Two pieces of news this last couple of days have reminded me of my father and my favourite teacher : they are: 1. Pope Francis ‘ s comments concerning US politics and building a border wall and 2. President Obama’s refusal to attend the funeral of an American Legal Giant , Justice Scalia .
My father and my favourite teacher spoke and acted in a manner that always respected the views of others. They understood that although they might hold certain views , the reasoned different views of others were also important and legitimate in the world of our race. I remember my father saying: ‘you go to your church and I will go to mine, but let’s walk along together. ‘
Two of the globe’s most important leaders let down that concept this week and we are all the worse for their actions and comments. Both instances , I submit , demonstrate the dangers of ideology . Both men have become so enraptured with their own ideology that they are blinded to the balance that leaders like them must have in order to truly lead.
Pope Francis became so enraptured in his pastoral mission , laudable though it is, that he allowed himself to enter a complicated national debate on immigration in a very heated election process .
President Obama , for his part , has allowed his particular view of his country’s constitution and his political views , to blind him to the brilliance and scholarship of someone with opposite views and who has served his country with distinction. The fact that the lineups were so large at the ceremony today that extra time had to be provided speaks eloquently to this. It has been reported that this will mark one of the few occasions when a sitting President did not attend the funeral of a Supreme Court Justice.
Ringing in my ears are my literary heroes :
‘ Out, out brief candle, life ‘s but a walking shadow —–‘ William Shakespeare
‘ ———-the still sad music of humanity.’ William Wordsworth