AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
(From Guardian Unlimited)
Pope Benedict XVI is in the Middle East. His representatives in Israel are tense: are there going to be any gaffes? Is he going to aggravate Muslims or Jews? If yes, how bad will the repercussions be? He is in the uncomfortable situation of having to walk through a minefield gracefully without causing any major explosions. The Middle East is the place where all three Abrahamic religions have major stakes, and the name of the game is not to offend anybody, because the ricochets can be lethal.
The eagerness religious believers have displayed to react to any perceived lack of respect for their beliefs with often exorbitant violence has led the recent defenders of atheism, most famously Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, to argue that religion "poisons everything". "Why indeed …