His Holiness the Troll

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.