Or: why the Pope should not say sorry.
As an evangelical, fundamentalist humanist anti-theist, I tiptoe into this debate as if walking on eggshells. But then, you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.
And until I can think of another eggy metaphor I will get on with the point.
Pope Benedict has apologized for the offense he has caused some Muslims by his remarks last week in a lecture about “Faith and Reason’.
But why should the leader of the Catholic Church apologise for saying things he believes in? He is a Catholic. If he agreed with Muslims then he would be a Muslim. There is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the two faiths. That’s why they are two different faiths.
Many though are seeing the Muslim outrage as part of Islam’s unique view of itself as a ‘Super Victim’. But maybe it is we in the West, with our wet liberal relativism and multiculturalism who have created a cultural climate where everyone feels the right to scream for an apology when they find something ‘offensive’(see here here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here).
Mick Hume in Spiked writes:
This bizarre ruckus over the words of a medieval monarch has turned into a revealing picture of the modern world. A world in which nobody, not even the leader of a major faith, is allowed to express a strong opinion without risking condemnation and demands for an apology. A world dominated by a victim mentality, in which groups with hyper-sensitive ‘outrage antennae’ are always on the lookout for the chance to claim that they have been offended, insulted or oppressed by the words of others.
Pope Benedict thinks that the moral relativism abound in the West is a bad thing. I, as an evangelical, fundamentalist humanist anti-theist, agree with him, though we would disagree profoundly about the relationship between ‘Faith and Reason’ – which to me are mutually exclusive terms.
But the Pope should not have to apologise simply because he is being a Catholic. If people don’t like what he says – I don’t like what he says – then tough. We can either engage with his remarks or ignore them. But don’t be mistaken, either, for thinking that it is only Muslims who have the Super Victim mentality.
The Pope making Catholic remarks is like a hen laying eggs – it’s just what they do best (ah, another egg metaphor!).