“All Religions Want Peace”: The Pope, Propaganda & The Expected Lie


There is a kind of propaganda that everybody knows is propaganda, but which involves statements which everybody expects a personage to make. Call it Expected Lies.

So that when a fellow who used to be President was asked if his latest already-well-known dalliance was true, he wagged his finger and said no. As he was expected to. Nobody (above a certain intelligence) believed it, but because the lie was expected, those on his political side were expected to support it, which they did (at first) in a desultory fashion. The Expected Lie is after all one of the reasons why we have taboos on self-incrimination.

This is a silly but illustrative example. Why did this fellow tell the lie? Because, simply, if he told the truth he would have had to act on that truth. So that if he said, “Yes, I did it and often, and once with a cigar” there was little recourse left to him but to resign. A drastic action, one filled with portents and consequence. The Expected Lie brings freedom from acting.

Nothing more than this explains the endless stream of nothing-to-see-heres we get from European leaders after the latest killing by Muslims in the name of Islam. We are told the Expected Lie in many forms: “This is not true Islam (even though the Muslim attackers swear that it is)”, “All Muslims are not terrorists (a truth but non sequitur)”, “We don’t know the reason for the murders (despite the sworn testimony of cowardly killers)”, “The slaughter was sparked by racism (false, and even if true no excuse for wanton murder)”, “The rapes of children and their cover-up were not unusual (a hell-condemning perposterosity)”, “Immigration is good and will continue (even though all of history shows forced mixing of cultures leads to violence)”, and so on.

Nobody believes any of these Expected Lies, nor are we meant to. Yet there is something in all of us that screams, “Why can’t these bloody liars tell the truth!” They cannot because, as with the serially offending President, admitting the truth must needs lead to action. And the action called for cannot be countenanced by these leaders.

At the least would be the public recognition that Equality and Diversity are false gods. Religions as deeply held as these are not given up over a few deaths. Better would be the ejection of Muslims from once-Christian countries, but that would not only cause leaders to admit the superiority of Christianity over Islam, but again it would force them to say Equality and Diversity are wrong. (I’ll soon have more to say on the freedom of religion.) At the most would be war: Crusade against Jihad.

None of these actions are palatable; none will be taken. The Expected Lies therefore must continue.

God bless Pope Francis. He was on yet another plane and as is his wont he spoke without even notes on his cuff. He admitted the world was at war, but he clarified what he meant by war:

“When I speak of war, I talk about it seriously, but it’s not a war of religion. It’s a war for money, for resources, for nature, for dominion. This is the war,” Pope Francis told journalists on his July 27 flight from Rome to Krakow.

“Could one think of a religious war? No. All religions want peace. Others want war,” he said. “Is that clear?”

No, your holiness, it is not clear. Blessed be the peacemaker, but Our Lord also said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” While Christianity desires peace, war, like the poor, is something we recognize we will always have with us.

The Pope’s propaganda isn’t believed, and isn’t expected to be believed. Did not the holy Quran say (sura 2 at 191) “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out” and (sura 9 at 5) “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush…”, and more beside? Did those religions which offered human sacrifice desire peace?

What’s puzzling here are the actions expected were the Pope to tell the truth instead of the Expected Lie. One would be the admission that Christianity is superior to Islam. Is the Pope reluctant to make this claim? The Pope may calculate that his opinion is so weighty that the secular leaders of Europe (and elsewhere) would have to openly agree with him, thus leading to the consequences noted above. But does Pope Francis really believe he is so important in the post-Christian West?

I leave this question with you, dear reader.


  1. Anon

    It’s been said before that Islam is for the “peace” that will result when the earth is no longer bothered by the presence of those pesky infidels. Anything up to that point is definitely not “peace.”

  2. Michael Dowd

    Pope Francis believes he plays a key role in the New World Order power structure. He assumes all people desire peace, and with the help of himself and the New World Order, this can be brought about. I doubt very much he believes in the truth of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis is much more of a political leader than a religious one. He is a quintessential secularist. And he is totally wrong because, having lost his faith, he is unable to see the truth.

  3. Sheri

    More important, why will many Catholics and the Church itself spread the lie, agree with the lie and continue to support the man who told the lie? Why will the Pope be treated exactly like Bill Clinton—allowed to lie, when the Church itself claims not to believe in lies. You know the answer—this is about money and power and God has NOTHING to do with it. The Church is now run by false prophets and ungodly men. How long will this be allowed? Until the money runs out, one would guess. Not that it has ever been true that many churches were against lies—not since they became huge organizations with billions of dollars. There’s something very evil in all of this.

    I do commend you, Briggs, for admitting the Pope is spreading lies worldwide and helping the very killers he denies exist. It’s very, very evil.

  4. Gary

    The Expected Lie is a two-sided coin. It would not work except for its acceptance by the hearer. And why would anyone accept a lie? One hand washes the other…

  5. OldMan

    Off topic, but it does seem that you could fix the “headline display” at the top of the page so that words are not divided improperly. Otherwise, a fine blog.

  6. The problem lies in Islam being a mixture of religion and a militaristic geo-political movement. It could be argued that all religions contained these ingredients in their beginnings (e.g. see the Old Testament), or just read the history re. Egypt, Persia, Roman Empire, and so on.

    What we call religions today are actually reformed versions, mostly unbundled from the original cultures and armed conflicts with neighbors. Islam is the exception, badly needing a similar reform, but hampered by its lack of an authoritative structure by which moderate and modern thinking can be adopted “officially.” Islam is still subject to radical Imams who can find scriptural support for killing unbelievers and for occupying territory to impose Sharia law.

    The Pope may be right about religions being peaceful, but many peaceful Muslims do not condemn the radicals since they cannot easily dispute those claiming to be truer to the prophet.

  7. Hoyos


    I think the case could be made that the Jewish religion was interesting in that it’s “war mandate” was pretty limited. You have the holy land and that’s it.

    Egypt, Persia and the Roman Empire didn’t really have religious motivations for wars of conquest, neither did the Mongols or Vikings. All men are religious one way or another, but it wasn’t really their motivation. There was no reform for these groups either.

    Elephant in the room is that we have to pretend that all “great religious leaders” are in some sense equal (even for orthodox Christians there’s a tendency to rank all non Christian religions the same).

    Honestly Islam is about what you would expect an illiterate herdsman with half remembered concepts of Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and animism all jumbled together in his head. The koran is an almost unreadable mess, the “killer app” appeal of Islam is its simplicity combined with a justification for being a marauder as long as it’s against the right people. Plunder and rape in this life with the favor of God in the next. There is no reform of its chief selling point.

    Even the sanest versions of Islam were expressions that were considered unorthodox by many at the time and practiced by people with pre existing civilizations (Turkey and Persia).

  8. Hoyes, agree with most of that. But you are downplaying the fact those ancient societies all had religious sanctions for warfare. Remember: “By This Sign Conquer,: referring to the cross. Ironically, the Muslim warriors got their skill by fighting as mercenaries in the conflict zone between Romans and Persians for one side or the other. Then they united under Mohammed.

  9. swordfishtrombone

    There are definite signs (Brexit, Trump) that people are getting fed up with these “expected lies”, as you so aptly call them.

  10. Ray

    I was amused when Pope Benedict asked in his Regensburg address if Islam was reasonable and the Muslim response to the Pope’s question was street riots with the rioters screaming kill the pope. The Muslim clerics later put together a response to the Pope that didn’t answer the question and was pure spin.

  11. Sheri

    swordfishtrombone: I hope you’re right. The mess appears to be reaching critical mass.

  12. Hoyos

    Well sure I guess I’m taking exception to the idea that all religions do this but “evolve”. Everyone who isn’t a pacifist has a moral sanction of some kind for war even the communists.

    Christianity had no philosophy of conquest, not even In Hoc Signo Vinces. Buddhism doesn’t have one, Confucianism, Taoism, ancient Roman and Greek religion didn’t really either. Islam has it built in.

    Christianity didn’t “reform” out of violence. It has the same moral restrictions it always had.

  13. Sander van der Wal

    There are quite a lot of people in Europe who want to believe the lies about islamit terrorists. One of the reasons they want to believe that is because their populist enemies are not friends of Islam.

  14. NostraDimWit

    @ Ron Clutz [July 28, 2016 at 11:00 am]:

    “By This Sign Conquer,: referring to the cross …” — wrong: you are quoting the “voice” which the (not-quite-yet-) Roman Emperor Constantine I claimed that he heard just prior to the Battle of Milvian Bridge [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Milvian_Bridge], in AD 312.

    This wasn’t an order to conquer the world in the name of Christ or whatever; it was specifically about the single battle that was about to be fought, in a civil war about who would be Emperor. The Romans had already conquered their empire, while still pagans. It was in fact on the decline. No orders for world conquest, there. Sorry.

  15. Ignacio de Loyola (@tradjesuit)

    There is a philosophical extreme “personalism” involved. Bergoglio is attracted to early 20th century personalism of Erich Przywara that assumes that the personal encounter with the other solves all personal and social problems. That of course assumes that the other wants an encounter with you and is a truth teller. If one believes the holy book of the Muslims, and many Muslims do believe it, they have no desire for a meeting of minds and hearts. Rather they want submission which is what the very name Islam means. They are also willing to lie to non-Muslims to achieve that end.

  16. Milton Hathaway

    @RonKlutz – I believe you are missing a fundamental point. Christianity is about Jesus, Islam is about Mohammed. Neither will ever deviate in the slightest from the teachings or examples of those men. Compare the life and teachings of Jesus and Mohammed, and it is clear that while Jesus was a man of peace, Mohammed was not. Also, Jesus separated himself from government, Mohammed did not.

    There is no “reforming” of Islam, and there can never be.

  17. Dave

    Seriously – the Roman Catholic church is no more tolerant of other religions than the Muslim ones. You do know who coined the phrase infidel right?
    The problem is religion – all religion in all its guises including the new-religion that Dawkins followers practice. The only true religion is science and reason!

  18. Per

    Dave: You apply the word tolerant the way Mohammedans apply the word peace. Nobody sees Christians beheading Imams.

  19. Sheri

    Dave: Science is subject to the same human frailties as religion. It can be taken over by the government, used as a reason to kill, used as a reason for war, etc. As for reason, that would be great if humans were Vulcans after their awakening to logic but we’re light years from that. No human ideology is immune from human emotion and a quest for power. All of history fully supports this. Religion, science, philosophy, medicine—as soon as you throw people into the mix, all bets are off.

  20. John

    One thing we need to realize, which is always gets glossed over by the, “not all…” argument; according to Islam, there are only 3 kinds of muslims.

    There is the honest muslim, who will tell you he wants to cut your head off and rape your daughter in front of you (specific order varies) if you don’t convert.
    Then there is the lying muslim, who will tell you he is a peaceful fellow who doesn’t want to kill people and Islam is not compulsive; but only so you won’t boot him out of your community, he’ll turn on you in a heartbeat once Islam takes over.
    Finally, there is the apostate muslim, who honestly believes what the lying muslim professes, these muslims will be the first the honest and lying muslims will kill when they take over.

    Let’s not forget…
    The Christian will do good works, proselytize, condemn your sin so you are aware of it, and preach to you; because that is how the Christian gets YOU into heaven.
    The muslim will kill, murder, rape, and pillage the non-muslim; because that is how the muslim gets HIMSELF into heaven.

  21. Dave–as a physicist, there are few things I would take from science to govern my daily life and actions.

    To whomever said that all religions believed in war (or some equivalent statement), there are versions of Christianity that are totally pacifist–Quakers come to mind, as well as some varieties of Anabaptists (plain people). And there is a doctrine in Catholicism and much teaching about the “just war”–in other words, that the principle of double effect justifies defending yourself in a personal or a public context.

  22. And in Old Testament times, if you were a pacifist, you didn’t survive.
    Look to Psalm 24:
    “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
    Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
    Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
    10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.” Selah.

  23. Bob

    Briggs article is an articulate viewpoint of a major problem with human nature. I believe that we are all non-confrontational, and resort to the expected lie just to go along to get along. The one person you would think that would take a stand is the Pope, and he has indulged in the expected lie that all religions are peaceful.

  24. All religions do want peace… and they all want war. And they all want certain behaviors and charities, disciplines and responsibilities, and so forth.

    Of the three Abrahamic faiths, to an objective and educated observer, Islam seems the most harsh and conservative. In the context of it’s story, it’s history and places, it’s also quite understandable to an objective and educated observer. It has shown, over that history, that it can be practiced in a peaceful and civilized way for long sustained periods in a wide variety of places and cultures, striking more diverse than both Christianity and Judaism, and more than Buddhism and Hinduism as well. It’s not for me, thank you, but apparently it is for 1.6 billion very different people.

    Best to find a way to get along, and help them to get along, without dragging religion into it even more. And for Christ’s sake, don’t drag your religion into it too! At some point you have to grasp the reality that religion is irrational and loony, period, and it’s best to view it as a “human condition” that we should deal with as carefully and benignly as possible. It does not matter. It’s all just b#lls#it anyway. Grow up.


  25. Sheri

    JMJ: How about you don’t drag your progressive religious beliefs into this and we won’t drop you into Iran where the religion of peace that you prefer is practiced? Or, if you prefer, a collection can be taken up and you can be dropped in China or North Korea where you will be free from all religious nonsense and you’ll have a utopian existence.

  26. Ron Clutz: It is a gross simplification to equate religious motivations for war with religious motivations for world conquest. ALL human beings are warlike, it takes great effort and constant vigilance for any society to attempt, much less achieve, pacifism (peace is not the same as pacifism; many societies that are not pacifist have had long periods of peace but have gone right back to war when provoked — thinking that the US, or Canada, or Europe are inherently peaceful is a strange distortion of reality many are prone to). That said, most human societies war with others occaionally, and over small territories. Only a few have ever had ambitions to empire, and only a few of them have had religious reasons for wanting it. Islam is one. It started out that way and it is STILL that way. It will always be that way. Any “evolution” or change from that has always been met with revolt and return to Islam’s roots. Islam means “submission,” Islam must rule a submissive earth. That is its core message.

  27. Dave: Science and Reason! Let’s see, who as preached that? The French Revolution. Marx. Hitler. Stalin. To name a few. How did that work out?

  28. Sheri

    JMJ: “to an objective and educated observer” An educated observer is not even definable. An objective oberver has the same amount of evidence for its existence as fairies and leprechauns. You are appealing to a fictional entity, something you seem to find objectionable when others do it. Hypocritical or just oblivious?

  29. Joy

    Bob, not bob k:
    Society as a whole does not act in a given way, people act in a certain way and the media reports how they respond. If the media isn’t telling the truth they tell you how ‘society responds’. Anybody who really thinks ‘society responds’ is not thinking straight. It is a dangerous shorthand for ‘most people think. or respond…’.

    At last but too late. Briggs has something to say about the truth. The hangers on are now officially allowed to say something about Catholics! What rubbish.
    To whom it may concern:
    I see no real genuine debate on here, a lot of strutting and posing from the usual suspects. Come the day they will be cowering behind those they decry and calling for somebody braver than them to act. Let’s hope the soldiers who save them will have an IQ high enough.
    I vote for an IQ admission in order to comment on here. Let’s have it out. Perhaps a number of stars by the name to prove credentials. Some of you would have a nasty shock!

    For an actually intelligent and informed discussion on this topic from really brave individuals who tell it how it is and don’t pretend to care.

    Read or listen to Ayean Hirsi Ali for the reality about Islam for women and media’s treatment of Islam.

    Read or listen to fellow Essex person Maajid Nawaz for all those who don’t believe that the Q’oran can be revised and Islam therefore reformed. It’s already happening. Keep up. It doesn’t pay just to read Thomas A all your life. The world is moving without you.

    Read or listen to Douglas Murray for honest truth about islamic terrorism.
    Read or listen to Mark Steyn, who is another truth teller.

  30. Sheri

    There is no statistical relationship between IQ and common sense or the ability to reason.

  31. Joy

    Nobody said there was. I’m glad we cleared that up.

  32. Sheri

    Enough said……

  33. Joy

    You did though, apparently.

  34. John Moore

    I am surprised that there aren’t more here with the false assertion that all religions are violent in part.

    Religions vary. Christianity is most certainly not violent. The Just War Doctrine does allow violence, but only in defense. It does not allow violence to kill non-believers just for their non-belief. It does not allow violence for conquest. It only allows violence for defense.

    It is true that any religion can be used by demagogues who go hijack it for their own purposes. Christianity has been so used, but that usage is heretical.

    There is a long history in the UK and its colonies of false history about Christianity of the Catholic era. This was a result of the wars of the “Reformation,” but the result is shocking ignorance about the Church before that time. The crusades were defensive, only defensive. The Inquisition was also mostly an attempt to *end* witch hunts by moving them into the Church. Even the Spanish Inquisition, which certainly got out of hand, killed very few people, especially for its time and the fact that it was right after the Muslims were driven from Spain.

    Islam can easily be used for war, because its sacred texts call for the conquest or destruction of non-believers. It is different from many others in that regard. It is designed to be spread by violence, not by voluntary conversion.

    It is a tribute to many Muslims in this world that they do not follow that dangerous doctrine. It is because they, like many people, would rather go about their lives than engage in war. However, polls who alarming levels of support for Islamist terrorism, and much higher levels of support for Sharia law and all that entails.

    Islam is fundamentally incompatible with democracy.

    And, because violence (and related awfulness) is in the sacred texts, it is easy for Muslims to turn violent. We are now seeing cases where second generation Muslim immigrants turn to radical Islam. This should not surprise us… in many ways, it is similar to the second generation Mexican immigrants who become gang bangers. Except… the Islam adopted by these people is violent and suicidal – very dangerous.

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