Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Maureen Mullarkey, a blogger for the right-wing Catholic journal First Things, could have been satisfied with writing a hit piece on the pope for Ben Domenech's Federalist site titled "Pope Francis Is a Leftist and Must Be Called Out" -- but no, that wasn't good enough for her. She had to start it with a Nazi joke:
Don’t pick a political fight with Pope Francis? The title of Rachel Lu’s recent essay and the timidity behind it reminds me of a old Jewish joke.

Max and Moishe are being escorted to the execution chamber in a Nazi prison. In a sudden gesture of defiance, Max raises his arm and gives the guards his middle finger. Horrified, Moishe pulls his arm down and blurts, “Please, Max, don’t make waves.”

Just so all the reflexive excuses for Pope Francis’ dismaying behavior and increasingly obvious ideological bent.
Is it just me, or is Mullarkey actually comparing life as a Catholic under Pope Francis to existence (and death) in a Nazi extermination camp?

Mullarkey doesn't linger on the Holocaust. Instead, she proceeds swiftly to an attack on Francis as a commie fellow-traveler. Francis, you see, met with Argentine anti-fracking activists in 2013:
And these were not just any activists. The older of the two men in the photo is Fernando Solanas, an Argentine film director, avowed propagandist, and politician. A key player in Buenos Aires, he ran for president of Argentina on the Socialist ticket in 2007 and stood for the senate last year. In the 1960s, he co-founded the influential, radical film collective Grupo Cine Liberación (The Liberation Film Group) with Octavio Gettino, Both were Marxists and supporters of Juan Perón at the time.

Together with Gettino, Solanas also founded Tercer Cine (Third Cinema), a title referencing the Third Word. Prominent in the 1970s and 1980s, it was a movement -- a school -- opposed to neocolonialism and capitalism. It issued a manifesto, “Documentary Is Never Neutral” that opened with the words of Frantz Fanon: “...we must discuss; we must invent.” In the obligatory style of left-wing manifestos, it included quotations from Mao, from Che Guevara’s handbook “Guerilla Warfare,” and anti-colonial, and pro-Cuba tracts. It rails against “bourgeois values,” “surplus value cinema” and “the lords of the world film market, the great majority of whom were from the United States.”
It seems to me that many of Mullarkey and Domenech's fellow right-wingers also regularly rail against "the lords of the world film market, the great majority of whom [are] from the United States." But I guess that's different.

Solanas is a big commie, and if Pope Francis met with him, now he obviously has commie cooties, because communism rubs off.

Although maybe I'm being too glib, because there is this:
Earlier this month, Peter Berger reported in The American Interest that Leonardo Boff is an advisor to the pope on his forthcoming encyclical on climate change. Boff, a former Franciscan priest, is one of the major proponents of Liberation Theology, rejected as radical by both previous pontiffs.
And, well, look at some of Francis's writings on the environment -- pure communism, and a massive break from the two previous pontiffs! Read this, for example:
It must also be said that the proper ecological balance will not be found without directly addressing the structural forms of poverty that exist throughout the world. Rural poverty and unjust land distribution in many countries, for example, have led to subsistence farming and to the exhaustion of the soil. Once their land yields no more, many farmers move on to clear new land, thus accelerating uncontrolled deforestation, or they settle in urban centres which lack the infrastructure to receive them. Likewise, some heavily indebted countries are destroying their natural heritage, at the price of irreparable ecological imbalances, in order to develop new products for export. In the face of such situations it would be wrong to assign responsibility to the poor alone for the negative environmental consequences of their actions. Rather, the poor, to whom the earth is entrusted no less than to others, must be enabled to find a way out of their poverty. This will require a courageous reform of structures, as well as new ways of relating among peoples and States.
... Oh, wait -- that wasn't Pope Francis. That was written by the extremely anti-communist Pope John Paul in 1990.

Sorry, I meant to quote this radical screed from Francis:
Questions linked to the care and preservation of the environment today need to give due consideration to the energy problem. The fact that some States, power groups and companies hoard non-renewable energy resources represents a grave obstacle to development in poor countries. Those countries lack the economic means either to gain access to existing sources of non-renewable energy or to finance research into new alternatives. The stockpiling of natural resources, which in many cases are found in the poor countries themselves, gives rise to exploitation and frequent conflicts between and within nations. These conflicts are often fought on the soil of those same countries, with a heavy toll of death, destruction and further decay. The international community has an urgent duty to find institutional means of regulating the exploitation of non-renewable resources, involving poor countries in the process, in order to plan together for the future.
Whoops! Sorry again -- that was Pope Benedict in 2009.

Mullarkey wants to portray environmentalism and a concern with the exploitation of the poor as a pinko break with the past. But even John Paul and Benedict expressed similar concerns.

So I guess that means they were all much worse Catholics than Mullarkey.


conscious at last said...

Wait... her name is "Mull-ar-key?"


It's a problem for goose-stepping "religionistas" when they are confronted with a leader who can connect his head to his heart.

Philo Vaihinger said...

>Is it just me, or is Mullarkey actually comparing life as a Catholic under Pope Francis to existence (and death) in a Nazi extermination camp? <

No. She's pointing out the futility of avoiding criticism of the pope, from the point of view of the right, given he is in so many ways on the side of the left.

But by no means consistently.

He is consistently a completely orthodox Catholic, but not a rightist or a leftist.

aimai said...

It goes without saying that Irish Catholic apologists citing "Jewish Jokes" is pretty much a no-go area for humor. You'd have to be really, really, tone deaf to begin with that regardless of the Nazi component. Just don't ever being a joke about another ethnic group to which you don't belong.

Second of all the gloves are really off w/r/t Pope Francis. They are basically doing the same thing to him as is done every day to President Obama--that is: accusing him of being tainted with some kind of quality (in this case socialism) which makes him not legitimate as Pope. Just as Obama's supposed birth, history, and race make him illegitimate as President. Critiques of such a person are not illegitimate --rather they are seen as necessary, restoring the proper order of things.

Tom Hilton said...

Are we sure Mullarkey's first name isn't really "Simple J."?

aimai said...

I agree with Philo V. that she thinks she is saying that its futile to avoid criticism of the pope because the situation is so dire that whether you criticize or not you are going to die/be killed. But its still an implicit nazi comparison because the Pope is, obviously, not killing ihs oponents and not even actually punishing anyone for criticizing him. The people who have been disciplined and removed from office were removed for cause: corruption, inability to account for monies, luxuriious living, etc..etc..etc...The pope has lots of critics who he has not touched in any way, as well--take for example the various self appointed critics like Donohoe and others. No sinecure in the church? No punishment.

Victor said...

For conservatives of all religions, anyone to the left of Genghis Khan is a Communist.

Oh, wait!
He was too liberal, too!!!

He allowed freedom of religion in the areas he fought for and won.

He didn't care what the people there did - as long as their financial tribute and obligations to him was met.

Ok, so make it Attila the Hun.

Ten Bears said...

I agree with a, doubt I would have made it past the first paragraph. I often go to great length to express my utter contempt for the Jew "Christian" Muslim Mormon Cult of Male Domination, but there are limits.

Roger said...

She's confused him with Ratzinger.

Yastreblyansky said...

For the record, a correct version of the joke as told by a Jew to Jews, then Brooklyn Congressman Gary Ackerman during the Kerry campaign in 2004:
...Izzy and Abe, who are in a concentration camp, about to be killed by Nazis. They are ordered to dig their own graves and asked if they have a last request. Izzy tells Abe he's going to ask for a blindfold. Says Abe, "Don't make waves."

Note how much funnier it is, how much sadder, and above all how how totally inapplicable to criticism of the Pope.