August 4, 2016

Pope Francis’ Logic Fail

Drawing a moral equivalence between Christianity and Islam is wrong.

Pope Francis recently appeared to suggest that all religions are equally prone to violence. In an interview this week aboard the papal plane, a journalist asked him about the murder of an elderly priest in France by an Islamist. Francis quickly changed the focus to Christian violence, remarking how he has seen in Italian newspapers “this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law … and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics!” He continued, “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence. And no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there’s everything.”

At a time when the world needs leaders who understand the threat of Islamic terrorists, Francis has been sadly disappointing. To his credit, Francis regularly makes the case for the right to life of all people, including the unborn and those with disabilities. But he seems unwilling to acknowledge that the pro-life ethos is at odds with an Islamic ideology that preaches death and destruction and whose toll among Christians, Jews and other Muslims has been breathtaking.

Pope Francis is a brilliant man who has made an egregious logical error. Just because Christians commit crimes doesn’t mean they commit them because of their faith. In fact, when such crimes occur, it’s despite their Christian beliefs. The Christian murderer or rapist is violating the central teachings of the faith. There are no priests or bishops who teach that if Christians want to please God, they should rape and kill.

But there are mosques where imams and other Muslim religious leaders tell the faithful that the only way to salvation is to commit violent jihad. There is a significant strain within Islam that teaches that if you die while killing the infidel you will be delivered to paradise.

Pope Francis made these remarks while talking to reporters aboard the papal plane. That’s been the site of several other of Francis’ controversial comments, including his “Who am I to judge?” remark in 2013 about gay priests who are seeking God’s will.

May I humbly make the following suggestion to the pope’s communication team: No more in-flight papal press conferences.

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