Monday, September 18, 2006

So the Pope is fallable after all?

Well, the furor over Pope Benedict's remarks about Islam this past week do at least raise the question. If the Pope's remarks didn't raise the question, his being "deeply sorry" for his remarks surely does.

At least within Christendom, we can raise such probing theological/philosophical questions without inviting violence. And in the West, we have (at least for a few centuries) been able to do so without heads being lopped off or churches burned. Redstate had an nice post on the subject last week.

For those that don't know, the Pope raised Muslim hackles by quoting 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II:

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the pope said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."'
I think the Pope's apology was especially unfortunate. This Protestant respects the Pope but I do not believe him to be infallible. Nonetheless, he has now apologized unnecessarily while doing nothing to diminish the furor. You can't appease Militant Islam, not even if you're the Pope.

If I understand the Pope's remarks correctly, he was revisiting an old debate and asking: What "new" things has Islam brought the world, other than Mohammed's call to spread the faith by Holy War. Remember that Islam was predated by both Judaism and Christianity.

In a civilized, free society, such questions are debated. It doesn't mean the debate can't or won't grow heated.

But that's not the way it works with the Islamic censors. Oh, but don't we wish they only desired to censor? Indeed, in the wake of the Pope's remarks, Muslims burned churches in Gaza, killed a nun in Somalia, and well, behaved violently.

It would seem that Militant Muslims would counter the challenge by proving it wrong. Instead, they fan the flames of the Jihad that they so clearly want to have.

Jihadis are as jihadis do.

So, regardless of what the D.C. set, U.N. diplomats, or MSM make-up magnets say ... the Militant Islamic emperor's clothes are speaking (again) for themselves.