Something is wrong when a dictator gets more praise than a pope

Jesse Jackson secured his induction into the liberal hall of fame last week when he told attendees at Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez’s funeral that Chavez “fed the hungry, lifted the poor, raised their hopes and helped them realize their dreams.”

Jackson’s speech, however, wasn’t the only sign of American support at the funeral of a man deceased Venezuelan Bishop Eduardo Herrera Riera once said was responsible for the “painful river of blood that flows daily through [the streets of Venezuela].” Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), former Congressman William Delahunt (D-MA) and James Derham were also in attendance as the official U.S. delegation to the ceremony. Chavez’s number one American ally, actor Sean Penn, was also there, as were Cuba’s Raul Castro and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Chavez and Benedict

News of Chavez’s death was carried by the major media networks, and even though Jackson’s kind words were completely ignored, it felt like some outlets were taking marching orders directly from him.

In a segment on NPR titled “Any praise for Hugo Chavez?” host Michel Martin was careful not to bring up Chavez’s history of abuse or condemn his socialist views. Outlets like PBS and the BBC similarly portrayed Chavez as a fighter for the oppressed and marginalized.

It’s interesting to note that in the last days of Pope Benedict’s Pontificate the press handled itself in a completely different manner. Even though the Catholic Church educates more children, has more hospitals and serves the needs of the poor more than any institution on the plant, the chattering classes focused on a handful of abusive priests and the Church’s “intolerant” teachings on priestly celibacy and gay marriage.

I’d like to think that the media simply failed to mention all the good things the Catholic Church does because they’re waiting to talk about it when the new pope is elected, and that Reverend Jackson thinks the former pope helped the poor more than Mr. Chavez did, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Categories:Politics Pope Benedict

3 thoughts on “Something is wrong when a dictator gets more praise than a pope

  1. Samwise says:

    Che Guevara continues to be idolized among American youth, even as a communist butcher and tyrant. Is it any surprise that Chavez gets any different?

  2. Antonio A. Badilla says:

    Thanks be to God not everyone showered praise on the dictator, “Ailing Venezuelan bishop says President Chávez must repent.” Stephen wrote, “Even though the Catholic Church educates more children, has more hospitals and serves the needs of the poor more than any institution on the plant, the chattering classes focused on a handful of abusive priests and the Church’s “intolerant” teachings on priestly celibacy and gay marriage.” and in this papal election cycle, that is all one hears from the secular media. To read them or hear them one gets the impression the world’s cardinals talk about nothing else.
    “but I’m not holding my breath.” and don’t Stephen, because you might run out of oxygen! The media and progressive Catholics praise Chávez and said very little or nothing good about the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and the Church.

  3. Arthur O'Connor says:

    Chavez did lots for the poor – and people applauded his anti Americanism and his two fingers to capitalism. The Pope’s foreign aid programme does more than American aid and is non denominational but gets little publicity.

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