Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pope Benedict speaks out against jihad and `fanaticism in religion'

It's late in the day, but the Church has a leader in Pope Benedict XVI who understands what the West is facing.

Today, Pope Benedict spoke out forcefully aginst jihad and `fanaticism in religion' using the words `jihad' and `holy war' and referring to radical Islam openly and specifically.

The attack on extremist Islam's justification for terrorism came during a theological lecture to staff and students at the University of Regensburg, where the future Pontiff taught theology in the 1970s.

The Pope quoted criticisms of the prophet Mohammed by a 14th century Byzantine Christian emperor, Manuel II, during a debate with a learned Persian.

"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," Benedict quoted the emperor as saying.

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

"Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul," he added. God is not pleased by blood, he said.

The Pope went on and reiterated his concerns about a modern world "deaf" to God, and he warned that other religious cultures saw the West's exclusion of God "as an attack on their most profound convictions".

"A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures," he said.

Presiding later over an ecumenical prayer meeting with Orthodox Christian and Protestant leaders, the Pope led prayers for the success of discussions with other churches aimed at uniting Christians.

This was the second time the Pope has attacked jihad in his recent visit to this old home turf in Germany. At an earlier giant open-air mass attended by some 250,000 pilgrims, the Pope urged them to stand up for their beliefs in the face of the "hatred and fanaticism" tarnishing religion.

"Today, when we have learned to recognise the pathologies and life-threatening diseases associated with religion and reason, and the ways that God's image can be destroyed by hatred and fanaticism, it is important to state clearly the God in whom we believe," the Pope said.

"Only this God saves us from being afraid of the world and from anxiety before the emptiness of life."

This Pope understands the difficulties in combatting radical Islam without reaffirming our own spirituality. G-d bless him.


nazar said...

I'm an atheist, and probably wouldn't agree with the pope on much, but on this he is right on. If I think christians suck when it comes to abortion and gay marriage, the muslims are ten times worse, at least.

Anonymous said...


It is views like yours that push Moslems to extremism. You claim to be a liberal, but you want to change the world to suite your desires and definitions of freedom.

I am a Christian. And even though I am against abortion and gay marriage (two things that will ensure that you and I do not reproduce lives), I do not think they suck nor can I call them fools because my religion forbids it. I can only show them love and hope (through) prayers, that they change.

And I know that you too can change, because someone dear to me was once like you.


Freedom Fighter said...

Hello...may I weigh in?

Obviously, Nazar, I think you know I am not an atheist and I consider that to be an intellectually dishonest position, but one that I would certainly agree is your right. Nor would I attempt to change your views on the subject.

What you are reacting to in Islam is NOT it's religiousity, IMO, but its totalitarian nature (Emma, please note).It's important not to coflate the two.

Islam is, in fact a political ideology hiding inside a religion, much as communism is (think about that for a second before you dismiss it).

Emma, with all respect, I don't think that Nazar's views `push Moslems to extremism.' The key here is not `extremeism' per se, but what people are willing to do to force others to accept their beliefs.

For example, while some fundamentalist Christians might say that homosexuals are doomed to Hell, it is in Islam that believers are actively permitted and encouraged to target and murder them and send them there as a holy act.

THAT'S the difference..what you might want to call the violent coercion factor. That's what I think Nazar is reacting to.

It's hardly `liberal' to endorse Islam's actions towards women, Jews, Homosexuals, or literally anyone who doesn't submit to them.

Think about it.