Saturday, September 16

And I thought I'd never get to dedicate a song to the Pope...

From AP:

Few in Turkey, especially, failed to pick up on Benedict's reference to Istanbul as Constantinople - the city's name more than 500 years ago - before it was conquered by Muslim Ottoman Turks. [link]

Yeah, yeah, boycott schmoycott. I know They Might Be Giants records for Disney now. They're still awesome.


  1. With the Catholic Church's numbers in decline, especially after the pedophile scandle they handled sooo well....what better way to attract "believers" then fanning old hatreds into a good old religious war. After all, I know most of the West still has a festering wound over the fall of Constantinople 500 frickin' years ago. But wait, if memory serves, the Roman Catholic Church sat idly by while it fell to the Muslims because they were eastern Orthodox & not Roman Catholics.

    Both of these religions are responsible for rivers of blood & both are eager to spill more to maintain their power.

  2. shhhhhh, they think no one knows. ; )

  3. p.s. there's blood aplenty on many hands. my hope is that somehow things change for the better.

  4. That's a pretty amazing rhetoric the Pope used, there.

    About equivalent to having the Dutch queen refer to New Amsterdam...

  5. Anonymous12:07 PM

    Fun video/song. I'd never given them much of a listen, but I can see the appeal.

    So . . . does the Pope buy into all that End Times rhetoric, too?

  6. Wow, he really said that? Man, he must be old! It's been Istanbul for how long? 500-something years?

  7. Anonymous4:48 PM

    Don't get too worked up over the use of "Constantinople." He probably called it that because that was its name at the time in history he was talking about.
    If I was giving a history talk about someone visiting St. Petersburg in the 1950's, I'd say "he visited Leningrad" because that's what St. Petersburg was called then.

  8. Yeah, I know. Would someone tell those Muslims not to get so worked up? He's only the leader of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. It's not as if he's relevant. Sheesh.

  9. Anonymous3:05 PM

    I don't want the world. I just want your half.

    No such thing as too much TMBG.

  10. Greg sent this over and it's a little long for a comment but it's good. -BG

    Rope-a-Dope with a Pope

    Thank the info gods for the internet and I especially appreciate the wikiworld, where perhaps a few items can be gleaned of relevance about the recent not-so-benedictory speech of Pope Benedict XVI. He “began his speech by quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, in a conversation with a ‘learned Persian’ on Christianity and Islam –‘and the truth of both...Show me just what Muhammad 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 pope went on to say that violent conversion to Islam was contrary to reason and thus ‘contrary to God's nature.’”

    Nice choice of authorities, Herr Pope. Yes, of course the Paleologian family ( would be the first place I would go when discussing Islamic theology. Why, they had so much pleasant contact with Islamic culture (

    Then there was the Fourth Crusade to further that understanding: ( “The crusaders took the city on the 13th of April. The crusaders inflicted a horrible and savage sacking on Constantinople for three days, during which many ancient and medieval Roman and Greek works were stolen or destroyed. Despite their oaths and the threat of excommunication, the Crusaders ruthlessly and systematically violated the city's holy sanctuaries, destroying, defiling, or stealing all they could lay hands on; according to Choniates a prostitute was even set up on the Patriarchal throne.” Maybe not so different from today…

    But that’s only one little story in the Crusade of Reason against the "infidels". Er, how about the peaceful, reasonable efforts to win over the Cathars? ( )
    “The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade (1209 - 1229) was a 20-year military campaign initiated by the Roman Catholic Church to eliminate the religion practiced by the Cathars of Languedoc, which the Roman Catholic hierarchy considered apostasy. It is historically significant for a number of reasons: the violence inflicted was extreme even by medieval standards…”

    And of course my favorite bible stories of Joshua, showing the roots of the Way of Reason the Pope so blissfully embraces, setting the standard for how "God's Chosen" should interact with those of another faith who happen to live where we want to live or have a few items of value like gold and silver we might find useful (ref. Islam, Aztec, Indigenous peoples everywhere, etc.): “Then they utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and asses, with the edge of the sword.” (Joshua 6:21). And this was way before nukes!!! Whoa! As good as a Neutron Bomb.

    I can see why that Prince of Peace guy and his followers always had a hard sell with that “love your neighbor as yourself” spin, along with those peaceniks of every stripe through the ages. Just wish the pope had instead apologized to Islam for centuries of vicious and unwarranted violence and oppression, proclaiming a platform of universal peace and ecumenical co-existence…yah, well…

    I guess we must await Bush's "Third Awakening," which would be wonderful, because it would follow the path of the social gospel taken in the Third Awakening of the turn of the 20th Century, right? To bad the "Fourth Awakening" has come and gone. In the 60s-70s ( ) Jesus People and Big Church Evangelicals started abandoning social justice for a new social control agenda (no gays, no abortions, no separation of church and state, etc.) by taking over Caesar’s job. Bush is the flower of that Fourth Awakening. So, I guess he meant a "Fifth Awakening", in which case watch out, because if he awakens with a fifth, there’s no telling how much longer this nightmare might go on.

    Gregorio Wheeler de Vazquez


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