Despite her Bible mangling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presents herself as a "devout Catholic," and was kissing the ring of Pope Benedict in Washington last week, no doubt honoring him as "Your Holiness." But in the April 21 Time, she recommends the Dalai Lama to be in Time's Top 100 (most influential people, and he's also "His Holiness." How many gods does Pelosi worship? Devout Catholics worship one God. Tibetan Buddhists worship a multiplicity of gods. Pelosi wrote:
His Holiness the Dalai Lama describes himself as a "simple monk," but he represents so much more to so many. He is a source of spiritual refuge, and has used his position to promote wisdom, compassion and nonviolence as a solution to world conflicts.
That's certainly the title that the Dalai Lama uses, but that doesn't mean everyone in public life does. In fact, Dan Rather also recommended the Tibetan monk for the Person of the Year honors in the December 17, 2007 issue without the honorific:
The environment is the defining issue of our time. But if the list must be confined to a one-person nomination, the Dalai Lama -- for his contributions to peace, spirituality, philosophy, and science, as well as his nonviolent efforts on behalf of freedom from oppression for his people.
Is Pelosi's defense going to be she's just more spiritual than Dan Rather? At best, Pelosi's promiscuous definitions of holiness just show she's more of a shallow politician than a devout Christian.
[Correction appended: I originally wrote Rather recommended the Dalai Lama for the Time 100, not Person of the Year.]