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Taibbi writes: "When Pope Francis recently wrote an encyclical letter condemning the polluting impact of global capitalism, conservative maven Michelle Malkin was offended."

Pope Francis issued his encyclical on the environment last week, irking many conservative pundits. (photo: Francesco Zizola/NOOR/Redux)
Pope Francis issued his encyclical on the environment last week, irking many conservative pundits. (photo: Francesco Zizola/NOOR/Redux)


Why Are So Many Pundits Trashing the Pope?

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

27 June 15

 

hen Pope Francis recently wrote an encyclical letter condemning the polluting impact of global capitalism, conservative maven Michelle Malkin was offended. "Holy Hypocrisy!" she declared:

"While the pontiff sanctimoniously attacks 'those who are obsessed with maximizing profits,' Carrier Corporation -- a $13 billion for-profit company with 43,000 employees worldwide (now a unit of U.S.-based United Technologies Corp.) -- ensures that the air in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel stays clean and cool."

I'm normally not a big fan of the Catholic Church, or popes in general. But if anyone should be allowed to adopt a "sanctimonious" tone, it's probably a pope, right? Isn't an air of moral superiority part of the job description?

Malkin might have been joking, but she doesn't usually go for Art Buchwald-style funny in her prose. Moreover, it came in the middle of a passage in which she unironically called the pope a hypocrite for criticizing global capitalism and using air conditioning at the same time.

This is the same bizarre argument that right-wing columnists pulled out during Occupy Wall Street, when, for instance, Charles Krauthammer called protesters hypocrites for complaining about corporate capitalism even as they drank Starbucks, wore Levis and used iPhones.

At first glance, the Francis encyclical seems like Typical Pope Stuff, full of organized religion's usual sour grapes over various new altars humanity has chosen to worship before – in particular, technology and profits. Francis repeatedly argues that the sweeping changes of humanity's recent past (which of course include a dramatic reduction in the influence of religion) haven't been all they're cracked up to be.

"The growth of the past two centuries," he writes, "has not always led…to an improvement in the quality of life."

The pope also manages to bootstrap a collection of old Catholic grievances into the hipper, more millennial-friendly conservationist argument. He insists that "the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion," and somewhat implausibly complains that consumerism is a bigger threat to our supply of natural resources than overpopulation.

The passage on overpopulation is particularly odd. The pope seems to argue that instead of trying to offer "reproductive health" services to poor nations, we should just throw away less food. Francis in other words wants us to be better stewards of the environment, but only if we can do so without using condoms.

So there's a lot of the familiar churchy terror of progress in here. But some of the Francis diatribe is more urgent and political. In parts it reads like a Bernie Sanders stump speech, denouncing wastefulness and greed. One passage is striking:

"The economy accepts every advance in technology with a view to profit, without concern for its potentially negative impact on human beings. Finance overwhelms the real economy….Some circles maintain…that the problems of global hunger and poverty will be resolved simply by market growth….For them, maximizing profits is enough. Yet by itself, the market cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion."

The relentless quest for profits, the pope writes, has left the planet mired in problems: escalating levels of crime and violence, huge populations of migrants without rights, hunger, degradation, the destruction of the environment. On that last note, he levels a blunt insult at the cosmetic end-result of capitalist achievement: "The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth."

Language like this inspired caterwauls of wounded anger from establishment pundits all over America, where the nation's opinion priests seemed determined to shoo the ignorant pope away from issues above his pay grade.

Right-wing goofballs like Malkin and Cal Thomas ripped the pope for being the dupe of scientists pushing a climate change conspiracy theory, with Thomas accusing the pope of joining the "disciples of the environmentalist cult." Ross Douthat quickly denounced Francis as a "catastrophist" who thinks humanity's recent technological achievements are a "500-year mistake."

People from all corners piled on. A columnist for the Missoulian conjured a memorable image in his piece, "Pope Francis Goes Off the Rails." A writer for The Federalist named Denise McAllister even argued with a straight face that the Jesuit pope – a man who dedicated his life to the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi – somehow misunderstood the Gospels' instructions on poverty. The West Virginia Coal Association complained that Francis failed to appreciate the wonders of fossil fuels. And the National Post even went so far as to say that the encyclical read "like the Unabomber manifesto."

What was so weird about a lot of these articles was their strident, accusatory tone. The pope is a hypocrite! A cultist! An apostate! A substandard economist! It wasn't just that the pope was wrong, but that he'd stuck his beak somewhere where it didn't belong.

Of course the most hilariously obnoxious response belonged to Times columnist David Brooks, whose "Fracking and the Franciscans" piece actually chides a Jesuit pope for underappreciating the importance of self-interest. Brooks, who in his spare time has carried the preposterous title of a Yale Professor of Humility, wrote his piece

"The innocence of the dove has to be accompanied by the wisdom of the serpent — the awareness that programs based on the purity of the heart backfire; the irony that the best social programs harvest the low but steady motivations of people as they actually are."

How's that for sanctimony, Popeface! Amateur!

Lindsay Abrams at Salon has already done a thorough takedown of this strange Brooks broadside against the whole Christian love thing, so there's no need to get into that too much here. But there was one part of the article I found truly incredible, a section on the pope's failure to appreciate the wonders of the Asian economy:

"A raw and rugged capitalism in Asia has led, ironically, to a great expansion of the middle class and great gains in human dignity….

Pope Francis is a wonderful example of how to be a truly good person. But if we had followed his line of analysis…there'd be no awareness that though industrialization can lead to catastrophic pollution in the short term (China), over the long haul both people and nature are better off with technological progress."

Has it really come to this? Is it now conventional wisdom to admonish the Catholic Church for underappreciating the contributions of Chinese totalitarianism toward "human dignity?"

It's nauseating enough when Western economists laud the Chinese "economic miracle," as if there's some deep secret involved in using slave labor to hoard mountains of manufacturing profits.

But asking us to appreciate the "gains in human dignity" offered by a society without freedoms of speech, assembly, political choice, religion or labor organization is beyond absurd. For that matter, so is calling the Chinese economy a model of free-market progress, when it's actually a system that depends almost entirely on ongoing, intimate interference from the world's most ubiquitous and domineering central government.

That the pope's letter inspires such hysterical stupidities speaks to how deeply upsetting it must be to our guardians of mainstream opinion. But what exactly has all of these people so upset?

To me, all of this speaks to the weirdly cultist, neo-Randian, Road to Serfdom vibe that is increasingly swallowing up the American cultural and intellectual mainstream.

Capitalism and competition aren't merely thought of as utilitarian systems for delivering goods and services to people anymore. To people like Brooks and Rand Paul and Charles Murray (also known as Jeb Bush's favorite author), the free market is also a sort of religion that can address every important human question.

We used to think of wealth and spirituality as being two completely separate things. But in the minds of some in modern America, they're becoming fused. The way Brooks and others clearly imagine it, one achieves wealth first, then dignity follows behind. We're losing the ability to imagine a dignified life without money. Which is pretty messed up.

In the past, it was completely natural for a religious leader like a pope to suggest that our economic system leaves important spiritual questions unanswered. After all, that's what religion was supposed to be for, addressing the non-material parts of our lives. But in modern times, this idea offends many people.

Hence this bizarre wave of criticism directed against an elderly cleric in a funny hat who is being blasted for being impractical, unrealistic and insufficiently appreciative of the material, despite the fact that it's precisely a pope's job to be all of these things.

I'm not religious, and I'm not particularly a Luddite or an anti-capitalist. But I'm open to the idea that there should be something else in life beyond money, or that we may be losing something important when we communicate by clicks and drags instead of face-to-face meetings. Is that really such revolutionary thinking, especially coming from a pope? It seems like such a strange thing to get angry about.

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+111 # pappajohn15@Gmail.com 2015-06-27 09:42
.
A significant portion of Americans disagree with the Pope, SCOTUS, etc., and especially that black guy in the White House. So I tried to follow their arguments--I even watched Fox News for as long as I could take it.

As far as I can tell, anything that gets between them and a dollar is bad. There is also significant need to protect their monopoly on opportunity (racism, sexism, gender-ism, etc.) and you have a perfectly emotion-based rationalization for continuing to exploit nature, lower-classes, women, gays, you-name-it, in the pursuit of riches.

Truthiness lives. Where is Colbert when we need him??
 
 
+48 # Farafalla 2015-06-27 14:33
Good one pappajohn15. Where is Colbert? indeed.

The truth is that capitalism is a religion in America today. Taibbi puts it well with "To me, all of this speaks to the weirdly cultist, neo-Randian, Road to Serfdom vibe that is increasingly swallowing up the American cultural and intellectual mainstream." It's the total triumph of Reaganism and conservatism for the mind of America.

I stopped being a Catholic a long, long time ago, but I am happy that this pope is unlike the last two.
 
 
+73 # reiverpacific 2015-06-27 10:12
"I'm not religious, and I'm not particularly a Luddite or an anti-capitalist . But I'm open to the idea that there should be something else in life beyond money, or that we may be losing something important when we communicate by clicks and drags instead of face-to-face meetings." (quote from article).
Or as one British couple who were doing well in the US commented to a reporter when asked why, "Seems like there should be more to life than working hard and shopping harder".
Mind you, in Cameron's "Thatcher Lite" -or maybe "Thatcher-ite" UK, life appears to be evolving "Thusliely" (As Colbert might have pt it).
His Holiness is COMPARATIVELY forward thinking, relatively humble in his mode du vie, loves animals, especially cats (which gets him many points from y'rs truly).
In fact his encyclical on all life and conditions thereof on our Mother Earth very much echoes the recent gathering led by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the Lakota, Dakota, and North Nakota tribes of the Great Sioux Nation, leading participants gathered at Howard Prairie Lake to pray for world peace and healing of the earth, with thousands worldwide also lighting “sacred fires” and joining the international prayer that focused on All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer (RSN, 6/26/15), except that these peoples have lived this from time immemorial.
Nice to see a leader of one of the former main invaders, plunderers, murderers and enslavers of indigenous, wiser peoples catching on finally!
 
 
+61 # kalpal 2015-06-27 10:31
Doing good is tantamount to being evil if you are a RW shill. Only by malevolence towards others is benevolence ever achieved in a conservative's mind. By penalizing those in need and the helpless is forward progress ever realized.

Comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted so ye shall surely be godly?
 
 
+4 # bingers 2015-06-28 13:41
Quoting kalpal:
Doing good is tantamount to being evil if you are a RW shill. Only by malevolence towards others is benevolence ever achieved in a conservative's mind. By penalizing those in need and the helpless is forward progress ever realized.

Comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted so ye shall surely be godly?


Yeah, remember "compassionate conservative" which apparently only applies to their own family and no one else.
 
 
+41 # kalpal 2015-06-27 10:33
The only truly beloved deity in the USA is the greenback dollar. All others are false gods.
 
 
+74 # Working Class 2015-06-27 10:41
The philosophy of unrestricted capitalism glorifies the accumulation of wealth and the power that comes with great wealth, regardless of benefit to the great society. Growth for the sake of growth. This is also the philosophy of the cancer cell. And both, if left untreated, will eventually kill the host.
 
 
+40 # kando@ltidewater.net 2015-06-27 10:51
I prefer to read this encyclical for myself and take it on its merits. That the author is the pope may give it a bigger audience, but the opus has to stand on its merits. On this basis Laudato Si' does quite well -- in spite of the obligatory pieces of red meat (abortion, etc.) thrown at the conservative base. Francis' concise description of the climate crisis, for instance, is an especially thoughful, well presented analysis. He is also very good at connecting dots -- a lost art among pundits and politicians, it seems. Solutions -- economic, environmental, social, scientific -- do not derive from silo thinking. Poverty, for instance, is intimately tied up with the climate problem, the loss of indigenous agriculture and the shortage of decent jobs and potable water.
 
 
-46 # John Escher 2015-06-27 10:57
Throw all these dopey popes of commentato nation, these Zomblicans and somnambulists into a rocket for transfer to The Andromeda Galaxy.
 
 
+1 # PCPrincess 2015-06-30 09:43
Wow, I'm assuming most people only read as far as 'dopey popes' and went immediately to the thumbs down. Cmon peeps, read the statement in its entirety. ["dopey popes OF COMMENTATO NATION (the nutjob commentators)] /facepalm

Note: Sorry John, that most didn't seem to get what you were going for here.
 
 
+61 # jwb110 2015-06-27 11:09
The Conservatives attack the Pope because he is correct in his assessments. The Pope also makes it hard for the Rad-Right to make the argument that God is on their side. These attacks on the Pope will have the same effects that the Congressional decision to have Netanyahu speak. The blowback will be enormous. The likes of Jeb Bush and Santorum, who claim to be Catholics, are on thin ice. The right wing media pundits don't get that attacking a Pope is a very bad idea. This Pope, Head of the Vatican State and the Holy See, is the leader of an enormous population of believers. And as a Head of State he has every right to speak his mind. The Pope's freedom of speech comes from something higher that the Constitution and Bill of Rights that the right wing has been so set on dissembling to exclude most of the US citizens.
Just a word to the Pope's attackers, "Don't f*#k with this guy."
 
 
+33 # kath 2015-06-27 13:25
Even if he weren't the pope, you never want to f*#k with a Jesuit. Smart, educated, focused and relentless.
 
 
+11 # Ray Kondrasuk 2015-06-27 20:50
jwb110: "...hard for the Rad-Right to make the argument that God is on their side."

Gosh, jwb! I always thought that GOP stood for God's Own Party!
 
 
+8 # bingers 2015-06-28 13:44
Of course they had no problems with radical right wing Popes, but they tend to kill the few liberal ones, and by the teachings of Jesus every Pope should be a liberal.
 
 
+41 # davidr 2015-06-27 11:15
For a very long time in this country, an extremely conservative Catholic Church has been the strange bedfellow of our historically anti-Catholic religious right. They began an unholy alliance about 50 years ago based on (i) absolutist views of sex, abortion, birth control, marriage, & feminism, (ii) racial prejudice, which was in particular politically exploitable among white working-class Catholics in Democratic redoubts of the urban North, and (iii) anti-Communism.

One way or another, items (i) and (ii) have been essential in turning out base voters for the GOP since the advent of the Southern Strategy. Now those factors are losing potency both in the Church & especially in American politics for a variety of reasons, not least of which is demography.

But item (iii) is the one that really drives Malkin, Brooks, Kristol, et al, crazy. Anti-Communism is a proxy for all the economic malefaction they stand for. For the Church, however, godless Communism was not an economic enemy. It was a political enemy in Europe, Latin America & to a lesser extent Africa.

These days, in the absence of a Communist opponent, the Church is adopting a new (or returning to an old) view of the commons — in any event a view of economic reality that is not distorted by conflict with political Communism. And this is how the Pope sins against David Brooks.
 
 
+15 # NAVYVET 2015-06-27 23:34
Correct! As a Medievalist and in my own denomination a historian of ideas in general, I can vouch that about 99.5% of the existence of Christianity, since the Platonists and St Ambrose to about the mid-19th century, has revered total communism to be the ideal economics in heaven or earth. All Medieval revolts except the unplanned desperate ones were inspired by socialist (or more correctly, anarcho-communi st-pacifist) ideals. The Reformation Anabaptists, who demanded social & economic justice and complete separation of church & state have been labeled the "Radical Reformation" for good reason. Modern Anabaptists include the Mennonites and other "Brethren" or Peace churches, Quakers, Unitarians, Universalists, and Baptists. It was a Baptist Socialist minister around 1900 who coined the term "social gospel".

Only since the industrializati on of the 19th century, which invented the witches' brew of exaggerated and vicious capitalist theory and "scientific" white supremacy racism, did self-styled Christians (Catholics and Protestants, but only a few Anabaptists except in the Southern US, or the very rich) swallow bloated Ultra-Capitalis m and Atheist Ayn Rand's puerile selfishness. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT CHRISTIANS, as defined in theology. They just think they are, which is not the same. (If you believe in an afterlife, then the Pseudochristian s are in for a hot surprise when they die, which will make the Global Warming they deny seem like a pleasant spring day.)
 
 
+40 # bullslam 2015-06-27 11:57
Conservatives hate it when opposing views are based on fact, thus ripping the mask off their naive assumptions: obscene wealth is good and makes its owners not merely powerful -- but founts of infinite wisdom. Thus do we live encased in the eccentric grip of the Adelsons of the world, the brothers Koch, the Karl Icahns, etc.
 
 
+14 # goodsensecynic 2015-06-27 11:59
Some people may recall that Thomas Jefferson (a Deist) once used a razor to cut out all references to God and the Supernatural from the synoptic New Testament "gospels" and declared that what was left (the Sermon on the Mount and so on) made for pretty good moral teaching.

Fast forward about 1900 years and we find that on New Year's Day, 1983, the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops produced a document called "Ethical Reflections on the Economic Crisis." All contemporary Deists (or others) would have to do is excise all the references to God and the Supernatural and they'd be left with a pretty good Marxist political agenda complete with a solid basis in the "labor theory of value" and an excoriation of capitalist ideology.

The problem with the Bishops' document (and, I suspect, the problem with the Pope's embrace of environmentalis m) is that nothing practical resulted. In both cases, it might be a matter of "too little, too late" or, in the alternative, it might be a problem of fundamental hypocrisy.

It's nice to have such pronouncements for rhetorical purposes, but it seems to me that as long as the Church remains committed to its traditional sexual politics (misogyny, homophobia, etc.) and to merely moralizing about economic and environmental concerns on the other, its effect on such existential issues will be negligible.

On the other hand, a little support for the tradition of Bishop Romero and "liberation theology" would be helpful.
 
 
0 # sschnapp 2015-06-29 08:52
[quote name="goodsensecynic"].
"It's nice to have such pronouncements for rhetorical purposes, but it seems to me that as long as the Church remains committed to its traditional sexual politics (misogyny, homophobia, etc.) and to merely moralizing about economic and environmental concerns on the other, its effect on such existential issues will be negligible."

Agreed. Except that the role of this Pope, and his church in general, is to establish the immorality of an economic system that is hastening global environmental and social catastrophe. We should continue to lift up this conclusion in Laudato Si. But it is on us (progressive activists) to figure out and implement a set of strategies that will build a broad-based movement to dismantle systems of exploitation and build a better world.
 
 
+28 # Robbee 2015-06-27 12:22
re : The Pope also makes it hard for the Rad-Right to make the argument that God is on their side.

amazing pope! amazing story! amazing comments!

like christ and bernie, the pope is changing our national conversation!
 
 
-37 # jdd 2015-06-27 12:31
Laving aside the nasty attack on China and its accomplishments which reads like something out of the neocon playbook, Taibbi somehow manages to obscure the role of those "pushing a climate-change conspiracy." Nowhere does he mention the key role of climate-change spokesman Jon Schellnhuber, the avowed pagan and depopulation advocate, who was recently inducted into the Pontifical Academy of Science and was the primary author of the Pope's encyclical. Schellnhuber, who is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, is close to the Royal family and has openly advocated reduction of the earth's population to it's "carrying capacity' of one billion persons. The encyclical is couched in the ideology of "man as polluter" of our "Sister" (earth), but the role of Schellnhuber makes clear its real intent.
 
 
+10 # reiverpacific 2015-06-27 16:42
Quoting jdd:
Laving aside the nasty attack on China and its accomplishments which reads like something out of the neocon playbook, Taibbi somehow manages to obscure the role of those "pushing a climate-change conspiracy." Nowhere does he mention the key role of climate-change spokesman Jon Schellnhuber, the avowed pagan and depopulation advocate, who was recently inducted into the Pontifical Academy of Science and was the primary author of the Pope's encyclical. Schellnhuber, who is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, is close to the Royal family and has openly advocated reduction of the earth's population to it's "carrying capacity' of one billion persons. The encyclical is couched in the ideology of "man as polluter" of our "Sister" (earth), but the role of Schellnhuber makes clear its real intent.


I hate nitpicking but CBE (Commander of the British Empire) and OBE (Order of the British Empire) are two separate awards.
One can have both but are on separate occasions, not a joint title.
Not that I'm likely to be awarded either; heh-heh!
Now I've yet to hear the term "Sister" (earth) -sic. Where did that spring from?
And lets have your definition of "Pagan".
Is this yet another conspiracy theory?
 
 
0 # Phillybuster 2015-06-29 13:47
Sounds like full-blown CT to me.
 
 
+27 # banichi 2015-06-27 13:14
I am not a fan of the Catholic church, by any means and for many reasons. But I am a progressive and environmentalis t, and for me the Pope having a science degree - which few or none of the critical pundits and politicians do, who have been attacking his statements on capitalism and the environment, gives his position on these issues much greater credence than those who criticize him.

His being in a position of being able to speak to the world, and it listening, is only icing on the cake. I am grateful that he is a man who sees people as more precious than profits. He is the first pope in my lifetime who has had the courage and convictions to take that stance. His, and the church's, stand on gays and other issues are another matter entirely.

The attacks of the pundits are simply a reflection of their fear, and having been caught out in left field by the Pope's stand. It cuts the legs out from under them in their bought and paid-for public statements that support capitalism and greed above all else, and shows them up as having no moral or ethical justification for their support of capitalism as it is now practiced.

So of course they have to attack. Anything else would require them to show up as reasoning and thoughtful human beings, which would open the door to far too much cognitive dissonance for them to handle. [Cognitive dissonance reference: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/dissonance.htm]
 
 
+27 # egret26 2015-06-27 13:55
Not surprised at the reaction to the pope's encyclical on climate change, nor to the Supreme Court's decisions on healthcare and marriage. Or by the usual railing about immigration, women's issues, income equality, crumbling infrastructure etc ad nauseum.

The rabid right doesn't need a Republican platform or even a plank - all that's needed is a mean-spirited frame of mind. As writer Nelson Algren put it many years ago, "When we get more houses than we can live in, more cars than we can ride in, more food than we can eat ourselves, the only way of getting richer is by cutting off those who don't have enough."

Now a billion + people have been urged to get into the fray.
 
 
+11 # Kootenay Coyote 2015-06-27 17:04
There is the prior example of the original Limits to Growth, published in 1972 by the Club of Rome (NOT a Catholic institution, by the way), which accurately predicted what were then the coming environmental crises. This was attacked irrationally & hysterically: I could not find a reasonable criticism of the report, but that condition didn’t stop anyone from carrying on the attacks. Prophetic (in the original sense) challenges to the Powers that Be are always hated….
 
 
+7 # NAVYVET 2015-06-28 00:09
I was a pioneer in the environmental-r enewable energy movement of the 1960s to 1980s, which did not begin with LIMITS TO GROWTH, although we all read it and rejoiced in its general principles, if not some of the details. Concern over pollution probably dates back to Fairfield Osborne's OUR PLUNDERED PLANET (1948), although he was ignored by all but a few scientists until Rachel Carson in the 1960s. (The communalism and "drop out" urges of the young people of the 1960s were partly inspired by Carson's concerns.) I got into it when I wrote & illustrated a comic book on fossil fuel & nuke pollution, POWER UNLIMITED--OR P.U. It was published in 1969 and my husband and I were co-publishing, editing and writing the magazine ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF ENERGY from 1971, which doubled and quadrupled in subscriptions nearly every month, proving that interest was high. All this predated the Club of Rome report, although we all welcomed that, with, as I said, some reservations about the details.

When predicting the future, chaos theory warns that specifics should be avoided or treated only as possibilities. Unfortunately the Club of Rome made several claims of shortages which turned out wrong and made their useful message vulnerable, but by and large it's still worth reading.
 
 
+3 # chinaski 2015-06-27 22:24
Dicta and canon soothe baby souls and the more restrictive and repressive the structure the safer they feel. Whether they like it or not (and they don't) the planet is slowly evolving to a higher consciousness and they are freaked out. This is why we get the dichotomies of rule-bound repression to hold the status quo against compassion that seeks to take down fences and let people express who they are. Gonna be awhile.
 
 
+1 # NAVYVET 2015-06-28 00:13
Well, while the planet is slowly evolving I hope some life (other than protista) will survive to express themselves.

I'm afraid survival will take more than New Age wishful thinking.
 
 
+10 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-06-28 01:21
And, what was that guys name that threw the money lenders out of the temple?
 
 
-16 # Originz 2015-06-28 02:09
The main reason we trash the "pope" is because he is NOT the pope. Heck, he isn't even Catholic! We haven't had a pope since the year I was born, 1958.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2015-06-28 18:55
Quoting Originz:
The main reason we trash the "pope" is because he is NOT the pope. Heck, he isn't even Catholic! We haven't had a pope since the year I was born, 1958.


Eh?????
What planet would that be on?
Y'r "Originz" are really cloudy Bubba!
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2015-06-29 10:04
Maybe...reiverp acific....he believes only Italians should be allowed to be Pope.
 
 
0 # CAMUS1111 2015-06-29 15:09
I think Originz may be alluding to something to do with a certain Cardinal Siri --proving that Steve Jobs was once again ahead of his time (even though he would have been only 3 at the time [bad joke, I know]
 
 
-8 # Kwamined 2015-06-28 04:33
Let's hope the Pope issues an encyclical about the adverse effects -- personal, social, global -- of eating meat.
Oh, yeah: he might try to clean up the paedophilia and other sexual aberrations, too.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2015-06-28 18:54
Quoting Kwamined:
Let's hope the Pope issues an encyclical about the adverse effects -- personal, social, global -- of eating meat.
Oh, yeah: he might try to clean up the paedophilia and other sexual aberrations, too.


He's actually working on the latter quite prominently.
I respect y'r other point of view -except that many of us aren't ready to take that step -and I can think of several of the many impoverished places on Earth I've visited or lived in, where a chicken or an old, much loved and tended to Water Buffalo can mean the difference between surviving and starvation -and these people would invariably offer me a share and would have been deeply hurt if I'd have declined, ESPECIALLY in the name some self-imposed diet that "respects" animals, many of which like us, eat other species as part of the great circle of life.
And one mo' thing; I've yet to encounter a Vegetarian or Vegan (Which I used to think was a species from the Vega star system), who could cook worth a shit, with the goal of imparting some sense of enjoyment, satisfaction or deep flavor -outside of certain regions of India or Indonesia who are masters and mistresses of the creator-provide d spice world, there for our use, healing and enjoyment.
 
 
+17 # geohorse 2015-06-28 05:48
When he took the name of "Francis". patron saint of animals, I was willing to give him a break, as how we treat our animals is how we treat the rest of the world. When he said people should not "be breeding like rabbits" I actually began to believe he had a brain, so with this encyclical he actually got many of us educated former-catholic s-now-atheists, to raise a glass to his tenure and cheer him on.
 
 
+3 # Vegan_Girl 2015-06-29 05:08
The modern right-wing (so-called) Christians remind me of the story of Jesus Christ and what he went though. I am not religious but the irony is profound.

The stages of regressive, reactionary grief:

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Gandhi

It looks to me we are close to win. Keep up the good fight.
 
 
0 # Phillybuster 2015-06-29 14:49
Undoubtedly, David Brooks has invested a lot of his loot in the fracking industry. Am I not right, Mr. Self-Interest?
 

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