Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Pope comes to America...a thought or two

What to make of Pope Francis' visit to the United States?  Pope Francis was allowed to speak to Congress, and rather than bring a spiritual message, he chose to enter our politics and take sides, particularly with his scolding of Americans who oppose indiscriminate immigration.  Elsewhere, speaking at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Francis also condemned the United States for a lack of housing. "We can find no social or moral justification, no justification, no justification whatsoever, for lack of housing."

None of this is a surprise to me.  I've read his Evangelii Gaudium. It's clear he's a socialist (see Chapter 2), IMO a neo-Marxist, and it doesn't surprise me that it appears that he has come here to condemn what remains of capitalism in our society.  Nor does it surprise me that during his visit to Cuba he seems to have failed to condemn communism.

Well, what do you say about such a man?  How about this: he's arrogant, ignorant, hypocritical, and evil.

Arrogant -- how is it that a foreign dignitary and church leader takes it upon himself to lecture what is (or at least was) the freest country in the world, the only founded upon the rights of the individual.  And what business does he have entering our politics?  His demeanor may be meek, but his ideas are arrogant.

Ignorant -- nothing has done more to end poverty and improve human life than capitalism.  Capitalism, with its prerequisite of individual rights including private property, created economic growth.  Prior to capitalism, the possibility of systematic economic growth wasn't even imagined.  On the other hand his preferred system, socialist redistribution, is profoundly destructive.  If one wishes to spread poverty and death, dismantle capitalism.

Hypocritical -- We are to welcome all immigrants...even though the Vatican strictly controls entry and accepts no immigrants.  There's no excuse for lack of housing, "no justification whatsoever."  OK, the Vatican has assets worth 10 to 15 billion dollars -- start building housing, Francis.  Or is it just others who are to admit indigent immigrants and build housing for others, while you live in your closed enclave -- which has the highest per capita income in the world, $365,000, by one calculation.

Evil -- the first three are easily established, and perhaps this one is more difficult.  But where is his defense of liberty?  In totalitarian Cuba, he had none.  He hasn't made one here.  This isn't well-meaning ignorance.  It is indeed evil.

I have talked with a few friends who are Catholics, and I've been reading attempted defenses of the Pope by conservative writers.  Catholics who believe in the free market face a dilemma.  They feel obligated to accept the Pope as their spiritual leader who speaks infallibly, yet at the same time they know he is wildly wrong; how to reconcile this?  The rationalizations are wearing thin; it's getting harder for anyone to say "he's just misunderstood."

Catholics who appreciate liberty should just accept the possibility that the leader of their church really is a Marxist.  There's no need to deny Francis' anti-capitalism.  Like America, the highest position in the Catholic Church has been infiltrated by an enemy.  The question for Catholics shouldn't be how to accommodate Francis' ideology.  It should be how to resist it and counter it.

I was not surprised by the Pope's socialist views. He is from Argentina. My impression is that the entire Latin-American culture conglomerate is permeated by the poison of socialism. Our former Communist authorities thought the same and put great hopes on the region. However, this is rarely said today, lest someone be offended.
My friend once watched a movie about Evita Peron handing money to a queue of poor people and remarked, "And then, (the country had to resort to) a currency board."
I am not surprised either. One of his early acts as pope was to rehabilitate proponents of Marxist liberation theology who had been suspended and censured by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He has also claimed that early Christian doctrine on the poor is nearly indistinguishable from Maoism or Trotskyism. How he can see an equivalence between Christianity with the doctrines of Marxist butchers is beyond me, but he's clearly a Marxist in any reasonable sense of the word.

Thanks for your comment, Maya.
To be fair, there is at least one Marxist-like and lethally violent episode in the New Testament, namely Acts 5: 1-11. I read the book in late 1989, fresh out of Socialist dictatorship, and was impressed.
This may help explain why Thomas Jefferson edited the New Testament.

But I don't think the episode includes violence. Ananias and Sapphira fall over dead when they lie, but no one actually kills them. Also, in Acts 4 it's said that the believers sell all their property and hold everything in common. This is, I think, why the Hutterites of North America live on communal farms and practice a kind of communism. They are quite an interesting subject for an economist -- maybe I should blog about them. It's noteworthy that they are an entirely voluntary group, as was, I think, the group mentioned in Acts 4 & 5.

Anyway, if the pope derives his ideas from Acts, I await the moment when he sells Vatican property and begins sharing it equally with his flock.
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