Wednesday, April 9, 2008
H.RES.838: Welcoming His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his first apostolic visit to the United States.
Mr. McCOTTER. Mr. Speaker, first I would like to thank Chairman Berman, Ranking Member Ros-Lehtinen, and all of the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee for bringing this resolution to the floor.
You know, I remember back when I was growing up there was a movie, and the movie was called ``A Hard Day's Night.'' This was at the height of Beatlemania, and the Beatles had obviously been wildly popular and well-received when they first hit our shores. And yet in the movie there is a scene where a reporter, seemingly unaware of this, asked John Lennon a question. And the question was this: ``How did you find America?''
And Lennon said, ``I turned left at Greenland.''
The point I bring this up for is quite simple. Today we hear many inane questions about how His Holiness will be received by the American people. How will America find the Pope? How will the Pope find America? Well, I think these questions are inane for a very simple reason: The United States understands the Holy Father because he advocates that we use faith and reason to find our way through these trying times and on to a transcendent Creator.
The United States, our revolutionary experiment in human freedom, was founded upon faith and reason. The Founders had the faith that they were playing a role in divine provenance, that they had rights that were endowed to them and inalienable by a Creator. And yet it was not passion alone that allowed for the founding of our free republic; they also used their reason to find their way to express how those rights could be guaranteed against government, and how individual citizens could live together
with their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
This is no different than the message that the Holy Father brings today. The Holy Father has said that faith and reason are concomitant blessings from God which allow us to find him not only in ourselves but in each other.
So as Americans await the Pope's first visit, I am not saying that there will be teenyboppers dropping in the streets as the popemobile passes, but I do say His Holiness will receive a warm reception from people who have understood and who continue to understand that faith and reason are gifts from God we squander at our own peril.