Category Archives: Religion

Pope and President


The president met the pope last week. Obama came bearing a gift box of seeds from Michelle’s garden. He hoped that some of Francis’s popularity, if not infallibility, might grow on him.

The pope gave the president a copy of Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel). The 223 page document is Francis’s first papal publication. The pope comes down hard on trickle-down economics in one part of his writing.

President’s Favorite Pope Parts

That part might be Obama’s favorite. This other part, maybe not so much (No, I haven’t read it. I got this from  David Weigle in Slate):

Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual.”

Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

Little Sisters of the Poor

140128-little-sisters-poor-cartoonThe Little Sisters of the Poor won a skirmish against Big Gov. The Supreme Court issued an injunction that excused the nuns from filling out a form directing others to provide contraceptives to their employees.



Odd Duck at Gay Wedding

131219 -odd-duck-dynasty-cartoon

Sometimes tolerance isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to bake a cake.

That’s what a Denver judge told the owner of a bakery who declined to make a cake for a gay wedding. The baker’s argument that same sex marriage violates his religious beliefs wasn’t good enough for the judge.

Odd Duck

A&E didn’t order Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson to bake a cake when he professed similar religious beliefs. The network suspended him indefinitely.

Jonah Goldberg notes that Duck Dynasty is a redneck reality show. Why wouldn’t Phil Robertson (even though he has a masters degree) be expected to have redneck attitudes?

“Duck Dynasty” has been a huge ratings success, receiving fawning coverage from the elite media. Much of the coverage has also been incredibly condescending, like aristocrats in Victorian London having a grand time inviting a Zulu tribesman to dinner. Everyone says, “Look at the funny rednecks,” until Robertson says something that you would absolutely expect to hear from a guy who plays a redneck on TV.

Camille Paglia calls “this is level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist”.

Which brings me back to Jonah Goldberg and his excellent book “Liberal Fascism“.




131207-mandela-moral-authority-popeI heard Vatican analyst John Allen suggest that world moral authority would pass from Nelson Mandela to Pope Francis. If you like your moral authority you can keep your moral authority…

Interesting to consider that two of the world’s most humble guys would also be the most popular.

Humility does have it’s limits, though. While he pope ditched the red shoes, Mandela wore cool shirts to the end

The Pope is not a Supply Sider


I learned more about Pope Francis yesterday. He is not a supply sider, but he used to be a bar bouncer.

His latest message, “The Joy of the Gospel” or “Evangelii Gaudium”, if you prefer dead languages, has created a stir. It’s about 80 pages long and I haven’t read it. Ok, I admit I haven’t read the Affordable Health Care Act either.

But I have read about it. It seems to be mostly about – the Gospel. The pope wants the church to get its hands and feet dirty spreading the good news.

Pope Not a Supply Sider

He’s also doesn’t like poverty and inequality and he’s skeptical of the free market. The president feels the same but that gave us ObamaCare.

If you would like to actually read Evangelii Gaudium, in English, here it is. Or if you just want to read about it, you might like to go here, here, or here.