Text of the Pope's speech at the University of Regensburg, in which he quotes the writings of Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus: "...he turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words:
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.
"God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...."
The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature."
- Pope Benedict XVI
This is the power and weakness of the global electronic media that only the quoted text, and not the context, is spread around the world. I wonder how many will die because of this selective sensationalism?
Philosophic Philanthropist, Honest Man