Culture, Religion

Constantine's Plowshare

Good Lord Almighty, isn’t the pope cute?
pope looks pretty
angry mister
It’s a very deep and important thing he’s doing, drawing the line in the sand, so to speak, in the world, and taking a stand, against what of all things?
Violence for the sake of promulgation of religion.
King Ashoka, one of the big buddist kings, does something similar, but within the same life time, conquering by the sword, then swearing off violence once he’s in.
It’s an amazing concession for a pope to make, very much in line with a truish Ideal Christianity: all about the mercy, with a radical and obvious truth somehow not exactly fought for but spoken despite, or even because of danger. But alot of Popes haven’t been so religious, living off violence like any other serious and self policed organization. It feels to me like this is a repentance gesture, or at least an effort to give the appearance of it. Somehow the kind of gesture too weird and potentially unnessesary to seem inauthentic. But what’s the implication? That a non-violent Islam would be an acceptable Islam. And a non-violent church as unimpeacheably un-evil and therefore sympathetic as the Tibetan Buddist.
He must have seen the DaVinci Code or something and said oh spit. Is that what people think of us?
I wonder what the Jews can learn from such a humble Pope.
How long can he go on indicting, like, all the Popes before him by saying stuff like this? Does it really atone much for history’s Catholic atrocities?
And for that matter, hasn’t the Jewish critism of Christianity always been that their ideals don’t match their deeds? Does this change anything new in our eyes?
(crossposted from Sevenfatcow.)

14 thoughts on “Constantine's Plowshare

  1. Did you link the wrong page under “Catholic atrocities”? I’m at a loss to see how the legend of Pope Joan could fall under that heading.

  2. When was the last time Catholicism as an institution was violent? How many centuries?
    When was the last time Islam as an institution was violent? This week, in response to the Pope. They are so outraged that he called them violent that they are calling for his assasination and wrecking churches and murdering nuns and rioting in general.
    the irony escapes them.

  3. I can neither follow nor understand what you are trying to say in your original posting… please explain what you’re going on about…

  4. You talk as if there has been no change in the Vatican since the Middle Ages. Is the church calling for violent struggle against Muslims today? Is this what the Pope wants? Anyway, it’s nonsense to talk about “Catholic atrocities.” Are they any different from “Protestant atrocities” or Muslim” or “Jewish” ones for that matter?
    What an inane and poorly written post.

  5. Why do I look at that picture of the angry Pakistani lads and just think to myself… “Jobless virgins living at their moms house?”

  6. I’m not so aware of the history of protestant atrocities.
    Yeah, sure the church has changed– this is a pretty shining example of how.
    Not only does the church, covert assasinations aside (and really, if you don’t have two witnesses, how could any of that count?), not use violence, the Pope seems to be indicting ANY GROUP THAT’S EVER USED VIOLENCE FOR RELIGIOUS COERCION. That’s almost as radical as radical has ever gotten, with the possible exception of our dear beloved Pope Joanne.
    Are Catholic atrocities any different from other religious wronghoods, and other pious genocides? In the internationsl Jewish cultural memory, I feel like the church holds a unique symbolic role as “The” mainstream official villain in authority, as rome/Edom, Israel’s arch-nemesis, certainly more crucially than Ishmael/Islam, as evidenced by how tolerant and affectionate many Jews, even and especially in Israel, would really rather be to Islam than the Catholic Church. For a Pope to be on record, pretty much excoriating the main tool of will to power used by the church, and every other agency in control undemocratically, sounds pretty historic and meaningful to me, even as it’s also just competitive triumphalist, our-dogma-is-more-enlightened-than-your-dogma relgious ego.

  7. When was the last time Catholicism as an institution was violent?
    Ask your grandfather. There was a fair amount of looking aside as kids were encouraged in neighborhoods to avenge the Christ-murder… I don’t know if that counts as official.
    Technically, the Inquisition wasn’t “officially” sanctioned, and most of the popes during the inquisition eras were opposed to the torture and forced conversions, they just felt stymied by the militant young turks, enthusiastic about finally doing something forceful. But ask anyone who went to catholic school during the Nuns-with-rulers eras how non-violently they experienced the church.
    Conversely: sure, most religious jews raised in Charedi home might remember having been beaten into keeping shabbos. so what? Wanna make something of it?

  8. Protestant murder:
    Ask some Irish folks about how THAT feels… lots of protestant slaughter there….
    Then you have what pilgrims did to Indians in the new world.
    Then you have the death squad folks in El Salvador and elsewhere, many of whom where members of protestant groups who had close support and guidance from protestant denominations. In Brazil for example, the Presbyterian Church had such a role.
    Then you have the slave trade with Africa, which included strong support from American protestant leaders who defended the institution as god sanctioned; countries heavily involved in that trade were Britain and Holland – both protestant.
    Last but not least, we have our own history of the holocaust, where protestant leaders in Germany basically acquiesced to the Nazi takeover, with some notable exceptions.
    Now, if you want to find some group that is NOT guilty of such stuff, I propose focusing on the Quakers or Mennonites. Them’s good neighbors.

  9. Islam is a peaceful religion. Not many Muslims in these times are practicing their religion like it should be. If you want to find out more about the religion, do not look to the people but look to the BOOK.
    The way certain ‘Muslims’ are reacting to certain situations like the Danish cartoons and the Pope’s comments is not the way of Islam. It goes completely against it, these people are not true Muslims.
    So I want to re-enforce people to STOP the generalisations of Islam being violent. These few ridiculous people are not the true ambassadors of the religion.
    In the Ottoman Empire the three religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam lived together in peace and I think that is a lesson everyone should take from which is tolerance.

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