Quotes of the day

posted at 8:01 pm on November 28, 2013 by Allahpundit

The pope’s words are ones that so far have been on the margins of the political debate. Many liberals here and abroad have challenged the wisdom of cutting taxes on the wealthy and shredding the social safety net, but few have condemned the prevailing economic orthodoxy of the last 30 years in such clear, moral tones.

Will our politics attempt to wrestle with the failure of our economic system to foster greater equality and opportunity? I believe it will; high unemployment, particularly among the young, and falling real wages are creating political disaffection and pressure unprecedented in my lifetime.

The pope’s words may prove prophetic; at the very least, he has put the emerging moral and political issue of our time on our table this Thanksgiving weekend.

***

Francis is a pope of surprises, a plainspoken, warm-hearted shepherd who has a habit of afflicting the comfortable even as he comforts the afflicted. In his wide-ranging apostolic exhortation this week, he pulls no punches, calling committed Catholics and nonbelievers alike to a searching examination of conscience…

The pope is pointed in his criticism of the tendency among Christians to take one aspect of the Gospel and run with it, to the exclusion of all others. Catholics who embrace the church’s social justice advocacy but evince embarrassment about the living faith that animates that advocacy come in for critique. So, too, do Catholics who embrace the moral teachings and liturgical traditions but ignore the needs of the poor and wind up trapped in “a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others.”

***

The truth is that Jesus’ teachings were so revolutionary that were he to preach today what he preached 2,000 years ago, many of the same preachers and politicians who claim to promote his values would be the first to call for him to be silenced.

Jesus did not preach income equality between the rich and the poor. He preached the complete reversal of the social order, wherein the rich and the poor would switch places…

While modern Christianity has tried to spiritualize this message of Jesus, transforming his revolutionary social teachings into abstract ethical principles, it is impossible to overlook the unflinching condemnation of the wealthy and powerful that permeate Jesus’ teachings…

Yet if these “culture warriors” who so often claim to speak for Jesus actually understood what Jesus stood for, they would not be so eager to claim his ideas for their own. In fact, they’d probably call him a Marxist.

***

The pope’s litany for action bears a compelling resemblance to the policy proposals of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other progressive populists in the House, Senate and state houses and their counterparts in Europe and throughout the world.

Francis profoundly prays: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor!”

The statements by the pope offer a compelling indictment of the economic philosophy and policies of most Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party advocates and laissez-faire libertarians, who champion the wholesale dominance of the unbridled capitalism that the pope condemns.

***

If, however, Francis pursues his attack on the “new tyranny” of unfettered capitalism, he will need to draw upon and renew a deeper well of teaching about political economy — the 122-year tradition of modern Catholic social thought, in which the key figure is a more worldly thinker, Pope Leo XIII.

In the 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, Leo XIII pioneered the Catholic tradition of protesting that under capitalism “a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.” According to Leo, the capitalist system was defined by “the callousness of employers and the greed of unrestrained competition,” including its drive to leave workers “isolated and defenseless.” The existing capitalist system was morally repugnant because it released individuals from their moral and social obligations. Socialism, on the other hand, was an overreaction to capitalism that violated the spiritual nature and rights of individuals. Leo pleaded that there had to be a decent alternative to predatory economics and collectivist economics.

More than a century later, we are still in the early stages of discerning what that would be.

***

The late Pope John Paul II argued that the church’s attitude towards capitalism was all down to how it was practised.

“Although decisively condemning ‘socialism,’ the Church, since Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, has always distanced itself from capitalistic ideology, holding it responsible for grave social injustices,” he said in 1993.

“(The church) recognizes the positive value of the market and of enterprise, but…at the same time points out that these need to be oriented toward the common good.”

In essence, no to Gordon Gekko, yes to Bill Gates…

“With Pope Francis, what we see is someone who lived in Argentina all his life, lived through a financial crisis and experienced what happens when markets make a country go under. He’s a non-Westerner reminding the West of what happens when markets go wrong,” Abigail Frymann, online editor of Catholic newspaper The Tablet, told CNBC.

***

Pope Francis doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. So there is no need for him today to thank capitalism, a system that has done far more to alleviate poverty, his pet crusade, than the institution he leads. But he should take a pause from railing against it — not least because it enables the very activity that he cherishes most: charity

Capitalism puts more discretionary income in the pockets of people to devote to charitable pursuits. It is hardly a coincidence that America donates over $300 billion annually toward charitable causes at home and abroad, the highest of any country on a per capita basis.

The church itself is a big beneficiary of this capitalist largesse, with its U.S. wing alone contributing 60 percent to its overall global wealth. Some of this money comes from donations, but a big chunk comes, actually, from directly partaking in capitalism: The church is reportedly the largest landowner in Manhattan, the financial center of the global capitalism system, whose income puts undisclosed sums into its coffers.

So the new pope needs to be careful not to bite the hand that feeds his institution and its work. Otherwise, neither he nor the poor in whose name he is speaking will have much to be thankful for.

***

Conservatives — whether churchgoers or not — are not utopians, They understand market economies will never turn the world temporal into Paradise (while at the same time realizing that command-and-control economies have frequently produced a kind of hell on earth). Conservatives value the “safety net” to help those whom the pope calls the “excluded.” But conservatives also want to reform the safety net so more resources are devoted to raising the living standards of the truly needy rather than subsidizing the rich, moving the jobless toward work and self sufficiency, and increasing social mobility and equality of opportunity…

Conservatives embrace markets because they support a free society — but also because market economies produce the sort of prosperity that enables true human flourishing, one where we can better define our future as we see fit and achieve success on the basis of merit and hard work. After all, it was innovative capitalism — something the pope surely understands even if actual anti-capitalists don’t — that raised the average real income of the West over the past two centuries from $3 a day to $140. That might not qualify as a miracle, but it is surely a wonder — one that has given us lots better stuff and lots more opportunity to lead lives of deep fulfillment.

And progressives are kidding themselves if they think the pope was somehow embracing an Elizabethian (Warren) agenda of sky-high tax rates and an endlessly expanding welfare state. (Indeed, the pope denounced “a simple welfare mentality.”) How cramped an interpretation. Pope Francis’s vision transcends such parochial concerns. He is a global figure looking at crony capitalism in South America, massive youth unemployment in big government Europe, tremendous wealth disparities in state capitalist Asia, and deep poverty in Africa.

***

Conservatives clearly must defend free markets against the fatal conceit that big government knows best — that collectivism and redistribution are somehow more moral alternatives. History proves they are not.

But in the process of defending capitalism, we must also avoid even the appearance of a “greed is good” mentality — both in our hearts and in our rhetoric.

This begins at home. Just as we have a corporate responsibility, as individuals we must strive to be generous and compassionate. And while I don’t want to blame the victim, but the truth is that some of the liberal overreach has been invited by conservative people of faith who haven’t always acted according to their values.

***

Via the Daily Rushbo.


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Good morning, Patriots! And, Trolls.
My take: Black Friday 2013: American Economic Freedom in Action

kingsjester on November 29, 2013 at 9:31 AM

This is a good piece that weighs in on the limitations of Pope Francis’s observations.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/365100/problem-selfishness-kevin-d-williamson

It is unbridled power of the state combined with its greed that is the root of injustice.

Francis’s background in Argentina hardly makes him an unbiased observer. The Perons destroyed a productive country, reducing its people to debased poverty. World history is replete with power-hungry statists who have seized the wealth of their countryment and self-righteously set themselves up as the arbiters of “justice.”

Europeans are in fact heavily taxed. A portion of that taxation supports the churches there. They are not dependent on the moneys from their congregants. Charity designated for poverty and disaster relief comes wholly from that taxation, too. This system is unlike that of the United States, where some relief comes from taxation coffers but a huge amount comes from the charity of individuals.

Pope Francis’s error is that he has expounded on an issue in a one-size-fits all solution that actually takes away the obligation of charity from the individual and places trust in potentially corrupt state leadership.

onlineanalyst on November 29, 2013 at 9:31 AM

was quoting Father Z’s commentary. He’s a conservative and runs an interesting blog.

There’s a lot of discussion on catholic forums in the blogs and in the comment threads…Some of these are written by priests and nuns and some by catholic laity.

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 1:20 AM

I’m not sure that “Father” Z isn’t actually Sacha Baron Cohen and this isn’t some sort of long running parody of the priesthood. He certainly makes all real priests look bad. I’ve known bad priests in my life, but I’ve not known any who seem to actually not have a job in a ministry and spend most of their time eating and traveling abroad. He has been getting more and more unhinged about Pope Francis (the snide little Bergoglio class remark for instance), but his latest whining and spinning about EG takes the cake. Yes, “derrame” means trickle down; the original Spanish was in quotes. And yes Francis was probably smacking Western countries upside the head with the remark. Yes, Francis is a Peronist; google Bergoglio and Peronista and see what comes up (most in Spanish). Bergoglio was a teenager from a working class immigrant family when Peron was at the height of his power, so he probably was very much personally affected by Peron’s style of politics. And how condescending is it to state that someone else wrote the section on economics for Francis. No doubt people edited it for him, but it is very much his work. The economics section reflects every speech he has made about economics since his election.

It’s a mess of a document.

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Really? It is long, but very, very readable. It is the first time that I’ve understood anything that has come out of a pope’s mouth.

Illinidiva on November 29, 2013 at 9:39 AM

What is the source of your statement that Jesus’s teachings were revolutionary? And specifically what are you talking about. He lived his life as an orthodox Rabbi, and if you notice today there are lots of orthodox rabbis and other rabbis that disagree with each other.

georgealbert on November 29, 2013 at 9:55 AM

That was a royal smack down. I humbly bow in apology. You knew what you were talking about. I, on the other hand, merely read an article, zealously posted a link and made a wild accusation.

So are you an artist? Post a link of your work. I’d like to look at it.

JellyToast on November 29, 2013 at 9:10 AM

I think lost of Catholics don’t know quite what to make of this new Pope…so you’re not alone in criticism even among Catholics.

It’s all good

: )

Yeah I’m an artist and mostly I do commissions for the wealthy for a living…Beauty can soothe the heart and mind. I like collaborating with the designers because I can bring their ideas to life and the clients because it allows them participate creatively. I especially enjoy getting paid for my efforts. Working on a job in Colorado for some very nice people and so far they’ve been very pleased.

Some artists are pretty good at collaboration and some of us unfortunately don’t have the temperment or the discipline to be very successful at it. It helps if the artist appreciates the buyer and unfortunately many artists I’ve encountered have a chip on their shoulders & an inflated ego…Y’know Diva types.

But that’s just my opinion and those types should stick to studio work.

Wish I could but I don’t have a website and most of my work is based on referral…But thanks for asking.

My father and I are discussing the design for a Stations of the Cross (He’s 80 and a carpenter) and some Icons/Devotionals etc. and If this happens then I’ll build a website and I’ll post a link to it.

: )

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Francis’s background in Argentina hardly makes him an unbiased observer. The Perons destroyed a productive country, reducing its people to debased poverty. World history is replete with power-hungry statists who have seized the wealth of their countryment and self-righteously set themselves up as the arbiters of “justice.”

Peron is viewed much differently in Argentina than in America. I think that the West can abhor Peron’s fascist tactics and supposedly close ties with European fascists, but the elite in Argentina who controlled the wealth weren’t sharing it with the broader society. Argentina was a very wealthy country, but there was a large gap between the haves and the have nots. There is still a huge gap in Argentine society. There are polo clubs and tony salons to have afternoon high tea and there are the “villas” where Bergoglio spent most of his time right nearby. Right after Bergoglio’s election, I remember that American journalists wanting to go into Villa 21 to interview some of the residents had to be accompanied by Argentine troops it was so violent there. If they don’t want populist demagogues like Peron to win elections, the elites in Latin America and elsewhere in the Global South need to create a basic social net, end corruption, and actually care about their fellow countrymen.

Illinidiva on November 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM

It’s a mess of a document.

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Really? It is long, but very, very readable. It is the first time that I’ve understood anything that has come out of a pope’s mouth.

Illinidiva on November 29, 2013 at 9:39 AM

There are some passages which contradict each other in the same chapter…and other passages which are vague…

There may also be some translation issues?

There’s currently a lot of discussion on Catholic blogs over whether Pope Francis meant Spillover or Trickle Down due to the translation?

*shrug*

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM

The Pope being a Jesuit should be focused on educating the poor, not worrying if they have the latest technological conveniences. True poverty in undeveloped nations has no cure without education.
And that can only happen when the socialists and communists get out of the way.
The proof of failure of failure with the Pope’s reasoning can be found in the staggering trillions of dollars that have flowed downward to the ” excluded” over the last 50 years.
The answer is in education, and the freedom to educate.

FlaMurph on November 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM

I exhort you to generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favours human beings.

Section 58.

The more I read of this, Conservatives can definitely work with this guy. From our perspective it seems like he uses the language of the left. But he’s really using traditional Catholic language, which the left likes to hijack in the furtherance of its causes. The Church is always going to be concerned with the poor, but it doesn’t use them as a means to power like the left does. It actually believes in service to and being the shield of the poor.
There are problems. Its obvious Pope Francis does not understand our economics, nor our form of government. And it doesn’t help understanding on either side, when the Pope has to write in generalities for the entire world, while we have very specific circumstances, concerns, and challenges affecting us.
He’s not worried about our Anti-Catholic-Socialist-wannabe-in-Chief undoing our Constitution. He’s worried about the poor kids in Africa, South America, and Asia who can’t get enough to eat and get sold into sex slavery because their folks don’t have enough to eat and he’s pissed about the governments that allow it to happen.

Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear. If every action has its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegration and death. It is evil crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the basis of hope for a better future.

“When good men stand by and do nothing…”

We can use this too. Because we can argue the socialist system is the embedded evil that keeps people trapped in poverty, strips human beings of their dignity, reduces them to commodities (look at death panels) and unjustly rewards the few.
His cracks about trickle-down economics and unlettered capitalism are unfortunate, but we can really work with the meat, if you translate Catholicism to American.

Iblis on November 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Illinidiva on November 29, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Catholics can have an opinion on Apostolic Exhortations…and they can express them publicly.

It’s a good thing that Clergy and Laity discuss them even if you don’t particularly like the opinion.

I also think that since you’re likely not a member of Father Z’s parish you might want to consider separating your criticism of his opinions from ad hominem attacks?

Like I said upthread…Some Popes are good writers some aren’t…Some get better with time.

It took 5 years for John Paul II’s Theology of the Body to unfold.

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 10:25 AM

The more I read of this, Conservatives can definitely work with this guy. From our perspective it seems like he uses the language of the left. But he’s really using traditional Catholic language, which the left likes to hijack in the furtherance of its causes.

True enough.

There are problems. Its obvious Pope Francis does not understand our economics, nor our form of government. And it doesn’t help understanding on either side, when the Pope has to write in generalities for the entire world, while we have very specific circumstances, concerns, and challenges affecting us.

Yeah…I’m thinking some of this was addressed to specific Bishops in specific regions (China for example)

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Illinidiva on November 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM

You need to point out that right of center is still leftism anywhere outside of the USA.

KirknBurker on November 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM

workingclass artist: I like your measured understanding of Pope Francis’s words and spirit of exhortation.

onlineanalyst on November 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Good Morning, and “Happy Black Friday” to those celebrating.

22044 on November 29, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Happy Black Friday, indeed!….

williamg on November 29, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The Pope’s stunning naivete extends beyond economics. The man’s ignorance of the Qur’an, Islam and it’s history is just dangerous given who he is:

Pope Francis: “Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence”

Good Grief! http://bit.ly/1bZr4SS

Chessplayer on November 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Catholics can have an opinion on Apostolic Exhortations…and they can express them publicly.

It’s a good thing that Clergy and Laity discuss them even if you don’t particularly like the opinion.

I agree. However, I do think that it is amusing that it is now fashionable to disagree with the Pope and Catholic social teaching on economics. Perhaps, “Father” Z and other critics will be apologizing to the liberals that they savaged for criticizing Benedict.

I also think that since you’re likely not a member of Father Z’s parish you might want to consider separating your criticism of his opinions from ad hominem attacks?

“Father” Z doesn’t have a parish or a ministry; this is my main beef with the man. While I’m generally a buyer beware sort of girl, I find it tacky for a priest to be trading on his clerical collar and essentially living off the donations of readers who are probably struggling to make ends meet. For a priest, he has a very lavish lifestyle including numerous trips abroad. He is very lucky that he isn’t as big a deal as he thinks that he is because I doubt that Francis would approve of his lifestyle or moneymaking racket. Not to mention the fact that the man and many of his commenters are bullies.

Illinidiva on November 29, 2013 at 1:22 PM

“Father” Z doesn’t have a parish or a ministry; this is my main beef with the man. While I’m generally a buyer beware sort of girl, I find it tacky for a priest to be trading on his clerical collar and essentially living off the donations of readers who are probably struggling to make ends meet. For a priest, he has a very lavish lifestyle including numerous trips abroad. He is very lucky that he isn’t as big a deal as he thinks that he is because I doubt that Francis would approve of his lifestyle or moneymaking racket. Not to mention the fact that the man and many of his commenters are bullies.

Illinidiva on November 29, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Dated 2011:

“I am a priest in good standing in the Suburbicarian Diocese of Velletri-Segni in Italy. This is one of the little ancient dioceses encircling Rome, thus “Suburbicarian”. My name appears on my diocese’s website in the list of diocesan priests. Unlike poor Roger Maris, I have no asterisk by my name. I have faculties to say Holy Mass (can. 903), to preach (can. 764), and to receive sacramental confessions (can. 969.1).

I am living, with the knowledge and consent of my bishop and his predecessor, outside my diocese and in the United States. I am working on my doctoral thesis, working on the internet, writing as a columnist for different publications, and giving talks at conferences and other events.

I am not engaged in any official external apostolate where I live. I have no assignment….” – Father Z

Your beef so to speak would be with his Bishop who hasn’t assigned him.

Here ya go…Send him an e-mail

http://www.diocesivelletrisegni.it/

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 1:45 PM

There are some passages which contradict each other in the same chapter…and other passages which are vague…

There may also be some translation issues?

There’s currently a lot of discussion on Catholic blogs over whether Pope Francis meant Spillover or Trickle Down due to the translation?

*shrug*

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I thought that it was quite readable and quite enjoyable. It was the first time I read something by a pope that wasn’t in “pope-speak.” I like the fact that Francis is very accessible and am confused by people who find him confusing. I think that he is quite a master speaker and writer, which makes sense because he taught literature to high school students while studying to become a priest. He apparently knew Jorge Borges and would have Borges come and speak to his class.

Moreover, there are no translation issues.. “la teoria de derrame” is trickle down economics. http://www.mdp.edu.ar/index.php?key=4993 He is likely speaking of the Washington consensus. Most Argentina is constantly going through economic crises, and many Argentines blame the “Washington consensus” and the IMF for the crisis in the 1990s. It got so bad over there that if I remember correctly, people couldn’t take money from the banks. America got a bit of a taste of that in 2008 during the housing collapse, but this was 100Xs worse and without the safety nets in place in America. Bergoglio came to prominence for attacking the IMF and other global organizations during the crisis.

This isn’t to say that Francis is a fan of Chavez-lite, Cristina Kirchner; they dislike each other immensely. Bergoglio felt that she was a hypocrite because she and her late husband did nothing for the poor either and manipulated statistics on poverty, etc. Bergoglio used to release his own statistics on poverty which differed from the government. Of course, now everyone has made up, but the Pope essentially has a 90%+ approval rating in Argentina and even Kirchner isn’t dumb enough to cross that.

The right and left wing elites in Latin America tend not to care about the middle class or the poor in their countries. There is a lot of corruption even in a country like Argentina, which likes to style itself as “European.” Despite being much quieter than he is now and avoiding the media, Bergoglio won a lot of plaudits in Argentina for being the only honest civic leader in the country.

Illinidiva on November 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Bleeding heart socialist

Bullhead on November 29, 2013 at 4:06 PM

If nothing else comes out of all this Pope Controversy stuff, the masses will be examining closer the moral corruptions of any political/economic system, free market or command.
I still believe that the prime issue facing the Catholic Church is not poverty but its God-given mission of salvation now seriously jeopardized by a radical breakdown of the moral sphere and a rejection of truth–poverty notwithstanding.

Planned political division into separate social groups is anathema to love of neighbor.

Don L on November 29, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Dusty on November 29, 2013 at 2:33 AM

The Pope is talking about the world, not necessarily the USA alone. Although the part I excerpted is the part that pertains to us.

Remember, it wasn’t too long ago in our past that the concept of the company town and the company store were in vogue — where the company store and company town had prices which were calculated to reduce an employee to indentured servitude in a manner clearly outlawed by our Constitution.

Such conditions prevail in many parts of the world. That’s why Foxconn has its suicide nets — and why Apple makes so much money from products constructed by people placed in such abysmal working conditions that they contemplate suicide.

unclesmrgol on November 29, 2013 at 7:15 PM

The Pope is talking about the world, not necessarily the USA alone. Although the part I excerpted is the part that pertains to us. …

The part you excerpted which I gave fuller context to had no particular region in noted by the Pope, and you didn’t reference a region either. And I wasn’t talking about the USA alone. In fact, the only regions I specifically referenced was Argentina. So, what’s your point, to use it as a segue to the below?

Remember, it wasn’t too long ago in our past that the concept of the company town and the company store were in vogue — where the company store and company town had prices which were calculated to reduce an employee to indentured servitude in a manner clearly outlawed by our Constitution.

[unclesmrgol on November 29, 2013 at 7:15 PM]

Your talking to the wrong person. I come from the Rochester, NY region, where that Company town had the best company “owning it” evah, treating it’s people like kings and queens, not indentured servants.

See, this is the problem I have with those who love to throw these generic tropes out every chance they get thinking it proves their points, when those tropes may be just as often exceptions to the rules rather just as likely the normal small fraction of the whole used to bear false witness against the all. It’s the same false witness bearing the Pope engages in with his demagoguing the private sector competing in a free market while extolling the noble profession of those responsible for corrupt governments worldwide and the virtues of a powerless population that in many parts of the world, including the Pope’s backyard of Europe bought by selfish politicians who provide them with oodles of entitlements, 35 hour work weeks with 6 weeks vacation and paid sick leave, and retirements on the public dole by age 50 or 55 with nary a word of what obligations they have to society.

Dusty on November 29, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Jesus did not preach income equality between the rich and the poor. He preached the complete reversal of the social order, wherein the rich and the poor would switch places…

No, that is not what Jesus taught.

Search the Gospels for the words “rich” and “poor”.

Read those verses.
Read them on their own, and read them within their larger context.

Surely Jesus did teach of the deceitfulness of riches, and taught people to love God and His people, rather than loving money.

What is the root of all evil?
Not money.
It is the LOVE of money which is the root of all evil.
If you love money, you will do evil things.
If you love God and love people, you will use money as a tool to help a lot of people.

Jesus cautioned the rich not to let money be their God.

Jesus never taught that the materially rich would become materially poor on Earth and that the materially poor would become materially rich on Earth.

What are some of the things Jesus said about the poor?

For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.

The poor will be with us always… there will always be poor people.

Don’t put so much focus on the poor (or on money) that you take your focus off of Jesus.

And what healing do the poor need? Pay close attention to how Jesus healed various afflictions:

The blind… see
the lame… walk
the lepers… are cleansed
the deaf… hear
the dead… are raised up
and
the poorhave the gospel preached to them.

ITguy on November 29, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Dusty on November 29, 2013 at 9:22 PM

When you center your whole argument on yourself, your personal country town, you miss the entire argument the Pope is making.

Here is the concept of the company store as practiced in the United States at the turn of the century, and designed to induce debt bondage:

http://www.wvculture.org/history/minewars.html

With such behavior, it becomes obvious how unions arose in the USA — doppelgangers for exactly the behavior they were created to stop.

Such places no longer exist in the United States, but they certainly exist in some other portions of the world, particularly China. And some companies in the United States do business with companies in China which have this problem.

The Pope oversees a worldwide Church — and many of the points made in his exhortation are designed to point out injustices which may not exist in the United States.

I am discomfited by his language, which allows the left in the United States to claim that he is on their side. In China, it would be the right claiming he is on their side….

As for the Pope’s backyard of Europe, I doubt he’s entirely happy in Europe, given where he hails from. But I am surprised that, after duking it out with the government where he was bishop, that he would say that the government ought to have a large say in correcting any economy. We both know that governments are, in the end, Caesar, and are wont to act, due to the selfishness of their constituents, in ways which deprive people of the right to the work of their hands.

He alludes to this in a paragraph I mention on the previous page of comments:

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/11/28/quotes-of-the-day-1569/comment-page-3/#comment-7523868

So he knows this dichotomy between Caesar, who is wont to persecute Christians, and yet expects an idealized economic response from governments which does not penalize Christian conscience.

I have already written him giving my feelings in the matter.

unclesmrgol on November 29, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Cordoba was a Visigoth Cathedral seized by the Mohammedians who turned it into a mosque until the Spanish united and kicked them out of the country.

Currently the Mohammedians want Spain and The Pope to let them pray there…so far the answer is Fat chance.

workingclass artist on November 29, 2013 at 12:15 AM

You might find this post and its references to the Cordoba Initiative interesting…

ITguy on November 29, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Maybe someday a pope will talk about liberty and personal responsibility.

Akzed on November 30, 2013 at 8:15 PM

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