About the only thing good left in global politics of any description since the death of Mother Teresa have been the heads of the various non-Muslim religions. But as we well-know, religion does not preclude coming up against or even instigating dust ups with secular politicos and nation states. They deal with the same current issues.
Ongoing is the split within the Anglican Church worldwide over allowing female bishops and homosexuals to lead congregations. [Times Online] The Anglicans share an unspoken policy of don’t ask, don’t tell with the US military. Lest you dismiss this as minor, the Church of England has a secular head, the Queen of England. Messy business, that. With Muslims approaching a majority status there, it looks as if there is little hope of official acceptance of women in high places or of homosexuality anywhere. While the Arch Bishop of Canterbury is against the split, he is the one who pushed for the UK to accept Sharia law.
The Dalai Lama has fought the Chinese for decades over religious freedoms for the people of his native Tibet. Tibet is the center of the Dalai Lama’s type of Buddhism. In an interview with Larry King this week, he emphasized that they were not seeking separation from China. Materially, Tibet, a landlocked nation, needs China.
In recent weeks our lenders, the Chinese, made it an international point of honor short of a military confrontation that the US should not receive the Dalai Lama formally at the White House. Obama granted him an audience but not in the Oval Office; and not at the front door. His holiness was shuffled in and out at the back door, past a guard of plastic bags filled with first family garbage. A wonderful photo of this sensitive, smelly and distasteful moment in diplomatic history may be found at Diary of a Mad Conservative.
It is clear our leader is not headed down the road to enlightenment. The only thing we can say for Obama is that he appears to have very “catholic” tastes when it comes to worshiping the one God. He understands about One God and sympathizes with his/her difficulties in overseeing a large and diverse universe. He may show up anywhere one god is recognized. But his penchant for reaching out to the unreachable i.e. Muslims and of not settling into a local church pew has only fueled the growing unease in this country that we do not know nor can we cannot identify with this man.
This week in the global neighborhood, the truly ugly, Hugo Chavez of oil-rich Venezuela caused an incident to rival his lack of looks. He engaged in a shouting match with the President of formerly drug-rich Colombia at a Latin American Unity conference near Cancun. Chavez is angry with Colombia for allowing US bases on their soil; Columbia is more than angry at Colombia’s support of the guerrilla fighters in country. [CNN] Here is an ugly situation that bears Obama’s attention. Sadly, the Obama White House is only interested in international social and conference spots not in political hot spots. When attention is finally focused on this potential conflict, the President will be more apt to shake the hand of Chavez than give credence to Colombian concerns about guerrillas. The overall impression our government has left on the global psyche is one of its preference for the downright ugly. Well, after all, Rahm Emanuel is the power behind the Obama oversized throne and he looks, speaks and acts, well, ugly.