CBS’ “Couric & Co” has a new segment: posting questionable email!
In a nutshell, Benedict’s argument against fanaticism is such: Violence is the enemy of reason. Violence has no place in religion because to act against reason is to act against the nature of God. Reason is the line he draws in the sand; it creates and interesting fulcrum from which to juxtapose comparisons of faith, fanaticism, violence and the secular proclivities of modern religion.
Christianity has a rich history of sectarian violence. The Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Anglican cleansing of Catholic England, the burning of heretics in Lutheran Germany and the removal of the Huguenots from France are a few examples. Many of these persecuted sects found their way to our American shores. Here they establish a relatively harmonious Christian conglomerate. Lately we have witnessed a revolutionary evangelical fundamentalism in America; faith based incursions into the societal and political arenas often fall short of the measure of reason. While such fanaticism seems minimal compared to the murderous intent of Sunni/Shiite sectarianism the religious right’s interference in human and constitutional rights is obsessive and unreasonable. Make no mistake; Benedict is also addressing this sort of secularism.
You can smell the smoke.
The pope’s remarks rekindle an examination of whether spirituality and religiosity can stand on faith alone. If faith stands at odds with scientific and moral truth it must assert itself through coercive means. Life is reduced to confliction in which the most powerful and violent among us reign supreme. Righteousness absolves the faithful from moral clarity and human charity. At once Moqtada al-Sadr and Pat Robertson appear more similar than dissonant.
That’s a fire.
Benedict seeks an alliance with Islam and other monotheistic faiths to confront the larger danger of liberal secular humanism, hedonism and unbridled consumerism that he feels corrupts the moral core of Western society. Beware! Pope Benedict XVI wants the keys to your SUV and the remote to your plasma T.V.
Hair fully ablaze! The evolution of an Aquanet Moment!
You can find comments like this all over the internet, and it’s easy to pick a comment out and make fun of it. I’ve gotten them on this tiny lil’ blog of mine, and I’ve gotten some interesting email. There are other sites & comment boards I’ve cruised where the level of lunacy is 10 times that of this guy. And then there’s the Yahoo! message boards and the guys who insist Roger Moore has died each day (one day they’ll be right– then what will their lives amount to?). But it’s essentially pointless to blog about comments and pick apart the ramblings of some unhinged individual. But it’s a different story when CBS thinks an email has enough merit to post it on their website– especially one that works itself into a irrational lather that culminates in a dire warning to guard your plasma T.V. with your life.
I would also like to point out one other interesting bit left by the Email Editor or Grab Bag Webguru or whatever he’s called over there:
A reader has some strong views about what Pope Benedict is up to in Turkey. Here’s part an e-mail we received this morning:
Part of an email? What was the rest of it? I’m dying to know. Actually, no. Nevermind. Let’s keep internet lunacy where it belongs– in the comments arena.