Pope Francis is visiting the United States this fall, which is nice of him. I hope he has a good time.
President Obama is going to be rolling out the red carpet for the Pope, as Presidents are supposed to do nowadays. I’m not sure how much I like the tradition. Yes, the Pope is a head of state and an important person, but I get uncomfortable when a religious figure is given celebrity status. Celebrity and sanctity tend not to mix very well, and nobody does celebrity like America. I’d rather they tone it down a little.
It seems that the celebrity who happens to be a semi-retired president, Obama, insufferable scold that he is, could not resist the chance to give the Pope a lesson in tolerance by inviting a gay married (and gay-divorced) Episcopalian bishop, a dissenting nun, and a couple of queer activists to meet the Pope.
Now, I am sure that these guests are well-meaning people, and I sure the Pope will be gracious, but that is not the point. What would possess a head of state to submit an important foreign guest to such a ripe opportunity for embarrassment? The whole point of these diplomatic events is to avoid opportunities for embarrassment. You don’t invite Falun Gong when the Chinese Premier comes calling, do you?
Now, given the fact that this news is being touted by right-wing websites like Brietbart and it reinforces the negative image I have of Obama as a preening solipsistic moral scold, I should take a deep breath and REALLY, REALLY be questioning this story.
Fine. I’ll be good. Here are my questions:
- What is the full guest list? I mean, is this it, or are there also some Sisters of Charity and pro-life activists scattered in there?
- Who approved the list? I’m sure the President himself has little or nothing to do with the selection. It was more likely a mid-level staffer who thought it up. But it still had to be approved by the diplomatic professionals of the State Department. What were they thinking?
- Isn’t there a US ambassador to the Holy See? Isn’t there a Papal nuncio? What did they think of the list?
So I suspect there is more to the story than what Brietbart et al are reporting.
Either way, the geniuses at the White House have set up a lose-lose situation: now they have to either risk insulting their guest, or they have to admit they screwed up. If they take the latter route, they will have to disinvite some guests, which will hurt their feelings. Nobody wants to see a tranny get their feelings hurt, those people have enough issues as it it.
Best case scenario: the Pope saves everyone embarrassment by telling the White House to not change the guest list, and behind the scenes the Papal Nuncio demands that the guests behave themselves and that whomever planned the list get fired.
This is not how you do diplomacy, but I’m afraid this kind of crap has been symptomatic of U.S. diplomacy for a generation. If Bush was pushy and self-righteous from the right, Obama is equally bad, if not worse, from the left. The State Department was fairly sober in the Bush years but seems to have been taken over by clowns during the Obama era. As a result of both Presidents’ bumbling the Middle East is in a state of general collapse.
It seems no one can tell these imbeciles they are wrong.