Here’s a blog I found on beliefnet.com, which is a fantastic site if you haven’t been. It’s a portal to approximately a gazillion interesting blogs about religion. You can choose your faith and find blogs from every corner of that faith. Good stuff.
Anyway, David Kuo is a former speechwriter and political aide to various conservatives (and one or two liberals, apparently), and he a seems to have taken the Pope’s decree pretty hard, for which I blame him not at all. It does seem strange to encourage interfaith dialogue on the one hand and on the other make a point of saying that other faiths are false, particularly when the differences among those faiths are less significant than, say, the differences between Catholicism and Buddhism or Taoism. I guess it’s always been the nature of movements to divide and stop understanding each other – even Ayn Rand’s followers don’t agree, and she’s only been dead for a few decades – but still. Geez.
In a later post, he equates theological statements with evangelism. Interesting take, and one which I would agree with. Statements of doctrine sound to others like statements of position, not just a clarification of an internal belief with which noone else need concern themselves. Whatever the Pope intended to do with this statement of doctrine, people of other faiths hear it and react accordingly. In this world, we are judged by our actions, not our intentions. If your action is to say other faiths are wrong, it doesn’t matter that you only meant to encourage or instruct your own co-religionists. People of other faiths don’t care what you mean to do, they care that your statement says that their religion is false. Which would piss anybody off, frankly.