Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pope Benedict Denounces Iraq War

We've been traveling this week and missed some recent headlines, including Pope Benedict's Palm Sunday Mass from the Vatican.

According to the AP, Pope Benedict issued a strong appeal for peace in Iraq and "denounced the 5-year-old Iraq war, saying it had provoked the complete breakup of Iraqi civilian life."

The AP reported included this quotation from the Pope:
Enough with the slaughters. Enough with the violence. Enough with the hatred in Iraq.


Dan Paden said...

Don't forget that that same pope is right up there with Sally Kern when it comes to views on the morality of homosexual behavior--and thus, by your own words, ignorant and intolerant.

Alternative Tulsa said...

We would not (and do not) equate Rep. Kern's militant homophobia with the Pope's Palm Sunday message of peace in Iraq. For starters, one is a small-minded and opportunistic Oklahoma politician and the other is a major Christian leader capable of subtle moral and intellectual distinctions. Even for skeptics, the Pope can and should be praised when he speaks as a force for good in the world. Rep. Kern, not so much.

Dan Paden said...

Oh. Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought you were saying the other day that Sally Kern was ignorant and intolerant for holding the opinion that homosexuality is immoral. Since I know that to be an opinion that the Pope shares, I took it for granted that he would, therefore, also be ignorant and intolerant in your eyes, and therefore, perhaps a curious choice for use as a moral authority on other issues.

If it's not the case that holding that homosexuality is immoral is cause for calling someone ignorant and intolerant, I can't help but wonder on what basis you so characterized Mrs. Kern--not to mention most Oklahomans, as judged at the ballot box the last time we had the chance.

I'm curious. Perhaps you could explain that one further. One might easily get the impression from your words so far that the Pope's moral authority increases in direct proportion to his agreement with your positions. Wouldn't that, then, actually make you the moral authority?

Perhaps you have more in common with Mrs. Kern than you think. :)

Alternative Tulsa said...

Okay, Dan. We will admit to some inconsistencies of logic and opinion. We are writing a political blog, after all, where consistency can be (and often is) a rhetorical liability.

But we also think you overlook a couple of important facts. First, the Pope is a religious leader who exercises his power (among non-Catholics, at least) by moral argument. Even American Catholics routinely disagree with the Pope on key issues (birth control, for example). Rep. Kern, on the other hand, is a secular political leader in an open and civil society, where her religious views do not trump the views of other believers (or non-believers, for that matter). As a political figure, she can hold any views she likes, of course, but she cannot under our system make her religious views the law of the land when those views impeach the individual rights of citizens she happens not to approve of, even (or especially) on moral grounds. Second, Rep. Kern and other like-minded legislators ought to think twice about criminalizing behavior they find immoral, inasmuch as this broad brush would put a lot of citizens in jail for, say, taking the Lord's name in vain, adultery, etc. Third, the Pope seems fully capable of hating the sin but loving the sinner, a Christ-like compassion for fellow human beings that we do not see reflected in any of Rep. Kern's remarks.

Dan Paden said...

We will admit to some inconsistencies of logic and opinion.

See, that's why I like you guys. :)

I was unaware that Mrs. Kern had suggested making her religious views the law of the land. Thanks for letting me know of this salient fact.

Tulsan said...

The Pope apologized for the church persecuting Galileo only 400 years later, and the Vatican now even plans to place a statue of him in their gardens.

Who knows, maybe by 2408, the Vatican will erect a statue of Sir Elton John.