I kind of liked the old pope. When I lived there, there used to be a picture of him on the landing at my Nan and Grandad's house.(My Grandad's Irish, he was brainwashed by nuns long before he got to England.) He was smiling at you with his finger up, like he was blessing you for putting the immersion on. (Downstairs, my Nan was cursing you for putting on the water heater, as it cost her money, and she could never understand why people need to be warm when they're having a bath.)
That Pope, after what seemed the longest serious illness ever suffered by anyone ever (thanks, God!) died and regenerated into Pope Ratzinger the 42nd, or something. The Vatican, in its infinite wisdom, replaced the old Pope with someone older, which is always a bad idea. Like when Roger Moore replaced Connery as 007. This Pope has said a silly thing which has upset people. I mean, before, he was just a nice, straightfoward, ultra-conservative homophobic ex-Nazi in a dress, but now he said all wars are unholy, I've gone off him.
Now, if you want to make the point that there is no such thing as a holy war, Jihad or whatever because all wars are evil, fine. Just don't accuse all Muslims as being evil and violent at the same time. And If I was a Muslim, how would I react to such a slur? Just ignoring the old fool? Or proving him right by setting churches on fire and shooting nuns dead? The Pope now will need that bulletproof Popemobile (there's faith for you!) and him saying sorry has put paid to the notion of Papal infallibility.
I'm not saying religion is a bad thing. Well, I am, but it can have good things to offer. Just not to me. When my afore-mentioned Grandad nearly died earlier this year, he kept his little crucifix with him at all times. My Nan praying for him every night helped her cope with the ordeal. Highly religious people such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, and Desmond Tutu have actually made the world a better place whilst the totally godless regimes of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot led to the deaths of millions.
The Muslims I know and work with are nothing like the idiots I see on the telly most nights. There must be more moderates than extremists. It's time they spoke up and took the Koran back from the headcases. Saying the Pope is the AntiChrist and burning effigies of him just turns you into Ian Paisley, and you don't want that! Christians need to sort their own headcases out as well, and sit down and find common ground, because there's plenty. They both hate homosexuals, contraception and abortion, freedom of choice and the Jewish! I mean, that's something to start with!
Let's stop using a mythical God as an excuse for good or bad behaviour. I mean, every time there's a horrible disaster, someone asks 'how can god let this happen?' and we're told we can't understand what His plan is; yet when it comes to sexual intercourse, we're told exactly what God thinks!It's up to us normal human beings to behave ourselves and treat each other with respect. It's also about time Songs Of Praise and Cliff Richard packed it all in, as well!