Skip to comments.Regensburg Vindicated
Posted on 09/19/2014 8:01:27 PM PDT by AncientAirs
On the evening of Sept. 12, 2006, my wife and I were dining in Cracow with Polish friends when an agitated Italian Vaticanista (pardon the redundancy in adjectives) called, demanding to know what I thought of Zees crazee speech of zee pope about zee Muslims. That was my first hint that the herd of independent minds in the world press was about to go ballistic on the subject of Benedict XVIs Regensburg Lecture: a gaffe-bone on which the media continued to gnaw until the end of Benedicts pontificate.
Eight years later, the Regensburg Lecture looks a lot different. Indeed, those who actually read it in 2006 understood that, far from making a gaffe, Benedict XVI was exploring with scholarly precision two key questions, the answers to which would profoundly influence the civil war raging within Islama war whose outcome will determine whether 21st-century Islam is safe for its own adherents and safe for the world.
The first question was about religious freedom: Could Muslims find, within their own spiritual and intellectual resources, Islamic arguments for religious tolerance (including tolerance of those who convert to other faiths)? That desirable development, the pope suggested, might lead over time (meaning centuries) to a more complete Islamic theory of religious freedom.
The second question was about the structuring of Islamic societies: Could Muslims find, again from within their own spiritual and intellectual resources, Islamic arguments for distinguishing between religious and political authority in a just state? That equally desirable development might make Muslim societies more humane in themselves and less dangerous to their neighbors, especially if it were linked to an emerging Islamic case for religious tolerance.
(Excerpt) Read more at firstthings.com ...
**As for the conversation about Islams future that Benedict XVI proposed, well, it now seems rather unlikely. But if its to take place, Christian leaders must prepare the way by naming, forthrightly, the pathologies of Islamism and jihadism; by ending their ahistorical apologies for 20th-century colonialism (lamely imitating the worst of western academic blather about the Arab Islamic world); and by stating publicly that, when confronted by bloody-minded fanatics like those responsible for the reign of terror that has beset Syria and Iraq this summer, armed force, deployed prudently and purposefully by those with the will and the means to defend innocents, is morally justified.**
Will we answer this challenge?
Will we answer this challenge?
There is little sign that, outside the Catholic Church we will. I’ve never read such drivel that daily come out of most Protestant churches.
Benedict 16 was a courageous, brilliant, and compassionate Pope. I loved his speech at Regensburg. I miss him.
Firstly it would occur to me the author of this post must live an extraordinary life out of the pew. To have the advantage of travel and invitations and access to information that a regular joe or jane catholic does not have one must lead a more privileged life.
Joe & Jane & the fam go to church on Sunday or even a Sat Mass so Sunday is free for other activities.
I’ve never heard in all my born days any parish priest discussing items like the author
Who’s to blame? Is it the parish priest?
Is it the hierarchy of the Catholic Church with a no “trickle down information policy” to local parishoners?.
Yesterday I read that article from the Italian press that was linked here regarding Cardinal Burke.
That sure was an eye opener and who knows the moves on this chessboard the Vatican has with dismissing Cardinal Burke to an honorific Order of Malta .
I recommended the information regarding Burke to a friend and the response was —>??huh??<-———
I’m a longtime Catholic and honestly all of this is new & I’m not bashing the Vatican just truly questioning where Pope Francis is taking the Church.
The head New York papist is leading the gay St. Patrick parade. So ill not entertain any of this one true holy church drivel tonight.
When I called out the current Pope’s seemingly non-involvement from the beginning of the beheadings of Syrian priests , persecution of Christians and Yazidis I was told “go contribute to Peter’s Pence”.
Peter’s Pence? I know what that is ! but there was NOTHING!
NOTHING! no statements from the Vatican on how to secure those being persecuted in the Middle East- the cradle of Christianity, the Chaldeans, the Syrians, etc., and the Yazidis (being a ethnic religious minority).
You did not hear one word until the massacre’s on Mt.Sinjar were completed by those ISIS thugs taking people into human bondage.
Pope Francis HAS spoken out about the plight of the Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, and throughout the Middle East. If I’m not mistaken, he even said it would be a good thing to bomb ISIS to keep them from attacking and killing the Christians they’ve managed to run out of their homes. He doesn’t shy away from recommending force be used against ISIS. He certainly hasn’t kept quiet about it, even if he doesn’t run up to a microphone every day.
Pope Francis has spoken a fair amount about the Islamic attacks, has asked for world help in protecting Christians, etc. One of the reasons you don’t hear much about it is that the press loves Pope Francis and any time he says anything that doesn’t go along with their line, it’s reported on page Z1000 if it’s reported at all.
They love him because they hated Benedict (even before Regensberg) and they see him as or want to make him into an anti-Benedict. Is he? What he actually says, except for a few confusing, probably well-meant but naively vague statements, frequently conflicts with the press’ image of him - so what do they do? Not report it.
I loved Benedict and I too find Francis or his style a little hard to take; I think Francis likes to be liked by the world and sometimes does stupid things for effect without considering the consequences. He is not the intellectual or theologian that Benedict was. But I think that the press is projecting him as far less orthodox than he is.
I think that Weigel missed one of Benedict’s most important points, namely, that Islam fundamentally rejects reason and thus is probably incapable of changing. This was the thing that enraged the Muslims, although 1400 years of the hideous life of this violent, dark, irrational cult have certainly proved that he was correct.
Also, what’s this with “colonialism” and Islam? The only reason there were any “colonies” is that Islam can only be controlled when it has no power bases from which to attack, and the colonies were basically the result of defensive activities by non-Islamic states to protect themselves. This led to the suppression of the terror and conquest- supporting Islamic states and even their occupation.
Also, bear in mind that there is no such thing as a functional Islamic state. Violence and poverty and dysfunction are the rule, because Islam makes a miserable system of governance.
“I think that Weigel missed one of Benedicts most important points, namely, that Islam fundamentally rejects reason”
The rejection of reason within Islam is sometimes traced to the 11th century book, “The Incoherence of the Philosophers”, by Al-Ghazali, which refuted previous philosophers like Avicenna (Ibn Sina), by using scriptural sources (like Abraham not being burned by fire), to argue that attempts to analyze the world by cause and effect, and logical reasoning were ultimately futile, because God controls all according to his will. This has been attributed with engendering fatalism, and an abandonment of critical reasoning, in favor of blind acceptance and obedience to scripture.
It seemed to me that Pope Benedict showed that reinterpretation of scripture and philosophy is possible, from the example of the Church itself throughout history.
Actually, a “sola scriptura” religion like Islam, especially if the scriptures don’t make any sense, fundamentally rejects reason. Granted, the scripture is in practice interpreted over the years by one or another person officially empowered to do so, but you still have to go back to the fact that the scriptures themselves are violent and anti-rational and cultic.
Islam swamped a number of militarily unprepared societies in the ME and beyond, since the thing that enabled its spread was the fact that there was no major power after the fall of Rome, and there was a division between the Eastern and Western Church that enabled Islam to rise on the ashes of various Arian-inspired heresies. However, there would be a period of a few decades between the time Islam took over a civilization (the modern nation-state wasn’t really in existence at that time, and these were all loosely confederated and generally warring kingdoms) and the time Islamic anti-reason complete extinguished it.
Don’t forget that Maimonides (Rambam) converted to Islam at one point. He may have been forced to do so by the Muslims in Spain. He later went back to Judaism, but he had also written that it was not a sin for Jews to convert to Islam.
To know how anti-reason Islam is, however, all you have to do is look at any Islamic society.
I agree with you that Islam is imbued with inherent violence from its founding. In my opinion, it was essentially the co-opting of religion to serve the political ends of Muhammad, and his main sponsor, Abu Bakr - it was a means to totalitarian dictatorial power. Many cults are twisted to serve the personal desires of their leaders, but Islam has incorporated some of the most extreme enforcement mechanisms of all - death for trying to leave, death for criticizing the Prophet, death, death, death - and unlimited taxation authority, and enslavement and rape, and more death.
I believe that explains why there is a hodgepodge of practices from all the other religions which were popular at that time - Muhammad was pandering to constituencies to gain adherents early on, before he had military power. Jewish dietary practices became Halal, the Jewish direction of prayer was adopted, but turned from Jerusalem to Mecca. The Christian liturgy of the hours was supplanted by five daily prayer times for muslims, and Christian fasting during Lent became Islam’s Ramadan. Pagan pilgrimage to the Kabaa in Mecca, became the Muslim Hajj, and the Supreme Diety of the Pagan pantheon - the moon god Allah - became the Muslim supreme diety.
In addition to the historical conditions that you mentioned which assisted the rise of Islam, both of the Great neighboring empires, Byzantium and Persia, had recently had their cities ravaged by plague, throwing them into economic crisis and leaving no one to police the wild hinterlands of Arabia. Additionally, a gold discovery in Arabia gave the Arabs a surge of resources.
Although, I agree with you that Islam is fundamentally flawed from its founding, there is enough in its Sola Scriptura, the Quran, (and the rest of its tradition) from other great and ancient traditions, to extract good. In fact, it has already been done many times in the history of Islam, and in the lives of many muslims. Even today there are many sects of Islam which are pretty peaceful, but they are being overwhelmed by the lavishly funded Wahabbis and Salafis, since the Arab oil boom.
How it is interpreted is key. As Benedict pointed out, there are elements of our own scriptures which could be problematic, depending on their interpretation. In some ways Islam is like a counter-revolution back to the old testament in its graphic warfare and conquest. We have come to terms with violent elements in our scripture by containing them in context to their time and place rather than holding them up as eternal and universal. And importantly, we have applied a moral filter and used judgement to hold moral ideals as a paramount test.
I object particularly to two principles used by extremists in interpreting the Quran and Sharia:
1. The principle of Abrogation, which establishes that any chronologically later statement supersedes any earlier statement, when there is a conflict (there are many in the Quran). Well putting aside that ANY conflict shows that Muhammad was not a reliable prophet for an all-knowing God, picking the later verses (when Muhammad was engaged in escalating campaigns of conquest) skews everything to wartime footing. It appears to me that Muhammad only became more megalomaniacal as time went on, until he was finally poisoned, making abrogation a fundamentally dangerous standard to use. Better a standard of what is meant for eternity (enduring principles of morality) vs. what was meant for those particular circumstances (which will never be exactly replicated).
2. The principle that Muhammad is the best possible example of human conduct. This establishes that whatever Muhammad did is good, and that no one can have the standing to say otherwise, as he is the best. I believe that this principle was established to defend Islam against attacks which would fundamentally undermine it - that Muhammad was clearly not a true prophet, based on his bad conduct. The perverse result of this principle is that morality and reason must be overridden to accept murder, rape, slavery, theft, pedophilia, etc. Morality and reason are completely subordinated by this principle of interpretation.
You, are absolutely full of venom. Supposedly, mohamet, received his instructions from Gabriel for 27 years. It was not Gabriel, but the true ego of mohamet. You are a fool
Who is being foolish?
Are you basing certainty on a supposition?
Suppose its not correct. Then what?
Then the long river of blood and misery produced by that supposition would have actually been a great evil.
Swing and a miss. Proxy the disguise, elsewhere.
After thinking a bit, I am not sure what you object to, in what I wrote.
Would you be so kind as to educate me?