Amber Elder on “The Pope in the US”

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In a recent article on CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/28/us/pope-trip-wrap-vatican/, the Pope’s first visit to the United States was described. His trips to Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia were discussed. CNN reported that the Holy Father was surprised by the kindness and hospitality demonstrated by the Americans. He expressed his appreciation for being able to come to the U.S. and experience the diversity amongst the different cultures and cities he traveled to. During the Pope’s visit he addressed issues such as the environment and human rights.

While reading this article I was reminded of the assigned reading by Clifford Geertz. Geertz believed that the best way to understand and learn about other religions and cultures was by experiencing them first hand. When the Pope came to the States for the first time, he decided to come and form his own opinions about Americans and their culture. Solely hearing about the U.S. can lead some to look at us in an unflattering light. With the Pope being such an important international figure, him saying that Americans were more welcoming that he anticipated means a lot in the international community and for the global view of Americans. If more people would take this approach of experiencing cultures and religions intimately before judging them, people would come to more educated and informed conclusions about groups of people.

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