Thursday, February 4, 2010
Harry Knox, who serves on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is standing by a statement he made last March that Pope Benedict XVI is “hurting people in the name of Jesus.”
When asked on Tuesday whether he still holds that view that the pope "is hurting people in the name of Jesus," Knox said, “I do.”
More here. I assume (hermeneutic of charity and all that) that Mr. Knox means "by supporting policies that, in the Pope's view, are required by a commitment to the Truth revealed by and in Jesus, the Pope is, in fact, causing tangible harms to people." He does not mean, I assume, that "the Pope is using 'Jesus' as a way to facilitate the causing of harm." Let's go with my assumption. If Mr. Knox's charge is unfounded, it could be because (i) the harms to which he refers (primarily AIDS and HIV) are actually 'caused' by other things, not by the policies in question; or (ii) on balance, the harms to which he refers -- even assuming that the Pope is partially responsible for them -- are outweighed by the benefits caused by the policies in question. (Other possibilities?)
I assume that it is an essential premise of Mr. Knox's charge (charitably understood) that the Pope is mistaken in thinking that the policies in question are required by a commitment to the Truth revealed by and in Jesus. Is it? Or could Mr. Knox think that (a) the Pope is right in thinking this, but also that (b) he is causing harms (and so should (c) not support the policies, despite the fact that they are required etc., etc.?