18 September 2006

Fair Media Reporting from London's Times on Regensburg Speech

...Yet it would be wrong to censor a pope who has pondered the future of faith and reserves disdain for rationalists whom he confronts in his conclusion: “In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion to the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures.”

Both Christianity and Islam aspire to the divine and they share a theology that is contemptuous of mindless materialism and crass consumerism. This Pope is not “relegating religion” and he is tweaking the tail of the rationalists, which provides no excuse, no justification, no cause for the spiritual to be irrational. Christianity and Islam have rarely sat easily together; but tolerance must not be deliberately destroyed by the intolerant.

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