When Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope in 2013, he sent a message by choosing Francis as his papal name. In the 13th century, St. Francis of Assisi renounced his family’s wealth and worked with the poor and society’s outcasts.
The original Francis and his band of followers shunned property, sold all their worldly goods, and walked the streets in bare feet. So you can see why some on the far left, who are often hostile to Catholicism, make an exception for St. Francis, thinking he was a ‘redistribute the wealth’ kind of guy.
Similarly, today’s left-wing media and politicians have finally found a holy man they can admire. NBC News heralded the arrival of “Progressive Pope Francis,” while socialist Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says Pope Francis has a “very progressive agenda.”
So in addition to being the embodiment of Christ on Earth, Pope Francis has become a political Rorschach test. Pundits and politicians see what they wish to see, hear what they wish to hear, and conveniently ignore the rest. It’s true on both sides of the aisle, but especially on the left.
Self-proclaimed progressives are fond of the pontiff when he pontificates about “climate change” or wealth inequality, especially when he rails against “the worship of the ancient golden calf.” But they overlook his teachings on same-sex marriage and, most especially, abortion.
A few days before Francis touched down on U.S. soil, our House of Representatives considered a bill that would protect the life of any baby who miraculously survives a late-term abortion. To clarify, consider that an attempted abortion is unsuccessful and the baby is born alive. Is that newborn an actual person deserving of medical intervention and protection? Or just a worthless clump of tissue?
Stunningly, only five Democrats voted for the bill, while 177 voted no. One-hundred-and-seventy-seven elected officials believe it is okay to kill that baby, who is living and breathing in the operating room. (Their names are posted here on BillOReilly.com.) Talk about extremism!
President Obama lauds Pope Francis for caring about society’s “most vulnerable.” Is there anyone more vulnerable than those infants? Are progressives so delusional that they believe Pope Francis is okay with religious Americans being forced to fund abortions through their taxes?
The president and his acolytes also find common ground with the pope’s criticism of capitalism. They all should be reminded that nothing – no system, no ideology – has done more for the poor than our capitalist society. In contrast, soul-less and God-less communist regimes have created misery, poverty, and a level of pollution that is unimaginable in the West.
In the foreign arena, liberals in the media are giddy when the pope seems to endorse the president’s emphasis on diplomacy. But too many words and not enough action have directly led to hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria and the entire Middle East.
There is now a staggering flood of desperate refugees, a crisis largely due to our unwillingness to confront ISIS. Looking down the road, our diplomacy with Iran has empowered and enriched the nuke-envious, Israel-hating mullahs.
The pope’s perceived politics have taken precedence thus far, but the primary purpose of his visit is to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Like any thinking person, the pope surely knows that the “most vulnerable” grow more vulnerable when families are dysfunctional or nonexistent. And he certainly believes that the traditional family, headed by a married man and woman, is the best way to raise children. The Holy Father is not all that keen on same-sex parenting and adoption.
Which brings us to one of the week’s more unintentionally amusing headlines. It was spotted on the website Vox, whose motto is “explain the news.” Some genius at Vox lamented, “Pope Francis isn’t as progressive on LGBTQ issues as you think.”
In other words, this left-wing blogger came face-to-face with that eternal question: Is the pope Catholic? The progressive was evidently stunned and saddened to discover that the answer is “yes.” How do you say “duh” in Latin?