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As Stephen Covey puts it in his "7 Habits" teachings, if Muslims (for example) are offended by the words of the Pope to the point where they're willing to kill others over the matter, we must not forget that they choose to be offended and they choose to murder. They have their agency -- nobody is forcing them to respond this way. In other words, the devil didn't make them do it, and the words of the Pope weren't so magical that those who are offended by them totally lost control. They choose their actions, and they are responsible for them.

It's awful that Sister Leonella was murdered, but they did make the pope's point. I wouldn't apologize if I were him, he told the truth. Somebody needed to say it.

One huge problem the Middle East faces is that Islam retains the "eye-for-an-eye" attitude of the old law. Forgiveness, to my knowledge, is alien to that religion, except in very narrow parameters that apply only within the tribe.

I too am grateful that this Catholic nun exemplified Christ's teaching -- the higher law of forgiveness and humility.

Loved this quote:

"Islam is a peaceful, accepting, tolerant, loving religion, and we will kill anyone who says differently." (Jay Tea via Capitalism Matters)

Yeah, annegb, it is ironic:

"What?!?!? The Pope said that Islam is a violent religion? [note, he did not] It is not! Islam is not violent! We will kill the Pope for saying Islam is violent!"

As if to confirm my view that they aren't really after apologies, the headline in my local paper today reads: "Apology Fails to Dampen Protests." I think the Pope could renounce Catholicism and convert to Islam and most Muslims would say he hasn't gone far enough.

According to Spengler at the Asia Times, it is not simply a matter of a few clerics hijacking the "religion of peace", but runs much deeper:

Jihad is not merely the whim of a despotic divinity, as the pope implied. It is much more: jihad is the fundamental sacrament of Islam, the Muslim cognate of the Lord's Supper in Christianity, that is, the unique form of sacrifice by which the individual believer communes with the Transcendent. To denounce jihad on theological grounds is a blow at the foundations of Islam, in effect a papal call for the conversion of the Muslims.

Steven, don't be silly. Anyone who read the speech knows the Pope was referring to the Jihad of the Islamicists, the spreading of the word by the sword, and not to the jihad (little "j") that every Muslim is expected to wage within him- or herself to overcome personal inclinations that are contrary to God's will and righteousness.

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