I didn't realize that something like this could merit a headline. Apparently, when President Bush met with Pope Benedict XVI the other day, President Bush said (GASP!), "Yes, Sir," instead of, "Yes, Your Holiness."
I say good for President Bush. I get very irritated at all these made-up little titles that people from other countries invent, and then expect us to respect. My mother always told me that if she ever met the Queen of England, she'd be damned if she would curtsy before the Queen. If you are a British subject, then by all means, curtsy; otherwise, keep your petty little customs to yourself. Same thing with the Pope; if you are Catholic and you feel obligated to call him "Your Holiness", then feel free. But as a non-Catholic, please do not drag me into your rigid customs and courtesies.
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that we Americans are constantly being admonished for not respecting the customs of other nationalities and cultures, yet these other people of the world don't seem to worry about reciprocating.
This all reminds me of little kids and their secret handshakes that are required to get into the tree house. The gasping minions who were shocked at Bush's supposed taboo really need to grow up, and get out of the tree house.
Good Day to You, Sir