Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another Slate Link

Here is an excellent article on the Pope and free speech.


crackass said...

I haven't read this last link. But just wanted to say I am very glad you have pointed out what very few have in regard to what the Pope said at the University of Regensburg. But I also think people should attempt to read the full speech he gave. The text appears to me to require not only a solid background in the language of philosophy or theology, but also an actual knowledge of, or expertise in, those pursuits. Without this understanding, I cannot fatham how one would be able to comment for or against what is it says in any meaningful way. I think we must bear in mind that it is doubtful not only whether most commentators and people on the arab street have read the full text, but also whether they have the training and intellectual capacity to understand its meaning. After all, this was an address given to community of academics, by an academic and former professor of the university. Not a talk at your local church.

Mark said...

Dear Crackass,
You are correct, it is a complex bit of theological reasoning, which makes the media's decision to report only the most inflammatory part of the speech inexcusable. The story quickly morphed into "The Pope hasn't apologized enough for his insensitive remarks." The real story here is the absolutely disproportionate reaction to the Pope's words exhibited by the "peaceful" religion of Islam. The average Islamist on the street, like the average American, is told what to think by their religious leaders, government and the media. In America, the television tells people what to think, in the Islamic countries it is the religious leaders who are more or less the same as the political leaders. Well, its kind of like that here too I guess. Anyway, if the mullahs wanted to defuse the situation it is pretty clear to me that they could have, based on their behavior on prior occasions. They chose not to.