Expatria · Istanbul · United Nations

to speak or not to speak

the pope is in the news today because he quoted a byzantine christian emperor’s idea of who Mohammed the Prophet was and what his teachings extolled, that islam is a religion of violence and it is to be spread by the sword. this was taken from a lecture he has been making on religion and violence.

of course, they will not let us hear the entire lecture. nor can i find a complete copy of the transcript anywhere. and of course, this has renewed anger against the church and the west in muslim countries who say that their prophet has been once again defamed and are demanding an apology. the pope even has a visit planned for turkey (oh yes, we are living in the hot seat ladies and gentlemen) which may be cancelled for pope’s safety…anti-christian sentiments run so high.

i wonder if the pope’s speech discussed the centuries of christian violence around the world. i wonder if the pope discussed the culture of christian violence that has been far more pervasive than any other type of violence through the course of history. i would like to know how his vision could be so limited as to make a statement, taken out of context as it may be, discussing the culture of muslim violence. do he and his cronies in the vatican think that the entire world is as stupid as a provincial american who has no awareness of history, geography and politics?

i am reminded of the last commission on human rights that i attended at the UN when, during the agenda item regarding freedom of religion as a human right the vatican made a pithy statement about how they supported the global right to freedom of religion around the world. i was so incensed by their remarks and felt powered by the presence of an amazing Cree Elder sitting by my side who happened to have gone through the violence of christian re-education of native populations himself, i went to speak with the vatican delegate. i asked him for a copy of his statement and i also asked him how the vatican could maintain a position of supporting the freedom of religion when i could detail for him various christian campaigns around the world not to support the freedom of other’s religions, but rather to assist in the colonisation and genocidal process that was wiping out, for example, indigenous peoples and their cultures around the world. he tried to talk around what i was saying and i interrupted him when he wasn’t adressing specifically what i asked. i asked him if his statement sounded as hypocritical as it did to me, knowing what we both know the christian church has done to the world in erasing freedoms worldwide. i asked him when the vatican would be apologising for the genocides they supported.

maybe i was too harsh on him, but it felt good. there is something wrong with those people, the smell of sulphur follows them in a yellow cloud.

i love how the church feels free to rewrite history in whatever way they would like, to make bold speeches with blinders on or assuming their listeners are stupid fools who will beleive anything with the seal of the church on it. i won’t even get into the fact that the current pope is the head of the branch of the church that has traditionally been in charge of the various inquisitions over the centuries…i must be crazy but it is odd that he makes such an inflammatory statement about muslims in that light. he has also been in charge of the war on homosexuality in the church and in the world. not the vatican’s war on pedophiles, but the vatican’s war on gays.

i am a great believer in Jesus’ teachings and i pray the church will stop taking His name in vain.


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