For all the sanctimonious rhetoric the last few weeks from the religious right and the politicians trying to ride the coat tails of the Schiavo case and the death of the pope, there is a huge inconsistency in what Catholics call the "consistent life ethic" meaning that people who respect and honor life, if they are to be consistent, need to be against abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, and war. And yet, the Protestant right seems to take a cafeteria approach to the life issues which undermines their positions on these issues and lends to the the accusation of hypocrisy.
So, while the President tried to cozy up to the Pope, he apparently overlooks the fact that the Pope reprimanded the Unites States for its foreign aggression with its pre-emptive war policy overlooking centuries of Catholic teaching on the just war theory, and Pope John Paul II's strong objection to the United State's War in Iraq.
The Pope has also consistently objected to the death penalty and has called for its end in the world.
This week on Speaking Of Faith, Krista Tippet has some interesting interviews with Debbie Morris, who wrote Forgiving the Dead Man Walking. Debbie was brutally raped, and her rapist was executed in Louisiana. Krista also interviews Rabbi Elie Spitz who discusses the real biblical meaning of "eye for an eye" often used to justify capital punishment, and Sister Helen Prejean who wrote the book Dead Man Walking from which the movie was made.
This is an excellent 55 minute show which you can listen to on line. There is also a lot of information on the Speaking Of Faith web page that further explores this issue.