Ratzinger is not stupid. Including the reference to the passage that has incited Muslim anger was no accident. It was a calculated, intentional strategy designed to help George Bush and the Republicans in the 2006 elections, just like the Catholic church systematically helped Bush and the Republicans in the 2004 elections, through Cardinals and Bishops who attacked Kerry.
Of course the fact that not one Cardinal said anything negative about Kerry and that the number of Bishops who did you could count on one hand. That the Bishop’s conference has been called the Democratic Party at prayer. Though facts gets in the way of Rovian-Vatican conspiracies to influence the U.S. election.
To spell it out, it seems that the Pope intentionally drew an angry, violent, anti-Catholic, possibly anti-Christian response from Muslims on the street in the Arab world. This makes great TV– burning the Pope or Christians in Effigy, threats to terror Bomb the Vatican and Catholic Churches. This is designed to raise the hackles of American Christians, to intensify the fear of Muslim terrorism, to boost the belief that there are 1.1 billion Muslims plotting against Americans.
I had to recheck the site URL to make sure I hadn’t wondered onto the Onion’s site. Yes the Pope knew that the media would intentionally mischaracterized his comments and write provoking headlines to inflame the passions of Muslims. When he wrote a scholarly discourse of the role of faith and reason and a condemnation of religious violence it was of course meant to start religious violence and get Republicans elected in the fall election. Pope Benedict has been misunderstood in the past, but this one takes the cake. This type of analysis applies zero facts and shows a poor faith effort at even looking at the slightest details of the Pope writings.
Democratic Sen. John Kerry on Monday urged people of faith to work cooperatively on problems such as poverty, global warming and reducing the number of abortions – "godly tasks" that transcend the nation’s culture wars.
In a speech laced with anecdotes of his own journey of faith, Kerry, a Roman Catholic, told students in a speech at Pepperdine University that "we can take up God’s work as our own.
"Shame on us if we use our faith to divide and alienate people from one another, or if we draft God into partisan service," Kerry said. "As God gives us the ability to see, let us take up the tasks associated with loving our neighbors as ourselves."
Even with the nation riven over reproductive rights, Kerry said a shared goal should be reducing the high number of abortions. The first step, he said, it to accept the responsibility of making abortion rare.
"Even as a supporter of Roe v. Wade, I am compelled to acknowledge that the language both sides use on this subject can be unfortunately misleading and unconstructive. … Everyone is worse off for it," the Massachusetts senator said.
Listening to John Kerry talk about faith is like what Mark Shea says, watching Nixon Trying to Disco. Well at least this time he didn’t quote St. James on faith and works while voting for partial-birth abortion. He is trying the President Clinton line about making abortion rare, but what he forgets is that Bill Clinton was charismatic so he could say vapid things and make them sound good. You want to deliver a line like that without having anybody pausing to actually think about it. As has been mentioned before exactly what other "right" should be made rare? If abortion has no moral quality then the numbers don’t matter in the first place. Of course they also never lay out any plan on how this is to happen other than throwing gasoline on the fire methods like more sex education and more contraceptives and then mock programs that teach abstinence.
"For 12 years I wandered in the wilderness, went through a divorce and struggled with questions about my direction. Then suddenly and movingly, I had a revelation about the connection between the work I was doing as a public servant and my formative teachings. Indeed, the scriptures provided a firmer guide about values applied to life," he said.
Well maybe he just has another 28 years to wander in the wilderness first. Here is hoping he makes his way to the promised land, though I heard he voted for war against the Hittites before he voted against it.