Other than look at the headlines and check Memeorandum to see what themes are developing, I’ve avoided reading any details about the latest Papal smackdown. The headlines are familiar, the pictures of howling mobs of Muslims are by now simply stock photos, and in the end, I notice that no one is actually reading Benedict’s speech from Regensburg — or rather, they’re excerpting the “juicy” parts and leaving the rest. A waste, really.
What is striking (so to speak) about the various reactions to the Pope’s address is the level of naïveté on all sides of this debate. Among both his adversaries — who delight in this purported “blunder” in Benedict’s talk, and his defenders — who lament his indiscretion, there seems to be an assumption that this intelligent, scholarly, and historically informed speech was a mistake, an unintentional gaffe.
More at Gate of Vienna: