SOBCHACK: You know, pacifism is nothing to hide behind dude. Take our situation with that camel fucker in Iraq.
THE DUDE: I'm just saying he's got emotional problems, man.
SOBCHAK: You mean . . . other than pacifism?
Needless to say, I look down my long, Mediterranean nose at religions of all sorts, and in particular the Western monotheisms (if you can really call Christianity monotheism, which I rather doubt) that have for so many centuries bathed so much of the world, literally and figuratively, in blood. And yet when I read these sorts of bland ecumenical encomiums, chastizing believers for actually believing, I find myself on the side of the dogmatists. Liberal religion, as it's now known, has at its gaping, vacuous heart a black hole of infinite incoherency, for it posits that "belief" as an abstraction, that the capacity "to believe," supercedes all content of belief. Thus do I choke on my yogurt when nice ladies like Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite avers:
The Pope seems to think that he and Mr. Allam had previously been “in opposition to one another,” merely because they were not of the same faith. That “opposition” has disappeared, apparently, simply through the sacrament of baptism into the Catholic faith.One can imagine the hours Thistlethwaite spent chewing on that pig-ear, but I will tell you, faggots and faggettes, that Uncle Ratzinger does happen to be the supreme pontiff of a church whose motto is "the one true faith." Nearly every Christian sect posits itself as the real source of human salvation, and although neither Islam nor Judaism is quite so big on salvation, they both take their respective "no other gods beside me" pretty damned seriously.
This is unexpectedly revealing. At a deep level, the Pope is saying that it is the faiths themselves that are in opposition, not individuals who may be of different faiths.
And shouldn't they? After all, the religions of the book propose themselves as singularly revelatory, and the idea that two distinct divine revelations are not "in opposition is batty. The Pope believes that he is the representative of the true god on Earth. So while on the one hand we may expect him to speak politely of Islam, how do we expect that he would also consider the content of the Muslim faith to be anything other than heresy and heathenism? And vice versa.