Pope lays down the law to lawmakers

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by 63dot, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #1
    It's very interesting to see a nation built on religious freedom to have a Pope speak to a joint session of Congress. Is this American?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...vited-to-address-a-joint-session-of-congress/

    Anyway, Francis is not shy to air out his political beliefs unlike other Popes in history who have been much more quiet. Where JP II used the media this guy masters it, like, well a politician.

    In the space of 30 seconds during his speech he condemns both abortion and the death penalty but then again it's in line with what Jesus said or implied. It's the sanctity of life, but isn't that for a personal relationship and not in the chamber where we make law?

    (btw, I am Protestant, agree with Pope on more things than not, but am not sure about invite to Congress which was mostly the GOP's idea).
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    Are you suggesting that a religious person shouldn't speak to Congress, or that the Pope shouldn't visit a nation built on religious freedom? I'm not sure what your point is.
     
  3. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #3
    I think the Pope speaking to a joint session of Congress is not exactly what the founding fathers had in mind.

    Being a Christian and raised Methodist, and also being politically liberal, I do like the Pope a lot but am not sure what message this brings to the world from a nation that is supposed to be neutral on religion.

    Should we now let the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Dalai Lama, and others get equal time?

    I am not quite sure on the impact of this move, first praised by Boehner (a Catholic) but then retracted when it turned out the Pope was so concerned about global warming. Republicans were initially thrilled at a pro-life leader like the Pope coming here but didn't know how to deal with the rest of his views which are liberal to very liberal.

    It's actually kind of funny to see the reaction of the republicans. I wonder how long it will take before the GOP starts to continue with their ridiculous global warming denier comments.
     
  4. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #4
    I have a bit of an issue with someone who is primarily a religious leader addressing congress, I know the pope technically is a head of state, but his job as head of the Catholic church is much more important than his job as head of state of Vatican City. I do like how this Pope has positions that will make both sides of the aisle upset.
     
  5. 5684697 Suspended

    5684697

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #5
    You blokes have a distorted interpretation of the First Amendment.
     
  6. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #6
    The Pope hit it out of the park, a refreshing change for Catholic leadership.

    Now, how to be a conservative lawmaker and reconcile your short comings regarding humanity, all of humanity, and selfishness, against your faith based on human kindness, goodness, and mutual respect?

    How do you expect the Pope's address to cause Democrats discomfort? I see the GOP as taking most of the heat. :)
     
  7. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #7
    What's wrong with not wanting a religious leader addressing congress? I don't care if a politician's religion influences their morals and what they think is right or wrong to vote for but I don't feel like having a primarily religious leader speaking directly to Congress really fits with separation of church and state.
     
  8. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #8
    I also think, while against a specific address to US lawmakers, that the Pope really put it to the conservatives (much more than to pro-choice liberals).

    The GOP's complete ignoring of social issues, the middle class and the poor, race relations, and most other issues is totally opposed to this current Pope. It's been centuries since any Pope has courted the rich and it highlights the GOP's ancient views on political issues.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #9
    Pope Francis is not 'technically' a Head of State. He is an actual Head of State, for he is the Head of State of the smallest country - the Vatican City State - in the world, but one with an extraordinary leverage - and indeed, influence, in terms of soft power, and diplomatic reach.
     
  10. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #10
    Yes he is, but that office is much more of a religious office than a normal head of state, or even another one that is nominally the head of a religion. For example, do you not see a difference between the Pope's religious role and say the religious role of the queen of England in her other role as head of the church of England?
     
  11. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #11
    You can be a Head of State and a religious person of stature and address Congress about treating each other decently without any issues IMO. His message is either received or rejected. I picked up no flagrant Catholicism, but a Humanity sales job. :)
     
  12. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #12
    So does that mean that if you agree with a religious leader then they can address congress, but not if you don't? If you take the pope then you should also accept the leader of any other religion.
     
  13. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #13
    Frankly, if the mere fact of Pope Francis addressing the Houses of Congress causes a problem with how the US chooses to interpret the separation of Church & State in its own society, I'd be very worried indeed for the future cultural integrity of the US.

    This is because the real problems are far closer to home, and are likely to have an extraordinarily detrimental effect on how the US can seek to promote itself as a leading centre of scientific instruction, taught entirely independently of religious influence.

    The problem with safeguarding the separation of 'Church & State' in the US cannot be met by denying His Holiness, Pope Francis, an invitation to address the Houses of Congress; rather, it will be far better served keeping stupendously stupid beliefs out of the classroom, that is, if your society wishes to preserve its reputation for playing host to some of the most dynamic scientific breakthroughs on the planet.

    Food for thought, yes.
     
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #14
    Of course, but if the US cannot police its own internal boundaries whereby Church & State are separated, then, the country is in a lot more cultural peril than I had thought.
     
  15. sodapop1 Suspended

    sodapop1

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    #15
    Yes, religious freedom in the sense that the government is to act as a neutral party not endorsing or forcing society to adopt to any particular religion. That does not mean that its citizens, through a democratic process, can't strive to model the laws and values of that society to be consistent with their faith.
     
  16. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #16
    Would you have an issue with Thomas Monson (The head of the Mormon Church) addressing joint session of congress? Or how about the head of the First Church of Cannabis?
     
  17. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #17
    If you've been paying attention, he qualifies as a Head of State. I'm not Catholic, I'm Agnostic, but I know a good message when I hear one. Every person in that chamber claims a religion. I'd have to evaluate each case based on the message. I'd love to hear a Muslim address Congress if they have a good message to deliver about tolerance to different views. But if it's a sales job to preach about God's rules, expectations and punishments, twisted to a specific agenda-based perspective, based on old moldy books, intolerance and sexism, supporting a specific religious power base, then I'd pass. :)
     
  18. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #18
    I hope this is taken as neutral.

    I am not sure how I would feel about this visit if I were Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or not of any major religious point of view. I would have no problem having him visit my church or my home, and actually I would be thrilled, but a joint session of Congress?

    I know there are a lot of other fellow Protestants (who have a lot of denominations that have female pastors) who would like this Pope since he has hinted on letting women be pastors, too. If this happens under his watch, then it's about time. There's no doubt that, even so far, he will be remembered as a reformer and certainly liberal.

    Though I am not in favor of a joint session of Congress, he's more of a religious leader from how I see it and not so much a head of state (as he is also seen). As a religious leader, yes, let him visit the White House, but speaking to Congress as a head of state when he's primarily seen as a religious leader? I guess you could technically say he was a head of state representing the Vatican so it was no big deal.
     
  19. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #19
    It would depend. Are those people well regarded/respected and what would their message be?
     
  20. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #20
    So basically what you are saying is that if the religious message fits what you like then it is ok, but if it doesn't then you have a problem with it? How does that fit the first amendment, I can understand an argument that we let any religious leaders speak, but if you start weeding out which ones are allowed based on the content of their message then that is getting dangerously close to promoting that religion in violation of the first amendment.
     
  21. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #21
    Why would the message matter? The government isn't endorsing their point of view as that would be illegal under the first amendment.
     
  22. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #22
    Look, I am not from the US.

    However, the Pope is a Head of State, - a recognised Head of a recognised State - howsoever unusual that state's governing arrangements are, which is not something that applies to either of the other examples you have offered.

    Moreover, he is the spiritual head of one of the largest religious groups in the world, a religion that also happens to number countless millions of US citizens. Politically, and culturally, it makes sense to have invited him, not least with an election brewing.

    Now, personally, I disagree with a great many of the policies of the US Government, and - while we are at it - I also disagree with a great many of the teachings of the Catholic Church.

    But that is neither here nor there. This is a political act, one which may have effects which seep into cultural and social fields. And why not? President Obama, the Democrats, (and indeed the GOP) are hardly likely to wish to be seen to give offence to the part of the US electorate which is Catholic, - and indeed may wish to woo them - while Francis would be a fool not to seize such a platform when it has been offered to him.
     
  23. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #23
    Why are you making this assumption about me?? All messages would have to be evaluated. Is it wrong for a religious leader to address Congress because they head a religion? I don't see that as a disqualifier, no more than any respected individual can address Congress. Maybe it would help if you describe how you think the First Amendment applies to this situation. .
     
  24. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #24
    This is so true.

    I don't know why they didn't just let him visit the White House and areas around DC.

    I don't have any beef with the Catholic Church or Francis but letting him speak to Congress kind of looks like our lawmakers promoting a religion, or in this case a denomination of a religion. Congress makes our laws and the last time I checked we have our common law, not canon law. A lot of people died here, in England, and many other countries to make this distinction.
     
  25. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #25
    I fail to see how this can be viewed as Congress promoting a religion.

    He speaks, they politely but psychologically plug their ears, applaud him, and then empty their brains of any reference to anything contentious that he might have said. Easy.

    For a country with the sort of seeping, leaky and rather porous boundaries between business and governance, (think of all of those lobbyists), the concern about a religious leader addressing a joint session of the Houses of Congress - who also happens to be a political leader - strikes me as rather strange.

    To repeat, in diplomatic terms, Francis would have been invited to address the session of the joint Houses of Congress in his capacity as a Head of State; the fact that he is also the spiritual leader of a religion which includes many millions of US citizens makes for an interesting situation.
     

Share This Page