhaps you should read work by serious students of islamic history?? No, that would take effort and honesty on your part.

            ******
            Of course, there were isolated instances of gaps between established policy and its actual practical application, but still, it was the modus operandi of the Empire.*****

            If under the thumb of devout musliims, they were treated like rubbish. Or the muslims were not following the koran.

            **************
            Under Ottoman rule, dhimmis (non-Muslim subjects) were allowed to "practice their religion, subject to certain conditions, and to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy"*****

            You neglected to mention the 'certain conditions'… Gee, I wonder why. Such as, keeping their places of worship in a good state of repair, being prohibited, as was building a new church…. Prohibited from ringing church bells, or publicly showing any indication of their non-muslim faith… Oh, yes, very impressive. And you decided to NOT mention it. Gee, why am I not suprised.

            ******************
            and guaranteed their personal safety and security of property, in return for paying tribute to Muslims*******************

            In return for extortion payments, while being prohibited from committing the crime of self defence…

            **************
            *************
            . While recognizing the inferior status of dhimmis under Islamic rule, Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, states that, in most respects, their position was "very much easier than that of non-Christians or even of heretical Christians in medieval Europe."For example, dhimmis rarely faced martyrdom or exile, or forced compulsion to change their religion, and with certain exceptions, they were free in their choice of residence and profession. *****

            Lewis was noted for dancing around the brutality of the muslim state towards non-muslims. If you were a student of islam and Lewis, you would know that. Each of those assertions made in your last sentence, are rubbish. They were allowed no such freedoms, unless a nonobservant muslim was in power.

        • Whateverman

          Religion as an Ottoman institution
          The state's relationship with the Greek Orthodox Church was peaceful. The church's structure was kept intact and largely left alone (but under close control and scrutiny) until the Greek War of Independence of 1821–1831 and, later in the 19th and early 20th centuries, during the rise of the Ottoman constitutional monarchy, which was driven to some extent by nationalistic currents. Other churches, like the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, were dissolved and placed under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Church.
          The Russians became formal protectors of the Eastern Orthodox groups in 1774, the French of the Catholics, and the British of the Jews and other groups. Russia and England competed for the Armenians.Russia perceived the establishment of over 100 American Protestant missionaries in Anatolia by World War I as weakening their own Eastern Orthodox teaching.

          • Western Canadian

            Religion as an Ottoman institution
            The state's relationship with the Greek Orthodox Church was peaceful.***********

            Then they were in violation of the koran and other islamic precepts.

            **************
            The church's structure was kept intact and largely left alone (but under close control and scrutiny)**********

            Make up your mind.

            *********until the Greek War of Independence of 1821–1831 and, later in the 19th and early 20th centuries, during the rise of the Ottoman constitutional monarchy, which was driven to some extent by nationalistic currents. Other churches, like the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, were dissolved and placed under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Church.
            The Russians became formal protectors of the Eastern Orthodox groups in 1774, the French of the Catholics, and the British of the Jews and other groups. Russia and England competed for the Armenians.Russia perceived the establishment of over 100 American Protestant missionaries in Anatolia by World War I as weakening their own Eastern Orthodox teaching. ***********

            Not relevant, or accurate.

        • Whateverman

          Conversion
          In the past, Christian missionaries sometimes worked hand-in-hand with colonialism, for example during the European colonization of the Americas, Africa and Asia. There is no record of a Muslim organization corresponding to the Christian mission system under the Ottoman Empire. According to Thomas Walker Arnold, Islam was not spread by force in the areas under the control of the Ottoman Sultan. Rather, Arnold concludes by quoting a 17th century author:
          “Meanwhile he (the Turk) wins (converts) by craft more than by force, and snatches away Christ by fraud out of the hearts of men. For the Turk, it is true, at the present time compels no country by violence to apostatise; but he uses other means whereby imperceptibly he roots out Christianity“
          According to Arnold: “We find that many Greeks of high talent and moral character were so sensible of the superiority of the Mohammedans, that even when they escaped being drafted into the Sultan's household as tribute children, they voluntarily embraced the faith of Mahomet. The moral superiority of the Othoman society must be allowed to have had as much weight in causing these conversions, which were numerous in the 15th century, as the personal ambition of individuals.“

          Voluntary conversion to Islam was welcomed by the Ottoman authorities. If a Christian became a Muslim, he or she lived under the same rules and regulations that applied to other Muslims; there were no special ones for converts.
          However, conversion from Islam to Christianity was, around the 15th and the 16th centuries, sometimes punished by death.
          The Ottomans tolerated Protestant missionaries within their realm, so long as they limited their proselytising to the Orthodox Christians.

          • Western Canadian

            Conversion
            In the past, Christian missionaries sometimes worked hand-in-hand with colonialism, for example during the European colonization of the Americas, Africa and Asia. There is no record of a Muslim organization corresponding to the Christian mission system under the Ottoman Empire**************

            There was no need for such a system, as the entire muslim 'culture' was and is directed towards the eradication/extermination of non-muslim belief or believers. Hardly a clever lie.

            ********* According to Thomas Walker Arnold, Islam was not spread by force in the areas under the control of the Ottoman Sultan. Rather, Arnold concludes by quoting a 17th century author:
            “Meanwhile he (the Turk) wins (converts) by craft more than by force, and snatches away Christ by fraud out of the hearts of men. For the Turk, it is true, at the present time compels no country by violence to apostatise; but he uses other means whereby imperceptibly he roots out Christianity“*****************

            Ethnic eradication is ethnic eradication. Or genocide is genocide. Again, I suggest you study books not written by apologists…..

            *****************
            According to Arnold: “We find that many Greeks of high talent and moral character were so sensible of the superiority of the Mohammedans,**********

            What superiority?? A love of rape, theft, hatred of jews??

            ****************
            that even when they escaped being drafted into the Sultan's household as tribute children, they voluntarily embraced the faith of Mahomet. The moral superiority of the Othoman society must be allowed to have had as much weight in causing these conversions, which were numerous in the 15th century, as the personal ambition of individuals.“************

            Pardon me while I throw up. (Robert is much to civil to say anything like that.) That is evening more sickening than the fraud about Spain….

            ***********
            Voluntary conversion to Islam was welcomed by the Ottoman authorities. If a Christian became a Muslim, he or she lived under the same rules and regulations that applied to other Muslims; there were no special ones for converts.***********

            No, no special ones for converts. They were just no longer treated like animals.

            ****However, conversion from Islam to Christianity was, around the 15th and the 16th centuries, sometimes punished by death.
            The Ottomans tolerated Protestant missionaries within their realm, so long as they limited their proselytising to the Orthodox Christians. *****

            Apostasy is always a capital offense when islam is strictly enforced…. Again, when a non-devout muslim was in power, non-muslims had much better lives.

            If you want to know ho islam has treated non-muslims for that vast majority of its bloody and violent history, pay attention to current Pakistan and Egypt, or any other country when islam has clawed and murdered its way to the top.

        • Western Canadian

          Under the Ottoman Empire, Christians and Jews were, in principle, tolerated in accordance with Sharia law.**************

          Under sharia "law", non-muslims are second class or lower captives, similar to slaves, but not living on a plantation. Their work and property was routinely stolen from them, as it is in current islamic dominated countries.

          ***************
          In practice, the degree of tolerance variety by time and place.
          ****************

          When a non-devout muslim was in charge, they were NOT treated like animals, would be more accurate.

          ****************
          Orthodox Christians were the largest non-Muslim group.
          Forced conversion of those raised by a non-Muslim father is counter to Sharia law, and was not a standard practice. However, anyone whose father was Muslim was usually legally required to be Muslim or face execution for apostasy. ************

          "Forced"?? being driven to poverty while being worked like a slave, with conversion being the easy way out, is a forced conversion.

      • Western Canadian

        bobby spencer, the first part of my comment was not aimed at you but at the overzealous admin who, in the goal to protect the feelings of some insecure contributors to this site (I am looking at you, greenfield…), would delete any dissenting or challenging posts.
        ********
        It has been pointed out to you that posts randomly disappear, but you prefer to feel sorry for yourself, and go on the attack. I have had supportive posts disappear, and had some subject to moderation. Wrong again.

        *********
        What good is it to preach free speech to your neighbor when you can't even tolerate it on this measly website, where the stakes are quasi-microscopic.

        ************
        Pay attention to what other people on this board say. You might accidentally learn something.

        ***************

        So I want to commend you for addressing my post, eventhough it was insulting towards your person (apologies for that, btw. But I feel that you know that what you say is not correct but say it anyways. and your methods in dealing with people who disagree with you are not quite honorable. No offense intended) ************

        You offer a pathetic "apology" for a smear, and then add even nastier smears, and say "no offense"
        You do appear to be a product of a degenerate educational establishment.

        He backs his posts/books (if you follow them back) with impeccable historical references, and he is never dishonourable with those who disagree with him… Hey! Why not make up insults out of thin air!

        .*************
        Now, let us address the history of both Christianity and Judaism in Ottoman Turkey, where you claim your ancestors. It directly contradicts your anecdotes and narratives. I will post several points to that effects. Whether you will address them is your prerogatives. Happy Easter, by the way.*****

        No, you will post whitewashed swill that lies about the viciousness of islam throughout history. Again, you demonstrate that you are uncommonly ignorant…. Or a muslim knowingly lying.

    • Western Canadian

      You would appear to believe the lie about muslim occupied Spain being a virtual paradise…. Which means you are very shabbily educated, mis-educated actually, and in possession of a completely false version of history. You didn't even get the year that Ataturk took power….. And you insult a serious and incredibly informed scholar, based on your preening ignorance. That, in a nutshell, is your average post on this board. Ignorant, insulting and arrogant. And you get worse as you go on.

  • Robert Spencer

    I never saw your question before. My family left Tsesmes, near Smyrna, in 1918. Ataturk took power in 1920. The Ottomans weren't know to have done that? I have an abundance of testimony, familial and otherwise, to the contrary.

  • evy

    Man always disappoints. All religions of the world say, DO. Christ alone says, DONE. This Resurrection Sunday weekend, am reminding us all of the words spoken from the cross, "it is finished." The work of salvation was accomplished. Now we accept or reject, and deal directly with Him Who did the work, ONE mediator between God and man. Nothing vicarious and fallible in between will do. We haven't any alternative, as none is righteous, 'no not one.' And what more can we ask? Jesus paid it all! What a relief to leave all the claptrap of religion behind and go straight to the Word of God, for REST.

    • Mike J

      Evy I'm missing something here. What does the Lord's passion have to DO with this issue? I don't see how your going into a fundamentalist rant furthers this debate??

      • evy

        Allam LEFT the Catholic church. Must be a relief to stop trying to earn your salvation by way of manmade rules, and doing obeisance to other sinners rather than to God, when salvation is free (to any who believe) in the first place. Looks relevent to me. And Thanks Mr. Spencer for your continued high quality information.
        As to you, Mike, if you do not want to see, you will not. What is fundamental? It is simply the truth of any matter, the bottom line. Why diddle in froth?

  • Brian Donegal

    Thank you, Mr. Spencer. A good article from you yet again.

  • Nancy

    As catholic we get slammed with liberal media lies about our priest. Catholic church has had too many persecutions against it that even catholic believers faith is diminishing and priest are having hard time. So I guess is hard for them to get into this muslim persecution against christians. Just like when John Paul II was more in the Americas than in Europe and they critized him for that.

  • Mike J

    What does Allam propose the Church do?
    I think the best solution is a campaign against radical Islam, that entails education. Benedict started it with that speech in Regensburg, making reference to the Byzantine emperor's comments on the violence of Islam.
    The real problem is that many Muslims are so violent that any criticism will further endanger Christians in Islamic countries. It reminds me of the dilemma in the 1930s and 1940s, when the Church was later criticized for not speaking out more strongly against the Nazis' persecution of the Jews. When Pius XII did, the violent reaction resulted in even more slaughter. It may take a miracle to stop the Muslim onslaught. But that 's ok we believe in them! After all non violent Christianity succeeded in converting violent pagan Rome in 300 years. The difficult we do immediately the possible will take some time.

    • Mike J

      Correction: the impossible will take some time!

  • Mark

    I attended a meeting in commemoration of 9/11 in 2011 that was supposed to promote interfaith dialogue along with remembering the death and destruction of 9/11. It took place in Royal Oak, Michigan. I was shocked to hear preacher after preacher try to appease any Muslim hurt feelings after 9/11 because of the way they supposedly have been discriminated against. Besides the mainline protestant Christian and Catholic speakers there were also two rabbis who spoke. One Rabbi made a strong statement about religious freedom and American values but he dared not challenge Muslims to clean their own house. The only thing they did at the meeting in regard to the dead victims was light a candle for the victims of 9/11 and then put it in somewhere on stage where it was hard to see.Hardly a word was spoken about the vile crimes committed by Islamist extremist and the pain, suffering and death they caused by their hateful actions on 9/11. No Muslim cleric even bothered to speak or as far as I know even attend the event. One young Muslim woman spoke for Muslims by reading a a very bad poem she wrote that expressed her sadness at the way Muslims have been supposedly persecuted in the U.S. She said nothing about the thousands that died due to the attack on the Twin Towers. Actually this woman didn't even have any real grievances. There were no murders of Muslims in the U.S. following 9/11 nor should there have been. Americans are exceptionally tolerant compared to the violent and hateful Arab "street." We are an open and tolerant society. Many Muslims have used 9/11 to their advantage and claim they are looked upon with suspicion or "profiled." That's about it. Juan Williams summed it up when he said he'd feel uncomfortable if there were a large group of men in Muslim garb on a flight he had a ticket to fly on. For saying this he was unjustly fired by NPR. Secular and religious leaders have bent over backwards in the U.S. to reassure Muslims that they are welcome here in the U.S., as they should be if they are loyal to the U.S. The Catholic Church has gone further because they fear Muslims will wipe out all outposts of Catholicism in the "Arab World" in particular. The Catholic Church has done all it can to appease Arab Muslims. It took decades for the Vatican to even recognize Israel as a nation and have diplomatic relations. I believe that the Catholic Church is led today by cowards and hypocrites who are not willing to stand up for their basic Christian beliefs. Muslim extremists regard the Catholic Church with particular contempt. It isn't hard to see why they do. Meanwhile Christians including Palestinians have been for years fleeing the Muslim countries and the Palestinian territories in droves, now especially in Arab countries such as Iraq.

  • whateverman

    test

  • Jim

    See if you can understand the parallel.
    I was involved in helping a priest get justice, not money and not in court, for some young men who had been sexually abused by another priest. I am now sure that 90% of the top level had never met homsexuals or what they did physically. They just could not comprehend. The only concepts they could understand were 'forgiveness' and 'remorse'.
    When i now speak with clergy they are clearer about sex crimes, but cannot understand Islam. (An honourable exception is Cardinal George Pell of Sydney.)
    They simply do not understand.
    Like the guys who befriend tigers and bears up to the point they get mauled.

  • vic

    So true Robert. The Bishops are politically correct and spineless in this regard. Allam is wrong in abandoning his faith over a gripe but he is right in his indictment against the Churches’ naive approach.