…and does the standard Catholic thing of making use of the best of human knowledge in navigating the signs of the times, the experts on Prudential Judgment in the Right Wing Noise Machine say “Shut up! What do you know about climate science?”
Strangely, they do not say that when he makes remarks pertaining to embryology and gynecology in Humanae Vitae, nor when he talks about things pertaining to evolutionary science in Humani Generis. Nor do they deem St. Thomas to be worthless junk merely because he too relies on the best that the fallible Aristotle, Averroes, and Avicenna have to say.
No. It’s only when the pope makes use of human wisdom in teaching things the Right Wing Noise Machine wants to scream down that we suddenly hear that unless it’s an infallible definition about something religiousy sounding, the pope should shut up. So in addition to teaching on our relationship with Creation (which is, in fact, well within the Church’s tradition and the competence of the Magisterium), we are also told that the pope should shut up about everything pertaining to money and economics since, in John Zmirak’s famously arrogant and dismissive phrase “ordination is not an economics degree”. Similarly, we heard that the pope was an ivory tower ninny who was incompetent to say the Iraq war was a terrible idea. And the Church was a pack of ivory tower ninnies on the matter of torture too. Refugees? Where does the Church get off giving sanctuary to the desperate stranger when our just and wise White Supremacist-in-Chief prudently says of Syrian children “I will look them in the face and tell them they can’t come.” And indeed, on virtually every point of Catholic social doctrine that is not about abortion or homosexuality or a radically distorted form of subsidiarity called “libertarian dogma”, postmodern conservatism and its court prophets do not merely ignore but actively make war on the Church’s social teaching.
But when a GOP congressman hands down the fatwa that if climate change is real, “God will take care of it“, these same court prophets pull their chins and thank this agent of Caesar for enlightening the Church with true wisdom about trusting God by doing nothing to disturb oil or coal companies.
Let’s try it with other things, shall we?
If abortion is a problem, God will take care of it.
If terrorism is a problem, God will take care of it.
If illegal immigration is a problem, God will take care of it.
If euthanasia is a problem, God will take care of it.
If embryonic stem cell research is a problem, God will take care of it.
If gay marriage is a problem, God will take care of it.
If Mexico bringing crime, drugs and rapists is a problem, God will take care of it.
If Obamacare is a problem, God will take care of it.
If religious liberty is a problem, God will take care of it.
If putting a loaded gun to my head and pulling the trigger is a problem, God will take care of it.
If jumping off the parapet of the temple because Satan told me to in order to see if God loves me is a problem, God will take care of it.
The phrase this Congressman and his deeply Christian court prophets are looking for is “inshallah.” Except that Muslims are not *that* passive to the Divine Will since they also recognize the proverb “Trust Allah, but tie up your camel.”
Meanwhile, here in the West, people who actually know Christian theology and not this dimestore bastardized pietism understand that “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” If climate change is a problem, as 97% of climate scientists and Holy Church warn it is (along with the rest of the civilized world) it is our prudent responsibility to address it as stewards of creation, not weary God with stupid lies as this Congressman does.