By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2008, 9:10am PT  

As Pope Benedict XVI was met with a resplendent ceremony on the White House lawn this morning, George W. Bush noted the visit would remind Americans to "distinguish between simple right and wrong."

"We need your message to reject this dictatorship of relativism," Bush said.

Is it just us? Or, given the news of late, concerning meetings in the White House to discuss what kind of torture America would officially carry out, isn't there something perversely discordant in Bush's remarks?

The Pope, who is celebrating his 81st birthday today, gave a few of his own remarks in turn (to which Bush replied "awesome speech") before being serenaded with a rousing rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic", as performed by a U.S. military choir.

Is it just us? Or is there something perversely discordant in that, too?

UPDATE: As is to help shore up our point, Rush Limbaugh positively gushed (full transcript here) for most of the first hour of his show today about the performance of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the WH ceremony today...

"This is just fabulous. This is exactly what this country needs at this time," crowed Limbaugh who expounding on being emotionally overcome beyond description at hearing the song.

Limbaugh's alleged interest in the song --- if not necessarily ours --- was that he saw it as a "return" of God to the public square. "It stopped me in my tracks of show prep today to watch this. I wanted you to hear the full version of it, God in Washington today," he said as he played the song (at least) twice on the program. "Not only was God present, but the largest White House welcoming ceremony ever participated in a ceremony thanking God and respecting God and offering up a tribute to God."

And then moving on to the next logical Ditto-head step, he later noted: "Today American exceptionalism was the focus at the White House, long overdue and punctuated by this dramatic and goose bump-inspiring, chill inspiring rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic by the US Army Chorus."

His entire take on the matter, given who he is and what he does, was not perversely discordant in the least.

LATE UPDATE: But that's not all! Look at the nice "Welcome to the U.S." gift the 5 Catholic justices on the Supreme Court gave to his Holiness today!