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Friday, September 15, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI and His Right To Free Speech

Isn't it just amazing to hear how seriously the Muslims take every spoken and written word, if they feel it's directed against them. Try being Roman Catholic for just one day. Maybe any Moslem should try out "Catholic for a Day". Now, there's a plan for Moslem edification!
Roman Catholic's hear slurs about themselves every day, often more than once a day. "I am a recovering Catholic", is just one of many over-used cliches about Catholic's.
Therefore, it really fries me to hear how Pope Benedict is now breeching an apology for a philosophy statement he made in a recent speech in Germany - which is his home, by the way.
It makes no sense to put the Pope in this apologist position because his speech was not made in anger.
Muslims really need to get a life. People should be allowed to speak their mind about Islam. So what, if we're talking about them? Indeed, in these days, isn't life "all about them", anyway?
I don't read or see any news media about the wonderful work Muslims are doing to help people being slaughtered in the streets of Baghdad at random.
It's simply impossible for me to believe that the carnage of the proportions we're reading about and viewing could happen in a Western country's capital city without local people taking up arms to prevent massacres. Hello? Where are you good Muslims? Where are these peaceful people whose religion is against violence? Are you anywhere out there?
It's like asking the oracle for answer. Anybody want to try?
Actually, I applaud Pope Benedict XVI for his extraordinary bravery in stating what he understands as a truth. Nevertheless, given the mis-perception about the Pope's comments, shrouded as they were in philosophical language, I believe his safety is now an important issue, which is probably the reason the Vatican is pulling back with language like, "He didn't really mean to anger...." Too bad the Pope doesn't get reciprocal apologies from all the people who love to criticize him.
British Broadcasting Corporation or the BBC, on the webpage is headlining: "The Vatican is seriously concerned at the possibility of acts of violence being staged against the tiny city state situated in the heart of Rome, after a barrage of criticism from Muslims in many countries against Pope Benedict XVI."
Oh yeah? Here we go again. Why aren't Muslims out fixing what's going on with their own people rather than putting people like the Pope and innocent Roman citizens at risk, all because the Pontiff spoke his mind - philosophically speaking. He has every right to do so.
A friend of mine who is close to the philosophy of the Pope's comments wrote this:
"Although I suspect that much of the Muslim disturbance has simply to do with the Pope's quotation from the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus (who ruled during the siege of Constantinople) which condemns violence as irrational and incompatiblwith thehe nature of God and thus Mohammed and Islam for spreading religion through violence..."

Moslems and others can certainly disagree with Pope Benedict's thoughts and statements without taking up arms or irrationally acting out against the man.

Nevertheless, I hope this curious incident doesn't hold back the Pope's candor. Sadly, however, I suspect it will because innocent victims are at risk if some radical person, more concerned about violence than helping others in harms way, wants to exercise extremist actions. Let us certainly pray for the safety of our world and innocent people in the wake of extremism of all sorts.

Moreover, the Pope and anybody else who has something to say regarding Islam and Muslims, should have every opportunity to freely, and peacefully, speak their minds. As our President Bush retorts, "It's about Freedom!".


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