My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Media Malfeasance: Even the Pope Is Fair Game 

The headline coming out of the media is something like this:

Benedict Becomes First Pope to Visit Amican Synagogue

Which he is, of course, so that's not so bad. But how about this one:

Pope Worries That Big Powers Control Decision Making

Wonder who he was talking about in that?

Except that he really only made that remark in passing. The vast majority of his Holiness' address to the United Nations was devoted to a thorough-going discussion of human rights, where they emanate from, and the responsilities governments have to uphold them. It's a wonderful speech, with a great deal of text devoted to the doctrine of "responsibility to protect".

Every state has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights, as well as from the consequences of humanitarian crises, whether natural or man-made. If states are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the United Nations charter and in other international instruments. The action of the international community and its institutions, provided that it respects the principles undergirding the international order, should never be interpreted as an unwarranted imposition or a limitation of sovereignty. On the contrary, it is indifference or failure to intervene that do the real damage.
[emphasis mine].

Rather than an argument that powerful states act too much on their own, it is a rather pointed call to action to prevent atrocities like the ones in North Korea, Darfur, and (dare I say it) throughout the middle east.

And I doubt you'll see the professional journalists make much of this quote:

Human rights, of course, must include the right to religious freedom, understood as the expression of a dimension that is at once individual and communitarian . . . . It is inconceivable, then ,that believers should have to supress a part of themselves--their faith--in order to be active citizens. . . .The rights associated with religion are all the more in need of protection if they are considered to clash with a prevailing secular ideology or with majority religious positions of an exclusive nature.

Now, what part of the world do you suppose the Pope was talking about there? In exactly what part of the world are people denied the right to participate in public life if their faith is different from the "majority religious positions?"

Anyone, anyone? Bonus points for a Lefty who gets this right.

At any rate, the media has absolutely NO CLUE how to deal with a man whose Faith drives his convictions about the world. And, of course, they are absolutely terrified by the thought of criticizing Islam. But this Pope does not back down, even when he couches his thoughts in careful language.

What an honor it has been to have this great religious leader in our country for a while. What a shame we don't have the institutions to give him his due.


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