Saturday, May 17, 2008

Arian vs. Aryan

From Mike Aquilina:
There’s an urban legend making the rounds about Pope Benedict’s visit to the United States. The story goes that Vice-President Cheney asked the pontiff what he’s been reading. The Holy Father replied that he’s been researching “the Arian heresy.” Cheney, thinking the pope meant “Aryan,” said, “That must be interesting for you, since you lived through it. And Benedict responded, “I’m old, but I’m not that old.”

It’s a funny story, and I’m told it appeared in the London Times. But I’m afraid I couldn’t find confirmation anywhere on the Web.

So I went over the head of the World Wide Web and sought out an expert: the political scientist Dr. Joseph Heim of California University of Pennsylvania. And Joe put me on to the likely source. Cheney wasn’t the political figure; it was Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. And Boris didn’t flub the historical facts quite as badly as the urban-legendary Cheney; the media did.
Visit Mike's blog to read the rest of the story.

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