Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pope Benedict Upsets Muslims

Here is the quote of the Pope from an academic lecture that is getting many upset:

"Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels," he turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words: "Show me just what Mohammed 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."

I have not seen the Pope's next line being quoted, but it explains the first:

"The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably ("syn logo") 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.... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...."

There is not one thing wrong in this statement. Why saying that violence is incompatible with the nature of God and quoting an emperor of the 14th century is controversial I don't know. By Muslims committing violence on Churches today, they only illustrate what the emperor was saying long ago.

Read the Pope's entire paper. It is excellent.

You gotta love the irony of Iran insisting that the Pope apologize for linking Islam to violence.

Update: Great. Now they are calling for the Pope's death.