Skip to comments.Benedict the Bombthrower:Why the pope's speech really was outrageous (Liberal view alert)
Posted on 09/25/2006 9:45:57 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
Benedict the Bombthrower
Why the pope's speech in Germany really was outrageous.
By Adele M. Stan
When I heard of Pope Benedict XVI's unfortunate comments about Islam, uttered via the voice of an ancient Byzantine emperor, my initial supposition was that the pontiff had simply been a bit ham-fisted, making an ill-advised choice of source material to illustrate a point about the nature of God. Then I actually read the speech that has set the Islamic world aflame.
At best, the address delivered by the pontiff to what the Vatican calls representatives of science at Germany's University of Regensburg is an act of mischief rooted in chauvinism. I cannot see how any Catholic of good will -- one who values peace over war, or favors compassion over condemnation -- can accept the pope's actions in delivering such remarks as in any way divinely inspired, especially if one applies to Benedict the very standard he sought to illustrate with his once-removed insult of Islam as evil, inhuman, and unoriginal.
The point His Holiness was trying to make -- and I can't imagine how this was overlooked by Muslims and the media -- is that God abhors violence, even violence done in His name, because it is an unreasonable way to behave, and God represents the essence of reason. But to throw a rhetorical bomb such as that the pope tossed into the teeming cities of the Muslim world is to commit an act tantamount to violence. It appears to be a taunt designed to provoke a response, and provoke one it did. In the ensuing uproar, the pope has issued a string of explanations for his comments, as well as what can only be viewed as a non-apology apology (I'm sorry you're so upset).
In examining the pope's speech to the scientists, I initially set aside the inflammatory anecdote recounted early in the speech, about an exchange between Manuel II, the Christian emperor of Byzantium and "an educated Persian," in which the emperor is quoted as saying, "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." Continuing with the story, the pope said, "The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, 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,' he says, 'is not pleased by blood -- and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature...'"
News reports indicated that the anecdote was a mere aside, a virtual throwaway shtick, to the main thrust of the address, which was an examination of the role of reason in faith, and vice versa. But encoded throughout the speech in his exultation of Greek philosophy as the underpinning of Christian thought is a comparison with the unknowable and transcendent God of Islam (and, by implication, the scary and unknowable God of Judaism, as well) that is designed to be less than flattering to those who embrace that concept of the Almighty.
Greek philosophy, Benedict told the scientists, had already matured as a body of thought even as the Hebrew bible developed. Christianity, he explained, represented a "rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry." By Benedict's telling, however, the contest between faith and philosophy appears to have resulted less in rapprochement than the triumph of the Greek philosophers over the faith of a desert people. In fact, Jesus the Jew seems barely present, if at all, in the pontiff's version of the Christian faith. But Plato is everywhere.
Developing in our own time has been the idea of a current clash of civilizations between the West and the Islamic world. Conservatives Samuel Huntington and Robert W. Merry define this clash as it exists today as the result of the fundamental irreconcilability of such Greek concepts as individualism and the distinction between the secular and sacred realms (Give unto Caesar, etc...) on the one hand with the Islamic ideal of the unity of all things in the divine, and the primacy of community before the individual, on the other.
Add to these profound differences a recent history of Western colonial domination, the resulting economic domination by the West, as well as America's present assertion -- via bombs and occupation -- of Western ideals as universal and superior to all others, and the recipe for worldwide Muslim rage is complete. Surely Pope Benedict, a learned theologian himself, is aware of these conditions. With that awareness, the pope must have taken into account that, in the Islamic worldview, there is no separate, "secular" realm; it's a worldview that offers no distinction between the bombs of Bush and Blair, and the pope's assertion of the God of the Greek philosophers as superior to the mysterious but "most merciful" God of the desert peoples. The bombs and moral condemnation all serve a common end: the shaming of Islamic civilization, with the assertion, by the sword, of Western culture as superior.
The irony of the pope's anecdote, of course, is its focus on the spread of Islam through violence, and the omission of the spread of Christianity by the same means. (Note the campaigns of King Charlemagne, and the Crusades against Islam -- not to mention the Inquisition.)
As if that wasn't enough, Huntington, in his iconoclastic 1995 book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, points out:
During the 15 years between 1980 and 1995..., the United States engaged in 17 military operations in the Middle East, all of them directed against Muslims. No comparable pattern of U.S. military operations occurred against the people of any other civilization. Like Eris, the Greek goddess of strife who had a snit when not invited to an important wedding, Pope Benedict XVI seems a bit miffed to have been left out of the party being thrown by the 21st century crusaders, so he has tossed an apple of discord -- one ingeniously designed to give the appearance of merely proving his point. Violence in the name of the Most High is the predictable result of the pope's sophistic ordinance. Concluding his speech in Germany, the pope quoted Manuel II:
"Not to act reasonably, not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God," said Manuel II, according to his Christian understanding of God, in response to his Persian interlocutor. "It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures." A more disingenuous call for dialogue can scarcely be imagined.
Adele M. Stan is the author of the weblog, AddieStan.com, and the book, Debating Sexual Correctness.
This is what happens when the author begins a logical process in media res. Not pretty, but it's good to know they still think they can dictate terms.
Ten to one says Adele M. Stan is a flaming poofter (or a screeching lezbo).
Fact: Islamists rioted burning churches and killed a nun
Conclusion: Islam sucks
With credentials like this....
Most of us thought that the Islamcist's reaction was really outrageous, so it makes perfect sense that the Libs would now claim that it's the Pope's comment that was outrageous.
Liberal, pants-wetting traitors would rather brave men of truth remain silent than confront the evil in our world. May their chains rest lightly...
"But to throw a rhetorical bomb such as that the pope tossed into the teeming cities of the Muslim world is to commit an act tantamount to violence."
A rhetorical bomb? This author is out of his or her mind.
I just smile when I see stuff like this. The authors are so clueless.
On the other hand, BXVI knows exactly what he's doing.
Liberals think we should walk on egg-shells and enable islamofascists to continue with their infantile temper tantrums.
(Not criticizing you at all. It's always good to be reminded how silly these people can be.)
This statement is tantamount to moronic stupidity. Either you can have dialog, or you cannot. Islamic Fundamentalism cannot. It must be vanquished.
She is in the midst of planning a second career as a lounge-singing ukulele-player.
Adele M. Stan is a journalist and editor whose work has appeared in The New Republic, the Village Voice, The Nation, The Advocate, Salon.com, the Washington Blade and Mother Jones magazine, as well as on the op-ed pages of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Daily News. She began her media career at Ms. magazine, where she served both on staff and as a contributing editor.
The point of the piece is exactly of a mind with the Islamofascist view: that free speech that offends is violence, so it must be banned, or, alternatively, forcibly suppressed. If the libs keep rationalizing these attempts at suppression of free expression around the world, one day it'll be their expression that's being suppressed. How they can't fathom this reality, I can't understand.
"Don't knock the leader of my religion"....its not nice...
Yep. She writes for Fag-mags and communist propaganda sheets, and got started at a radical feminist magazine. That's just got to increase the odds she's a man-hating feminazi lesbian.
This liberal fascination with moral equivalence is simply laughable. We are truly in a "clash of civilizations". But it is not new. It has just been in remission, and is now regaining strength. We had better wake up to the fact, or we will soon face another Manzikert, but in our own lands.
PRoP Apologist PING!
It's writers like this that make my tagline valid.
I Googled; "Adele M. Stan lesbian" and got an article by her on the hardship of finding Same-Sex Wedding Cake Toppers. She says; "we Gay people". So there's your answer.
I Googled; "Adele M. Stan lesbian" and got an article by her on the hardship of finding Same-Sex Wedding Cake Toppers. She says; "we Gay people". So there's your answer.
People like Ms. Stan fail to see that the pope was making a reasonable point: That Islam seems to have difficulty in looking at God in a reasonable, logical fashion. Heaven knows, the Islamic reaction to the pope's words proved his point!
Of course, Ms. Stan is, most likely, a nihilist. Betcha.
ROFL!!!! No! Who'd ever have thought?
She says; "we Gay people".
The books are closed on that one ...
Golden Burkha Award nominee for 2006 bump
They are delusional and immature. They fantasize about being the rule makers in a world of equals, without for a moment realizing the disparity. They don't believe in being subject to their own rules.
Oh, I see -- so intellectual freedom, debate, and dialogue are not valued by liberals any longer.
At least, not when it's the Pope.
This article is a prime example of muddled thought. You can get a headache trying to follow it logically.
In other words, if the Muslim world reacts with violence it's the Pope's fault for saying mean things that hurt their poor wittle feelings.
I guess the Left's commitment to free speech is less important than their commitment to hate Western Civilization.
How did the Muzzies respond to the comments? By committing violence.
If I understand this obscure rant correctly, she seems to be saying that the Pope was guilty of provoking the Muslims by telling him that God opposes violence in the name of religion.
I'm not sure how that can be construed as offensive, unless it violates the Muslim understanding that Allah does, in fact, call for religious violence, as does Muhammed his prophet.
The whole article is simply incoherent.
"Brother Maynard, consult the Book of Armaments..."
If we riot and kill based on her words, does that make her words violent? Did this chick not take logic?
Adele Stan as Tiny Tim? At least he was straight. But he used his ukulele as a cricket bat when the audience began firing tomatoes.
Yet another humanist leftie nihilist devises convoluted moral equivalences with which to condemn Western religious culture and Christianity while slipping in some tasty victimhood for those poor, put-upon Muslims.
I guess if one rhetorically amplifies a speech to academics in a college into a "bomb throwing" episode, the throwing of actual bombs doesn't look so extreme. Or at least that's probably be the fractured logic wheezing its way through the overtaxed grey matter of this particular twit.
What this deluded author fails to understand is that NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, YOU CANNOT ESCAPE THE BASIC TEACHINGS OF MOHAMMAD.
Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric also explained that war was never Islam's ancient founder, the prophet Mohammed's, first choice: "He gave three options: either accept Islam, or surrender and pay tax, and they will be allowed to remain in their land, observing their religion under the protection of Muslims."
So folks, according to the Grand Mufti, the third option of violence against non-Muslims was only a last resort, if they refused to convert or surrender peacefully to the armies of Islam.
Yep...Three choices folks, take your pick :
2) Pay us tax and be subject to Sharia Law, or
You want Islam to be peaceful ? SIMPLE --- Islam will be peaceful as long as we are stronger. It will try and use our own systems to get Sharia law introduced in smaller areas first, and then larger ones. It will continue to work with the secular humanists and marxists to weaken our society. The battle is on. We just need people to realise it and understand it. Whether it remains a war of ideas, or devolves into a full scare physical war depends on how many people realise it. In this, it is where secularists and cowards ( like this lesbian author, who would not even survive if Islam took over ) who embolden Islam and end up staying silent and trying to shut everyone else up.
Reagan's principle still applies today : "PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH".
Funny, in that a passing reference to one of the last rulers of the Eastern Empire is now a reason to be killed.
That wasn't even what the speech was about.
As always, the left blames the Pope for this! They use words like "set off", "triggered", "caused". In their perverted world-view, WORDS are infinitely worse than shooting a nun in the back, rioting and death threats.
This is where Islam and Marxism combine forces and explains why they engage in their unholy alliance.
And another thing: the crusades were a response to the bloody subjugation of much of Christendom by islamic murderers and tyrants.
True enough. The Vatican was attacked and looted by Muslims in the 9th century. The First Crusade started in 1095.
I personally have a slight disagremeent with Benedict, no disrespect to him personally. I take issue with his statement --- I RESPECT ISLAM.
I agree with this statement from James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries :
"Please keep this in mind: we must respect the truth by accurately representing, to the best of our abilities, the views of those with whom we disagree. I seek to portray truthfully the views of Muslims, Mormons, Roman Catholics, etc., because of my commitment to truth as it is embodied in Christ, not because of some post-modern, feel-good "respect" for false religions. I see little evidence that the Old Testament prophets "respected" Baal or Molech, let alone the religions that prompted their worship.
So I would not join the Pope in saying "I respect Islam." That is a far cry from saying I do not respect certain Muslims, and, equally far from saying I cannot or will not treat a Muslim with respect. Sadly, people muddle these categories. Modern shallow thinkers assume that if you wish to show respect for a Muslim you must respect Islam. That is untrue. A Muslim is made in the image of God, and though he follows a false religion, he is still due respect due to the fact that he bears the image of God. Of course, some men are worthy of more respect than others. The wild-eyed terrorist who knows nothing but the hope of seventy virgins in heaven but who cannot give evidence of the slightest knowledge of the views of others does not deserve respect. The reasoned Muslim who seeks to portray accurately my beliefs and engage them in dialogue and debate is another case altogether. And of course, there is an entire spectrum between these two extremes."
"If we riot and kill based on her words, does that make her words violent?"
True enough. If we offed her because of this article, I guess she would say she had it coming.
Thanks for the ping.
I have wondered about the respect statement also. It could be that he said it in a different language with a slightly different meaning, or is using Islamic logic that it is permissible to deceive in order to prevail in the long run.
This Pope is pretty sharp, and has managed to start a converstion on the moral and logical justifications for using violence to promote one's religion.
It is something that must be done for civilization to muddle through this challenge of one major religion that was charged by its founder to spread the faith by the sword.