Saturday, September 16, 2006

Much ado about not much ado

So the Pope (do you capitalize it?) meant “no offence” to Islam. Yea, right. And cats have no asses. You can’t tell me that his quotation of Emperor Manuel II Paleologos wasn’t very carefully orchestrated. He knew damn well what he was doing, I mean, he’s the Pope, he ain’t stupid. He was playing a lawyer in a courtroom drama – sure, now he has apologized, the defense lawyer objected, objection sustained, words to be stricken – but they are out there nonetheless.

"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Yea, ok. From anyone else’s lips I don’t think the quote would mean too much. It was quite irresponsible for the Pope, of all people, to say such a thing, quote or no quote. Of course the Muslims would be pissed. We’ve seen the Muslims get mad before. Now it is wrong for me to say “the Muslims”, because it always seems to be a certain group of Muslims that get angry about such things. It would be the same as saying “the Christians” when referring to Fred Phelpsian attitudes.

Now some stooge in Turkey is saying that the Pope will go down in history alongside Hitler and Mussolini. I don’t know what it is about today’s world that evokes so much Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and general fascist comparisons, but god damn people, show some fucking sense, or rather make some sense when you make statements like that. Now, I do happen to agree with the Turk’s statement that the Pope’s comments were “a deliberate attempt to revive the mentality of the Crusades.” That sounds about right. But I think Catholicism has been trying to revive the mentality of the Crusades since the Crusades.

Still, it is hard to look at certain aspects of Islam (ie. extremist factions) and not see some small truth in the quote. But then again, I can remember a few bloody chapters in Christianity’s past. Islam started a few hundred years behind Christianity, so by that standard things are about on target. Give 'em a few years to realize you just can't change the world and they'll calm down. Maybe they'll even get their own Pope.

I can’t help but wonder why the big three religions can’t get along. They all sprang from the same basic source. Yea, if you get down to the nitty gritty, they all can’t be right, which might cause some general bitchiness between them. But maybe none of them are right. And I really don’t want to be sitting around at the end of time saying “I told you so” when things don’t work out like any of them wanted because, well, that will mean we’ll all just be dead and I won’t have the opportunity to say “I told you so”.

So get over your bitchy ass selves and figure out a way to live in peace already. And that goes for all of you.


Dixie said...

I heard the whole speech in original language and the quote in context and my interpretation of what the Pope was saying is that using force and violence to convert and convince others as to the purity and "rightness" of a religion is wrong. The quote was used as an example of such behavior. Does the Roman Catholic church have a history of such behavior? Certainly, and it may have been better to use a quote that would damn the Roman Catholic church except they probably got rid of any such quotes in history.

My problem with the reaction of these particular Muslims is that their outrage would be a lot easier to understand if it wasn't tainted by hypocracy.

I disagree with the Turkish stooge. The speech as a whole was meant to be critical of the mentality of the Crucades.

Mamothrefto said...

This new Pope spent much of his life in seclusion inside the Vatican not getting out too much.

He may have said it unintentionally without realizing the repurcussions. But, his advisors must have known the effect it would have on the Muslim fanatics.

P.S. They say Islam is a religion of peace. Does anyone have an example of that lately? (Just curious).

J.Doe said...

In his speech the Pope did quote Emeror Manuel, but he said right before he did that the quote is rather harsh. Nobody in the Muslim world seems to mention that. I read his speech and it wasn't one of hate at all. You cannot pick and chose the words you want to hear and then react. The Pope has been misquoted.

Jay3gsm said...

The Pope has certainly been misquoted. (I think Pope is capitalised) From what I understand, the speech was about how scientific reason needs to be come from, and not be excluded from, faith. The Pope talked about the effect of Greek philosophy on religion and also talked about how no one should be forced to follow a certain religion by violence.

As for the crusades, I was always of the idea that they were defensive rather than offensive. Defence against the violent invasion of Muslims into Europe?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me the Pope was saying that Muslims should not use Islam as a pretext for committing violent acts.

No more, and no less.

And as for thei reaction in the Muslin world: sorry, but you guys are going to have to learn to accept criticism (and even satire) of your your religious beliefs, as Christians and Jews have accepted and tolerated for centuries.

Anonymous said...

Jay3gsm, the Crusades were offensive. Christians were the invaders. That´s documented history and you should read something about that. Very shocking, I advise you.

You’re right Anonymous, but it’s not the role of the pope to criticize other religions, or to make funny cartoons about them in the Vatican newspaper. Pope Benedict should learn a thing or two from his predecessor about relations with other religions. That is called wisdom and quest for Peace. As for acceptance of criticism or satire, you should difference the jews from the christians. Ask a jew how it was for centuries, and how the very fact of beeing jews was considered offensive and a motive for murder and genocide. Didn’t you know that? Not anymore, off course, thank God.
Sorry for my bad english.