God, Irrationality, and Violence

0915061214_M_091506_pope_protest.jpg [AP]

People just can’t seem to help it. Not even the Pope can avoid it. It? Offending Muslims and fomenting violence. Even though, superficially, the problem is at the latter point, the real issue is the former.

Who has “unleashed a torrent of rage”? Whose “provocation” could leave “even deeper scars”? Whose “derogatory” comments were an attempt to “revive the mentality of the crusades,” someone who belongs in the same category as Hitler and Mussolini? If you guessed, “The Islamic terrorists who are firebombing Orthodox[!] and Anglican[!] churches,” you’d be wrong. It’s the Pope, of course.

Nevermind that “his” comments weren’t his, but the comments of a Byzantine emperor in a debate with a Muslim. Nevermind that he was not approving or agreeing with the comments on violence, since his talk was on God and reason. Nevermind that the current violence and rumors of violence seem to bear out “his” comments (which, again, were not his comments). Nevermind all that. Say you’re sorry and we won’t assasinate you when you come to Turkey! (We’re a peaceful religion. Until the next time you make us mad.) Which explains (or not) the irrationality of the following comments by the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party:

“The world today needs all religious authorities to cooperate to curb the phenomenon of violence,” it said. “We urge all Christian religious authorities in both the Arab and Western world not to be involved in the confrontation against the Islamic world as it could lead to Muslim-Christian violence, God forbid.”

Shall we parse that? How about, first of all, cooperating to curb the “phenomenon of violence” of your own people? Who is the instigator of violence, the one who speaks or the one who firebombs? Surely they can’t really mean “Muslim and Christian violence”? When was the last time someone firebombed a mosque because Muslim clerics were preaching hatred of Christianity? Who is trying to revive the mentality of the Crusades, again? God forbid, indeed. (We’ll just have to check on which “God” forbids firebombing of those with whom you disagree.)

The real question is not why Muslims firebombed churches, but why don’t the Orthodox, psychologists, sociologists, and evolutionists blow up the Vatican, all of whom were addressed in a more or less negative way in the talk? Perhaps the Pope’s speech on rational behavior and its association with godliness has more to do with the outcome of his remarks than just a few quoted lines.


6 thoughts on “God, Irrationality, and Violence

  1. Islam translates as submission.

    I see little correlation between submisison and peace. However, I suppose if one is to veiw peace as everyone submitting to one world leader under Sharia Law, then Islam could be considered a religion of peace.

    The point is recognizing that the people claiming that Islam is a religion of peace are not being honest about what they really mean.

    I am not fooled by their rhetoric, and neither is the Pope.

  2. This is my favorite ?!?!? quote about the whole thing:

    “Fauzan Al-Anshori, spokesman for the radical Indonesian Mujahideen Council, said the Pope misunderstood Islam and jihad (Islamic holy war or struggle) and challenged him to a dialogue.

    “Muslims can’t eliminate jihad from the Islamic discourse, the same way Christians can’t do away with the doctrine of Trinity,” he said.”

    Here’s the link:

    Somehow equating the Islamic doctrine of Jihad to the Trinity as both doctrines we wish we could “do away with” seems A BIT ODD! Uh, yeah, while we in the West don’t understand Islam (the Pope included), HE definitely knows Christianity…

    P.S. Thanks to the “stellar” play of (#1 draft pick) Shaun Alexander, you squeaked by me in F.F. last week!! But revenge will (I hope) be mine! 🙂

  3. What I find most interesting is that Benedict said that the teachings of Mohammed were “evil and inhumane”… and how did Muslims respond? By blowing up churches and killing Christians… but no way was Benedict right according to the media and the Islamic world.

    So who is more to blame in this situation? The man who calls someone inhumane? Or the accused who respond by killing their fellow man?


  4. I think the Pope was right and simply taken out of context. The violence if anything exposes the ignorance in regards to what the pope said and the purpose of his quote.

    He basically said that religious conversion should not be through violence, but through reason.

    Then he quoted a Christian scholar who said that violent conversions wrought by Islam had not produced anything good.

    Then the pope talks about faith being something of the spirit rather than the body, suggesting that unless you convert the spirit, conversion of the body through force can’t produce what a converted spirit can produce.

    I’m reading in a little here, but the Pope was arguing against violence, period and arguing for religious tolerance. And that’s probably because our God is a merciful God who converts us through his own work and through bodily force.

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