Pope Francis Celebrates Birthday by Showing Republicans What Real Christian Values Look Like

pope-francis-jesusI was raised with the belief that actions speak louder than words. Any fool can talk a big game, but words are essentially meaningless unless there are actions to back them up.

That premise alone is one of the driving forces behind my opposition to Republicans and the so-called “conservative Christian.” Sure, these people call themselves Christians, but hardly anything they do or support quantifies their claims. Conservatism is driven by hate, fear, paranoia, judgement, greed and violence. These are people who love guns, worship greed and hate anyone who isn’t just like them. People who support funding cuts to programs that millions of children rely on to put food on their table while simultaneously having absolutely no problem with some millionaire/billionaire getting even more tax breaks that they don’t even need.

But the truth is, most Republicans don’t worship Christianity, they worship their political ideologies.

Which is what makes Pope Francis so interesting. As pope, he’s arguably the most powerful Christian leader in the world. But this is a pope who has preached acceptance, called out trickle-down economics and even embraced the need to combat climate change.

In other words, he’s not a Republican or a conservative.

But, wait, how is that possible? Aren’t Republicans the “party for Christian values”? Then how is it that Pope Francis’ stance on several of these issues has caused several Republicans to lash out against him, including Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh?

Though it makes sense that conservatives wouldn’t be the biggest fans of Pope Francis. After all, he actually behaves like an actual Christian, instead of just talking about it.

Just like he did on his birthday when he issued 400 sleeping bags to homeless people. That’s what you call actions speaking louder than words.

Because while many Republicans in this country like to go around acting as if they’re representatives of Christianity, based mostly on their stance against gay rights and abortion (two issues about which Jesus Christ never spoke), their actions and policies they support are nothing even remotely close to Christ-like. And, in fact, many of them have been critical of possibly the most Christ-like pope in modern history.

As for me, a progressive Christian, I absolutely love this pope. While he’s not perfect, and still has a long way to go to fix all the problems within the Catholic Church, he’s led by Christian example rather than just words. Because it’s easy for anyone to say they’re a follower of Christ, but it’s a heck of a lot harder to show it.

And thankfully, at least for now, the Catholic Church has a pope who’s letting his actions speak far more loudly than his words.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • dutch163

    I love this pope too…he represents Jesus’ true messages, especially “whatever you do for the least of my brethren you do unto me”..also love how he has spoken out against “trickle down” economics

    • Karen Wilkin Powers

      Do you like his opposition to abortion, homosexuality and women’s ordination?

      • dutch163

        I did not say I like everything he does..he is a breath of fresh air in an institution that resists change…and about homosexuality he said “who am I to judge?” he represents the most change in quite awhile, at least since the Ecumenical councils, maybe in centuries…

      • James Johnson

        That is what makes him human I guess he cant be perfect. I don’t agree with everything he does but he is sending the conservative Christian in America a clear and concise message that will hopefully break the bonds of fundamentalism within this nations churches.

  • Roland Woodstock

    And he speaks quite boldly for the dignity of human life from conception to natural death; he speaks about the supreme dignity of the human person and human sexuality and marriage. He truly is someone who can’t be held by political ideology. He’s more about the Person of Jesus Christ who calls us all to holiness.. Way to go Pope Francis! We Catholic Christians are proud of our Pastor!

  • Bishadi

    Interesting article/point of view.

  • Craig O’Manion

    400 sleeping bags? Really? Doesnt impress me. Divest the church of these huge properties and pedophiles then he is moving forward. He probably cant do that I know. Outdated everything here, doesnt matter

    • Gino Carlos

      Maybe because There were only 400 homeless people there, stupid! We never heard a reublican senator or congressman going out of their way giving away food or sleeping bags to the homeless. Have you?

      • BK Anderson

        Yes I have many of them. Are you suggesting that all the churches that do community work are staffed only by progressive Democrats? Apparently your living under a rock.

    • Martin Graf

      He should have done more! ….. says the guy who didn’t do anything!

    • Betty Bailey

      So if you can’t fix it all, you shouldn’t do anything?

    • Lori Lanham

      He can’t personally minister to all of the homeless and/or hungry people in Rome. He can, and does, set an example for the clergy and lay people in every diocese and parish across the world.

  • GenerallyConfused

    As someone who was raised catholic, had everyone preach about Jesus and living as christ would but never seeing it, this pope gives me hope.

    Is he perfect? No, but what one of us is?

  • Gino Carlos

    Our republican poloticians, the worst human beings on the face of this earth. The Us could’ve been the best country in the world with less people suffering. But that’s not what they (republicans) worry about. Their ideology is to have all the wealth they can get and don’t give a rat ass for the less unfortunates. They all can die away as far they’re concerned, while they are putting on their Christian mask.

    • Karen Wilkin Powers

      Democrats, according to their tax returns are both the richest and least charitable in congress. But, boy how they love to spend *other* people’s money!

      • James Johnson

        Now that’s proof that propaganda indeed works like a charm. I am sorry Karen I am with you on the woman rights and abortion choices and all that but that last was definitely far right opinion. Does not suit you very well.

      • Gino Carlos

        What planet are you living in? I’m sorry, but how much money that war mongers Bush an Cheney spent in that fake war in Irak? I kind of lost count. I heard the other day that our economy and the job market are in a higher percentage since ten years ago. I beleive that Obama has nothing to do with it, it’s all a republican feat. Come’on, stop watching fox news. It kills brain cells.

    • BK Anderson

      please demonstrate where the progressives have helped.

  • Mike Hitchcock

    “As for me, a progressive Christian, I absolutely love this pope.”
    As an atheist, I find a great deal to respect about him. As others have said, he’s not perfect, but finding a church leader who actually seems to believe the teachings of Christ have value, and should be the focus of his ministry, is refreshing.

  • Jeff

    This Pope must be a communist. And obviously a secret Muslim too.
    Because he’s not hateful enough to be a “true” Christian.

  • sherry06053

    If consulted, I wonder who Sarah, Sean and Rush would have nominated for Pope…Damn good thing they weren’t!

  • mike corona

    Most American Christians hate Catholics. These are the most closed minded individuals and are as far right as any Taliban.

    • James Johnson

      As an ex southerner who attended church I would have to agree totally.

    • BK Anderson

      Comparing a Christian to the taliban? seriously?

  • sweetpea2372

    As a conservative Christian Catholic I can
    tell you that this is a load being fed to people. It is ok to bash us. I am
    called a racist, sexist, homophobic, white elitist all because I believe in
    limited government and family values. Funny. I am a poor single mother of a
    bi-racial child and my best friend is a Lesbian conservative! Wake up people
    and stop trying to villainies everyone who might think a bit differently. That is
    very intolerant! I think if people took the time to get to know one another
    they might find that we are more alike than different. My daughter is told that
    she has to vote a certain way or like certain things because of her skin color,
    and it is not republicans that are telling her that!

    • digitlburn

      Oh, no! Poor wittle conservative! Are you being marginalized? Seriously? You’re going to play the “I know somebody who is…” card? As a single mother, I guess you’re not holding to those “family values” too well, are you? And those aren’t my words…I’ve NEVER heard any liberals villainize the poor for being…well, poor, like Republicans and TeaBaggers do and for not holding to “traditional family values.” And liberals aren’t villainizing you because you think differently…we’re trying to help you realize that when you support conservatives, you actually vote against your best interests! Jesus had some different ideas than the norm for his day…I guess you think he was villainizing those who thought a little bit differently than the norm?
      And as for your daughter being told that she has to vote a certain way because of her skin color…I love it how conservatives hear one thing, and they turn anecdotal evidence into the norm in their own minds. I’m sure one little kid told your kid that she should vote for Obama because he’s black, and of course that was because her Hippy parents told her that. Yeah, right. I’m sure conservatives NEVER do that! You’re right, they don’t…they just try to disenfranchise minority voters instead of telling them that they shouldn’t vote a certain way!

      • BK Anderson

        I’d be curious what your family values are? It’s clear from your condescending reply courtesy doesn’t play well. Your reply is so full of assumption as to be laughable. What if she is single due to death of her husband? Hippy parents? Really?

    • James Johnson

      I can see why you are a conservative. But do you believe in supporting those in uniform?

  • Karen Wilkin Powers

    This pope has reaffirmed the church’s opposition to abortion and homosexuality.

  • Jacqueline Gargiulo

    I was just thinking this weekend how Christian bigot is a prevalent oxymoron.

  • DidIt

    This is all pretty dopey. Tell ya what. Let’s start a list of names of the various charities around the world who would gladly give up the donations they receive from those nasty Republicans! Take yourself a little peeky-poo at the list of charitable donations made by the various players on the national stage: Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden, Mrs. Clinton (note how much of her “charity” goes to the Clinton Foundation, for which there is no accounting), and so it goes.

    As to the Pope…nice guy I guess, but he leads the world’s Catholics, not all of Christianity. When you show me the UNCOUNTABLE TRILLIONS of dollars he oversees in gold, land, artwork, buildings, and much of the world’s wealth and compare that to 400 sleeping bags? Bravo for somebody…….

    • James Johnson

      Sorry propaganda has not been lost on you.

      • BK Anderson

        why not give clear examples to disprove what he says?

  • Russ W.

    Why is he bashing Republicans? Last I checked it was Democrats that were involved in shady deals such as land grabs for fracking and solar power and illegal gun sales which they have millions-billions to gain from their shady deals. Recently Sheldon Silver was indicted corruption charges. I think the Pope has his facts wrong here.