The Pope: Enough Already

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Everywhere in the American media, Pope Francis is lauded as a “humble” man. The evidence? He sometimes has himself driven in a Fiat, rather than a Mercedes, and he has abandoned the papal apartments in the Vatican for a smaller residence. Isn’t that a waste of money, by the way? The magnificent papal residence will still be maintained (I hope), despite the Pope’s refusal to sleep in the bed provided for him.

The real problem, however, is that no one seems to be asking whether he is humble in any other way.

Certainly he isn’t humble about throwing his weight around. He isn’t humble about broadcasting his opinions on global warming and what should be done about it. He isn’t humble about attacking capitalism. He isn’t humble about demanding that Europeans provide free livelihoods for as many Islamic immigrants as want to force their way across the borders. He isn’t humble about addressing the United States Congress and dispensing his views about America’s duty to welcome its own illegal migrants.

I have a proposal. Politicians should curb their tongues about religion, and priests should curb their tongues about politics.

Of course, there is no reason why any of this should be of any more interest than the views of any other individual who (1) knows little or nothing about science, (2) knows little or nothing about economics and history, and (3) will not be paying for the policies he recommends. When one weighs the Pope’s moral pretensions against his intellectual abilities, the thud on one side of the scales is deafening.

It is noteworthy that the very Democrats and other leftists who are always demanding that Christmas be called the Winter Holiday and political candidates refrain from religious utterances have gone completely over the top in pushing the Pope to endorse their own positions on immigration, “climate change,” and welfarism. The Republicans have been equally giddy about welcoming the Pope to the spiritual feast that is Washington politics. On September 24, Speaker Boehner was so overwhelmed by the Pope’s political presence that he broke down in tears.

I have a proposal. Politicians should curb their tongues about religion, and priests should curb their tongues about politics: no pols addressing the crowds at Sunday services, and no Pope addressing Congress. The very idea of inviting a religious leader to lecture American legislators is a nightmare vision to anyone who actually values the separation of church and state.




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Comments

Wayland Hunter

I appreciate all the thoughtful comments on my own comments. I do have two more comments. First, the doctrine of papal infallibility does not pertain to the Pope’s every utterance. It pertains only to those very rare occasions in which he speaks ex cathedra, and in a fundamental way, about doctrines of faith or morals. So that’s good. But (second) what the Pope is doing now is insisting that Western governments provide more tax money to the welfare state, make more regulations and provide more tax money to prevent alleged global warming, and not only allow immigrants to come to their countries but pay them welfare benefits for coming. He is not just exhorting people to love and charity; he is inciting governments to increased coercion. This is nothing new for religious leaders who lack any clue about the separation of church and state, or any conception of their own intellectual limits.

Budapeter

You seem to think the Pope an ignoramus in matters other than Catholic Theology. You are a professor, you have a PhD. This Pope is a Jesuit. He went through nine years of post-graduate education. This Pope is trained as a chemist, in addition to his studies of Philosophy and Theology. Hardly an ignorant man, incapable of comprehending economics or science. He also has access to some of the greatest minds in the world should he wish to ask for information on which to base a pronouncement of some sort. The Catholic church is a rather complex machine...the Pope doesn't just make stuff up, it has to be justified and others must be consulted.

Jack Decker

As he believes in an invisible sky wizard with a zombie son (which wasn't even original but ripped off from earlier religions, such as the Sun God Ra), yes, we can safely say he's an ignoramus.

And, no, he didn't go to any graduate school in chemistry. He went to vocational school to be a chemical technician. In other words, a lab assistant. Not student. Think lab slave.

As for his "studies in Philosophy and Theology", those were from a theology school. A degree in theology from a theology school is literally the most worthless degree on Earth. A degree in basket weaving would be worth FAR more. A theology degree from a religious organization means you not only drank the Kool-Aid but were taught how to make it for others.

As for "the Pope doesn't just make stuff up, it has to be justified and others must be consulted.", first, his religion has been proven to be completely made up. Second, consulting other idiots about idiotic ideas doesn't make your ideas not idiotic.

Geezer

What religion is not completely made up?

Jack Decker

None.

Thomas L. Knapp

In his personal life and interpersonal relations, Pope Francis is reputed to be "humble." That is, he eschews luxury, doesn't run around puffed up yelling "I'm the Pope, dammit," and so forth.

In his public speaking, he is not speaking for, or as, himself. He is speaking for God, as the keeper of apostolic authority handed down from Peter, according to the church's dogma. In that role, he isn't SUPPOSED to be "humble."

I disagree with him on a number of things (starting with the fact that I'm not a Catholic), but contesting the claims of "humility" on his part seems like a bad argument against what he's doing. It's like criticizing McClellan not because he couldn't seem to bring himself to fight the Confederates, but because his living room rug was gaudy. Even if true, that would be irrelevant.

Jack Decker

Or what about he lecturing us on helping the poor and then visiting a NYC cathedral that just had $150 MILLION DOLLARS invested into its renovation. What?! Are you kidding me?! Shut the Hell up, Holy Hypocrite!

Instead, hold church services in tents on private land, sell all your churches, and give the money raised from their sale to well-run non-profit organizations that actually help the needy. Not to your own organization which uses the money mainly to recruit new members. Oh, and give a papal order that NO priest or nun can con ... I mean solicit donations from widows on fixed incomes. Yeah, I know, your shaky financial house of cards will then collapse but at least you won't be a parasite anymore.

Here's another suggestion: Give a lie detector test to ALL your priests and nuns and ask one simple question: Have you ever sexually abused a child? If they tell the truth and say they have or they lie and get caught, excommunicate them and publicly DAMN them to an eternal life in Hell. Not that I think there is a Hell but if they truly believe in such bullshit, maybe some of them will do humanity a favor and drop dead of a heart attack.

Scott Robinson

Dear Mr. Decker,

I do share your anger about Catholic priests needing to be punished for sexual abuse of a child. For punishment, I think that they should be executed by pipe-bomb up the ass. Excommunication is the least that should be done. It is not enough of a punishment for those who rape children. If the sexual abuse wasn't rape, then the sentence would be less. For instance if they just (I do not think that this is literally a "just") forced the child to pose for child pornographic pictures, then they should be excommunicated and depending on the severity of the subjugation, I would consider castrating them and forcing them to be sexual servants of other inmates in prison. I contend that this punishment would be a true hell for them to suffer.
These punishments MIGHT reflect me being too big for my britches (catch phrase for you, Stephen Cox), but I don't think just publicly DAMNing them is worth anything. If they did not care about the sanctity of the assaulted child's life, why do you think they would care about what society thought about them? This is why I chose the punishments that inflict actual suffering.
As far as your not liking the Catholic church's expenditure of its members' donations, you are free not to donate to them. What you are not free to do is deem that nobody else can donate time and money to them. This is different than the "public servants" I mentioned in my comment earlier, if you chose not to donate to them, they will invade your property, confiscate it, and punish you with a time in prison. They call it taxation.

Best Wishes,
Scott

Scott Robinson

Dear Mr. Hunter,

I understand your frustration with the huge amount of news coverage that the Pope has gotten. When he was speaking at the joint session of Congress, I did think that next we need to have the Dalai Lama, Louis Farrakhan, the Ayatollah for Shiites, and an Imam for Sunnis. And many others. Don't forget the head of Scientology and the antiChrist of Satanism. In this case, the Congress can say that the Pope is actually head of his country, Vatican City. However, I don't think that we are about to see Xi Jinping give an address to a joint session of Congress talking about all of the wonders his people are going to do to save the Earth from global warming/climate change/other. It is a problem when we the people to give one religion a listen in Congress without giving every other religion a listen of their own. Then again, I don't think that the leader of Dagestan is going to be invited to come here and talk to this country.
About the Pope being humble, I think that he has shown TRUE interest in the people of the world. He has given up the Popemobile because his safety is not a big consideration of his, it is more important for him to be accessible to all people who want to see him. You might not call it humble that he doesn't sleep in his castle, that was built before him, but I think that he is at least SHOWING that he cares. Not to only sing his praises, I did hear him call for the abolition of the death penalty which disagree with and he also called for getting rid of nuclear weapons which I contend is fool's action. My being a Catholic means that you can flush my opinions down the toilet, but I charge that your opinions are just as biased by your values and beliefs. A good hymn I heard today when the Pope was at the Our Lady of Angels school had the lyrics, "To console, than be consoled. To give than to receive." What this means is that it is better, for our souls, to do service than to be served. I believe that this is the message that the Pope is trying to convey to us, and in contrast to the "public servants", you will not be forced to give anything to the Pope (This article you wrote was your choice not his).

Best Wishes,
Scott

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