- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pope hatred

“Joseph Ratzinger was elected as the successor to Pope John Paul II five years ago this week. Already a controversial figure, he has since gone on to become the hate figure du jour in certain circles, a sort of replacement bogeyman for George W Bush.

“Those circles include aggressive secularists, angry ex-Catholics and some within the Catholic Church itself who still suffer from the delusion that the purpose of the Second Vatican Council was to turn the church into another form of failed liberal Protestantism.

“Obviously, Benedict is in the news now because of the scandals and the ongoing, and mostly unfair, attempts to implicate him in the mismanagement of those scandals. But even without the scandals, Benedict was and is a hate figure for some. …

“But in a way, all these attacks are an attack on the same thing, namely Benedict and the church’s defense of objective truth and morality, its belief that certain things are right or wrong in themselves regardless of opinion or circumstance. … The paradox of relativism is that it claims to treat all points of view equally but in fact it damns and condemns those who deny relativism. In other words, relativists defend their point of view as trenchantly and aggressively as the worst fundamentalists and will brook no opposition.”

- David Quinn, writing on “Pope replaces George Bush as the man some people love to hate,” on April 23 at the Independent

Jew hatred

“All-in-all, I’d call [Gen. James L. Jones’ joke about a Jewish merchant and a Taliban guerrilla] a very unwise joke for a security advisor to The American President to make, especially if the president is trying to convince the nation - by his words more than his actions - that he supports capitalism and the free market, the existence of Israel and the defeat of the Taliban.

“The truth is the joke would have been inappropriate under any president; the White House and its administrators should never be in the business of laughing at anyone but themselves, because other-directed humor signals insecurity; self-denigrating humor does the opposite. …

“The world is in the process of gearing up to hate the Jews some more, as it always has before. The world hates the chosen people because they are uniquely God’s own. It hates those grafted onto that vine, too, for the same reason. If the past few decades have taught us anything, it is that people cannot be forced to like other people; ‘niceness’ cannot be legislated and unfathomable hate cannot be reasoned with, because reason has nothing to do with it.”

- Elizabeth Scalia, writing on “Was Jones’ Joke Anti-Semitic?” on April 26 at her First Things blog, the Anchoress

Church hatred

“Britain’s foreign ministry hastily apologized to Pope Benedict XVI after the publication of an embarrassing internal memo. The memo saw a junior British official joking that, during an upcoming visit, the Pope could open an abortion clinic or launch a line of condoms. The memo was seen by pro-life advocates as the latest example of disrespect aimed at the Catholic Church.

“The document became public knowledge when it was leaked to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper and it also included proposals for Pope Benedict to bless a gay marriage during his expected visit to England in September.

“The newspaper said the ideas, which came in a memo after a ‘brainstorm’ session, were the subject of an apology from Britain’s ambassador to the Vatican, who apologized to senior Church officials.

” ‘This is clearly a foolish document that does not in any way reflect U.K. government or FCO policy or views,’ a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said, according to the paper.”

- Steven Ertelt, writing on “Britain Issues Apology to Pope Benedict Over Memo on Abortion, Condoms,” on April 26 at Lifesite news

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