So the insane Muslims reacted with violence and threats to the Pope’s recitation of a quote that called Islam violent and coercive. I’d say they proved his point. Quoting a 14th Century Byzantine emperor, he said
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.
OK, well, even if this is accurate (and I think it is), he probably should not have repeated it. However, other Catholics are now joining in.
- Pope believes Islam incapable of reform?
Pope Benedict XVI believes that unlike other religions, Islam cannot be reformed and, therefore, is incompatible with democracy, according to a Catholic leader who participated with the pontiff in a secretive meeting on the subject.
- Cardinal outlines problems with Islam
Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s top ecumenical official, says Islam has yet to demonstrate a sustained ability to engender civil society. "Islam developed in opposition to orthodox Christianity from the very start, and it considers itself superior to Christianity," he said in a recent interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel. "So far, it has only been tolerant in places where it is in the minority. Where it is the majority religion, Islam does not recognize religious freedom, at least not as we understand it. Islam is a different culture."
- Former Archbishop of Canterbury backs Pope
Lord Carey said that Muslims must address “with great urgency” their
religion’s association with violence. He made it clear that he believed
the “clash of civilisations” endangering the world was not between
Islamist extremists and the West, but with Islam as a whole.
Interestingly, John Piper has produced a very nice post, which was summarized in How to Respond to Muslim Outrage over the Pope’s Recent Comments. Very nice.
3. Admit that there are many Muslims today who do not approve of violence in the spread of Islam.
Point out how Islam, in its most sacred writings and authoritative
teachings, belittles Jesus Christ, not just occasionally in the news,
but constantly by its dominant claims.
5. Point out that, in
response to this constant defamation of Jesus Christ, there are no
public threats or demands for apologies.
Also interesting is Al Mohler’s response, which agrees with the Pope’s concerns, but also discusses how the Catholic stand on Islam and the Papacy itself are problems.
The use of specific words and the citation of an ancient authority
should not obscure the fact that the Pope’s comments were largely
accurate — and most accurate at the point of the greatest outrage….
The Catholic church teaches that Muslims are included in the economy of
salvation by virtue of the fact that they worship the one true God.
This is simply unsustainable on any number of fronts. Most importantly,
the Christian doctrine of God is irreducibly Trinitarian. We know no
other God than the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Islam
explicitly denies that Jesus is God’s Son. Muslims acknowledge no God
who is the Father of Jesus Christ. Christians know no God who is not the Father of Jesus Christ. We do not claim or worship the same God.
His indictments of secularism and liberal theology are among the most
masterful theological documents of recent decades. Nevertheless, the
office he holds is an unbiblical institution based in a monarchial
ministry that is incompatible with the New Testament’s vision of the
church. Furthermore, he claims also to be a head of state — a
situation that adds untold layers of additional confusion. The problem
of the papacy is much larger than this short summary can address, but
the important issue here is that the Pope’s comments — whether for
good or for ill — are given a prominence that is unbiblical and
Lastly, Newhouse News Service nails it in Mum’s the Word, Lest We Provoke a Lethal Tantrum (well worth reading in its entirety)
If you mock Islam with a drawing or a novel, you get riots and dead
people. News of mishandled holy books yields riots and dead people.
Insufficiently reverent short films by a Dutchman yields a dead person,
specifically the Dutchman.
Now we add this detail: Quoting medieval religious colloquies is a
reasonable justification for burning churches, shooting a nun and
holding up signs demanding that the pope convert to Islam or saw off
his own head. (There have been reports of carpal tunnel syndrome among
radical Islam’s enforcers, and they have requested we all help out.)
This is a new twist: Now history itself cannot be discussed. Since it’s
difficult to predict what else will enflame the devout, Islam has to be
treated with unusual deference, like a 3-year-old child with anger
management problems. (emphasis mine)
The secular left often seems annoyed and contemptuous towards American
religion — unless the pastor on the dais insists Jesus would have been
a board member of Planned Parenthood — and oddly protective of Islam.
Not because they believe in it; heavens, no. Some progressives are
simply besotted by any civilization not their own.
Others have no vocabulary to oppose its more radical manifestations,
because, well, we cannot judge other cultures. (Unless they’re in the
American South.) Others are less concerned by Islamicists because they
have greater dislike for the people who oppose radical Islam, who are