Monday, September 18, 2006

Here's What the Pope Said

ALTOETTING, Germany (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday that Islamic holy war was against God's nature and invited Muslims to join in a peaceful cultural dialogue.

In a speech at Regensburg University, Benedict made an unusual reference to jihad, or holy war -- a concept used by today's Islamic extremists to justify suicide bombings and other attacks.

Benedict's address was about faith and reason, and how they cannot be separated and are essential for "that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today."

Citing historic Christian commentary on holy war and forced conversion, the 79-year-old pontiff quoted from a 14th-century Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Paleologos.

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the pope said. "He said, I quote, '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.' "

Clearly aware of the sensitivity of the issue, Benedict added, "I quote," twice before pronouncing the phrases on Islam and described them as "brusque," while neither explicitly agreeing with nor repudiating them.

"The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable," Benedict said.

"Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul," the pope said, issuing an open invitation to dialogue among cultures.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the pope was not giving an interpretation of Islam as "something violent," although he said the religion contains both violent and nonviolent strains.

Benedict did not touch directly on the current controversy over Islamic extremism, although it is an issue he follows with concern. Last year in Cologne, Germany, he urged Islamic leaders to take responsibility for their communities and teach their young to abhor violence.

Last week, he told a gathering of Christian, Muslim and Jewish representatives in Italy that no one can "use the motive of religious difference as a reason or pretext for bellicose behavior toward other human beings."

Benedict will make his first visit to a Muslim country in November, when he is scheduled to travel to Turkey.

Gerlinde Axmann, a 40-year-old social worker, watched Tuesday's speech on one of the large screens set up in a square near the cathedral.

"That was a very important start to dialogue with Muslims amid the terrorist threat," she said, calling Benedict's appeal to reason "a building block toward finding a way to argue with each other without using weapons."

"I think it's very important for him to bring these things up in society," she said. "Muslims aren't going to take us seriously until we become conscious of our own values. For example, they take the pope much more seriously than others in the West."

Click here for the complete article from CNN.

Note to Self: When annoyed, in doubt, underpaid, disillusioned, blatantly ignorant, disregarding of life itself . . . JIHAD!

[Indonesian Muslim protesters hold up signs during a rally outside the Vatican embassy in Jakarta September 18, 2006. The sign on the right reads, "Let's crucify Paus (Pope)". REUTERS/Dadang Tri]

For more on Al-Quaeda's official response to Pope Benedict's call to rational discourse among different faiths, click here.

Here we go again . . . burn Hollywood, burn.

1 comment:

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello JP and all,

There is no truth without discernment and taking this situation out of context will never solve this world's problems. The straw that breaks the camel's back always follows the results of earlier deeds.

The Pope's choice of words was brain dead, in my humble opinion, if he was seeking to spread peace. He could have appealed for cooler heads and humility from all sides using any other words, but instead he chose to quote Crusade era hypocrisy that was guaranteed to inflame Muslims. Now we see the backtracking and spinning that always follows the gaffes of those afraid of simply telling the truth.

More proof that religion is the opposite of truth, wisdom, and justice

The "infallible" Grand Inquisitor (the pot) sought to lecture Islam (the kettle) about spreading religion through dark deeds by quoting a Dark Ages text while the USA and Europe are in the midst of the Neo-Crusades. The irony and absurdity in this situation is amazing, to say the least. It evidences both the fallacy and fallibility of those who vainly and arrogantly pretend to serve the Creator.

Dear Pope, ever heard of Karma or the golden rule? Ever stop to remember how the Vatican and western nations became so rich and powerful over the centuries? Ever consider giving up your blood drenched wealth and earthly power to end the blatant hypocrisy of your vane, materialistic, and duplicitous empire? Ever think of forgoing your peacock's robes to walk the walk instead of simply talking the talk? Remember the "eye of the needle" and "log and mote in the eye" parables? Is this a demonstration of your infallibility, wisdom, or utter blindness? As another wise one once said; What goes around comes around!

The West has killed far more Muslims (and other dark skins) than they have killed westerners, yet our press and leaders can only see Muslim and "third world" desperation in the face of western military and economic dominance and oppression, (in the name of God and country, by the way), as sources of evil in this world.

Guess what guys and girls, war, violence, and injustice are evil, no matter what the excuse or cause or who is doing it to whom. Anyone who thinks the Creator would judge religion, war, or any other profiteering at the expense of others as wise or acceptable activities has a very big surprise in store.

Here is Wisdom!!
...and here too...