Posted by Curt on 16 September, 2006 at 10:51 am. 3 comments already!

So the Pope speaks about rejecting violence in pursuing religion, ALL religions, and the Muslims go batty once more. They went batty over the cartoons, they go batty about pretty much everything these days. But to go batty over the Pope speaking words like:

Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God,” he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats.”

Is completely batty.

If you read the whole speech you come away impressed. But somehow the Muslims become enraged (when do they not it seems) because the Pope spoke out against forced conversion into religion….ahem Centanni ahem.

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.

At this point, as far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we are faced with an unavoidable dilemma. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?

I am at a loss to understand the mindset of someone who gets upset at this speech. The Pope is saying reason is necessary for a religion. A person needs to feel that they can disagree, debate, and argue without fear of getting their heads chopped off. This is completely opposite of Wahhabism and other forms of Radical Islam. There is no argument in these forms of religion, there is only complete obedience. How is this becoming one with God?

A reader sent a great email into Michelle Malkin and here he describes the true nature of the Pope’s argument:

God can’t be God if he is unreasonable, because if He is unreasonable then he has some kind of deficiency or imperfection. Imperfection is incompatible with His divine nature. He can’t transcend reason because perfect reason is also integral to His nature as God. God can’t command us to practice idolatry, as the Muslim theologian Ibn Hazn said, because this would be totally incompatible with His nature. God can’t be untrue to Himself – He doesn’t have such human failings!

The Muslims can’t justify the unreasonableness of violence by saying God transcends reason. The result of their beliefs is to make God in the image of their own leaders who spread Islam by any means possible in order to subjugate as many as possible under their brutal power.

I think this is the best explanation of the Pope’s speech out there. And the whole point comes down to this:

The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application… Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today.

In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures.

It’s a brilliant speech, and one that deserves wide notice. But what do we get from the Muslim community in reaction to a speech that calls for reasonable debate? We get angry, violent demonstrations that denounce the Pope saying that Islam can be violent and angry..

You get that? It would almost be a joke if the Muslims were not capable of so much violence.

A protest in Delhi against the Pope’s controversial comments on Islam and Prophet Mohammad turned ugly on Friday evening when those protesting turned against each other.

In the ensuing melee – protestors hurled bulbs and bottles at each other – Delhi Assembly’s Deputy Speaker Shoaib Iqbal was also attacked.


A hitherto unknown group calling itself the Swords of Islamic Right on Saturday threatened to blow up all churches and Christian institutions in the Gaza Strip in protest against remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI about Islam and Prophet Muhammed.

The group, which claimed responsibility for a shooting attack on a church in Zaituon neighborhood in Gaza City on wounded in the attack.

“What the Pope said is unforgivable,” the group said in a statement. “We will continue to target churches.”

Leaders inside the Muslim community regularly call for the killing of Jews, for the destruction of Israel, beheading those who insult the Koran…..but there is no rhetoric coming from their side right?

And guess who rides in to save the day for Muslims worldwide? The New York Times of course. They demand an apology from the Pope:

There is more than enough religious anger in the world. So it is particularly disturbing that Pope Benedict XVI has insulted Muslims, quoting a 14th-century description of Islam as “evil and inhuman.”

[…]Muslim leaders the world over have demanded apologies and threatened to recall their ambassadors from the Vatican, warning that the pope’s words dangerously reinforce a false and biased view of Islam. For many Muslims, holy war — jihad — is a spiritual struggle, and not a call to violence. And they denounce its perversion by extremists, who use jihad to justify murder and terrorism.

[…]The world listens carefully to the words of any pope. And it is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly. He needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology, demonstrating that words can also heal.

So the Pope offers a apology, not that his words were wrong, which they are not. But an apology that anyone misunderstood his speech.

In a statement read out by a senior Vatican official, the Pope said he respected Islam and hoped Muslims would understand the true sense of his words. …

The BBC’s Christian Fraser in Rome says the speed with which the Vatican has reacted shows just how seriously it views the situation.

Reading the statement, new Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said the Pope’s position on Islam was in line with Vatican teaching that the Church “esteems Muslims, who adore the only God”.

“The Holy Father is very sorry that some passages of his speech may have sounded offensive to the sensibilities of Muslim believers,” the statement said.

I really don’t think there are enough apologies to go around for the misunderstandings coming from the Muslim community. They are continually “enraged” and calling for a jihad here and a jihad there.

But they are the religion of peace right?

The Anchoress takes the media to task much better then I do:

Just so we’re straight – Pope Benedict made a speech in which he invited Muslims to dialogue, criticized terrorism as a means of movement and then quoted a 14th Century Byzantine to make the point that Islam and the West have had rather a long history of struggles. Three paragraphs of the speech covered all of that. The rest of the speech was about faith and reason, and a criticisim of secularism in the West. The pope was basically doing the job of the pope, and doing it the way a scholar, teacher and theologian – that would be Benedict – would do it.

Now, we read Benedict blunder shows he has failed to master media machine. This is Benedict’s blunder, you see. As if he has any control over how the press presents a story:

In clinging to theology and orthodoxy, the bookish Benedict has shown little regard for media management in getting his message across, unlike the communications-savvy John Paul II.

A pope clinging to theology and orthodoxy instead of boning up on his media skills – the very idea! A pope trusting that the press would seriously reflect his thoughtful and deep words without sensationalizing them – the very idea! What a naive innocent is bookish little Benedict.

Only the MSM would have the gall to say that the Pope should be better at manipulating the media rather then speaking about theology…..the arrogance and stupidity of today’s reporters knows no bounds.

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