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Cruiser's avatar

Is the Pope's visit here truly benevolent or political?

Asked by Cruiser (40421points) September 23rd, 2015

I ask this because I cannot help but react to the many opportunities President seized to inject his political agenda at the start of the Pope’s visit. The Pope…even to me is a representative of many of our worlds faithful that rely on their supreme leader to guide them on their path of religious beliefs. Not sure if this was a good time for our President to throw out comments that reflect his desires that IMO are far from holy and circle back to nothing more than a political agenda.

When I read/hear these comments it makes even me feel used when this moment should have been nothing short of reverential to the Popes cause and reason for being here. I guess I just believe some moments of religious or personal beliefs should be free from public and/or legislative interference scrutiny or prosecution.

These are the comments from the Pres today that I based my question on.

“What is true in America is true around the world. [snip] And just as the Church has stood with those struggling to break the chains of poverty, it (USA) has given voice and hope to those seeking to break the chains of violence and oppression.”

Is he serious??

“You remind us of the costs of war”

I don’t need no reminding…seems that you do! Sheesh! Religion is most of the reason we have these war!

“So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.”

I think Kim Davis needs a hug from you to feel more secure in what you say here.

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29 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Everything the Pope does is political!

zenvelo's avatar

So you would rather the Pope and the President endorse someone who wishes to impose their own belief system on hundreds of millions of people who believe otherwise?

President Obama’s speech was recognizing the spiritual guidance of Francis I in a way that addresses the actual lives of people, how Francis echoes the teachings of Christ and Saint Francis.

I think it was completely appropriate.

By the way, your subject header doesn’t reflect the body of your text. You ask about the Pope’s visit, but then harangue on a great speech by the President.

Pandora's avatar

I think he has a clear goal and that is to try to make all nations find common ground for the good of man kind and this planet. I don’t think he came to chastise or to dictate but rather to try to bring to light that a unified world can accomplish more. He is trying to mediate peace and a unified goal to saving the planet. He is doing the bidding of every man and woman who has seen and recognized that war, and greed has not been in the best interest of us all and of the planet.

He is here to say what most of us across the globe wish that every leader would hear and respond too. I never met anyone who said they were not sick of war or who wasn’t worried that we are polluting this planet faster than it can repair itself. Well at least I haven’t met anyone who was that clueless or indifferent to the world.

Is it political. Sure. He understands that his position carries a great responsibility to at least give voice to the poor and suffering of this world. If he didn’t even try, then there would be no point in him even sitting in the Popes chair. The difference between him an actual political leaders of the world is that he doesn’t have to think of only his survival. He doesn’t have to bend to the will of others. He can say his peace and move on. All he can do is pray that his words are truly heard. And not because he is Pope, but because it is the right thing to do. To always work towards peace, to help your fellow man and to find ways to help this planet to heal for future generations.

Honestly I really didn’t pay much mind to the President today. Though I have to say with all the songs that could’ve been sung in his honor, I couldn’t believe they chose a song that sounded more like a reading. The Pope must thing we are tone deaf. I don’t know if it’s the song or if they really couldn’t sing. I had a hard time getting through it.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I find nothing out of line with Obama’s speech. If you eliminate the praise of His Holiness, the speech could have been delivered by the Pope himself!

jerv's avatar

Are you refuting the possibility that it was benevolently political? Or are you refuting that the Pope espouses Christian values…. despite the fact that he has the same values as the majority of Christianity outside of the US?

I see the Pope’s visit as both. On the benevolence front, we have the highest clergyman of the faith that many Americans use to “justify” anti-gay bigotry and lack of compassion towards the poor trying to remind people of the teachings of Christ. Even if you take the politics out of the equation, the simple truth is that we have many people here claiming to be Christian yet acting in total opposition to it’s doctrines.

Of course, religion and politics are pretty much inseparable, especially in this nation where we revamped the words of our founding fathers to add God where He was carefully omitted by those who sought separation of Church and State.

Put yourself in Pope Francis’ position for a moment though. The wealthiest nation on Earth allows it’s poor to suffer greatly. It’s pious discard the teachings of those they claim to worship, substituting their own prejudice and claiming moral superiority because God. We seek conflict and interfere where even our allies say we shouldn’t. Basically, we are doing a lot of “unholy” things.

Are you telling me that you feel that such a situation should go unaddressed? Or are you saying that the US is so unimpeachably noble that we deserve to be treated differently? Are you saying that it’s okay for religion to have a voice so long as that voice is anti-LGBT?

I ask that last question as I don’t see any outrage from you about separation of church and state when Bible-driven legislation gets passed to reduce freedoms, yet I don’t recall you personally really endorsing discrimination either. That leaves me a bit confused as to what you really mean by, ” I guess I just believe some moments of religious or personal beliefs should be free from public and/or legislative interference scrutiny or prosecution.”.

Also bear in mind that Pope Francis isn’t endorsing a political candidate, nor is he running for political office himself. He is merely a head of state (Vatican City is a sovereign city-state) being extended hospitality by our own head of state, and that hospitality includes public formalities. Are you saying that we should be ruder to foreign heads of state?

Overall, the way you asked this question brings many questions to my mind, and yet also seems to oversimplify things to the point of a false dichotomy while also highlighting a little cognitive dissonance.

ucme's avatar

If the Pope commited suicide in his bathroom might the headline read…Pope on a rope ?

SmashTheState's avatar

No one gets into a position of high political office without being a sociopath. There are many, many tests to make sure a person is utterly amoral and conscienceless before they are permitted by the other ruling sociopaths to join their noxious, parasitical clique. That said, even sociopaths recognize that capitalism has run amok and is threatening to create the sort of chaos from which blood-soaked revolutions and social tumult is born. People ranging from Warren Buffet to Bill Gates have warned that the rich have taken too much, too fast, and that the entire world is teetering on the brink of the sort of upheavels which result in oceans of blood.

The last time the world looked this way was the Great Depression. Between the Russian Revolution and the rise of a militant labour movement, the world looked ready to start impaling the rich on spikes up and down Wall Street as a warning to other capitalists. The billionaire overlords in Amerika got together and created the New Deal to cut the legs out from under the burgeoning insurrection. Pope Francis is serving the same role now. He and other sociopaths like him are working to try and restrain the stupidest of the rich from pushing the world over the brink into revolution. Fortunately I think it’s too little, too late. There are so many stupid billionaires now that I don’t think it can be stopped.

I just hope I live long enough to scythe my share of the bloody harvest to come.

ragingloli's avatar

For the king of the paedos pope, it may be ‘benevolent’, but for Obama, it is clearly political.
Almost half of all republican voters believe that Obama is a Muslim.
So what better way to push back on that, than by mingling with leader of all christians and god’s representative on Earth while having the guy openly support environmentalism and condemn capitalism and greed, which will piss off the colonial heretics to no end?

rojo's avatar

If Obamas’ aim was to showcase his Christianity and downplay his supposed Muslimism he could have, or rather should have, chosen a different venue. A very large percentage of the Protestant denominations here in the US have a hard time accepting that Catholics are even Christian so aligning himself with the pope does not validate him in their eyes. They believe the Church of Rome teaches false and evil things; that Catholics are predestined to damnation, and most have a revulsion for things important to the Catholic faith such as the saints, relics and the liturgy.

As was pointed out by Devin Rose : “Under Reformed Protestantism, God has predestined the elect to salvation and the reprobate to damnation. Being a faithful Catholic therefore means, practically by definition, that you are a reprobate. And here’s the kicker: if you are one of the reprobate, many of the passages from the Gospel on forgiving your brother and helping him do not apply (at least as they interpret them). Once you cross the Tiber, you are anathema and damned.”

Cruiser's avatar

@zenvelo The Presidents speech IMHO was less than great. So by me highlighting this aspect of his speech in the body of my details IMHO is entirely appropriate within the context of my question header. This aspect is not lost on the liberal media as that is all they talked about this morning and what I outlined in the body of my question is what they focused on as well. The media is having a field day with his speech and as the Donald would say….“things did not go well for Obama yesterday”

jaytkay's avatar

I see that opposition to violence, poverty, and oppression enrages conservatives.

Is there anything they can’t turn into a hatefest?

(It’s a rhetorical question).

jerv's avatar

It seemed a bit more than that though. And I seriously do think that had a Bush done this, that you wouldn’t have even raised an eyebrow.

Also, while you may not need to be reminded of the cost of war, there are plenty who do need reminding. And I fail to see how anyone can consider themselves “fiscally responsible” then try slashing our smaller, more vital expenses while ignoring the largest and most optional ones.

As for it not going well, if that is what you think then Fox News is the most liberal news source you’ve seen. From what I’ve seen (from a variety of sources), reaction to Obama’s speech has, predictably, been split along party lines.

jul_ras's avatar

Political no doubt.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Cruiser I think you have to understand as the Pope clearly does that looking out for the poor, speaking up on issues of global warming, etc., those ARE political acts. Of course ANY issue involving the shifting of resources around is always political. And once you start calling attention to the fact that so many have so little in order that so few have so much, you are talking DANGEROUS politics. The fact that you are only mildly disappointed is a fairly good sign that you have yet to achieve the “so much” threshold.

whitenoise's avatar

I liked Obama’s speech. You may say that it is a bit weird to hear a leading American talk about compassion with others, but hey… get used to it. We need more of that or face more misery.

To me it shows that benevolence and politics don’t exclude each other.

kritiper's avatar

He wants a New York style pizza and some really good hamburgers. And he wants to be able to talk to all kinds of people who speak Spanish. Gracias, amigo!

Jaxk's avatar

I would expect no less. If you can make it sound like the Pope is endorsing your policies, any president would do that. High light the areas of agreement, ignore disputes. The Pope for right or wrong, sways a lot of people.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I found it quite interesting. Obama sounded like…. a fiery Baptist pope.

I often wonder if he really believes that God is real.

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III Most Christians do believe God is real. Are you telling us you still think he’s Muslim?

si3tech's avatar

I believe it is political.

rojo's avatar

I’m gonna go with benevolent just because everyone else seems to think it is political and here in the US of A we highly value the rugged individualist.

tinyfaery's avatar

He seems sincere. The intention of all others is suspect.

LostInParadise's avatar

If I were President and the Pope said things that were in agreement with my beliefs, I would make a point of mentioning it. Would that make me political? By definition political acts are what politicians do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jerv that was a ridiculous thing to say to me in so many ways. For one, Muslims believe God is real, too. Think about it a little more.

I just like the way he easily blended what are supposed to be real Christian values in with the things he is trying to accomplish for the less fortunate and for other countries. You would think that would strike a note with the Christian folks. But probably not the kind of Christian folks we have here in “Murika.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Kind of sounds like the pope exorcised Bohner! “exorcised?” Is that right?

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III It should be “Boehner” and “exercised”~ Something I am pretty sure he is not a fan of

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh…Boner doesn’t exercise! I meant, like the Exorcist kind of exorcise thingy. The split pea soup, head doing a 360 thingy.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III If Boehner ever tried to exercise, he would certainly spew pea soup except I would more expect soup of the red wine coloration.

jca's avatar

I think Boehner and Palin enjoy the tanning bed.

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