Always controversial, Vice President Dick
Cheney (rumored to be off the 2004 Bush ticket) surpassed new levels in juxtaposition yesterday in first meeting with Pope John Paul II, an ardent
Iraqi War opponent, then charging off to pump up the US troops at Aviano Air Base to the tune of "Rocky".
"Yo Lynne, Gonna Fly Now"
Earlier at the Vatican, Cheney and the Pope were said to share a quiet, short, sober exchange of both messages of peace and gifts.
John Paul gave Cheney a set of 20 silver medals with reproductions of masterpieces from the Vatican and presented Lynne Cheney, the vice president's
wife, and daughter Liz silver rosaries and medals.
Cheney in return offered the Pope a glass dove, seemingly in the spirit peace, then was off to greet the "Sky Soldiers" of the 173rd Airborne
Brigade no more than 15 minutes after receiving a red carpet reception at the Vatican.
Beyond the obvious snub of only granting the leader of the Roman Catholic Church a mere 15 minutes to urge increased respect for international law and
cooperation, the symbolism of the gifts seems rich. One may conclude that glass, being fragile, is an appropriate medium for conveying the nature of
peace. But is that how the spiritual leader was intended to interpret the offering?
Though the traditional symbol of peace is a dove bearing an olive branch, a dove in spirtualism is actually the symbol of the Holy Spirit, crucified
and risen. Both pagan and Christian religions use the emerging dove imagery as 'rebirth' (with some showing the dove emerging from a fish, as in the
story of Jonah, who's name means "Dove"). The symbol most certainly takes on this meaning of the triumphant Holy Spirit for the Pope as Easter
But why glass? Surely the US could afford a more precious medium or metal for a gift of this magnitude? So it must have a deeper meaning. At a minimum
glass implies fragility, which may certainly be said of Peace, but there's also an implicit warning with glass to handle or tread with care. Is there
an implied threat, even tongue in cheek?
Easter, Death, Peace, Fragile... (cough, cough) Shut up already old man!
Not exactly a horse head in the Pope's bed, but it all takes on more meaning if the Pope should expire between now and Easter doesn't it... or for
that matter "get on board."
What suits this theory most is the gift the Pope chose for Cheney... 20 some
"pieces of silver." I wonder if "Judas" really is leaving the Bush ticket for "health reasons."