Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Pope's Speech: An appeal for Faith with Reason Falls on Deaf Ears.

I suppose for some time it will be referred to as "The Pope's Speech". It is, in my opinion the single most misunderstood speech I have ever read. This is not to say that the Pope is not against Muslim radicals and spreading faith by violence, but the stand he takes in his speech is greater than that.

The speech is not about Islam it is about faith and reason. It is about how the use of violence and force to make someone a religion is not of God. How God and reason are not exclusive concepts. It is about how that is an element from greek thought and how, as the modern philosophical concept moves away from such thought...can we still keep it. As modern philosophy makes the choice of God a freedom that is considered the highest exercise of reason, can we show just how the acceptance of God is actually the highest use of reason. It is about how some faiths:

This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazn and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God's transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions.

(In Crossing the Threshold of Hope, John Paul II said the God of Islam is a God so majestic that He is removed from His people, and though Benedict does not us Islam as a specific example...I'm sure he did not use the words by accident).

He contrasts that with the Christian view:

As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language (cf. Lateran IV).

God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism; rather, the truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love "transcends" knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone (cf. Ephesians 3:19); nonetheless it continues to be love of the God who is logos. Consequently, Christian worship is "logic latreĆ­a" -- worship in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason (cf. Romans 12:1).

This is the heart of the speech. Faith with reason is the best use of our faith since we aare in the image of God. If we do not have reason we fall to violence, athesim or an apathy about God that fills our world today.

And the media takes a single part and runs with the only time the word Muslim is used. The radical Muslims give their answer by reacting. Not with reason. But violence and anger.

We can not be afraid to speak because of how some might take it. And in the reaction to the Pope's speech, his words are proven true.

Finally let's look at the apology:

Pope Benedict told Muslims on Saturday he was sorry they had found his speech on Islam offensive, expressing his respect for their faith and hoping they would understand the “true sense” of his words.

“The Holy Father is very sorry that some passages of his speech may have sounded offensive to the sensibilities of Muslim believers,” Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said in a statement.

Not sorry he said it, because he shouldn't be. Not sorry he used those words. But sorry that others are not using reason.

And further lack of reason:

Two churches -- neither of them Catholic -- were fire-bombed in the West Bank, although no one was hurt.

But the Chancellor of Germany got it right:

“It was an invitation to dialogue between religions, she told the mass-circulation Bild newspaper in an interview. “What Benedict XVI emphasized was a decisive and uncompromising renunciation of all forms of violence in the name of religion.”

1 comment:

Viva said...

Hello David.
Check this blog:

Muslims criticize Christianity and
Christians turn the other cheek as dictated by their God.

GOD bless the Pope.