September 16, 2006

The Pope uses the I'm sorry if you were offended form of apology.

The NYT reports:
A top Vatican official said Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI “deeply regretted” that a speech he made this week “sounded offensive to the sensibility of Muslim believers.”

UPDATE: More:
The spiritual leader of Lebanon's Sunnis, the Grand Mufti Sheik Mohammed Rashid Kabbani, said the pope's remarks emanated either from "Ignorance and lack of knowledge or were deliberately intended to distort Islam."

"Reason is the substance of Islam and its teachings ... Islam prohibited violence in human life. Anyone who wants the truth (about Islam) must take it from Islam's holy book, the Koran, rather than from a dialogue or excerpts," he said.
Sounds great. Good thing Benedict shook that message loose, because it hadn't been getting around enough. Really, Kabbani and others like him: Get your message out. Overcome the "ignorance and lack of knowlege"... wherever it may be.

117 comments:

Hamsun56 said...

There seems to be plenty of hyprocrisy on both sides. The Vatican has used the sword to spread its faith on many occasions. And why do so many muslims react to the the assertion that Islam is a violent religion with violence?

Maxine Weiss said...

Ah yes, the ol' backhanded...

...I'm-Sorry-That-You-Are-Acting-So-Unreasonable-Over-Something-That-I-Have-Absolutely-No-Regret-Over-Doing...

Typical Catholic 'Acts of Contrition'.

So concilliatory, those Catholics!!!

Peace, Maxine

AJ Lynch said...

I think the apology was appropriate - he said if I hurt your feelngs I am sorry but what do you weird Muslims know anyway.... cause everyone knows the only men who should wear robes are priests or actors portraying Moses.

Dave said...

I'm sorry in advance if the following offends you: the only thing I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man.

BeckyJ said...

There seems to be plenty of hyprocrisy on both sides. The Vatican has used the sword to spread its faith on many occasions. And why do so many muslims react to the the assertion that Islam is a violent religion with violence?

Yes, but the Vatican learned from its mistakes and stopped that form of conversion a few hundred years ago. Catholicism grew up and joined the world. Radical Islam makes statements like this. I don't find the Catholic Church to be guilty of hypocrisy when it has publically repented the actions of the Inquisition and such.

tiggeril said...

Call me crazy but "Stop calling us murderous or we'll kill you" isn't a very effective form of logic.

Dave said...

Tiggeril, clearly the Muslims' logic is far beyond the capability of your apostate mind!

I suggest a good stoning to help you understand.

Pentimento said...

(...)Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace <...)


You may say I'm a dreamer.

XWL said...

The Vatican has used the sword to spread its faith on many occasions

Name one in the past 150 years.

I'm waiting . . . . .

I can think of a couple of cases where violence was used by those professing submission to Allah within the past month.

It was terrorists who caused these conversions, but where is the massive list of clerics condemning these acts and declaring these conversions null and void?

Name one Christian country where apostasy is punishable by death, in the here and now.

Care to compare that list to the number of Islamic nations that still do?

If you actually bother to read what Pope Benedict XVI actually said, you'd see that it was a defense of reason, and not an attack on Islam. His quoting of a past diatribe against Islam wasn't intended as an endorsement of that diatribe.

Anyone who wasn't determined to be offended would have read it that way.

I'm glad his expression of regret stopped short of an apology (though as befitting his linking of Greek philosophy to Christian thought within the speech he is being chastised for, his apologia is merely a defense, as befits the term)

Faith and Reason shouldn't be considered in opposition, and Pope Benedict XVI makes a persuasive case that throughout the history of Christianity many have strove to marry the two (not always successfully, unfortunately).

Marrying Faith with Fury as is currently being done by many cynical clerics and tyrants and politicians throughout the Islamic world, that behavior is reprehensible, and diminishes Faith, and by diminishing Faith, by using it as an excuse for Fury, this is gross denigration of Allah.

tiggeril said...

They tried that on my aunt during the Gujarat riots in India.

Didn't work so well. We're a hard-headed family.

tiggeril said...

Whoa! Posts out of nowhere.

That was in response to Dave.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Sheesh--it's not like he's infallible, people.

Disclaimer: I am a faithful Catholic. So I can make the joke. PLUS: he wasn't speaking ex cathedra, so the papal infallibility rule is NOT in effect.

Maxine Weiss said...

Oh, Ruth, I thought you were Jewish, the way you schmooze, and kibbitz around here.

Well, since you are our resident Catholic...

....might you explain the 'Doctrine of Transubstantiation' ???

My Protestant friends don't seem to know what that means.

Peace, Maxine

LoafingOaf said...

There's a lot of stuff the Vatican should apologize for, but the Pope's comments about Muhammad aren't amongst them. (If people started telling the turth about Muhmmmad's life there'd be a lot worse stuff said....)

And you notice that the Muslims who are rampaging like lunatics over this see everything as a one-way street. No dialogues; just monologues. They don't even think about whether an apology is in order over some of the things Muslim leaders say or do against others.

I think they should take the Pope's comments as a sign that much of the world is getting sick of Islamism.

Hamsun56 said...

xwl:
I'm not aware of any crusades or inquisitions in the last 150 years, and I agree that Christian countries, today, on the whole, are very tolerant of other religions, which is certainly not the case with many muslim countries.

However, this hasn't always been so. There have been historical periods where Islamic countries have been more tolerant of other religions than Christian countries. Compare the treatment of Jews, before WW II, in Europe and Muslim countries.

I agree with the point that the Pope was making. I don't understand why he chose that quote - it was from the 14th century which was during a period when Christianity was just as intolerant, or even worse, and he should have known that the inflamatory language in that quote would not only deflect attention from the point he wanted to make, but would also provoke the reaction that it did.

Mr. Snitch said...

Muslims are sick and tired of being seen as terrorists, and they are going to firebomb Catholic churches until it ends.

It might be funny if it were just a joke. But churches ARE being firebombed, and the Muslim Mob is trying to out-outrage each other, to determine once again who is truly holier than thou.

No wonder satire closes on Saturday night.

Daryl Herbert said...

The Pope acts like he's surprised that Muslims would hear those particular words and not assume that was the whole point of his speech.

He's either incredibly stupid or clumsy (not likely) or he knew his speech would provoke a violent reaction.

His trick was to make the speech about the problem of using violence to spread and enforce religion. Most Muslims never knew the topic of the speech, only that certain words were used.

He got them to act like a bunch of wild animals after saying the problem with Islam is that Muslims act like a bunch of wild animals. Score one for Christianity vs. Islam.

If only it were that simple, and the U.S. was in a war against Islam (is it too late to reconsider?). Too bad we're in Iraq, fighting a Muslim enemy, but also trying to win over a Muslim populace and support our Muslim allies.

The only reasonable conclusion one can draw from all of this is that the Pope wants us to have a harder time in Iraq than is already the case.

Any of President Bush's critiques of fascist versions of Islam, and any other critiques of violent versions of Islam, are now all going to held up as if they were examples of what the Pope said. And moderate Muslims are who criticize Islam are all going to be accused of saying what the Pope said.

The Pope set us back, big time. It's infuriating.

George said...

The most interesting part of the Pope's address (which hasn't gotten nearly as much frothing attention) is this:

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature....But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality...Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html

I've never been able to understand how Islam is supposed to represent the fruition of Christianity and Judaism (just as Christianity arose from Judaism).

Conversion by violent means (much less the use of violence) contravenes what it means to be Christian or Jewish. How, then, can a new religion which purports to be the fulfillment of the monotheistic tradition practice conversion by military conquest?

My understanding is that from a Muslim viewpoint the rest of us are deluded.

Derve said...

Benedict and Bush walk into a bar...

Something about those lack of honorific titles and being regular guys. Except then it should be Joe and George, I suppose... :)

Mark said...

I disagree. The pope didn't set us back, he helped clarify things. His statement and the reaction is just one more piece of evidence that muslims are unreasonable and hysterical.

I am not Christian but in response to dave - "the only thing I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man" - yes, SOME people in the name of SOME religions have 'sunk man'. However before you go condemning religion, consider what atheism has brought us: Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, etc - the whole communist/totalitarian bunch of mass murderers. People who have no religion are no saints.

Jim said...

Christianists tolerate anything nowadays because they are so spineless and wishy-washy. If religion means anything, it means attacking evil as you see it. Jesus didn't negotiate with the Pharisees; he called them a "generation of vipers," among other things. Check out the Bible!

Religion is always and everywhere evil, and I see no reason to mince my words. Nowadays I'll give Muslims worse than the time of day, as long as they are still persecuting us Infidels for our cartoons and our movies. I never thought I would be supporting the Pope, and I would be likewise condemning Catholicism, if the Pope hadn't apologized to Galileo a few years ago.

tjl said...

"I don't understand why he chose that quote - it was from the 14th century."

The context of the quote is highly pertinent to the point Benedict was making. It shows Manuel II, a cultivated ruler, calmly discussing moral theology with a Muslim cleric at a time when his state was in constant danger of falling to Turkish attack. Manuel is able to set this aside for a calm discussion of the necessary role of reason in religion.

A few decades later, the Turks took Constantinople and launched four centuries of bloodshed, oppression, forced conversions, and wilful destruction of the Greek cultural heritage. The Balkans have never fully recovered.

Oriana Fallaci, although an atheist, saw in Benedict someone who shared her vision of Europe in danger. Benedict is reminding us that reason and faith, Athens and Jerusalem, are both necessary for Europe's survival.

As a final note: Byzantium's long losing struggle against Islam was always undermined by internal factionalism ("Byzantine intrigue.") Sound familiar?

Dave said...

Mark--you're using some pretty fallacious reasoning there.

My statement, "the only thing I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man" implies nothing about the depths to which non-religious tyrants have sunk man.

Your assertion--that in impugning the religious I am implying the non-religious are beyond reproach--is rather disingenuous.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Dave, that's twice you've made that same comment. We get it. People have done bad things in the name of religion. People have also done good things in the name of religion -- and bad things in the name of things other than religion.

Your comment is rather banal and trivial, yet you post this like you're offering some great insight with a self-eivdent conclusion.

What's your point?

dave said...

...that's twice you've made that same comment. We get it.

Apparently not.

People have done bad things in the name of religion. People have also done good things in the name of religion -- and bad things in the name of things other than religion.

And if it's YOUR religion, it's A-OK.

Your comment is rather banal and trivial, yet you post this like you're offering some great insight with a self-eivdent conclusion.

I think he's just trying to speak S-L-O-W-L-Y enough for morons like yourself.

What's your point?

Christ, what a fucking idiot you are.

Althouse: the Stupidest Place on the Internet™!

Pastor_Jeff said...

Dave,

Thanks for your help. You've spared me wasting any more time wondering if anyone can have a worthwhile conversation with you.

Troy said...

Dave... So what? What point are you making? Alcohol has taken people to the depths -- do you drink? Some have gone overboard arguing over baseball games. Do you not watch baseball? Bloggers say idiotic and inflammatory and untrue things? Do you not blog or read blogs? Your reasoning is not fallacious it is infantile. There's a common concept called "Some" -- try to familiarize yourself with it.

Just because someone calls him or herself a Christian and then blows up an abortion clinic or massacres an Indian tribe does not make them in fact a Christian in the true -- meaning of that word ("Christ-like").

You have a hard on against religion - great. Be a man and say you don't believe and then don't believe, but don't use the slogans of a 12-year old whiny teenager to justify being against religion.

Troy said...

Dave's true colors show. Kiss your Mom with that mouth?

Ann Althouse said...

I don't know how many Daves there are, but assuming there's basically one, I'll just say now that I've been patient with him, explaining things and being nice, but I've really been struck over and over again by how unintelligent he is. Now that he's decided to flail and be vicious, I don't mind telling him: I've always thought you were stupid.

Freeman Hunt said...

Dave (capitalized) and dave (not capitcalized) are two different people.

As for this:

Your assertion--that in impugning the religious I am implying the non-religious are beyond reproach--is rather disingenuous.

If your point is simply that man should consider the depths to which he has sunk himself, why don't you just write that? Otherwise, what is the point of singling out the religious if not to mean that not being religious is better? It's your reply to Mark that is disingenuous.

Dave said...

OK, that Dave guy who's swearing is different from me.

Just so you all know.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Dave Friedman,

Thanks for the clarification. Now the response of "Dave" to tiggeril at 5:25 makes sense, given that it was actually humorous.

But really, can't you at least admit the depths to which Daves have sunk mankind in the name of, er, their name?

Troy said...

I dunno Dave -- "Dave"s have done some pretty bad things in the past. To what depths have the Daves of history sunk? Perhaps we should be wary...

Troy said...

Jeff you beat me to it! Curses Red Baron!

Pete the Streak said...

Hmmm.....this post's comment thread may become another wonderful teaching example of left/right 'tolerance'. Let's call the 'Breast Post' thread as Lesson 1A, and this one 1B.
Hopefully, your new visitors'short attention spans will prevent them from ever returning; otherwise those 24 remaining open spots in the alphabet could vanish too quickly. I'd hate to start again with #2.

Dave said...

Yes, Pastor Jeff, I can agree with you there.

And I don't think my comment about the depths to which religion has sunk man should be interpreted as meaning all religions or religious people have sunk man.

If that's the way it is interpreted, I apologize.

However, I'm getting rather sick of this notion, increasingly prevalent among the religious, that religioon is beyond critique. No German, I would imagine, would be averse to people criticizng its military and political history; why should religion be given a special exemption?

Troy said...

dave... Name me one person who has EVER said religion is above criticism? If you care, then drop the "religion bad" cave man logic and constructively criticize. If you don't care, that's fine too, but don't expect dialogue. Some of the Church's biggest changes have come from criticism "outside the flock" as it were.

VW: mcoaf -- the guy that works at the McDonald's near my house on the morning shift.

Dave said...

Troy--you're not serious, are you?

Witness the reaction of Muslims to the pope's comments. Of course there are religious people who claim their beliefs should be immune to criticism.

downtownlad said...

However, I'm getting rather sick of this notion, increasingly prevalent among the religious, that religioon is beyond critique.

Hallelujah!

It's absurd to deny that Islam does not advocate violence. It also advocates peace. Because it's completely contradictory and you can easily find a passage to support your cause. Even if that peaceful cause is the decapitation of your enemies, as they are so fond of doing.

But Christianity is the same thing. It preaches love, while also preaching hate. Same thing with Judaism. The Old Testament teaches how God loves to destroy entire communities simply because they don't worship the him. How spiteful that God must be.

And anyone who actually takes these things at face value - definitely deserves to be criticized. If you are a fundamentalist (of any kind) you are just showing others that you have zero capacity to think on your own.

Dave said...

Well it's one thing to preach hate (though I'm not sure I'd agree with that, at least as it applies to most Christians) and another thing to incite violence, as Muslims are wont to do.

Troy said...

Obviously I overstated for effect and not as a literal argument. There are many Muslims who criticize their religion or at least the fundamentalist version. Just as obviously there are many (though I'd wager many more Muslims than Christians, but who could prove that?) who brook no criticism -- especially from the outside.

If you ever care to research the matter you will see that Christians have been fighting among themselves -- for some very good -- and some very bad reasons -- since Paul started his journeys through Asia Minor.

Dave said...

Troy I've done lots of research on that matter.

Pastor_Jeff said...

If you are a fundamentalist (of any kind) you are just showing others that you have zero capacity to think on your own.

DTL -- is that one of your fundamental beliefs?

I mean, that's a pretty fundamentalist statement. And for it to be literally true, you would have to have accurate and exhaustive knowledge of all fundamentalists.

Dave said...

"And for it to be literally true, you would have to have accurate and exhaustive knowledge of all fundamentalists."

Not only that but one who can't think on his own is incapable of deciding to be a fundamentalist in the first place. Even Fred Phelps made a wilful decision--a thought--to believe the repellent things he believes.

tiggeril said...

Wait. We've got a "dave" and a "Dave?"

Dawn said...

This evening on my neighbor's deck we were discussing this event. The general consensus was that Islamofascists have 1) no sense of humor and 2) no love of life.

Dave said...

Yes, tiggeril.

"dave" is me.

"Dave" is the guy who likes to swear.

Two totally different people.

Unfortunately confusing as my earlier comments seem to have irked some people. So it seemed that me and the swearing "Dave" were one and the same. But we're not.

Troy said...

"Dave Friedman"... my posts were directed at foul-mouthed "dave" -- though of course it's not my forum so you're free to join in. Sorry for any confusion -- next time I'll check for capitalization. :-)

VW: bqbono: Having a picnic with the Irish singer.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Dave Friedman,

Just to be clear, I agree that religion, beliefs, philosophy or whatever-you-call-it is certainly not beyond criticism -- not mine or anyone else's.

But just so we're on a level field here, no one gets a pass for not being part of any organized religion, either.

Dave said...

Pastor Jeff--agreed--not belonging to a religion is not exculpatory.

But again, I never said anything about the non-religious in my original comment. I don't understand why people want to infer that my comments about religion inform anything about the non-religious.

Word verification: nutrzr. What a Chippendales dancer users before he goes on stage. Ha.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Freeman Hunt said...

But again, I never said anything about the non-religious in my original comment. I don't understand why people want to infer that my comments about religion inform anything about the non-religious.

Because again, what would your comment mean if you didn't make it to draw a distinction between the religious and non-religious? You can't say that religion has sunk man to great depths and then cry out of bounds when someone says the same of atheism.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Dave F,

That part wasn't directly about your comment, just an appeal to recognize that people can hide behind ideologies and belief systems of all kinds, religious or not.

As long as we're criticizing, let's be equal-opportunity, that's all.


And, man -- that's a rather discomforting verification word.

Dave said...

Freeman, this is a simple logic proposition.

The statement "the only thing I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man" says nothing about the non-religious.

Of course there have been terrible non-religious people. See Hitler, et al.

Now, I would agree with you that a differently phrased statement would draw an implicit distinction between the religious and the non-religious. Take, for example, "Only religious people are capable of descending man to the depths."

But that's not what I said. Again: you're inferring my opinion about a set of people, about whom I never made a comment!

It is entirely possible to at once say "the only thing I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man" and also believe that non-religious people can have the same effect on man. Those are not mutually exclusive statements.

Need I draw a Venn diagram to explain?

tjl said...

Downtown lad points out,
"Christianity is the same thing. It preaches love, while also preaching hate. Same thing with Judaism. The Old Testament teaches how God loves to destroy entire communities simply because they don't worship the him."

Of course you can find lots of bloodcurdling Biblical verses about smiting and abominating. It's been quite a while since Christians or Jews took any of them literally.

The comparable Koranic verses haven't been defanged. Stonings, beheadings, amputations, and swordpoint conversions continue to this day. There is simply no moral equivalence.

Freeman Hunt said...

Then what is your point by tarring only the religious? Your mantra, as you've referred to it on other threads, seems to imply that religion is bad and should, therefore, be abandoned. If it is not meant to imply that, then okay, what are you trying to impart with it? After one considers the "depths" to which man has been sunk by religion, what then?

Dave said...

Well, I'm not "tarring" the religious.

The topic of this post, and others like it on this blog, have been about religion and the follies it can induce in man.

It would be rather odd of me, then, to say "The only thing I ask of the communists is that they consider the depths to which communism has sunk man" (even though that is a statement I would heartily endorse.)

If Ann ever decides to wax eloquent on Mao or Pol Pot, I will be sure to use that statement, and, thereby, become the equal opportunity offender you seem to want me to be.

Freeman Hunt said...

From your own blog:

Kill religion. Elevate man.

Are you still going to claim that you do not post your mantra to advocate atheism over religion?

Freeman Hunt said...

The topic of this post, and others like it on this blog, have been about religion and the follies it can induce in man.

And so someone here pointed out to you that atheism can also induce follies in man. You cried foul, but the person's point seems extremely relevant to your repeated statement.

Dave said...

When did I say I didn't advocate atheism over religion?

Freeman Hunt said...

Perfect. If you are advocating atheism over theism with your mantra, then comments about the depths to which atheism has sunk man are perfectly relevant. Stop crying foul.

Fenrisulven said...

Dave: Althouse: the Stupidest Place on the Internet™!

Religion is man's interpretation of God, and men are imperfect creatures. Your comment blames the tool instead of the user.

Joe said...

Just my two cents, the Pope does not have to apologize for history. Islam was, and is, spread at the point of a sword. That is evil. Threatening the death of people who say you are violent is not a convincing way to win over anyone. We constantly hear that jihad can be a spiritual quest. But we are not concerned with Muslims who believe that, we are focused upon those who practice jihad as violence toward infidels and apostates. One other point. Islam has historically tolerated other religions but only as dhimmis - second class citizens. We face 7th century fundamentalists armed with 21st century weapons. I am afraid that if we fail to suppress the violent jihadists, succeeding 9-11's will result in massive and indiscriminate retaliations against all Muslims. The faster and more convincingly we establish that we will not give up our freedoms, the more likely it is that a moderate Islam will develop. It is in the interests of their own survival.

Dave said...

Crying foul?

You're kidding, right?

First, I'm accused of implying that the non-religious are inherently superior to the religious, an accusation which I refute.

Second, I readily agree that there are bad examples of atheists.

Third, I point out that the subject of this post and others like it are religion, not the lack thereof, and, therefore, it would be odd for me to comment on the non-religious.

From this, you conclude that I'm "crying foul"?

What, exactly, is it that I am crying foul about?

Seems to me you just don't like my opinion about religion. Fine. That's your right.

Freeman Hunt said...

Seems to me you just don't like my opinion about religion.

No, it's that I don't like your dodging when people attempt to engage you on it.

First, I'm accused of implying that the non-religious are inherently superior to the religious, an accusation which I refute.

So, "The only thing I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man," and "kill religion, elevate man," two phrases often used in tandem on your own blog, should not be thought to imply that non-religion is superior to religion?

Wickedpinto said...

good thing the followers of Islam didn't react exactly according to the 14th century emporers comment, which was defined, and refuted by the pope.

I mean, really, what would have happened if Islam acted with anger, violence, evil and subjugation? Good thing that The Pope was the only one who showed religious hatred, in a theological speech about peace and love, refuting the 14th century emporer(notice the news doesn't name the 14th century emporer?) But, good thing we have digust for western ideals, and christianity, which is a predominately western faith, otherwise, we wouldn't understand the tolerance of Islam, as they burn down churches.

Wickedpinto said...

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

SUCK THAT DAVE!!!! whichever one you are.

Ann Althouse said...
I don't know how many Daves there are, but assuming there's basically one, I'll just say now that I've been patient with him, explaining things and being nice, but I've really been struck over and over again by how unintelligent he is. Now that he's decided to flail and be vicious, I don't mind telling him: I've always thought you were stupid.


I was DIRECTLY offensive to Madam Ann,(not exactly intentional (the library picture your eldest son posted on flikr) and she NEVER called me stupid.

nya nya Nya NYA NYANYANYANYANYANYA!!!!

SUCKIT!

ginabina said...

Troy said...
There are many Muslims who criticize their religion or at least the fundamentalist version.


Really? Name some. And then tell us when the fatwa was issued.

There are very, very few Muslims speaking out against their religion, fundamentalist or otherwise.

knoxgirl said...

Violent protests and fire bombings.

I sure would like to see this sort of outrage directed at Muslim terrorists, who, need I point out, do more harm to the image of Islam than some speech given by the Pope.

Really, Kabbani and others like him: Get your message out

I could care less about their message. I just want them purge their ranks of those who would kill --and do kill--anyone who believes or behaves differently than they would dictate.

knoxgirl said...

daryl, You seem to have more disdain for the person who gave a speech than for the people who ran around tossing grenades in response to the speech...

???

Dave said...

Freeman, who am I dodging? I've responded to every one of your comments or questions.

People can click through to my blog if they so choose. I don't see a need to link directly to it, but you evidently do.

Well, this is the last comment I have to say on this. Presumably I will therefore be accused of "dodging" something or other. Well, that's them apples as they say.

knoxgirl said...

freeman:

I recall a while ago a commenter on Althouse--don't remember the parties involved--said to another commenter: "arguing with you is like trying to grab smoke."

You made a valiant effort... but you can't grab smoke!

: )

The Mechanical Eye said...

This dave/Dave controversy reminds us all to pick unique handles like "The Mechanical Eye" whenever we post things...

Ann Althouse said...

Wickedpinto: You're stupid.

Joe said...

The grabbing smoke comment was me with reference to hdhouse... coincidence that i am online tonight...
Disclaimer: though I did not comment on the boobs thread, let it be known that I am, always have been, and hope always to be, a big fan of boobs.

Freeman Hunt said...

Thanks, knoxgirl. Good point.

Seven Machos said...

I'm sure this won't work, but I'd like to move this conversation in a different direction. Remember the fracas over the Danish cartoons, several months after the cartoons? Remember how a bunch of angry Arabs in the Middle East apparently had Danish flags (Because those are commonly available around the world.)

Clearly, some well-organized group organized that ridiculous charade. And, clearly, the same thing is going on here. Possibly it is the same group. I hope the Catholic Church is politically astute enough to understand that this is an organized attack by radical Islamic jihadists, that it just didn't spring up organically from nowhere.

As for Dave, I always find it interesting that atheists just flail away at religion, as if their flailing is going to solve any problems, as if all the religious people of the world will just stop being religious. Yet atheists also think of themselves as really smart.

J. Peden said...

"Clearly, some well-organized group organized that ridiculous charade. And, clearly, the same thing is going on here." Steven Machos

Agreed, Steven. And the local dhimmis respond on cue, much as a mutual adoration society between Masters and Slaves. What a show, but it's getting kind of trite, even though still bizarre.

LoafingOaf said...

Perhaps I'm more focused this weekend on the Muslim Rage in reaction to the Pope than other people. It seems like a big deal to me.

But when I was over at DailyKos skimming through another round of posts obsessing on boring congressional races, it was weird I didn't see anything about the subject. Similar to how uninterested Democrat blogs were in Hizballah's war, not wanting to distract from the all-important Ned Lamont.

I'm genuinelly interested in understanding what the Democrat blogs think when they see what some of us call "Islamic Fascism" (a label they reject) on display in the breaking news. I wanna understand better what their thinking is!

All I've seen so far is a Democrat blog called AMERICAblog attempting to argue (ridiculously) that the Pope was saying the same thing as Rosie O'Donnell and so the Right should ask the Pope to resign.

And then I saw that guy who was fawning here over the Feministing woman commenting over at Feministing:

Althouse has moved on from hate against young women to hate against Muslims. ....

Tom Head
http://feministing.com/archives/005716.html#comment-51246

Eh???

Are they afraid to do some Pope blogging because they think it'll be seen as hateful towards Muslims? Are they holding back some of their true thoughts? Why can't they be as open in their thoughts as Ann Althouse or Glenn Reynolds? Am I reading too much into this? It bugs me - sorry!

Ragnell said...

Ann,

Another theory to consider:
."..their reaction could also be rooted in consternation that the Pope’s message quoted the emperor of the extinct Byzantine Empire. By doing so, the Pope highlighted an often forgotten historical memory to world attention..
..This reaction could indicate that any widespread memory of Byzantine challenges the heart of modern Islamic accusations directed at western civilization."
http://loathlylady.blogspot.com/2006/09/imams-attempt-to-silence-historical.html

danquixote said...

"Just to be clear, I agree that religion, beliefs, philosophy or whatever-you-call-it is certainly not beyond criticism -- not mine or anyone else's.

But just so we're on a level field here, no one gets a pass for not being part of any organized religion, either.
"

But by belonging to a religion you are essentially joining a club and it is surely acceptable to criticise that club en masse even if there are disagreements between members. By joining the club they are accepting that they agree on the source of their morality and a code of conduct so even if an individual member disagrees with the actions of other members they must take a certain amount of responsibility, since their own beliefs inspired those actions.

On the other hand, being an atheist does not put me in a similar position. I have agreed nothing with other atheists. One way of looking at it is that non-belief is the default position.

Derve said...

Sunday Update, personal apology:

"I hope that this serves to appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address, which in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect," Pope Benedict said.

"These (words) were in fact a quotation from a Medieval text which do not in any way express my personal thought," Pope Benedict told pilgrims Sunday at his summer palace in Castel Gandolfo, Italy outside Rome.

rightwingprof said...

That's too much apology, particularly after the response proved Benedict's point.

The Drill SGT said...

Sorry I'm late to the party, I spent yesterday testing cars and tasting wines. No causalities on either front, I'm please to report.

Three points I guess, all of which have been touched on:

1. The speech wasn't focused on being anti-Muslim. Read the whole speech, it was targeted toward the science community and the compatibility of reason and faith.

2. tjl's point The discussion between the Emperor and the Persian must be seen in context. The Eastern Empire was under siege from the Muslims (Turks). Ultimately Manuel's son Constantine XI would die as the last Emperor, defending the walls in 1453 as the Turks swept into Europe taking slaves and converts via the sword.

3. Hamsun56 said... However, this hasn't always been so. There have been historical periods where Islamic countries have been more tolerant of other religions than Christian countries. Compare the treatment of Jews, before WW II, in Europe and Muslim countries.

I think you need to distinguish treatment of Jews in 1901-1945 in Europe as a whole from Nazi treatment 1933-1945). Let's compare overall treatment of the Jews in Europe. Jews were full citizens of all countries, with the vote, ability to serve in all occupations and the military. Here is an extract on the treatment of Jews in Arab lands from

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf15.html

MYTH

“As 'People of the Book,' Jews and Christians are protected under Islamic law.”

FACT

This argument is rooted in the traditional concept of the "dhimma" ("writ of protection"), which was extended by Muslim conquerors to Christians and Jews in exchange for their subordination to the Muslims. Yet, as French authority Jacques Ellul has observed: "One must ask: 'protected against whom?' When this 'stranger' lives in Islamic countries, the answer can only be: against the Muslims themselves."32

Peoples subjected to Muslim rule usually had a choice between death and conversion, but Jews and Christians, who adhered to the Scriptures, were usually allowed, as dhimmis (protected persons), to practice their faith. This "protection" did little, however, to insure that Jews and Christians were treated well by the Muslims. On the contrary, an integral aspect of the dhimma was that, being an infidel, he had to acknowledge openly the superiority of the true believer — the Muslim.

In the early years of the Islamic conquest, the "tribute" (or jizya), paid as a yearly poll tax, symbolized the subordination of the dhimmi.33

Later, the inferior status of Jews and Christians was reinforced through a series of regulations that governed the behavior of the dhimmi. Dhimmis, on pain of death, were forbidden to mock or criticize the Koran, Islam or Muhammad, to proselytize among Muslims, or to touch a Muslim woman (though a Muslim man could take a non-Muslim as a wife).

Dhimmis were excluded from public office and armed service, and were forbidden to bear arms. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, to build synagogues or churches taller than mosques, to construct houses higher than those of Muslims or to drink wine in public. They were forced to wear distinctive clothing and were not allowed to pray or mourn in loud voices — as that might offend the Muslims. The dhimmi also had to show public deference toward Muslims; for example, always yielding them the center of the road. The dhimmi was not allowed to give evidence in court against a Muslim, and his oath was unacceptable in an Islamic court. To defend himself, the dhimmi would have to purchase Muslim witnesses at great expense. This left the dhimmi with little legal recourse when harmed by a Muslim.34

By the twentieth century, the status of the dhimmi in Muslim lands had not significantly improved. H.E.W. Young, British Vice Consul in Mosul, wrote in 1909:

The attitude of the Muslims toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master towards slaves, whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed.35

Pastor_Jeff said...

even if an individual member disagrees with the actions of other members they must take a certain amount of responsibility

So all Germans bear responsibility for Hitler? Bonhoeffer was as guilty as the rest? All pro-life people are to blame for the reprehensible abortion clinic attacks? Every Democrat who doesn't condemn Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink is a pacifist, commie nutjob?

I'm sorry, but that's along the the lines of the fallacious "You, a law professor!" argument.

As has been demonstrated above with dave, religion per se is not the problem. Religion is generally what people make of it.

And yes, not being part of a religion still means you have beliefs and are responsible for them. Or did you invent a totally new worldview all on your own? You share no views with other people?

Shall we hold you responsible for what murderous atheists have done, since your atheist beliefs "inspired those actions"?

If you're not willing to have your argument turned back on your beliefs, then you just want to rant about religion.

Fenrisulven said...

Are they afraid to do some Pope blogging because they think it'll be seen as hateful towards Muslims? Are they holding back some of their true thoughts? Why can't they be as open in their thoughts as Ann Althouse or Glenn Reynolds? Am I reading too much into this? It bugs me - sorry!

They are only into politics for identity. To feel superior, run with the cool crowd, etc. You are expecting too much from unserious people. Its no surprise that they have devolved from Ann hates women to Ann hates Muslims. They really aren't that stupid - its cognitive dissonance:

The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions.

I'm glad they are Howard Dean's baggage. He deserves them.

knoxgirl said...

Ann: My impression is wickedpinto has a few before commenting.

rightwingprof said...

Religion is a red herring. It has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with behaving like a civilized human being.

Tibore said...

Dave:
"Well, I'm not "tarring" the religious."

Huh??

You offer a sophistic superficial comment disparaging religion and say you're not tarring the religious? Have you even read your own statement? Then you back away as soon as folks challenge you. You coward. You are indeed tarring the religious, especially since you are not considering the much more plentiful, much more mainstream philosophy regarding peace and not harming your fellow man.

You were making an ignorant statement and are now attempting to paint it as something else. Don't try to back away from that. You're original statement is there for all to see.

"The topic of this post, and others like it on this blog, have been about religion and the follies it can induce in man."

As if man is a blank slate to be written on by whatever philosophy that presents itself. Man bears responsibility for the effects of his interpretation. You cannot absolve the twisted like Eric Rudolph by saying it was religion alone that led him to his acts; that's the same religion that motivated Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II to do great, unselfish acts.

It's the twisting by man. Religion, like any philosophy is only so many words on a page until someone comes along and applies their own experiences to and interpretations of it. Just making ignorant blanket statements like yours ignores mans own involvement in the twisting of the philosophies.

Shoddy thinking, Dave. Shoddy thinking.

Ragnell said...

Hamsung56
“I don't understand why he chose that quote - it was from the 14th century which was during a period when Christianity was just as intolerant, or even worse”

The Pope may have had another purpose in focusing attention on the Byzantine Empire, a highly cultured, Christian- Roman civilization that pre-existed in the areas conquered by the Islamic Empires that replaced it. Not for Byzantine’s record for religious toleration, but rather by the consideration that several modern Islamic claims are contradicted by historic evidence found from Byzantine's very existence and final bloody ending. For example, the argument that Islam has legal and historical claims that legitimize the enforcement of its religious control over certain regions. Islamic leaders find Byzantine an inconveniant memory and have a tradition of ignoring the prior claims of it and other religions and civilizations that pre-existed Islamic dominance.

The Byzantine emperor was not an ignorant bigot. He expressed fear and abhorrence of Islamic violence for valid historical reasons. http://loathlylady.blogspot.com/

David said...

One of the key points in this discussion is the reference to the 14th century. That is also the time of the Renaissance.

I would dare expect that the pope was referring to that period of time and how the west moved toward enlightenment.

Islam is making the choice to stay in their version of the Dark Ages and criticizing the west for pursuing enlightenment. The fundamental choice they are making is to turn their back on reason and embrace dogma.

What say you Pastor Jeff? Anybody?

Revenant said...

I don't understand why he chose that quote - it was from the 14th century which was during a period when Christianity was just as intolerant, or even worse

One reason might be that the person being quoted was witnessing the final stages of his Christian empire being wiped out by Muslims.

Seriously, though, this whole argument is stupid. Catholics believe that Muslims are all going to Hell. What is the point in trying to pretend that they think Islam is a valid religion? Christ wouldn't have wanted them to lie, especially if that lie discouraged people from seeking true salvation.

That's my view as an atheist, at least. :)

Ti-Guy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hamsun56 said...

Some responses:
Drill SGT: I didn’t mean to imply that the treatment of Jews under Muslims was exemplary in any way, just that a case can be made that on the whole it was better than in Europe before WWII. You are correct in asserting that if we disregard the holocaust then the treatment of Jews in Europe from 1900 onwards was much better. That is a big thing to disregard. Although the Nazis were not doing what they did in the name of religion, it was done in a society in which the Christianity had encouraged anti-Semitism for centuries. A lot of what Luther wrote about Jews could have been spoken by Hitler:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Jews_and_Their_Lies

Of course there were many good Christians in Germany and occupied Europe that did stand up to the Nazis and did help Jews at peril of life. The record of the Vatican during WWII was not as exemplary.

Tjf:
Thanks for the historical background of the Pope’s quote. I still don’t think it was wise of the Pope to make that reference. Why drag up the dark centuries of the church’s armed struggle with Islam? Is that a smart move before his visit to Turkey? He’s now the Pope and not an academic theologian. Every utterance he makes has significance to masses of people who are not able to appreciate the sophistries of his arguments.

Wouldn’t he be on much stronger moral ground if he referred directly to the teachings of Christ, or to the fact that today Muslims enjoy much greater freedom in Christian countries than Christians do in Muslim countries?

tjl said...

"Why drag up the dark centuries of the church’s armed struggle with Islam?"

Because, by citing a late-Byzantine source, the Pope implies that this is a struggle that the West can lose.

Historical parallels abound, but I'll cite one above all: in their losing defensive struggle with the Turks, there's no doubt that the Byzantines had the moral high ground. Little good it did them. Today's left opposes any action against militant Islam that would cost us "the moral high ground." Too bad they're so historically illiterate.

Hamsun56 said...

tjl:
I'm not an absolutist in regards to always staying on the high moral ground. But, as a general rule it is the best place to be.

The ends justifies the means mode of policy has come back to haunt the US many times. We supported the Taliban in Afganistan after the Soviet invasion. We helped Saddam during his war with Iran. We abondoned the Shias and Kurds after encouraging them to revolt against Saddam in the first Gulf war. At the time, all these actions made short term sense, but were they worth the long term price?

Also, the situation the west is facing with radical islamists is not analogous to the crusades. Sure they can carry out horrible acts of terror, but the notion that the West is in danger of coming under the dominance of radical Islamists is absurd.

Karl said...

I was hoping someone would compare and contrast the Islamist reaction to the Pope's comments and the faux-Feminist reaction to Ann's recent booblogging.

In brief:

Someone criticizes a group in a manner they don't like, using words that are somewhat questionable.

Attack the method, attach the messenger, but above all else, refrain from denying or arguing contra the criticism.

Demand an apology, and promise to rain down hellfire until it's received.

QED

-kd

tjl said...

"the notion that the West is in danger of coming under the dominance of radical Islamists is absurd."

Compare the birthrates for Muslim-immigrant and native-born European populations and do the math.

The Drill SGT said...

Supporting tjl on this topic:

the notion that the West is in danger of coming under the dominance of radical Islamists is absurd."

1. you know of course that there are major areas in the cities of Europe where the national government has no sovereignty and the law is Sharia? where fire trucks are escorted by armored cars and police refuse to go?

2. That the Muslim population of France is 10% and growing, while the Muslim share of the population under 20 is above 30%. Where the second and third generation Muslims are more religious and anti-west than the original immigrants?

3. That something like 60% of Muslims in the UK want to live under Sharia?

4. That Muslims fought to control Europe from 700 to 1900? Controlled at various times all of Spain, part of France, all of Sicily, part of Italy, all of the Balkans and Greece.

5. That the at the high water mark Turkish Armies were fighting at the gates of Vienna up until nearly 1700?

6 that the Koran, God's direct, perfect and unalterable word, requires Muslims to spread across the entire world using all possible means.

What is going on in the EU is not Muslim immigration into the West. It is recolonization of Andalusia. Immigrants assimilate. Colonists don't.

Hamsun56 said...

I live in Europe and am aware of the problems that a growing underclass of immigrants from muslim countries pose. The problems are real and I don't mean to minimize them. But I still find the notion of a muslim takeover of Europe to be absurd, even with the disparity of birth rates and the growing alienation of young muslim immigrants. With a higher standard of living and better education, family size and religious fervor will drop.

The notion that Islam is one unified block is also wrong. Shias and Sunnis do not exactly see eye to eye, plus you have national and culural differences between various muslim immigrants. The worst thing that the west can do is lump all muslims together, moderates with fanatics, Shias with Sunnis, and create unity was there was none before. That's exactly what the terrorists want.

Abraham said...

But I still find the notion of a muslim takeover of Europe to be absurd, even with the disparity of birth rates and the growing alienation of young muslim immigrants.

But why? This is nothing more than a "it can't happen here!" mode of argument. It can, and if large segments of the Islamic world have their way, it will.

tjl said...

hamsun56 says,

"But I still find the notion of a muslim takeover of Europe to be absurd, even with the disparity of birth rates and the growing alienation of young muslim immigrants. With a higher standard of living and better education, family size and religious fervor will drop."

For the sake of the Enlightenment values which we share, I hope that you are right. However, you admit that the younger generation of Muslim immigrants are more alienated and fervent. Does this make you confident that these younger Muslims will in time assimilate Western secular values? On the contrary, they seem to be growing more resistant to assimilation.

Ignoring the issue won't help.

The Drill SGT said...

Part of the problem is "toehold immigration policies". Allowing legal immigrants to sponsor families and obtain unwesternized spouses from the old country. So instead of a limited number of immigrants who arrive and assimilate, you have an iceberg of unlimited immigration, where the new immigrants are completely unassimilated (and of course have those 6+ birthrates now with modern subsidized health care that allows all the children to survive instead of 1/2 dying before maturing.)

The US ultimately should be prepared for this and retune it's immigration policies to skim off the best and brightest from Europe.

Hamsun56 said...

Muslims who immigrated to the western Europe did so for economic reasons, not to colonize as part of long range plan to out-procreate Europeans to gain control for Islam.

The reference to previous Muslim invasions of Europe is not applicable. The driving forces behind thoses were leaders of tribes/ethnic groups, such as Arabs or Turks, expanding the reaches of their empires. Is there a central unifying force in Islam today that is calling the shots? Sure, we see demonstrations throughout the Islamic world in response to preceived insults, but what central power can control that for its own ends. The Iranians are getting a lot of mileage out of the current problems, but they are Persians and Shias. Do you think Arab Sunnis would follow their lead, or vice a versa?

The situation in Western Europe is complicated and varies from country to country. If governments here act wisely, I do think assimilation is possible. If they don't, we will experience lots of problems. But the Islamization of Western Europe, no.

Hamsun56 said...

Drill Sgt.
A few years ago, the Danes passed more restictive laws in regards to bringing in spouses from the "old country". I can't recall all the details, but somthing along the lines that both spouses must be 25 years old and not on welfare for a certain period of time. My guess is that more European countries will pass similar laws.

tjl said...

"But the Islamization of Western Europe, no."

Can you take a hard look at the demographics and explain why not, without relying on wishful thinking and "it just can't happen here?"

Hamsun56 said...

tjl:
Anything can happen anywhere, but for the reasons I've mentioned I don't see the Islamization of Europe as a likely scenario. In addtion to:
-A lack of unity amongst immigrant muslim groups in Europe (in regards to ethnic/national origin and religious differences).
-Assimilation which is occuring, albeit with various success in different countries.
- A slowing birth rate in subsequent generations
-Tougher immigration laws
- Most muslims don't have a radical agenda.

I'll add that "Europeans" won't let it happen. Strong reactions will occur long before a radical muslim population gets anywhere near having demographic control. Look at the tolerant Dutch and the reaction to the murder of Van Gogh.

Anyway, over and out from me on this thread.

stoqboy said...

As an agnostic, I find Freeman/Friedman argument pointless. Humankind, over the course of many belief systems (both religious and non-religious), has committed atrocities and virtuous acts. Believing in God and believing in Not God are hardly different. Violence is however quantifiable and its not wrong of the pope, or anyone, to call attention to the suffering caused by this conflict. I'm also sure that its easier for the pope to take sides in this conflict than it was for the church to take sides in the cold war, since the church is in direct competition with Islam for people's souls (while during the cold war it was easier to be neutral). (As an aside, and for those who would think that I might be ignoring the suffering caused by US violence, it takes two to tango, but you can hardly fault your partner for dancing when you've dragged them onto the dance floor).

Freeman Hunt said...

As an agnostic, I find Freeman/Friedman argument pointless. Humankind, over the course of many belief systems (both religious and non-religious), has committed atrocities and virtuous acts.

That wasn't even what the argument was about.

Freeman Hunt said...

Catholics believe that Muslims are all going to Hell.

Not entirely true. See invincible ignorance. See also Leonard Feeney.

Revenant said...

Not entirely true. See invincible ignorance.

Muslims aren't ignorant of the teachings of Christianity, though. For example, the Qu'ran specifically refers to the Christian doctrines of the Trinity and of Jesus being the son of God, and rejects them as incorrect. Actively rejecting the divinity of Jesus is a definite deal-breaker for Catholicism.

Freeman Hunt said...

Muslims aren't ignorant of the teachings of Christianity, though.

Invincible ignorance is usually not interpreted to mean total ignorance in general.

From the invincible ignorance link I posted:

Feeneyites sometimes assert that there are no individuals who are invincibly ignorant of the necessities of baptism and embracing the Catholic faith. This position reflects a misunderstanding concerning what constitutes reasonable deliberation for many in the non-Catholic world. If someone has never heard of the Christian faith, or if he has been taught all his life that the Catholic Church is evil, then it could well be that he would not discover the truth of the Christian faith or the Catholic Church merely by exercising reasonable diligence in weighing the various religious options presented to him.

Revenant said...

Freeman,

I think the key point is in this sentence, which you quoted:

If someone has never heard of the Christian faith, or if he has
been taught all his life that the
Catholic Church is evil, then it could well be that he would not discover the truth of the Christian faith or the Catholic Church merely by exercising reasonable diligence in weighing the various religious options presented to him.


That is, indeed, an example of invincible ignorance -- but it isn't a description of Muslims. Muslims aren't taught that Christians are evil, nor are they ignorant of Christian beliefs. They are just taught that Christianity is *incorrect* -- which isn't good enough. The "invincible ignorance" doctrine assumes a willingness to make reasonable inquiries about the available religions, and information on Christianity is readily available to most Muslims. That they were raised to believe that Christianity is incorrect is not good enough; almost every non-Christian in the world is raised to believe that Christianity is incorrect, after all.

Furthermore, the only way an invincibly ignorant person can achieve salvation is if he WOULD have made the right choice if he'd only been aware of it. Telling Muslims that their faith is a valid one is, therefore, counterproductive, as it encourages those Muslims who have a full understanding of Christianity to reject it anyway. Simply put, from a Catholic perspective it endangers the souls of Muslims and non-Muslims alike to pretend that Islam has any validity as a path to salvation.

Freeman Hunt said...

Simply put, from a Catholic perspective it endangers the souls of Muslims and non-Muslims alike to pretend that Islam has any validity as a path to salvation.

Just to be clear, I don't assert that the doctrine of invincible ignorance is an endorsement of Islam as a path to salvation. Only that it leaves room for the possibility of salvation of righteous people in other faiths, including Islam. I would also dispute the claim that no Muslims are taught that Christianity is evil and that all Muslims have access to information about the Christian faith.

Invincible ignorance and salvation as they apply to particular individuals and circumstances are debatable but ultimately unknowable.

noah said...

We ("Westerners" believers and non-believers alike) should support the Pope here.

I saw videotape of muslims in London calling for the killing of the Pope. I believe it is very misguided to allow public speech calling for religious or political violence.

Supreme Court Justice Jackson remarked that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. It is beginning to look like he was mistaken.

tjl said...

Freeman:

Weren't Feeneyites a tiny discredited splinter group in Boston back in the 1960s? How are their views relevant to this issue?

I think Noah is basically correct. We are in a time when our society is under vicious attack. Militant Islam makes increasingly little distinction between Catholics, Protestants, Jews, or secularists. As stated in Al Quaeda's response to the Pope, they see us all as throats to be cut.

Surely the common interest we all have in believing, or not believing, as we see fit trumps our differences. But it's a point that eludes some commenters on this thread, who are more interested in bashing Catholicism or Christianity for its past wrongs.

Freeman Hunt said...

Weren't Feeneyites a tiny discredited splinter group in Boston back in the 1960s? How are their views relevant to this issue?

Yes! That was the point! They rejected invicible ignorance and held to an absolutist view of the idea that there is no salvation outside of the Church. That view was determined to be heretical. (Now it is "tolerated," but is not a Church teaching.) It was relevant to the short conversation on invicible ignorance.