Thursday, September 21, 2006

Evangelism By Weapon

Well, the jihadists have had their hissy fit. And, the Pope has made an overt effort to ease the tensions surrounding his (now famous) Regensburg speech, by saying again that the quote was not his words.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Wednesday that his use of medieval quotes portraying a violent Islam did not reflect his views and were misunderstood, but he did not give the clear apology still demanded by many Muslims.

The leader of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, whose speech last week has provoked al Qaeda groups to declare war on the Church, Iraqis to burn the Pope's effigy and Turks to petition for his arrest, said he had not meant to cause offence.

Personally, he has certainly said more about it, than I would have. But to his credit, he has tried to meet them halfway in this and not totally caved into extremist pressure. And although I am not sure that he had intended to cause such a stir, he has (at very least) catalyzed this response, unknowingly. At the most, he said this with the specific intention of fronting out the forces that he spoke of, when he made the "so-called" offensive quote. Either way, the outcome is the outcome.

But I would submit that any other religion in the world, would make their arguments against such a statement and then would move on. There would be no violent reactions, such as we have seen in the Muslim world, over this. The reason? The teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and the rest are not based on the foundational principle of violence (or the threat of violence), as a means to communicate a message.

Evangelism by the sword is not the way to state one's case. When you convert (to anything) under a threat of force, that conversion is at very least suspect. It cannot be taken as a true conversion. True conversions are from (and of) the heart (which is the soul and spirit of a human being). Violent conversions serve no other purpose than to subjugate an individual, a conversion that occurs freely and willingly liberates the individual.

True conversions create an opportunity for enlightenment. They do not cloud, they do not darken, and they do not confuse. They are a revealing experience, and do not obscure understanding. But the most important thing to consider in all of this is: True conversions do not create robots.

When one sees the resurgence of basic fundmentalism in Islam, one has to notice the return to violent principles to advance their agenda. These principles are propagated by people that have been utterly brainwashed into submitting their whole being into a cause that cannot sell their ideas, any other way.

Muslims that disagree with this return to fundamentalism had better start reforming things and counteracting these people that want to bind mankind's souls and spirits. They need to speak out more clearly. They must be seen and heard, rather than hidden. But, as of yet there have only been a handful and they have yet to reach a level where they will be noticed.

Now, would be as good of a time as any, to start this process.


Mary Ellen said...

Hi LaSunsett!

I agree with you, that the Pope did more than I would have done as far as an apology went. Of course, he's a lot holier than I am. You know my temper, I would have told them to blow it out their jihad ass. That said, I did mention on SF's blog that the Catholic Church often has seen their sacred objects used as ridicule through cartoons, art, and music. You don't see Catholics tearing down or burning museums or threatening to blow up newspaper corporations.

There is a big difference between the extreme Muslim terrorists and the peaceful Muslim communities. What bothers me the most, is why aren't the peaceful muslim leaders speaking out against the extremist? At first, I thought that the news media just wasn't giving them a voice, but then I heard one of the Muslim leaders in the US say how dissapointed he was in the Pope. It's as if he never read the transcript or even made an effort to see that the Pope didn't deserve this ire.

IMO, the Muslim leaders hurt themselves by not speaking out against this violence because it makes them look as if it is condoned and that they do have a religion based on violence. I don't think that is the message that should be conveyed. This was an opportunity to put a distance between them and the extremists. They squandered something which could have been used for their benefit, to show the world that the Islam faith is not violent.

LASunsett said...

Hi ME,

I see you got through the snag.

Welcome back. :)

A.C. said...

They still rag the Pope for not apologizing enough, yet Ahmadinejad can come to America and rag western civilization with impunity and the international crickets chirp.

LASunsett said...


Now he plans to meet with Muslim leaders face to face, to explain even more. The old principle of the squeaky wheel gets the grease, is applicable here.

Mary Ellen said...

Gee, this kind of reminds me of the Republicans who kept crying how they wanted Bill Clinton to apologize for the Monica Lewinsky deal, and when he did, it wasn't enough. Hmmm.... :-D

LASunsett said...

I didn't have a blog back then, but you wouldn't have heard me make a big deal of the Monica thing. I think he was stupid and yes, he lied about it under oath. But I didn't think it should have been such a big deal, to start with. Certainly not an impeachable offense. It certainly said a lot about his ability to practice self-control.

That said, I told my GOP friends back then they would rue the day they ever made this an issue. Since then, my words have been elevated to prophetic status.

Mary Ellen said...


That is funny...

Wait a minute, do you mean that Republicans actually DO rue the day they made such a big deal out Monica? I'm still hearing from some that think it was a good thing that they wasted so much of the Americans taxpayer money on Ken Starr and his witch hunt! :-D

I'm glad to hear you weren't one of those who thought the Monica thing was an impeachable offense. I knew you were a smart guy! ;-D

BTW, I'm having a blast on your blog, glad I could finally participate again.

LASunsett said...


It's funny you would think that I am a Republican. Republicans call me liberal and liberals call me a neo-con. I get hammered by both sides at some point or another.

I am an independent, which means I vote in no primaries and pretty much have to wait for the parties to choose, who they want me to choose from. Usually neither of the candidates is worth a damn, but as always I choose what I feel is the lesser of the two evils.

If there is any ideology that I am closely aligned with, it would be the libertarians. But, I have to be careful, because there are some pretty wacko libertarians out there. I am not of the anarchist kind. I still believe in the rule of law, but I believe that government power should be very limited.

Here's a litmus test. On most any given issue, which side offers the individual the most freedom? Once I determine the pros and cons, as it applies to that question, then I decide which side I am for. I usually come down on the side of the most freedom for the individual. But, there are no two issues or no two cases exactly alike. Each has to be evaluated on the merits of the arguments and the specific set of problems that each option presents.

Sometimes I see both sides of the argument and can feel ambivalent about those cases. Other times, it's a no brainer.

LASunsett said...


BTW, I am glad you are enjoying this. It gets dead in the comments sometimes around here. I get hits, but many of my readers are busy and have their own blogs, so they don't always have time to get into a lot of debates. Unless I hit a hot button topic and they come out the woodwork, it can get a little dead around here, at times. (But they are reading, the sitemeter tells me so.)

Since you disagree with me about half the time, maybe you will resurrect this place back to life. ;)

Mary Ellen said...


Since you disagree with me about half the time, maybe you will resurrect this place back to life. ;)//

You may be sorry! LOL! Wow, the side of freedom for individuals...if that is the case, how do you feel about losing some of our freedoms with the bill that allows our government to look at our phone records, which books we take out of the library, and to have the FBI watching and filming protests in order to gather information on who is protesting?

Are you going to do a post about the torture bill? There's a hot subject for ya!

LASunsett said...


//You may be sorry! LOL!//

Why would you say that? I have been sorry about things before, I can't imagine that would be one of them. I may not always agree with you, but you make your arguments based on true conviction. And that, I always respect.

how do you feel about losing some of our freedoms with the bill that allows our government to look at our phone records, which books we take out of the library, and to have the FBI watching and filming protests in order to gather information on who is protesting?

Are you going to do a post about the torture bill?//

Both are pretty tough subjects, for sure. Much deeper than I can go into right now. I will probably cover them both in some upcoming posts. Tomorrow is going to be a long busy day, and as it stands now, Sunday may be too. But, I'll churn something out, somewhere along the way.