These two stories indicate that whereas some people have to work at making themselves look foolish, others find that it just comes naturally:
And then there's this story out of Madison, Wisconsin:
Ms Gaylor evidently thinks that someone has to be an American in order to merit our respect and honor for the contribution he's made to civilization, and that if one is not a Catholic one cannot be moved to pay tribute to greatness. Why she should think such a thing is incomprehensible. Perhaps someone might remind Ms Gaylor of the old adage that it's better to keep one's mouth closed and have people just suspect you're a ditz than to open it and remove all doubt.
As for Ms Carr and Mr. Hileman, perhaps if they hadn't slept through the eighties they would understand that no religious figure in the history of the twentieth century did as much to relieve oppression and to promote peace as has John Paul II.
Mr. Hileman, blithely unaware of the embarrassing fatuousness of his assertion that this honor would not be accorded to religious leaders of other faiths, seems totally oblivious to the fact that there simply is no Jewish leader, and certainly no Muslim leader, who has accomplished what the late pope has. If there ever were, they would doubtless be likewise honored.
One gets the feeling that for such people as these the pope's contribution to the toppling of communist tyranny in eastern Europe is unimportant. Their gripe is that the pope was the head of a religion and was himself a model of piety. Honoring such a man in ways that might influence others to admire him is something they just can't abide regardless of the historic greatness of his life. Their carping sounds paltry and ignoble because that's precisely what it is.