Saturday, October 07, 2006

Did Benedict err in his speech in Regensburg?

I read the speech and I do not think he erred. He presented an opinion to a group of academics at a University he used to teach at and made a quote from a 14th century Byzantine king. His failing according to his critics is that he did not denounce the quote. Should he have done that? I do not think so. It is a historical fact that Islam was spread by the sword.

(Here is the full text)

In all the outrage the core message of Benedicts presentation has been lost. He was identifying two very different interpretations of God. In the western tradition God's will is reconciled with Logos (Logic). In the Islamic view God is transcendent and above logic. The disucssion was around whether a suicide bomber could ever be viewed as carrying out God will. In the Christian view of God the answer is NO. In the Islamic view it can be theologically argued - YES.

This is an academic debate. Jehovah is not always logical or even very nice. Just read the Old Testament. He plays favorites, pits brother against brother, kills innocents like the Egyptian first borns etc. Allah's bonafides with regard to niceness or fairness or even logic also seem rather weak. I wont go into detailed revealtion here of my problems with the Qu'ran and the Hadith but save that for another post.

What is truly ironic is that when Benedict said that Islam (a religion of peace and tolerance) was spread by violence and quoted a long dead monarch who was not complimentary about Mohammed the Prophet of Islam, the reaction from many in the Muslim world was not peace or tolerance but violence. This coming on the heels of the Danish cartoon brouhaha, the killing Theo Van Gogh etc shows that Islam is in dire need of a reformation similar to what Christian Europe underwent 300 years ago.

I personally cant wait for the day when all religions, deities with three heads, white bearded Gods with muscular arms and divine entities with a penchant for the middle east and arcane revelations perish under the scathing fire of logic and reason.

Maybe in the 22nd century....if we all survive that long


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