Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Andrew Sullivan responds to Rush Lumbaugh's assertion that Pope Francis is preaching "pure Marxism." Unsurprisingly he doesn't agree.

Courtesy of The Dish: 

Sorry, Rush, but if you think this critique of capitalism is something dreamed up by the current Pope alone, you know nothing about Catholicism, nothing about John Paul II, and nothing about Christianity. But I guess we knew that already, even though the ditto-heads still believe, like that particularly dim bulb Paul Ryan, that Ayn Rand and Jesus Christ are somehow compatible, when they are, in fact, diametrically opposed in every single respect. 

Notice, however, as I noted yesterday, that the Church in no way disputes the fact that market capitalism is by far the least worst means of raising standards of living and ending poverty and generating wealth that can be used to cure disease, feed the hungry, and protect the vulnerable. What the Church is disputing is that, beyond our daily bread, material well-being is a proper criterion for judging human morality or happiness. On a personal level, the Church teaches, as Jesus unambiguously did, that material goods beyond a certain point are actually pernicious and destructive of human flourishing. I hesitate to think, for example, what Limbaugh would have made of Saint Francis, the Pope’s namesake. Francis, after all, spurned the inheritance of his father’s flourishing business to wash the bodies of lepers, sleep in ditches, refuse all money for labor, and use begging as the only morally acceptable form of receiving any money at all. In the Church of Limbaugh, there is no greater heretic than Saint Francis. Francis even believed in the sanctity of the natural world, regarding animals as reflecting the pied beauty of a mysterious divinity. Sarah Palin, in contrast, sees them solely as dinner.

Oooh bringing Palin into it, nice touch.

Then Sullivan goes on:

Limbaugh’s only recourse when faced with actual Christianity is to conspiracy theories about translations of the Pope’s words. Perhaps it’s the commies who have perpetrated a massive lie through their control of the media. That was Sarah Palin’s response to, when confronted with, you know, Christianity for apparently the first time. But you sense that even Rush is beginning to realize there is something more to this, something that could be very destructive to his sealed, cocooned, materialist ideology of one. Hang on a minute, you almost hear him saying to himself … 

Yes, Rush, hang on a minute. Christianity is one of the most powerful critiques of radical market triumphalism. And it’s now coming – more plainly and unmistakably in our lifetimes – to a church near you.

I don't think I can adequately express the glee I feel watching these conservatives and Evangelicals tripping all over themselves trying to reinterpret what the Pope is saying, or suggesting that it must be the work of Commie translators, or even claiming that the Pope does not understand economics, the Bible, or Jesus Christ.

And look I am very appreciative of the new tone put forth by this Pope, but I am still quite aware that he is not actually going to be able to change church doctrine or have any lasting impact on the future of the church.

I mean I wish that the Catholic church and the fundamentalists would start to truly embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ en masse instead of using them as excuses for misogyny and gay bashing, but I have little confidence that anything of the sort is in the offing.

And of course there is this.

Just something to keep in mind while we are all celebrating the infighting among the Right Wing and religious zealots.


  1. I don't know why Rush is upset as I don't see him as a man of faith. Now I can understand how all the Catholic faith peoples would be paying attention............. You think the GOP is kinda worried people may turn away from their platform? Now, if the preachers like Joel Olstein, Billy Graham, etc. were bitching that would be something to see.
    Back to the days when only Catholics go to heaven.....hehe!

    1. Anonymous1:10 PM

      I love, LOVE how the NEW POPE is exposing their grifters and & Fake xTians for what they are!
      Don't you think Catholics on Patheos see Brancy's posts a bit different now that Sarah has dissed the pope. And she really didn't apologize b/c she never will. Yet the RW is going ON and ON about Martin Bashir! Who DID apologize to the queen?
      To divert.
      I'm tweeting out every message from the new pope I'm not catholic but if he is pissing off these fuckers he's A ok in my book.
      Lets get rid of these fake "pro-life" idiots.
      As the pope said and Wendy Davis said to be "pro-life you have to care for the children AFTER they are born" also, too!!!

  2. Anonymous5:06 PM

    Heard on Morning Joe this morning that he once worked as a bouncer among other things in his early adulthood. :-)

    1. Anonymous5:30 PM

      Who once worked as a bouncer? Pope Francis? Rush Limbaugh?

    2. Anonymous8:34 PM

      Pope Francis.

  3. Anonymous5:09 PM

    The Pope is following the teachings of Jesus. I have to assume that Rush and Sarah would find Jesus too liberal for them, too. Oh, and what a pity, with His birthday being the centerpiece of Sarah's religious belief, the Reason for the Season, the Reason for her book.

  4. Sullivan's only claim to fame was being one of the first to call out Palin for the serious dumb that she is. He is gay and a catholic - and supports both - which in the past has been a tricky thing to do. He has little to say on racism/sexism. I am pleased to have ignored his blog since he took it behind a paywall.

    1. Anonymous7:18 PM

      I am one who pays to read Andrew's full offerings, and I enjoy his examinations on a myriad of subjects; most of all, on his reactions to the actions of his Catholic church-men. I value his insights, in part because he is gay; and I love that he allows for dissent on any subject he might bring up. He always has an intelligent discussion, not a raving, rude diatribe, which is precious to me.

      As to your statement re: his only claim to fame, you should remember that he exposed Palin's birth fraud, and then, when no further proof came to enhance his point, he dropped it, and ignored her almost totally. I greatly respect him for that as much as anything.

      I do allow that you can have whatever opinion you want, and I thank you for your view.

    2. Nice to be able to have a polite conversation about different points of view. I got upset with some of his posts and opted out - but will always be thankful that he was quick to call Palin out for what she is - regardless of anything to do with her children.

    3. Anonymous9:02 AM

      I live far from the madding crowd, so Andrew is a source of variety in the news. I can then go from his site to other places to see how people feel on the subject being discussed.
      I do like the civility of his blog. And I like finding unexpected treasures there, too. And if some of his positions are contrary to mine, well; at least I get to see why he feels like that.
      I really liked how he exposed Sarah's Wild Ride, and how he had a list of her Lies as an ongoing thread.

  5. Anonymous5:43 PM

    If the powers that be in Rome don't take care of the Francis problem a la Pope John Paul I, I see the beginnings of a schism in the Catholic Church. The U.S. cardinals and bishops are not about to mingle with the homeless. Might get their pretty slippers dirty. It is much easier to push women and gays around and pretend that they are following Jesus' teachings.

    1. Anonymous5:20 AM

      The cardinal of the Alms was ordered to actually go out and walk amopng the poor and give alms( money) to them. I have a cousin of sorts( I don't know the how many times removed) from Ireland that works as a historian in the Vatican libraries and he said it's funny to see all the old crusties( my cousins term) get shaken up by Francis' administration.
      BTW Francis should have been Pope before John but since he wasn't European he was put on the back burner behind the Nazi

    2. Maple8:24 AM

      I doubt that any of this info about Pope Francis is new to the College of Cardinals who elected him, so he must have a majority of the Cardinals agreeing with him and quite possibly encouraging him.

    3. Anonymous11:01 AM

      I wonder why no one talks about how they murdered John-Paul I.

      I guess I will have to keep on wondering.

      The B.

  6. Anita Winecooler5:46 PM

    Good for Andrew! While reading it, I wonder if they actually met "Jesus Christ", would they even recognize him?

    1. Anonymous8:13 AM

      What a great question!

  7. The one really neat thing here, over and above what Francis is saying, is that Popes traditionally are terrified over contradicting each other. So first, Francis doesn't seem to be a slave to that terror, considering his remarks about not making the Church only about abortion or gay rights. Second, it's very unlikely that a successor to him would ever come right out and say Francis was wrong.

    This whole New Pope thing actually has me thinking about going back to church, something I haven't done absent funerals and weddings for about 40 years. I'm just afraid the local pastors won't have quite gotten with the program and I'll wind up screaming "YOU LIAR!!!" and stomping out mid-Mass like I did the very last time I ever went to Mass.

    And yes, a bunch of other people followed me out, it was like an "anti-christ" parade!

    1. Anonymous9:17 PM

      Why would you want to return to a church whose official positions include celibate clergy, no sex outside marriage, no artificial contraception, no abortion even to save the life of the mother, no remarriage after divorce, and no gay marriage, ever? Do these positions also make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Because they are just as integral to the Catholic Church as its far more liberal social equality stance. Do you really think the latter compensates for the destructiveness of the former?

  8. Partly misreading Mr. Limbaugh here I think. He knows all of this, but also knows the audience that pays his bills. It's all about the bank account, not public service. He doesn't care about the dittiots and how much they damage themselves in getting their money to him.

  9. Anonymous8:50 PM

    The Vatican treasures alone could fund much food, education, medicine, sanitation, employment for the poor, a fair disposition of the wealth looted from the faithful over the centuries.

  10. The Guardian have got hold of ALEC internal documents which reveal that they are facing a large funding shortfall.

    An influential US lobbying network of Republican politicians and big businesses is seeking to avert a looming funding crisis by appealing to major donors that have abandoned it over the past two years following criticism of its policy on gun laws.

    The Guardian has learned that the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which shapes and promotes legislation at state level across the US, has identified more than 40 lapsed corporate members it wants to attract back into the fold under a scheme referred to in its documents as the "Prodigal Son Project".

    The target firms include commercial giants such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kraft, McDonald's and Walmart, all of which cut ties with the group following the furore over the killing of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in February 2012.

    1. Anonymous12:41 AM

      O/T - Gyalist, thanks for this.

  11. Anonymous12:22 AM

    Legions of relatively indigent hayseeds are convinced they are victims of undeserving freeloaders. Uber wealthy Limbaugh gets wealthier telling them they are right. Palin is trying her hardest to tap into this market.

  12. Anonymous1:00 AM

    Gryphen, extrapolating off your typo... Lum(p)baugh is an excellent appellation for this sack o' shit.

  13. Randall2:23 AM

    Psalms 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

  14. Anonymous3:06 AM

    Lest we forget: Palin's Prayer Warriors whooped it up over their hand in doing in Mother Teresa.


    Killing Mother Teresa with their Prayers
    Rachel Tabachnick
    Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 07:57:30 PM EST
    The New Apostolics' Spiritual Warfare against Catholics and the Amish (or Rick Santorum's Close Call)

    1. Anonymous1:19 PM

      And they laid claim to also killing Princess Di!
      Mary glazier Palins Mentor...is that old bitch still alive?
      Love Racheal Tabachnick !

  15. Anonymous3:46 AM

    This pope, so far, is the best thing to happen to the Catholic Church since Jesus Christ died on the cross. In other words, an about face from the Nazi who wore the robes over his swastika.

  16. Whole lotta shakin going on. Pope Francis is pretty big and he is a humble servant. Let's see where this goes.


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