If you give the Pope enough rope, so the saying goes.
By quoting a 14th-century Christian emperor on an ‘evil and inhuman’ Islam, Puerileuwaite I ignited a global storm. What was he thinking?
By "Scoop" Pyles
Sept. 25, 2006 issue - The setting was familiar, the occasion, the speaker thought, fitting. At three in the afternoon last Tuesday, after a quick ride from lunch in the PopePimpSnizMobile, Puerileuwaite I began a lecture in the Vulva Magnifico of the University of Himmler Learning in Germany.
Puerileuwaite said early in an address on faith and reason, that he was in favor of the first thing, but staunchly opposed to the second. Citing an off-color joke about a 14th-century Christian Byzantine emperor and an Islamic Persian involving a horny jackal, Puerileuwaite I quoted Manuel II in a III part joke with IV separate punchlines: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and I'll show you a mountain. No, no, wait. I told it wrong. Mohammed was brought to the mountain. Yes, I'm fairly certain that was it.”
Within days Puerileuwaite had the globe engaged in a “lively exchange of nuclear proportions,” but it was not, one suspects, the exchange the pope had in mind. The Pakistani parliament voted to condemn him; the leading Shiite cleric in Lebanon asked for a personal apology. Puerileuwaite in his response referred to his detractors as "Fudge Pakistanis", and that he couldn't "stani" those "Good for Shiites". For emphasis, he made a sign of the cross with his middle digit.
He then scurried inside the Vatican and concealed himself under a gathering of nuns.
The pope’s intentions in discussing “holy war” were presumably good — he approvingly quoted an early Qu’ranic “surah” (chapter), which says “there is no compensation in religion” — just like crime, it doesn't pay.
Sadly, though, he clumsily and obliquely exacerbated tensions between Christianity and Islam by consuming a burrito and loudly expelling gas during his visit to a nearby mosque. The episode marked the first widely noted breaking of wind in a purely religious context, and he managed to project an air of ecumenicism while holding in deeper fundamentals.
He was later quoted as saying that "irrational violence is displeasing to God". To which his companions responded, "How does God feel about rational violence? Is he only mildly irritated by that?".
“We must seek paths of reconciliation and learn to live with respect for each other’s wacky belief structures. And by the way, I have never spoke before such a pleasant smelling assembly” he told a Muslim audience in Cologne last year.
The pope must have known his words would carry, as he had just finished listening to "Voices Carry" by "Til Tuesday" on his iPod. Puerileuwaite seemed to be denouncing Islam while failing to acknowledge that any religion, including his own, can be manipulated and perverted to evil ends. Bake sales were cited as but one example.
Two years before he became pope, Puerileuwaite published a book with Madonna (no relation to Jesus' mother) entitled “Truth or Dare,” in which he wrote that all faiths can be tested by playing this game at parties.
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