Looking at the photos of all the people who came out to Nationals Stadium today to see the Pope, I can't help but be a little wistful for the other things that giant gathering might be able to accomplish. Think what this country might be like if that many people were gathered around the White House demanding an end to the war in Iraq. Or lobbying for action on climate change. Or agitating for universal health care. Or even writing letters to their representative about parochial local concerns. It's not that I don't understand that is an important spiritual occasion for those 46,000 people. While I might not agree with a lot of what the Pope stands for, I do get that his visit is relevant for many Americans. It's just that I wish that passion translated to immediate and tangible issues.

--Kate Sheppard