by Jordan Zakarin
President Bush received an audience with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican on Friday, the latest stop in his sold-out European farewell arena and festival tour. After greeting the President and posing for pictures taken by rabid fans at St. John’s Tower near the Vatican Garden, the Pontiff brought Bush to his personal study overlooking St. Peter’s Dome, where the two discussed a multitude of issues.
It was a lively discussion between Bush and Benedict, who has at times been critical of the President’s foreign policy decisions, particularly the War in Iraq and the military’s alleged use of torture on detainees and prisoners of war. After they discussed their differences, however, the leaders quickly bonded as they rapidly pieced together a list of things, actions and beliefs that they agreed should be condemned.
The damning list began with the usual hellfire and brimstone items, including abortion and homosexual coitus, no surprise to any fan of the two most influential people in the world.
“Life begins at conception, what if Jesus was aborted, look at this mangled fetus billboard and vomit in your car, Leviticus 18:22, ‘exit only’ — it was all pretty standard stuff,” said a Vatican Cardinal, on condition on anonymity. “Then all of a sudden, something just clicked, and they started rattling off things they felt morally superior than, rapid fire, left and right. It was really a beautiful thing to watch.”
The list, which filled two full parchment scrolls by the time it was completed, was a mix of old and new doctrine. In addition to admonishing pre-marital sex (anal not included at the Methodist President’s behest), coveting one’s neighbor’s wife, stems cell research, goat thievery and Islam, new additions to be scorned included snitches, Broadway musicals, Al Gore, iPod shuffle playlists, apple cinnamon flavored oatmeal, adult education courses and the Fourth Amendment.
“We got along real swell, Benny and I,” the President told reporters assembled outside the Pope’s quarters. “I like the way he thinks, he’s a real forward looker. We both agreed on many important issues that are troubling us both. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that his Eminence was just as horrified as I was when he learned that there are some people out there that are advocating we look for alternative sources of energy. As he said, if it was good enough to light Jesus’ lamp, far be it from us to try and ‘do better’ than that.”
While the list was not fully published, a further excerpt was leaked by someone traveling with the President. The breadth of the condemned was particularly wide, perhaps the most broad reaching scroll of damnation since Calvin Coolidge met with the previous Pope Benedict, the XV, in 1922; that meeting was famous for the damnation of hoop skirts, bob cuts, and market regulation.
Among other things that Bush and Benedict XVI passed judgment on included marble cake, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, the study of Astronomy, mild buffalo wings, being a class mother and keeping private the results of pap smear tests.
The prolific agreement between the two may help to ease what was considered a contentious relationship between Bush and the Pope, though not everyone, at least in Washington, is convinced.
“Yeah, they got along, but the dude’s a Catholic, the great whore,” said long-time Bush backer Reverend John Hagee. “I’m sure there will be a signing statement by the President that reads something to that effect.”