The Pope’s Visit Puts Into Perspective How Screwed Up the Republican Party Has Become

pope-francis-11In case you haven’t heard, Pope Francis is making his big U.S. debut this week. It’s a visit I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Not only am I a fairly big fan of this pope, but I’ve been extremely interested to see what sort of reaction he’s going to trigger from conservatives in this country.

As most people are aware, Republicans champion themselves as “the party for Christian values.” It’s a label which I’ve always found completely ridiculous, but it’s what they consider themselves nonetheless. Even as so-called “super Christians,” many conservatives don’t seem to be the biggest fans of the current pope.

You see, he’s a been a bit too progressive for their taste. The truth of the matter is, Pope Francis doesn’t judge or hate enough for their liking. It’s an ironic twist; we finally have a pope who seems to be trying to lead the Catholic Church based on the values and teachings of Jesus Christ – the man on which Christianity is based – and that’s really pissing off a lot of Republicans.

Then again, as I’ve argued in the past, many conservatives really aren’t Christians. That explains why the more like a Christian that Pope Francis acts – the less they seem to like him.

Rush Limbaugh has attacked him, a Fox News editor called him the “Catholic Church’s Obama” and Sarah Palin once said he was too liberal. Heck, even ultra-Catholic Rick Santorum recently criticized him for daring to publicly endorse human-made climate change. It’s absurd.

But all of these comments are great examples as to just how screwed up the Republican party has become. It’s like I said a few weeks ago, it shows how outdated and out of touch the Republican party of today really is when the Catholic Church is now more progressive on science and social issues than they are.

And it’s the truth.

While so-called “conservative Christians” like Mike Huckabee continue to double-down on anti-gay rhetoric, Pope Francis has actually been fairly progressive (for a pope) on homosexuality:

If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

Even on climate change he’s called upon world leaders to do something to help the planet. Meanwhile, here in United States, Republicans are using snowballs to “prove” climate change isn’t real.

On economic issues, Pope Francis essentially called trickle-down economics a scam, pointing out that the “cup” (the wealth at the top) never flows over to the rest of us – it just gets bigger.

Now to be clear, I’m not saying Pope Francis is a progressive – just that he’s been fairly progressive for someone in his position. I think people need to understand that change often takes time, especially considering we’re talking about bringing huge change to the Catholic Church – not exactly a known beacon of open-mindedness. That being said, I do believe this pope is trying to push the church to be far more progressive than they’ve been in the past. It’s just a process.

While people from all around the world have embraced this pope for the fact that he’s been far more progressive than his predecessors, many Republicans here in the United States have criticized him because of that. It’s a telling sign as to how absurd modern-day Republicans have become when the more Christ-like a pope acts, the less many of them seem to like him.

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.


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