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[COMMENT: Click here to find the full story on Muslim threats to kill the Pope -- to which the letter-to-the-editor below is a response posted at the website of www.thisislondon.co.uk.
We either stand up or we turn like cowards and let terrorists take over. Some of us will pay dearly for so standing, but that is the price of freedom under God. See Pope's original comments.
These comments need to be put in the context of an open offer of honest dialogue. But we should never give the slightest room for terroristic threats. That is an automatic disqualification for entrance into the public arena of discussion.
See my piece on a family discussion issue and . The terrorist issues are only family issues writ large -- the human family, the family of God.
See below, the Archbishop of Canterbury "defends" the Pope. Well, not quite.
The prime issue is not Muslim behavior, but our own willingness to stand in public and defend the reputation of God for being truth and faithful.
Slightly emended, her is my letter-to-the-editor:
MY CONTRIBUTION TO "thisislondon". September 2006
The Pope smoked out the true nature of a large number of
Muslims simply by telling the truth. May he vigorously pursue the matter,
challenging them to give up cowardly ways, submit their beliefs to open, honest
discussion, be seekers of truth, not follow arrogant, self-centered betrayers of
truth and of the Lord of truth.
. They act like spoiled children, & are allowed to get away with it. Thank God for the beginning German return to religious sanity. The present war is fundamentally spiritual, not political. May the rest of Europe come to their senses and stand with them.
. The free, above all the Judeo-Christian, world should tell Muslims that those making threats will be brought to justice, that countries protecting such violence will be considered enemies of God and of mankind, and that honest believers will stand against the trashing of the reputation of God, imputing to Him ugly and cowardly behavior.
. They are imputing to God their own sins and incapacity to stand in public to defend their case honorably, using instead lies, deceit, manipulation, and terror to obtain what they know they cannot get by honorable means -- an apt description of evil. To attribute that to God is blasphemy, and will be named so by all public officials with any common sense.
. When truth wins, everybody wins.
. As Winnie (Churchill, not the Poo) said, "Never, never, never give up!" And in the mean time, tighten your belts (it's going to get rough), praise the Lord, pass the ammunition, and we'll all stay free....
[COMMENT: If this piece below accurately describes the Archbishop's comments, I would count this as a weak-kneed support of the Pope. Read the Pope's original comments. There is absolutely nothing abusive or demeaning in either the Pope's or the Emperor's comments. To respond with abuse, violence, and threat of murder is absolutely unacceptable. There are acceptable ways to disagree with either Pope or Emperor. Murder is not one of them.
The issue raised by the Emperor is a very legitimate issue. The historical evidence supports precisely what he said, that Mohammed went from being "inclusive" to being violent in his relations to all who opposed him. He began the military jihad.
For the Archbishop, and others, to mealy mouth the issues in order to "keep the peace" is terribly ill-advised and counter-productive. It will lead only to further violence. You appease terrorists at the price of your personal integrity and the safety of all persons. (Thank you, Neville Chamberlain.) One should not be ungraceful in responding to terrorists, but one does need to be very direct and clear about the issues at stake. If they can cow us, we become cow-ards, and are lost.
That means that lovers of freedom based on truth and righteousness, had better be willing to stand and risk our lives to speak the truth. If you stand in Christ, there is no fear of death. We must call each other to that high ground.
A question for Muslims:
IF the evidence should show that indeed Mohammed did move from being peaceful to supporting violence to convert others to his way (as the Emperor said), would that make any difference to you?
Or do you support violence against anyone who disagrees with your view? Do you refuse to engage those who disagree with you in honest discussion to find out the truth of the matter?
The bottom line issue is your views and your behavior, not the nature of God, not even what Mohammed said. The issue is whether you are attributing to God evil and malicious behavior.
We should never, never allow evil-minded men to hide under the cloak of divine revelation when they are in fact using the name of God to justify their own evil desires.
If we do not defend the reputation of God for being faithful
and true, we deserve what we get. When we do stand up and witness to the
truth and goodness of God, then He will fight for us. E. Fox]
LONDON: Archbishop Williams
Defends Pope Over Muslim Comments
The Archbishop of Canterbury has stepped in to defend the Pope as he continues to face widespread condemnation for comments he made on Islam last week.
by Maria Mackay
September 18, 2006
The Archbishop of Canterbury has defended the Pope as he continues to face anger from some Islamic groups over comments he made on Islam in a speech last Tuesday.
Dr Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of 77 million worldwide, welcomed Pope Benedict XVI's apology for the offence his comments had caused, but added that his comments should be taken in context.
"The Pope has already issued an apology and I think his views on this need to be judged against his entire record, where he has spoken very positively about dialogue," Williams said in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday.
The German-born Pope said on Sunday that he was "deeply sorry" for the offence caused by his comments and insisted that they were "a quotation from a mediaeval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought".
Critics continue to assail the Pope as even officially atheist China came out to say that its Muslim population had been upset by the Pontiff's comments.
Dr Williams said that all faiths could be distorted, and the Pope was simply giving an example of that.
"There are elements in Islam that can be used to justify violence, just as there are in Christianity and Judaism," Williams said.
"These religious faiths, because they are held by human beings who are very fallible, can be distorted in these ways and we all need to recognise that."
He added: "There is always a temptation for Christians to say to Muslims: 'I will tell you what your history is about', just as Muslims sometimes say to Christians. Sometimes they get it deeply wrong.
"The example the Pope took from the Middle Ages shows in its phrasing how in the Middle Ages people got it wrong on both sides and Muslim distortions of Christian history are just as laughable as Christian distortions of Muslim history.
"The big question that comes out of this for me is how much are we prepared to listen to the other person telling their story and how much are both sides prepared to be self-critical in discussing aspects of their history that are not pretty and not edifying."
The Archbishop said he understood Muslim sensitivity to comments which appear to misunderstand the nature of Islam.
"There is a sense that Islam in Western eyes generally is written off, is regarded as wholly unreasonable and violent," he said. "There is a sense of frustration among the most moderate and educated Muslims that they don't really get a fair hearing. It goes quite deep."
Some protests have been violent with Reuters reporting that in the southern Iraqi city of Basra around 150 demonstrators burned an effigy of the Pope, along with German, US, and Israeli flags.
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