The Vatican has become a partner with the republicans, so they coordinate, come the final stretch of election time, to make things happen, make statements, take positions that help the Republicans.
They help the republicans because the Republican positions on birth control, abortion, stem cells, gay marriage, pre-marital sex are closest to the Roman Catholic Church's positions.
By firing up an angry Muslim response, a predictable response after the cartoon episode earlier in the year, the Pontiff in red has created a media situation that makes nervous soccer Moms and quick to ignite Christian nationalists rev up their fear, their xenophobia and... their loyalty to the Republicans-- who not too deeply beneath the surface-- are racist, anti-Muslim, anti non-Christian.
There's no truth to these ideas, but there are millions of right wingers and some independents and dumbocrats who will go for this message hook, line and sinker.
It's interesting that no media people, no pundits have seen that Pope Benedict's move is a 2006 replay of the Church's 2004 moves to hurt Kerry and help Republicans.
What should the democrats do about it?
First, face the reality that the POpe and his clergy are allies of the Republicans.
Second, realize that about 45% of Catholics don't buy a lot of the Church's positions and rules.
We need to get the word out that the Pope is too smart to have made a clumsy mistake. He knew what he was doing, knew the effect it would produce and knew that it might even put Christians throughout the world in danger-- all to help Bush and his anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-stem-cell, anti-cloning policies.
It's ironic that Muslim leaders seem to be encouraging the anger of their flocks, falling for Ratzinger's ploy.
So, yes, the Pope should apologize-- the the Muslims for citing an obnoxious piece of medieval garbage. And maybe the Muslim Mullahs and Imans should apologize too-- to their flock of the faithful, since they've been duped by the Pope to help the Republicans.
There are plenty of wonderful, god-loving Catholics who are good people. Then there's the catholic church. The laity take the bitter-- the Vatican, the pedophile priests, etc.-- with the sweet-- the faith they love and feel is their home.
It's been that way for centuries. Somehow, the churchgoers need to be made aware that they have another creep for a Pope who is playing nasty politics that cause all kinds of pain, hate and death.
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