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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Friday, September 15, 2006

Reason and the Logos

I knew I liked this guy.

The Pope delivered a speech at the University of Regensburg (where he used to teach) earlier this week that has done two very good things:

1) It has expressed the necessary union of reason (particularly as what we consider the Greek tradition) and faith as underpinnings of Western Civilization and integral to a mature understanding of faith. He's put this about as well as it's ever been put.

2) He's pissed off every muslim in the world, for buried in the text is a veiled reference to islam as an example of religion devoid of reason. He even quoted medeival Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologos, who said with "startling brusqueness," "show me just what mohammed brought that was new, and there you find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

The full text of Benedict's speech is here.

The islamic world has reacted in the manner we've come to expect: riots, threats, burnings, screaming, denunciations, the pulling of hair and the gnashing of teeth... The usual.

The Vatican has done the PC thing and said His High Magnificent Glorious Holiness didn't intend to offend any muslims. Bullshit. The meaning of the quote, and some of his thinking on the true nature of islam, are clear from the context of the speech. He aligns himself squarely against both islamic fundamentalism and modern secular humanism.

And he's right to do so. Read the whole speech.


Update 18 Sep 06
: I wrote too soon. The Pope is backtracking and apologizing for his remarks as the muslim world responds with riots and nun-murdering:

"I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims," the pope said.

"I hope this serves to appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address in its totality was and is an invitatino to frank and sincere dialogue," he added.

At least it was, "I'm sorry for the reaction," not, "I'm sorry for my remarks." Still, "appease"-ing is exactly what he is doing, just as Neville Chamberlain sought to appease Hitler.

When is the West going to stop apologizing and get down to the serious and necesary business of ideological war with militant islam?

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