His Holiness the Troll

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Obama Administration

Pope Francis spoke to the House today, and he spoke of caring for the poor, taking care of the earth, and abolishing the death penalty. It was a lovely speech, made better by invoking American icons like Lincoln and MLK. Here is the conclusion:

A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.

In these remarks I have sought to present some of the richness of your cultural heritage, of the spirit of the American people. It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream.

God bless America!

Who could argue with that? Do you have to ask? Conservatives are having a fit.

Steven “Cantaloupe Calves” King must be disappointed.  This is what he said a couple of days ago:

Conservative Rep. Steve King (R-IA) this week urged Pope Francis to steer away from the “politics” of climate change and income inequality during his Thursday address to Congress, and instead focus on issues King deems more appropriate for the Catholic church: abortion and marriage.

So, climate change and income inequality are “politics” but reproductive rights and marriage equality are not “politics.” I’m glad he cleared that up.

Today he said,

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said Pope Francis’ call to welcome immigrants to the country with open arms in his address to Congress on Thursday shows the Catholic leader doesn’t understand the necessity of national borders or the idea of nation states.

Because it’s more polite to suggest His Holiness is a simpleton rather than mistaken.

His Holiness avoided abortion except to mention “our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development,” at which point, Charles Pierce says, “the zygote-fondling caucus went wild.” But when Pope Francis immediately pivoted abolishing the death penalty, “You could feel the air go out of the congresscritters who’d leaped to their feet. Both of Trey Gowdy’s faces fell.”

Ted Cruz actually said that he’s against abolishing the death penalty, because “the death penalty is a recognition of the preciousness of human life.” Seriously, he said that.

I wasn’t watching, but this news story says Republicans gave the speech muted applause, while the Dems gave it a standing ovation.  Bernie Sanders was thrilled the Pope mentioned Dorothy Day, btw. On the whole it was rather a lefty speech, which is to say it was humane and compassionate and dealt with real-world life.

The Breitbrats are annoyed with His Holiness for suggesting that the purpose of a legislature is to take care of the common good.

The Pope continued that Congressional authority sprang from the need to pursue the “common good,” adding, “legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.”

In Constitutional terms, this is plainly untrue. Legislative authority does not spring from care for the people, but from the consent of the people and non-violation of their rights.

The part about “called and convened by those who elected you” seems to have escaped the Breitbrat who wrote this, who went on to say that what the Pope suggests would lead to tyranny. Heaven forbid that We, the People should expect our legislators to be concerned with the general welfare of We, the People.

See also “Angry Conservatives Insist Pope Francis Is a Fake Christian” by David Horsey.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Swami  •  Sep 24, 2015 @5:49 pm

    Cruz is pretty skilled in the art of inverse logic..I bet when he was in the dating scene he had no trouble talking the girls out of their knickers. The only drawback he’d have is his face.
    I wonder how his statement about the death penalty as a recognition of the preciousness of human life holds up when viewed through the lens of Ethel and Julius?

  2. uncledad  •  Sep 24, 2015 @6:22 pm

    I’ve watched much of the coverage and as a godless heathen I have to admit I like the Pope, the guys got a great smile! Sure the tea-tards are gonna hate, that is what they big shocker do who gives a flying fuck, he used some code to admonish the pro-choice and marriage equality movements but I don’t see any liberals trashing him. So what else is new both sides don’t do it we all knew that already. I was shocked when he came out on the Speakers Balcony and asked the crowd to pray for him and asked us godless heathens to send him well wishes, pretty fucking impressive I thought!

  3. goatherd  •  Sep 24, 2015 @7:09 pm

    It seems like some people only truly love the God that they can carry around in their pocket, next to a copy of the US Constitution. Their copies of the Constitution have all the “good parts” underlined and the unimportant parts crossed out. They’ve done something similar with “God,” so that they can use him as a “can of whip-ass” when logic fails them.

    The kind of God that asks them to rethink their views and saddles them with obligations to the poor and that kind of thing, sounds just plain pinko to them. Besides, they are already “born again,” you can’t be “born again, again,” unless you are Hermes Trismegistus or something.

  4. buddhasteps  •  Sep 24, 2015 @7:18 pm

    As Boehner blubbered in the background like a little boy who has been told he’s not doing what he should…. I disagree with the Catholic Church re:abortion, gay marriage (being gay and all) and many other things, but this Pope makes a great Buddhist. Our politicians don’t make great anythings. The British aren’t doing any better lately either. We seem to be off into one of those mad, careering dashes into MONEYMONEYMONEY and that’s where the power lies, dammit! worldwide , that hits every so often. Can’t wait to see what happens when China’s honcho get here. Especially when MONEY kisses his ass and everybody else is demonstrating loudly otherwise. *Sigh* I really did hope that the end portion of my life would be peaceful, the more fool I.

  5. Doug  •  Sep 24, 2015 @7:52 pm

    “… in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish…”

    The inequality of wealth is not just. The concept of the ‘general welfare’ is exemplafied in various acts passed by early Congresses, including government sponsored mandatory health care for merchant sailors.

  6. Craig  •  Sep 24, 2015 @8:37 pm

    I thought it was interesting that Pope Francis mentioned Thomas Merton who studied and wrote about Buddhism to a certain degree. Another aspect of Merton is that he carried on a long correspondence with Czeslaw Milosz, the Polish Nobel prize winner in literature. Both are worth reading more in detail. Although Milosz considered himself a lapsed Catholic for most of his life, he was invited to a seminar run by John Paul II when he became pope. Both Merton and Milosz had thoughts about the 20th century that are still relevant.

  7. Kevin Hayden  •  Sep 24, 2015 @8:47 pm

    Their reaction to the pope doesn’t come from the wellspring of their consciences. They sold the rights to that years ago.

  8. Porlock Junior  •  Sep 25, 2015 @3:18 am

    Goodness me, I’m a prophet of the Lord!
    Just this morning I was saying to myself “So when does he canonize Dorothy Day?”

    (However, I did not divine, pardon the expression, that Ms Day has for several years been on the official list of people who are prospects for canonization. Must learn to give that odd old Church due credit.)

  9. Porlock Junior  •  Sep 25, 2015 @3:57 am

    This isn’t the forum for bringing this up, except that it might get me a coherent answer, which I have just now spent too much of my time looking for:

    What the heck is reciprocal subsidiarity?

    I know about subsidiarity, and reciprocity too, even if my genetics prof pronounced it reciPROcal, being from the Subcontinent.

    What I can’t figure is exactly what it means in Catholic context. Must have been asleep the day they covered that in my freshman course in modern Catholic theology, or maybe I never took one.

    Anyway, any citations, anyone?

  10. Bardi  •  Sep 25, 2015 @8:13 am

    About abortion and the pope.

    I was impressed that the pope took the judgement out of the hands of the Church and put it where it belongs, between the person and their priest, a short step to keeping it between the person and their god. Something similar seems to have happened concerning “gay” relationships.

    I believe catholic heads exploded on that. I don’t think the RWNJs realize the implications, yet.

  11. grannyeagle  •  Sep 25, 2015 @9:21 am

    Uncledad: I also am impressed with this Pope and have been from the beginning. He is a gentle soul and IMO he behaves as I think Jesus would have behaved. That is, if Jesus really existed which I am not convinced of. It is a very nice story though and we (even godless heathens) can learn a lot from it, much as we can learn from any hero myth. By the way, the original heathens were not godless, they simply did not accept the god of the bible, but were more in tune with nature spirits. We all can learn a lot from their beliefs also.
    When the Pope asked non-believers to send him well wishes, I think he was saying that he is not perfect either and that he can benefit from good thoughts and he was acknowledging that we (humans) are all connected on some level.



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