April 11, 2009

The Vatican rejects Caroline Kennedy.

Obama picks Catholics as ambassador, but these are Catholics who support abortion, and the Vatican says no.

246 comments:

1 – 200 of 246   Newer›   Newest»
Joe M. said...

Good for the Vatican.

Jason (the commenter) said...

At least she has her own theme song.

JSF said...

Expect some commenter to say:

"Obama has been in office XXX number of days, give him a break,"

Does anyone know if President Bush fully staffed his cabinet by May of 2001?

If President Obama had an easy transistion, with a Democratic Legislature to vote in his picks, why doesn't he have his cabinet and all his appointees?

Just curious.

TMink said...

Catholic leadership oppose abortion?

Who knew?

Trey

Bob said...

Does this not suggest a real tone deafness in the Obama administration?

Seven Machos said...

Not so much good for the Vatican as dumb for Obama. This was an appointment to the Vatican, right? Not Italy?

Who does this? Who allows the Pope to smack you down so righteously and easily?

Althouse: you need an Obama is dumber than Bush tag.

ricpic said...

As joe M. says, good for the Vatican. Now, when is Notre Dame gonna get the message and disinvite President Late Term Abortion?

TMink said...

Ricpic, I see the Notre Dame invitation differently. They invite every President to give the address, and it is President Obama's turn.

Trey

Bob said...

The Obama European charm offensive seems to have not worked at the Vatican. Would Bush have been this dumb? The appointment smacks of insensitivity; even unilateralism.

Lem said...

At this point somebody better ask 'Caroline dear when are you going to start taking better care of your brand'?

This has got to be the longest running wreck in the history of public relations.

Its got to be up there with Spears.

The Drill SGT said...

Trey said...They invite every President to give the address, and it is President Obama's turn.

I think that there are fewer concerns about an Obama speech. It is the fact that they are giving him an honorary doctor of laws degree to recognize his contributions to the law.

The problem is his legislative positions on abortion and stem cell research are not compatible with Catholic positions.

Seven Machos said...

Is it really that hard to find a respectable Democrat who isn't militantly pro-abortion?

Couldn't Kennedy have gotten Ireland or some shit like that?

Think, people. You have been billed as so smart.

David said...

Duh.

How about ambassador to France? Surely she speaks French.

Or Greece? She has relatives there. Sort of.

Ireland? (Just throw that Art Rooney guy under the Dublin bus.)

Canada? Her grandfather made a good part of his fortune by dealing with Canadians.

England? Joe Kennedy's old post.

Italy. She could visit the Vatican. (Wear a scarf and cover up those bare arms girl.)

Upstate New York. Sure, she doesn't know anything about the place, but she speaks the language. (With an accent.)

Luxembourg or Switzerland. She could keep her eye in those bank accounts.

Or maybe Obama could form a committee, with her and Paul Volcker as co-chairs. They would have nothing to do, as now, and could spend all their time getting ready to campaign for Obama in 2012, after which they would again be given nothing to do.

rhhardin said...

The Vatican needs to loosen up.

Lem said...

Couldn't Mead put in a word for her at the state in Cincinnati ;)

Meade is still leaving right?

Cedarford said...

Ouch! The Vatican has had non-Catholic Ambassadors. They just said w/respect to Caroline Kennedy, that if you are to give us a Catholic - give us a worthy, morally fit one. Not one that is unaccomplished at anything in life, an abortion rights extremist, one openly unfaithful, now in an adulterous relationship with the Jewish publisher of the NY Times (Pinch Sulzberger).

Ouch!

Man it has been a bad 6 months for wearing the Camelot luster off a privileged, slightly vacuous famous nobody like Princess Caroline.

I echo others. Good for the Vatican!

Revenant said...

I'm mildly surprised to hear people siding with a foreign country against the United States, here.

The Catholic church is very important, but we don't have ambassadors to religions; there is no "ambassador to Islam" or "ambassador to the Southern Baptists". We just have ambassadors to countries.

As a country, the Vatican is unimportant. It is a tiny oligarchy with no real military, no natural resources, and a lousy record on human rights (no freedom of speech or religion, no universal sufferage, etc). They aren't important enough that we NEED to keep in touch with them as we do with other nations. So if they want to keep rejecting our ambassadors, let them. Let's just not bother having diplomatic relations with them until they change their minds.

Imagine if, say, Saudi Arabia refused to accept any ambassador from us who wasn't a Wahabbist Muslism in agreement with the principle that women shouldn't even be allowed to drive? Who here thinks we as a country should put up with that kind of shit?

Richard Fagin said...

Isn't this "smart" diplomacy refreshing after all those years of stupid Bush and his neanderthal cowboy unilateralist cronies?

What's next, Louis Farrakhan for ambasssador to Israel?

David said...

"The Vatican needs to loosen up."

Sure, why not. How about a decade of sin, followed by a decade of penance, and then they could put it up to a vote which one the faithful liked best?

Maguro said...

I don't see why any US ambassador needs to toe the host country's line on policy issues. She's representing the US, not the Vatican. Does the ambassador to Saudi Arabia need to support the stoning of adultresses?

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- Your post is ironic. Of course the Vatican is not important as a country, or in statecraft. The only way the Pope has any legitimacy or standing is when he can call you out on moral issues with righteousness, which he has done here.

Any leader with any wits would foresee all this. Obama has acted stupidly by not realizing all that you just said, and not acting accordingly.

Lem said...

The one tax paying democrat can't get arrested by the Obamas.

David said...

Revenant says: "They aren't important enough that we NEED to keep in touch with them as we do with other nations."

Yeah. Someone once said "How many divisions does the Pope have?" Something like that. Some European said that, I think. Look it up, Rev, and let us know who it was.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

Mag -- The Vatican said you can't represent the United States here. Done and done.

Suppose Saudi Arabia sends an ambassador here who has a long history of public support for universal Sharia law and female castration at age 13, and he wants to bring his four wives. Do we allow it?

Revenant said...

Any leader with any wits would foresee all this. Obama has acted stupidly by not realizing all that you just said, and not acting accordingly.

I don't see it as stupid. Diplomatic relations with the Vatican are of no importance to either the United States or the Obama Administration.

Obama should explain to the Vatican's diplomatic corps that while the Pope is entitled to preen and posture as much as he wants, he doesn't get to dictate morality to Americans. Politically he's just the ruler of a shitty little banana republic in Italy.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

The point is not that she is pro-abortion, amoungst other things, but that she professes to be Roman Catholic, and takes a stance directly contrary to the Pope on this issue.

Which to me makes her appointment a gigantic slap in the face to the Pope.

Not akin to requiring a Muslim to be appointed to Saudi Arabia, but more like appointing a former Saudi citizen and Muslim, who has converted to Judaism as Ambassador.

zedzded said...

Yeah - that's the idea - send a chick to be the ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Let her drive. Vote. Go out alone in public. Drink alcohol. Why should we obey their backward laws? She could be an adultress, not just support stoning them. Man - this is awesome. Could invite the "king" over, have bacon sandwiches. Not kiss his ring, if that's what Barry was doing. A brave new world, baby.

The Drill SGT said...

Maguro said...
I don't see why any US ambassador needs to toe the host country's line on policy issues.


An Ambassador, must be acceptable the the receiving State. She must present her credentials to the Pope and serves as the President's personal representative.

The Vatican can reject appintments in turn. The only option of the US is to appoint an acceptable person, leave the post empty, or reject the Vatican Nuncio to the US in retaliation.

Revenant said...

Which to me makes her appointment a gigantic slap in the face to the Pope.

So he's throwing a temper tantrum?

Here's a notion. It is the official position of all three branches of the United States government that women have a basic human right to procure an abortion. The next time the Vatican sends an ambassador who claims to respect human rights but is nevertheless anti-abortion, we protest that "slap in the face" to our conception of human rights and kick him out of the country. Tell the Pope to either find a pro-choice ambassador or stop claiming to support human rights.

Would that be appropriate behavior? Why or why not?

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- You act as if the Vatican does not measure up to your sovereignty standards. Strange, given your political proclivities.

It's simple, dude:

1. USA appoints ambassador to Vatican.

2. Vatican declines.

3. USA cannot send ambassador to Vatican.

You make it sound like we can force an ambassador upon the Vatican. Not so.

Don't let your strange animus toward religion cloud your view of wise statecraft. In a democratic republic with millions of Catholic voters, it's important to appease the Vatican in such a token way.

Hearts and minds are vital, and that's the currency of Catholicism.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- It is certainly within the purview of the United States to reject the delegation from the Vatican.

Who is throwing the temper tantrum here? I mean, except you?

Revenant said...

Let me clarify a little bit:

People seem to be adopting the position that it is completely unreasonable to expect the Pope to change his mind on abortion. But the Catholic Church HAS changed its position on abortion over the centuries.

From the standpoint of politics and international relations, the position of the United States is that the Vatican should soften its anti-abortion stance. It is therefore completely unreasonable for us to yield to a Vatican demand that our ambassador not agree with our position. How can we expect to encourage the Vatican to change its ways if our ambassadors are required to think that its current ways are correct?

As for those people arguing that we should exclude pro-choice Catholics from consideration, I'll simply point to the Constitutional prohibition on religious tests for office. You can't force a Catholic to swear adherence to specific Catholic doctrines before allowing them to serve in government.

Revenant said...

3. USA cannot send ambassador to Vatican.

You make it sound like we can force an ambassador upon the Vatican. Not so.

I never said anything of the kind. My position is that step 3 is an acceptable end state. Simply tell the Vatican that if our most recent ambassador is unacceptable to them then we'll be cutting off diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Kick their ambassador out of the country and leave it at that. Their loss, not ours.

Who is throwing the temper tantrum here? I mean, except you?

So far, the United States has behaved appropriately. The Vatican has not. Rejecting ambassadors because of their religious beliefs is grossly insulting to the country that ambassador represents.

We should explain to the Pope that while he can and does deny religious freedom to the people he rules over, he does not have the right to do that to Americans. Religious freedom should not be something we voluntarily concede in order to secure relations with another country, especially an unimportant one like Vatican City.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"From the standpoint of politics and international relations, the position of the United States is that the Vatican should soften its anti-abortion stance."

I don't see how the US can have a position that the Vatican should soften its anti-abortion stance when plenty of US citizens (me included) have an anti-abortion stance. I've not been asked to surrender my citizenship, or leave the country. Speak for yourself.

Seven Machos said...

Come on Rev, the implications in your post are absurd.

1. The Vatican cannot appear to succumb to political pressure in changing its stance on an issue. The whole point of the enterprise is that everything comes from God.

2. Why in the world would the United States want to waste its energy trying to get anyone -- particularly the Vatican -- to change its abortion stance? We have much better things to do.

Your thought process here is just wrong. Precisely because the Vatican is so unimportant politically, you don't pick a fight with it. That's stupid.

EDH said...

Maybe the Pope is just thinking ahead a few years to when she'll be in full-blown sun damaged Skeletor mode like the other Kennedy women.

Seven Machos said...

we'll be cutting off diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Kick their ambassador out of the country and leave it at that. Their loss, not ours.

This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Obama is never going to do that because it would piss off every American Catholic and it would make the United States look absurd internationally.

Dude, get a clue. Get some rational common sense. Your intolerance of religion is making you stupid.

Andre said...

Are some posters here being deliberately obtuse?

Revenant's right, politically the Vatican doesn't fully warrant an Ambassador, and indeed didn't have one until 1984. The Ambassadorial part can easily be handled by the Ambassador to Italy (which could rather enthusiastically be Caroline Kennedy).

That however is the extent of his rightness and the beginning of his obtuseness.

We don't have an Ambassador to "Vatican City" that's a legal fiction. We have an Ambassador to the ABSOLUTE spiritual leader of the world's largest religion. As much as my deeply Protestant heart may not understand it, that does make him a figure of some gloal import. If there were an equivalent figure in Islam we would absolutely want an Ambassador to him too.

But that's not the point. The Vatican doesn't require pro-life Ambassadors, nor does it require Catholic Ambassadors, it does however say if you're going to send an Ambassador who claims to be a part of our organization but rejects our authority, that's a slap in the face. The analogy is not them sending a pro-life ambassador, but them sending one who spent last year declaring Obama unfit for the Presidency. I happen to think he is unfit, but you're damn right I think we should reject an "Ambassador" who was saying that. And we would.

What is it about Abortion that makes people lose sight of any other issue?

AJ Lynch said...

Doesn't Obama know how to grease the skids for his appts beforehand? Who cares what the issue is regarding why the appt was declined? It is not a Vatican / abortion issue. It is another failure of our new smart diplomacy. They need to give themselves a "reset" butoon.

Seven Machos said...

if you're going to send an Ambassador who claims to be a part of our organization but rejects our authority, that's a slap in the face

Clarity! Thank you.

Revenant said...

I don't see how the US can have a position that the Vatican should soften its anti-abortion stance when plenty of US citizens (me included) have an anti-abortion stance.

Obviously the expression "the position of the United States is X" does not mean "every man, woman, and child in the United States agrees with X". If that was the standard the United States could never be said to have a position on anything. You couldn't even say "the position of the United States is that it would be bad if the entire human race was destroyed", because there are undoubtedly people living here who disagree with that.

Fortunately, we live in a representative democracy, so we can determine what the position of the United States is without having to get all 300 million of us on the same page.

Diamondhead said...

You'd better watch out, Pope Benedict, or you can forget about getting any DVDs from our President.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- Andre nailed it. It's completely reasonable to decline a Catholic who simultaneously disavows Catholicism.

Interesting that you should get so worked about this, by the way. Why do you atheists care so much about religion all the time? Were you reasonable people with a well-conceived philosophy, religion would be the last thing on your minds. Instead, you seek it out. You are merely anti-God, dude.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Obama should explain to the Vatican's diplomatic corps that while the Pope is entitled to preen and posture as much as he wants, he doesn't get to dictate morality to Americans. Politically he's just the ruler of a shitty little banana republic in Italy.

Right. Tell that story to the approximately 45 million Hispanics in the US and who are estimated to grow to over 135 million. This doesn't even count the illegals. Most of these people are Catholics and respect the Pope, follow his edicts and are morally conservative if not politically.

This will go down well

"Hey, we don't like your Pope and his tin pot little church. Who cares what your beliefs are. Who cares if you believe abortion to be a sin and to be murder in the eyes of God. We are going to shove our enlightened progressive ways down your throats.

Give us a break you ignorant brainwashed superstitious religious nuts. Screw you and the Pope you rode in on and that stupid Virgin in Guadelupe too. Come on, you can't really be that dumb to believe all this sin and God stuff........Oh and do be sure to vote for the Democrat ticket come 2010...we are counting on you."

Good plan. You show 'em. Keep it up Obama. :-)

Revenant said...

1. The Vatican cannot appear to succumb to political pressure in changing its stance on an issue. The whole point of the enterprise is that everything comes from God.

It is the position of Vatican City that its laws come from God. That is not the position of US government or the international community. We are not obligated to conduct our diplomacy as if the other side was literally speaking on behalf of God, especially when most Americans think it isn't.

Why in the world would the United States want to waste its energy trying to get anyone -- particularly the Vatican -- to change its abortion stance? We have much better things to do.

Why would we want to waste our energy having diplomatic relations with a country of no economic, strategic, or political importance in the first place? But so long as we ARE wasting our time and money sending ambassadors to the Vatican, what better have they got to do than try to convince the Vatican to change its opposition to what our government considers to be basic human rights?

Revenant said...

Right. Tell that story to the approximately 45 million Hispanics in the US and who are estimated to grow to over 135 million.

So the old Kennedy-era objection that Catholics were a threat to our country's sovereignty because they'll put the Pope's wishes ahead of the interests of the United States was, in your opinion, correct?

Xmas said...

JSF,

Remember that Bush had a late start, with the whole Florida thing up in the air until December 12th. Obama has a whole month on W. in regards to getting his cabinet together.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- Your true colors come through. This is about your insane hatred of religion.

Sorry, dude, but religion, like the poor, and like death, and like taxes will always be with us.

Don't you find it odd that you, as a self-professed libertarian, get so worked up that others have a set of beliefs that is different from yours?

Synova said...

It might be that a non-Catholic is a better choice. It's odd to send as a representative of our country, someone who is supposedly under the authority of the Pope.


Imagine if, say, Saudi Arabia refused to accept any ambassador from us who wasn't a Wahabbist Muslism in agreement with the principle that women shouldn't even be allowed to drive? Who here thinks we as a country should put up with that kind of shit?

I think a better analogy would be... do we send a female ambassador to Saudi Arabia, or do we send a male ambassador?

Revenant said...

The Vatican doesn't require pro-life Ambassadors, nor does it require Catholic Ambassadors, it does however say if you're going to send an Ambassador who claims to be a part of our organization but rejects our authority, that's a slap in the face.

Uh huh.

Suppose we had a fundamentalist President who held the non-uncommon belief that Catholics aren't real Christians and the Pope is doing Satan's work. The Vatican sends over a Catholic ambassador. The President rejects this ambassador, stating that it is a slap in the face to America's Christian majority for anyone who follows the Pope to call himself a Christian. He insists that the next ambassador either be a Protestant, or a non-Christian.

Reasonable behavior? Why or why not?

Revenant said...

I think a better analogy would be... do we send a female ambassador to Saudi Arabia, or do we send a male ambassador?

We certainly shouldn't exclude a person from the post just because she's a woman, if that's what you're getting at.

It would be one thing if we were some tiny little country desperate not to offend the big nasty country next door, e.g. the Baltic States and the USSR/Russia. But we're the United States of America, damnit. Ostensibly the world's beacon of freedom and human rights. Why the heck should we go out of our way to accommodate countries that don't respect freedom and human rights unless we absolutely have to?

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- Your hypothetical is poor because it is not in the realm of the politically possible. Were that to happen, relations with the Vatican would be the least of our worries.

I haven't seen you flail like this for a long time.

But, anyway, let's play a game. Let's try to piss off every country by sending them ambassadors they hate. For example:

Israel. Cedarford.

Revenant said...

Rev -- Your true colors come through. This is about your insane hatred of religion.

Seven, when you want to present intelligent arguments instead of a series of ad hominem attacks, let me know. Until then I'm done wasting my time on your drivel.

Synova said...

"Suppose we had a fundamentalist President..."

If the fundamentalist President was the religious leader of the country with authority in religious matters, the "what if" might work.

Unfortunately, all the other fundamentalist Christians who think that the Vatican is the whore of Babylon would refuse to accept that authority in any fashion whatsoever and we'd have civil war.

The Catholic Church in this country already sends representatives to the Vatican. There's no reason to send another famous Catholic because she is Catholic.

Seven Machos said...

But, Rev, it so obviously is. Would you get so worked up if, say, Canada rejected someone who claimed Canadian citizenship but wanted to destroy Canada? I mean, as long as we are dealing in silly hypotheticals...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So the old Kennedy-era objection that Catholics were a threat to our country's sovereignty because they'll put the Pope's wishes ahead of the interests of the United States was, in your opinion, correct?

Not at all. The old Kennedy era objection was just plain ignorant bigotry.

The majority of Catholics in the US from Ireland, Poland, Mexico, France, Guatemala and other parts of the world are American Citizens (except for the illegals soon to be fast tracked into citizenship over the objections of many including legal immigrants) As such, they vote freely on issues that affect the country they live in. The Pope and the Church has never taken any offical political stance and told Catholics who to vote for or what political issues to vote for.

Don't bother bringing up individual cases of misguided priests who have gone against the Church's stance on this and made statements that are political. This is why Catholics were appalled and nauseated by Father Flickgerdoogle or whatever his name is thrusting himself into the political arena with the Obama campaign. It just isn't done.

The thing that you and many others can't seem to wrap your itsy bisty brain around is that abortion is not a political issue to the Church or to many Catholics. It is a sin and not a political football. Murdering the unborn is a "bad thing" in the eyes of the church and that is official church doctrine.

Now, if people outside of the Catholic Church decide to have abortions, there is nothing that the Church can do about it, other than pray for their immortal souls and for the souls of the children who have been aborted.

As earlier stated to foist an ambassador upon the Vatican who says she is Catholic, but who defies the teaching of the Church is an insult.

Seven Machos said...

As earlier stated to foist an ambassador upon the Vatican who says she is Catholic, but who defies the teaching of the Church is an insult.

Seconded.

Steven said...

If Kennedy's resident in the diocese of Rome, she comes under the episcopal direction of the Bishop of Rome. Which means the Bishop of Rome—the Pope—would have to personally decide whether to allow her to take Communion despite her public heresy. Since she'd be the U.S. Ambassador to Vatican City, such would automatically cause a global public controversy both within the Church and on a diplomatic level.

The whole messy issue can be very simply avoided by Obama appointing either someone who is either not Catholic or who is a Catholic who is not openly a heretic. Further, a competent diplomat would understand this and not repeatedly suggest pro-choice Catholic candidates unless it was deliberately trying to force an embarrassing public confrontation with the Vatican.

So, our conclusions are either that Obama is not getting competent diplomatic advice, or he is deliberately picking a fight with the Vatican.

If he's doing the latter, he's making a special effort to be a one-term president. If he's doing the former . . . well, we've already seen that his diplomatic advisors are incompetent.

Diamondhead said...

It may be true that the Vatican is unimportant politically and economically - but the fact is that the US is going to send an ambassador there, and Obama is unlikely to "retaliate" in either words or deed against the spiritual leader of a significant percentage of his voters. So this is a just another unforced rookie error on the part of our woefully under-prepared and amateurish President.

Or this whole thing could be a political ploy to please the secularists in the ranks ("See, in spite of my self-flagellation for the enjoyment of the Iranian mullahs, I'm not too worried about what religious leaders think. Really. Look at how I treated the Pope!") just as his Seder was a insincere gesture for his Jewish supporters, his appearances at UCC were a nod to his radical black constituency, and his more mainstream religious maneuvers were a fraudulent sop to the rest of the country.

Maguro said...

It's completely reasonable to decline a Catholic who simultaneously disavows Catholicism.

No, it's not reasonable at all. First, Kennedy hasn't "disavowed Catholicism", she just doesn't agree with their position on abortion. The church has a stand on every conceivable issue under the sun (it's catholic, remember) and almost no one agrees with everything they say. The church is against the death penalty, the Iraq war and condoms. Does that mean the US Ambassador needs to agree with all those positions too? You'll never find anyone that is with the Vatican on every major issue and we don't usually let the host countries decide who is and is not acceptable.

So the bottom line is: Too fucking bad, take Caroline or else get downgraded to a consul or whatever.

“How many divisions does the Pope have?” - Uncle Joe Stalin

Synova said...

Why the heck should we go out of our way to accommodate countries that don't respect freedom and human rights unless we absolutely have to?

Because it's not actually "out of our way" to send a male ambassador to Saudi Arabia. What would be "out of our way" is if we bent over to somehow have a male person speak for Rice or Clinton.

The Vatican is using this to make a point, of course. If Obama turns around and says, "fine, we won't send anyone" that would be a reasonable response.

Seven Machos said...

Well, Maguro, that last paragraph exposed how little you know about diplomacy. We're not issuing a lot of visas at the Vatican.

Again, you are being willfully dumb. Why would Obama risk looking as obstinate as you to millions of voting Catholics and to the whole world to gain nothing save for proving some completely useless point?

It's fun to take bold positions for you, I'm sure. Luckily, you'll never have to make decisions of actual consequence.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Too fucking bad, take Caroline or else get downgraded to a consul or whatever.

I doubt the Pope gives a flying fuck. The more important issue is that he remain true to the Church doctrine and set an example to his worldwide flock. To thine ownself be true.

Revenant said...

If the fundamentalist President was the religious leader of the country with authority in religious matters, the "what if" might work.

But like I mentioned earlier, we aren't sending an ambassador to the Catholic Church. We're sending an ambassador to a country. The Pope's status as head of the Catholic Church is separate from his status as ruler of the Vatican.

People are confusing the Pope's religious objections with those objections he can legitimately offer as a head of state. As the head of the faith he has a legitimate grievance against Catholics who ignore the Church position on abortion. But as head of state, the religious beliefs of America's ambassador are none of his damned business. That's the point I was getting at in the "fundamentalist President" example. You're right, the President has no right to act as defender of a specific religion. And, as a head of state, neither does the Pope.

The Pope has two jobs, but only one of them -- the non-religious one -- is any of our concern. The United States ought to stay out of the business of granting special recognition to specific religions. If the Pope insists on letting his one job interfere with his behavior as head of state that's of concern to the people he represents, but it shouldn't be something WE need to accommodate.

Synova said...

So this is a just another unforced rookie error on the part of our woefully under-prepared and amateurish President.

Pretty much.

It's politics. The Vatican was given the opportunity to emphasize, again, to American Catholics that they are serious on the issue of abortion, and they took it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Pope's status as head of the Catholic Church is separate from his status as ruler of the Vatican.

The Pope has two jobs, but only one of them -- the non-religious one -- is any of our concern. The United States ought to stay out of the business of granting special recognition to specific religions. If the Pope insists on letting his one job interfere with his behavior as head of state that's of concern to the people he represents, but it shouldn't be something WE need to accommodate.


Wow. You really are dumb aren't you?

I don't think there are very many Holy Rollers, Mormons, Baptists or Muslims residing within the confines of the Vatican. So then, as "head of state" representing his constituents who are 100% Catholic, doncha think the Pope might be able to combine both the religious and state representation?? Think hard. It really isn't such a stretch

Sheesh.

Seven Machos said...

I hope Obama is smarter than to take the hideous advice he is getting here from Rev and Maguro. I don't know why I hope that. It'd be a pleasant spectacle to see Obama suffer the shit storm that would ensue.

I suppose I would advise Obama differently just out of a respect for human dignity and fair play.

Synova said...

Okay, Rev. That makes sense.

Though it does sort of beg the decision to make a point of sending someone who is famously Catholic.

Seven Machos said...

No. It doesn't make sense at all. There are plenty of countries that have no separation of church and state. The prudent thing to do is respect that.

Revenant said...

The thing that you and many others can't seem to wrap your itsy bisty brain around is that abortion is not a political issue to the Church or to many Catholics.

"Itsy bitsy brain", eh?

I'm well aware that Catholics consider abortion to be a relgious issue, DBQ. But we don't have an ambassador to Catholicism, we have an ambassador to a country which is *ruled* by Catholics. That's the point you insist on missing.

If Catholics will turn against the US government because it cut off diplomatic relations with the country the Pope rules -- as you seem to have suggested -- then those Catholics are in fact as disloyal as the old anti-Catholic smears said they were. But I think most Catholics can draw a distinction between politics and religion, even if you can't.

Seven Machos said...

Rev is now advising Obama to accuse the millions of voters who would oppose him of sedition and treason.

Brilliant!

Revenant said...

Because it's not actually "out of our way" to send a male ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Um, yes it is. I don't know how you define "going out of your way", but to me it means having to avoid my preferred course in order to accommodate someone else. If we have a female candidate who knows the language and is familiar with the area, and is smart and hard-working, and familiar with and supportive of the President's agenda... but then we decide "oops! Can't send HER, she's got a vagina!", we have just gone out of our way to accommodate the bigots of Saudi Arabia.

The Vatican is using this to make a point, of course.

It is playing a power game. As a country we shouldn't put up with that sort of nonsense unless there is a good reason to do so.

UWS guy said...

Is our ambassador to the Netherlands a pot head who likes prostitutes?

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- We have an ambassador and several deputy ambassadors to the United Nations. Is that a state?

Furthermore, your diplomacy is going to lead a lot of bloodshed and loss of life much sooner than you would expect.

It must be fun, though, to sit back in front of your computer with the utter certainty that actions you urge will have the effects you want and none that you don't want.

Seven Machos said...

Is our ambassador to the Netherlands someone who refuses to abide by the laws of the Netherlands?

Matt Eckert said...

"Is our ambassador to the Netherlands a pot head who likes prostitutes?"

If that's the criteria then a Kennedy would be very appropriate.

Peter V. Bella said...

Please, could someone please tell me what human rights Rev is blathering about? Abortion is not a human right, it is a civil right determined by the SCOTUS.

As tho the rest, what human rights does the Vatican violate? Do they torture, do they deny people the right to food, shelter ,clothing? Do they commit war atrocities? Do they mutilate people? Are they cannibals?

What human rights violation is the poltroon talking about? Rev also seems to forget that any country can refuse to accept an ambassador from any other country for whatever reason they deem fit; or no reason at all. They also have the right to eject one anytime they want.

As to the rest; Caroline Kenney is as fit to be an ambassador as Hilalry Clinton is to be Secretary of State- totally unfit.

Obama has been in office less than one hundred days and has made monumental mistakes and caused great embarrassment to this country in his foreign relations chocies and conduct.




There, I even appeased the disciples by putting in the Obama has only been in office X amount of days.

Seven Machos said...

On a lighter note, don't you imagine that Caroline Kennedy is having a hard time right now? What is she qualified for?

Peter V. Bella said...

What is she qualified for?

Well, um, er, eh, uh, gee; hey, she's a Kennedy, that's all you ahve to know.

Revenant said...

Wow. You really are dumb aren't you?

I'm extremely intelligent and knowledgable, actually. That's why I started off my posts, as I always do, by offering arguments in support of my position, while you skipped straight to the personal insults. I may eventually resort to insults if you annoy me enough, but so far you haven't managed to get anything more than an eye-roll out of me.

So then, as "head of state" representing his constituents who are 100% Catholic, doncha think the Pope might be able to combine both the religious and state representation??

No. I expect you'll hurriedly begin typing a fresh insult at this point, but for the benefit of any actually reasonable people who might be reading this, I'll explain:

The Pope is the head of state of a nation which is, to a first approximation, 100% Catholic. But only around one out of every million Catholics lives in Vatican City. This means that the Pope is the religious leader of 100% of Catholics, but the political leader of a mere 0.0001% of the world's Catholics. Barack Obama, in contrast, is the political leader of 6% of the world's Catholics -- approximately 75,000 times as many as the Pope. So no, it would be grossly inappropriate for the Pope to conflate his position as a political leader with his position as a religious leader. As a political leader he has less authority over Catholics than almost any head of state in the world.

That being said, since your entire approach here appears to consist of repeatedly calling me an idiot I'll just be adding you to the "not worth my time to read" pile alongside Seven. Fortuntely Synova and a few others are here to have an intelligent conversation with.

Maguro said...

Seven - You might feel differently if the Vatican was refusing to seat a US ambassador because he/she supported the death penalty, the Iraq war or some other right-of-center cause.

This is about American freedom of action. The Vatican can either accept the ambassador chosen by the US government or do without formal diplomatic relations. Their choice.

Frankly, if our ambassador is just there to kiss the Pope's ring and agree with the Vatican line, we can probably do without one.

Revenant said...

Please, could someone please tell me what human rights Rev is blathering about? Abortion is not a human right, it is a civil right determined by the SCOTUS.

It is a civil right derived, as most of our civil rights are, from more fundamental human rights.

You're free to disagree with whether it is appropriately derived. I have mixed feelings on that myself. But the question of whether or not abortion should be legitimately considered a right for all human women isn't really relevant to this discussion.

Baron Zemo said...

My dear boy. You are quite correct. As a committed Muslim he need not placate his great enemy. The Catholic Church is one of the few institutions that has stood against the rise of fanatical Islam and he should do all he can to marginalize them. Soon his minions in the press will attack the Church much as has been done here. They will trash a Christian religion but never touch the religion of peace no matter how many babies they kill. Killing babies is something they heartily approve of even to the point of destroying them in the womb. It is all part of the plan. Well played young man, well played.

Revenant said...

Okay, Rev. That makes sense.

Though it does sort of beg the decision to make a point of sending someone who is famously Catholic.

So far as I'm aware, our ambassadors to the Vatican have always been Catholic. They've just always been pro-life, too. This wasn't much of an issue, of course, since the only previous pro-choice President was Clinton, who wasn't exactly known for taking firm stances in defense of rights he ostensibly supported.

Revenant said...

Is our ambassador to the Netherlands a pot head who likes prostitutes?

Well they don't usually start out that way, but give them a few years. :)

Joan said...

I think a Catholic pissed in Revenant's Wheaties this morning.

Aside from the general obtuseness of his position, I was gobsmacked by these two statements:

It is the official position of all three branches of the United States government that women have a basic human right to procure an abortion.

That's news to me. "A basic human right", in all three branches? Is that because we elected a pro-abortion president? I don't see how you can support this statement with any authority.

But the Catholic Church HAS changed its position on abortion over the centuries.
No. I hope you're not relying on Nancy Pelosi's sources for this idea. Abortion is an intrinsic evil, and as such it is easily distinguished from judgment calls such as supporting the Iraq War.

Revenant said...

As tho the rest, what human rights does the Vatican violate?

Three obvious examples are freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and universal sufferage.

Are they cannibals?

Shocking as this may seem, it IS actually possible to have a bad record on basic human rights even if you never eat any people at all. :)

Revenant said...

This is about American freedom of action.

Yeah, that's the point Seven and others persist in missing. I assume he's still entertaining fantasies about my supposed "insane hatred of religion". As if I would accept this kind of uppity behavior if only it came from a non-religious state. To people of a certain mindset, the refusal to grant special preferred treatment to religious beliefs that you wouldn't grant to secular beliefs automatically qualifies as "insane hatred of religion".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You might feel differently if the Vatican was refusing to seat a US ambassador because he/she supported the death penalty, the Iraq war or some other right-of-center cause.

Maguro. You still don't understand. The death penalty which falls under the auspices of the Church in that it can be considered sin/murder could possibly be a reason, however the other political reasons would never be an issue.

There are somethings that the Church rightly/or wrongly in some people's eyes, can take a stance on because they fall within the spiritual. Political issues, like the Iraq War and TARP and Somali pirates, while they may be of concern to the Church and to the Pope, the Church has no jurisdiction. The political stance of the ambassador on those issues would not necessarily conflict with church teachings.

Now, I'm very very glad that we do not have a religious leader in our country, that we have a secular government and that we do have a separation of Church and State. However, just because WE do it that way, doesn't mean that we shouldn't be sensitive to other Sovereign States, like Iran or the Vatican.

Elliott said...

I think this article is much more informative than all the BS thrown around in the comment thread. But why let actual facts intervene?

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0901631.htm

and to those who might suggest that this denial of every aspect of the story is just the Vatican acting diplomatically, isn't that what we expect from both the Vatican and Obama.

Revenant said...

That's news to me. "A basic human right", in all three branches? Is that because we elected a pro-abortion president? I don't see how you can support this statement with any authority.

The President is pro-abortion. That covers the Executive Branch.

The Congress is solidly controlled by a pro-abortion majority. Moreover, a filibuster-proof and veto-proof supermajority disagrees with the Catholic position that abortion must be banned even in cases of rape or incest. So that covers the Legislative Branch

And the Judicial Branch, of course, has famously been pro-abortion for over thirty years now, with no sign of that changing anytime soon. So that's my "authority", Joan. A little thing called reality. You're welcome to be angry that all three branches of the government are pro-abortion, but denying that they are is a bit silly at this point, don't you think?

As for me being supposedly pissed at Catholics, I haven't said one bad thing about Catholics here. I'm irritated with the Vatican's political behavior towards my country. I realize that many of you are poisoned with hatred of Barack Obama and all his works, and frankly I don't much care for the silly son of a bitch either. But you're letting that blind you to what's best for America. It is not good for us to let some little country diplomatically thumb its nose at us without repercussions.

Elliott said...

Wow, the predictability of Althouse and her commentors becomes even more clear when you find out Kmeic was also rejected according to these same reports.

DaveW said...

Why didn't they pick Andrew Sullivan?

Revenant said...

"But the Catholic Church HAS changed its position on abortion over the centuries."

No. I hope you're not relying on Nancy Pelosi's sources for this idea.

I don't know where Pelosi got that "fifty years" bit from. She might have been thinking of JP2's declaration that the Catholic position on abortion was set in stone forever, but that was only made around twenty years ago if I recall correctly. The official Catholic position that life begins at conception was adopted quite a few centuries ago.

But it does not, as the Catholic Church currently claims, date back to the time of Christ and beyond.

Donal said...

Ambassadors are not sent to the government of the Vatican City State but to the Holy See. The Holy See is the central government of the Roman Catholic Church. We are not sending an ambassador to a state we are sending one to the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

So you were wrong when you stated "we aren't sending an ambassador to the Catholic Church. We're sending an ambassador to a country."

srfwotb said...

He could nominate Sarah Palin.

joewxman said...

As a Catholic who has been coming to terms with many ideas of what the church is and what it isnt, nothing has pissed me off more than politicians who want it both ways (surprise there). Once and for all make a choice. This is about a catholic appointee who is pro choice. Dust Bunny Queen ( i worship at her altar) got it exactly right. This is not about politics its about supporting a sinful action. And it is an insult to the Vatican.

joewxman said...

"If there’s one family that’s tried hard to live the teachings of the Church, it’s the Kennedys."

i found that quote on Hot Air. I still can't stop laughing!

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Fortunately, we live in a representative democracy, so we can determine what the position of the United States is without having to get all 300 million of us on the same page."

True. So can you point to where the US has an official position that the Vatican needs to change its anti-abortion policy?

Are we really in the business of telling other countries that they have to have certain views that we ourselves are very divided over?

And don't tell me the three branches of government are in lockstep on this issue. Yes, Obama is pro-abortion. Bush was not. The next president may not be. Congress is not united on this issue, nor do all members of the Supreme Court view it the same way. Various states are trying to restrict abortion as best they can - Oklahoma wants to make it illegal to abort babies based on sex. Here.

Maybe it's a case of "all the cool kids agree with me"? Well, all of the kids aren't cool then.

Buford Gooch said...

Used to like Revenant's comments. Used to think he was fairly bright. He has changed my mind on both by his comments here. He states some positions that are nearly correct technically, but stupid in practice.

Lawgiver said...

It is not good for us to let some little country diplomatically thumb its nose at us without repercussions.

I don't think most people perceive the Vatican as "some little country." It is a unique religious institution/city state as you well know. Why do you think it is not a good thing for us? Do you think it will send a message to other "shitty little banana republics" that they can tell us who we can send as ambassadors? I certainly don't care, why do you? This is just another example of the Obama administration failing Customs and Courtesies 101.

Joan said...

Revenant, I know that all three branches favor abortion, it's the "official position" part that I'm questioning. It is not the "official position" of the Presidency, it's the personal opinion of the president. There's a difference, and I'm surprised you're conflating the two.

As for Catholic doctrine regarding the destruction of life in the womb, your recollections are not serving you well. Again, you are conflating the idea of life beginning at conception and opposition to abortion. While the first explains the second, they're still two different concepts. Regardless of when life begins, abortion has always been held to be evil, a rejection of the gift of life.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Nominating Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador was a deliberate affront to the Vatican by the Obama administration. They aren't so stupid as to make this mistake.

Do you believe that the Obama administration would 'accidentally' nominate a Hassidic Jew as Ambassador to Palestine? Of course not.

Obama is anti-religion, and specifically anti-Catholic, as are many on the left.

Earlier someone posted the old quote asking how many divisions the Pope has. I encourage that commenter to re-read the stories about how the cold war was ended, especially John Paul II's influence in Poland and other eastern bloc countries that were freed of Soviet Russian dominance.

Beth said...

Will they turn the next one down if he or she supports the death penalty?

Richard Fagin said...

"Rejecting ambassadors because of their religious beliefs is grossly insulting to the country that ambassador represents." Except that it happens all the time to the United States and just about very other civilized country in the world that has de facto religious freedom.

When the Saudis, Egyptians, Libyans or Syrians, or any other nominally Muslim country accepts any Jew as an ambassador, I'll agree with Renevant that the Pope is out of line.

Beth said...

And why are we sending an ambassador to the Vatican anyway? Should we send one to Mecca? To Billy Graham's house?

dbp said...

Considering the role JPII played in the downfall of the Soviet Union, the "How many divisions" quip should go down in history as the dumbest thing ever said by a politician.

And yes, that is setting the bar awfully low, but still...

Beth said...

I just saw that Revenant beat me to the same point. Next time, I'll read the comments first. Well, maybe.

dbp said...

My guess is that the Vatican would accept a pro-choice ambassador as long as the candidate didn't also claim to be a Catholic.

Lawgiver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

Looks like Rev's a bonafide Catholic hater. Funny there's no "-ist" name for it.

Guess you be prejudiced against some religions and its A-Ok = but not others.

Maguro said...

Nominating Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador was a deliberate affront to the Vatican by the Obama administration.

I doubt it. The ambassadorship is a patronage position for Catholic pols. Obama owes Caroline a favor so he gave her the job.

They aren't so stupid as to make this mistake.

Don't be so sure - they're pretty stupid.

Do you believe that the Obama administration would 'accidentally' nominate a Hassidic Jew as Ambassador to Palestine? Of course not.

Caroline, like most American Catholics, doesn't agree with everything the Vatican puts out. She's not the antichrist.

Obama is anti-religion, and specifically anti-Catholic, as are many on the left.

I think he's more "irreligious" than "anti-religion". He just doesn't seem to care much about it either way.

Earlier someone posted the old quote asking how many divisions the Pope has. I encourage that commenter to re-read the stories about how the cold war was ended, especially John Paul II's influence in Poland and other eastern bloc countries that were freed of Soviet Russian dominance.

I'm not knocking JP II, but his moral influence would have been nil without those American armored divisions and tactical fighter squadrons protecting the eastern frontier.

Beth said...

Looks like Rev's a bonafide Catholic hater.

No, he isn't. He's got a specific argument that says nothing critical about Catholicism or for that matter, religion in general.

Calling him a 'Catholic hater' is a cheap, dishonest ploy.

Revenant said...

It is not the "official position" of the Presidency, it's the personal opinion of the president.

I'm not sure how you're using the term "official position". Are you saying that Barack Obama, in his role as President, does not both hold and promote the position that women have the right to an abortion?

Here's a simple way of looking at it, Joan. If a bill banning abortion came across Obama's desk, would he (a) sign or (b) veto it? That answer will tell you what his official position -- rather than just his personal opinion -- is. The same test works for Congress or the judiciary.

Trooper York said...

During the late seventies and the early eighties, the Secetary of State of the Vatican Agostino Casaroli used to stay in our parish rectory with our pastor who came from the same little town in Italy. I met him a few times when I was opening the church hall for the Boy Scouts. He was a simple and holy man with a great deal of both humility and humanity. Although he was a Vatican big shot he liked nothing better than to have a simple meal and a small glass of wine with his fellow priests and would be happy to slip into the church to hear a confession like a simple parish priest.

That is the power of the Catholic church. It's service and love to its people. Beautiful churchs and regal personages and all the pomp and circumstance are all well and good but the power rests in the simple people of each and every church through out the country and the world. Offend them at your own peril. Mock them at your own risk. Spit in their face at your own volition and be prepared for your reward.

I don't think that is the right thing to do. But if that's what President Obama thinks is best, he should go right ahead. It is his right to bow to a Saudi King and piss on the Catholic Church. Just realize that when you do that you are not voting present. Actions have consequences.

Revenant said...

When the Saudis, Egyptians, Libyans or Syrians, or any other nominally Muslim country accepts any Jew as an ambassador, I'll agree with Renevant that the Pope is out of line.

I'm not clear on the point you're trying to make here. Are you arguing that the aforementioned countries aren't acting inappropriately? Or are you arguing that they ARE acting inappropriately and therefore everyone else gets to? Either way I can't say that I disagree.

And isn't it a bit telling that the examples you can cite of other rulers who reject ambassadors on the grounds of their religion are all odious dictators? If we're going to treat the Pope as a man who respects the principles of the enlightenment, don't we have an obligation to expect him to act like one? Is there a free democracy that acts this way?

Revenant said...

"Looks like Rev's a bonafide Catholic hater."

No, he isn't. He's got a specific argument that says nothing critical about Catholicism or for that matter, religion in general.

You don't understand, Beth. If you don't accept the Pope is God's spokesman and the designated moral leader of humanity, that means you're a disgusting small-minded bigot who hates Catholics. :)

Trooper York said...

"You don't understand, Beth. If you don't accept the Pope is God's spokesman and the designated moral leader of humanity, that means you're a disgusting small-minded bigot who hates Catholics. :)"

That's not true Rev. You are just going to burn in Hell for all eternity. Have a nice day.

mcg said...

If we're going to treat the Pope as a man who respects the principles of the enlightenment, don't we have an obligation to expect him to act like one?

Exactly what are these so-called "principles of the enlightenment", Rev? That all religion is a farce? Are you suggesting that it is somehow in our interest to expect the Pope to act as if the religion over which he presides does not exist?

Revenant said...

Obama is anti-religion, and specifically anti-Catholic, as are many on the left.

There is no basis for claiming that Obama is anti-religious. It is silly to delude yourself into thinking that a person is against all religion just because he disagrees with yours.

As for being "specifically anti-Catholic", do try to remember that most Protestant faiths consider the Catholic Church to be a perversion of Christ's plan for us. If Obama is in fact a devout member of the United Church of Christ -- and I've seen no evidence that he isn't -- then his personal religious view is probably that the Pope knows less about God's will than the average member of the Trinity congregation.

mcg said...

I agree, Obama is not anti-religious. He finds religion to be very useful politically.

AJ Lynch said...

Can't wait to see which church if any Obama picks for Easter services.

He seems to take an awfully long time to make decisions like which dog is politically optimal and now which church is politically optimal.

Peter V. Bella said...

Rev,
You have not answered the question; what human rights is the Vatican violating.

Freedom of speech is not a human right, it is a civil liberty. We are the only country in the world that has unrestricted free speech.

The Catholic Church practices freedom of religion; you can be a member or not. Unlike a certain Tenth Century religion that everbody is afraid to offend, the Church does not impose any sactions, commit acts of terrorism, issue fatwahs, or kill people who refuse to join. They do not even advocate the stoning of women who have had abortions. Univrsal Suffrage? What does voting in elections have to do with the Church?

What rights do women have in that 10th centtury religion? You know, the one that dominates the countries that we are trying to suck up to? Canada has limited free speech. Should we shun them?

And where did you get the fallacy that abortion is a human right? It is not. It is not recognized as such and never has been. Only the politically infected would believe such drivel.

Are you sure your name isn't realy Jeremy?

Revenant said...

Exactly what are these so-called "principles of the enlightenment", Rev? That all religion is a farce?

It would be easier to have a polite discussion if you weren't completely determined to take offense at things I haven't actually said. No, mcg, "all religion is a farce" is not a principle of the enlightenment, and I never said, implied, or even hinted that it was.

But what IS a principle of the enlightenment is the idea that each person's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, are their concern. That it is wrong to, for example, apply a religious test for political office -- a phrase which might ring a few bells among Americans. Enlightenment principles hold that you should only reject a person from a position on the basis of their faith if a specific sort of faith is, for some reason, a requirement for the job -- e.g., Catholic priests obviously need to be Catholic. Saying "we only hire Protestant accountants, Catholics and Jews need not apply" is, according to those principles, wrong, because you don't need a specific religious belief to be an accountant -- or an ambassador.

Ambassadors do not need to share the faith of the country they are ambassador to. The notion that an American ambassador could be rejected because he's not the right kind of religion for the host country should offend any American who respects the founding principles of this country.

Are you suggesting that it is somehow in our interest to expect the Pope to act as if the religion over which he presides does not exist?

It is in our interest for the Pope to understand that even though he is the head of quite a large religion, he has the obligation to respect, e.g., Caroline Kennedy's right to ignore his teachings.

Beth said...

Offend them at your own peril. Mock them at your own risk.

Trooper, I have no desire to either offend or mock - not right now, anyway. But because of our glorious First Amendment, I can, without peril or risk. Any peril or risk that would come my way would be flying in the face of our laws and protections. You're free to practice Catholicism, but not to expect me, or anyone, to refrain from offending or mocking the Church. I don't threaten peril or risk if you want to say rude, or reasonable though critical, things about Protestantism.

We ought not to be sending ambassadors to the Vatican. I opposed it in 1984 when Reagan started this practice. That stance has nothing to do with the goodness or badness of any particular member of the Vatican heirarchy, nor is it "anti-Catholic."

Beth said...

He seems to take an awfully long time to make decisions like which dog is politically optimal and now which church is politically optimal.

Whether to have a pet, and what pet to have, is a personal decision, as is which church to attend. Why do you care how long it takes?

Peter V. Bella said...

Ambassadors do not need to share the faith of the country they are ambassador to.

Anyone know of any qualified Moslems we could send to be the Ambassador to Israel? How about a qualifed Jew to be the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

The fact of the matter is, the hosting country has every right to refuse to give credentials to an ambassador for whatever reason they choose or no reason at all. Ambassadors are guests, and as such have no right to be seated.

Trooper York said...

Beth you know I love you baby. I was talking mainly about political peril for President Obama. There is no peril for you in mocking the Church. That's the liberals favorite pastime. It's like watching baseball or collecting stamps for them. So you have nothing to worry about. Other than the fact that you would end up in hell. Imagine what that would be like. You would be stuck in place with no other cool and sexy women but with a bunch of nerdy guys who only want to read comic books and play video games. Oh wait a minute. You teach at a college. Sorry about that. You know what hell is like.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

Plus everybody knows Protestants are freaks. With all those snake handling and talking in tongues and those TV preachers with the slick back hair and the hookers.

Trooper York said...

Sending a pro abortion Catholic to the Vatican would be like Stella Stevens posting comments on Freeman Hunt's blog.

It's just asking for trouble.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ambassadors do not need to share the faith of the country they are ambassador to

I agree. However, it is, I think, obviously rude to send someone who claims to be the the host country's faith and flouts one of the faiths most fundamental teachings.

TMink said...

The Drill Dgt said: "It is the fact that they are giving him an honorary doctor of laws degree to recognize his contributions to the law."


Ohhhh, that is a different kettle of fish.

Trooper, I think the evangelist you are speaking of had dirty blode hair. No wait, he was wearing a black wig! Carry on.

Trey

Freeman Hunt said...

LOL @ Trooper

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

You have not answered the question; what human rights is the Vatican violating.

The fact that you think freedom of speech and religion are mere "civil liberties" and don't qualify as "human rights" is not my problem, Peter. I direct your attention to, e.g., the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as ample evidence that plenty of other people agree that these things are fundamental human rights. I would also point out that civil rights are classified as a subset of human rights, which makes your objection even more inane.

Unlike a certain Tenth Century religion that everbody is afraid to offend, the Church does not [blah blah blah]

Oh yes, I'm notorious for my unwillingness to criticize Islam. How clever of you to notice.

Anyway, your argument that Islam is worse than Catholicism would be interesting if anyone here had expressed the opinion that it wasn't. But nobody has, so there isn't much to say for your observation that the Pope is a nicer guy than Osama bin Laden except "duh".

Revenant said...

Anyone know of any qualified Moslems we could send to be the Ambassador to Israel? How about a qualifed Jew to be the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

If we're currently refraining from sending a qualified Jewish ambassador out of fear of offending the Saudis then shame on us. And if we sent a Jewish ambassador to Saudi Arabia and they rejected him, I would give the same criticism of the Saudis that I do now.

The key difference, of course, is that you, Seven, DBQ, and the rest of the "only a religion-hater would take that position" crowd would be dogpiling on to agree with me and condemn the Saudis. That's because none of you actually give a shit about freedom of conscience; you just like Christians and hate Muslims.

Ophir said...

When the Saudis, Egyptians, Libyans or Syrians, or any other nominally Muslim country accepts any Jew as an ambassador, I'll agree with Renevant that the Pope is out of line.

Egypt has accepted a Jewish ambassador from the United States - Daniel Kurtzer, who was appointed by Clinton and served from 1998 to 2001.

And Egypt has had diplomatic relations with Israel for over 30 years.

Not that the analogy works very well to begin with. As other commenters have pointed out, it is not Kennedy's pro-choice belief that is the problem, but her professing to be a Catholic, while publicly holding opinions contrary to the Church and thereby placing it in an awkward situation.

Whether the United States should care about that or not, is another matter. Obama can follow Revenant's advice and cut off diplomatic relations with the Vatican, but that would be a very stupid political move on his part.

And as for some commenters arguing that the Vatican is a politically insignificant state, come on. Influence is measured in more than just GDP or military power. As a "state" the Vatican is even more of a non-entity than Liechtenstein and Andorra, but it probably exerts more influence in global politics, even if just indirectly, than even many "proper" countries. With armies and all.

mcg said...

It would be easier to have a polite discussion if you weren't completely determined to take offense at things I haven't actually said.

To take offense I'd have to have more respect for the quality of your argument.

But what IS a principle of the enlightenment is the idea that each person's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, are their concern.

That it is wrong to, for example, apply a religious test for political office -- a phrase which might ring a few bells among Americans.

First of all, why is that an Enlightenment principle? It certainly is an American one, I agree. And I'm glad it is. But even if I concede it is an Enlightenment principle---for crying out loud, the Vatican is not just "any" country. It is a country whose express purpose is to house the headquarters of a church.

Enlightenment principles hold that you should only reject a person from a position on the basis of their faith if a specific sort of faith is, for some reason, a requirement for the job -- e.g., Catholic priests obviously need to be Catholic.

I'd still like to know where these supposedly Enlightenment principles are codified. I mean, don't get me wrong, they're sensible as far as they go. But if you're going to expect to apply them to the entirely unique Vatican nation-state then I think you're going to have to give them a bit of actual heft.

Ambassadors do not need to share the faith of the country they are ambassador to.

Who says? I mean, let me be intellectually honest. I think that if we chose to send, say, a Protestant or an atheist to be the ambassador to the Vatican, this might be a more interesting discussion.

But we didn't. Obama chose Caroline Kennedy, who claims to share that faith. By doing so she willingly submits herself to the hierarchy of her church. And her church clearly believes she's unfit.

Now, if Obama had sent a Protestant or a Jew to the Vatican, then you might have a point. Or if Caroline Kennedy disavows her faith, then you might have a point. But until then to expect any reasonable person not to provide for the unique nature of the Vatican when weighing this matter is just not arguing seriously.

The notion that an American ambassador could be rejected because he's not the right kind of religion for the host country should offend any American who respects the founding principles of this country.

What utter crap. First of all, this isn't just a country that has a national religion, it is a country whose sole purpose is religion. It doesn't even exist but for that religion. In that way it is totally unlike, say, Muslim nations in the Middle East.

Secondly, this isn't a matter of the ambassador not "being the right kind of religion." She actually claims to be a member of that religion, but by her stated beliefs and actions is out of communion with it. It would be one thing to send a Protestant Christian to Saudi Arabia. It would be another to send someone who professes to be a Muslim while openly and publicly declaring his opposition to tenets that the Saudis hold dear.

It is in our interest for the Pope to understand that even though he is the head of quite a large religion, he has the obligation to respect, e.g., Caroline Kennedy's right to ignore his teachings.

Let's respect Caroline Kennedy's religion here. She claims to be a Catholic. So that means she is willingly stating allegiance to a church which, by its own public statements, considers her out of communion with it and subject to its discipline.

zedzded said...

He does not go to church now.

He would select a church like he picked his dog - find the one he is least allergic too. One where the minister screams "God damn America". A mosque will do, too.

Trooper York said...

I think I have the answer. He can name Caroline to the post and the pope can excommunicate her. Then everybody would be happy. See, win-win.

Beth said...

There is no peril for you in mocking the Church. That's the liberals favorite pastime.

Trooper, sweetie, how have you lived to this advanced age without meeting liberal Catholics?

Revenant said...

However, it is, I think, obviously rude to send someone who claims to be the the host country's faith and flouts one of the faiths most fundamental teachings.

If the Church doesn't think her behavior is serious enough to merit excommunication -- the prescribed means for dealing with people who persistently flaunt core beliefs -- then I don't think they can legitimately take offense that she's claiming to be Catholic. If they're still letting her take communion, and as far as I know they are, then her claims to be a Catholic in good standing are entirely correct.

Of course, if she HAS been excommunicated then it would be dishonest for her to claim that. But even then, the Vatican could simply make sure to let her real status be known.

Trooper York said...

Beth sweetie, liberal Catholics are not real Catholics. They are pretend Catholics. You know like Joe Biden and Caroline and Teddy and Nancy Pelosi. Just for political purposes. The nuns would knock your ass out if you were phonies like that.

Liberal Catholics are ashamed of the church and what it really stands for. That's why they try to make churchs that they frequents look like the Prods without Jesus suffering on the cross or St Lucy with her eyeballs on a plate. Not for you liberal weenies.

traditionalguy said...

Happy Easter. just got into this post. Is Rev trying to base his reactions to the Pope on the legal fiction that the Vatican area is a self governing Theocracy and that makes the Pope into a Nation State? If that was true, then Rev would be right. But my understanding has always been that the Pope is a head of the spiritual authority submitted to him by the Catholics first all over western Europe (the Western Roman Empire)and then The New World that Columbus claimed for the Pope and his Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella by right of discovery as authorized by a Pope. As such, the Pope is not the political ruler of anything, but he has authority in large parts of the Globe to make rulings for his Church, submitted to him, on the behalf of the Son of the loving Creator of every person living and dead, which includes many "Foetus" stage persons now in mortal peril, partly because of the Obama/Pelosi alliance of Total Abortion supporting politicians who are now holding political power in the United States. This Pope is bold enough to risk the famous Wrath Of the Revenent to speak out in the best ways he can find to show support for the protection of unborn citizens of the United States. IMO Courage is a good character trait in a church leader.FYI I am of the reformed tradition called Presbyterian, and not under a Pope's authority. But I respect courage and intelligence wherever I encounter it.

Trooper York said...

Hey I have to catch a train. But I just want to say that I am going to light a candle for you Beth and you Rev tomorrow. To St. Jude. Heh.

Revenant said...

To take offense I'd have to have more respect for the quality of your argument.

Ah, I see. So your belief that I was claiming "all religion is a farce" was just due to simple stupidity on your part rather than any need to take offense at my innocent remarks. Understood.

First of all, why is that an Enlightenment principle?

I do not have the time to give you a lengthy history of the development of freedom of conscience during the Enlightenment. Go read some history books or, hell, this Wikipedia article if you're feeling lazy. The principles our Founders enshrined in the Constitution were not invented by them, or even by Americans in general, although we helped. The American Revolution was the crowning moment of a process that had been underway throughout the world for a century.

for crying out loud, the Vatican is not just "any" country. It is a country whose express purpose is to house the headquarters of a church.

If all it is is a headquarters for a church then there is no legitimate reason to have an ambassador to it in the first place. So long as the Vatican wants to maintain the premise that it is a legitimate country in its own right, we should treat it as we would treat other countries. If they want to say "don't treat us like a country, we're really just the headquarters of the Catholic Church" then that's fine. But then we don't need to send them an ambassador and they don't merit one, either.

I'd still like to know where these supposedly Enlightenment principles are codified.

I can understand how you'd have a hard time finding them. I mean, there have only been a few thousand books written on the subject over the last three hundred years, plus a basic overview taught in high school and college history courses. Anyone could have missed hearing about it.

"Ambassadors do not need to share the faith of the country they are ambassador to."

Who says?

Anyone who believes in freedom of religion. Not you, for example.

AJ Lynch said...

Beth:

Right or wrong the dog vetting has become a public topic.

As to the church selection, the delay in getting a dog, etc, I view it as a sign of Obama's indeciviveness and IMO that is a big big flaw in a president.

It speaks to his ability to follow his instincts, prioritize effieicently and not sweat the little stuff. He seems to sweat every choice and decision no matter how small and insignificant.

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

Was getting bogged down in a large number of inane comments.
Mainly from one commenter.

Main point -- If one of Obama's main selling points was his magnificent diplomacy and good will for all, this is one more total screw up.

And how's that pirate things going?

Oh shit, what a distraction.

ron st.amant said...

Can't accept Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador...Can accept (and protect) thousands of abusive, pedophilic priests.

Beth said...

Trooper, I'm well-acquainted with many, many liberal Catholics who live their faith daily, so I'm going to have to charitably ignore your prejudice against them. Faith isn't football, my friend; it's not a winner take all competition.

Seven Machos said...

Next time you are at a Catholic church, read the front part of the Bible there, where it tells you -- in the nicest words -- that you can't take communion there if you aren't Catholic. And/or, ask yourself next time you are at a Catholic wedding why there are some people just sitting while everyone else goes up and does the communion thing.

Catholics take this shit seriously. If you want to be Catholic and be an ambassador to Vatican City, it's completely fair to ask you not to be a heretic.

As others have pointed out, what happened to all this brilliant diplomacy shit with Obama? It's just been one mistake after another. This one was so avoidable that people are right to question whether it was intentional.

Seven Machos said...

Ron -- And you're a fat ass.

So what?

Peter V. Bella said...

Rev,
You have proved you are a moron, an idiot, and a cretin. This is beyond a reasonable doubt. You provide a link to wikidikiprikisiki to prove a point? Even elementary schools do not allow wikisikipikidiki as a credible source of information.

Once again, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that abortion is a human right. Prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Catholic Church violates human rights. Prove it or shut the fuck up; since no one here has told you to do that already.

BTW, you poltroon; Moslems are serial human rights violators and this government is bending over forward, grabbing their ankles, and taking it in the ass to appease the Moslem world. You are a hypocrite.

ElcubanitoKC said...

And...Seven scores again.

Despite whatever you feel about the Church, and Catholics in general, don't forget that it is the host country's prerogative to accept an ambassador or not. The Vatican is a country, whether you like it or not. End of story.

Peter V. Bella said...

To St. Jude. Heh.

I do not think that even the patron saint of hopeless cases can help Rev. He is beyond hopeless.

Peter V. Bella said...

One other thing Rev,
The very ast thing we need is another memeber of the Kennedy Crime Family in the government. One is enough and that murdering bastard cannot die too soon.

RIP Mary Jo Kopechne.

rcocean said...

An ambassador is supposed to get along with the host country/organization and present the USA in the best possible light.

Commonsense dictates you don't appoint ambassadors the host country rejects or dislikes. Its not a pissing contest.

BTW, Joe Biden is not a pretend Catholic. He's a pretend human being - probably a CGI of some sort.

jayne_cobb said...

Three things:

1) Can people stop pretending that this is solely an issue of the Vatican wanting a practicing Catholic as an ambassador.

This is simply a continuance of their recent series of messages to supposedly Catholic politicians telling them to shape up. It's no different than their remarks that were critical (in a diplomatic way) of Pelosi or the denial of communion one occasionally sees.


2) You cannot be Catholic and support abortion or the death penalty. I'm sorry but it just doesn't work that way. If you want to support either of those things then join a different denomination.


3) I suppose this is mean spirited but I'm happy that the whole Kennedy clan is losing its luster. America should not have families verging on royalty, and the ability of this family to get by solely on name recognition has long been a sore on the American landscape.

jayne_cobb said...

sorry, meant continuation

Cedarford said...

Fagin - When the Saudis, Egyptians, Libyans or Syrians, or any other nominally Muslim country accepts any Jew as an ambassador, I'll agree with Renevant that the Pope is out of line.

Jews have parlayed wealth and clout into many ambassadorships, over a dozen to Arab or other Muslim nations. As well as "top nations". The US has sent Jews to Egypt, Indonesia, Mauritus, Morocco, Bahrain, Qatar, Pakistan, and Turkey (several different Jews at different times ). As well as two Secretary of States, and two ME "super-ambassadors".

We have sent boatloads of powerful, well-connected Jews to Muslim lands, and they have been generally accepted.
____________________
And the Muslim nations would far rather have Jews or pagans as ambassadors than some Muslim in open defiance of fundamental Muslim beliefs.

And abortion is just one objection to Caroline Kennedy.

First, the selection of an unaccomplished person of little or even negative reputation would be seen, properly, as an insult. Which is why Spiro Agnew was not considered for ambassador to Greece by Reagan, Bernie Madoff is out of luck for his past mentioned interest in being ambassador to Israel, or Pamela Anderson ambassador to Canada.

THe second is that Princess Caroline has been openly banging away with various people, outside her marriage, for years. Among others, lately with Pinch Sulzberger - who opposes Catholics on just about everything except Open Borders and the the death penalty.

And her likely defense of her entitlement to be an Ambassador?

Well, umm, you know..err..I'm a Kennedy, you know. And its like I love little children in Africa, you know...and children well you umm know, err..all children.

mcg said...

Ah, I see. So your belief that I was claiming "all religion is a farce" was just due to simple stupidity on your part rather than any need to take offense at my innocent remarks. Understood.

No, it was a provocative prod to get you to defend yourself better, in case you had a valid point buried in there somewhere. I'm afraid my strategy failed.

If all it is is a headquarters for a church then there is no legitimate reason to have an ambassador to it in the first place. So long as the Vatican wants to maintain the premise that it is a legitimate country in its own right, we should treat it as we would treat other countries.

For a supposedly Enlightened soul you sure do seem to have difficulty with anything other than black or white. For those of us stuck in the stone ages it just seems easier to consider it is an amalgam of both, a unique entity of simultaneous religious and political consequence.

Besides, the Vatican doesn't really need me or anyone else to defend the claim that it is an entity of geopolitical significance. It simply is.

I do think a case could be made for not bothering to have a Vatican ambassador.

Anyone who believes in freedom of religion. Not you, for example.

I see. So I'm the one who doesn't believe in the freedom of religion, because I support a religious entity's prerogative to exercise religiously-motivated judgement concerning the qualifications of a diplomat sent to do political business with it---and one who, no less, professes to be an adherent of said religion. Hmm. Interesting way to twist things around, that.

Peter V. Bella said...

3) I suppose this is mean spirited but I'm happy that the whole Kennedy clan is losing its luster. America should not have families verging on royalty, and the ability of this family to get by solely on name recognition has long been a sore on the American landscape.

Hopefully the Clintons will fade into obscurity next.

mcg said...

Funny thing is, I'm not a Catholic.

Maybe Obama should pick me to be the ambassador to the Vatican. I'd do it.

Peter V. Bella said...

First, the selection of an unaccomplished person of little or even negative reputation would be seen, properly, as an insult.

By that standard, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is one big fuck you to the whole world.

Peter V. Bella said...

BTW, Joe Biden is not a pretend Catholic. He's a pretend human being - probably a CGI of some sort.

Joe Biden, the liar, is not a human being. He is the figment of the imagination of someone named Joe Biden, who wears tin foil hats is probably a convicted felon in Delaware.

Revenant said...

You have proved you are a moron, an idiot, and a cretin.

And yet of the two of us, I'm the only one capable of forming a coherent and reasoned argument. Odd, that.

You provide a link to wikidikiprikisiki to prove a point?

No, I cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to prove a point, said point being that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are widely considered to be human rights. I provided a link to Wikipedia because it gives a decent overview of what the UDHR is, for those of you who didn't already know.

Once again, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that abortion is a human right.

I didn't say abortion was a human right. I said it was the US government's position that it was a human right, and I've already proved that. The problem with your sort of person is that you aren't capable of even entertaining a thought you don't completely agree with. You assume everyone has that flaw, and thus that people -- like me -- who can explain and defend a point of view must secretly hold that point of view themselves.

Oh, and I would add that if anyone knows how to prove that ANY human rights exist, please notify the nearest philosophy department and get ready for your Nobel Peace Prize. :)

Moslems are serial human rights violators and this government is bending over forward, grabbing their ankles, and taking it in the ass to appease the Moslem world.

Yes, they are. So?

You are a hypocrite.

If I supported the Vatican's decision while claiming to support freedom of conscience, I would be a hypocrite. But I'm afraid I'm too sane to see how criticizing both bad Muslim behavior and bad Catholic behavior makes me a hypocrite.

Seven Machos said...

Seven - You might feel differently if the Vatican was refusing to seat a US ambassador because he/she supported the death penalty, the Iraq war or some other right-of-center cause.

I would not feel differently. It is the Vatican's sovereign prerogative to accept or reject the representative of any other State. We can and have done the same thing.

There's nothing uppity about it, unless you find the notion of sovereignty uppity.

Revenant said...

The very ast thing we need is another memeber of the Kennedy Crime Family in the government. One is enough and that murdering bastard cannot die too soon.

Remember that post I wrote saying that Carol Kennedy would make a good ambassador? Remember that one? If so, then I'm afraid you're suffering from hallucinations, because no such post exists. Shocking as this may seem, it is possible both for the Obama administration to be incompetent, and for the Vatican to be in the wrong. :)

mcg said...

Shocking as this may seem, it is possible both for the Obama administration to be incompetent, and for the Vatican to be in the wrong.

In the spirit of Christian charity (or it simply Enlightenment-induced?) I will register full agreement with this general point, even though I do not concede it in this particular case.

And, I will also give Revenant the last word if he so chooses---though that isn't due to charity at all, it's because I'm tired and my daughter is set to wake me up in 8 hours no matter what I say.

Seven Machos said...

One more thing. It's been pointed out above, but the Catholic Church gains by this. It gets to remind people of its stance and its seriousness. It gets to poke a State in the eye. There's a lot more.

The United States gained nothing but submitting Kennedy as the ambassador. Any rube could have predicted this result. Certainly, the United States and the Obama administration will gain nothing by upping the stakes now.

It's absurd to me that there are people so wrapped up in their beliefs that they cannot see the practical aspects. It's like your whole world is theory with no application whatsoever, and no regard for consequence or nuance. Politics involves humans, and humans are nominally rational, and only intermittently.

Peter V. Bella said...

I didn't say abortion was a human right. I said it was the US government's position that it was a human right, and I've already proved that.

It is not he US government's position that abortion is a human right. Are you really mad? It is the position, based upon a Supreme Court ruling, that abortion is a civil right. Nothing more, nothing less. You still have not proven that the Vatican is violating human rights. You cannot prove it.

BTW, why the fuck should anyone named Kennedy be appointed to anyting. That family is a scourge upon this nation.

Revenant said...

For a supposedly Enlightened soul you sure do seem to have difficulty with anything other than black or white.

Now that's funny. A guy who, an hour ago, didn't even know freedom of conscience was an enlightenment principle is now trying to judge how closely I "enlightened" I am. A more knowledgable person than you, would know that the Enlightenment did not do away with the idea of absolutes, and a smarter person than you would know not to try to fake knowledge of history that he's just finished admitting to ignorance of.

For those of us stuck in the stone ages it just seems easier to consider it is an amalgam of both, a unique entity of simultaneous religious and political consequence.

Easier to who? It certainly isn't easier for the United States to treat every other country in the world one way, and the Vatican another. The easiest way to treat the Vatican is the way we treated them from 1776 to 1984: we had no official diplomatic relations at all. See above, regarding "recalling our ambassador and getting rid of theirs".

Besides, the Vatican doesn't really need me or anyone else to defend the claim that it is an entity of geopolitical significance. It simply is.

I find it amusing that you would say, regarding a country of such supposedly geopolitical significance, "a case could be made for not bothering to have [an] ambassador". If it so critically important to world politics, an ambassador is obviously a must.

So I'm the one who doesn't believe in the freedom of religion, because I support a religious entity's prerogative to exercise religiously-motivated judgement concerning the qualifications of a diplomat sent to do political business with it

No, because you support a political entity's "prerogative" to discriminate against people on the basis of their religion in situations where their religion has no bearing on their ability to do their job. If a Muslim country refused to accept non-Muslim ambassadors from America, you and every other hypocrite in this thread would be livid with rage. Like too many people, you only care about rights when they're yours.

Peter V. Bella said...

Oh, and once again Rev,
Ambassadors are guests in host countries, states, and nations. They can deny anyone credentials as ambassadors, with no reason what so ever. Get that through your fucking thick head.

john said...

C4 -
And just why shouldn't Pamela Anderson be ambassador? You got something against Canadians?

Michael Hasenstab said...

It's funny how atheists are obsessed about God, an entity they believe does not exist. If God doesn't exist, then why bother even thinking about Him?

It's like if I have a friend who completely believes in the existence of extra terrestrials and I don't. His belief doesn't interest me one bit, simply because I don't believe extra terrestrials exist. It's meaningless to me. I don't get all obsessed about it, I just ignore it and let him have his silly beliefs.

But boy, those atheists, they jump in every time, can't stay from arguing about something the believe doesn't exist. Seems like a waste of time. Funny, but a waste of time.

And if you don't like Catholicism, no big deal. Just don't dictate what you think Catholics should believe. It's not your concern. Start your own religion; believe anything you want. Or don't believe anything at all.

Joan said...

Shame on those of you hurling invectives at Revenant, who has shown an uncommon amount of patience in dealing with the abuse hurled at him. There's no excuse for that.

It's possible to disagree without being disagreeable, and to that end:

Revenant, I agree that "abortion is a human right" is the president's position, but I would stop short of saying that it is the "official position of the Presidency." The office is much larger than the man, and as has been pointed out already, the previous holder of the office definitely did not agree with that position. There can be no doubt that Obama is pro-abortion and would veto a bill restricting abortion as quickly as possible. But that still doesn't make abortion rights the official policy of the presidency, IMO -- the policy belongs to the man, not the office. A distinction without a difference? Perhaps, but it's important to me.

I would also like to address the fact that Caroline Kennedy has been permitted to self-identify as a Catholic for years now, in spite of her support for abortion rights. The Pope and several bishops are finally stirring and realizing that their laissez-faire attitude on this issue is in fact quite destructive. There are a number of weak-spined bishops who don't have the nads to excommunicate anyone, even the politicians who have so publicly put themselves out of communion with the church. That atmosphere is slowly changing, and you can expect to see outspoken abortion rights activists who present themselves for communion being denied it in the forseeable future.

It approaches a personal insult to the Pope to appoint someone who professes to be Catholic but supports abortion. Abortion is not up for debate. It is possible to disagree with the Pope and the bishops on any number of policy issues, but abortion is not one of them, and someone as smart as Obama is supposed to be should know that. The most charitable interpretation is that they screwed up, again.

Revenant said...

It is not he US government's position that abortion is a human right. Are you really mad? It is the position, based upon a Supreme Court ruling, that abortion is a civil right.

As I pointed out to you earlier, civil rights are a subset of human rights. I also pointed out to you and to others that it is not merely "a Supreme Court ruling" but the position of the Executive and the majority of the Legislative Branch.

You still have not proven that the Vatican is violating human rights.

I have proven that the United States is party to a declaration proclaiming freedom of speech and freedom of religion to be basic human rights; this proves that the United States officially considers those two things to be human rights. As it is a matter of record that Vatican City denies those rights to its residents, it is a fact that the Vatican is, so far as the United States is concerned, violating human rights.

AJ Lynch said...

Joan said:

"The most charitable interpretation is that they screwed up, again."

And charity is a virtue Joan so I salute you on Easter morning.

Also, Rev is one of the best commenters here so I am very willing to cut him some slack. We all have our blind spots.

Peter V. Bella said...

Dear President Obama,
I am Caroline Kennedy. My father was the President of the United States. My uncle is Senator Ted Kennedy. Those are my qualifications for being appointed to a position of responsibility in your administration. My father fought for the rights of Negros, and had he not been assassinated, he would have given your people the rights they deserved.

My uncle, Robert fought for the rights of Negros too. Had he not been assassinated, your people would have been given the rights they deserved.

My uncle Ted, who is dying of brain cancer, has also fought valiantly for the rights of Negros, alcoholics, rapists, and murderers. He has also seen to it that the Negro gets his due share in society. That thing on the bridge was a big lie by the MSM to smear the good Kennedy name. Also, remember, FDR, one of your idols, made my grandfather the first head of the SEC, then sent him to the Court of St. James. I have ambassadorial experience through genetic transference.

As you can see, my family has fought for human rights. The fact that I am a Kennedy makes me eminently qualified to hold a position in your administration. I tried to run for the Senate out of the state of New York, but Governor Patterson was just too blind and could not see any way I could be nominated. Did I mention that my aunt stole the idea of the Special Olympics from the wife of a corrupt Chicago politician? You, being a former Chicago politician, should appreciate that.

My brother John jr. was killed in a heroic plane crash while trying to get to a wedding on Martha’s Vineyard. He died a hero. Everyone said so. The Navy and Coast Guard never gave up until the plane was found.

I deserve a position in your administration. I am a Kennedy. I am pro choice, anti gun, pro Palestinian, and pro or anti anything you want me to be. Oh, and I am definitely for the children. I know how much that means to you.

I may also add, that since the economic turn down, my trust fund has been decreased and I really need a job. My boy friend, Punch, of the NYT; you know Punch. He will write glowing articles about you if you give me a job. He may even fire MoDo, if you ask nicely.

So, Mr. President, please give me a job in your administration. I have dusted off my knee pads and am awaiting your response.

Caroline Kennedy

Revenant said...

Thanks, AJ.

Peter V. Bella said...

I have proven that the United States is party to a declaration proclaiming freedom of speech and freedom of religion to be basic human rights; this proves that the United States officially considers those two things to be human rights. As it is a matter of record that Vatican City denies those rights to its residents, it is a fact that the Vatican is, so far as the United States is concerned, violating human rights.

Rev,
You are as full of shit as a Christmas goose. You have not proven anything except your own small minded prejudice against the Vatican and the Catholic Church. Once again, if the US is a party to a declaration on the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion, why is the United States trying to suck up to the Moslem world, which has no such inclinations? Your previous response was, “so what”. Why are we sucking up to the Chinese, who have a gross record of real, not imagined human rights violations. Then there are the Iranians, who this Administration has an affection for. The are no Sallys when it comes to human rights violations.

Secondly, you have not established that abortion is a human right. It is merely a civil right; a right to privacy. Nothing more or less. You have provided no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that abortion is a human right. BTW, I am pro choice, and even I would not go that far.

You have also not given a response to one simple fact; any nation, state, country, or national entity can deny the appointment of an ambassador for any reason, or no reason at all. Ambassadors are merely guests of the host entity. The host entity has the absolute right to refuse to issue credentials. They do not need a reason. What part of this don’t you understand?

So, why should Caroline Kennedy be acceptable? Because she is a Kennedy? She is entitled because of her name? Her daddy was assasinated? Her uncle was assasinated? Her brother died in a stupid, avoidable plane crash? Her uncle, the murderer, is dying of cancer? Are those her qualifications?

You better get some game or sit on the bench.

Peter V. Bella said...

Seven Machos,
I am getting a headache trying to explain the facts to Rev. Please, the next time you see me arguing with an idiot, just fucking shoot me and put me out of my misery.

Thank you.

Pogo said...

Sounds like a great plan, Barack.

Sure.
Appoint Caroline, the "liberal Catholic" (i.e. likes the cool buildings and windows, just not the whole belief and pope thingy).

Yeah, perfect. Just tell that fisherman to go to hell.

buster said...

forRevenant said:

"Civil rights are a subset of human rights."

Not true in general. For example, the Constitution establishes a right to travel. U.S. v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745. I don't think the right to travel is a *human* right. Likewise, the Constitution forbids various forms of sex discrimination, such as preferring men over women to execute wills. Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71. There is no corresponding human right.

Freedom of religion is arguably a human right. But the Catholic Church is not denying Caroline Kennedy's freedom by supposedly refusing to accept her as the US ambassador. It is merely discriminating against her because of her heretical beliefs. I don't think there is a human right to freedom from that form of discrimination.

Contrary to Revenant's assertion, the Church does not deny anyone's freedom of religion. As far as the Church is concerned, everyone, including Caroline Kennedy, is free to practice any religion, even Catholocism as long as he or she accepts its fundamental tenets.

Seven Machos said...

Rev is full of it. Please point us to the lawsuit that allows a priest, or a rabbi, or a minister, or an imam to work for a church despite disagreeing with the tenets of the church as a condition of employment.

If Caroline Kennedy wishes to sue, she is more than able financially. Pray tell, though: who will enforce her rights?

Joan said...

Peter V. Bella said: You are as full of shit as a Christmas goose.

If that's how you think it works, Peter, I guess none of us will ever be dining chez Bella.

Revenant is my favorite sparring partner here. I always learn something from him, and the man knows how to construct an argument. I'm embarrassed reading these attacks even though I disagree with some of his Revenant's positions here.

I don't see why we continue to send an ambassador to the Vatican, except that discontinuing the practice now would be perceived as an insult. Pope Benedict is perhaps the only world leader who has actually spoken up about the problems inherent to Islam, and it would be foolish of us to cut ourselves off from such an influential ally.

That said, I can well imagine that all the smart guys in the Obama administration don't consider Benedict either wise or significant. They strike me as generally thoughtless, too caught up in their own ideas -- who needs the Pope? Why should he care if we send a pro-abortion "Catholic" as an ambassador?

Not malicious, just ignorant and too lazy to do anything about to correct it.

Seven Machos said...

discontinuing the practice now would be perceived as an insult

Wherein Joan types the political point concisely but fails to grasp any of its implications.

Joan said...

Seven, "fails to grasp any of its implications"? Any of them?
Ouch. Don't think I deserved that.

And on that low note, I'm off.

Happy Easter!

Revenant said...

Once again, if the US is a party to a declaration on the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion, why is the United States trying to suck up to the Moslem world, which has no such inclinations?

Because the United States government is often hypocritical. It is nevertheless a fact that we endorse the aforementioned declaration of human rights (which one of our First Ladies co-wrote, by the way). You are welcome to continue denying that this happened; it isn't as if my opinion of your intelligence could get any lower, after all.

Your previous response was, “so what”.

I said "so what" because Muslim human rights violations are irrelevant to this discussion. Apparently you believe in moral relativism, wherein the Vatican is blameless so long as you can find someone guilty of worse crimes to point to. My view is that one person's crimes are not diminished simply because another person committed worse crimes.

Secondly, you have not established that abortion is a human right

I addressed your confusion on that point already, in my 10:17 post.

You have also not given a response to one simple fact; any nation, state, country, or national entity can deny the appointment of an ambassador for any reason, or no reason at all.

My response to that "one simple fact" was at 2:53pm, in my very first post in this thread:

"So if they want to keep rejecting our ambassadors, let them. Let's just not bother having diplomatic relations with them until they change their minds."

As a sovereign nation they can reject ambassadors for whatever reason that choose. And we can return the favor if their reasons aren't acceptable to us.

The United States is politically, militarily, economically, and morally superior to the Vatican. Our diplomatic relations with them are an honor bestowed by us on them, not vice-versa. If they want to spit in our eye, that's their loss.

So, why should Caroline Kennedy be acceptable?

I would hope that Congress would reject Kennedy as unqualified. But if she was nominated by the President and approved by Congress, the reason she should be considered acceptable by the Vatican is that she is our choice for the post, and they have no legitimate political or legal reason to object to her.

Revenant said...

I don't think the right to travel is a *human* right.

I have to disagree with you there. Freedom of movement is, in my opinion and that of more than a few philosophers, one of the most fundamental of human rights. Many of the other rights depend on it. Taking away someone's right to travel can prevent them from working, obtaining food, seeing their families, organizing into groups -- you name it.

Likewise, the Constitution forbids various forms of sex discrimination, such as preferring men over women to execute wills.

Well, the courts say it does, anyway; my copy of the Constitution is missing that bit. But in any case the idea that all people are should be treated equally regardless of gender is pretty well enshrined as a human right at this point, don't you think? Sexism, public or private, has few defenders at this point.

Contrary to Revenant's assertion, the Church does not deny anyone's freedom of religion.

You are mistaken. One example is that citizenship is denied to non-Catholics. If the United States decided to deny citizenship to non-Protestants, would you think it fair to say that the United States respected freedom of religion. There are other examples, of course; non-Catholic places of worship are also forbidden.

You can argue, of course, that the whole point of the Vatican is to be purely Catholic. But that's not an argument that they respect freedom of religion. Look at Israel -- a Jewish state, founded by Jews, but they allow other faiths to become citizens, to worship there, to vote, you name it.

Caroline Kennedy, is free to practice any religion, even Catholocism as long as he or she accepts its fundamental tenets.

How can you be "free to practice any religion" if there is a religion you're not allowed practice without government approval? That pretty obviously eliminates numerous faiths from consideration -- in this case, those Catholics who do not consider the current Pope's authority to be absolute. Yeah, you can argue that those people aren't real Catholics, but says who? God ain't weighing in on that one.

Revenant said...

Revenant is my favorite sparring partner here.

Thank you, Joan. I enjoy discussing things with you, too.

Revenant said...

Rev is full of it. Please point us to the lawsuit that allows a priest, or a rabbi, or a minister, or an imam to work for a church despite disagreeing with the tenets of the church as a condition of employment.

Seven, I've been ignoring your posts, but that one happened to catch my eye and I was drawn in by its breathtaking silliness.

If you'll direct your attention to my 7:51pm post, you'll note the following remark, made by me:

you should only reject a person from a position on the basis of their faith if a specific sort of faith is, for some reason, a requirement for the job -- e.g., Catholic priests obviously need to be Catholic.

You have to be an observant Catholic to be a Catholic priest. You do not have to be an observant Catholic to be the United States diplomatic representative to a Catholic group. That's what our founding principles hold, and it is pretty much the way our law works, too.

Now that you've successfully lowered my opinion of your reasoning skills even further, I shall return to ignoring you.

Saurabh said...

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Fen said...

"He seems to take an awfully long time to make decisions like which dog is politically optimal and now which church is politically optimal."

Beth: Whether to have a pet, and what pet to have, is a personal decision, as is which church to attend.

Oh please. Its a political decision for Obama. This is the casting for Camelot II, another mythology to conceal a disastrous presidency, just like with JFK. The pet will be chosen by what plays best in the polling data.

Why do I get the sense that Sorkin has suckered you into this drama?

Why do you care how long it takes?

Not speaking for the OP, but Obama has shown an inability to make command decisions. He needs to be a leader, not the teleprompter's bitch. These minor misteps are indicators that he's not capable of leading a country, much less a platoon.

Revenant said...

The pet will be chosen by what plays best in the polling data.

Barack Obama chose a Portuguese Water Dog as a family pet... because of polling data? Was this before or after he assassinated Vince Foster?

Cripes, guys, just because the guy's an atrocious President doesn't mean his every move has to have some nefarious motive behind it.

Peter V. Bella said...

The United States is politically, militarily, economically, and morally superior to the Vatican.

Not according to this administration or the Demnocrat Party in general.

Oh, and that dog that the Obama family is getting? Who is giving to them? Is there a conspiracy of corruption here? The dog for a government post? Obama is from Chicago, you know.

zedzded said...

Nefarious? Nope, just lame and surrender-monkey-like.

He is a stupid man. He is a weak man. He proves both every day.

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