A New Odd Couple: Pope Francis and Jerry Brown

Pop Quiz: what does California governor Jerry Brown and Pope Francis have in common? No, it isn’t a trick question. “Nothing” is not the correct answer.

Just for the record, although Pope Francis is pictured on the left in the photo above, that isn’t Governor Moonbeam shown on the right. Recently, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (who knew such a thing existed?) held a three day workshop at the Vatican titled “Health of People, Health of Planet and Our Responsibility: Climate Change, Air Pollution, and Health”, a fact that inspires this very serious question…why?

Why on earth does Pope Francis seem far more concerned about the threat of climate change than say, radical Islamic terrorism? Shouldn’t we at least be as worried about the imminent threat of being murdered by a terrorist as we are about vague threats to the environment that may or may not come true over the next 100 years?

Pope Francis was quoted as saying this:

Some forms of pollution are part of people’s daily experience. Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor, and causes millions of premature deaths. People take sick, for example, from breathing high levels of smoke from fuels used in cooking or heating. There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in general. Technology, which, linked to business interests, is presented as the only way of solving these problems, in fact proves incapable of seeing the mysterious network of relations between things and so sometimes solves one problem only to create others.

Pope Francis and I apparently agree on the idea that we humans seem incapable of seeing the mysterious network of relations between things. However, that may be the only opinion we share in common on the subject of climate change, and what humanity should do about it. At any rate, I’m absolutely certain that we should not be listening to Jerry Brown for “expert” advice on the subject of global warming.

This story reminds me of the infamous hole in the ozone layer that scientists briefly used during the 1980s to cause a sense of panic in the general public, warning that the use of chloroflourocarbons created “acid rains” that were slowly destroying the atmosphere and enlarging the hole in the ozone layer, gradually making the Earth uninhabitable. Fast forward 30 years, and amazingly, the “irreparable” hole in the ozone layer has somehow healed itself, in spite of science’s best and most dire predictions, and is now (by some “miracle”) approximately the same size it was in 1988.

Included in the introduction to the materials for the Vatican’s climate change workshop was this interesting paragraph:

Climate change caused by fossil fuel burning leads to increased risks of extreme events such as heat waves, droughts, fires, severe storms, floods which in turn have major health effects. For example: a single heat wave event, which occurred in Europe in 2003, claimed 70000 lives; 250,000 excess deaths were attributed to droughts and famines during 2011-2012 in the horn of Africa. Tropical storm Haiyan claimed more than 7800 lives in the Philippines; heat waves in Pakistan and India lost at least 4000 people to the 2015 heat wave. While we cannot claim these extreme events were caused by anthropogenic climate changes, we know that the probability of exposure to extreme events is increasing significantly due to climate change. These extreme events affect the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.

Notice how the “experts” admit that their litany of natural disasters cannot be attributed to climate change in the paragraph where they desperately attempt to link those same natural disasters to climate change. Besides, whatever happened to the idea that science and the church are supposed to be non-overlapping magisteria?

And why is the abnormal fear of climate change now considered a tenet of Catholic faith?

This question has also probably occurred to the reader by now: what does Jerry Brown have to do with the Pope and climate change? It turns out that Brown was invited to speak at this Vatican “workshop” on climate change, where he said that addressing the problem of climate change will not only require science, but a “religious commitment.”

In my opinion, it was a mistake for Pope Francis to invite Jerry Brown to speak at his workshop on climate change, where Brown suggested that the world needed to be brainwashed into believing in climate change and then “something” (higher taxes) could be done to solve the problem (even though experts have also said that we’ve already passed the point of no return).

Spending trillions of dollars to lower the earth’s temperature by only a fraction of a single degree might not provide the best return on investment, in fact.

Personally (assuming I had any power or authority within the Catholic church) I would strongly be opposed to anyone evangelizing a message saying that people should be brainwashed so they might believe in something they don’t. Pope Francis and Jerry Brown appear to have formed some sort of a new “Odd Couple” but unfortunately, this new act doesn’t seem to be a comedy.

We can’t even tell which of the two is supposed to be Felix Unger.

 

Pope Francis Says Christians Cannot Personally Know Jesus

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must confess (pun intended) that I am not personally a Catholic, having grown up as “black sheep” Protestants in a large, extended Catholic family (we needed color-coded name tags at our last reunion). However, due to family relationships I am often sympathetic to the plight of Catholics. Besides, I also believe in angels and demons — a Catholic exorcist probably would be on my speed-dial, were I ever be convinced that I had literally encountered a demonic entity. I wouldn’t fool around or waste time with any rank amateurs in spiritual warfare.

When in doubt, trust the professionals.

However, in the year 1517, Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 theses protesting the corruption and sin within the Catholic church, under the official title “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”, for good reason — the church had become corrupt. Only the priests could read the Bible, because it was written in Latin. The congregation members were being taught that the church could literally sell them permission to sin, called “indulgences.”

The Catholic church lost a great deal of power as a result of the Protestant Reformation. In particular, the perception that the church served as an essential intermediary between God and humanity and the idea that the Pope was God’s messenger on Earth diminished quite a bit after Martin Luther translated the Bible from Latin into German so that anyone might be able to read it, not just a formally trained priest. It seems that old (and bad) habits die hard.

Pope Francis recently gave a speech in which he (assuming the translation is accurate) said this:

There are those who believe you can have a personal, direct, and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and meditation of the (Catholic) church. These temptations are dangerous and harmful.

Say what?

No offense meant to my Catholic friends and relatives, but that doesn’t sound very Christian of the Pope. In fact, it directly contradicts the Bible.

Naturally, as the leader of one of the world’s largest religions, Pope Francis is not immune to making controversial statements. Sometimes, we even agree, at least to some degree. For example, not long ago, Pope Francis said,

God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.

Fair enough. In my book Counterargument for God, I worded it differently and simply said that “Life cannot evolve until it exists.”  Meaning before evolution (which simply means “change”) becomes possible, the thing that changes must first be created.

Creationism is often portrayed by “intellectuals” in society as the inferior solution compared to the theory of evolution, but that simply isn’t true. Things do change over time, but only after God — or some quite remarkable (even unbelievable) good luck — could have created them.

The universe came to exist by accident, or it was created on purpose, with specific intent. There is not a logical third option.

But rather than quibbling with the Pope about the possibility that humans might have “evolved” from apes, the more fundamental question remains this: is it really dangerous and harmful to think that humans don’t need anyone or anything to intercede on their behalf in order to have a relationship with God? Conversely, Romans 10:9 tells us this:

If you declare with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

During his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus himself said:

Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

And Revelations 3:20 reads:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and them with me.

It seems to me that Pope Francis is clearly wrong to claim that a human being must belong to some church in order to have a close relationship with the risen Christ. However, as Alexander Pope so eloquently once wrote — “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”

All things considered, I think we should forgive Pope Francis for this (admittedly egregious) mistake. After all, he’s only human. Just like the rest of us.

Left’s Favorite Pope: It’s ‘Terrible’ for Children To Pick Own Gender




The Left is apparently upset to learn that Pope Francis — whom they’ve taking a liking to whenever he discusses climate change or taxes — suggested it’s “terrible” for children to be taught they can choose their gender.

Catholic Herald obtained the transcript of Pope Francis’ remarks on this very subject when addressing Polish bishops last week.



“Today, children are taught this at school: that everyone can choose their own sex. And why do they teach this? Because the books come from those people and institutions who give money,” he said. “God created man and woman; God created the world like this and we are doing the exact opposite.”

The Pope also suggested gender theory invites the exploitation of human beings and of the natural world, due to what is deemed a “lack of appreciation of humankind’s God-given dignity.”

He said, “It is a global problem: the exploitation of creation and the exploitation of people. We are living at a time when humankind as the image of God is being annihilated.”

Here’s how social media responded:

This is not the first time Pope Francis came out against gender theory. Back in October 2016, he made his position on the issue very clear.

We’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Francis may be a Jesuit with some lefty undertones, but there’s no way he’ll compromise on the Catholic Church’s moral teachings.

h/t Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson

Trump Dumps On Pope Francis For ‘Not Christian’ Remark

Pope Francis weighed in on the presidential race, and Trump wasted no time hitting back against the Pontiff.

Asked what he thought of Trump’s pledge, Francis said: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel.”

Not having heard Trump’s border plans independently, Francis said he’d “give the benefit of the doubt.” But he added: “I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that.”

Now we have an authoritative religious leader telling a billion Roman Catholics that Donald Trump is not a Christian, because he has without a doubt built his campaign on building a wall. I’ve written how Trump’s appeal is on a nativist, “Know-Nothing” platform, and Pope Francis correctly called him out for it.

Trump accused Pope Francis of being a pawn of the Mexican government–the same government he plans to have pay for his wall.

Trump immediately hit back. “If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy,” he said in a statement on his website, “I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.” He also suggested that the pope is a pawn of the Mexican government and said it’s “disgraceful” for “a religious leader to question a person’s faith.”

I don’t suppose Trump’s remarks will go over too well with Catholics, although many do support him. As for evangelicals like Jerry Falwell, Jr., who has endorsed Trump, it’s the pope who’s wrong.

https://twitter.com/Yair_Rosenberg/status/700380665708220416

It seems nothing hurts Trump, so the question is: will this?

Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight thinks there aren’t many swing voters left, and getting from his base to a plurality of 51 percent is problematic (I’ve written that he must veer left to get there). Alienating Catholics in northern states is probably not a wise move. But Trump has a tendency to do unwise things and get away with it.

Marco Rubio is a Roman Catholic but didn’t offer much to get between the Pontiff and Trump.

“Vatican City controls who comes in when they come in and how they come in as a city state, and as a result the united states has a right to do that as well,” he said.

Rubio, a Catholic, says he has “tremendous respect and admiration” for the Pope. He says, “There’s no nation on earth that’s more compassion on immigration than we are.”

Jeb Bush, another Catholic, refused to question Trump’s faith, but agreed that Pope Francis was out of order suggesting that a wall is “unchristian.”

The Modern Liberal Values Death Over Compassion

The same people who think it’s okay to lie about Obamacare because American voters are stupid believe that more abortion increases quality of life (for whom?), and now these fellow travelers have turned on the last bastion of compassion: Mother Teresa.

This is what happens when you unmoor morals from truths. With no “infinite reference point,” Mother Teresa becomes an evil to skeptics who believe their own self-consuming views of philosophy elevate pleasure above sacrifice to the the point where they believe in nothing at all.

G. K. Chesterton wrote that “Liberalism has been degraded into liberality”:

But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . .

As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . .

The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.

Slate recently republished a screed by the late Christopher Hitchens (which I won’t link here) against Mother Teresa, calling her beatification by Pope Francis “the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.”

Salon followed suit a few days ago, writing, “Her mission was not so much to alleviate suffering but to ensure it happened within a framework of religious belief. Indeed, by her own admission she was motivated by a desire to fulfill her own religious convictions rather than altruistic concern for the world’s poor.”

The Left has its own definition of altruism, apparently, because Webster defines it as an “unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others.”

This is where the Left is today: abortion is a right to kill without regard to the life being taken, and that’s considered “unselfish.” A woman who spent her entire life in prayer, genuine concern, and daily sharing of others suffering is considered to be a fraud because she didn’t do enough to bring modern medical care to the 517 missions in 133 countries the Missionaries of Charity operated.

The modern liberal values death more than compassion.

Barack Obama: Enemy of Christianity

Oh I’m sure some people are going to be outraged at me by saying that. Except it was not me. It was all but said by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk to the participants at the Synod on the Family in the Vatican.

Metropolitan Hilarion is from the Russian Orthodox Church and addressed the assembled clerics at the synod. In his address, he included this bit:

The authorities of some European countries and America, in spite of numerous protests, including those by Catholics, continue to advocate policies aimed at the destruction of the very concept of the family. They not only on the legislative level equate of the status of the same-sex unions to that of marriage but also criminally persecute those who out of their Christian convictions refuse to register such unions. Immediately after the departure of Pope Francis from the USA, President Barack Obama openly declared that gay rights are more important than religious freedom. This clearly testifies to the intention of the secular authorities to continue their assault on those healthy forces in society which defend traditional family values.

You can deny the implication all you want and you will be wrong. But before you decide this is just Russian propaganda, consider his overall message. He actually called on the Catholic Church to be as Catholic in their doctrine as possible to uphold the family.

That wasn’t Russian propaganda. It was a strongly orthodox . . . well . . . Orthodox priest calling out the President of the United States for telling Pope Francis to his face that the President values religious freedom only to openly decare “that gay rights are more important than religious freedom” after the Pope left U.S. airspace.

The Stupidest Thing Ever Written About Pope Francis and Kim Davis

Gabriel Malor is a Republican gay rights activist who spends about as much time on twitter advocating for Republicans as he does trying to convince the world that his favorite sin is no sin at all. Thus we arrive at Malor’s take on Pope Francis having a private meeting with Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.

Just read this:

Yes, it is terrible that the Pope meeting with Kim Davis gives her legitimacy instead of realizing that the Pope does pray with liars and murderers.

I mean, doesn’t the Pope even know that Kim Davis publicly said gay marriage was a plan from the devil “who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Doesn’t the Pope know that after he met with Kim Davis she told ABC News (!!!) that government employees are humans and “conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right.” She even emphasized that “government employees had the ‘human right’ to say they cannot discharge duties that they believe go against their conscience.”

Did Pope Francis not know what sort of person he was dealing with?

Oh wait . . . it was Pope Francis who said gay marriage was of the devil. And it was Pope Francis who, after meeting with Kim Davis said “government employees had the ‘human right’ to say they cannot discharge duties that they believe go against their conscience.”

So that must just be why the Pope will meet with just about anybody privately at the Vatican Embassy in Washington when those random strangers fly up from Kentucky and demand to speak with him.

Who knew it was that easy to meet the Pope. At least we know that Gabriel Malor thinks a Christian who takes a principled stand is not a good person, but akin to a murderer and liar.

Barack Obama Lies to the Pope’s Face

I’m writing a book on this right now and it is very clear that Barack Obama flat out lied in the Pope’s face today.

Listen to a part of what Barack Obama said to Pope Francis about religious liberty.

In fact, the President and his administration have been deeply, deeply hostile to Christians in the United States.

Remember, just a few years ago, the Obama Administration took a position to the left of the American Civil Liberties Union arguing that there was no ministerial exception in the First Amendment. The case involved a Lutheran denomination that sought to define the role of its ministers. The President’s team argued that there is a freedom of worship, which was actually not nearly as expansive as a freedom of religion. The Supreme Court in a 9 to 0 decision disagreed.

In the Hobby Lobby case, the President’s team argued that Christians cannot set up businesses, outside of religious, charitable non-profits, and see their faith conducted through their business. They wanted to force Hobby Lobby to pay for drugs that can induce abortions.

In the United States Supreme Court, the President’s own Solicitor General argued that churches may see their tax exempt status revoked if they do not perform gay marriages.

Time and time again, the President and the political left have targeted Christians who are trying to live their faith out in public through their businesses and lives. There’s been an increased harassement in this country of religious schools and programs, Catholic adoption agencies and hospitals, and individual Christians on college campuses.

In not a single one of these cases has President Obama stood with the Christians.

He lied to Pope Francis’s face.