Whom will you follow? Whom will you listen to — the red-cheeked fat man on the left or the kindly-looking ascetic wearing the pope hat on the right?
Since his choosing in March of this year, Pope Francis has become somewhat of a spiritual rock star, charming Catholics and non-Catholics alike – many of them, anyway — with his statements and actions of welcome and his tolerance for others – malingerers, thieves, homeless, hard-working, and moral lepers, demonstrating inclusive and non-judging ways for all. Not as much for the rich, though.
Conservatives describe him as revolutionary, in his welcome of gays, the poor, the homeless — those considered wayward or lacking in importance. He speaks of social and economic justice, the divisions between rich and poor. Wait! That sounds like what Jesus taught us – you know, to be Christians. Are conservatives who torment the poor mocking Biblical words: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy?” Or have they not read Matthew 19:24, “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?”
Why don’t you hear those words of tolerance coming out of the mouths of radicals in the Republican Party or from puffed up heads like Rush Limbaugh. Contrarily they spend their time demonizing the poor and praising rich capitalists, deifying them as Ayn Randian makers – sort of economic gods – idolatry, perhaps?
In fact the like-sounding windbags in Congress who call themselves Republicans – and mostly Christians — voted down extensions of unemployment compensation, now set to cut off 1.3 million recipients three days after Christmas. It sounds pretty Grinchien to me – an adroit mockery of Christian principles? But on economic stimulus levels, not to speak of human investment, it sounds quite stupid as well.
Though considering himself a Christian, Rand Paul voted against unemployment extensions out of economic charity for the unemployed, so he said. Extending unemployment would be “doing them a disservice,” he said haughtily. In the same hypocritical breath, he still speaks for some “farm support” welfare for rich farmers, including quite a number who serve in Congress. Meanwhile, he wants a 40% cut in food stamps.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis criticizes “unfettered capitalism.” As an Argentine, he came from the working class poor and was always an advocate for the poor. His values draw principle from a grandmother who taught that hard work matters. In Buenos Aires, he worked as a chemical technician, even as a night club bouncer. As Pope, he spent his most recent birthday with three homeless Romans and their dog. Earlier this month, he washed the feet of inmates and women. No Pope ever washed the feet of women.
On the other side of moral midnight is Rush Limbaugh. His Mammon millions depends on sputum spite and spurted vitriol, a caustic mixture shared by an audience of some 15 million. “Somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope. No unfettered capitalism. It doesn’t exist anymore.” Shunning the same forgiveness for others he was shown for his own illicit drug use, Limbaugh rails against liberals of all stripes and needs: women, the poor, the unemployed, and those he might call malingerers. His unschooled perceptions speak only sophomoric generalities, filled with stereotypes, sarcasm and venom.
Limbaugh’s views appear to come from a self-serving life of privilege, seemingly a plenary of pimp, and demagoguery measured in rancor and rant — a rant meant to sustain a “ditto-head” following.
By all measures, Pope Francis was called to serve others, including an ideal of real Christian faith and hope.
A prejudiced assessment? Perhaps. But, measure the evidence, and you be the judge.
Courtesy of Daily Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/20/1263810/-Jesus-Rebranded??detail=email#
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