Monday, September 24, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI Ain't Misbehavin'!

The lede of a TIME report from a few weeks ago on Pope Benedict XVI’s annual trip to Bavaria was "Will The Pope Behave in Austria?" Of course, that implies that previously the Pope misbehaved. Here is what the TIME authors present as that misbehavior:

"We now know, of course, that his Sept. 12, 2006, visit to... the University of Regensberg, would become the stage for the most significant moment of Benedict's papacy thus far. The provocative lecture about faith and reason, and the violence in Islam, set off riots in some corners of the Muslim world...Flinging the mild-mannered Benedict into the fire of breaking-news notoriety — with both his keen intelligence and striking lack of political acumen on fine display..."

Yes, those riots, as well as the unmentioned killing of Sister Leonella or calls by an Islamic cleric for Pope Benedict's death in responce to his earlier misbehavior are obviously the result of the Pope's "striking lack of political acumen"! In any event, the TIME authors have their answer. He’s misbehaving again! From the Daily Mail:

"The Pope has again risked provoking the wrath of the Islamic world, by criticising its treatment of Christians. Benedict XVI attacked Muslim nations where Christians are either persecuted or given the status of second-class citizens under the Shariah Islamic law. He also defended the rights of Muslims to convert to Christianity, an act which warrants the death penalty in many Islamic countries... the 80-year-old pontiff made a speech in ‘defence of religious liberty’, which, he said ‘is a fundamental, irrepressible, inalienable and inviolable right’...In a clear reference to Islam, he said: ‘The exercise of this freedom also includes the right to change religion...’... he added: ‘Terrorism is a serious problem whose perpetrators often claim to act in God's name and harbour an inexcusable contempt for human life.’"

"Political acumen" is what one supposes kept TIME from publishing the Mohammed cartoons, so readers might have known what the fuss was all about. TIME, after all, knows how to behave. Good TIME, good boy! Heel!

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