Saturday afternoon, President Bush made a short statement on the death of Pope John Paul II, which he used to promote his agenda. An excerpt:
Pope John Paul II left the throne of St. Peter in the same way he ascended to it — as a witness to the dignity of human life. In his native Poland, that witness launched a democratic revolution that swept Eastern Europe and changed the course of history. Throughout the West, John Paul’s witness reminded us of our obligation to build a culture of life in which the strong protect the weak.
Freedom, of course, is the current justification for the invasion of Iraq. It’s no secret that the Pope strongly opposed this war.
“Culture of life” and “the strong protect the weak” are two phrases that the President has invoked frequently in discussing Terri Schiavo and abortion. No doubt, Pope John Paul II did believe in a culture of life in which the strong protect the weak. However, as his opposition to the Iraq war demonstrates, he had a much more general definition of life.
I’ve never exactly looked to the President as a paragon of ethics, but peppering a statement on the death of the Pope with GOP catchphrases is about as shameless as I’ve seen from him.