Liberal Grace

Friday, December 01, 2006

Blessed are the peacemakers

A lot of conservatives Christians are going to criticize the pope for "compromising" but I give him credit for obeying Jesus' peace teaching.



Pope hailed for praying toward Mecca like Muslims

Pope Benedict wound up a fence-mending visit to Turkey on Friday amid praise from the local press for visiting Istanbul's Blue Mosque and praying toward Mecca "like Muslims."

The Pope, who sparked protests across the Muslim world with a speech two months ago seen as criticizing Islam, looked relaxed and pleased as he entered the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit for a mass at the end of the sensitive four-day trip.

His first visit to a mostly Muslim country, held under tight security for fear of protests by nationalists and Islamists, was highlighted by a series of conciliatory gestures culminating in a stop on Thursday afternoon in Istanbul's famed Blue Mosque.

"The Pope's dreaded visit was concluded with a wonderful surprise," wrote daily Aksam on its front page.


The peace teachings of Jesus are not some minor, obscure doctrine -- peace making is a central tenant of his teachings.

The American religious right likes to emphasize abortion and homosexuality which Jesus never taught on but then blatantly disobey Jesus' perfectly clear commandment:

You have heard that it was said, "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy."
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:43-44).

I give the pope lots of credit for this gesture of peace making, in obedience to one of Jesus' most important teachings.

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