Painful though it may be, speaking frankly is necessary if there is to be honest and open dialogue between the Abrahamic faiths. Given the reaction to Benedict's address, though, one wonders if that dialogue is even possible.
The Pope devoted almost 4,000 words to examining the relationship between faith and reason, and the prospect for dialogue between modernity and the world of religion.
In response to this historical excursus in an academic lecture by one of the world's most erudite theologians, we are witnessing a wave of madness and malice, no doubt an embarrassment to millions of Muslims.
Roman Catholics are likely angry. Relations between adherents of the two religions simply cannot develop without all conducting themselves as mature adults.
It does a disservice to children to call the wild-eyed statements and deranged behaviour of the past days childish.
It is not only the obscenity of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terrorist band suppressed in several Muslim states, demanding an apology from anyone, let alone the Holy Father.
It is not only the grandstanding Pakistani politicians passing resolutions condemning a papal speech few read, and even fewer understood. It is not only the extraneous charges about the Holocaust and Hitler by the agitated and excited.
It is that we have seen this before.
Yes we have, and likely we will see it many more times as long as we continue to appease the madness and look away from the truth.
Victor Davis Hanson, in perhaps a moment of sadness to which I can fully relate, has this to say while thinking about Oriana Fallaci and the Pope and these depressing times:
In matters of the present war, I have given up on most of the neoconservatives, many of whom, following the perceived pulse of the battlefield, have either renounced their decade-long, pre-September11 rants to remove Saddam (despite the 140,000 brave souls still on the field of battle who took them at their word), or turned on the President on grounds that he is not waging the perfect fight and thus is not pursuing the good war. The Paleo-right is as frightening as is the lunatic Left. My old Democratic party is long dead, their jackals trying to tear apart the solitary and stumbling noble stag Joe Liebermann, the old center taken over by the Kerry and Soros billionaires, and the guilt-ridden academic, celebrity and media cadres.
So we really are left with very little in these pivotal times—the will of George Bush, of course, the Old Breed unchanged since Okinawa and the Bulge that still anchors the US military, the courage and skill of a very few brave writers like a Hitchens, Krauthammer, and the tireless and brilliant Mark Stein, but very, very few others. No, this is an age in which we in the West make smug snuff movies about killing an American President, while the Taliban and the Islamists boast of assassinating the Pope.
So long may you run, Ms. Fallaci, you who by now have learned that, yes, there is a soul, and, yes, yours was indeed saved for eternity if only for its singular courage and honesty alone. And dear Pope: clarify, contextualize, express sorrow over the wrong interpretation of your remarks, but please don’t apologize for the Truth—not now, not ever.
Read both articles-- and never apologize for facing reality; or for speaking the truth.