About 4 million people came to Rome to honor the life of John Paul II (search) and his funeral Friday morning was an amazing spectacle. The ancient rites of the Roman Catholic Church (search) were on full display to a world that is largely retreating from spiritualism, especially in the industrialized countries.
Now many young people were enthralled by the demonstration because in many parts of the world, including the U.S., public spectacles like this are rare. Secular forces have succeeded in blunting public displays of faith. So the exposition in Rome was new to many people.
Now one amazing thing about the pope's funeral is that there was virtually no trouble. Among the millions of people who packed an ancient city, nearly everyone behaved and respected the pope's life.
That is the power of spiritualism. If everybody on the earth lived the way John Paul lived, human conflict would be wiped out.
Here in America, the pope coverage is a big plus for those of us who believe that spiritualism, rather than secularism, should be the dominant philosophy. Baby boomers like myself are really the last generation to be raised in the Judeo Christian tradition that was fostered by the founding fathers. Those who tell you the founders did not want Americans to embrace Judeo Christian philosophy are lying to you.
The founders didn't want any one religion given preference by the new government, but they did want people to behave, because the new federal government was so weak, the founders understood that religious convictions could restrain bad behavior. And the more spiritual people were, the more law abiding they would be. For very practical reasons, the founders wanted public spirituality and encouraged it.
But today, the secular progressives have made deep inroads into the media and the judicial system. The tenet of church state separation has been perverted and used as a hammer against public spirituality.
Thus when young Americans saw the massive display of piety in Rome, many of them were perplexed. They're not taught anything spiritual in public schools. And only about 26 percent of American adults attend church weekly. So you figure their kids don't either. Many young Americans were fascinated by the papal display because events like this, again, are so rare in their lives.
"Talking Points" hopes that all Americans will begin thinking about the traditional versus the secular in America, which philosophy is best for all of us? Which one will keep us safe and prosperous?
If the pope's death rekindles that kind of thought, it would add even more to this great man's legacy.
And that's Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
The question: "Is it wrong for Tom DeLay to pay his wife and daughter with politically donated funds? Is it wrong for Tom DeLay to pay his wife and daughter with politically donated funds?" Yes or no?
So far the results very interesting, and we'll give you the finals on Monday and we'll see if they're ridiculous.
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