Is Pope Francis Uniting Political Adversaries?

The Washington Post’s online blog declares: Pope Francis—Time Magazine’s just-declared Person of the Year—is doing something no politician this side of the Atlantic can manage: He’s uniting political adversaries.

The Post is referring to the Pope’s recent condemnation of capitalism, free markets and private property, which he claims are unkind and unfair to the poor and the needy.

By Edgar Jiménez from Porto, Portugal (Papa rock star) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Actually, there’s no supernatural magic at work here. It’s entirely logical and consistent on the part of the Pope to stand arm-in-arm with both advocates of democratic socialism as well as their supposed conservative antagonists.

I can prove it. Pick out just about any Republican/conservative and ask him or her to say “true or false” to the following statements.

“Man’s most important and moral purpose in life is to serve others.” True or false?

“Selflessness is the definition of virtue; selfishness and self-interest are the very definition of vice.” True or false?

“Profit is good only when it helps the common good; profit is bad when done only to advance one’s own economic, or other, interests.” True or false?

Ask any supporter of Barack Obama’s policies these questions and you’ll certainly hear the reply, “True.”

But ask any supporter of conservatism the same questions, and you’ll almost certainly hear the same reply to each one: “True.’

My point? Pope Francis hasn’t united liberals and conservatives. They’re already united on the basic issue of morality. Political positions are simply moral positions made tangible.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds nearly seven in 10 Americans have a favorable impression of Pope Francis (69 percent), a sharp increase from attitudes toward his predecessor Pope Benedict’s 54 percent mark in February. A major part of this shift came from political liberals, who were least approving of Benedict but are now among Francis’ strongest supporters.

Of course they are.

The logical attitude for leftists to have towards the stridently anti-capitalist Pope is, “Welcome home, brother.” Or Father, if you prefer.

Leftists, unlike most conservatives, grasp that without a moral justification, capitalism cannot—and should not—survive. The Pope understands this too.

The moral foundation social democrats offer for anti-capitalism is the idea, “You are your brother’s keeper.” Do most conservatives or leftists really believe this, in an absolutely consistent way? Almost certainly not. Do most conservatives or leftists practice this in daily life? Certainly not.

Conservatives don’t challenge Obamaists on their most basic views about morality. In fact, they share those basic views. That’s why they look so inconsistent, weak and foolish when up against leftists in elections or in setting policy. That’s why they fixate on issues like homosexuality and abortion, issues not nearly as fundamental as “brother’s keeperism.” They cannot find anything else with which to disagree.

In order to defend capitalism—unhampered capitalism, not the tattered and fading remnants we know today—you’ve got to defend the right of the individual not to be his brother’s keeper.

Paraphrasing Ayn Rand, it’s not whether you give a bum a dime; it’s whether you’re entitled to live your life free of guilt even if you don’t give any bum a dime. (Or, adjusting for the Federal Reserve’s systematic devaluation of the currency: giving a bum a ten dollar bill.)

Obama thrives only on the errors and evasions of his conservative opponents, mere posers for “opposition.” If you claim to support free markets and capitalism, then you’ve got to defend the idea that an individual’s life is an end in itself. Just as your body is not the property of others, the intellectual and material results of your productive activity do not belong to anybody else, either.

Either you own the products of your efforts, or you don’t. Your body, your mind…it’s all yours. Not the state’s, and not the Church’s, either.

It’s rare to find anyone upholding this view. The Pope—not just this one, but any one of his predecessors—is the last person you’ll find upholding this view. He belongs with the social democrats who control the political and economic agenda in American society. Quite honestly, they deserve each other.

  • Winston Blake

    Tikkun Olam paganism and Judaic word fetishism are from linguists like Noam Chomsky over at MIT (Marxist Institute of Tautology) and uses the Talmud – not the Bible – as the blueprint…

    Judaic Mammonism (Baphomet) is just as much of a devil as Mahomet.

    The Dalai Lama pretends to speaks for Buddhists, like your also Pope pretends regency over the souls of men, while they both serve another seat built upon the Gihon spring.

    The false prophet ecclesiastics would have men believe that mediating or taking sides in the conflicts between devils is the path to Salvation.

  • writeby

    Religion, in any guise, must rely on converts; however, because religion relies on faith, rather than on reason, those converts many times must be conquered. Must be coerced. Must be forced–or frightened or shamed–into believing.

    And when two religions meet, there is no
    room for discussion, because no discussion can occur where the emotionalism of faith trumps the objectivity of reason.

    (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)
    If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.

    (Deuteronomy 13: 13)
    Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; 14Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; 15Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.


    Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 156
    If it can be proven that someone has given the money of Israelites to the Goyim, a way must be found after prudent consideration to wipe him off the face of the earth.

    Choshen Ha’mishpat 425:50
    Everyone who sheds the blood of the impious [non-Jews] is as acceptable to God as he who offers a sacrifice to God.


    (Quran 8:12)
    “I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”

    Quran (9:5)
    “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”



    The only reason that Christianity is no longer a conversion-by-conquest religion is because of _Summa Theologica_ (thanks to an Aristotelian Aquinas), its product, the Renaissance and the subsequent progression of human thought that became the Enlightenment. This centuries long advancement tempered the Christian religion, leaving it only to rely on fear or on guilt to proselytize (as the pope does here).

    Indeed, if Christians today actually *lived* their faith as was done in the Dark Ages, they’d all be living lives that would be nasty, brutish and short.