Liberals and progressives go to great lengths to keep church and state separate. Just try to have religious schools share in a voucher or other government program that provides relief to students trapped by the teachers’ unions into failing schools. No can do. It violates the separation of church and state.
Just have some poor baker refuse to bake a cake for a gay married couple, and he will be told that he can’t impose his religious beliefs on that couple, the law of the land overriding any individual right to obey religious beliefs. Note: this is not a monopoly electric utility denying an essential service to that couple: it is a baker, one of dozens easily available in Colorado and eager for the business of the gay couple which were married, by the way, in Massachusetts, a state unlikely to have as many religious bakers as does Colorado.
But when the president needs support for his climate plan he calls upon the anti-capitalist Pope to rally his religious legions on the side of the American state. No separation allowed. And when the administration wanted to establish relations with a Cuban dictatorship still rounding up dissidents, it looked to Pope Francis for a blessing. And got it, presumably so that capitalist America could ship to the island the goods that would relieve the shortages inflicted on Cubans blessed to live in the Castros’ communist economy. Only the deeply cynical would claim that the Pope’s moral authority is less coercive than the legal authority of the state. Coercive separation or merger of church and state coercive power – whichever suits the administration’s needs.
We are indeed, one nation under God – some of the time.
Pope, President, Prices and Paris. That covers just about everything you need to know about the next step in the battle to prevent what has come to be called climate change, the title now preferred to “global warming” by those who worry that CO2 emissions are causing, er, global warming.
Ever since the environmental movement began it has had a religious fervor: Like God, Earth is always capitalized, and there is an annual celebration, Earth Day, rather like holidays celebrated by other religions. Of course, the dogmas of green religionists have changed over time: Prophecies of a new Ice Age gave way to forecasts of global warming, and those to a more all-purpose fear of climate change. Fair enough.
Last week, Pope Francis hosted a Vatican summit on global warming where one of his cardinals called for a “full conversion of hearts and minds” to the fight against the “almost unfathomable” effects of fossil fuels on the environment. The pope will soon issue an encyclical on the subject, which—according to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon—will “convey to the world that protecting our environment is an urgent moral imperative and a sacred duty for all people of faith and people of conscience.”
“Oh, Khatcher agha, the killers have come.” Those words were spoken to my grandfather, Khatcher Matosian, with a tap on the back so that he would redirect his gaze. He and relatives had been peering from the rooftops of their Armenian village in central Turkey after hearing about the Ottoman government’s orders to deport Armenians from neighboring villages.
The scene from that summer of 1915 continues in my grandfather’s memoirs:
The White House has just released details of President Obama's upcoming Europe trip, which includes a visit with the pope in Vatican City on March 27. "The President looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality," says the White House press secretary in a statement.
Here's the full statement:
Statement by the Press Secretary on the President's Travel to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy in March 2014
Everybody has an opinion about the pope these days and, what’s worse, feels compelled to express it. Rush Limbaugh has an opinion about the pope. He says he finds the pope “upsetting.” And he’s not even Catholic!
Even though it’s only April, the New York Times may already have run the most embarrassing correction that will appear in any major newspaper in 2013. In their story on Pope Francis’s first Easter message, no less than the Times’s Vatican reporter informed readers, “Easter is the celebration of the resurrection into heaven of Jesus, three days after he was crucified, the premise for the Christian belief in an everlasting life.”
A commentator on CNN dubbed Pope Francis "the hope and change pope" earlier today:
"He hasn't actually done much in the way of real policy changes of initiatives, and he certainly is the hope and change pope, but he's at the head of a body, the Vatican, that's very resistant to change," said the CNN commentator. "I've read, for instance, that observers say that you don't change the Vatican, the Vatican changes you."