Pope Says Religion Has Been Marginalized Around The World

Photo: Fabio Pozzebom/ABr (CC)

Photo: Fabio Pozzebom/ABr (CC)

I, for one, wouldn’t argue with Herr Ratzinger on this point. The BBC reports on his speech during his unwelcome UK visit:

The Pope has warned that religion – and Christianity in particular – is “being marginalised” around the world.

His comments came in his keynote speech to UK MPs, senior members of British society, and religious leaders at Westminster Hall in central London.

Pope Benedict XVI warned that there were some people who wanted to see “the voice of religion be silenced”.

He returned to the subject in a service at Westminster Abbey, asking Christians to speak out about their faith.

BBC correspondent Peter Hunt described the speech at Westminster Hall as “a rallying call, and a plea – for religion not to be squeezed out by secular society”.

The Pope was speaking as a sixth man was arrested as counter-terrorism detectives investigate an alleged threat to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit.

In his speech at Westminster Hall, the Pope called on those in attendance to seek ways to promote faith “at every level of national life”.

He added: “I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance.

“There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere.

“There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none.”…

[continues at the BBC]

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  • Ironaddict06

    The Pope is right, that Christmas offends many people. There should be a legal form that every employee should have to fill out, that requires you to fill out your religious belief, and if Christian holidays offend you. To be sure not to offend those that might be Offended, they will not be forced to take Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving off. Or better yet, not to offend anyone the only Holidays is the U.S. will be New Years Day, and Labor day, to celebrate the New Year, and the workers. Problem solved.

    • Haystack

      Thanksgiving isn’t a Christian holiday.

      Neither are Christmas and Easter, if you really dissect them.

      • Fuast2233

        None of the “Christian” holidays are. They are all stolen from other religions that were popular at the time so that the newly founded Christian religion could allow people to celebrate at the same time everyone else was. All religious are founded on bullshit, but Christianity was a whole new level. The writers of the bible took little bits and pieces of all the other bullshit and created one big sticking pile of it.

    • Simiantongue

      @ Ironaddict06

      You see that is the problem with some christians in a nutshell right there. The insufferable conceit that holidays are “christian” holidays. People were celebrating holidays long before christianity decided to incorporate them into their traditions. As a matter of fact christianity had a right bout with paganism about that and refused to have many of their own for a long time. But in order to increase the ranks and make proselytizing easier they let up on holiday restrictions. Pretty cool of god to turn 180 degrees like that. More chance that the “one true religion” can enlist more christian soldiers by allowing everyone to let loose now and again, it was a win win. Party on.

      For many today and throughout history these or any other holidays are not even directly connected to any religious practice. People are usually satisfied to let such minor things such as terminology go without any qualms. Call it christmas, or the yule tide, summer solstice, saturnalia, the fall harvest, thanksgiving, whatever, it makes little difference to most people as long as they get a chance to be around family, friends, music, food and drink for a day or so.

      Though when christians start with their old tropes, like yours here, about how everything should be christian centered, and if people can’t appreciate christians stuffing their religion in your ears at every opportunity, especially on a holiday, all you non christians can just relent all participation in any type of culture including holidays. If you don’t want to participate in christian culture no days off for you, LoL it’s laughable really! Because christians find it impossible to imagine exactly how anyone who doesn’t share their christian culture could have any of their own.

      Please excuse me when I say you can shove your holiday forms in triplicate. It’s none of your business. It’s not christian holidays that offend people. It is when overbearing self centered christians harp on about how all culture is and should be christian culture. Carrying on nonsensically that holidays should be christian centered and always have been. Which is not only bull hockey, it’s rude, its hypocritical and shows a lack of knowledge about your own religion. I’ll beg your pardon but I feel it necessary a equally rude rejoinder is in order. Nobody needs your permission to celebrate any holiday or engage in culture as they see fit, and to do it without having you drive your pernicious bronze age dogma down peoples throat simply because you think a holiday is a good opportunity to do so. A marketing strategy that would make Billy Mays proud.

      I mean really, you can’t see the conceit in what you are saying? If people don’t want to participate in your “christian holidays” people should have the good manners to sit quietly by and not have any culture of their own. Even though they’re not even really christian holidays and never have been just for christians, Pfffft. Give me a break. Such arrogance.

    • Butter Knife

      I’m sure that a lot of people would be perfectly happy with that idea… if it gave them THEIR holidays off instead.

      Why should a Jew have to fight to take off Passover, but be unable to work on Easter?

      What makes YOUR religious holidays any more socially valid or acceptable than anyone else’s?

      Nobody has a problem with Christmas, nobody has a problem with you taking off your holidays… but it most certainly is problematic that you’re arrogant enough to make everyone else accommodate you in that without so much as considering others might wish for you do return the favor.

      Oh, and it doesn’t much help your case that, rather than give any sort of rational solution or explanation, you belittle and mock the beliefs or concerns of others. As it turns out, that’s a weak PR strategy.

  • Ironaddict06

    The Pope is right, that Christmas offends many people. There should be a legal form that every employee should have to fill out, that requires you to fill out your religious belief, and if Christian holidays offend you. To be sure not to offend those that might be Offended, they will not be forced to take Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving off. Or better yet, not to offend anyone the only Holidays is the U.S. will be New Years Day, and Labor day, to celebrate the New Year, and the workers. Problem solved.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Religion and Catholicism attempt to marginalize every other belief (or non-belief) system that isn’t its own.
    Religion IS a force of marginalization. The Pope is a hypocrite of monumental proportions.

    Believe in Jesus, Buddah, or whatever God you like. The pope is none of these -he’s just a man in grandiose
    garb spouting self serving bullcrap. The Pope won’t be there on “judgement day” -only you can answer for yourself before God (if thats what you believe).

    The Pope is moot. Think and feel for yourself and take the consequences like every body else.

  • Anonymous

    Religion and Catholicism attempt to marginalize every other belief (or non-belief) system that isn’t its own.
    Religion IS a force of marginalization. The Pope is a hypocrite of monumental proportions.

    Believe in Jesus, Buddah, or whatever God you like. The pope is none of these -he’s just a man in grandiose
    garb spouting self serving bullcrap. The Pope won’t be there on “judgement day” -only you can answer for yourself before God (if thats what you believe).

    The Pope is moot. Think and feel for yourself and take the consequences like every body else.

  • nick__nick

    with any hope religion will be marginalized out of existence sooner than later…

  • Anonymous

    with any hope religion will be marginalized out of existence sooner than later…

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Yeah, we’ll all jump on that bandwagon………

    Problem shelved.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, we’ll all jump on that bandwagon………

    Problem shelved.

  • gemmarama

    he’s on the ball, that benny…

  • gemmarama

    he’s on the ball, that benny…

  • emperorreagan

    I disagree that religion is being marginalized. I think the real issue is that the social forces which coerced people into more active religious participation are dying out, so you have falling attendance and more ambivalence towards religious authority.

  • emperorreagan

    I disagree that religion is being marginalized. I think the real issue is that the social forces which coerced people into more active religious participation are dying out, so you have falling attendance and more ambivalence towards religious authority.

  • TheWrongStuff

    “…asking Christians to speak out about their faith.”

    Because that’s the problem. There are not nearly enough “Christians” running around telling everybody what they think.

    “He added: “I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance.”

    First go look up the word tolerance and then ask yourself; Self, why would any country that places a high emphasis on tolerance want your influence marginalized?

    “He said: “My question for you is this: What are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be?'”

    I want them to not rape little boys, burn people at the stake, or dress in silk and gold and live in a palace while telling me to be humble.

  • TheWrongStuff

    “…asking Christians to speak out about their faith.”

    Because that’s the problem. There are not nearly enough “Christians” running around telling everybody what they think.

    “He added: “I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance.”

    First go look up the word tolerance and then ask yourself; Self, why would any country that places a high emphasis on tolerance want your influence marginalized?

    “He said: “My question for you is this: What are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be?'”

    I want them to not rape little boys, burn people at the stake, or dress in silk and gold and live in a palace while telling me to be humble.

  • Haystack

    Thanksgiving isn’t a Christian holiday.

    Neither are Christmas and Easter, if you really dissect them.

  • Vox Penii

    2000 years ago, Mithraism was marginalized by an offshoot of Judaism….

    those who do not know history are doomed to et cetera…

  • Vox Penii

    2000 years ago, Mithraism was marginalized by an offshoot of Judaism….

    those who do not know history are doomed to et cetera…

  • Simiantongue

    @ Ironaddict06

    You see that is the problem with some christians in a nutshell right there. The insufferable conceit that holidays are “christian” holidays. People were celebrating holidays long before christianity decided to incorporate them into their traditions. As a matter of fact christianity had a right bout with paganism about that and refused to have many of their own for a long time. But in order to increase the ranks and make proselytizing easier they let up on holiday restrictions. Pretty cool of god to turn 180 degrees like that. More chance that the “one true religion” can enlist more christian soldiers by allowing everyone to let loose now and again, it was a win win. Party on.

    For many today and throughout history these or any other holidays are not even directly connected to any religious practice. People are usually satisfied to let such minor things such as terminology go without any qualms. Call it christmas, or the yule tide, summer solstice, saturnalia, the fall harvest, thanksgiving, whatever, it makes little difference to most people as long as they get a chance to be around family, friends, music, food and drink for a day or so.

    Though when christians start with their old tropes, like yours here, about how everything should be christian centered, and if people can’t appreciate christians stuffing their religion in your ears at every opportunity, especially on a holiday, all you non christians can just relent all participation in any type of culture including holidays. If you don’t want to participate in christian culture no days off for you, LoL it’s laughable really! Because christians find it impossible to imagine exactly how anyone who doesn’t share their christian culture could have any of their own.

    Please excuse me when I say you can shove your holiday forms in triplicate. It’s none of your business. It’s not christian holidays that offend people. It is when overbearing self centered christians harp on about how all culture is and should be christian culture. Carrying on nonsensically that holidays should be christian centered and always have been. Which is not only bull hockey, it’s rude, its hypocritical and shows a lack of knowledge about your own religion. I’ll beg your pardon but I feel it necessary a equally rude rejoinder is in order. Nobody needs your permission to celebrate any holiday or engage in culture as they see fit, and to do it without having you drive your pernicious bronze age dogma down peoples throat simply because you think a holiday is a good opportunity to do so. A marketing strategy that would make Billy Mays proud.

    I mean really, you can’t see the conceit in what you are saying? If people don’t want to participate in your “christian holidays” people should have the good manners to sit quietly by and not have any culture of their own. Even though they’re not even really christian holidays and never have been just for christians, Pfffft. Give me a break. Such arrogance.

  • Butter Knife

    I’m sure that a lot of people would be perfectly happy with that idea… if it gave them THEIR holidays off instead.

    Why should a Jew have to fight to take off Passover, but be unable to work on Easter?

    What makes YOUR religious holidays any more socially valid or acceptable than anyone else’s?

    Nobody has a problem with Christmas, nobody has a problem with you taking off your holidays… but it most certainly is problematic that you’re arrogant enough to make everyone else accommodate you in that without so much as considering others might wish for you do return the favor.

    Oh, and it doesn’t much help your case that, rather than give any sort of rational solution or explanation, you belittle and mock the beliefs or concerns of others. As it turns out, that’s a weak PR strategy.

  • rtb61

    To be honest the Christian religion failed itself. It failed to learn and grow, to absorb new knowledge and edit it’s texts based up reality and new understanding. Whilst the morals it expounds remain mostly true (with regard to societal interactions and not blind belief) it failed to alter the expression of those morals in light of modern understanding.
    A book of itinerant shepherds in the desert is not the appropriate text for a modern university science student, the gap in understanding is vast and the text should have altered and grown to reflect that.
    Instead the text did nothing and the religion stagnated to preserve the leadership in it’s ignorance and dogma, in fact that leadership attempted to eliminate all human societal growth in order to preserve it’s own power, it became the evil it sought to eliminate.
    It can be said that the catholic religion needs to search within the parables of Christ, in light of modern understanding, in order to reform itself before it attempts to reform the rest of human society ie. it is much less about prayer and much more about what you do, it is much less about automatic forgiveness and much more about making good the harm you caused.

  • Anonymous

    To be honest the Christian religion failed itself. It failed to learn and grow, to absorb new knowledge and edit it’s texts based up reality and new understanding. Whilst the morals it expounds remain mostly true (with regard to societal interactions and not blind belief) it failed to alter the expression of those morals in light of modern understanding.
    A book of itinerant shepherds in the desert is not the appropriate text for a modern university science student, the gap in understanding is vast and the text should have altered and grown to reflect that.
    Instead the text did nothing and the religion stagnated to preserve the leadership in it’s ignorance and dogma, in fact that leadership attempted to eliminate all human societal growth in order to preserve it’s own power, it became the evil it sought to eliminate.
    It can be said that the catholic religion needs to search within the parables of Christ, in light of modern understanding, in order to reform itself before it attempts to reform the rest of human society ie. it is much less about prayer and much more about what you do, it is much less about automatic forgiveness and much more about making good the harm you caused.

  • Fuast2233

    None of the “Christian” holidays are. They are all stolen from other religions that were popular at the time so that the newly founded Christian religion could allow people to celebrate at the same time everyone else was. All religious are founded on bullshit, but Christianity was a whole new level. The writers of the bible took little bits and pieces of all the other bullshit and created one big sticking pile of it.

  • Alturn

    The challenge that the pope described was outlined in what is considered by many as the greatest passage in literature – “The Grand Inquisitor” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. In that story, a figure that is implied to be Jesus returns only to be accosted by the head cardinal who had burned heretics on the stake the day before (a position that Ratzinger curiously held at a time prior to becoming pope). The end of that story is consistent with the church’s current position.

    It also explains why Jesus, who is reported by Share International to live outside of Rome and has been in a Syrian body for over 673 years, has not been widely seen. I tell Christians this information all the time and it tends to blow their head gasket.

    It also explains why the teacher of Jesus – the World Teacher Maitreya – also is able to live in London with scant curiosity to be found from any part of the religious community, east (where he was known in a past manifestation as Krishna) or west.

    The crux of the problem which lies behind the challenge that Ratzinger points out is not religion – it is misused authority and perversion of the teachings of the Great Ones by those in charge of the structures. Those in the church blaming others would do better not to cast stones.

  • Alturn

    The challenge that the pope described was outlined in what is considered by many as the greatest passage in literature – “The Grand Inquisitor” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. In that story, a figure that is implied to be Jesus returns only to be accosted by the head cardinal who had burned heretics on the stake the day before (a position that Ratzinger curiously held at a time prior to becoming pope). The end of that story is consistent with the church’s current position.

    It also explains why Jesus, who is reported by Share International to live outside of Rome and has been in a Syrian body for over 673 years, has not been widely seen. I tell Christians this information all the time and it tends to blow their head gasket.

    It also explains why the teacher of Jesus – the World Teacher Maitreya – also is able to live in London with scant curiosity to be found from any part of the religious community, east (where he was known in a past manifestation as Krishna) or west.

    The crux of the problem which lies behind the challenge that Ratzinger points out is not religion – it is misused authority and perversion of the teachings of the Great Ones by those in charge of the structures. Those in the church blaming others would do better not to cast stones.

    • Tuna Ghost

      what the flying fuck are you talking about

      • Alturn

        Read Dostoyevsky’s passage. It is highly applicable to our times.

  • Ironaddict06

    I should have made my post clearer. To solve this problem, there should be no religious holidays, that way nobody can be offended. Yes i’m well aware that the Christian holidays were pagan holidays. The point I was making, is everyone gets offended, then wants to sue, because they were offended. How far is America willing to bend to give into everyones religious right?

  • Ironaddict06

    I should have made my post clearer. To solve this problem, there should be no religious holidays, that way nobody can be offended. Yes i’m well aware that the Christian holidays were pagan holidays. The point I was making, is everyone gets offended, then wants to sue, because they were offended. How far is America willing to bend to give into everyones religious right?

  • marklar

    It’s limping, quick, let’s cut it out of the herd run it down and eat it.

  • marklar

    It’s limping, quick, let’s cut it out of the herd run it down and eat it.

  • Monkey’s Uncle

    Pope Bob made me a Pope, and I say from my perspective… This pope appears to be full of shit. Oh and God must be real, because my prayers are being answered.

  • echar

    Pope Bob made me a Pope, and I say from my perspective… This pope appears to be full of shit. Oh and God must be real, because my prayers are being answered.

  • Gregory

    I find this statement fascinating considering in Uhmurkah Xians are making a political power grab in their quest to turn the democratic republic into a theocracy.

    http://vigilantius.blogspot.com/2010/09/woohoo-thus-far_19.html?spref=tw

  • Gregory

    I find this statement fascinating considering in Uhmurkah Xians are making a political power grab in their quest to turn the democratic republic into a theocracy.

    http://vigilantius.blogspot.com/2010/09/woohoo-thus-far_19.html?spref=tw

  • Tuna Ghost

    what the flying fuck are you talking about

  • Alturn

    Read Dostoyevsky’s passage. It is highly applicable to our times.

  • 1 Privity 1

    never trust anyone who’s owns a hat that damn big…..thing is just creepy.

  • 1 Privity 1

    never trust anyone who’s owns a hat that damn big…..thing is just creepy.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Well, be fair to the man. English is not the man’s first language.

    Perhaps he intended to say, “I, ME PERSONALLY, have marginalized Christianity through my consistent and callous preference for protecting the Hierarchy over attention to the deeper spiritual meaning of Christ’s legacy.”

    Easy enough mistake, right? ‘Specially if it’s not your first language.

  • Anonymous

    Well, be fair to the man. English is not the man’s first language.

    Perhaps he intended to say, “I, ME PERSONALLY, have marginalized Christianity through my consistent and callous preference for protecting the Hierarchy over attention to the deeper spiritual meaning of Christ’s legacy.”

    Easy enough mistake, right? ‘Specially if it’s not your first language.

  • Rohatsu

    Yes religion is being marginalized while spirituality is awakening. I for one encourage “spiritual” folks to question organized religion.

  • Rohatsu

    Yes religion is being marginalized while spirituality is awakening. I for one encourage “spiritual” folks to question organized religion.

  • Cryptic Overcast

    all religion needs to be, is a spiritual focal point that drives the evolution of human conscious. and for fucks’ sake, the world does not need any more politicians…

  • Cryptic Overcast

    all religion needs to be, is a spiritual focal point that drives the evolution of human conscious. and for fucks’ sake, the world does not need any more politicians…

  • Donny

    Generally speaking, the pope is wrong in that religion is front and center on the world stage and imposing itself every single day on secular citizens of the free world’s lives and wallets — all for the worst. Of course that religion is not Christianity, it is Islam.

    • distaff

      It’s both, really.

  • Donny

    Generally speaking, the pope is wrong in that religion is front and center on the world stage and imposing itself every single day on secular citizens of the free world’s lives and wallets — all for the worst. Of course that religion is not Christianity, it is Islam.

  • SikterEfendi

    As old people in my fatherland used to say, “From his mouth to God’s ears.” I wish for once that the popenfuhrer is right.

  • Anonymous

    As old people in my fatherland used to say, “From his mouth to God’s ears.” I wish for once that the popenfuhrer is right.

  • distaff

    It’s both, really.

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