The Battle Hymn of the Republic was sung by the US Army Chorus, and you have to hear this, particularly if you haven't had a chance to have your TV on today or your radio, and you didn't hear this. You have to hear it and you have to imagine a crystal-blue sky, a crisp day in Washington, the pope and the president on the reviewing stand with others, the camera occasionally focusing on the US Army Chorus. You realize, this is at the White House, and a song written in tribute to God is being played at the White House. In this country there has been such an effort, and it has been way too successful, to remove God from anything public. Not only was God present, but the largest White House welcoming ceremony ever participated in a ceremony thanking God and respecting God and offering up a tribute to God, and you just have to hear this. It runs about 4:47. It's infectious, so well done. The US Army Chorus, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.So, now, wait. Did Rush have a religious experience, or was he just delighted by the thought of those people — those liberals — having conniptions about the intermingling of religion and government?
(playing of The Battle Hymn of the Republic)
That is just beautiful. I'm at a loss for words to describe the impact that had on me, and I was not even paying close attention. I was looking at the computer and I had the TVs on, which are to my left when I'm sitting at the computer. I heard this start, and I told Cookie up in New York, "Get me the song. I want the song as part of the audio sound bites." She said, "You can hear it?" I said, "I can always hear God's music."
THE PRESIDENT: In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred and that each of us is willed, each of us is loved. And your message that each of us is willed, each of us is loved, and each of us is necessary. In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this dictatorship of relativism and embrace a culture of justice and truth.Of course, the Pope is not bringing a message of American exceptionalism. So does he mean that the ceremony for the Pope gave President Bush a platform to proclaim American exceptionalism? But you see Bush's words. They aren't about American exceptionalism. They are about universal values, which is precisely appropriate for the occasion — as the proclamation of American exceptionalism would not be.
RUSH: This is just fabulous. This is exactly what this country needs at this time. It took the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI to bring forth a discussion -- a discussion I have been so desirous that happen at the highest levels of our elected leadership, a discussion of American exceptionalism.
I've never seen a more vivid example of Rush Limbaugh hearing what he wants to hear.
You can hear it? I can always hear God's music. If by God, you mean the voices in your own head.
He goes on:
Once again, as you know, folks, I have been begging, I have been clamoring, I have been asking, "Where is the discussion in this country of American exceptionalism? Where is it in this presidential campaign?" It's nowhere to be found. You won't find it. It took the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for a discussion and statement of American exceptionalism to be made.Is that American exceptionalism? It seems to me the Pope is speaking of the universal "dominion of God" and the way America's founders acknowledged it. Not that they were special, but that they, like everyone who ever lived and who ever will live is subject to God's moral order.
POPE BENEDICT: From the dawn of the republic, America's quest for freedom has been guided by the conviction that the principles governing political and social life are intimately linked to a moral order based on the dominion of God the Creator. The framers of this nation's founding documents drew upon this conviction when they proclaimed the self-evident truth that all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights grounded in the laws of nature and of nature's God.
Limbaugh plays another Pope clip: "As the nation faces increasingly complex political and ethical issues of our time, I'm confident that the American people will find in their religious beliefs a precious source of insight and an inspiration to pursue reasoned, responsible and respectful dialogue in the effort to build a more human and free society." Really, that is nothing but a generic statement that religion is good and people should be religious and good.
Now, here's Rush, in that special slightly bonkers manner of his that listeners find either so endearing or so infuriating:
And he continued on, and he ended it by saying God bless America. He's a big fan of America, Joseph Ratzinger is his prepapal name. He's from Germany, as you can tell. But it was just uplifting to me. I take this stuff personally. I love this country. I love anybody else who loves this country, and I don't care who it is that requires or necessitates or creates this discussion, gets it started, of the concept of American exceptionalism, whether it's the pope or whether it's somebody else. But I really wish that some of our own elected officials in power, leadership positions, would have the guts to speak of it in that context rather than wringing our hands and whining and moaning about how hard we have it and how horrible things are and how unfair life is and all the other things that people have become comfortable whining about. Thanks to the pope and the president today for this remarkable, remarkable ceremony at the White House.He's a big fan of America, you know, this Pope, this Joseph Ratzinger. And check out that accent. German! He's from Germany! Wow! I love anybody who loves this country!