If you’re looking to level some harsh but loving criticism at the unmerciful and discord-sowing, look no further than Pope Francis, who has amassed a veritable treasure trove of cut-it-out quotes about cruelty and exclusion throughout his papacy. During tonight’s State of the Union address, Obama recalled the pontiff’s remarks on demagoguery made during last year’s September visit:
His Holiness, Pope Francis, told this body from the very spot I stand tonight that “to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.” When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. And it betrays who we are as a country.