A little civility goes a long way

By Tom Quiner

Susan Sarandon

I respect Susan Sarandon as an actress. She’s made some great films.

I disagree with her politics, but that’s America. But she made a crack yesterday that made me lose respect for her. She referred to Pope Benedict as the “Nazi” pope.

For Ms. Sarandon, who was raised Catholic, to turn on the Pope is unseemly and shows a lack of class much too often on display these days.

The Catholic League’s William Donohue was quick to respond:

“Susan Sarandon’s ignorance is willful: those who have hatred in their veins are not interested in the truth. The fact is that Joseph Ratzinger (the Pope) was conscripted at the age of 14 into the Hitler Youth, along with every other young German boy. Unlike most of the other teenagers, Ratzinger refused to go to meetings, bringing economic hardship to his family. Moreover, unlike most of the others, he deserted at the first opportunity. Sarandon’s comment is obscene. Sadly, it’s what we’ve come to expect from her.”

Political commentator, Michael Medved, who is Jewish, also came to Pope Benedict’s defense:

“Could Susan Sarandon be following a classic rule of public relations: When the world is increasingly ignoring you, try attacking the Pope? Why should anyone care what a fading Hollywood actress has to say about one of the most influential thinkers and religious leaders in the world? Her denigration of Pope Benedict is particularly regrettable in light of this German pope’s moving and eloquent efforts to come to terms the horrors of the Holocaust.”

We could use a little more civility in this country these days. Wouldn’t you agree?

I watched tonight’s Republican debate and thought Texas Governor, Rick Perry, could have shown Mitt Romney a little more civility. He called Mr. Romney a hypocrite.

Rick Perry

Let me tell you something: whether you’re right or not, you lose when you call someone a hypocrite in a national forum like that. Mr. Romney responded with class and eloquence to the allegation that he had hired illegal aliens. He had no idea the company he used to maintain his grounds hired illegals. When it was brought to his attention, he told the company that they need to get rid of them. When they didn’t, he stopped using their services.

I contrast Mr. Perry’s uncivil approach with Newt Gingrich who took the high ground once again in these debates by sticking to substance and avoiding the personal.

A little civility goes a long way. Let’s hope Susan Sarandon and Rick Perry learn a lesson from their outbursts.