“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, September 25, 2015

GOP Christianists have no chance against an honest Christian like Pope Francis - It reveals them to be the hypocrites and frauds that they are.

5 amazing ways Pope Francis made Republicans squirm yesterday 

In his speech to Congress, the pope made one thing very clear: Republicans aren't acting very Christian 

5 amazing ways Pope Francis made Republicans squirm yesterday(Credit: AP/Alessandra Tarantino)
Despite all the talk that Pope Francis’ address to Congress wouldn’t be political or partisan, it turns out it was both. And, as I predicted here in Salon, it definitely leaned to one side of the aisle. In fact, if you were a conservative Republican, Thursday morning in the Congress was not your finest moment, as Pope Francis laid bare all the ways that the Republican agenda counters Catholic social teaching, from its harsh treatment of immigrants to its fossil fuel-burning disdain for the natural world.
And Francis’ call for politicians to work for the common good was an implicit rebuke to the do-nothing, obstructionist GOP agenda that’s in service to their corporatist, Chamber of Commerce overlords. “Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. …You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics,” he said.
Here are the five key moments in Francis’ speech that made conservatives squirm more than any others:
The shout-out to Dorothy Day. Francis commended four Americans in particular, whom he held up as examples of pursuing the common good: Abraham Lincoln, for his pursuit of liberty; Martin Luther King Jr., for his commitment to nonviolence and pluralism; Trappist monk Thomas Merton, for his commitment to dialogue and peace; and Dorothy Day, for her “social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed.”
None of them are exactly conservative, but Day in particular is noted as a radical social activist. She founded the Catholic Worker Movement, which took root during the Great Depression, and urged Catholics to form small, autonomous communities to lead simple lives devoted to the gospel and serving the poor. In addition to being a socialist, Day was outspoken in her support of pacifism and labor rights. “I think it was extraordinary that he cited her as one of the most important people in recent American history. This would be one of the very, very few times that somebody as radical as Dorothy Day was mentioned,” Sen. Bernie Sander told the Washington Post.
The abortion switcheroo. In defiance of the specific guidance not to try to score political points by clapping at partisan applause lines in Francis’ speech, congressional conservatives leapt to their feet the moment Francis delivered the Vatican’s standard coded language about abortion, mentioning “our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.” Imagine their shock when he immediately followed that with, “This conviction had led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty.” Psych.
Catholic social teaching has long put opposition to the death penalty on the same plane as opposition to abortion, most famously with Chicago Archbishop Joseph Bernardin’s “seamless garment” doctrine, which held sway in the mid-1980s as progressive bishops reminded Catholics that opposition to the death penalty and nuclear war was just as important as abortion
Calling arms deals “money drenched in blood.” Speaking of death, what about all those arms deals the Republicans are so fond of? Francis wanted to know who is selling the bad guys all these weapons and why: “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?” The answer, according to the pontiff, is “money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.” I’m sure the GOP and all the defense contractors who give them money will get right on that.
Reminding the GOP we’re all foreigners. As in his speech at the White House on Tuesday, Francis felt the need to once again remind those who are making intolerance toward immigrants their political stock-in-trade that they, like him, are likely the descendants of immigrant families. “[M]illions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom,” he said, adding, “We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants.”
Catholic social teaching reminds Catholics of their duty to “welcome the stranger.”
In one of the most moving passages of his speech, Francis said, “Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.”
Confronting the climate naysayers. Francis made it clear that combating climate change, development and technology can coexist. He explicitly rebuked many conservative critics of his climate change encyclical “Laudato si,” who claim that he is anti-commerce and wants to stifle development or reduce the world to subsistence-level farming to stop climate change. “The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable,” he said, adding, “In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.”
On the plus for conservatives side, Francis did talk about the need for “the voice of faith to continue to be heard,” but in the case of this particular voice, conservatives probably wish he would just be quiet.
Patricia Miller is the author of “Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church.” Her work on politics, sex and religion has appeared in the Atlantic, the Nation, Huffington Post, and Ms. Magazine. 


  1. Ah Deuce now is a fan of the Pope..

    Tell me Deuce, do you support his idea that we are all foreigners?

    Francis felt the need to once again remind those who are making intolerance toward immigrants their political stock-in-trade that they, like him, are likely the descendants of immigrant families. “[M]illions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom,” he said, adding, “We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants.”

    Even you?

    One standard for all?

    1. :):)

      Yup, he's returning to the faith.

      This Pope is a fraud, charlatan, hypocrite and fool. JPII was the last good one.

      Here's a Hungarian Bishop that actually knows something ------

      Hungarian bishop: Pope wrong in appealing for aid to sea of refugees; this is actually a Muslim invasion of Europe

      September 23, 2015 6:14 pm By Robert Spencer 91 Comments

      Khaled Diab, call your office. Actually, “Believe me, don’t believe your lying eyes” types like Diab have their work cut out for them: despite their best efforts, reality becomes every day more difficult to ignore.

      In any case, if Laszlo Kiss-Rego were a bishop in the United States, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (led by the likes of Robert McManus, Kevin Farrell and Jaime Soto) would no doubt drum him out of their corrupt little fraternity for harming the “dialogue” — the all-important Muslim-Christian dialogue that hasn’t saved a single Christian from Muslim persecution, or turned one jihadi into a peaceful man, but has abandoned untold numbers of Christians to their fate at the hands of those jihadis, abandoned by those who should have been appealing to the conscience of the global community on their behalf.

      After years of crisis revolving around dissent from Church teachings, the Catholic Church is like a Stalinist regime on certain matters, including the unshakable dogma that Islam is a religion of peace: those who dissent from that one, even though it has nothing to do with actual Church doctrine, are shunned and ostracized, with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops doing everything it can to silence them. The Roman Catholic Church in practice worships the Pope, and so now the loyalists are all Leftist multiculturalists because the Pope is a Leftist multiculturalist. If the next Pope starts talking like Geert Wilders, they’ll all start doing that. Church leadership today is made up of unprincipled half-men, men who crave to be dominated, men who cannot make a move unless a strong man is issuing orders for them. And if it is a weak man who is issuing their orders, as is the case today, then they will all be duly weak. No man should ever give away his moral compass to another. But that is pandemic in the Church today.

      Laszlo Kiss-Rego

      “Pope Francis is wrong in appealing for aid to sea of refugees; this is actually a Muslim invasion of Europe, says Hungarian bishop,” by Andre Mitchell, Christian Today, September 8, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

    2. Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, received on Monday an extraordinary rebuff from the top Catholic leader in southern Hungary, Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, who said the pontiff was wrong in saying that Catholics had a moral duty to help the hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern refugees streaming into Europe.

      “They’re not refugees. This is an invasion,” said Kiss-Rigo. “They come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They want to take over.”

      Europe is being overwhelmed by non-believers posing as refugees who pose a serious threat to the continent’s “Christian, universal values,” he said.

      The bishop is not alone in his doubts and fears on the wave of Arabic-speaking foreigners crossing into European borders. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban also sees the flow of migrants as a threat to predominantly Christian Europe.

      At the risk of drawing global scorn, Orban has taken steps to try and halt the exodus of refugees mostly coming from Syria. He has restricted the flow of refugees, even throwing some of them into prison.

      “I’m in total agreement with the prime minister,” Kiss-Rigo said in an interview by the Washington Post on Monday.

      The bishop said the many of the so-called refugees do not deserve assistance because they “have money.”

      They leave garbage along their path and refuse the food offered them by humanitarian workers, said Kiss-Rigo, who has been serving for nine years as bishop for southern Hungary, a region where some 800,000 Catholics live.

      “Most of them behave in a way that is very arrogant and cynical,” he said.

      Kiss-Rigo said Pope Francis is greatly misinformed about what is really happening. He “doesn’t know the situation,” he said.

      Earlier, the pope spoke before pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square, appealing to parishes, convents and monasteries across Europe to be “neighbours” to the refugees.

      “Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing death by war and by hunger, and who are on a path toward a hope for life, the Gospel calls us to be neighbours to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope,” Pope Francis said.

      “It’s not enough to say ‘Have courage, hang in there’,” he added….

    3. Well if Deuce thinks that its ok for millions and millions of moslems to settle in the west?

      then Jews should be encouraged to settle in Israel, in fact anywhere in the middle east.

      Why not?

      Unless you are a bigot?

  2. The Catholic Church is dying in Europe. Has been for a long long actually started dying at the time of the building of those first beautiful cathedrals, centuries in the USA the mainline Protestant churches are all but dead.....the only growth in the salvation industry bidness is coming from the independents protestant start up churches......there are a lot of those around.....the mainline Protestant Churches got into the politics business, instead of the salvation business, same as the Catholic Church is doing now......

    Quirk ought to start a church.....what with his advertising, promotional and organizational skills he too could be riding in a chauffeured limo in short order...

  3. Meanwhile, as this idiot Pope is making a world class fool of himself, and making fools out of others, too, a couple of them contributors right here, in the actual middle east the Christians are dying out.....being killed off by his pals the moslems.....the Jews had to leave long long ago, finding refuge Israel.....

  4. It's an odd day when a non-Christian like myself expresses more concern for the dying Christians - dying simply because they are Christians, at the hands of the moslems, in the middle east than the old Catholic cohort here....

    We ought to be taking in persecuted Christians rather than any moslems......the Christians would assimilate....

  5. Why Arab Muslims refuse Arab Muslim ‘refugees’

    September 24, 2015 2:06 pm By Raymond Ibrahim 39 Comments

    While the West goes out of its way to accommodate Muslim migrants — still called “refugees” though most are not even from war torn Syria and some are Islamic State jihadis — an Arab Muslim from Kuwait recently explained why his nation refuses to take any.

    Fahd al-Shalami -picture

    According to Kuwait’s Fahd al-Shalami, Chairman of the Gulf Forum for Peace and Security, Kuwait refuses to take Arab/Muslim refugees because, “In the end, you cannot accept other people — from a different background, from another place, who have psychological or neurological problems, or trauma — and just bring them into your society.”

    Such are the words of an Arab Muslim concerning fellow Arab Muslims — the same ones the West is eager to accommodate.

    Imagine the more commonsensical reasons Shalami could’ve given if Kuwait were not Islamic, and those trying to enter it were screaming Islamic supremacist slogans — as they do in the West?

  6. Here's how bad it's gotten, how bad this Pope really is -

    September 25, 2015
    Guess whose name Pope Francis didn't drop during his Congressional speech?
    By Keith Edwards

    In his speech to Congress yesterday Pope Francis mentioned many people by name. He mentioned President Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Pope Benedict XV, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton and several other prominent historical figures. He spoke of their great achievements and sacrifices, and how they served to inspire many by their good works.

    But strangely enough, the one name Pope Francis failed to mention in his speech was Jesus Christ.

    It seems quite shocking that a man who is touted by millions of Catholics as being the “Vicar of Christ,” would have at least given a simple shout-out to the very foundation of the Catholic Church - the one and only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

    It seems that Pope Francis decided to ignore the “great commission” Jesus gave to his Apostles in the Gospel of Matthew and chose instead to take the opportunity to speak to millions of Americans about political and environmental issues rather than the one thing that actually makes him Pope - the saving grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

    If Pope Francis is the “traditional successor” of the Apostle Peter, then according to Peter’s teachings, he should be more concerned with spreading the gospel and less concerned with worldly issues of politics and the environment.

    It is obvious that Saint Peter didn’t have any specific concerns with “every human institution.” By his own words, Peter indicates that Christians should not only “submit” to “every human institution,” but also understand that those institutions exist solely by the “will of God” as agents for the “punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”

    The simple fact of the matter is that neither the Apostle Peter, Jesus, nor any of the other Apostles ever gave much attention in their teachings to “human institutions.”

    Jesus made it perfectly clear that the main focus of each and every Apostle should always be on the great commission that he gave them - to spread the Gospel to all nations and make as many disciples as they could.

    By the traditions of the Catholic Church, the Pope is assigned Apostle status; and as such, is obligated to attend to spiritual matters as a direct command of Jesus Christ.

    Sadly, by setting aside his divine directive to spread the gospel, and choosing instead to address political issues, Pope Francis missed a great opportunity to tell the story of the man with the name above all names - Jesus Christ.

    Nothing.....nothing but a bunch of brain dead political horse wonder the pews are emptying.....

  7. Good News !

    WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner will resign from Congress and give up his House seat at the end of October, according to aides in his office.

    Mr. Boehner was under extreme pressure from the right wing of his conference over whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood in a bill to keep the government open.

    Now if Mitch McConnell can just be gotten rid of....

  8. Organized "Religion" would be illegal in any truly civilized society.

    1. heh - didn't they try that already in China and the Soviet Union?

  9. Another place you won't see the words "Jesus Christ" - The U.S. Constitution.