Obviously realizing that comparing President Obama to God like so many have before is ridiculous and soooo last month, Fr. Dominic V. Monti is breaking the mold by comparing Obama to…(wait for it)…St. Francis of Assisi.
Yup. That’s right. A priest is comparing Obama to St. Francis of Assisi.
I know your first instinct is to assume that the good priest doesn’t know a darn thing about St. Francis in order to make that statement. But alas, Fr. Monti actually wrote a book on St. Francis.
Now, mind you I’m sure the comparison of Obama and St. Francis has nothing to do with the fact that he’s trying to sell his book about St. Francis. I’m sure this is what he really thought after long consideration and didn’t even know that one way to get publicity for your book is to say something controversial and liberal.
If you want to check out The Times Union and read the whole thing feel free but I’ll give you the lowlights and then we’ll see how St. Francis and Obama actually compare.
Fr. Monti writes:
Since taking office in January, President Barack Obama has made what some consider to be unusual, even controversial overtures to the Muslim world.
His message of “initiating a new partnership, based on mutual respect and mutual interest” has been consistently communicated, whether in his inaugural address, in his landmark January interview on the Al-Arabiya television network or in his speeches to the Turkish parliament in April or at Cairo University in June.
But these overtures are not as unusual or controversial as one may think when viewed from a longer historical context. Almost eight centuries ago — or more precisely 557years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence — another person sought a better understanding of Muslims through the pursuit of an open dialogue. That person is now known as St. Francis of Assisi.
OK. I had to stop because my gag reflex was kicking in. Sorry. I’ll continue now.
Although Francis did not obtain the sultan’s conversion to Christianity in this meeting, which was his primary goal, he experienced a conversion of his own…
Francis was also impressed and moved by several values of the Muslim religion and sought to incorporate them into his spiritual life and that of his “Lesser Brothers.” These included the practice of publicly calling people to pray at various times of day, an acute sense of God’s majesty, goodness and transcendence, and the adoration of God with both fear and reverence.
Scholars say Francis and the sultan created the first real dialogue between Christians and Muslims. In fact, some people believe that Obama is employing St. Francis as his model in his attempts to pursue the same between American and Islamic nations.
“Some people” meaning Fr. Monti, I guess.
And I must have missed a presser or two but when exactly did Obama call on the people to pray at various times of the day. Isn’t this the President who took six months to decide on a Church?
Now I’m warning you that the ending is going to make you want to hurl. I’m just telling you because I don’t want any lawsuits about “oh Matt Archbold made me puke all over my keyboard at work and now my computer’s busted and I got fired and it’s all CMR’s fault.”
It would not be the first time an individual has followed the example of St. Francis in reaching out to different and opposing cultures to discover a common ground and to gain a better understanding.
Maybe the seeds for this latest effort can be traced to his first two years of grade school, when a very young Barack Obama attended a Catholic elementary school while living in Indonesia, the largest Muslim populated nation in the world.
The name of that school was St. Francis of Assisi Foundation School.
Bleh. Bleh. Bleh. I just lost my healthy breakfast of cold pizza and diet coke. Who can I sue? Priests don’t have any money. And newspapers are disappearing faster than Gov. Mark Sanford’s presidential chances.
But you know, I’m not willing to toss aside Fr. Monti’s suggestions. I’ll give him some credit for perhaps seeing a similarity we were just too stupid to see. On second thought you’ve gotta’ admit that it is kind of freaky when you look at it how similar Obama and St. Francis are…except when you think about Obama seeking to increase the number of abortions by pouring money to abortion providers. And making it legal to kill babies outside the womb too. Yeah, except for those things…it’s a perfect analogy.
Let’s compare some of Obama’s quotes with St. Francis’ because the similarities are eery:
“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self” – St. Francis
Obama on his Election: “This was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless. This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. This was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.”
“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” – Francis of Assisi
Obama on exclusion: “I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old…I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”
“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.” – Francis of Assisi
Obama on fear and ignorance: “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Yeah, Fr. Monti I totally see the similarities. I’d write more but I really have to clean up my keyboard now. Good luck selling your book.