Opponents of Pope's visit are the real bigots
By STEPHEN GLOVER - THE DAILY MAIL
Added: Fri, 10 Sep 2010 14:50:46 UTC
Thanks to JenniferP123 for the link.
When Pope Benedict XVI touches down in Edinburgh next Thursday at the start of a four-day state visit to Britain, he may be forgiven for thinking he is not particularly welcome.
The Devil himself could hardly have got a worse press.
For the first time in my memory, there has been constant coverage in parts of the media, especially the BBC, about the costs to the taxpayer of such a visit, put at some £10 million.
At a time of belt-tightening this expenditure is considered by some to be scandalous.
Yet I can’t recall many people querying the costs of previous state visits to Britain. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa is a misogynist polygamist, whose corrupt government is now bearing down on a free Press.
Very few complained that the red carpet was being rolled out for him, and the fine wines uncorked, when he came here in March.
Worse still, Pope Benedict is being treated in some quarters as though he were a war criminal.
In a newspaper article yesterday, the well-known Leftist barrister Geoffrey Robertson suggested that instead of offering him a state visit we should be preparing a legal case against him because he has not dealt with sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church as robustly as he should have.
In an even more extreme — if not lunatic — vein, the militant atheist and Christian-hater Richard Dawkins suggested a few months ago that he might orchestrate a ‘citizen’s arrest’ of Pope Benedict during his visit to Britain for ‘crimes against humanity’.
Mr Dawkins was only 37, and perhaps too young to contemplate a citizen’s arrest, when the blood-soaked tyrant President Nicolae Ceausescu made a state visit to Britain in 1978, staying at Buckingham Palace with the Queen. But I can’t remember anyone else advocating locking up Mr Ceausescu.
Many of the things being said and written about Pope Benedict XVI are not merely discourteous to an 83-year-old man who is leader of more than a billion Catholics in the world, not to mention six million in this country.
They are also nasty, and reveal disturbing traits of intolerance among this country’s supposedly liberal intelligentsia.
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Several Social Democratic parliamentarians are planning to boycott the speech Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to give to the Bundestag in September.