A friend of mine offered a tongue-in-cheek reflection about the recent flare-up of Islamic fanaticism concerning the pope’s remarks. “There is a large group of picketers in front of the cathedral demanding that the pope apologize for Notre Dame’s loss to Michigan this past Saturday!”
Right on! But that humorous portrayal of a protest indicates that there are humane ways for decent people to handle their differences, and killing innocent people is not one of them.
Quite frankly I'm disgusted by barbarians acting in the name of God. When savages burn the pope in effigy I am offended especially since a few passing remarks about Muhammad's practice of forced conversion hardly merit such a vicious overreaction. Such a reaction should be reserved for the shameless remarks of a guy like Hugo Chavez when he calls our president the devil.
Equally offensive are drones like Rosie O'Donnell who thinks that Christian conscientious objection is to be classed in the same category as, say, televised beheadings, church burnings, death threats, mass murder and suicide bombings. How many left-wing commentators have we heard this week condescendingly scolding the pope for not being a “realist” about how his remarks would be taken? Any clear-thinking man who read the pope's speech will know that it dripped with realism: he said that any religion that divorces itself from rationality ends up justifying violence in the name of God. But just to prove that they are a peaceful, rational religion the fanatical Muslims made sure to butcher a nun in the Sudan following the pope's talk.
Decent people are fed up with fanaticism in whatever form it takes, and I am glad to hear more people speaking out about this now. It's time for all of us to stand up and tell the Catholic-haters of the world that we are not taking this any more.
Our pope is the leader of Christianity and its most palpable symbol of unity. He is the Vicar of Christ no matter what others may believe about him. No other man on earth has that title or that burden. He is being unjustly attacked, reviled, defamed and threatened with death and destruction. Our adamant support of him in this time of crisis means simply that we are willing to stand up and defend our very Christian civilization.
We must never be afraid to stand up for the pope! I am whole-heartedly convinced that he is the only one who can infuse wisdom into the leaders of our world to deal with the immense problems of our day. We will defend him, no matter how high the cost. In doing so, we will be standing with Don Juan of Austria and Pope Pius V in their Rosary Crusade against the Turks at Lepanto in 1571 (which we commemorate on October 7th, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary). We will be side by side with Jan Sobieski who stood at the gates of Vienna on September 11, 1683 and defended the freedom of our Christian civilization. We also stand with Chesterton and Belloc who reminded us poignantly that Christendom has not seen the last of these assaults. The time to stand with the pope is now, not years later when the barbarians are at the gates.
Fr. Tom Euteneuer is president of Human Life International.