I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified
-- St. Paul, I Corinthians 2:2
My thoughts exactly. Check out this quote:"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence," [Pakistan] Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.So basically, if anyone questions whether Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion, they are encouraging those "peaceful Muslims" to resort to violence.I know that probably the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people that don't participate in violence. But the problem is that there is no one voice in Islam that interprets what is and is not the truth. While we have the Pope and the Magisterium that explain Catholic truth, pretty much any Muslim that can attract a few followers can declare himself to be an imam and teach whatever he wants about Islam. (As an aside, it is very easy to interpret some passages from the Koran as advocating violence to promote Islam.) The problem is that within Islam there is no authoritative body that can refute this type of teaching. Sure, the Catholic Church has made some mistakes throughout history. But the Church of today can authoritatively declare that those were mistakes. Who is there that can authoritatively declare that Muslims are wrong when they execute Muslims who convert to Christianity? No one.Some Muslims will definitely resort to violence in response to the Pope's remarks. That is very sad. What is more sad is that it proves the real point of the Pope's speech: that using violence to "promote" a religion is irrational. Of course, those who engage in this violence are not rational, and will not take the time to try to understand the Pope's message. Maybe we should just give up trying to engage in dialog with Muslims, and spend more time praying that they will all convert to Christianity. Here is a FACT: If all of the people in the Middle East became practicing Catholics (not "cafeteria catholics"), there would be world peace.
Now, now. Maybe the Holy Father is the part of that "radical Christianity" that the wise theologian Rosie O'Donnell has warned us about. . .
Yes, we need to all pray the rosary every day as Mary said in Fatima. I believe as we do this we will then be living more Holy and then God can do his work in the world. Sometimes we tend get in the way and think "we" can make every thing better!
"We're nice. Very nice. Ask Steve Centanni, our new convert."
I am so tired of hearing that the Islamic faith is peaceful. The so called peaceful muslims cannot defend this faith against the charge that it is a religion that calls for conversion by force because that what this so called religion teaches and what it has practiced for centuries. The only time they want to talk about rights and peace is when someone has them surrounded. Name a peaceful Islamic country where the people have any rights?
Steve said: "Maybe we should just give up trying to engage in dialog with Muslims..."The more interesting point the holy father raised in his talk dealt precisely with the very possibility of dialogue -- and I think what he said in that regard is really what infuriates those who are stoking the fury of the Muslim faithful.He raised the question of whether, for Islam, God is so transcendent that he even transcends all the categories we use to talk about God--and about right and wrong.And that suggests the first objective for dialogue might have to be, "how do we talk about God together?" What kind of common language can we agree on?I could see where that would be infuriating--because it also challenges Islam's notions about God; it could be taken as theologically, or intellectually, "imperialistic": I.e., how dare you insist we think about God? That is impermissible! We submit to God, we don't presume to "capture" him and subject him to mere human reasoning.I'm speculating in this, of course...
Why Father, don't you know that Islam is a religion of peace. ;)
I lived in Turkey for 6 years. Not all Muslims believe terror is the way. One thing I have read here and agree completely with is Fr.s point in how they think of Allah. He is not a God of love, or a personal caring God, but a far away "higher power". I don't disagree with what was quoted by Pope Bene but when you are in a position such as the most prominent world leader of religion one has to be VERY careful in how you say things. I'm not saying only talk about PC things, say what needs to be said but if we TRULY want to keep the dialogue open don't start off with something you know the other side might take offense to.I think more ppl will be converted to Christianity over there from personal realtionships. We had very close Muslim friends and we would discuss everything and ask each other many things. When 9/11 happned they cired with us. They were afraid that ppl would think all Muslims bleive those things.One thing we talked about sometimes was the differences in religion. When we talked about how much God loves us becaue he sent Jesus was the first time some of them had ever thought of God as caring about our souls or loving us personally.Unfortunately, most Americans that Turkey saw were unruly , non-Christina, drunk and rude. They knew that we weren't all like this, but it was very sad that was the only example that they ever saw.Another point is that when we were over there from 96-98 things were a lot more relaxed about Chrisianity being practiced there. By the time we left the second time in '04 everyone had to live on base and we could only go to certain places, had curfews and were Americans as a whole were not very much liked. This is their thinking in a nutshell: Americans are Christian. If the Americans/Christians they are seeing carry on like that (eg immodest dress by women, tattoos, drunkardness, and rude behavior, ppl who could care less about the poor, ppl who don't care about their families) who wants THOSE values?! They want the American freedoms, but are afraid that they have to accept the poor values (now you and I all know that we don't all dance like Madonna) but they can't amke that distinction because they've never been here. It is what they are told. This got a lot longer than I intended, but I still have friends over there.
Tracy, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. They are very enlightening. You have a kind and generous heart.Julia
When the war started. I knew then that only prayers can save us all. So all of us really need to pray hard for world peace.
I am very concerned about the Holy Father's safety. I said so to a co-worker today and he expressed happiness that the Holy Father could be assasinated because of his statements - the joy of martyrdom. It seems to me we need him alive for all the good he is bringing to the Church. God's will be done, but it also seems to me persecution of Catholics in Islamic lands will escalate, as will terrorist attacks upon otherwise "soft" Catholic targets - churches, monasteries, convents, schools, etc. I sincerely believe we must pray, especially the prayers of the rosary, for peace in these times of religious crises. Pray very much for the Holy Father.
Dialog takes more than one person. Dialog between good and evil will require good to change because evil never does. The issue that I see missing in most discussions about Islam is that at heart there is a very long history which we cannot ignore and a war on terror going on today which we ignore at our own peril. Islam has at its heart what the Pope said and that is conversion by sword unless the infidel is willing to submit. Everyone who is not muslim is an infidel and they hear nothing but hatred toward the infidel. As to Turkey, I was there in 68-69 and they hated Americans back then. We ventured off base at our own risk and if there was any kind of incident we were told to try and make our way back to the flight line where they would try to get us out. Just walking down the street you were assulted and spit on frequently. Sorry, I believe we will one day wake up and realize that there is no dialog possible between good and evil and Islam at its very core is evil. Do we wait until millions are dead before we decide to fight with the intent of killing them before they kill us? The only thing that can prevent this is the rise in large numbers of muslims who hate what the terrorist are doing and begin to join with the infidel to wipe them out by turning them in and no longer giving them money, support, and safe harbor. They will need to drop from the Koran all mention of Jihad and infidel and end the teaching of hatred in their schools and mosques. That is the only point that dialog can start.
Where is the solution for modern Islamic wrong-headedness? I mean, how are these religious leaders going to see the light?
"I could see where that would be infuriating--because it also challenges Islam's notions about God; it could be taken as theologically, or intellectually, "imperialistic": I.e., how dare you insist we think about God? That is impermissible! We submit to God, we don't presume to "capture" him and subject him to mere human reasoning."I think you have captured Pope Benedict's point quite well. Westerners often conclude that people from the middle east, or elsewhere, think pretty much the way they do. It is difficult for someone from a western culture so grounded in Christianity to conceive of worshipping a tyrannical God. So difficult in fact that we do not recognize it when we see it. While Christians may sing "Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus", such a thing would be unthinkable to a Moslem.
I don't want papa to go to Turkey.
There are some good thoughts on B16's motives for saying what he said over at The Shrine of the Holy Whapping, particularly having to do with his war on the dictatorship of relativism. Here's the link: The Shrine
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