Everyone In Their Own Box: Pope Francis and U.S. Politics

We should listen to our spiritual leaders, always, unless they’re advocating something that would take us out of power, in which case they should just talk nonsense like angels and blessings and “prayers up” and shit:

Still, some of those who were listening took issue with his reference to issues Congress considers in its purview, such as climate change. Inhofe, a leading voice denying climate change exists, says that programs to control carbon emissions would hurt the poor with rising energy costs more than they would save the planet.

And Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., warns that the pope might have overstepped the rhetorical wall between church and state.

“The further religious leaders get into the details of public policy, the less authoritative they tend to be,” Sessions says. “I don’t think the pope went too far. But he was pushing the line. And if you get too close to the political flame, you get burned.”

One of the things that perpetually pisses me off about American Christianity is how easy it’s supposed to be.

I’m a practicing Catholic, in that I’m not very good at it, and the one thing that was drilled into me from day one was how hard life was, on the road to Calvary. The early church had it rough, right? Best bud crucified, hiding in the back room, getting fed to lions, and your only comfort your own vulnerability.

Love your neighbor as yourself? Easy for you to say, asshole. You’re not the one in the Coliseum with Fluffy.

So come to me now, with all I have to do is believe and mouth some words during press conferences, mostly in election years? Bugger off. I’m sorry your God makes you uncomfortable sometimes, but that’s sort of the point. If you were already good at this He wouldn’t bother sending messages across the firing line (or in this case, a pope to tell you all to wake the fuck up).

Our politicians and the pundits who get invited on TV tell us we’re supposed to feel our connection with our deities deeply, to adhere to the dictates of our religious leaders, to revere those who have dedicated their lives to worship regardless of what form that worship takes. They talk about faith and connection all the damn day long, and the minute it makes them itchy, it’s, “Well, that’s just something we do on Sundays, really, and true belief is for rubes. We live in the real world, which by the way is not any warmer, go home.”

You can’t do it like that. Your life is not a series of compartments. I know we like to think it is, because it helps us be mean without thinking we are bad people, and it helps us justify our entire existence, but it’s not a bunch of boxes. You don’t keep God in one box and politics in the other, and then speak of the transformative power of belief and salvation and eternal life. It’s all one thing. Your every action reflects what you believe, and you don’t get to deny and deny and deny. Peter notwithstanding. He wasn’t elected to anything at the time.

A.

6 thoughts on “Everyone In Their Own Box: Pope Francis and U.S. Politics

  1. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    If they were *true* christians, they would jump for joy at the possibility of emulating their savior by getting themselves crucified.

    Wussies, one and all. Their idea of ‘persecution’ is when someone wishes them ‘happy holidays’, and they’re only going to lighly-velcro themselves to that big, gold cross after they check that the upholstery is comfortable and that is has some nice cup-holders.

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  2. frazer says:

    “Issues Congress considers in its purview”? That’s the whole point of talking to Congress. Do they expect the Pope to discuss the doctrine of Transubstantiation with them? He’s talking to them about stuff they could actually do something about.

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  3. Catherine says:

    As a Roman Catholic, I abhor religion in the political box. At any time. I’m sick of the “faux” christians and the funda”mental”ists who literally, have destroyed the Republican party and have turned it into a self-righteous, hate-filled, bigtoed conservative Tea Party event. It’s disgusting. While I’m thrilled that Pope Francis spoke to the friggin’ morons in Congress, I don’t look at it as the head of the Catholic church spoke to the circus clowns. I look at it as a “world” leader (because, let’s face it–he IS the head of the Vatican..and the Vatican IS a separate entity…) Anyway, Francis spoke to the circus about just being good people..and they couldn’t handle the truth~!

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  4. Mahatma Gandhi said; “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    He would have liked Pope Francis. Here’s hoping enough people actually pay attention to His Eminence to make a real difference.

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  5. Dunky says:

    “And Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., warns that the pope might have overstepped the rhetorical wall between church and state.”

    Seriously? With all their talking about god this and god that. Why haven’t any heads exploded from the cognitive dissonance yet? Wall between church and state my ass. These fuckers have been pushing for a theocracy for decades now. Maybe the reality is that Catholicism isn’t their flavor of Christianity.

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    • Snarki, child of Loki says:

      “Why haven’t any heads exploded from the cognitive dissonance yet?”

      Bone’s too thick, gray matter too small. There’s just a puff of smoke out the ear, and “argle bargle derp” out the mouth.

      Like

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