April 19, 2008


BENEDICT & BUSH: MUCH IN COMMON (Rich Lowry, 4/19/08, NY Post)

In fact, Benedict blessed an interventionism farther reaching than anything Bush has ever defended. If nation states don't protect their citizens from "grave and sustained violations of human rights," he said, "the international community must intervene." This view might seriously endanger national sovereignty - if the United Nations weren't so comically ineffectual.

Borrowing from Stalin's infamous jibe, one might ask Benedict how many divisions Ban Ki-moon has? The UN is a collection of squabbling nation states, many of which cynically use it to block the principled international action that Benedict envisions. If a dictator is toppled or a humanitarian crisis averted anywhere in the world, it is almost always the United States that took the lead.

Benedict devoted the balance of his address to a dense explanation of the philosophical basis of human rights. They are founded, he said, "on the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations." In defending the universality of human rights, Benedict sounded similar to Bush. There's a reason that yesterday Bush declared with gusto at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington: "His Holiness believes that freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man, woman and child on Earth."

This was the neglected storyline of Benedict's visit: the consonance of vision of the president and the pontiff. When they stood together on the White House lawn in a majestic welcoming ceremony on Wednesday, it symbolized the growing rapprochement of American evangelical Protestantism and the Catholic Church.

...have as many divisions as the US can field.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 19, 2008 3:46 PM
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