Pope Francis Spoke — I’m Disappointed, But Not With Him

pope-francis-2I was disappointed yesterday after the news of Pope Francis’ statements on economics and income inequality. No, I’m not disappointed in what he had to say. Let’s be honest: Pope Francis is probably the most progressive, populist Pope to ever come along. He’s been the leader of the Catholic Church for less than a year and he’s already turned things upside down in a shakeup a little more diplomatic, but certainly no less controversial than the story of Jesus throwing the money changers out of the Temple.

What’s my disappointment with then? It’s with the hand-wringing professional left that will never be happy with anything that he (or anyone else) does unless he somehow magically adopts overnight the exact same worldview that they have. You know who I’m talking about — the folks who won’t be satisfied unless the Pope issues proclamations that conform exactly to their often irrational expectations of how a nearly 2,000-year-old religion should suddenly shift course. These are the same people who make excuses to conservatives for things that haven’t been fixed under President Obama, but yet they also criticize him relentlessly among their own ranks about Tibet, GMOs, or some other pet cause they feel he hasn’t paid enough attention to.

Think about it for a minute: This is the first Pope who has told his congregation to worry less about the Church’s complete obsession with the topics of abortion and sexuality, and to pay more attention to the poor and inequality. Pope Francis has absolutely infuriated the old rosary-clutching guard who were more concerned about going to church every week and paying attention to outdated rituals instead of practicing the teachings that the Church was supposedly founded on. In only nine months, he has steered Rome in an almost 180-degree course away from the distant, pompous reign of Pope Benedict, who I absolutely despised. You know the fundamentalist conservative Catholics like Rick Santorum? They can’t absolutely cannot stand the guy — and that’s a good thing.


His newest proclamation, titled “Evangelii Gaudium,” specifically condemns trickle-down economics and states that the “free market” leading to equality has never been proven. I mean come on, look at this following excerpt:

In this context, 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.

This is something that, if it were uttered by someone two years ago at an Occupy Wall Street rally, would have been condemned on Fox News as the scary precepts of radical leftist college students who had no experience. But this isn’t from some stereotypical dreadlocked college gender studies major — this is from the freaking spiritual leader of over one billion human beings!

Many people will say, “Why should I care? I’m not a Catholic!” Hey, guess what? Neither am I. I was baptized into Catholicism as a baby and I’m now for all intents and purposes an atheist, but that doesn’t take away from the reality that nearly 1/6th of the world’s entire population is associated with that version of Christianity. In a previous article, “Pope Francis May Not Be The Pope We Want, But He’s The Pope We Need,” I discussed the importance of that fact.


Nobody is asking you to convert to Catholicism, but I am asking you to do the Progressive thing — to find where you share common ground with others and work together to better the world. You’re not going to get him to go along with you on abortion or women as priests, that’s a given. However, if someone who wore a dress suit with a flag lapel instead of a simple white frock and a cross made the following statement, wouldn’t it play to your ideological heartstrings like the political second coming of Beatlemania?

While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy  of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the  potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real  purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving  tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.

I think it isn’t unreasonable to propose that when you find the Pope outflanking your own President and political party on the left with statements like that, perhaps it is time to get off your damn self-righteous high horse. If you’re waiting for your ideological Prince Charming to come along from the Vatican any time in the next century, don’t hold your breath. Yet, we can work with what may be the best thing that has come along in nearly 2,000 years to make our world a better place. We owe that much to ourselves.

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  • tjgauthier

    No disrespect meant fopr the Pope, but he is a religious leader, not an political or economic leader. Jesus never put to onus for helping the poor on the state. He squarely put it on the individual and the religious institutions. As to economics, a healthy economy is the only way to ensure all in the society prosper to the extent they wish to exert themselves. Remember, it was not sufficient for Jesus to tell the lame man to get up and walk. Some of the onus was on the lame man: he actually had to rise and walk huimself.

    • Debbie Lass

      And how many in the church can help the poor when they are becoming even poorer due to corporations and politics? The state of the world regarding the power of government and corporations to pay off gov to get what they want for more greed didn’t exist as much then as it does now. I wish people would grasp that we can use the past as a guide not a direct comparison as many factors are different ….Many rise and try to walk but get pushed back down repeatedly due to things beyond their control, yet we still want to claim all ones state of being rests solely on what he does or does not do…….a struggling person who lost their home due to the lies of bank of America, which then hurt their credit making it difficult to get a place of their own now…..could go rob a bank and have his world better….but fact is..he didn’t make the greedy ass bank lie etc….statistics show if more than one variables is acting on something you cant sya ONE is the sole cause…..not without definitively proving it. Many facts show that other variables/factors act on peoples lives beyond their control that keep them stuck down…..you error to believe ll people struggling aren’t getting up to walk….many are….and still not able to walk…

    • Mister

      You actually believe the Pope is not a political or economic leader? You do realize the Holy Sea is its own country, and he’s the absolute leader. The Vatican itself (not all of Catholicism) is worth well over twenty billion dollars, which doesn’t include the priceless artifacts. And you think the Pope is NOT a political or economic leader? Think again.

    • Ann Goggins

      And a healthy economy happens when people earn a living wage.

      • Gian Keys

        Exactly. Handouts and social programs destroy an economy.

      • Ann Goggins

        Exactly, and until companies like Walmart stop exploiting their workforce, handouts will continue to exist.

      • Gian Keys

        Won’t hold my breath on that one. Too many programs support and encourage laziness and irresponsibility. Planned Parenthood being used as a form of birth control is a perfect example.

    • Phil

      Your reductionism is too simplistic. Jesus lived in a theocracy. Jesus, especially in Luke, placed the physical and social well-being of all people – the poor and the outcast in particular – on all of society (including the disadvantaged person). In a theocratic worldview, there in no distinction between religion and the state. By necessity, this implies the role of the state in helping to meet the needs of those with limited capacity to address their own needs.

    • CherMoe

      As a Catholic who has been very disillusioned in the years since Obama became President and the church started a campaign to “guilt” us into voting Republican because of the abortion/contraception issue and health care …. I find this Pope a better example of Jesus Christ than anyone I’ve seen in my 64 years. I remember the days of it “taking a village to raise a child”, and the same goes for all of us who are in this life together banding together to keep the human race functioning and moving forward. Sorry, but I see you as one those who picks a Bible and finds certain passages that meets your agenda. In almost every religion, humility and charity is preached. The teachings are big on telling us that to gain entrance to Heaven, we must tend to the poor and be charitable. Love thy brother as thyself. I don’t see any way you can POSSIBLY twist those things to suit a selfish agenda. I could remind you of many passages relating to loving your brother and taking care of others rather than being selfish. And though the prodigal son gets forgiven, I don’t think God will overlook a lifetime of sins and greed just because at the end of life, in fear, you say you’re sorry.

      This is the result of the greed of politicians and corporations and their “trickle-down” economics that were a total failure … just as the Pope so astutely has stated.

    • melloe

      LOL, the religious leaders were the State for Israel in everything but the death penalty in that time frame, so yes, Jesus did put it on the State. Sorry that “talking Point” is a fail. Gives me a headache every time I hear that lie.

  • Debbie Lass

    Im not sure I get this article regarding being directed at people on the left. Certainly I get it for people on the right……but I do understand the point of the article…

    • karroll

      Because there are people on the left that will say that this isnt enough change. That want except this statement for what it is, but want the Catholic Church to literally change everything. And of course the people on the right just wont understand it at all.

    • bbtdgfan882

      There are people on the left who will criticize religious leaders (or just religious people in general) no matter what, then act like condescending a-holes when myriads of decent religious people are rightfully offended.

  • Troy Preuss

    Tj Do you think the Church with sliding numbers of parishioners are going to be able to feed 40 Million People without Government Intervention? If you answer yes to this you have no clue to what is happening. Personal Responsibility only works when there are alternatives for the people who are struggling. If you want to cut SNAP out then the only other option is raise the Minimum Wage, and tie it to The Cost of Living, or you can just let people starve, those are your 2 other options. You can’t have your cake, and eat it too. Not everyone is lazy, and a moocher, a lot of these folks are here due to bad Republican Policy on job’s, and the Economy, and to put the blame on the poor as many have done is crap.
    Since you dont believe The Government should help the poor are you willing to give all your money to the poor? it’s in the Bible, it dont say some it say’s all look it up.

  • Dan

    Indeed, I keep seeing these demands for the Church to give up all its money. If it did so how would it fund its extensive Hospital System, Aid Organizations, various Schools and Financial aid for higher education and such?

  • karroll

    I agree with this completely. Im a total atheist. But at least this man actually practices what his religion is supposed to preach. If I were religious, I would certainly want him as my spiritual leader.

  • John Senes

    As I said on my post Manny Schewitz, being pleased with the new Pope’s a no-brainer, but claiming he lies to the Left of President Obama makes you a bit of a no-brainer!

    • Brian Frang

      Depends on the issue. Socially, he’s probably a bit to the right of Obama, but economically, he’s likely a bit more left leaning that the moderate-to-slightly-conservative POTUS.

      • John Senes

        Trying to compare the relative positions of each on individual issues from announcements made by both is misleading. It’s tempting to assume His Holiness or the POTUS is personally Left or Right of the other on a particular issue, but you’d be mixing apples with oranges; to say we are comparing individuals is false. Off the record the results would probably be very different, especially on individual issues, and we might find them to be much closer than expected, but as both represent vastly different institutions with polar-opposite histories and tenets, public announcements must always reflect to a large degree each individual’s political environment. On comparing institutions I think no one would disagree that the Roman Catholic church falls far to the Right of the Democratic Party of the USA, in spite of the Chuch’s occasional lame economic comment, considering the good they could do with their wealth for poor Catholics immediately and markedly if they really meant it. But individually, as I mentioned in my other post, I maintain the TRULY spiritual person, which I believe His Holiness is, as I do of early church initiates, would lie to the Left of a politician who has to serve his electors and is not so free to view every issue with a generous and forgiving heart. The President is supposed to serve the people after all whereas the Pope is supposedly infallible! The reality however is that the Pope still represents the Church, and it was to the two institutions of Pope and President I was referring above; perhaps I should have been clearer.

  • Aimee Barfield

    The problem isn’t with the Democrats or our President, it’s with, you know the other party. It wasn’t Democrats cutting Snap, it’s not Democrats telling the poor to raise themselves up with their bootstraps. I like you Manny, but you are casting stones on the wrong party, especially considering we are the minority in the House wherein the purse strings are held.

    Mayhaps, Paul Ryan will think upon this at his next communion? I highly doubt it.

    • Gian Keys

      Obama is nothing but “a problem”, and he’s no democrat, he’s a socialist. It’s what he was taught while growing up in his broken home. Papa Barry didnt stick around. Wonder why.

      • Brian Frang

        Obama is so far away from socialist, it’s not even funny. Obama is a mildly right-leaning Centrist. It just so happens the right has moved SO far to the right, that COMPARATIVELY, Obama looks like a Leftist. But he’s not. If he was, he’d be in favor of single-payer health coverage, he would have rescheduled marijuana, he would have immediately pulled us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria wouldn’t have even been on the table, and the Bush tax cuts would have been abolished, not extended. Same goes for the PATRIOT Act, if Obama was a Leftist, it would have been dismantled, not expanded.

      • Gian Keys

        So far away? Haahaaa wow, you’ve really been drinkin the koolaid. He’s the queen of social programs, which is all he knows. He was never qualified for the job, but someone thought he was the right color at the time. He was raised by socialist and communist radicals, so none of this is a surprise. Here in LA, Barry’s dope shops are all over the city. He’s anti-American, which is quite obvious to anyone not drinkin the koolaid.

        How bout those “war vets”? Do you understand?

      • Brian Frang

        So, racist, brainwashed AND fucking retarded. Good to know, I don’t have to waste any more time on your ignorance. Just so you don’t go home telling all your Teabagging buddies you “owned a lib” I’m going to address those concerns: Obama has been stricter about Marijuana use that Bush was. Period. There have been more raids, more arrests and harsher sentences under Obama than EITHER of the last two presidents. And the rest of your points just show your obvious blind, right-wing stupidity and racism, so I’m not even going to bother.

      • Gian Keys

        Racist? There’s the lib response. Emotional outburst. Pal, I’ve seen so many crazy lib tirades it’ll make your head spin. It’s like a child who doesn’t get their shiny toy. Grow up, pal. It’s embarrassing.

      • Brian Frang

        You’re the one who said he only became President because he’s “the right color” So, yeah, I’d say racist. Because if you can’t see how that’s a racist statement, you really ARE fucking deluded.

      • Gian Keys

        Problem is, it’s true. You say it because your type loves to play the race card. It’s a crutch. No substance. Keeping working your crutch. Politically correct, much? Haahaaa he had the least experience, yet wins? C’mon, son, open your eyes. His color won it for him, cuz his resume sure didnt. Head back in sand.

      • HoneyBee

        Brian, you could have saved your fingers and time. The rule is: if someone throws out the term “drinking the koolaid,” it’s obvious that they don’t know what they’re talking about, and you have no further obligation to respond to them…..

      • Gian Keys

        What’s obvious is how much damage Barry has done to the USA. You’re more than welcome to stick your head in the ground.

      • Msmaggieb

        What damage? I feel optimism that once the racist congress is replaced next year, we can clean up some more of the obstructionist policies of the current one. You’re just mad President Barry is black. Why?

      • Gian Keys

        What damage? Haahaaa wow. Appears you’ve had your head in the sand. Don’t worry, there are many just like you. Actually, he was elected because racist voters voted for him because he’s black. He was qualified for the job, and it shows.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        AS I SAID, HE IS HALF WHITE.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        DONT FORGET OBAMA IS HALF WHITE!!.

      • Brian Frang

        Oh, and for the record (since I forgot to point this out, earlier) COMBAT Veterans (which you are not, as you said, so stop talking like you know what people who ACTUALLY fought for our country go through) are MUCH less likely to reintegrate well into society because they receive so much more hostility than non-combat vets. I live in Palm Springs, so I see Marines coming home every day to Twentynine Palms to being told they can’t get a job because of their PTSD, or because of various other factors brought on by actually seeing combat (which again, you know nothing about, so shut up about it).

      • Gian Keys

        Relax, pal. Yes, you were not specific, which common with you libs. Love how you’re throwing “combat” in my face. Childish and ineffective. You could at least have served before running your mouth, but you didn’t. Thank a combat vet for your right to run your mouth. The military is predominantly against anything Barry.

      • melloe

        Interesting, I suppose there are some stupid enough to vote for the people who scuttled the Vets jobs bill. and have voted against the things Vets need since Reagan. Despite the only station that plays English in many countries running Rush and Fox, I don’t know of any real vets who are voting for those on the right at the Federal level. I am sure there are some, but have not met any. Nam 68. You obviously know not of what you speak.

        That said, you may be correct that some military are against Barry, whoever he or she is, but most I know are proud of their President.

      • Gian Keys

        Obviously, there are plenty who would vote for a guy with no experience and a cute catch phrase. Let’s hope n change, shall we? You couldn’t be more wrong. The vast majority of the military always supports a republican president. Barry has no support in US Armed Forces. To them, he’s a joke, an empty suit, which he proves every day. I had the wonderful experience with Clinton at the wheel. How bout a Lewinsky?

  • CherMoe

    Excellent article, and a Pope that brings hope to the people of the world. As for America, we’ll see just how “Christ-like” the self-proclaimed “Christians” really are.

  • SilverGuardian

    Excellent article! I am not a Catholic, but my first husband was, and if THIS had been how Catholicism had been led at that time, I very likely would have at least raised my children in the faith!

  • BdoMcGregor

    I find these liberals you speak of tend to be young, or isolated from people with other world views. Still they are a minority among us. I know most of us on the left are pleased as punch with this new Pope and what his words can mean to his millions and millions of followers.

    Don’t get caught in the trap of “i’m a better liberal than you because…” I see the atheists you are talking about in your article in this statement but also see some of that in the overall tone of your article too. This world could do with less high horses.

  • Janie mcwane

    PLEASE, I AM THE LEFT, LEFT that YOU ARE KNOCKING AND YOU ARE SO INCORRECT …. I ACCEPT AND I AM THRILLED WITH THE CHURCH TRYING TO CHANGE SOME OF THESE OBVIOOUS THINGS …. BUT PLEASE REALIZE THAT THE TRUE LIBERAL IS ” FOR THINGS ” LIKE THE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT, EVEN THOUGH IT HAS INSURRANCE COMPANIES STILL RUNNING THE SHOW …. WE WILL TAKE ANYTHING TO HELP OUT THE WORKING CLASS AND THE INCREASING POOR …. PLEASE STOP …. WE WOULD NEVER HAVE STOPPED THE GOVERNMENT FROM FUNCTIONING , BUT ALL YOU HEAR IS PRES. O DID NOT GET THE SIGN UP CORRECT FOR HEALTH CARE, SOOOO HE SHOULD APOLOGIZE …. I WOULD LOVE THE CORPERATE OWNED MEDIA TO TRY AND REPORT FAIrly THAT IS ALL ….. YES, THE POPE LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS AND THANK GOD WE NOW have HOPE that THE MASS OF PEOPLE ARE GIUIDED WITH MUCH MORE CARE and love of all !
    …..

    • Gian Keys

      Well said. Lazy liberals love the barrycare act, because they think of it as a handout. They’ll end up paying more for a broken product.

      • Shane Randy Lee Burlech

        Lazy Liberals? What about the single mother who works two jobs just to feed her children, because their dead-beat father left them? What about the homeless war veteran, who no one will hire because they think all he knows how to do is kill? Are they being lazy?

      • Gian Keys

        Dead beat father? Are you referring to obama’s father? YES, lazy liberals. Here in LA, they’re everywhere, just waiting for others to take care of them. Two jobs? That’s not lazy. Homeless war vet? Hell no, now show some respect to the vets, cuz you’re speaking to one. Don’t you worry about us vets. Companies and corporations love hiring ex-military, for obvious reasons.

      • Brian Frang

        Then tell me something: Why are there over 60,000 CURRENTLY homeless war vets in this country? It’s a proven fact that military service often hinders your ability to find work after you leave. You must have gotten lucky. And again, you aren’t paying attention, because the single mother dealing with a deadbeat ex working two jobs, the homeless vet, the disabled, and the elderly ARE the people getting assistance. And for the record, it isn’t Liberals who abuse the system. You don’t abuse a system you believe in. But if you believe a system is just “handouts for lazy people” why in the hell aren’t you going to take a piece of that action? That’s why, almost without fail, the people who actually defraud and abuse government assistance programs, of which I know 8, personally… mind you, out of literally hundreds of people I’ve personally known who have had to accept some form of government assistance in their lives, so, 8 people is STILL a nearly nonexistent minority, are Conservatives.

      • Gian Keys

        It’s a proven fact that employers love hiring ex-military for their professionalism, training, leadership, etc… War vets? Sounds you’re using that phrase as a lunch line or buzz word. How many vets saw/see combat? I was active duty during a war in the 90’s, but I did not see combat. I can tell you know just enough to be dangerous. You need more information on what you’re talking about.

        Democrats/libs support big gov and social programs, which is how they lock in supporters/voters. Living in LA, I see it every day. Take a piece of he handout action? That’s what lazy people do. Open your eyes.

      • Brian Frang

        Yes, we support social programs, because social programs are necessary. We, however DON’T abuse said social programs, because we DON’T look at them as handouts for lazy people. We look at them as a safety net for if we get screwed by life, so we avoid them, so that other people who need it have it. Conservatives are the ones who look at it like a handout that they should be able to get because it’s “fair, cuz look at those lazy liberals taking advantage of the system.”. And my numbers about the homeless come from the Department of Veteran Affairs, so, no I don’t need more information. I have the information. About a third of ALL homeless living in the United States are military veterans. Ooh, you live in LA. Are we talking Los Angeles, or Louisiana, because you’re an absolute moron if you think EITHER one of those proves that liberals abuse the social welfare system. I live in southern California, I’ve lived here my whole life, and unlike you, someone who obviously has never had to go through a single hardship in your life, I grew up in poverty and around the impoverished. I grew up seeing mothers bawling their eyes out because even though they work two jobs, they STILL had to go get food stamps to feed their kids. I’ve FELT how worthless you feel when you know that the government is having to pay for you not to starve. THAT’S how liberals view social welfare programs, you ignorant little toad. Again, the people who pump out extra kids to get that free government money (who are a statistically insignificant group of the population, by the way. It costs more to police them than to just let it go)? Every single case I’ve ever seen except for ONE was a conservative, Fox News watching, confederate flag-sporting, trailer-park living, white trash teabagger who rail against “entitlements” and “big government”. And the one who wasn’t? Politically apathetic. But again, believes government programs are handouts for the lazy. So what have we learned here, class? If you believe in something you believe that it works when used correctly, so you don’t abuse it. The only people who abuse the system are the ones who think it’s broken.

      • Gian Keys

        Relax, pal. I can tell you’re severely misinformed, and probably around 25 years old. There’s a reason cities like Detroit are dead. One more time, a vet isn’t necessarily someone who’s been in combat. You need a lot more info. You’re part of the problem. How’s obamacare doin? How bout the website? Obama gonna lie even more about obamacare? C’mon, son. Open your eyes. Learn.

      • Brian Frang

        One more time: I’m talking SPECIFICALLY about combat vets, you are not a combat vet, so shut the fuck up about what combat vets go through because you have NO fucking clue. You’ve never had to fight for your life. You’ve never had to see your friends die up close, you’ve never been spit on or had rocks thrown at you and been called a murderer because you wanted to defend your country. You are nothing, and have NO right to talk about REAL combat vets.

      • Gian Keys

        Relax, pal. I have every right, because I am an American vet. All who serve are VETS. Learn something. Again, your emotional tirade is that of a child. Grow up.

      • PT

        No, Not All that Serve are Vets. I served 9 years (84-93) in a Field Artillery Unit. I am not a Veteran. I am a American Citizen though and I still have the same Rights as You as does every citizen. We are a country of a hundred different nationalities, We are a country of a hundred different religions We are a country of a hundred different races, yet We are all Americans. Lets have some Respect for our fellow Countrymen and stop fighting ourselves. Divided We Fall, Let you hatred go it is fucking up our Country

      • Gian Keys

        If a person served in a military force then they qualify as a veteran. Look it up. Stop fighting ourselves? Clearly you haven’t been to LA, NY, or Detroit lately. Or, we don’t fight and simply allow Obama to turn the country into a socialist state.

      • Kenneth Lee Averiett

        You keep saying Obama is turning us into a socialist state, but you fail to point out how. And then, highlight how he hasnt been able to accomplish things because of Congress (Republican majority, if you know what that means, but you probably dont) wont allow it. Quite contradictory. Explain

      • Gian Keys

        How? That’s funny. There are so many examples, but you can turn a blind eye. Obamacare is the biggest social program in the history of the country. Control the people and take away their rights. He’d love to do away with the second amendment, but he’s not strong enough. Time to impeach his ass.

      • Kenneth Lee Averiett

        Actually, Social Security is the biggest social program, dipshit. Snap food programs are the next biggest social program. How is he going to take away your rights in the three years he has left? You sound like a goddamn retard.

      • Gian Keys

        Relax, pal. You came to me, remember? If you have a problem, you’re more than welcome to close your mouth and go away. He’s built up an amazing debt in five years, so who knows what he’ll try and do in three. Real Americans will shut him down and hopefully impeach his ass, just like his hated buddy, Bill Clinton.

      • Gian Keys

        You can thank your boy, Barry, for the horrible economy, which makes jobs hard to find. Learn something.

      • Brian Frang

        Oh, yeah, because it has nothing to do with the recession that began in 2005 or the economic crash of 2008, both of which happened under Bush.

      • Gian Keys

        Little more to it than that, huh? Besides, let Barry continue to make excuses after five years. It’s the sign of a loser and someone who’s in way over his head, but he’s a good Soros puppet. Barry stands for nothing and has no substance or backbone. “Hope n Change”? Nice catch phrase that meant nothing.

      • Brian Frang

        Not his fault every job, stimulus package, balanced budget, tax code reform and other economic reform bills Obama has introduced has been either shut down by Congressional Republicans (when they were in the majority) or filibustered by Congressional Republicans (as the minority party). He’s had plenty of ideas and plenty of substance, the Republicans are the ones not allowing anything to go through because they want to make him look bad. The GOP has literally sad on more than one occasion that their goal is to obstruct the President as much as possible to make his presidency a failure.

      • Gian Keys

        He’s never balanced anything. His ideas are shut down because they’re extreme socialist views. The USA isn’t a socialist country. Barry is a failure, but he has nobody blame but himself. Losers blame others for their own failure. He’s done nothing well in his life. His lack of experience in LIFE is glaringly obvious. He’s never held a job with any serious responsibility or accountability. So, why was he elected? Answer is quite obvious.

      • Kenneth Lee Averiett

        You idiot. Serving on the Senate, or being THE PRESIDENT isnt a serious job? He’s a better man then you, apparently.

      • Gian Keys

        Again, all fluff and no substance. Serving on the Senate? That’s it? What did he do on the Senate? Nothing. Being the president? That’s it? What’s he done after being voted in bc of his half color? Ruin a country. Apparently, he’s a smarter person than you. He’s no man.

      • Kenneth Lee Averiett

        Speaking of substance, lets hear you sight a few Bills or Policies that have “ruined the country.” Have a go at it, since its a basic 10th grade education you would need to do so. Undermining holding political office highlights your small thinking, regardless of the job being done. You know what you stand against, but do you know what you stand for?

      • Gian Keys

        That’s the big problem with demo/libs, they stand for nothing and bow to the feet of whoever hands out free stuff. Clueless minions are everywhere here in LA. How’s Detroit doing? Perfect example of demo/lib destruction. Too many lookin for handouts from those who work. No country can survive that. CA is broke. Wonder why? Can’t drive down the street in LA without smelling pot from people smokin I their cars. It’s called dope for a reason. Find sand, insert head.

      • Kenneth Lee Averiett

        You’re taking one sentence from my statement & making your own argument out of it. A symptom of an anti intellectual

      • PT

        Then why wont the GOP held House of Reprasentitives bring the Jobs Bill to the floor for a vote? the one that already passed the Senate, Then we can see if Barry will kill it? Learn how our Gov works. It is a Three tiered system with checks and ballances. and quite frankly the GOP in Congress is not doing anything but stonewalling and crying like babies and bringing our once great country to the brink of default because Barry wants to help citizens get affordable health care.

      • David Lloyd-Jones

        PT,

        Exactly.

        The warfare state carried out the Republicans’ array of wars without budgeting them. They were paid for in funny money, Chinese loans, and eating out the substance of America. For eight years nothing was maintained. The Republican nutbags seem to think that bridges and schools maybe grow like the lilies of the field.

        It is unsafe to live downriver from a dam anywhere in the United States. You know when you’ve left Canada because the good roads end at the border. If you want to cross a nice American road bridge you’d better have a horse, because you don’t know whether it’s safe for a truck or a car.

        Rebuilding America’s capital stock is a need as obvious as the nose on your face — and you have a Congress that just wants to cut taxes for the rich. That’s nuts. It’s not even a matter of running deficits: roads, dams, bridges and routine rebuilding are all capital investments: both sides of the ledger balance.

        But I don’t think there exist any Republicans who have ever studied accounting. There used to be just one, the appropriately named Jeff Flake of Arizona. As you’d expect for a Republican accountant, he went to jail for embezzlement in ’09.

        -dlj.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        IF OUR POLITICIANS WOULD STOP THROWING TAXPAYERS, HARD EARNED MONEY AT ALL THE FOREIGN COUNTRIES, (SOME EVEN HATE US), WE WOULD HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR ANYTHING THIS COUNTRY NEEDS. GET AMERICA OUT OF THE WORLD BANK TOO, WE ARE GROWN UP, AND CAN TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN MONEY. WHERE IS OUR GOLD RESERVE??, HAVEN’T HEARD ABOUT IT IN A LONG TIME. THAT GOLD RESERVE BELONGS TO AMERICA, WHERE THE HELL IS IT??.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        BOTH PARTIES HAVE DIRTY HANDS FROM TAKING CORPORATE MONEY FOR THEIR VOTES, THEY DON’T WANT TO BE EXPOSED, SO THEY SAY NOTHING. TERM LIMITS WILL STOP THIS POLITICAL ,KINGDOM.

      • Kenneth Lee Averiett

        Actually, our economy started tanking in 2006, when Bush was the president. It’s called historical evidence.

      • Gian Keys

        That’s what it’s called? Current evidence shows barry tanking the economy at a “historical” rate. He’s by far the most dangerous socialist the country’s even dealt with. Impeachment would be the first step.

      • Kenneth Lee Averiett

        You know, they called JFK a socialist in many different essays & articles when he was president. You can find those in your closest college library. Sight some proof of “tanking the economy” please. Our deficit is still high, but the national debt has decreased, & thats a known fact. Lets hear some of your historical evidence, smart guy.

      • Gian Keys

        The debt isn’t decreasing, but it is going up. Unemployment still highest since Great Depression. How bout the phony unemployment numbers during the 2012 election? More lies from barry. Obamacare will further sink the country. How much evidence do you need before you wake up? Keep your head in the sand. It’s the easy way out.

      • Kenneth Lee Averiett

        You havent cited any evidence, you just keep saying things. Youre word is useless, you know? How about some reading material, the kind that convinced you that you know what your talking about. If it were the highest it has been since the great depression, WE WOULD STILL BE IN A RECESSION. Make some goddamn sense. You do know the President doesnt just spew out these numbers & figures? That job belongs to the US Dept of Treasury (again 10th grade level educacation. Did you pay attention in Social Studies class),The head of the US Dept of Treasury is being held office by a REPUBLICAN, since Obama cant get his choice voted into office, so if its a lie, its a republican lying to you. Stop saying head in the sand. That’s a crazy stupid thing to say.

      • Gian Keys

        Put your head back in the sand, pal. Support him if ya want, but you’re only part of the problem. Making excuses for Barry is what losers do. Losers make excuses. Barry continuously blamed bush for his own failures. Barry wasn’t qualified for the job. He’s never done anything well, but you support him. Nobel peace prize for what? Doing nothing? That’s embarrassing. He’s a joke, but the joke’s on the country. Amnesty? Clearly that’s for future voters for Hillary, or Barry if he thinks he gonna run again.

      • Kenneth Lee Averiett

        I’m not making excuses, I’m just correcting you’re widespread lunacy. & yes, I AM blaming Bush, because he was an absolutely terrible President. He wastes a 500 trillion dollar surplus by letting business owners ship our manufacturing jobs overseas, while Wallstreet & Big banks profit from outsourcing, & overspending on a war that lasted 8 years too long based off of Weapons of Mass Destruction that were never found by the way. All of that, is of course, Obama’s Fault.

        But to a broader point. Why am I arguing with some borderline illiterate conservative, who most assuredly lacks a higher education on a religious topic based blog, about Obama? Its been a rough day I thought I would take it out over the internet to some stranger. I’m done with you, have an okay day.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        THE FACT THAT HE RECEIVED A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, WAS EMBARRASING.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        BOTH PARTIES ARE CORRUPT, AND RICH. WE HAVE THE RICHEST BUNCH OF POLITICIANS IN OFFICE, IN AMERICA’S HISTORY.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        PRESIDENT KENNEDY, WAS KILLED, BECAUSE, HE WAS GOING TO EXPOSE, THE NEW WORLD ORDER, HE DID NOT LIKE IT.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        BUSH TOOK US INTO A WAR, WE SHOULD NOT HAVE STARTED. CHENEY, THE HALLIBURTON CORPORATION RIGHT HAND MAN, WAS INSTRUMENTAL, IN URGING BUSH, AND BUSH DID NOT KNOW ANY BETTER. THAT WAR DESTABILIZED THE WHOLE MID-EAST, AND TODAY WE HAVE ISIS, AND OBAMA.

      • Valerie

        Detroit is dead because the major industry that put it on the map is no longer there. You remember the “auto industry” that employed the vast majority of folks in Detroit don’t you?

      • Gian Keys

        And why is that? Seems are union controlled, correct? Let’s be honest, it’s far more than the auto industry. Why is CA broke? Hmmmmm…..

      • melloe

        Actually, California finally got rid of the Republican Gov and coingress, and is now doing quite well thank you. Running in the black.

      • Gian Keys

        Actually, you’re wrong, again. Clearly, you don’t live in the state. The state was dead before Arnold, and the trash in there now is only making it worse. At least Arnold didn’t take a salary. CA has Pelosi, so it’s screwed until she’s dead, which can’t be soon enough. Running in the black???? Haahaaahaaaa good one, bub. You libs are sooo funny.

      • David Lloyd-Jones

        Gian,

        I’m a conservative. You’re a fiction writer.

        -dlj.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        LETS SEE HOW LONG THAT LASTS, BOTH PARTIES, ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FAILURE OF A GREAT COUNTRY. OBAMA HAS WORKED EVERYDAY TO KILL THIS COUNTRY. VOTE TRUMP IN 2016, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

      • David Lloyd-Jones

        Gian,

        You’re stuck in the past, remembering California under Republican governors. Currently it’s running a Clinton-style balanced budget with breathing room to spare.

        -dlj.

      • Gian Keys

        Really? You must not live in CA. Taxes on the wealthy have been increase. Sales tax for everyone was increased. See where I’m headed? Tax tax tax which the Republicans refused to raise. Many state services were cut, which really pissed off the dead beat pot heads. If ya lived here, you’d have a clue.

      • David Lloyd-Jones

        Gian,

        I’ve lived in California, back in the days when they still had a property tax, and consequently had one of the best education systems in the country. In the years in between, as you know, they voted out the tax on real property. As a result the elementary and secondary schools went all to Hell (I capitalize it, because as Bill Buckley used to remind us, it’s a place name), and the very fine university system became affordable mainly by wealthy Asians. And kids willing to mortgage the rest of their lives, for loans payable only with big business salaries.

        Now you seem annoyed that the rich are a small way back to the Olde Ways, paying taxes the way they used to. I don’t understand you. As a conservative I’m always glad to see sound olde tyme principles coming back into play. Like it says in Luke 14:28, count the cost.

        I don’t see where you’re going with the sales tax thing, so you’ll have to tell me in simple words. To my mind too much consumption is one of the things ruining California, so a tax on it seems to me like elementary prudence. That it helps balance the budget the way Democrats so often do, and Republicans don’t because they believe that government is the enemy and who wants to pay your enemy? Well, that’s just gravy.

        You mention “dead beat pot heads,” but I confess I don’t understand the notion. Back when I smoked pot it cost $68 a kilo. We brought it in in railroad cars from Mexico. We shunted them off on sidings down in the Castro. Folks would come by and help us mail it out at cost all around the country. We may have been dead-beats, but we were enterprising ones.

        At today’s prices I don’t think such a thing as a dead-beat pot-head exists, although with legalization prices will no doubt drop. Even with the taxes included.

        Cheers,

        -dlj.

      • Gian Keys

        Well said. You lived in CA when it was a healthy state, which it isn’t now. I live here now. There’s pot shops all over the city. It’s called dope for a reason. The rich aren’t a small way back. The rich own companies and those companies provide jobs, so they’re doing their part. Problem is, the numbers draining the system are increasing to the point where those who are working can no longer afford to drag the dead bodies along. LA and Detroit are perfect examples. Thank God for the rich and wealthy. They’re that way for a reason. They didn’t ask for handouts and wait for others to do things for them. They’re do’ers. LA has a small percentage of do’ers.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        GOOD AS LONG AS THE RICH, PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES, I’M COOL.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        WE WILL JUST SEE HOW LONG THAT SUCCESS?, LASTS.

      • Mary Lou,

        If you’d look up from your keyboard, you’d see that you’re shouting on screen.

        Why? Of maybe WHY?

        -dlj.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        THAT CAME AFTER, BLACKS TOOK OVER A FINE, BEAUTIFUL CITY, AND TURNED IT INTO A GARBAGE DUMP. THE DOWNTOWN IS STILL NICE, ,BUT MANY OF THE BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS ARE IN DISREPAIR. DETROIT WAS KNOWN AS THE “LITTLE PARIS”, OF THE MID-WEST, NOT ANYMORE. THE BEAUTIFUL, WELL KEPT NEIGHBORHOODS, LOOK LIKE BOMBED OUT AREAS NOW, WHAT ABOUT THAT??.

      • melloe

        You really do have no idea do you. Sad. But I will give you credit, you do have your talking points ( otherwise known as misinformation and lies ) down pat. The highest number of recipients of Food stamps are people in Red states.

        Detroit is like it is for two reasons, exporting the jobs, and Republican Governors.

        In a year, in your supreme ignorance, you will swear you were for the ACA all along, and you and the rest of your misguided ilk won’t be calling it Obamacare any more. Have a nice holiday.

      • Gian Keys

        Pal, I deal with demo/libs every day who have no clue, like you. The highest number of recipients of food stamps are lazy demo/libs who should stop pumpin out kids so the gov will reward them with more money. And using planned parenthood as birth control isn’t a great idea either. Obamacare is a massive social program designed to give the gov more control over you, which your kind is more than happy to give up.

        I’ve lived all over the country, and LA has the nastiest people I’ve encountered. Wonder why?

        Save your BS holiday talk, pal.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        AND BROKEN IT MAY BE. NO ONE DENIES PEOPLE, WHO TRULY, NEED HELP, IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE A LIFE TIME OF HELP, JUST A HAND UP, SO THEY CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY AGAIN, THE ADC BABY MOMMA SCHEME IS THE MOST DAMAGING THING TO AMERICA, MOST OF THOSE POORLY RAISED KIDS GO TO JAIL, OR BECOME BABY PRODUCERS THEMSELVES, IT IS A NEVER ENDING CYCLE

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        AT LEAST VETERANS LEARNED SOMETHING ABOUT DISCIPLINE, SOMETHING MANY IN AMERICA KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. MANY, MANY MEN FOUGHT, IN A WAR.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        ANYONE ON WELFARE THAT YOU KNOW DOES NOT DESERVE IT TURN THEM INTO SOCIAL SERVICES, DON’T JUST TALK DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE PROBLEM.

      • PT

        Was it not the GOP who just cut food benefits to over 900,000 vets and military families this month. How is that caring for the troops.

      • Gian Keys

        PT, that’s an interesting comment from out of nowhere. Spin it all ya want, but the 48 million on food stamps are the most there’s ever been. Don’t worry about the military, at least they’re working.

      • Valerie

        Why do people like you always have a problem with the poor on welfare but say nothing about companies with record profits collecting corporate welfare? Where’s your self righteous indignation about that? You guys are always strangely quiet on that subject. Banks alone get 83 billion per year in subsidies on top of those record profits. That doesn’t factor in the subsidies that oil and other companies earning record profits get as well. That’s ass backwards if you ask me. And you say “WE” drink the kool-aid. LMAO! :v Think again if you still have the ability to do so.

      • Mary Lou Barnwell

        BOTH PARTIES, LET AMERICAN VOTERS DOWN. THEY ALL WORK FOR CORPORATIONS, AND STUFF THEIR POCKETS WITH MONEY. CLEAN SWEEP BOTH PARTIES, WE WANT TERM LIMITS END THIS POLITICAL KINGDOM, ONCE AND FOR ALL TERM LIMITS NOW.

  • Stephen McParlin

    Speaking as a Catholic, I’m not sure whether it is correct to identify people like Rick Santorum as a *fundamentalist* Catholic. Francis is drawing upon the most basic and fundamental principles of Christianity, as exemplified by St. Francis of Assisi, and echoing some of the strongest New Testament texts (The Acts of the Apostles, The Letter of James) on social policy. What the Pope is doing is deeply rooted in the best traditions of Christianity, and, as a Jesuit, he has the intellectual and dogmatic rigour to pursue it.

    The real issue for the Church, as for many of the numerous Protestant sects that represent themselves in the US as mainstream Christianity, is how to turn around from something that looks, walks and quacks just like the Pharisaical structures that Christ preached against.

  • Brian Frang

    I’d like to know why it took so damn long to get a Pope from the ONE branch of Catholicism that is well known for theological rebellion and challenging the regressive nature of the Vatican.

    Oh, well, I’m pretty impressed by Pope Francis, so far.

  • Ralph Horque

    This article is complete hogwash. Most of the so-called “professional left” the author refers to amounts to nothing more than a straw-man. Most liberals I know -LOVE- this guy!

  • Marc Daniels

    In my opinion, the Pope is striving to bring religion to a deeper spiritual level, by teaching people that weeding out inner hatred should be first and foremost.

  • Caroline Altgelt Hogan

    “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and
    such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas
    you do not know what will happen tomorrow.
    For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
    Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do
    this or that’” (James 4:13-15).