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Pope Endorses Barack Obama in UN Speech

Pope Benedict @ the United Nations

[digg-me]Not quite. But close.

Addressing the United Nations on Friday, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of reducing income inequality; of increasing international cooperation; of respecting the law; of having solidarity with the poor and weak; of opposing (unnecessary) ((I inserted unnecessary here although Pope Benedict did not. Although the pope spoke in this speech of avoiding war, I presume he speaks of this in the context of the “just war” theory that has been accepted by him and the rest of the Catholic Church in the past.)) war; of “giving attention and encouragement to even the faintest sign of dialogue or desire for reconciliation;” of creating “structures capable of harmonizing the day-to-day unfolding of the lives of people;” of the “protection of the environment…and the climate.” And like Barack Obama, though many conservative Catholics are loathe to admit, the previous pope, Pope John Paul II even specifically opposed the invasion of Iraq.

In the past eight years, the Republican party has come to stand for the right of the president to torture prisoners; for rising inequality and acceptance of corporate fraud; for elevating the executive above the Rule of Law and the other constitutionally co-equal branches of government; for ignoring the climate crisis; for refusing to give aid to the poor and weak because of potential “moral hazards” while bailing out big corporations; for preventive war; for refusing to engage in dialogue with our enemies. Pope Benedict’s speech was a direct challenge to the worldview and policies of the Bush administration and an articulation of basic moral principles and basic responsibilities of the state.

Within these principles articulated by the pope, we can easily find the mainstream Democratic agenda, a rejection of the radical policies of George W. Bush, and more specifically, an endorsement of the school of politics that Barack Obama stands for: talking with our enemies; avoiding unnecessary wars and violence; respecting the Rule of Law; reducing income inequality; promoting access to health care; and protecting the environment.

This is the Democratic agenda.

The Pope explained that it is the responsibility of “every generation [to] engag[e] anew in the arduous search for the right way to order human affairs…motivated by hope.” I would call that a pretty good encapsulation of Obama’s appeal – that he represents a new generation striving to find the best way to manage the world and our nation “motivated by hope”.

Jonah Goldberg may call it fascism; Steve Marlsberg may call such efforts to reduce inequality and allow citizens access to basic needs Communism; Rush Limbaugh may call efforts to focus on the real threat of Al Qaeda in the Pakistani/Afghani border “cut-and-run.” But those who listened to Pope Benedict’s address to the United Nations can see that he stands with those the so-called “conservatives” have labeled fascists, communists, and cowards – and the pope understood that the basic moral values he stood for are the essence of what he called “freedom.”

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18 replies on “Pope Endorses Barack Obama in UN Speech”

Pope Endorses Barack Obama in UN Speech (sort of)…

The Pope spoke this past Friday to the UN about the principles that should guide nation-states. Oddly enough, he struck the same themes as Obama in contrast to Bush and McCain….

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You are very foolish if you think a pro life Pope would vote Obama. This is dumberst sight I have ever seen.

I agree that the Pope wouldn’t vote for Obama because of the abortion issue. unfortunately, there is no pro-life party in America though – and although I could easily see this Pope voting for a Republican, I think he would be abdicating many of his principles in order to do so.

My point here wasn’t that this Pope would vote for Obama – but to point out how closely the Pope’s overall view of the world meshes with Obama’s – and how much it conflicts with the views of right-wing Americans including John McCain and George W. Bush.

It was nice of you though to submit a fake email address – indicating that you have no wish to stand behind your anonymous accusations of me being “dumberst.”

What you’re talking about here is an alignment of rhetoric.

The job of a pope is primarily to preach, while the job of a President is primarily to govern. It’s not clear that Obama’s governance follows his rhetoric. In fact it’s pretty clear that it doesn’t:


@Lawrence Gage:

An alignment and an alignment of goals.

If your source for Obama’s rhetoric not matching his actions, you can do better than the National Review. But Yuval Levin is his opinion piece either deliberately or through ignorance misunderstands Obama’s rhetoric on the issue of abortion and civility.

Levin describes Obama’s approach as Obama “cloth[ing] his substantive extremism in the garb of rhetorical moderation.” But that’s not actually Obama’s approach. Obama argues for civility – for acknowledging that there are people of good faith on both sides of most arguments – and for accepting one’s opponents arguments on their own terms. This doesn’t mean he is in favor of triangulation – as Bill Clinton was, and as Bush claimed he was in 2000.

What Obama has preached are applying these principles to political debate – and he has done so – refusing to demonize protestors at his rallies – and indeed sticking up for them against the crowd. He does this in his speeches. And in his administration, he engages in real debate between many sides of an issue before making a decision – which despite the debate sometimes entirely rejects one side. This is important and cannot be dismissed as mere “rhetoric.” Obama also has generally refrained from going directly against what he sees as good faith core positions of his opponents – offering tax cuts as part of his stimulus proposal instead of just spending, putting off various abortion-related issues, etc.

In summary – Obama’s rhetoric and his actions do not conflict – at least not in the manner you or Levin describe. Levin doesn’t actually make the case that Obama is deceiving anyone with his rhetoric – he starts out with this presumption, quotes Obama calling for engagement in good faith, and then makes the jump to saying Obama is promising to be moderate.

Finally – re. the job of the Pope. The Pope’s primary purpose is to govern the Church – of which preaching is a major part. Kind of like the way the president’s main job is to govern – but giving speeches is a main part of that.

I hope the pope is spiritual enough to see through the Obama facade..Most of the babes in Christ have


What exactly is this “Obama facade” you speak of?

When you say “most of the babes in Christ have” seen through this facade – are you meaning to say that most of the world’s Christians – who, if America voted for Obama and if elsewhere supported Obama – are not truly Christian?

Consider this; The bible says the whole world wil be deceived, all but the elect of Christ…Now consider this…Muslims, some Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc think there are three Abrhamic religions.. namely, Christianity, Judaism and Islam…THIS IS THE WHOLE WORLD THAT IS DECEIVED.. There is not THREE Abrahamic religions..There is only one Abrahamic religion..It is of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and those Jesus adopts into the Abrahamic family.. Ishmael was outcast from Abraham and still is unless he come through Jesus the Son of God…
Barack Obama says Islam is a legimitate religion of Abraham…Personally I think he is still a muslim and wrose than that..

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