There are moments where it becomes painfully apparent that the media elites think that the only thing redeeming about Western culture is its ability to regret its existence. Their dream president is a lip-biting man from Arkansas, traveling the globe apologizing for every historic fault, real or imagined, America has ever committed.
This was exactly their mentality with Pope Benedict XVI over his remarks at the University of Regensburg. One wonders if any of his critics had bothered to read his address, the theme of which was the inseparability of faith and reason.
He quoted a Byzantine emperor -- who argued that God could never countenance the coercive violence of radical Islam, and therefore a radical Islam invoking God is irrational. Lost on the outraged was the other argument posed by Benedict: A religion that embraces reason but not faith is also bankrupt. That message was directed at radical Catholics. His call was for a serious and urgent "genuine dialogue of cultures and religions" based on faith and reason.
You would think that this call for a religion based on love and peace, not force, would ring well in peace-loving liberal newsrooms. But this lecture was ignored by the secular press until Muslim riots and threats broke out. Then, predictably and incredibly, the media demanded apologies -- but only from the pope. They treated him like a bumbling candidate for political office, a man too unschooled in the art of public relations, which they know so well. They called him "heavy-handed" and "clumsy." They auditioned on TV and radio shows to explain how the pontiff could be less "tone deaf."
They did not ponder how Muslim violence, from assassinating a nun in Somalia to blowing up Canadian solders in Afghanistan as they hand out candy to children, might be, to say the very least, "tone deaf."
This mind-numbing double standard was set perfectly (and ridiculously) by the New York Times editorial page on a sleepy Saturday, which lamented the pope's desire for a "uniform Catholic identity," which is "not exactly the best jumping-off point for tolerance or interfaith dialogue." These people seem to have no clue that the holy father's first duty is to maintain a Catholic Church that is united and true to its historical roots. His first duty is to defend an ancient deposit of faith and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. This, to the sages of the New York Times editorial board, is an inherently offensive mission -- exclusive, intolerant, conservative.