How Pope Francis Proves Republicans Wrong on Christianity and Society in General

pope-francis-limbaugh-marxistOver the years the Catholic Church has been the pun of many jokes, and a target used by many to point out everything that’s wrong, corrupt and hypocritical about religion.  And rightfully so.  But since the selection of Pope Francis, there’s been a new and refreshing message that’s been flowing through the church.

For the first time in my life I’ve seen non-Christians speak highly of a pope.  Not only that, I’ve met people who hadn’t practiced the Catholic religion in years return to the fold.  Hell, I’ve even seen atheists heap praise on Pope Francis.

But what makes Pope Francis so transcendent?  To me, it’s that he’s actually trying to be a pope that pushes the Catholic Church to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.  You know, the whole help the poor, feed the hungry, provide for the needy, forgive your enemy, accept those who are different and love thy neighbor thing.

He’s done this by telling the church to focus less on abortion (and other social issues) and devote more time to helping the poor.  He’s pushed the church to ease its stance on homosexuality.  He’s spoken out against economic theories that are based on giving more to the rich with the promise that it will overflow to the rest of us (aka trickle-down economics).  He’s even added more regulations to the Vatican banking system in an effort to eliminate the rampant corruption within it.

For those keeping track, that’s a pope who’s:

  • Told people to help the poor, not cut funding for programs that do just that.
  • Attempting to soften the church’s stance on homosexuality, not push for laws that further condemn it.
  • Called trickle-down economics a failed theory, not supported more policies which perpetuate its flawed premise.
  • Added tighter regulations to curb corruption in the Vatican financial system, not pushed for rules that would deregulate it even more.

In other words, he’s supporting many of the same social and economic philosophies that liberals do.

But how could this be?  Aren’t Republicans the “party for Christian values” and Democrats the party of the “God-hating liberal”?

Can anyone really deny that Pope Francis, and his seemingly liberal take on Christianity, has done more to change the negative perception of Christianity than anyone has in recent memory?

Yet while he’s done that (while clearly favoring a more “liberal” take on Christianity), right-wing religious radicals continue to drive more and more people away from Christianity here in the United States.

So, we have a pope who’s driving the most liberal leadership the Catholic Church has ever seen bringing people together, and to Christianity, while conservative religious radicals continue to drive them away.

He’s done this by talking to people, not at them.  By accepting people, not judging them.  By helping the poor, not vilifying them.  By preaching love, not hate.  And he’s done all of this by standing for values that are nearly the complete opposite of everything these right-wing radicals represent.

Because at the end of the day, Pope Francis has drastically improved the way people view the Catholic Church, and Christianity as a whole, by acting more like a liberal – not a conservative.

Kind of like another liberal – named Jesus Christ.

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.

Comments

Facebook comments

  • Sandy Greer

    I really like this Pope, too. For exactly the reasons stated above: He goes right to the ‘heart’ of the Bible.

    I’m not Catholic. Attend no church. Believe in God – am Spiritual – see value in ALL religions, ALL beliefs.

    But there’s just something distasteful in laying claim to the Pope as one of ‘ours’ (liberals & Dems – not conservatives & Repubs) I understand what the author is getting at.

    But *I* think the Pope would say he’s for EVERYONE: Every single one of us. Believer, or not. Because he IS a loving person.

    He’s everybody’s Pope; we can afford to ‘share’ him. And be the better for doing so.

    ^^^JMHO, FWIW

  • bamcintyre

    As Ghandi has said, “I like your Jesus. Your Christians I don’t like.”

    • IrishEddieOHara

      Unfortunately, Ghandi had a point. It has been very sad to see the behavior of some of the “Christians” (the latest is Sarah Palin’s reprehensible statement about “baptizing” terrorist with waterboarding) who have the idea that being a Christian means supporting the military/industrial complex, endless wars, (in the name of God, of course), and the usurious banking and corporate complex that keeps millions in financial bondage for all their lives.

      Yes, the same “good Christians” who owned the coal mines, the steel mills, and the auto plants of the early 20th century and after a good week of grinding the faces of their poor, went to church with a large Bible under their arms.

  • Gary Menten

    Republicans are wrong on so many issues that no-one should be surprised they’re wrong on religion and Christianity. The law of averages simply doesn’t work in their favour.

    • IrishEddieOHara

      That is because Republicanism and the thought processes that come with it have their basis in Calvinist thought and the idea of “manifest destiny” which appeared in the late 19th century. Calvinist thought is no more Christian in its ideas and applications than is Swiss Cheese.

      • Gary Menten

        Cute.

  • Bruce Brandy

    It is a mistake to look to this Pope for politics. He will challenge both sides of the aisle. His guidance is more for how we should act, not how we should vote. Btw- his twitter account is awesome.

    • Chip

      not exactly, he has spoken very clearly on our obligation to vote in accord with doctrinal truth … just won’t see it in this sort of media … doesn’t fit the agenda

  • BaliHai84

    Wow! the Pope is a Progressive? The next thing you know, someone will be twisting his words to justify aborting 60 million more babies

  • BaliHai84

    Christians believe it is there individual responsibility to help the poor. And they do. Republicans/conservatives give much much more money to charities, and also volunteer on a more regular basis. Democrats vote for someone who will confiscate people’s earnings and redistribute it to poor people and will pat themselves on the back for “doing their part”. That absolves them of having to give their own money, or do any charitable volunteering. Like the time Al Gore made $23 million and gave $300 to charity. Hypocritical.

  • Chip

    Your distortion of the pope’s message is typical of the progressive movement. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a desire to deny objective truth. Don’t hold your breath for a “softening” of Church doctrinal truth … not gonna happen!

    • Michael D. Rich

      Thanks Karnack… Don’t let your facts get in the way of your stupdity…

  • IrishEddieOHara

    No, Mr. Clifton. Jesus is not a Liberal. Jesus is not a Progressive. Jesus is God, and as God, He has given us some rules of behavior that Liberals like you find absolutely repulsive, such as marriage being between one man and one woman for one lifetime.

    The reason that Dorothy Day would not join the Socialist Party in her opposition to the military/industrial complex and their love of war was specifically — in her own words — that they had very different moral values regarding sexuality. As Catholics, we should and are urged to be sure the poor and needy are taken care of. We do not, however, define a woman who wants to kill her unborn child because that child is inconvenient, as being “needy.” We tell women that they need to practice chastity (and so do men, moreso than women, since it appears that it is constantly men who are badgering women for sex “if you really loved me you’d do it” sort of thing).

    When the Progressive Movement in this country realizes that there is such a thing as moral behavior which not only includes not killing the innocent in false flag wars and Republican lies, but also includes sexual morality, I will be the first to join and get my card.

    • Michael D. Rich

      Jesus is the son of God…not God… get a clue and make up whatever make you feel good … and show the rest of us how sad you are…

  • Erick Chastain

    You don’t quote any sources for this article’s main points (and some are wrong). I challenge you to really fact check this article. The trickle-down stuff comes from Evangelii Gaudium, sure. The rest presumably comes from his interviews, but fact check those and you will find a very different Pope Francis, one who is actually Catholic. He has said in the matters you describe that he is a son of the Church, and will change nothing.

  • Devon Lewis Adrian

    Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air and I think it was brave of the Church to have chosen him. Hopefully this means they know that a new direction is needed not only for their own members but realize that as people of faith they have a responsibility speak for those who do not have the power to speak for themselves.