Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Pope and Obama

[ From Whispers in the Loggia]

Has anyone noticed the love affair that the Media is having with the Pope? You can't turn on or tune into the MSM without the gushing from the anchors, the constant coverage and the positive feedback from the viewership.

Sound familiar? It's the same relationship that the Media has with Barack Obama. I wondered why both of these men, both charismatic in their own right, have become media darlings.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Both have turned the world upside down by changing the paradigms and expectations with the messages that they bring. In a single word HOPE. Granted there are many differences between the two men obviously, and I'm sure some will find it offensive that I dare compare or draw attention to the fact. But look at the Pope's message for Catholics and America and see that though substantively they may differ, thematically they're the same. Here's what Rocco said:
A moment of hope, challenge, a steadfast call to unity and relaunching of the American Catholic project -- and, so it's seemed, a transformative journey for the Man in White -- the Pope's weeklong US tour wraps today with a bang, one intended to resonate far beyond the Big Apple's five boroughs.
And isn't it essentially the same call of Obama? Granted he's not wanting to relaunch the Catholic Project - but he is seeking to relaunch the American Experiment in Democracy - the Project of our great nation.

The media, in deed the American people cling to both their messages of Hope because over the past 8 years the confidence in their respective institutions has been tarnished if not diminished, whether by sexual scandal in the Church or the scandal of war and loss of fundamental freedoms at the hands of the Government. And we're all ready to respond to the challenges of the call that is associated with each, whether it's a call to take ownership in the government or a call to live a life more fully in the splendor of Truth that is deposited in the teachings of the Church. That's why there's such energy, buzz, and high turnout. Granted it's the Pope and he'll generate a high turn out because he's the Pope, but there's something extra that brings out and draws us to watch and participate.

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Gashwin said...

Hardly an offensive comparison. :) But, appearances aside, where is the real substance? :)

I'm not yet convinced by Obama. That's unfair, because I haven't really paid much attention. The solidly pro-abortion thing is a huge block for me, for sure. Anyway, once there is a final candidate for the Dems, I'll decide who to support. With my dollars, since I can't vote. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on Obama and the abortion issue, gashwin. It's a huge sumbling block for any Catholic who takes their faith serioulsy, and belives what the Church teaches. That "hope" word reminded me of a bumper sticker I've seen: "A nation that kills it's own children is a nation without hope" -John Paul II.

It makes you wonder just what kind of hope Obama is really striving for, if he can't even stand up and fight for the most defenseless in our society?

Mattheus Mei said...

To Gashwin, it's an important point to say that his pro-abortion stance is a stumbling block to your consideration of this candidate which means that you're looking at not just the pro-abortion issue, but also this candidates entire platform which in many other cases do line up with Catholic social teaching. To Anon it's important to remind you of the following from Catholics for Obama:
The Catholic Church teaches that Catholics have a moral obligation to inform their consciences and participate in political life. The Catholic Church does not tell Catholics for whom to vote nor endorse single issue voting. See "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States."

At the very least at least this candidate admits that there is a moral component to the Abortion issue, granted he wasn't reared in the Catholic faith and so is not informed by our doctrines, but the very fact that he believes there is a moral component to the issue and that such a decision should be informed not only by one's own reactions but also by consultation with ones family and religious authorities. Remember that the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade will not be a watershed event as much as a symbolic event because then it'll be left up to the states to decide the issue, and most if not all states will allow abortion in some manner or another (recall the "raped mother, incest" clause as approved by republicans and John McCain).

As to the kind of Hope Mr. Obama is offering... it's not a hope that he's whipped up from out of no-where, it's something he's tapped into deep within the psyche of the American people that somehow after the past eight years (and some would say 20 years) of having our constitution trampled our rights abrigdged our national heritage as a beacon of the very hope within us tarnished that people want a change. People are hoping for a brighter future.