I remember, when I went to Catholic grade school, that at least one of my teachers was not Catholic and that she did not teach the religion classes, handing those off to a colleague.
I don't blame her for remarrying. I don't blame the bishop; he had to uphold the rules. I don't even blame the Church itself for being against divorce. I admit, I'm curious about the motives of the anonymous letter sender.
Democracy is all about having choices then picking what's behind Door Number Two.
Jacques Chirac is being "conciliatory." I'm not in that particular mood. He's professing not to set a timetable for sovereignty being given to the Iraqi people. I wouldn't mind if he did.
People are jumping around, saying that the UN should be part of the solution without giving any idea of where the solution may end up, other than some vague wave of the hand towards "sovereignty." It's sort of like how the Bush administration in the push to war motioned towards democracy without specifying what that is.
Actually, I suspect there are some who think that "democracy" equals "the United States" and that anyone who sincerely wants democracy should also sincerely love the United States and want to be an American. And they were completely shocked not to be welcomed little U.S. flags being waved by Iraqis envious of America.
So, what I suggest is go farther than Chirac and come up with a plan for the future Iraqi government and how U.N. involvement will help bring that about rather than making a few words empty towards the idea.
Here's one possible plan. Let the UN become a body for running the polls in a referendum on an Iraqi constitution that is ultimately written by a constitutional convention written by Iraqis. The U.S. does not get any set role in either the elections or the constitution-writing.
The constitution convention will have delegates elected on a basis proportional to the Iraqi people. (Of course, the method of picking the delegates will have to be figured out.) They hammer things out in closed door sessions. When they are done, the present it to the people in a referendum.
A referendum must pass a majority in all three sections of Iraq: the south, the Shiite south, the Sunni middle, and the Kurdish north.
If the referendum fails, later, rinse, repeat. If necessary, elect a new slate of convention delegates.
As for the carrot in this operation, the new government, once ensconced, can order all foreign troops out of Iraq, including Americans. Also, all business contracts signed by the provisional government may be repudiated by the new government. And if they want to set up an Islamic democratic republic, that's fine, too.
Of course, this is a rough outline. But the aim is for an Iraqi government by the Iraqi people and for the Iraqi people. It's certainly more authentic than having a bunch of ex-patriots coming in and running things while backed by foreign muscle.