America, as with the rest of the world, continues to swing along towards its uncertain future with all the regularity of a finally honed pendulum.
Yesterday, the Vatican once more reared its ugly, clerical, head high enough to condemn the Obama administration for restoring government funding to family planning clinics that perform, or give advice on, abortion in Third World countries.
Monsignor Rino Fisichella, a Vatican spokesman, said President Obama should listen to all voices in America, without “the arrogance of those who, being in power, believe they can decide of life and death.” 
That’s exactly what the Vatican does, is it, Monsignor Fisichella?
Monsignor Rino Fisichella is wrong. President Obama was democratically elected by a majority of the US citizenry. It is that majority he is in office to represent; a majority of Americans who believe in a woman’s right to choose. While he can listen to the voice of the minorities, if it goes against the wishes of the majority then he is duty bound to ignore it.
Hopefully, that’s the difference between President Barack Obama and the Pope. Obama believes he is in office to do the bidding of the democratic majority; the Pope believes his job is to tell everyone what to think.
America’s just rid itself of a president who believed that.
There’s no reason for the Pope to concern himself with government funding to family planning clinics. He just needs patience.
After all, the funding was originally revoked in 1984 by Republican president, Ronald Reagan. It was then reinstated by Bill Clinton, when he came to power, and withdrawn yet again by George W Bush.
All the Pope has to do is sit it out till the next Republican president appears on the scene, and the cash will once again stop flowing.
It’s a crazy way to run anything, least of all a nation, but that’s politics in a democracy.
Back and forth, first one way, then the other, like a finely honed pendulum – going nowhere.
 “Vatican attacks US abortion move” BBC, January 25th 2009
Filed under: Swinging politics