Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Deep Musings on Secular, Worldly, and Religious Ideas...

This morning as I read through the morning news I find myself contemplating the picture attached to this article about Trump meeting Pope Francis. And not just because of the grim look on the Pope's face. If anything I am sure that this is just a bad and out of place picture out of hundreds, and that's why it is making the media rounds. (Only Trump is smiling, and everyone else looks off. I'm sure it's just a bad picture, and not indicative of any real emotions.)

But it is an interesting picture for other reasons.
1. Jared Kushner- Jewish.
2. Ivanka- former Christian converted to Judaism to marry her husband.
3. Melania- former topless model, from a not usually Christian country, that tends to hate Catholics, and yet claims to be a Roman Catholic.
4. Trump- serial womanizer, on his 3rd wife, who claims at different times to be Catholic or Lutheran. I think he and Melania are not actually really religious except in political years.

And then there is the Pope. A man who embodies the very definition of being the Lord's servant on Earth. Few men in history have shown the love and compassion for all of humanity that Pope Francis has. He has set an example for all of the world when it comes to accepting sinners and the poor. He shows humility in all that he does. (And I would say without hesitation is the very compelling opposite of all things Trump.)
I may not be Catholic, but I have nothing but the greatest respect for Pope Francis.

It is of interest to note that he doesn't just represent a religion, but a country. It is a religion with so much power that it is a country. That's no small thing. The Vatican City holds a great deal of power within its walls.

And that's my jumping off point---

What if all religions were their own nation state? What if other world leaders had to pay the same respect to all religions that they do to the Vatican?

I think it would be a beautiful thing. I'm actually quite serious on this. I don't believe religions need armies to be heard. The Vatican certainly doesn't need one, and yet is heard worldwide. (Also, sidenote, if you've ever seen the Swiss Guard at the Vatican, feel free to laugh at the idea of those men actually in battle.

Which brings me to my next musing...

Respect for religions and beliefs.

Whilst in the Middle East, Melania and Ivanka didn't cover their heads. But they did to meet the Pope. They would not have been allowed to meet the Pope otherwise. I do believe they should have shown respect for Muslim beliefs in Saudi and worn head scarves there too.

Last, but more important than all the rest, Callista Gingrich. The third (or is it fourth?) wife of Newt, has been named Ambassador to the Vatican.

For a hundred reasons I don't like Trump. But this is one of the few things he's done that truly just disappoints me. Appointing Callista Gingrich to the Vatican is showing tremendous disrespect for Catholicism and the Pope.

Both the Church and the Pope have promoted strong marriages, anti-divorce, and purity. And so Trump appointed a woman who had a 6 year affair with Newt while he was married. Callista and her husband represent the Pope's views on family and marriage about as well as Donald and Melania. Of course, her job is to represent American views, not the Pope's. But in this unique ambassadorship, it would be far more appropriate and fitting to appoint someone who doesn't embrace the opposite values.

It's very disappointing.

Respect for other's beliefs is more important now than ever before. Intolerance of other beliefs has always been (and probably always will be) what leads to war. If the Crusades and Islam's War on the World has taught us anything, it's that we greatly need to respect other's beliefs.

So look at the picture below one more time and think about it. And think about how the Pope is doing something here many popes before him would not have done. He is standing with 2 Jews, a topless model, and serial adulterer. He is the one in this picture showing respect for others' beliefs, and embracing those he doesn't agree with.

Not the other way around.

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