The Pope is arguably the most influential unelected figure in the history of the world. I say arguably because there are just so many damned dictators fighting for number one. Of course, the one thing the position of the Pope and every dictator ever have in common is that they’re used to always being assured how insightful they are.
Sadly, unlike more recent Popes, our current Holy Father has continually stepped his foot in the political landscape, leveraging his considerable cross-border influence on issues from immigration to abortion all while seeming pretty certain he’s just all that. Case in point, Pope Francis’ most recent pearl of wisdom on Islam -of all things- sounds more like a page from the Obama playbook than the Holy Book.
From the interview with Pope Francis in the May 17th edition of La Croix, interviewed by Guillaume Goubert and Sébastien Maillard:
I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.
In the face of Islamic terrorism, it would therefore be better to question ourselves about the way in an overly Western model of democracy has been exported to countries such as Iraq, where a strong government previously existed…Ultimately, co-existence between Christians and Muslims is still possible.
I think this guys is inhaling a bit too much of the incense. Look, I think Pope Francis is truly trying to let his faith steer his politics instead of the other way around, but to suggest that Islamic terrorism is only partly guided by Islam- and even that is open to interpretation- is ludicrous.
Here’s a thought, maybe the Pope shouldn’t act like he knows more about an different religion than that religion’s actual experts.
Of course, that notion was only the warm up. Pope Francis’ real face palm moment came when he pontificated that evil “Western democracy” should really be blamed for the rise of terrorism. You see, in the Holy Father’s mind, it’s “Western democracy’s (read “America”), arrogance for attempting to initiate democracy elsewhere in the world that justified (or at least explained) terrorisms rise in countries like Iraq and Libya.
Apparently, nobody had the heart to tell God’s representative on earth that it was because America pulled out of those countries that terrorist factions were free to fill the vacuum.
The real problem is though, isn’t the Pope’s argument. That’s a tired old chestnut the liberals dust off every time that wasn’t to justify opposing American presence in a volatile region. It’s the underlying implication that human beings suppressed under thousands of years of maniacal religious tyranny are somehow unable, unwilling or otherwise incapable of embracing modern, Western, democratic values. So, it’s really best not to try at all.
You see, whether it’s tyrannical dictators or liberal Socialists (well meaning or otherwise), neither can believe that people could possibly exist and develop without their overarching shadow informing everyone’s lives.