I had a ‘private meeting’ with President Obama. About 25 of us were invited to meet him when he visited the U of IA for a speech in 2012. We were asked to line up along the wall at the far end of the room where our meeting was to take place.
Twenty minutes before his speech, he entered the room and stood in front of a blue curtain backdrop. The first person in our group walked toward him. For each of us in turn, the President reached out his hand, said hello, and asked our name. I said I was very happy to meet him and work for his re-election. He thanked me. I was thrilled with his ‘endorsement’ of my efforts.
We turned with arms around each other. The photographer took a flash picture. I left the room. The next person followed in this efficiently organized set of ‘private meetings’.
My ‘private meeting’ took all of 30 seconds. The President had no idea who I was. Based on what I have read and learned, Kim Davis of KY had the same kind of brief arranged experience with Pope Francis. He had no idea who she was. Their ‘private meeting’ was arranged to get political mileage for a cause according to these Esquire and NY Times stories, among others.
She claims to have received a rosary gift. So did everyone else. I have a picture with the President as proof of my meeting. If I had a political cause to promote, this evidence could easily be used to show the President’s interest in me and my cause. I think that is what the supporters of Davis are doing. It is wrong to use the Pope and his influence that way.
That is my opinion.
Thanks for writing this. I’ve been pretty disgusted for weeks watching the antics of Kim Davis and her attorneys. They seem to have no scruples, for all their supposed Christianity. I support equal rights. I support treating others the way I wish to be treated. I don’t support undermining the functions of the office in which I work. If I object to what my place of work does, I can quit. She should quit. Or she should comply. Or she should go back to jail.
Yes, I am really tired of the games people play.
You have described a very good comparison. It is so disappointing that her people would use this to forward a most unjust cause in my opinion.
I agree, Jeanne.
Fortunately for the world and most unfortunately for her, the story of her lawyer’s misrepresentation of what happened is known to the public. Her supporters will not care, but maybe she will now fade back to where she belongs…oblivion. And according to some stories, the bishop who arranged her invitation may be headed there with her.
I’d be thrilled to have a picture like that of the President and me. Wouldn’t matter if he knew me from a hole in the wall…still very cool.
Thanks, Steve. I have that picture in a prominent place in my office. It was great fun.
Thank you for this clarity. Despite what others proclaimed regarding that particular private meeting, it just did not seem to fit with everything else I had observed about this Pope and disseminating otherwise tarnished an otherwise spectacular visit. I have much hope for his mission…his intentions seem pure and I hope some of his message permeates this troubled society.
I am impressed with his simple and clear messages on issues. He doesn’t try to stir up controversy. He speaks the truth of love and caring for our brothers and sisters and our planet home.
I feel the same.
And also — the Pope meets with criminals and other outcasts, too. Likely he’s not endorsing them…
Agreed. Like you, I think most people see through her machinations.
I am troubled as much or more by those around her who planned and supported the actions.
Sad to say this, but too often in politics the end justifies the means.
Politicians seem to think so, anyway.
I’m glad you explained the pope/Davis meeting in this way. In politics and in religion, there is discourse and there is disagreement, but discourse has nearly disappeared. Makes it easier to understand how the medieval crusades happened.
Yes. We are missing out on intelligent discourse and progress. Sides are more hunkered down in their camps surrounded by fellow believers. I know there have always been strong disagreements about issues of the day. But, I’ve never seen such refusal to reach out to build consensus. Maybe I’m just not old enough.
Great photo! You must have been thrilled, even though it was such a brief contact.
It happened so fast. But, I don’t care. He is a busy man. I was thrilled.