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Excerpt: "Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush joined forces with the coal industry and climate deniers in a gathering conservative backlash against the pope, lashing out against a leaked draft of the spiritual leader's letter on climate change."

Jeb Bush speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council's 40th annual meeting in Chicago, August 2013. (photo: M.Spencer Green/AP)
Jeb Bush speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council's 40th annual meeting in Chicago, August 2013. (photo: M.Spencer Green/AP)


Jeb Bush Lectures Pope Francis on Climate Change

By Suzanne Goldenberg and Sabrina Siddiqui, Guardian UK

18 June 15

 

'I don't get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope'. Coal industry lobbyist says pope should promote fossil fuels to help poor.

epublican presidential contender Jeb Bush joined forces with the coal industry and climate deniers in a gathering conservative backlash against the pope, lashing out against a leaked draft of the spiritual leader's letter on climate change.

In his first official day on the presidential campaign trail, Bush, who is Catholic, told a town hall event in New Hampshire that Pope Francis should steer clear of global affairs.

The energy industry also turned on the pope, with the lobbyist for one of America's biggest coalmining companies sending out an email blast on Tuesday, rebuking the church leader for failing to promote fossil fuels as a solution to global poverty.

Bush converted to Catholicism when he got married 20 years ago, and regularly cited church teachings when he was Florida governor – even enacting a law to introduce anti-abortion "Choose Life" car license plates.

But when it comes to climate change, Bush said he would not be guided by the church.

"I hope I'm not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don't get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope," the former Florida governor said. "I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm."

With those remarks, Bush joined fellow Republicans, the fossil fuel industry, and the climate deniers of the Heartland Institute in trying to discredit the Pope's much-anticipated message on poverty and climate change – even before its release.

At least five of the Republican presidential contenders are Catholic. Two so far – Bush and Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and devout Catholic – have come out against the pope on climate change.

According to the leaked version, the pope will say climate change is real and caused by humans, and that fossil fuels must be phased out of the global economy. He will call on leaders to reach a global deal to fight climate change and make sure to protect the world's poor as they do so.

The Vatican has warned there could be changes ahead of the official release of his encyclical on Thursday – but the response from conservatives has been ferocious.

On Tuesday, Tom Altmeyer, a lobbyist for Arch Coal, the second-biggest coalmining company, sent out an email blast of the talking points with the subject line reading: "Unfortunately, the Pope's Encyclical, to be officiallt released on 6.18. does not apperar to address the tragedy of global energy poverty - see realities below [sic]".

In the email, Altmeyer argued the pope should be promoting fossil fuels if he really cared about social justice.

"Industry, policymakers and social leaders – like Pope Francis – must work together to support policies that bring about new advances in fossil energy technologies so we can strike a balance between global economic needs and climate concerns," the email said.

The email was obtained by Greenpeace and made available to the Guardian.

Bush earlier this month was the sole Republican presidential candidate invited to speak at a $7,500 golfing and fly fishing retreat hosted by coal companies, including Arch.

But Bush's rejection of the pope's authority to speak out as a spiritual leader on a global issue such as climate change was in line with comments from other conservatives and fellow Catholics, who claim to followchurch teachings.

Santorum told a Philadelphia radio station earlier this month: "The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we're good at, which is theology and morality."

Three other Catholic Republican hopefuls: Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio, have yet to speak out on the encyclical.

Other Republicans have come forward, however, including the Oklahoma senator James Inhofe, who bluntly told reporters that Francis was out of line – "The pope ought to stay with his job" – at a conference of the climate change-denying Heartland Institute.

Most Republicans in Congress deny the existence of manmade climate change and oppose regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Only one of the nearly 20 Republicans running for president acknowledges the danger of climate change: Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator, who is considered a long shot.

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+22 # myungbluth 2015-06-18 09:43
And who doesn't trust the motivation of the super-polluting coal industry? Probably some damn "libruls" with black lung!
 
 
+41 # wipster 2015-06-18 09:51
Go Pope Francis!
 
 
+13 # Activista 2015-06-18 10:14
www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-sej-pope-climate-change-report-20150617-story.html#page=1
yes Francis - greed and consumer society - with militarism is destroying the World.
 
 
+19 # Activista 2015-06-18 10:15
In a provocative and powerfully worded encyclical, Pope Francis declared that the planet was indeed growing warmer and that this dangerous trend was due largely to a culture of instant gratification. Tragically, he stated, we have grown increasingly self-obsessed, ever more distant from nature, and alarmingly preoccupied with technological novelty.
 
 
+9 # reiverpacific 2015-06-18 10:08
"The Pope ought to stay with his job" (quote from article).
Harf, hard, harf! Another nice bit of Teathuglican reactionary hypocrisy from a demographic of mostly male chowderheads who insist on denying women the decision what to do with their bodies, very much in alignment with the Vatican's stance on the same issue.
I hope that at least some Americans notice the full Orwellian analogy of Shrubbery the 111rd (or Turd if you prefer) and his yes-men on the right.
It's a bit like a vegan dictating how to prepare and cook "Bouef Bourguignon" (absolutely no disrespect to vegans incidentally).
"Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men's Eye much wrong:
Have down'd my Honor in a shallow Cup,
And sold my reputation for a song."
 
 
+7 # MJnevetS 2015-06-18 10:51
The response from the 'devout Catholic' politicians is in line with the response of any 'deeply religious' and unethical person. They merely abide by (or at least espouse), only those positions which support their desired conduct while denying or decrying any position which is contrary to said conduct. I know that the bible thumping politicians who most vocally espouse teachings from the bible as supporting their positions (Santorum only being one of many) are usually the same people who have no qualms in violating those very same tenets themselves. As Marx said of religion, "It is the opium of the people". Politicians who push religion on the masses to support their positions, like any successful dealer, don't actually partake of their product.
 
 
+27 # Buddha 2015-06-18 11:02
"'I don't get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope'"

No, instead I get my economic policy from my wealthy campaign donors and supporting corporate lobbyists.
 
 
+10 # LeeBlack 2015-06-18 14:10
Pope Francis is doing so much good - he is to be applauded for that. However, I do wish that The Church would recognize that probably the biggest threat to us is overpopulation. Poverty, climate change, use of scarce resources would be partially solved by a reduction in population - but the Pope still bans contraceptives. I can understand the commitment to life after conception but a large part of the problem can be addressed with contraceptives.
 
 
+9 # futhark 2015-06-18 11:02
According to traditional Catholic theology, Hell and Purgatory are supposed to be pretty hot places. Mr. Bush may wish to consider taking a hypothetical tour a-la-Dante before committing everyone else on the planet to accompany him on a one-way trip.
 
 
+3 # Merlin 2015-06-18 18:50
futhark 2015-06-18 11:02

I'm nit picking…I apologize.

Hell is permanent. Purgatory is temporary suffering prior to entering heaven. A one way trip would only be to hell.
 
 
+3 # Robbee 2015-06-18 11:18
jeb just brought a knife to a gun fight, in eastwood's character's words in unforgiven - he shouldda armed himself!

lets pray the other zombie clowns have something to say!
 
 
+11 # Henry 2015-06-18 11:18
Dear "Jeb!"

The BEST thing you've got going for you is your last name. Think about that. Ya might wanna just drop out right now.

Hen!
 
 
+14 # Nominae 2015-06-18 12:36
From the article:

"Santorum told a Philadelphia radio station earlier this month: 'The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we're good at, which is theology and morality.' "

What a hoot to hear Santorum holding forth as if he can even *spell* "Science" all by himself.

Apparently Santorum missed the episode of "Star Talk" hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson wherein Tyson noted that pope Frank walks his talk regarding Science.

Santorum thinks "we" should leave science to scientists ? Tyson notes that pope Frank, in addition to other duties, also happens to *be* a Chemist. Pope Frank *IS* "leaving Science to Scientists" - Frank *IS* a scientist.

How the hell can people follow a pope about whom they know damned near nothing?
Good *OR* bad ?

I am no fan of the pedophile-prote cting Catholic Church, but when the pope is right, the pope is right.
 
 
+5 # Merlin 2015-06-19 08:46
Hi Nominae,
Well said!

Personally, I am an ex Catholic, who became a non believer 60 years ago. I read the Gospels extensively, back then, and much of my ideology comes from the teachings of Christ.

Like you, I find it astonishing how so called practicing Catholics can speak and act as they do. Currently we have 5 Supreme Court justices that are Catholic whose judgements boggle the mind. I think Christ is crying (if he exists in heaven) over the crap spouted by Scalia and rubber stamped by Thomas and the others.

Now we have Santorum, Cuomo and Jindal as “devout” Catholics talking and acting as if they are owned by the Devil! The hypocrisy and evil just oozes from these people, in my view. I can not believe they have read, nor understand Christ’s meanings as he preached them to the masses, (and to all of us descendants.) They are truly anti-Christs, while acting so pious.

The sickness is so prevalent in the rethug party that Taibbi is right. We need the humor of a Trump to lighten the aura. And as such this article is right on.
 
 
+2 # Nominae 2015-06-19 15:17
Quoting Merlin:
Hi Nominae,
Well said!

Personally, I am an ex Catholic, who became a non believer 60 years ago......


That's interesting.

Yeah, the problem in public "servants" for me includes ignorance, open hypocrisy, and the mindless barking of Think Tank talking points like a trained seal.

The louder most of these clowns bellow about their religions, the more it can be accurately assumed that they are simply hiding behind religion to avoid the facts of science, even as their public lives show little evidence that they live the precepts of their "faith".

The current politician's song and dance routine around : "I am not a scientist..." is a Think Tank generated talking point cranked out by a group that knows they are loosing the Climate Change "debate", and who desperately need a way to walk *that* boondoggle back a bit while losing as little public "face" as possible.

These politicos were *likewise* not scientists back when they *began* spouting Oil Company propaganda when this Climate Change Denial began. But their scientific illiteracy did not stop them from "bubbling-off at the gums" regarding Climate Science back then.

Nothing has changed but the refrain of "the Song".
 
 
+6 # fenox 2015-06-18 13:47
Strange comment from Jeb. Is talking about climate change "economic policy"? And is the pope, warning what the result will be for the whole world if no measures are taken to protect nature, talking about economy?
For Jeb it seems that economy is more important than to "become a better person" .
 
 
+3 # jwb110 2015-06-18 14:14
There is a precept in the Catholic Church that states that the Pope is Infallible in matters concerning Faith and Morals. Jebby and Ricky might find themselves on the wrong side of their religious obligations on this one.
The other really big gaff in their statements is don't speak ill of the Pope. First it's bad manners. Second it might end up in an Excommunication . The Church wouldn't crumble should Bush or Santorum be denied access to the Sacraments. Their return to the Church, if it really is important to them and I think not, would require an apology. Not something either one of them is prone to do.
Climate Problems tied to a moral dilemma, the dilemma of how to treat the first great gift from the God they believe in is the beginning of some very fresh air on the subject.
Not a Catholic here but I do know enough about the Catholic Church to have read the fine print. Jeb and Rick certainly do not.
 
 
+2 # Robbee 2015-06-18 14:28
jeb must be second-guessing becoming a catholic - was marrying the woman he loved and learning spanish really worth it?
 
 
+3 # Robbee 2015-06-18 14:44
recently i have begun to doubt one of my firmly-held (because bush 2 could not execute even the simplest plan (my god, can't he do anything?) right) beliefs - that jeb was the smarter brother

- isn't this the same guy who's not smart enough to duck a question, that is, knowing what we know now, would he have invaded iraq? exactly how could he have failed to anticipate that question?
 
 
+11 # Texas Aggie 2015-06-18 15:42
Since the Pope really is a scientist and has the backing of lots of real scientists, his take on global warming is a lot more credible than anything the prostitutes in the republican klown kar can say. And as fenox mentions, global warming is not an economic issue any more than how to grow food sustainably is.
 
 
+11 # Billo 2015-06-18 16:08
How stupid is this guy, Bush? The Pope was not lecturing on economics. He was lecturing on the morality of continuing to destroy all of our lifeboats called Planet Earth.
Can't fix stupid1
 
 
+1 # geraldom 2015-06-18 22:11
Quoting Billo:
How stupid is this guy, Bush? The Pope was not lecturing on economics. He was lecturing on the morality of continuing to destroy all of our lifeboats called Planet Earth.
Can't fix stupid1


I'm sorry, Billo, but Jeb Bush is not stupid, he's just plain evil just like the rest of the Republican candidates. He cares nothing about the human condition unless the humans happen to be the very rich and very powerful like he is.

He would be stupid if he actually believed that his would-be policies as president would further enrich the corporations and the already very wealthy in this country without actually hurting the common man in this country, but he knows too well that what he will do as president will cause more harm to the poor and the middle class.

He simply lacks a soul and a conscience, two of the absolute requirements in order to be able to run for president as a Republican. I can say the very same thing about certain Democrats as well.
 
 
+1 # seakat 2015-06-18 17:27
I doubt Pope Francis would be vindictive, but I can't help but wish he would ex-communicate the Catholic clowns.
 
 
+7 # geraldom 2015-06-18 20:06
What I find so disgusting and what makes me so angry is that the American people, most of whom declare themselves to be devout Christians, cannot see the forest for the trees. They can't see the hypocrisy behind Jeb Bush as well as the other Republican candidates who claim to be religious, who supposedly go to church on Sundays with their families, and then support policies that tend to hurt the most vulnerable of us while supporting the very rich who need very little help from our government to survive.

The Republican candidates for president are not religious as they claim to be and care very little about the safety or the welfare of the poor and the middle class in this country. They are willing to murder people in foreign countries in large numbers in order to establish U.S. hegemony throughout the world. They are even willing to instigate a nuclear confrontation with Russia in order to further expand U.S. hegemony eastward into the Russian Federation.

They represent evil, not good. In terms of foreign policy, I would also say the same thing about Hillary Clinton, a Democratic candidate for president.
 
 
+1 # Rockster 2015-06-19 04:29
Speaking Truth has always, and apparently Will always, piss off all the hypocrites. I'll bet that there are truly many more honest spiritually inspired people in this country than there are selfish, lying ones like these leaches ....... come to think on it ; We are betting the farm on this very fact .... And it's corallary that this large majority of good people will stand up and be counted in the elections . How to wake them up, wean them off the various numbing mechanisms, and get them to think, have courage and VOTE.
 

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