The National Catholic Review
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The election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States affords our country a chance to reverse its dismal standing in the world. The opportunity comes not a moment too soon. A recent opinion survey of America’s most trusted allies, carried out by eight leading international newspapers, revealed that after eight years of the George W. Bush presidency, America can no longer count on the friendship of even its closest neighbors. Only a minority of citizens in the countries surveyed, which included Canada, Britain, Mexico and France, described their country’s relations with the United States as “friendly.” In Britain, arguably America’s closest ally, over 65 percent of those surveyed said their view of the United States is worse or much worse since President Bush took office in 2001. In France and Canada, that number is more than 70 percent.

During the campaign Senator Obama acknowledged this global discontent, saying, “These are not the best of times for America’s reputation in the world,” while promising the American people and the world that the intransigent, America-first foreign policy of the Bush years would give way to a new approach based on “real strength and vision.” If Mr. Obama is to make that vision a reality, he must overcome a daunting set of challenges: two wars (one nearly universally unpopular, both draining the United States and its allies of blood and treasure), a global economic crisis and a planet in ecological peril. Yet Mr. Obama can take some dramatic steps in the next several months that would help to meet these challenges and reverse world opinion.

Mr. Obama’s choices for secretary of state and a new ambassadorial corps should signal a renewed commitment to engagement and public diplomacy and should indicate that the inflexibly ideological and self-interested policies of the current administration are relegated to the recycling bin of history. His selections for these posts should be men and women of ability and standing, professionals with the expertise in global diplomacy that the times require and who are not chosen simply to appease a wing of the party or to reward a generous political donor. This was too often the approach of the Clinton administration, which generally regarded foreign affairs as an afterthought. Mr. Obama took pains to say during the campaign that Mr. McCain’s election would amount to a third term for President Bush. Mr. Obama should ensure that his administration does not resemble a third term for Mr. Clinton.

Though Mr. Obama’s inaugural address will likely and appropriately focus on domestic concerns, he should not ignore foreign affairs. In fact, he should use the address to renounce unambiguously the Bush doctrine of preventive war. He should also unequivocally state that the United States will never again engage in the torture of its enemies, nor in semantic gymnastics in order to avoid illegality. An executive order closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, which has become a notorious stain on the nation’s honor, should quickly follow. Mr. Obama should also revive national support for a stronger, reformed United Nations system that can respond more effectively to the “duty to protect” crises that increasingly occupy global diplomacy in the 21st century—for example, in Myanmar, Darfur and eastern Congo.

Above all, the United States requires new approaches to the world’s seemingly intractable problems. Mr. Obama indicated during the campaign that he would meet with the leaders of some of the world’s authoritarian regimes without preconditions. This approach involves the kind of inventive thinking America’s diplomacy now requires. Yet Mr. Obama must be careful to balance engagement with realism. The Iranian nuclear standoff, relations with neo-imperial Russia, balancing economic and environmental concerns in our relations with China, facing down the warlords and endemic poverty in Africa, rebuilding the nuclear nonproliferation regime, kick-starting the Mideast peace process and redesigning international financial institutions will require sustained, multilateral and multidimensional solutions. Success will depend on coalitions built in a true spirit of strategic partnership, an uncommon occurrence in world affairs, and one that will also demand sacrifice.

 

Mr. Obama claimed during the campaign that he was the best choice because of his experience and expertise in bringing people together, raising not only our hopes but also the hopes of the world. “Obama represents something different,” Klas Bergman, an official at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, recently told The Guardian newspaper. “He seems ready to listen rather than dictate. That he’s African-American only adds to the mystique.” Long after the mystique has faded, as it inevitably will, let us hope that Mr. Obama’s potential has been fulfilled and the new era of international cooperation he has promised will have begun.

Comments

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Sues Krebs | 1/30/2009 - 6:28pm
It sounds like the first steps toward world peace. What a thought!
Robert | 11/30/2008 - 9:40am
Just stumbled upon your website and read this editorial, no wonder the Catholic faith is floundering! First and last time I stop here.
EDMUND KAL MD | 11/28/2008 - 9:36pm
About God "torturing" the damned in hell. - God does no such thing! God is LOVE; he is present in heaven as well as in hell precisely AS love. But it is precisely the presence of his forgiving love that the damned will not accept: that is their "torture" that even in hell they cannot get rid of God's forgiving love. The difference is not in God: it is in our attitude towards God. EFK.
Charles Scally | 11/26/2008 - 2:36pm
I read the above mentioned editorial in the November 24 issue of America. I agreed with most of it, however, I am extremely upset that you did not even mention Mr. Obama's other promise: "The first thing I will do as president is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act." This act will bring back partial birth abortion as well as invalidate all the state laws that were hard fought by the pro-life groups, of which I am a member of several of them. I consider this a serious omission. I am disappointed with the editorial. Charles R. Scally Chalfont, PA
BRUCE SNOWDEN | 11/26/2008 - 9:06am
About the editorial, "Mr. Obama's Promise" I see it as a well-intentioned outreach to the up-and-coming U.S.President, but too harsh on outgoing President Bush. The editorial would have us believe that George Bush never did anything right!On the contrary I expect history in time will rank him among the best American Presidents, not that everything he did was good - can anyone ever claim such a distinction? The editorial mentioned torture used in the Bush Administration as a way to assure safety for American citizens and in a few case abuses crept in. As a matter of fact I'm against torture too, even though "torture" seems to be a built-in mechanism within the human persona often used even in fun - take for example how even children in a type of torture will tickle to death a playmate, until that playmate cries out for mercy, screaming "Uncle!" (Something like waterboarding?) Because I dislike torture I also find the concept of an everlasting Hell abhorrent. I fail to understand how a God of love could approve of everlasting torture even for a worst ememy like Satan and his followers. Maybe that's something for a future AMERICA editorial? Also the editorial seemed to place too much pre-tested confidence in Mr. Obama's abilities, completely ignoring his pro-abortion position which is exceedingly radical.If I have it right he's allow abortions up to the nineth month and if babies are born defective he would prefer to let them die rather than allow medical attention! That's far too much for me, as a Catholic, to accept and also far too much for a Catholic magazine like AMEERICA to sweep under the rug! I hope President Obama doesn't suffer a nervous breakdown as his unrealistic idealism comes crashing down. He wants to help everyone, except the wealthy who provide jobs for millions of Americans - indeed he seems to have a "Robin Hood" attitude, which robs the rich to feed the poor. At least in some cases I think St. Paul would challenge that position since Paul once said, "If a man will not work, never should he eat!" St. Augustine put it this way, "Charity is good but it must never be practiced contrary to sound judgement!" Does the new President have "sound judgement?" I hope so! The editorial seems to give our presidental neophyte a thumbs-up vote of confidence, even though politicians have a way of saying with conviction what they never meant! However, Barack Obama is our new President and I wish him well. Im am especially pleased to see a black man in the White House. It's a great affirmation to all who marched in the Civil Rights Movement, shedding tears and blood for racial and social equality and it is especially a well-deserved tribute to the life and martyrdom of Dr. Martin Luther King!
Nicholas Cliffprd | 11/23/2008 - 8:47am
Two points. a) it would be interesting to know whether, in the light of Obama's cabinet choices (real and rumored) the editors who warn above about a "third term" for Clinton have had their fears put to rest or heightened. b) On abortion and other life issues. I think Obama is well aware of the latter. On the first he (and others) needs to be educated. I wonder how many of our bishops understand that the teaching of the church often needs not simply proclamation, but also teaching in the sense of education (drawing out), in the root sense of the word. Of course those who, like Bishop Martino in Pennsylvania, are apparently unprepared to listen to anyone who might raise questions, will remain hopelessly clueless (and useless?) on this and many other subjects.
John F. May | 11/22/2008 - 1:43pm
The best way to fight abortion is to design socio-economic policies that will reduce the number of abortions. It is not to brand Obama for his "dismal record on abortion" or to deny communion to pro-choice politicians. Being pragmatic gives much better results than being ideological.
Ed Doyle | 11/20/2008 - 3:04pm
Wow, Jim! You certainly stimulated a lot of comment. Like many of the writers, KUMBIYA does not work for me either. All else pales before the murder of innocent life. How many is it now? 50 million? When is God going to open His hand and sadly leave us to our own devices. I don't know about you, but it scares me; and I am a 3 tour Vietnam vet. I liked that "laundry list" of tasks for the new President. It looks like you got everything in there. I am going to save it and see how we do, particularly in your future editorials. That first one on the appointment of ambassadors was a bit naive, though. A politician has to pay his debts. As one of the earlier writers stated "This is the greatest country in the world." And it is my sincere hope that President-Elect Obama will do everything he can to keep it that way. By the way how did you miss John Paul the Great in your Life with the Saints book?
Tom Farrelly | 11/20/2008 - 1:12pm
My own observations are rather different from those of Liz F (#24). I notice a willingness on the part of leftists in the US to use any means whatsoever to silence those who disagree with them. Violence and shouting down conservative speakers has become commonplace. Conservatives are denounced as not only rigid, as Liz F does, but as evil and stupid, or in liberal Catholic circles as unChristian, and in violation of Catholic social doctrine; whereas the stupidest and most pollyanaish liberal schemes are lauded as "prophetic". America, to its credit,though irredeemably Liberal Democratic, does publish some views that differ from those of its editors.
Mike M | 11/20/2008 - 11:37am
Your support for Obama despite his assurance to Planned Parenthood that he would sign for FOCA first as Pres. is beyond belief. How do you read the Bishops' letter.
Rod Hirschfeld | 11/19/2008 - 3:43pm
I have two comments regarding this article. 1. In the picture accompanying the article one sign reds "Obama stop killing in Pak- Afghan & Iraq" while the other sign reads "Peace and Love Welcome Obama".Noticeably absent is any reference to Obama's pro-abortion on demand stand which in fact is a stand for the legal murder of post conception human life. So I guess these people either do not know Obama's stand on abortion or they feel that type of murder is agreeable to them which would make them hypocrites. The Catholic Church's stand is that nothing is more important than human life. 2. As far as America's reputation in the world goes, why would anyone anywhere think that we are not the most blatant of hypocrites in the world. We chide China, North Korea, Iran, and many others for their lack of human rights for their own citizens while at the same time here in the USA our Supreme Court in 1973 wrongfully decided that it was our forefathers intent that a woman's "pursuit of happiness" should come before her already fertilized human egg's "right to life". In 1976 we celebrated our bi-centennial, 200 years after declaring ourselves a nation. In that Declaration of Independence there was no separation of church and state when they cited certain God given inalienable rights of all people everywhere. They started listing them in the order of importance, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They never intended for it to be wrongfully interpreted to mean that for a woman to pursue her happiness she had the right to murder the post-conception human in her womb
Liz F | 11/19/2008 - 2:59pm
Well, I just subscribed to America's online version. Some lively opinions here! I for one seek thoughtful conversation and points of view and I find America delivers that. I don't subscribe to publications (or TV) that provide only one point of view or political ideology (which includes faith based media). I thank America for providing a thoughtful and intellectual approach to discerning the issues of the day from Christian/Catholic values steeped in a social justice tradition. Reasonable people can disagree. I seek to read things that challenge me to consider points of view than my own. I do agree with the point about "right wing" bloggers. Right wing to me represents a category of folks who are usually intellectually and ideologically rigid and tend towards being fairly nasty and condescending when they disagree with someone. Rarely do they thoughtfully persuade others with that approach.
Joe K. | 11/18/2008 - 10:53pm
After 8 years of reading what seemed like the weekly editorial in America that is critical of the Bush administration, I look forward to reading the weekly editorial that is similarly critical of the Obama administration. I will be counting the America Mag editorials over the next year that discuss the Obama administration's record concerning abortion.
tom farrelly | 11/18/2008 - 2:23pm
Wow! That is a formidable list of tasks you have for Obama. Even a Messianic Community Organizer will find them challenging. I think he will have to pick and choose. To start, he should abandon such quixotic endeavors as insuring peace in Palestine and reforming the UN so that it can deal with horrors such as we see in Darfur. These are impossible goals and potential distractions from problems that might actually be solved. And he should not waste any energy in improving our country's "dismal image". While it is nicer to be liked than not,nations calculate who can help or hurt them and act accordingly. West Europeans decry Guantanamo, but kowtow to the brutal,thuggish Russians and Chinese. Their opinion deserves little respect and is of no importance. What Obama can do, and I hope he will, is maintain the internal security that has prevented any further terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11,and try to lessen our dependence on imported oil through proven means like building nuclear plants and drilling aggressively offshore, and continuing to experiment with such unproven means as wind and solar power.
DS | 11/18/2008 - 2:12am
I suspect that with some historical distance it will be evident that Bush was far from as bumbling and bad as he's now commonly thought.
MICHAEL WALSH REV | 11/17/2008 - 6:15pm
Dave P, we can never stop talking about abortion. In the OT, the prophets were told to stop talking about injustice and wrongdoing, but they answered to a higher calling. We must do the same.
MICHAEL WALSH REV | 11/17/2008 - 4:59pm
I am sending this comment again. I sent it previously but it must not have been received since it was not posted. These things happen with modern technology. Sorry for the inconvenience. Abortion was not mentioned because the fact that the Democratic Party is hostile to the child in the womb--seeking to take away any protctions and restrictions on abortion---is an inconvenient truth to the editors of America Magazine.
J | 11/17/2008 - 2:29pm
You can not separate Abortion from other issues. The exclusion of Abortion by the editors is an implicit acceptance of the violence against all persons and God. I am not a right wing catholic. We are all called to support the pro-life teachings through prayer - that all people will listen to our Church and the Holy Father's teachings. I pray for President Elect Obama that he will experience a conversion to protect life in all forms.
David Pasinski | 11/17/2008 - 10:47am
Ok.. so we can't stop talking about abortion. Can we have at lest a temporary truce? Say until June? Or at least mid-March? Give us all some time and the new Administration some time to get going. Our nation and we readers deserve that!
MICHAEL WALSH REV | 11/17/2008 - 7:05am
Abortion was not mentioned because the fact that the Democratic Party is hostile to the child in the womb--seeking to take away any protctions and restrictions on abortion---is an inconvenient truth to the editors of America Magazine.
Killoran | 11/16/2008 - 9:12pm
Jake's point is a good one: blogs by right-wing Catholics with a pinched view of social and moral issues urge their readers to visit what they consider to be " liberal" Catholic websites (AMERICA comes in for special derision) and log in "canned" messages whenever someone strays from their set political views. Their comments are posturing, not dialogue.
Thomas Deely | 11/16/2008 - 7:28pm
To Jaime, I used the Advanced search on this America website. It only gives about four articles that dealt with the subject of abortion, and they were articles so far in 2008. However my search was for 2005 to 2008 and the word "abortion" only brought up 103 mentions in those three years (which don't necessarilly mean full articles but simply, as I understand it, the mention of the word. To me that is not many mentions for three years when about 13 of the 15 responses to OBAMA'S PROMISE were very urgently on the subject of not mentioning abortion in that article. Because he did promise things about abortion. They are things that most Catholics find very, very disconcerting.... As I mentioned in a former comment it was "with a heavy heart" that I did not feel able to vote for Obama
Tom Durkin | 11/16/2008 - 2:57pm
I suspected you would not have the courage to post my comment from November 14, 2008 regarding your ridiculous editorial. After reading the bios of the editorial staff, I spotted the parallels to those responsible for the bias in the national media. However, it is sad to see that same bias infecting periodicals posing themselves as representative of the Catholic Church. You have helped me come to a decision I have struggled with regarding my long-time membership in Lumen Cordium. This year my family and I will send that money elsewhere, and await the day when responsible leaders re-emerge in the American Catholic Church. I can no longer support an institution that is so blatantly guided by empty-headed moral relativists.
MICHAEL WALSH REV | 11/16/2008 - 9:10am
Abortion was not mentioned because the fact that the Democratic Party is hostile to the child in the womb--seeking to take away any protctions and restrictions on abortion---is an inconvenient truth to the editors of America Magazine.
K. Murphy | 11/16/2008 - 5:12am
I keep visiting this site in the hope that I may be surprised and find a truly Catholic viewpoint. Alas, no. As this editorial shows, America mag. is up front about its Obama "boosterism" and therefore its pro-choice viewpoint. As the letters above indicate, people like myself cannot get over the fact that the Jesuits care so little for the most fragile and defenseless among us, the child in the womb. It boggles the mind, and the priests who have betrayed their vows to uphold Church teaching will one day have to answer before Jesus for this betrayal. In this realm, we must continue to hope that the next generation of Ignatians will reflect the sanctimony and faithfullness of Loyola.
James Springer | 11/16/2008 - 1:11am
America Magazine has been published with high praise for more then fifty years, The men and women who publish the magazine and the many wonderful writers that have nourished the American Catholic Church with Theology, Morality. Liturgy, Catholic News, deep insight into issues of Life and Death, deserve great thanks from the Catholic community of the USA for the grace they have instumentally (sacramentally) given. That abortion was not mentioned in the article, was not an ommission. The article was not about abortion....din't any of you critic's notice that?....If your looking for articles on abortion, ( to which the last administration and majority congress paid only lip service) search the archives of America Magazine, There's a lot on the subject.
Jerry Becan | 11/15/2008 - 4:02pm
I, as many of the previous commentors, am disgusted with America's decision to completely ignore the threat that Obama presents to the sacredness of life. I am a former fan of America, as well as a former contributor and subscriber. Your magazine used to be the first Catholic publication I reached for when I visited a library. I will never touch your publication again.
William Ghee | 11/15/2008 - 12:52pm
I for one would rather be considered as "unpopular" by the Achmedenijads of the world than to indulge the moral outrage of abortion. I wish our President-elect nothing but good. The reality, however, is that he actively supported legislation the promulgated the savagery of partial-birth abortion. I do not cease being a Catholic because the French disagree with our policy in the Middle East.
David Pasinski | 11/15/2008 - 12:41pm
Are we destined to play out the abortion issue even from the beginning of this administration? It is so disheartening... call me Pollyanna, but can't we all -- or at least those of who read this magazine-- get along... and wish this new President, family, and administration well. As they say.. give me a break!!!!
Greg | 11/15/2008 - 12:18pm
This article is utterly ridiculous. The writer diplays a lack of a comprehensive understanding of critical issues and principals, and is overly concerned with how others perceive us. These other countries that the writer is worried about are same secularists that lack principles and emphasis socialism and govt control over individuals. It's disappointing to see how people like the writer buy into this propoganda. We should work to build constructive relationships with other nations, but our principals should not waiver just to appease our standing with socialists.
Rod Hirschfeld | 11/15/2008 - 12:00pm
I have many comments regarding this article. Here are a few of them. 1. In the picture accompanying the article one sign reds "Obama stop killing in Pak- Afghan & Iraq" while the other sign reads "Peace and Love Welcome Obama".Noticably absent is any reference to Obama's pro-abortion on demand stand which in fact is a stand for the legal murder of post conception human life. So I guess these people either do not know Obama's stand on abortion or they feel that type of murder is agreeable to them which would make them hypocrites. The Catholic Church's stand is that nothing is more important than human life. 2. As far as America's reputation in the world goes, why would anyone anywhere think that we are not the most blatant of hypocrites in the world. We chide China, North Korea, Iran, and many others for their lack of human rights for their own citizens while at the same time here in the USA our Supreme Court in 1973 wrongfully decided that it was our forefathers intent that a woman's "pursuit of happiness" should come before her already fertilized human egg's "right to life". In 1976 we celebrated our bi-centennial, 200 years after declaring oursevles a nation. In that Declaration of Independence there was no separation of church and state when they cited certain God given inalienable rights of all people everywhere. They started listing them in the order of importance, life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. They never intended for it to be wrongfully interpreted to mean that for a woman to pursue her happiness she had the right to murder the post-conception human in her womb. 3. The name of this paper is "America The National Catholic Weekly" and it is copyrighted under America Press Inc. in NYC. Who owns this paper? Who is responsible for its content on matters of the Catholic faith? Is there any attempt or check and balance in place to insure that a paper that claims to be Catholic is in fact and deed only stating the Church's stand on matters of religion, morality, and Catholic political responsiblity?
MICHAEL WALSH REV | 11/15/2008 - 7:48am
Several readers are surprised that not one word was mentioned in this editorial about Obama's extremist views on abortion. Why? For America and its staff, abortion is an inconvenient truth.
Paul Bradford | 11/14/2008 - 10:13pm
In order to have a society that's in harmony with Catholic Social Justice teachings on war issues, on torture issues, on environmental issues, on hunger issues or on immigration issues we need to have a president whose mind, on these matters, is in harmony with the mind of Christ. In order to have a society that's in harmony with Catholic Social Justice teachings on the abortion issue we need to have mothers who have respect for the lives of their children. Every single one of us, in the attitudes she or he projects, has an impact on the level of respect that mothers will have. The impact of a president's attitude, whether for good or for harm, is far less important than generally imagined.
Joe Scaffidi | 11/14/2008 - 9:39pm
The Presidency is more than just a worldwide popularity contest. Shall we allow secular Europe to pass judgement on the US President? Leadership often means making unpopular decisions. This President has taken the steps necessary to prevent terrorism in the United States for the past 7 years. It is not only simplistic to demonize George Bush, it is shameful that you have not acknowledged his staunch opposition to abortion and stem cell research. The world loved Bill Clinton and on his watch federal dollars were used to fund abortions and terrorism against US interests was common and nearly ignored. I am a new reader of this magazine, and I hope this is not representative of the type of content that is passed off as Catholic literature.
MN Cy Laurent | 12/31/1969 - 7:00pm
This is what I think of your "Mr. Obama's Promise" By The editors
mary ann steppke | 11/14/2008 - 6:32pm
This article was a message of hope and leadership for us and one that we have not had for eight years. It is time for christians to stop hiding behind abortion. We need to support social justice in this country that includes stopping the racial hatred the lack of support for those who are vulnerable , the lack of concern for the poor and their needs, and the continous rape of the poor and middle class by the greedy rich who oinly want to become richer and a government who supports this philosophy. Right to life includes all of the above.
JOHN WALTON MR | 11/14/2008 - 5:51pm
I can think of several places where America is quite popular. The Kurdish Republic of Iraq for one tops my list, followed by India, and China (where the children are taught English with an American accent). Columbia is right up there as well. How about Poland, the Ukraine, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan and Australia. The only former Soviet Republic which can't abide the U.S. is Belarus. In "Old Europe" the Danes like Americans quite a bit. Israel and Jordan like us as well. Sicily, at least that part which is appended to Brooklyn and Staten Island, has a very positive view of the U.S. If America is so unpopular, why do so many people seek to immigrate to the U.S.? The oldest daughter of the Church despises America except for those times when American blood is being spent in their defense. Gimme a break, they even disliked Eisenhower and Truman. The folks who hate us -- those are the ones whose oil companies and oil trading companies benefit from concessions in Somalia (does Darfur ring a bell?). To name a few FRANCE, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Germany.
Prateep Ghose | 11/14/2008 - 5:50pm
As a supposedly Catholic magazine, I find your favorable comments on President-Elect Obama absymally naive. Obama will be the most pro abortion President we have ever had. He has already said that he will sign into law the "Freedom of Choice" act as soon as Congress passes it. This heinous act would force all doctors and hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to perform abortions, probably requiring the Catholic hospitals to close. And this is the person you are so happy, almost giddy, to support. Shame on you. Perhaps, you should re-examine your Catholic credentials and determine if you should call yourself a Catholic magazine.
heidi | 11/14/2008 - 5:21pm
I returned to the Church after a 53 yr old absence and am absolutely disgusted to read your naive babble. No matter what one thinks of Bush this administration has prevented another terrorist attack on our homeland, provided billions in aid to suffering countries and made a huge dent in AIDs in Africa. Other countries have always envied the US and the UN has been exposed time after time as a toothless, useless, corrupt institution. Your blatant blindness to the sanctity of life belies your extreme leftist ideology. It's a travesty to consider yourself part of the Roman Catholic church.l
LEONARD VILLA | 11/14/2008 - 4:59pm
Frankly this editorial is nonsense. The folks upset with the U.S. are leftists and rivals/enemies of the United States. For example France has a pro-America stance because of Sarkozy (a non-leftist) while Spain with a leftist government will be upset with a strong United States and a conservative administration. Also don't ignore the envy factor. There is no need to apologize for the United States as President-Elect Obama has done. This is the greatest country in the world. That's why we have an immigration problem: everyone wants to come here. The President has to provide for the security of our country in the face of a terrorist enemy who will probably test the "rookie President" along with Russia and China who will seek to flex their muscles and rogue dictatorships in South America and not worry about pleasing people. Our allies continue to remain our allies.
Marion J. | 11/14/2008 - 4:51pm
I do not agree with many of your statements that put down the Bush presidency. If you remember. the losing side in 2002 spewed unfounded negativity around the world right from the very beginning, and that profoundly influenced worldwide attitudes. Yes, Obama won this election, but not without the help of the media and all the money he accepted after saying he would not. I'm especially worried about Obama's stance on social issues, his other far-left leanings.
Tom Durkin | 11/14/2008 - 4:40pm
Wow! When did the Far Left take over this magazine??!! You need to change your name from America to. . .I suggest you contact William Ayers to suggest one! And I challenge you to visit Iraq and talk with the people there who deeply appreciate what we have done for them. What has the war meant to you? OUR blood and treasure??!! Drop the phony catchwords!! They mean nothing to liberals like you who have never served a day in the military!! Have you forgotten the FOCA? It is the first thing on Obama's agenda and it will mean the death of untold numbers - far beyond the combined number of KIA in all the wars we've been involved in!! Who cares if we aren't loved by everyone? You sound like whining crybabies whose ego has been punctured!! This world needs Leaders, not warm feely-good backrubbing Presidents. Take it from a Chicagoan - you are about to get a sour taste of the Windy City's Windiest Windbag!! Now go take a long look in the mirror - you can see the people who are destroying the Catholic Church in the U.S.A.
Jim McPhillips | 11/14/2008 - 4:24pm
It has been interesting to watch the news media gloat over Senator Obama's victory, how, despite his voting record, he is being touted as one who will bring everyone together etc., but it saddens me to read a Catholic magazine lauding an individual who has vowed to keep abortion in all it's ugly forms, a legal right. Perhaps there is a piece of "THOU SHALT NOT KILL" which contains an "Amendment" that I missed.
Robert Koch | 11/14/2008 - 3:57pm
There is so much unrealistic "can't we all just get along" in this letter. There is so much that I disagree with that I really do not know where to start.
James Stachacz | 11/14/2008 - 2:53pm
While I could not agree with you more that America needs to improve its image in the world. We should not exclude the deception and violence of terrorism. President Bush, no matter what one thinks, provided safety for the men and women and our children of this nation. While we need to be sheep, at times, we have to act like the fox in order to defeat an evil that not only can bring down a nation but the Christian Church as well.
John McShane | 11/14/2008 - 2:23pm
Wonderful praise and hope and at the price of a few million aborted babies, and a future Supreme Court that will negate your freedom to disagree with cultural changes that CATHOLIC Jesuit's must combat. It more than troubles me that AMERICA can easily toss away focus on moral principle for political rationale. It seems that the spokes-publication of the Jesuit Order is more sensitive to the political image of the USA than it is on Catholic morals. Compromise your faith and you comproimise your purpose of life. The immediate future promises a warfare on morals, are you willing to defend your faith?

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