Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

A man was hacked with cleavers by men claiming to be Muslims. An atheist lawmaker delivers a prayer. A Brooklyn Hasidic group thinks men's beards are hipster-ish.

9 Comments

  1. The Pope said that saying you’re saying that killing in the name of God is blasphemy? Wow, a true seed change in the catholic church, given their history. I’m beginning to like this Pope May he make more of these kinds of statements in the future.

    • When priest stop blessing armies then you can believe the pope’s words.

      Of course the pope’s words leave room for a just war. In Catholic theory a just war can only be waged by a legitimate government, not individuals acting on their own. That would be the context of his statement. In Muslim circles there is no clear cut theory of just war, and the role of individuals, but if there is it is not preached clearly and consistently. One Muslim theory has it that a just war – defensive, as the London butchers considered their act – can be called by any legitimate religious authority. And the radical imams of Britain and elsewhere preach holy war, even by individuals.

      On the other hand all the Catholic and Christian theory of a just war means nothing when states and individuals choose to act. And Catholic and Christian preachers can preach hate and holy war too.

      A just war must be defensive, and preemptive defense would not qualify, although you will have conservative Catholics arguing that it does – and they have the right in Catholic theology to so argue. And there are other conditions, including not using more force than is absolutely needed, and first exhausting all other ways to resolve a conflict, and acting with prudence and restraint in victory.

      In the end what the pope has to say means very little without a stern enforcement system. Such a system is run by the bishops only in regard to doctrinal interpretation, contraceptives and abortion. War is sometimes preached against, but no enforcement measures are taken. The bishops would not dare take on the military establishment or pro-war right wing Catholics like the head of Fox News.

  2. I’ve complained about this before, and no one around here listens. I’m going to try it again, now, but I’m completely hopeless that it will matter.

    The practice of putting something in a headline, and then burying it down in the middle of a body of copy, without so much as a sub-head, so that the reader needn’t wade through all the rest before finally getting to what’s in the headline, must stop.

    It won’t, of course; and so this website will continue to exhibit its disdain for the reader and the value of his/her time.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    • With all due respect, Gregg: it’s probably done this way so as to encourage readers to go through all the juicy bits that are provided in here. The RNS takes a lot of time putting this together (I know from experience) and it’s always nice when people read the whole thing and not just the headline bits.

  3. The Pope also quoted Jesus to the effect that he who is not against you is for you, making a point not to create barriers between Catholics or believers in general and others.

    But of course anyone who says contraceptives are OK can be said to be against Catholics. Same for abortion. So the statement says very little really. This statement can even be used by right wingers as another way to be against the people they want to be against.

    And other Christians can say that those who are not Bible literalists are against you.

    • David Thompson

      You have to remember that god is a psychotic sociopath, among other things. Some days he wants people with bibles killed and other days he’s looking for witches. You can never please him. He’s a narcissistic bully, among other things.

      • You’re so wrong. But I can understand how you could be duped into believing that based on your observation of hypocritical religion, which may seem to be the only type of religion in existence. There are powerful forces keeping the truth hidden from most people.

  1. […] Thursday's Religion News Roundup: Cleaver assault * atheist prayer * Hasid … A man thought to be a British soldier was killed by two men in a frenzied attack on a London street. After being run over by a car, the man was hacked with cleavers by men who claimed to be Muslim. One of them told a TV reporter, “We swear by almighty … Read more on Religion News Service […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.