A token mention of the Regensburg speech

posted by Mike on September 21st, 2006

I’ve been thinking a lot about the pope’s now-controversial Regensburg speech, but I’m hardly the person to weigh in on theology, and this is hardly the place to discuss something so widely discussed elsewhere. (In fact, I’ve turned off comments on this post.)

But I wanted to point you to Mike Griffin’s comments on the speech, and especially the pope’s treatment of violence:

George Weigel and Richard John Neuhaus seem increasingly perplexed by the growing pacifism of the Holy See. First they tried to dismiss John Paul the Great as a kindly old man who, of course, wants peace but really should stick to religion and let the U.S. exercise “prudential” warcraft. But now comes along Benedict, the one who in a May 2, 2003 Zenit interview said that “we should be asking whether it is still licit to speak of the very existence of a ‘just war’.”

And again in last week’s Regensburg speech, the pope rejects the very basis for violence. It is not rational. One way of putting the pope’s point is that the authentic commands of God are reasonable, even if faith is needed to penetrate their depths. And, of course, to see what the Father commands, we turn to the Son who shows us the face of the Father. In that turn, to Jesus Christ, we have full clarity. Christ offers a way of nonviolent, sacrificial love of friends and enemies. Period. No wiggle room for building nukes—whether it is Muslim Iran or Christian America-—or using violence to further principles.

Andrew Sullivan:

One thing you can say about Jesus: he didn’t kill anyone, however bloodthirsty his subsequent followers might have been.

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