Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I know I just posted some Donald Trump buzzkill a few hours ago, but it's that kind of day -- I'm going to kill more buzz now, this time on the subject of Republicans and the pope, as reported by The New York Times:
Like many Republicans, [Jeb] Bush and [Marco] Rubio have questioned or denied the established science of human-caused climate change, and have harshly criticized policies designed to tax or regulate the burning of fossil fuels....

But the papal encyclical [on climate change] could put Catholics who question that established climate science in a tough position, particularly in a year in which at least five Catholics may run for the Republican presidential nomination. Besides Mr. Bush, Mr. Rubio and Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania who has also declared his candidacy, the field could include Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

The pressure to respond to the pope’s position on climate change could be particularly intense for Mr. Bush and Mr. Rubio. The 2014 National Climate Assessment, a scientific study by 13 federal agencies, named Miami as one of the United States cities most vulnerable to physical and economic damage as a direct result of human-caused global warming.
Jeb is clearly unfazed:
“I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope,” Bush said. “And I’d like to see what he says as it relates to climate change and how that connects to these broader, deeper issue before I pass judgment. But I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm.”
Also unfazed is this guy who's quoted in the Times:
But Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist and political consultant who described himself as a conservative Catholic, pointed out that there was already a backlash by conservative Catholics against the pope’s efforts on climate change and other progressive policies.

“For practicing conservative Catholics, the folks who sit in the pews on Sunday, this is not going to be an indictment of guys like Rubio and Jeb,” Mr. McKenna said. “Those guys have already made up their minds on climate change. For the real churchgoers, this is going to be an indictment of the pope.

“This pope is selling a line of Latin American-style socialism,” he continued. “This guy is not in sync with the American Catholic Church. Guys like Jeb and Rubio are more in line with the American Catholic Church than the pope.”
Well, of course -- and why should we be surprised? I'm seeing a lot of commentary to the effect that it's a huge mistake to contradict the pope, who has a 90% approval rating among U.S. Catholics. But U.S. Catholics approve of the pope while continuing to be cafeteria Catholics, differing with the church on several issues, as noted in a 2013 Quinnipiac poll:
American Catholics support same-sex marriage 60 - 31 percent....

American Catholics support 60 - 30 percent the ordination of women priests....

[Only] 21 percent of Catholics say abortion should be illegal in all cases....
Also see this 2014 Univision poll:
The Univision poll found that 54 percent of U.S. Catholics supported same-sex marriage. Fifty-nine percent supported admitting women to the priesthood. Sixty percent thought Catholics who had divorced and remarried outside the church should be eligible to receive communion. Sixty-one percent thought priests should be allowed to marry. Seventy-six percent thought abortion should be permitted at least in some circumstances. Seventy-nine percent supported contraception.
American Catholics approve of the pope, but they disagree with him on a lot of stuff. American Catholics don't demand absolute loyalty to Catholic teaching. Jeb is taking advantage of that.

But don't conservatives routinely rail against insults to religion, at least when the faith in question is Judeo-Christian? Well, sure -- but hypocrisy is a right-wing specialty. Here's a headline at Jim Hoft's Gateway Pundit right now:
Far Left Catholic Group to Provide Inserts in Church Bulletins on Pope’s Global Warming Junk Science
This pope-bashing headline comes from a blogger who's perfectly comfortable with accusing others of anti-Catholic bias -- as, for instance, in 2010 when he ran a story about Martha Coakley, the candidate who lost a Senate race to Scott Brown, titled
Martha Coakley: Devout Catholics "Probably Shouldn't Work in the Emergency Room."
The post, which contained a distortion of Coakley's remarks in an interview (she said that you shouldn't work in an emergency room if you aren't willing to dispense emergency contraception to rape victims), was in fact, posted when Gateway Pundit was hosted by the conservative Catholic magazine First Things.

So, to somn up: Gateway Pundit used to be part of the Catholic Media, and has lashed out an alleged insult to Catholics -- but hen the pope accepts climate sciene, his beliefs aren't infallible, they're "junk."

Nearly all of the right will rail against criticism of the Catholic Church if it comes from the left, yet feel free to bash the church on climate. The right was siomilarly disgusted when the Vatican expressed skepticism about the Iraq War, and when it's criticized the death penalty and income inequality. But the right will still defend the Little Sisters of the Poor to the death in their battle against the Obamacare contraceptive mandate. And no right-winger will ever acknowledge the contradiction.


Victor said...

Cognitive dissonance is a large part of being a conservative.

And the conservative American Catholics, loved that misogynistic anti-Commie Pope, John Paul II, and misogynistic Fascist Ratzi da Nazi. They don't love Francis.
He's too liberal, accepting. flexible, and willing to acknowledge scientific evidence.
And none of those traits is acceptable to our conservative Catholics!

petrilli said...

Looks like Post Modernist moral relativism. But it really isn't. Because something or something. David Brooks will explain it to us next Sunday, Steve.

Ed Baptist said...

GOP Catholics: the Pope is a great guy so long as he remembers that his job description says that he has to remain in the little ornate box we store him in unless we take him out for a few minutes of display to prop up our politics.

Belvoir said...

"But the right will still defend the Little Sisters of the Poor to the death in their battle against the Obamacare contraceptive mandate."

Actually, it was a battle against even filling out the paperwork that would have given them an automatic exemption. They objected to even just that. And that's what the hullaballoo was about.

I am cheering Pope Francis on here. Shame these bastards. Climate change is real and happening, affecting the poorest among us in the world, no matter what US conservative politicals say, or lie about because it is in their interests to deny climate change. Pollution, the poisoning of our lands and air and seas, causing the extinction of thousands of species, is not part of Catholic doctrine. Quite the opposite, we are meant to be stewards and protectors of our fragile eath, and all the animals and life upon it. I heartily applaud Pope Francis and this Encyclical because it ought to utterly shame these Republican candidates who profess to be Catholic. They deserve shaming, as they slave in thrall to industry and money, poisoning our earth in a way that advances the climate change that is real and happening now. Go get 'em, Francis.