Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Who Are You Going To Trust?

It is an amazing thing to see how the far right in our country has taken on the Pope.  The Pope.  Who are you going to trust with deciding what is best for the poor, Rush Limbaugh or Pope Francis?  Hmmm.

I have to say that I love this pope.  He is different than any other in my lifetime.  He is humble, caring, kind.  He is as inclusive as any religious leader I have ever heard of.  He kissed the feet of a woman – a Muslim woman.  When asked what he thought about gay priests, he said, Who am I to judge?” 

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” he said to Jesuit priest Fr. Antonio Spadaro, who conducted the interview for La Civilta Cattolica. “I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”

While I definitely do not agree with everything he believes, Pope Francis is authentic, fresh, filled with a sense of social justice.  He is not afraid to ruffle feathers and take on institutions and thought collectives that have been staunchly oppressive.  He sounds like a follower of Christ.

Remember what Ghandi said about Christianity?  Wasn’t it something like, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."  Pope Francis is so much like our Christ.

Here are a couple quotes from an interview he gave with LaCivilta Cattolica in Rome:

"God is in everyone's life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else -  God is in this person's life."

"If one has the answers to all the questions - that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself.”

He even found fault with Catholic church for focusing too much on gays, abortion and contraception, saying the church has become "obsessed" with those issues.

All of these views have made many people uncomfortable.  But what really angered the ultra conservatives were his views on trickle down economics. 

“… Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories, which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle, which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”

Rush Limbaugh said of the pope’s views, “It’s actually unbelievable. It’s sad because this pope makes it very clear he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth.”  Mr. Limbaugh called the pope’s ideas, “totally, dramatically, embarrassing wrong.”

Of course FOX “News” had to weigh in with their illogical rhetoric.  An example is this piece by Adam Shaw, an editor as foxnews.com. “Like Obama, Francis is unable to see the problems that are really endangering his people. Like Obama he mistakes the faithful for the enemy, the enemy for his friend, condescension for respect, socialism for justice and capitalism for tyranny.” 

You know if the guy is comparing Pope Francis to President Obama, it has to be hate. 

So, who do you think has the welfare of the poor truly in his heart?  Pope Francis…(When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them—some food, a place in our homes, our time—not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always ‘add more water to the beans’! Is it possible to add more water to the beans?…Always?…And you do so with love, demonstrating that true riches consist not in materials things, but in the heart! 

… Or Rush Limbaugh, who makes 50 million dollars a year, who compares people who receive welfare to wild animals that become dependent on people for food.


Me?  I’m going with the pope.

1 comment:

Melanie Bardin said...

Yes, I also have been so impressed with this Pope. I think his heart for social justice is much closer to God's than others who have come before him and many other prominent "Christian" leaders of today (thinking of Chris' post over the weekend). The way he conducts himself reminds me of Micah 6:8- "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and walk humbly with your God?"

By the way, did you see he received TIME's Person of the Year 2013 today? He beat out Miley Cyrus (thank God).