Sunday, April 03, 2005

John Paul II, RIP

The first thought that goes through my mind is that, love him or hate him; respect him or loathe him, John Paul II was proof that one can have great influence and effect even on a global level, and even in this day and age, without any muscular power. That's a contribution worth noting.

Secondly, John Paul II was very closely tied with anti-communism and was definitely a conservative leader. As such, thoughts going through my own mind are similar to the thoughts that arose at the time of Ronald Reagan's death. On that incident, I found the best comment came from a gay radio host in LA. From an earlier post (http://ifaqeer.blogspot.com/2004/06/gipper.html):
One of the most tempered reactions I have seen to Ronald Reagan came from a gay journalist in Los Angeles. From Yahoo! News:

Jon Beaupre, a gay journalist and Los Angeles radio talk show host who is HIV (news - web sites)-positive, said Reagan's death "brought mixed feelings."

"The fact that he reflected the values of a lot of people was unmistakable. Clearly, Ronald Reagan was a man of principle and integrity," the 51-year old said. [Full article at http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1506&u=/afp/us_reagan_gays]
And here's a thought I'd like to leave you with:

Is the world ready for an African Pope? A Nigerian?

I say this because, being born in Africa, I have great respect for the African penchant for directness and speaking one's mind--remember when Mandela, standing a few feet from the President of the United States, said that those who would want us to forsake "our friends" (referring to Muammar Gaddafi) "can quite literally go and throw themselves in a pool." Pushed to the wall, even Kofi Annan recently said "Hell, no!" And of course, Francis Arinze, the Nigerian in question has been the previous Pope's point man on relations with other faiths...

My apologies if the speculation on successors is in bad taste so early.
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