OpinionObama's meeting with the pope was inappropriate. Government leaders should not be making promises to religious leaders. http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1909972,00.html
      – Lee J Haywood, 2009-07-11 at 09:26:20   (17 comments)

On 2009-07-11 at 09:27:29, Lee J Haywood wrote...
This line is just shocking, isn't it? "During his visit, the President promised to reduce abortions in the United States, a diplomatic effort to address an issue that separates the Vatican and Obama's administration."
On 2009-07-11 at 18:30:53, BorgClown wrote...
I hope it was a diplomatic (instead of personal) promise. There are non-religious ways to reduce the abortions, like better sex education and birth control. Condoms are very effective, but unfortunately kids don't want to use them and leave the burden of contraception on the girl. And female contraception is not instant, the pill, for example, needs to be taken for weeks before having sex, and the newer treatments require taking them several days in advance.
On 2009-07-12 at 18:15:23, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Not to mention basic women's rights - abortion is a necessity in many cases, but there's more than one religion with an agenda and it's wrong for the government to be listening to any one (or indeed any of them at all). Worse, it suggests that Obama's acknowledgement of non-religious people is merely a token - in reality he's applying the warped mentality of a religious leader.
On 2009-07-13 at 13:35:24, DigitalBoss wrote...
Abortion is also not necessary in many cases: birth control by abortion. There is nothing wrong with wanting to reduce abortions, and yes, it may be that the way he intends to do it is with education... The Pope is also a head of state, one way around your promises issue. Don't get me wrong, I am not a big anti-abortionist, I believe as GWB said, it should be legal, but rare.
On 2009-07-13 at 16:29:09, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's true that his promise could be interpreted as meaning that there would be less need for abortions, rather than trying to discourage the use of them after the fact. That's a good point. It's still disconcerting to see state leaders mixing with religious figures. Even if the impact on government policy is negligible, it implies support for that religion (either by itself or in opposition to other religions) which is inappropriate.
On 2009-07-13 at 19:10:00, DigitalBoss wrote...
Technically, the Pope is a Head of State. The Vatican is a sovereign country.
On 2009-07-13 at 20:59:50, Lee J Haywood wrote...
With a population of around 900, it hardly matters - it really is a technicality. It's not like people listen to the pope for anything but religious reasons.
On 2009-07-14 at 00:53:33, BorgClown wrote...
You got me thinking, where the hell goes all the wealth the Vatican collects? Some countries even pay the catholic priests fat salaries by law, and there's donations and fees for many services. I just don't see where it is being expended, or is it going to savings?
On 2009-07-14 at 11:40:54, DigitalBoss wrote...
I agree, I agree, I 'm just sayin ...
On 2009-07-14 at 16:09:45, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Hmm, that's a whole topic by itself - religion squandering money that they have no justification for getting in the first place (e.g. tax exemption). They can run as charities, but there's no reason for them to get special privileges.
On 2009-08-01 at 15:48:00, Scarletxstarlet wrote...
I don't think his meeting was inappropriate. The pope is a political leader in many respects, however unfortunate that may be. As for his promise to reduce abortions- hey, I'm an extremely liberal feminist, but I too want to reduce abortions. That is the one thing that nearly everyone can agree with, I've noticed.
On 2009-08-02 at 09:46:03, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Yes, those are 2 things I hadn't thought of - that the Pope is a political leader, and that you can reduce the need for abortions as opposed to restricting the right to have them. Any leader in the US has the problem of having to appear religious themselves, although you'd hope that once elected as president someone would be fairly immune to it.
On 2009-08-02 at 23:06:41, BorgClown wrote...
Immunity would ideally cover for at least one reelection. Four years are too few to wield that kind of influence.
On 2009-08-05 at 20:56:17, Thelevellers wrote...
I think I dislike the implied reason for him saying it... The idea itself (reducing abosrtions) is perfectly sound, but it's the religious overtones of the place and person at the saying that I dislike, it suggests that they will be reduced for the wrong reasons, which I strongly disagree with... Obama could have said it to the prime minister of Norway instead, and I would have been fine. Actually I have a funny feeling the Prime minister of Norway might be Christian, but I think you maybe get my point?!
On 2009-08-05 at 21:00:02, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Well that was the only promise mentioned in the photoessay. Even if the abortion thing was innocent, the whole meeting is wrong. Maybe Obama will be meeting with Islamic leaders and making promises to them too, which would balance things out in a twisted way, but religion is completely perverted and shouldn't be supported by anyone in an ideal world.
On 2010-02-06 at 20:57:42, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Thelevellers: http://www.secularism.org.uk/petition-the-pm.html
On 2010-02-06 at 21:35:46, Thelevellers wrote...
Thanks for that link Lee - I wasn't even aware he was coming!