Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Rebuking Iran

The following is a statement released today from the Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate, Episcopal Church, USA. We need to hear this sort of thing from all churches, including the Vatican, and our own political leaders.

"In this season of Advent, we Christians are called to reflect and prepare ourselves for the coming of the Prince of Peace. We are mindful that bearing one another's burdens and sharing one another's suffering are integral to our way of life. Therefore it is with particular pain that we read the recent statement of the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declaring that the Holocaust is a myth. His words remind us anew of the evil of bigotry and the suffering of our Jewish sisters and brothers. The Holocaust was no myth but an event of unconscionable inhumanity. We remember those Christians who stood with the Jews of Europe, and we pray for forgiveness for the many more who did not. As a church we condemn words that distort history and encourage vilification and hatred. Instead we seek words of healing that respect the humanity we share as children of God and open the way to a world reconciled in peace."


Anonymous said...

In a hopeful vein, the Vatican released this statement as part of its Peace Day 2006 message. Given the history of the Catholic church of forced conversions and torture, this is a marvellous change we should all celebrate. It is, as I mentioned regarding Senator McCain elsewhere, important to praise good deeds even from deeply flawed individuals and institutions.

"These are often the fruit of a tragic and disturbing nihilism which Pope John Paul II described in these words: ''Those who kill by acts of terrorism actually despair of humanity, of life, of the future. In their view, everything is to be hated and destroyed''.(9) Not only nihilism, but also religious fanaticism, today often labeled fundamentalism, can inspire and encourage terrorist thinking and activity. From the beginning, John Paul II was aware of the explosive danger represented by fanatical fundamentalism, and he condemned it unsparingly, while warning against attempts to impose, rather than to propose for others freely to accept, one's own convictions about the truth. As he wrote: ''To try to impose on others by violent means what we consider to be the truth is an offence against the dignity of the human being, and ultimately an offence against God in whose image he is made''

"Looked at closely, nihilism and the fundamentalism of which we are speaking share an erroneous relationship to truth: the nihilist denies the very existence of truth, while the fundamentalist claims to be able to impose it by force. Despite their different origins and cultural backgrounds, both show a dangerous contempt for human beings and human life, and ultimately for God himself. Indeed, this shared tragic outcome results from a distortion of the full truth about God: nihilism denies God's existence and his provident presence in history, while fanatical fundamentalism disfigures his loving and merciful countenance, replacing him with idols made in its own image. In analyzing the causes of the contemporary phenomenon of terrorism, consideration should be given, not only to its political and social causes, but also to its deeper cultural, religious and ideological motivations."  

// posted by LTG

Dr. Strangelove said...

I agree, LTG, that these are hopeful words. It is nice to see the Episcopalians defend believers of another religion, and it is good to see the Catholic church recognize the link between religious fanaticism of any stripe and terrorism.

Two things though. First, the Catholic church continues wrongly to accuse atheists of being "nihilist." (I assume we are all intelligent enough on this blog that I need say no more.)

Second... I still smile every time I read the title "Primate." :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't think that nihilism meant to equate to atheism here. 

// posted by LTG

Dr. Strangelove said...

The Vatican's statement says the "dangerous contempt for human life" in terrorism comes directly from the atheist part of nihilism.

"Indeed, this shared tragic outcome [of nihilism and fundamentalism] results from a distortion of the full truth about God: nihilism denies God's existence and his provident presence in history, while fanatical fundamentalism disfigures his loving and merciful countenance..."

Anonymous said...

There is a Monty Python sketch where a guy gets mad at a noisy church and blows it up to get some peace and quiet. Satisfied with himself he says, "It just goes to show you that there's nothing an agnostic can't do if he doesn't know if he believes in anything or not." 

// posted by Raised By Republicans