Sunday, April 13, 2008

Revealed unto him

In preparation for the visit next week of Pope Benedict, George Bush did an interview for the Eternal Word Television Network. It was the sycophantic style that Bush likes. One wonders if the Vatican is paying full attention to how Bush appears to be using Benedict's visit for his own purposes. Anyway, in the absence of a full transcript, two points of note. First, Bush was asked what we [the USA] could do protect the Iraqi Christian minority --

Keep our troops there long enough to have a civil society emerge and go after them ... go after these killers.

So concern about Iraqi Christians is another reason to keep the troops there on an open-ended mission, but not another reason why the war should never have been started in the first place. Or at least should have had a contingency plan for protecting minorities.

At the end of the interview, there is this exchange

Q: You said famously that when you looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes, you saw his soul. What do you see when you look into Benedict's eyes?

A: God.

It must be great for faith to be that simple (it's worth listening to the exchange for the definitiveness of Bush's response). It's not clear though that Benedict sees himself as a portal. There's a lot in the Catholic faith about mystery.

UPDATE: Welcome Dan Froomkin readers. We'll take the opportunity to add here that Bush's "God" response is very curious from a Protestant perspective, which downplays the need for intermediaries in interaction of the worshipper with God.

FINAL UPDATE: Here's a transcript of the interview.

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