Wednesday, September 20, 2006

George Weigel: An Intelligent Commentary

Weigel (unlike the Jebby below) actually understands what's going on with B-16's talk:

The pope's first point was that all the great questions of life, including social and political questions, are ultimately theological. How we think (or don't think) about God has much to do with how we judge what is good and what is wicked, and with how we think about the appropriate methods for advancing the truth in a world in which there are profound disagreements about the truth of things.

...The pope's second point, which flows from the first, was that irrational violence aimed at innocent men, women and children "is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the [human] soul." If adherents of certain currents of thought in contemporary Islam insist that the suicide bombing of innocents is an act pleasing to God, then they must be told that they are mistaken: about God, about God's purposes and about the nature of moral obligation.

The pope's third point — which has been almost entirely ignored — was directed to the West. If the West's high culture keeps playing in the sandbox of postmodern irrationalism — in which there is "your truth" and "my truth" but nothing such as "the truth" — the West will be unable to defend itself. Why? Because the West won't be able to give reasons why its commitments to civility, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law are worth defending. A Western world stripped of convictions about the truths that make Western civilization possible cannot make a useful contribution to a genuine dialogue of civilizations, for any such dialogue must be based on a shared understanding that human beings can, however imperfectly, come to know the truth of things.

Weigel will be appearing in Milwaukee in November at a benefit dinner. Good food will be served. If you want tix, indicate so in the comments.


Random10 said...

The ecumenical movement which swept through Christianity in the middle of last century was essentially based on the idea that the differences between the Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant understandings were less important than the commonalities between the faiths. The dilemma Pope Benedict XVI faces is that Vatican II determined the God of Islam is the same God of Christianity, and so evil actions in the name of the Islamic God must emerge not from God but from misunderstanding or deceitful fabrication of the message. Explaining this problem is the task that Benedict XVI has been given, and it is one he is obviously approaching with both seriousness and caution. How can the pope take a consistent stand that the god of Islam is a god of violence and hence untrue, given the fact that the Catholic Church has formally recognized the god of Islam as being the same as the Christian God?

Dad29 said...

Yah, well, B-16 drew a tough assignment, no?

The problem is that the God of Christianity is tri-une and Allah is NOT (at least, the Mohammedans do not BELIEVE that He is tru-une.)

That's why Belloc characterised Muhammedanism as 'a great heresy.'