Last week, US Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) said about Pope Francisco Bergoglio, the head of the Catholic Church, “The guy’s from Argentina; they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina”. With a wave of Ryan’s hand, he swept away the tension between his political stance and his faith… the conduit of an omniscient God simply doesn’t know what real capitalism looks like. As Politico pointed up, Pope Francisco keeps saying things that are outside the Republican Party‘s economic worldview. In November, we figured that Francisco’s criticism of capitalism might bring him into tension with Ryan; after all, saying that trickle-down economics “expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralised workings of the prevailing economic system” essentially condemns Ryan’s political orthodoxy.
Ryan offered his response in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel… somewhat amusingly focused on his support for a casino in the state. He said, “The guy’s from Argentina; they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina. They have crony capitalism in Argentina. They don’t have a true free enterprise system”. Ryan seems to suggest that one can’t comment on another country’s economic system without having lived there for an extended period. Francisco’s social views aren’t a small problem for American conservatives. Earlier this month, NBC and The Wall Street Journal polled Americans on their views about the new pope. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats approved of the job he’s doing; fewer than half of Republicans did. Religion is central in much of American conservative philosophy, so, having the leader of one particularly influential religion directly attacking the GOP‘s economic ideology could leave rightwingers a bit unsettled.
For Ryan, it’s particularly bad. As 2016 approaches, he’s trying to reposition himself as a champion of the poor, even earning a laudatory profile in BuzzFeed for his efforts. As Jonathan Chait points up in New York, Ryan’s born-again commitment to the poor isn’t a new talking point. In Chait’s words, “It might seem odd that Ryan’s determination to keep his love of the poor quiet would nevertheless leak out in the media, over and over again. It’s impossible to disprove the suggestion that Ryan has grown obsessed with helping the poor. However, what exactly does this mean? He’s devoted his entire career to policies that would, as first-order effects, increase the incomes of the rich, and decrease the incomes of the poor. Ryan has always argued that the first-order effects are less important than the deeper incentives he’d unleash… cutting taxes for the rich and reducing subsidies for the poor would make both work harder”.
Those are the sort of policies Pope Francisco explicitly commented upon. To which Ryan feebly responds, “Yeah, well, Argentina’s lame”. As he puts together his presidential campaign team, expect to see a staff member whose only job is to keep an eye out for white smoke coming from a chimney in St Peter’s Square.
26 December 2013
Francisco Bergoglio tied up the Righties’ nicks in a knot. They make all kinds of noise about how “religious” they are… now, one of the most major religious figures in the world says, in essence, “Thou fools and hypocrites! Depart from me and go into the outer darkness where there’s wailing and gnashing of teeth, to your father in Hell”. Ryan’s particularly torpedoed… he’s revealed as a piss-poor Catholic who believes more in Ayn Rand’s maunderings than in the teachings of Our Lord Christ. Since he spits on Our Lord Christ… is Dolan going to refuse Ryan communion publicly for attacking the Catholic Church’s teachings and its leader? Don’t hold your breath… the Catholic hierarchy doesn’t take the “seamless garment” concept seriously any more… it’s become a “tattered garment”, as they obsequiously repeat the Republican Party’s godless Me First ideology. It’s why I’ll have nothing to do with the so-called US “Pro-Life” movement.
One of the main reasons why Democrats favour Pope Francisco is that there’s a higher percentage of Catholics in Democratic ranks than there are in the Republican Party. The GOP has made itself into a “sectarian-friendly” body, which means that it has a very high proportion of anti-Catholic Know Nothings amongst its base. It’s become the default Party of Evangelicals, Mormons, and other sectarians. Ergo, of course, they don’t like Francisco. They’re nutters who believe that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon (and that all of the rest of us will roast in Hell after the Judgement). Therefore, the Republican reaction against the pope is more a result of their religious lunacy, not their politics (which is why Orthodox shouldn’t have anything to do with Evangelicals and their ilk).
Yes, the Righties are “religious”… but without any relation to Real Christianity, the Real Church, or the Real Christ (Jayzuss isn’t Jesus… do ponder that). Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity…. don’t forget WHO said that…