April 16, 2008


The Cowboy and the Shepherd: The one relies on prayer, the other on military force, but US President George W. Bush and Pope Benedict XVI are bosom buddies. On many issues, they are on the same page -- and together they battle the relativists. (Alexander Schwabe, 4/16/08, Der Spiegel)

The two leaders like each other. Bush has never been reticent about voicing his admiration for Benedict, almost to the point of fawning over him. After a June, 2007 visit, the president referred to the pope as a "very smart, loving man" and went on to say, "after six-and-a-half years of being president … I've been to some unusual places and met some interesting people, and I was in awe."

And Benedict, for his part, has the highest respect for Bush -- as the highest representative of a thoroughly religious country who is against abortion, gay marriage and the use of embryos in stem cell research.

Bush -- who has identified himself as a born-again Christian since he gave up alcohol at the age of 40 and who reads the Bible and prays regularly -- has himself profited from Benedict's praise of the US. The pope is fond of saying that the "dictatorship of relevatism" hasn't yet taken hold in the US to the extent it has in nihilistic Europe. In God's own country, values are still worth something.

Indeed, Benedict is visiting a country where religion belongs to the basic pillars of society. [...]

In America he sees an ally he believes shares his set of values that will support him in what he perceives as the real battle for the future. In his view, this battle will not result in the much-feared clash of cultures. The real front is not between world religions. Rather, it is a standoff between the real believers, whatever faith they adhere to, on the one side, and the worldly relativists -- or even the violent fanatics -- on the other. [...]

During his six-day US visit -- his eighth trip abroad since being named pope in April 2005 -- Benedict will also be pursuing a political agenda, even if it the Vatican is trying to sell the trip as a purely pastoral visit. With this visit, the Holy See is breaking with a tradition of steering clear of the US during election years. Admittedly the pope is not directly intervening in the election campaign: no meetings are planned with the presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain. However Benedict will, just through his mere presence in Washington and New York, be subtly promoting the Republican McCain, who has a record of opposing abortion. Both Clinton and Obama have taken pro-choice positions in the abortion debate -- a position Benedict finds unacceptable.

...with a candidate who's pro-infanticide?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 16, 2008 9:32 AM
Comments for this post are closed.