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


A Source Of Light 

America is going to be graced for the next several days with the presence of a very courageous man of God.

Benedict, in making his first trip as pope to the United States, brings an agenda, and it's more the stuff of a theology lecture than a mass-media event. . . ..

To be sure, there are tangible goals: Ramp up frank interfaith dialogue. Return Catholics to regular, traditional worship that reminds them of their long history. But his biggest aspiration for his six-day trip is to encourage Christians to believe in Jesus -- to really believe in him, not as a metaphor but as a real miracle meant to deliver human beings from misery and war. . . .

Benedict feels that Western, secular societies don't take profound, supernatural religious faith seriously, a condition that he believes leads to rampant consumerism and nonchalance about such things as poverty. Religion-inspired terrorism shows, he believes, the opposite phenomenon: faith unhinged from reason. . . .

Many here predict he will expand that idea at his address Friday to the United Nations by talking about the link between freedom and religion. He believes, essentially, that there is such a thing as right and wrong, that it comes from God and that it is the basis of free societies. . . .

Greatest hits include a 2006 lecture quoting a source calling Muhammad inhuman (which led to riots in the Muslim world and the killing of a nun), a document last year in which he said other Christian churches are "defective" and his decision last month to personally baptize a famous Italian Muslim journalist on Easter. Some called the baptism incendiary; others said he was trying to make a point to Muslim countries about religious freedom for minority Christians.

I hope the media covers the Pope with anything resembling fairness and balance. And I'm also hoping the Pope is blunt about secularism and about religious tolerance.

We could use such a message these days.

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