Monday, September 18, 2006

Pope Speech, September 12th to the University of Regensburg

Copyrighted By "What Planet Are You Living On", September 2006

I have read the Pope's speech in its entirety ... just so that I could see -- without media bias - for myself the context in which his controversial quote was made. More on what I think about what the Pope said next login, but for now let me just say this:

Isn't a soul coming to God of his own free-will -- a gift God chose to give to us, when HE above all has the absolute power to command and force our obedience ... yet He chose to give us free-will -- more meaningful to Him? As opposed to a soul that pledges allegiance to God and a particular set of man-made religious ideals out of fear and as a result of violence?

Further, why would God want any of us to use force, fear, and violence to call others to Him? By using force, fear, and violence to call others to God don't we totally dismiss the gift of free-will that He gave to us in the first place?

It says in the Bible that our God is a loving God, slow to anger, and quick to show mercy and forgiveness to all who ask it. Isn't it time that we start showing LOVE, MERCY and FORGIVENESS and tolerance to those who differ in man-made religious ideals and dogma?

God made us a diverse peoples, with different skin colors, languages, gifts & talents, and cultures. It only stands to reason that these different peoples would find different ways to worship and know God. And I sincerely feel that He finds no one way preferable. But I also feel that God IS saddened by those that would overlook His gift of free-will and choose instead to use force, fear, and violence in order to bring followers to His name in-line according to their own narrow-minded --and often rigid-- idealogies.

I think that on some level this was the major point that the Pope was trying to make. Also that we need to keep a dialogue open between various religions, but that a dialogue is impossible with extremist religions that have no tolerance for other religions, and that further resort to violence as the means to spread their version of religion.

I regret that the Pope chose to quote a conversation from some medieval text. I don't think that particular quote was truly needed in order to set the stage for his speech. I think that the Pope could, and should, have found another way to begin his speech and set the stage for his conversation.

The Pope's intent may have been innocent: I think that in his mind, he was simply addressing his fellow theologians. He had just read the text that he quoted, so he felt that it would be appropriate to share the same with his colleagues. I don't think he considered the ramifications, or possible interpretations, of this quote when it would be heard by the general public. That for him, and for all of the millions of Catholics around the globe, is unfortunate: When you are the Pope you can't afford to make statements like this without fully considering the possible ramifications and interpretations.

The above being said,  I hope that there can be forgiveness and that the violence against innocent Catholics can stop. Let Islam be the "bigger man" in this instance and lead by example not by violence. Prove this very controversial quote wrong and simply do not respond with violence!
Here is the quote to the actual speech text. Read and decide for yourself: (Not currently working ... the Vatican isn't allowing blogger servers to connect to its website.)

Copyrighted By "What Planet Are You Living On", September 2006

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