Catholic Congresscritter Bravely Faces the Applause of the Conservative Francis-Haters

Catholic Congresscritter Bravely Faces the Applause of the Conservative Francis-Haters September 18, 2015

Boycotts the Pope’s address to Congress because he and his Frankenstein base (the same sort of people who seriously believe that Trump is–I am not making this up–“trustworthy, empathetic, and well-suited to the Presidency“) believe that listening to people you disagree with and thinking new thoughts turns you gay.

Here’s the thing: When a subculture demonstrates such an immense capacity to be so spectacularly and visible-from-space wrong about so much so many times for so long while demanding to be taken seriously about its “prudential judgments” in dissent from the Church’s guidance, a sensible response is “I will take your prudential judgments seriously when you demonstrate a single solitary ounce of prudence.”

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  • Ken

    So this guy knows what Pope Francis is going to say in his address to Congress? It’s amazing how quickly people will abandon their faith when given the choice between their political beliefs and the Church.
    If this guy would have actually read the Encyclical he would know that the total message of it was more about how we have become a throw away culture and the environment is just one example of how we have become self-centered and selfish. His behavior indicates that he not only didn’t read it he is a prime example of what Pope Francis was writing about.

    • Marthe Lépine

      Maybe it’s not that he knows what Pope Francis is going to say, but rather that he cannot accept that Pope Francis may choose to speak about uncomfortable subjects. particularly if those subjects might be challenging some of the dearly loved right-wing priorities.

      • AquinasMan

        What’s a “right wing priority”?

        • jeanvaljean24601

          Mammon, mostly.
          Just like the “left wing priorities”.
          Both seem to have fallen into a quasi-Marxist evaluation of the human condition. (All economics.)
          Possibly a Nietzschean paradigm regarding will to power and suppression of the unfit (defining “unfit” in different ways, of course.)
          If it isn’t obvious, I see them as mirror images, and both are sadly lacking.

          • Peggy

            What an unintelligent caricature! People on the Right are about liberty, ordered liberty. Liberty in religious life, political life, speech, and economic freedom. The Big Business in bed with the DC power structure–both parties–does NOT like the tea party and only likes “market” economics when it suits them.

            • jeanvaljean24601

              Excuse my disagreement with your thesis.
              Calling someone stupid at the outset is not a good way to initiate a conversation.
              “People on the Right” are not necessarily “Conservatives”, just as “People on the Left” are not necessarily “Liberals”. (Both in the good sense of the term.)
              “Conservatives” seek to conserve, specifically, to conserve the best, to reform the worst, and to commit all to God. They are not radical nihilists who want to destroy for the sake of a stupid ideology.
              “Liberals” are about generosity and freedom, and removing ancient evils.
              Of those descriptions are foreign, it is the fault of Americans for having allowed the talking heads to promote a tribal shouting match instead of such wights as Russell Kirk and Bill Buckley for the Conservatives, and John Kenneth Galbraith and Arthur Schlesinger for the Liberals.
              Both — both — Left and Right are composed of radical nihilists.
              (BTW, do you believe the tea partiers would have gotten off the ground without serious money from the Big Business you denigrate? Without that cash, it would have floundered like the “Occupy” circus.
              After several years, the “Big Business in bed with the DC power structure — both parties”, OWNS the Tea Party.
              The folks to whom you refer have learned to distract attention from themselves by getting the “little people” to fight each other in tribal slanging matches. Politics today is mostly about “Lets You and Him Fight,” and principles are irrelevant. They have concocted a mix-n-match ideology for the Right, and one for the Left which are pretty much, “if he’s for it, I’m agin it.”
              These TV talking faces, who specialize in arousing their followers adrenalin, are laughing all the way to the bank at the gullibility of the American public. Two items stand out:
              1. When did the Right become “Red”? Red is the color of the communist and socialist revolutionaries. (Black is the color for the anarchists.) Yet we now have (seriously) a Right-winger running a “Red State” site. How the elites are enjoying themselves.
              2. When the Great Rush Limbaugh had his third (or fourth wedding, I lost count), one of his top guests was — Elton John. So, does Rush believe his own malarkey?
              American politics are founded on a profoundly un-Conservative act, whitewash it though many try, namely the American Revolution. All political parties in the US, except those imported from Europe, are basically variants on 18th Century Liberalism. One side favors the Right-Liberal and the other the Left-Liberal ideas. To say the Right is about Liberty is, in a way, true. However, the Left can make the same claim. And does, frequently, obnoxiously, ad nauseum. But the way it works in practice is that it works on the Right just like it works on the Left — freedom for Me but not for Thee.
              So, an “unintelligent caricature”? Due to brevity, and the constraints of a comment box, I will accede to the cartoonish nature of my remark. I hope this elaboration lends some texture to an otherwise simple cut-out.
              But, ‘unintelligent’ — really.

  • Eric

    Everyone make a point to explore the liberalslikechrist site mark linked to. Pretty despicable site overall. Search abortion if you want to see the quality of the individual running the site.

    • ManyMoreSpices

      Doesn’t matter. Hatred for the GOP covereth a multitude of sins.

      • Eric

        Mark had to have been ignorant of the contents of the rest of the site. I find it hard to believe Mark would intentionally link to a site advocating contraception and abortion (amongst other things).

        • Marthe Lépine

          Because anyone advocating contraception and abortion is totally unable to have any correct opinion at all about anything else?

          • Eric

            Did I say that?

            • chezami

              You insinuated it. That’s why despite your bullshit protestations of concern for souls being led astray, you actually urged people to read the site and check out the abortion agitprop. As a general rule, if I’m worried about innocents being led astray, I don’t urge them to check out the sources of temptation.

              • Eric

                You’re right. I apologize.

              • Eric

                Which I pointed out. I could’ve edited it to make it look otherwise. I don’t mind having my stupidity on display though.

              • Eric

                And I can confirm I’m every bit the wretch you imagine me to be.

          • Dave G.

            I doubt it. The question is, does supporting torture and unrestrained capitalism mean there is no reason to refer to the people who do so for anything else?

          • johnnysc

            And while being opposed to abortion and euthanasia does not excuse anyone from caring about other social injustices, such a poverty and violence, there is a right ordering of moral priorities, Archbishop Chaput said, which is the reason the United States’ bishops released their 1998 pastoral letter, “Living the Gospel of Life.”

            “Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing and health care. … But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life.”

            “Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community” (“Living the Gospel of Life,” 22). – Archbishop Chaput

    • chezami

      Where would the Party of Personal Responsbility be without the Genetic Fallacy?

      • Eric

        I didn’t address any of the contents of the article you linked to. Probably because I don’t have a problem with the info provided. It seems unwise to direct Catholics to a site that encourages support of abortion and contraception. Those particular issues, believe it or not, are tough for a large percentage of Catholics to understand. They don’t need liberalslikechrist to make it any more so. Surely there exists an article or site you could link to that could make your point without exposing struggling Catholics to the filth presented there. Were you aware of the contents before you provided the link? I assumed you weren’t. I’m not a republican by the way. I probably shouldn’t have asked people to explore the site if that was my worry though.

        • chezami

          I believe in writing for adults who can figure out what is being asserted and what is incidental to the assertion. So did St. Thomas, who quote Muslims and pagans and believed his audience was smart enough not thereby become Muslims and pagans.

          • Eric

            What are the percentages of Catholics who reject the Church’s teaching on contraception and abortion? Are you really justifying linking to a website of a radically progressive catholic on the basis that adults can figure out what’s being asserted and what’s incidental to that assertion? Who was St. Thomas’s audience? This would be like pointing conservatives that are unjustifiably leery of Pope Francis to a sedevacantist website because they had a good article on prayer. While you have the maturity and knowledge to recognize the falsehoods encountered at the site, pointing adults that may not be as well formed to a potentially harmful, radically traditionalist site would seem unwise.

          • Eric

            It doesn’t really matter. I know you well enough that I shouldn’t be worried. You’ve been great on the topic of abortion. Probably an unneeded comment on my part. I apologize.

  • Des Farrell

    This is a quote from this Jesuit educated politician about the pope.
    ‘I have both a moral obligation and leadership responsibility to call out leaders, regardless of their titles, who ignore Christian persecution.’
    He is referring here to the Pope. This is what this man, this political leader has allowed himself to believe and what he chooses to share with others.
    The level of ignorance and real bigotry which so proudly demands our attention is literally sickening. I feel sick in my stomach that this catholic politician thinks that the Pope ignores Christian persecution. How can such a clearly intelligent man, because he can write well, be so stupid, ignorant and arrogant?
    I’m sorry I read this clowns foolishness.

    • Marthe Lépine

      I assume that he is upset because Pope Francis did not ask in advance for Republicans to write his speech for him… or at the very least ask for a list of approved subjects.

      • Des Farrell

        What’s unbelievable is not that he calls the pope a communist or climate change quack but that he actually says that the pope ‘ignores Christian persecution’. That is what beggars belief! Either he doesn’t follow a single speech that the Pope has spoken or else he is happy to lie. Either way he is reinforcing the deepest bigotries and misunderstandings that non-Catholics have of the pope in the U.S. There is no possible way that this politician is a catholic except in name only, to be that willing to be so either dishonest or misinformed about what the pope actually speaks about, the prayers the pope has offered for so many Christians murdered, there’s no way this politician can be this uninformed. And he’s Jesuit educated! What has he done to his own mind. It’s like watching your teenage child come home with a fresh nazi tattoo on their neck. What. Was. He. Thinking.

        • chezami

          What “ignores Christian persecution” means is “helps refugees instead of screaming for another war”. The conservative approach to refugees is to make more of them and then label them all invaders and terrorists when they flee our wars and the weapons we sell ISIS.

          • Des Farrell

            A 5 second Google, clearly beyond the jesuit educated politician. His educators are having a proud day. http://www.romereports.com/2015/09/17/pope-francis-explains-why-he-carries-the-crucifix-of-a-martyred-iraqi-priest

            • Ken

              Any time a Catholic is going to say something in public against the church they always list how Catholic they are. I guess we’re supposed to listen to him because he went to a Jesuit College. I know a lot of people who have gone to Catholic Universities there isn’t a correlation with how Catholic they are.

          • Joseph

            I think you may be a bit emotional here. I don’t think that by saying the Pope ignores Christian persecution he means that he wants to help the mostly Muslim refugee population (to which he objects)… I think he literally means that he believes the Pope is ignoring Christian persecution. He’d be wrong on both fronts, but I think you may be projecting too much here and as silly as this politician’s comments are, there’s no need to put words in his mouth.

  • ManyMoreSpices

    Pop Quiz!

    -There are 301 Republicans in the House of Representatives + Senate.
    -1 Republican will be sitting the Pope’s speech out.
    -300 Republicans do not sit out Pope’s speech.

    So the sole question on this quiz is:

    “Will Mark Shea focus on the 99.7% of Republicans who haven’t announced plans to sit out the Pope’s address, or the 0.3% who say they will?”

    Meanwhile. those of us who aren’t consumed by hatred of the GOP say “sounds to me like the ‘subculture’ to which this Representative belongs consists entirely of himself.”

    Alternative headline: Despite Apparent Policy Differences, 99.7% of Congressional GOP Announce No Plans to Skip Pope’s Address.

    • Dave G.

      I’d say wait and see. There’s no reason not to focus on the majority of a represented group when trying to describe that group. So we’ll see.

      • Mike petrik

        Crickets …….
        Yawn ……

  • MT

    This Congressman has an invalid argument. The fact that the climate has changed before mankind was around has nothing to do with whenever man can do so now. It’s a non-sequitur.

  • jeanvaljean24601

    In Bible Belt culture, it is considered “brave” to make a decision for Christ at a revival meeting or church camp. (Living as a Christian afterwards… ehhh.)

    • Dave G.

      I’m not getting your point.

      • jeanvaljean24601

        (sigh)
        Read the title of the article.
        Then, consider, it is NOT “brave” to do what is expected of you in a culture (however marginal or off the wall.)
        For example, Bruce Jenner was lauded as
        “Brave” and “Courageous” for pretending to be a woman by all the mainstream media. The flea-bites from Faux News and its coterie are insignificant. He is a seriously disturbed individual, but his enablers keep him going. The minute their attention turns elsewhere… who knows? Maybe another stunt to get back in the spotlight?
        Just like this jerk with a radio show. Little different from Billy James Hargis back in the ’50’s, or many others since. (As soon as those cards and letters and Master Charge donations stop coming in, the format will change. But, Right-wing nutjobbery has a long and successful history in this nation.)

        • Dave G.

          But the two don’t compare. If someone was making a decision for Christ, that could be a big step for them. Some person who never graced the doors of a church suddenly feels compelled to come forward in front of others and do and take a first step toward embracing Christ? That can be a big deal. It’s not like going to the Academy Awards and praising homosexuality or coming here and thrashing the GOP. That can actually be quite different. I got the title. But your example wasn’t the same. That’s what threw me.

          • jeanvaljean24601

            You’ve never been in a good old-fashioned country tent revival? To paraphrase Jerry Lee, there’s a whole lot of manipulation going on. From the crowding together to the songs to the speaker taking everyone’s emotions and wrapping them around the center pole to the incessant choruses of “Just as I am…”
            I been there, done that, moved on to Catholicism as the better way.
            Christ may be in there, but He has to fight his way through a whole pack of cultural baggage to do so.
            It is all about expectations. One is “expected” to make a “decision for Christ”. (BTW, Christianity is not all about “decisionism”, certainly not before Charles Finney and his ilk.) It is a particularly American 18th Century Protestant phenomenon which dribbled into the 21st Century.
            This is not to say the scenario you described could not happen. However, how much of it in the usual practice is a genuine encounter with Christ and how much of it is emotionalism which passeth and perisheth like the seeds on stony ground. — And, yes, Christ is not proud, He will take anyone under almost any condition, hoping they may come to get past the cultural conditioning and really know Him.
            It is all context, you see.

            • Dave G.

              So have I. I simply resolved not to look back on my Evangelical days with negativity. I don’t recommend that form of evangelicalism. But it’s not the same, to go forward and take a step out in Faith before a crowd – especially if you’ve never been a believer – and appealing to the choir so to speak, as in the case above or the Hollywood star cheering for gay rights at the Academy Awards. Those are not brave at all. But going down the faith path can, in many ways, be a brave thing indeed.

  • johnnysc

    I can understand why liberals would want to downplay the five non negotiables being that the political party of liberals, the Democratic party, has pretty much laid waste to each of them. So it makes sense for one who is voting against conservatives to tell themselves that they weren’t really that important to begin with in order feel good about voting for that climate change believing, anti gun rights, supposedly against the death penalty but not really caring for all of God’s Creation politician. What I don’t understand is their thinking that the five non negotiables mattered in the first place. Or that they posed a threat to supplanting their ideology. We have an anti Catholic, pro contraception, pro abortion, redefining marriage, supporter of the Planned Parenthood that you’ve seen in the latest videos government. Helped, apparently, to be put in place by a fair amount of Catholics…..twice. Plenty of negotiating of the teachings of Jesus going on.

  • Stu

    I give him credit.

    At least he is open about disagreeing with the Pope. Much better than all of the lefties who support infanticide and redefining marriage all while fawning over the Pope.

  • Cypressclimber

    I think the congressman is wrong to boycott the speech, and wrong to make a thing about it.

    That said, I think this post is a hot mess. There was a simple point, worth making: the congressman is wrong. Instead we got a blast of our once-genial host’s rage at everything he hates about the GOP, with a not very coherent result.

    • Joseph

      Pretty sure he knows that this guy is only appealing to his base. If his constituency loved the Pope instead of hated him, he’d probably have a speech of glowing welcome for him. I’m not sure what planet you’re used to living on, but on this planet, politicians don’t exactly have any resolve in any direction. They just want to get re-elected… and since this guy’s constituency is made up of anti-Catholic evangelical Republicans, he has to take this particular stance lest he ensure that he is a former congressman after the next election cycle. So, yeah… it is a GOP problem.

  • Peggy

    Broad brush alert! Presumptuous and judgmental post above these comments.