The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pope's Speech

All right, I wen to the text of the Pope's speech

And the part that got people upset was his reference to a conversation between an  "erudite" 
Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an "educated" Persian.  The emperor said:

"Show me just what Mohammed 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."

The answer by the Persian is not given.  To me, when one quotes an "expert" on a subject without rebuttal, one is supporting that position without having to actually take responsibility for such support.  The fact that the Pope "regretted" people's hurt feelings without repudiating the sentiments is further suggestion--to me--that he meant exactly what he said. For the titular leader of Christianity to make such a statement and not understand the weight it carries is incomprehensible to me.  I have to believe that he knew, and was saying what he wanted to say, while reserving the right to back off just a leetle bit if things got too hot.  Standard politics. 

This doesn' tseem intellectually honest to me, and I find that regrettable.

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