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Pope John Paul II: Generation X continues to lose our greatest leaders, but their values remain
Steveyuhas.com ^ | 4/4/05 | Steve Yuhas

Posted on 04/04/2005 3:15:28 PM PDT by qam1

I suppose that every generation goes through the melancholy task of burying the leaders who shaped the world from our childhood. For people of my generation, dubbed Generation X, a group much different than the baby boomers - socially and politically, we have already begun the process of saying good-bye to a number of people who helped to create the world we live in today. The most recent person we lay to rest is among the most influential people the world has ever known: Pope John Paul II.

On Friday, President Bush will be the first United States President ever to pay respects to a Pope in Rome as leads a small United States delegation to The Holy See for the Pope’s funeral.

Already, pundits and talking heads are wondering whether or not President Bush should break with tradition in our, debatably, secular society to attend the funeral of the spiritual leader to over one billion Catholics, but the Pope was much more than a simple spiritualist. He was a man who helped the greatest leaders that my generation remembers transform the world into one of Communism and tyranny against freedom and liberty to one where liberty and freedom no longer fear individual states or the menace of the Soviet Union. Our fear today is not of a missile attack by a superpower, but a chemical or nuclear attack by a small group of disgruntled Islamists.

If ever there were an event for the tradition of a United States President not to attend the funeral of a religious leader and head of state – the funeral of Pope John Paul II is that occasion.

The Pope was a central figure, along with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher coupled with the courageous people of the former Soviet Union, in ending the Cold War and bringing down the Iron Curtain that divided Europe.

Freedom and liberty came to hundreds of millions of people without the firing of a single shot and although times have changed and enemies have become less obvious than America versus the USSR, the message of liberty has not lost on President Bush as he fights a war on terror and leads the world to stomp out a menace more sinister than the Soviet Union.

The cycle of life that takes the great leaders of our generation creates a need for other men and women to rise to a level of prominence that many question if anyone will ever be able to replicate.

When President Reagan died I lost the first President I ever really knew and it was an emotional loss; greatness doesn’t come along very often. Pope John Paul II has been a fixture on the world scene for 27 years and as pictures were being replayed of a young Cardinal Karol Wojtyla walking into the Conclave after the death of Pope John Paul I, who presided over the faithful for only 33 days culminating in what some have dubbed the Year of Three Popes, it was hard not to think about the astonishing things John Paul II brought to the world.

Reaching out to bridge the gap between the Orthodox Christian faiths of the east to the Catholic Church in Rome, being the first Pope in history to attend both a synagogue and a mosque and his greatest achievement, in my mind, of bringing young people into the arms of G-d and making them excited about religion made Pope John Paul II a leader among leaders.

The Pope had a keen insight into the fact that it would be difficult to change the minds of some selfish baby boomers, but to affect the future he had to become as popular as a rock star and affect the behavior and minds of their children.

During World Youth Days he was greeted exactly like a star by hundreds of thousands of young people who see the egotism of the generation that begat us as we distance ourselves from the values they attempt to instill into us. We don’t believe in the free love culture they embraced, or that behavior of an individual in this life doesn’t matter in the next or that taking life from the innocent as they become either a burden (read: Terri Schiavo) or those too weak to care for themselves (read: abortion) is not okay for any society.

Pope John Paul II had a gift of perception that comes from watching his childhood friends be taken to concentration camps by the Nazis never to return. He lived under the tyranny of Communism so was a remarkable figure and inspiration for change as he became the first Polish Pope in history and the first non-Italian in 456 years and also the youngest in the 20th Century.

Three leaders stand out in the minds of people in my generation for their steadfast leadership and courage: Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher. Within a year we’ve lost all but the latter and her health is waning as the result of a stroke and it may not be long before Lady Thatcher is taken from the world and reunited with the men who shared her hatred of tyranny and love of liberty.

As we watch the pomp and circumstance of what will be happening during the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the Conclave of Cardinals as they choose the next Pope, Generation X has to be wondering when will the next group of greater than great leaders appear? Some come close – President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair (neither of them like the other on social issues, but united in foreign policy) are excoriated at home for their various methods of attacking terrorists where they live instead of allowing them to attack us where we do.

Reagan and Thatcher faced similar opposition and history proved that those who opposed them were wrong. Unfortunately, being wrong doesn’t matter when the target is a conservative; being wrong as a liberal elevates their stature, being right as a conservative passes as a blip in history and is often belittled as an accident.

Pope John Paul II made moral teaching a central part of his Papacy; Margaret Thatcher and President Reagan were not willing to assume that the former Soviet Union could not be conquered – and they succeeded. President Bush is doing similar things today as is his counterpart in Great Britain.

When the white smoke rises from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel announcing the election of the next Pope, let us hope that he may follow in the shoes of John Paul II in a way that adheres to the teaching of the value of life and a hatred for tyranny.

He may be too young to have lived under Nazism or from a place too distant to feel the reality of lack of liberty, but with G-d’s help he will realize quickly that the Pope has a way of changing the world by using his Papacy for the good of the world and not simply the good of the Catholic faithful.

Steve Yuhas is a columnist and radio talk show host on KOGO out of San Diego. He may be reached at steve@steveyuhas.com or www.steveyuhas.com


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: genx; johnpaulii; popejohnpaulii; ronaldreagan

1 posted on 04/04/2005 3:15:29 PM PDT by qam1
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.  

2 posted on 04/04/2005 3:16:40 PM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1
If ever there were an event for the tradition of a United States President not to attend the funeral of a religious leader and head of state – the funeral of Pope John Paul II is that occasion.

Given the precedig paragraph, I assume this is a misprint.

I also feel like I should point out that I did NOT teach my children the things this author complains about, and that some of the biggest spenders in Congress are NOT baby-boomers.(Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Trent Lott).

3 posted on 04/04/2005 3:22:16 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: qam1
Already, pundits and talking heads are wondering whether or not President Bush should break with tradition in our, debatably, secular society to attend the funeral of the spiritual leader to over one billion Catholics, but the Pope was much more than a simple spiritualist.

That's the first I've heard that. How ridiculous!

4 posted on 04/04/2005 3:23:06 PM PDT by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: qam1

I'm a Boomer and remember Ike and Pope Pius, but Mrs. C is much younger, an early GenXer and she is particularly concerned that the next Pope will be a liberal who will "Reform" the church. I must admit that I really haven't hought much about it but, now that I do, I realize that the next Pope will be pivotal in the shaping of our future society.

A very liberal Pope could be disastrous.


5 posted on 04/04/2005 3:26:03 PM PDT by Chuckster ("Silence is not golden. It is yellow" Senator Zell Miller)
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To: Miss Marple

The one thing that concerns me most about Gen X, Gen Y, and Millenium kids is the fact that so many of them grew up with no parent(s) at home much of the time. In light of recent events, I wonder how many of them will be more than willing to do the "convenient" thing with their aging parents, when the roles are reversed. Scary thought.....


6 posted on 04/04/2005 3:30:28 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: anniegetyourgun
I don't worry about my children. They were not given the archtypical Boomer upraising. My husband and I are children of older parents, and our values are pretty much that of an older generation, as are those of all my siblings.

I am sorry for Gen X kids who were raised as latch-key kids with little interest from their parents. That isn't true of all Gen X-ers, though.

Some people, however, are going to reap what they have sown.

7 posted on 04/04/2005 3:48:46 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: qam1

I have vague recollection of something when I was a toddler. People were talking about something that had gone down in a nearby RCC. I looked into it later as an adult, asking my folks what had happened. About 1/3 of the congregation had left the church because they wanted to divert some amount of money from normal church funds to essentially give a bunch of people who smashed up their own neighborhood in a riot extra money above welfare. This 1/3 were a faction who had gotten some sort of taste of liberation theology and had been all fired by all the liberalization of Vatican 2. They were the youngest Silents and the oldest Boomers. They were people who, as young adults, had been influenced strongly by Pope Paul VI. So, when they didn't get their way they split away with a renegade priest and formed their own Marxist hippie "church." To me, John Paul II helped to turn around what was clearly the destruction of a key element of Western Civilization. I am not a RC, however, from the standpoint of what's important to Western Civilization, I pray that the next Pope is at least as conservative as John Paul II was. May he rest in peace.


8 posted on 04/04/2005 4:16:39 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Stomping on "PC," destroying the Left, and smoking out faux "conservatives" - Take Back The GOP!)
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To: Chuckster

It is my belief that the Holy Spirit brought us JPll and He will also bring us the pope that we need. I have no fear.


9 posted on 04/04/2005 4:19:37 PM PDT by georgia peach
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To: qam1

Losing two men who were giants of history within one year. They were both at one time actors, powerful leaders, anti-communists, and both shot in 1981.


10 posted on 04/04/2005 5:36:16 PM PDT by NeoCaveman (Abortion, euthanasia , socialized medicine, don't Democrats just kill you.....)
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To: qam1
I think the Pope was fine on moral issues. He was awful when it came to Iraq & supporting President Bush.

Beyond that, Catholicism is simply Christian sect founded upon a false tenant - that the charge Jesus gave to Peter can be passed down, generation to generation. Thus the reason why Catholics believe their beliefs are paramount. Which, of course, is nonsense. When Peter died, so died the privileges he inherited from Christ.

This is something all true Freepers understand intuititvely.
11 posted on 04/04/2005 5:36:54 PM PDT by Teplukin
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To: Teplukin
This is something all true Freepers understand intuititvely.

Being a "True Freeper" is not incongruent with being a true-blue Catholic.

12 posted on 04/04/2005 6:20:34 PM PDT by Tamar1973 (America is not free anymore, the judicial oligarchy rules. Want proof? Ask Terri Schindler!!!!!)
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To: Teplukin

Bring your Fire Retartandt suit, you are going to get flamed.


13 posted on 04/04/2005 6:53:48 PM PDT by John Will
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To: Teplukin; Tamar1973; John Will

The obligatory Catholic-bashing on the part of self-righteous evangelical FReepers shall commence in...

Whoops, it's already started...


14 posted on 04/04/2005 7:06:03 PM PDT by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: Chuckster

it won't happen. the liberal factions of catholicism are in the US and in western europe - the two locations where catholicism is dying due to the growth of secularism and imploding birth rates. why have a pope that caters to that segment, when its fading out?


15 posted on 04/04/2005 7:11:29 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: Teplukin

I don't think that being an Evangelical is the only the way to be a true conservative or "true FReeper," and I doubt many other do either.


16 posted on 04/04/2005 7:24:47 PM PDT by RWR8189 (Its Morning in America Again!)
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To: Old Sarge
I am not bashing Catholics. I am only disputing the theological doctrine that says that Catholics are the only & true heirs of Christ Jesus.

Though if pressed, I would say the Baptists, the Pentecosts and the Mormons are much truer to the conservative, free market, 2nd amendment, low taxes, limited government, pro-military ideology of Jesus Christ.

17 posted on 04/04/2005 7:29:19 PM PDT by Teplukin
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To: Teplukin
Beyond that, Catholicism is simply Christian sect founded upon a false tenant - that the charge Jesus gave to Peter can be passed down, generation to generation.

Oh, really?

When Peter died, so died the privileges he inherited from Christ.

You acknowledge that Peter was given privileges from Christ. That's a good start. Those privileges were the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Mt 16:13-19) and the power of binding and loosing sins (Mt 18:18). Powerful privileges indeed. However, Peter would be dead by 70 AD. Why would He not intend the office of Peter to be passed on?

When God established His covenant with the nation of Israel, He provided for a living, continuing authority in the Mosaic priesthood. This is testified to in 2 Chr 19:11

See now, Amariah is high priest over you in everything that pertains to the Lord, and Zebadiah, son of Ishmael, is leader of the house of Judah in all that pertains to the king; and the Levites will be your officials. Act firmly, and the Lord will be with the good.

and in Mal 2:7

For the lips of the priest are to keep knowledge; and instruction is to be sought from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

So we have an OT precedent for a living, continuing authority established for spreading God's word, as well as sanctifying and governing. Why would He give to Peter such a great responsibility, along with such powerful authority, and not intend for it to be passed on? Would Christians who did not have the benefit of hearing the Gospel directly from Christ's lips, or living in the times of the Gospel, need that guiding authority even more?

This is something all true Freepers understand intuititvely.

Oh, come now. No need to taunt us by implying that Catholics are not real Freepers (or perhaps even real conservatives?). I've seen you raining on Catholics' parade in this time of change on a few different threads, so I pray that you will give this some thought.

18 posted on 04/04/2005 7:38:10 PM PDT by GenXFreedomFighter (We smirked our way back to a second term!)
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To: GenXFreedomFighter
Oh, come now. No need to taunt us by implying that Catholics are not real Freepers (or perhaps even real conservatives?). I've seen you raining on Catholics' parade in this time of change on a few different threads, so I pray that you will give this some thought.

If I taunted, I owe an apology to you, a brother in Christ

What i am trying to say is that Catholicism is ridden with tendencies that manifest themselves in non-conservative ways. Aside from the doctrinal differences I mentioned, it is hierarchical, nondemocratic & characterized by lots of foreign influence.

I think Catholics are fine people, with their devotion to private education and the military. But I still believe that American Protestantism - stripped of Priests, Bishops, and centuries of theology - is a purer form of Christianity (thus the reason that our religous forbears called themselves "Puritans")

This is something for you to consider.

19 posted on 04/04/2005 7:51:20 PM PDT by Teplukin
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To: Teplukin
If I taunted, I owe an apology to you, a brother in Christ

Thank you. Apology accepted. However ...

What i am trying to say is that Catholicism is ridden with tendencies that manifest themselves in non-conservative ways.

Name a church that doesn't have its more liberal members and/or pastors.

Aside from the doctrinal differences I mentioned, it is hierarchical, nondemocratic & characterized by lots of foreign influence.

Christ didn't promise a democracy ... He promised a kingdom. Also, consider Eph 4:11-12:

And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, ...

This sounds like a hierarchy to me. And what's wrong with foreign influence? A universal church is going to have influences from all over the world, as its membership and mission are worldwide. Just remember that the Truth is the Truth, no matter where you're from.

I think Catholics are fine people, with their devotion to private education and the military. But I still believe that American Protestantism - stripped of Priests, Bishops, and centuries of theology - is a purer form of Christianity (thus the reason that our religous forbears called themselves "Puritans")

Thank you for your gracious recognition of some of the significant contributions of the Church to our society. I recognize there are a few things that we Catholics could learn from Protestants and other Christians. However, I disagree with your assessment of other churches as a purer form of Christianity as the Catholic Church is the oldest, and can trace its history directly to the time of Christ. The Puritans were an admirable people, but just because they called themselves the Puritans doesn't make them the purest form of Christianity.

20 posted on 04/04/2005 8:20:33 PM PDT by GenXFreedomFighter (We smirked our way back to a second term!)
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To: GenXFreedomFighter

Well said. Thank you!


21 posted on 04/04/2005 9:22:18 PM PDT by samiam1972 (Live simply so that others may simply live!)
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To: qam1

It has been my experience - personally and in discussion with other X'ers - that our role models; adult figures who inspired us as we grew up and came of age - were not from the '60's generation' but rather were the parents of the boomers.

Our grandparents and others their age - Ronald Reagan; Pope John Paul II; Margaret Thacher, etc.,et.al. - were those who offered Gen X'ers a moral compass, an optimistic vision of the future, who spoke of duty and purpose and spoke of Western Civilization as something worth defending.

Good article.


22 posted on 04/05/2005 6:57:33 AM PDT by PresbyRev
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To: PresbyRev

Yes, I just thank God I grew up under "Silent Generation" parents! Whheeeewwww, no Hippies for me! Dodged that bullet!


23 posted on 04/05/2005 7:33:07 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
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To: oceanview; georgia peach

I believe you are right, but the Mrs. is very concerned. My own view is that there seems to be something of a resurgence of faith in the US. I am guardedly optimistic.


24 posted on 04/05/2005 12:34:48 PM PDT by Chuckster ("Silence is not golden. It is yellow" Senator Zell Miller)
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To: Teplukin
the conservative, free market, 2nd amendment, low taxes, limited government, pro-military ideology of Jesus Christ.

What? Where did you get that? From the gospel according to Teplukin?


25 posted on 04/05/2005 12:37:54 PM PDT by Chuckster ("Silence is not golden. It is yellow" Senator Zell Miller)
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To: Teplukin

First off, the word is TENET--not tenant.

Second off, calling a religion a lot of Freepers happen to believe in "nonsense" is flamebaiting. You do that a lot, and usually on this very subject.

Third, who are you to go telling people who 'true freepers' are, newbie?


26 posted on 04/05/2005 2:58:48 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (The South will rise again? Hell, we ever get states' rights firmly back in place, the CSA has risen!)
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To: LibertarianInExile
Second off, calling a religion a lot of Freepers happen to believe in "nonsense" is flamebaiting. You do that a lot, and usually on this very subject.

What I believe is nonsense is the notion that Catholicism is first among the faiths, by virtue of the words Christ spoke to Peter. I did not condemn Cathoics. Indeed a sister in law of mine is a Catholic.

Third, who are you to go telling people who 'true freepers' are, newbie?

To point out the obvious, distinctions & judgment must be made in defense of truth faith and our true political orientation. I buy not iota of the pernicious doctrine that all faiths are equal, all political beliefs are equal. That is a form of moral relativism. There is right & wrong, correct and incorrect. All Freepers know this intuitively.

27 posted on 04/05/2005 5:55:25 PM PDT by Teplukin
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To: Teplukin
What I believe is nonsense is the notion that Catholicism is first among the faiths, by virtue of the words Christ spoke to Peter.

I think you make it pretty clear just what you believe is nonsense when you say "Catholicism is simply Christian sect founded upon a false tenant [sic]." You might just as well admit you believe the whole faith and any adherents are being silly. You don't have issues with Catholicism being 'first among the faiths,' you have issues with Catholicism.

I did not condemn Cathoics. Indeed a sister in law of mine is a Catholic.

I bet some of your best friends are Negroes, too.

To point out the obvious, distinctions & judgment must be made in defense of truth faith and our true political orientation.

So you don't have any problems with Catholicism per se, just that it proclaims itself first among the faiths, but you're defending the 'true faith,' which evidently isn't Catholicism.

I buy not iota of the pernicious doctrine that all faiths are equal, all political beliefs are equal. That is a form of moral relativism. There is right & wrong, correct and incorrect. All Freepers know this intuitively.

You bigots really like this tack, tossing out the straw man, and damning moral relativism, which nobody here is advocating. You say that anyone who doesn't like their faith being insulted is denying truth and righteousness. But you've made no religious argument--you've said nothing other than the whole of the Catholic faith is founded upon nonsense. You retreat to this 'right and wrong' crap as if you had merely said something that was empirically true. No, you said that a whole churchful of believers believe "nonsense," when you evidently believe a whole other sectful of "nonsense." What you believe insofar as religion is concerned may be your opinion, but it's as inappropriate to call others' nonsensical here without any reason and in an improper forum as randomly saying at the bus stop that you think Jews are stupid or spouting off in the supermarket that you think Mexicans are dumb. You want to debate theology, start your own thread, and the folks who want to debate the number of angels who dance on the head of a pin and how God hates religion X will join you.

28 posted on 04/05/2005 7:31:01 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (The South will rise again? Hell, we ever get states' rights firmly back in place, the CSA has risen!)
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To: Chuckster

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Jesus said something about the 2nd Amendment in Luke. /sarc

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek, a goodly apple rotten at the heart. O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!" - William Shakespeare


29 posted on 04/05/2005 7:34:48 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (The South will rise again? Hell, we ever get states' rights firmly back in place, the CSA has risen!)
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