Nobel Peace Prize
Two Presidents have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Barack Obama in 2009, for no reason I can discern other than a slap at his predecessor George Bush by the left-leaning award committee, and Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for being the driving force behind the negotiations that led to the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. Due to his duties as President, Roosevelt was unable to give his acceptance speech until May 5, 1910. It is an interesting address. Peace, he stated, was not the highest good unless it was wedded to righteousness. Peace is evil if it is merely a mask for sloth and cowardice. Tyrants have often prattled about peace in order to silence opposition to their schemes. Individuals, and nations, must ever be ready to defend themselves. He then offered some practical suggestions for a more peaceful world. Arbitration of disputes between nations. The establishment of a tribunal at the Hague. A League of Peace by the great powers to attempt to keep the peace of the world. The irony of course is that it was the European Great Powers that would lead the world into War just four years after Roosevelt’s speech, but of course the future was for him an unknown country, just as our future is to us. The text of the speech of Theodore Roosevelt: Continue reading
We are talking of peace. These are things that break peace, but I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing – direct murder by the mother herself.
Thirty years ago the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Mother Teresa. Here is the Nobel Peace Prize Lecture she gave on December 11, 1979.
As we have gathered here together to thank God for the Nobel Peace Prize I think it will be beautiful that we pray the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi which always surprises me very much – we pray this prayer every day after Holy Communion, because it is very fitting for each one of us, and I always wonder that 4-500 years ago as St. Francis of Assisi composed this prayer that they had the same difficulties that we have today, as we compose this prayer that fits very nicely for us also. I think some of you already have got it – so we will pray together. Continue reading
Fairly gentle satire of the Nobel Peace Prize award to President Obama, although they do get to the only reason for the award: Obama is not George Bush. With the satire of a done-nothing presidency last week, Saturday Night Live is helping to inaugurate a new phase in the Obama saga, one in which he can no longer assume that comics will treat him as off-limits simply because of their usually leftist political sympathies.
Though I’d disagree with his conclusion that this is in any way “a bold step” (it strikes me rather as a silly but rather conformist step, if you think about the sort of circles the Nobel committee moves in) I think this BBC commentator gets things pretty much right in saying “Obama gets reward for world view“:
In awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian committee is honouring his intentions more than his achievements.
After all he has been in office only just over eight months and he will presumably hope to serve eight years, so it is very early in his term to get this award.
The committee does not make any secret of its approach. It states that he is being given the prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.”
This is of course an implied criticism of former US president George W Bush and the neo-conservatives, who were often accused of trying to change the world in their image.
It’s tempting, of course, to point out that Obama doesn’t deserve the award because he hasn’t achieved anything, and plenty of people are asking, “For what?” But really, I think it’s questionable that even the Nobel committee thinks President Obama has achieved much of anything yet. Rather, he’s the sort of person they like to see as president of the United States, and so (even though he’d only been in office for ten days as of the nomination deadline this year) he was nominated and selected in order to express approval for the simple fact that someone with his worldview is now president of the US.
Now, if Obama were to be deeply classy, he’d decline the prize saying that he doesn’t want to be awarded a prize when he doesn’t believe that he’s yet achieved what he should in the world and that there were much more deserving nominees. He would then get the recognition of being selected, but the even greater recognition for being realistic about where he currently is in his presidency. I’m not holding my breath, but if he does I’ll be impressed.
Joining such “luminaries” who have won the prize over the last decade as Al Gore, Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan, President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Doubtless the first question that will pop into the minds of most Americans on hearing this is “For what?” Well here is the statement of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee: Continue reading