As well it should.
It is no secret that the far-right Big Religion, Inc dismiss authority figures – governmental or spiritual – that prevent them from imposing their warped religious views on those who disagree.
Recent events surrounding Rowan County, KY Clerk Kim Davis summarizes their disdain for both the United States Supreme Court and our rule of law.
When asked if Davis has an obligation to follow the law, fringe Republican Presidential candidate and Evangelical ‘christian’ preacher Mike Huckabee said “You obey if it’s right.”
He released a detailed plan on how he would protect and defend ‘religious liberty’ were he to be elected:
• He would sign executive orders would protect businesses, churches, universities and other entities from discrimination or civil or criminal penalties for exercising their religious beliefs in support of traditional marriage (even though they say executive orders are Presidential tyranny).
• He would direct the U.S. Attorney General to prosecute as hate crimes groups or individuals who discriminated or attacked individuals, businesses, religious organizations and others for their religious beliefs about marriage (presumably this includes continuing to defending his serial child abusing friends like Josh Duggar and John Perry).
• He would direct the Secretary of Defense to support military chaplains and not force them to participate in ceremonies they find objectionable on religious grounds.
Huckabee believes that all Americans are entitled to freely practice and express (enforce) their religious beliefs (dictates), even if they violate the rights of others.
Unless you’re non-Christian. Ben Carson even believes that the Constitution is only for Christians.
To this end, they have relentlessly advocated against any and all government regulations that interfere with their ‘right’ to discriminate since at least Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address in 1981 when he famously said “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
Yet, all of their policy proposals are the very definition of Orwellian invasions of the personal freedoms they claim to be protecting. In fact, it doesn’t get a whole lot more invasive than demanding the right to enter a woman’s vagina against her wishes!
Pope Francis was elected on March 13, 2013, taking the Vatican reigns of power from the far more controversial and conservative Pope Benedict XVI. From the moment of his election, he started making traditional Catholic conservatives sweat.
I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.
However, he has still not done enough to address the inexcusable child rape scandal or to punish the pedophile priests that the church has sheltered for centuries. There are even recent stories that he hasn’t done anything at all.
I am certainly no fan of the Catholic Church. In fact, I’m an atheist that views the Catholic Church, as a repressive Theocracy trapped in the confines of its own outdated dogmatic doctrines.
It would be foolish to assume that Pope Francis will, or even could, change over 2000 years of Catholic dogma. Still, Pope Francis has clearly proven that he intends to be a Pope for change, that doesn’t plan on hiding inside the Vatican walls.
Pope Francis set the tone for his new Papacy from the moment his election was announced in St. Peter’s Square. When he emerged on the balcony, he was wearing simple white vestments and an iron cross. It seemed the days of Pope Benedict XVI’s love of regalia were over.
The significance of that moment was lost in the excitement and hope that a Papal election generates across the world – until details started leaking out. He hopped on a bus with the Cardinals, like an ordinary person, not the absolute Monarch of 1.2 billion Catholics that he had become.
He has rejected all the many trappings of luxury that he is entitled to as the elected Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. His acts of humility have become legendary in his two short years as the Bishop of Rome.
While not approving of Same-Sex marriage, he has softened the Church stance on the LGBT community. He has allowed divorced people to rejoin communion, and even widened the availability of ‘forgiveness’ for having an abortion. (As if women need to be forgiven for decisions they make regarding their own bodies.)
In one of his first homilies, Pope Francis put the right-wing Evangelical extremists, and others who oppose the poor and climate change, on notice:
I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment…We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!
While most of them are Evangelical ‘christians’ rather than Catholics, they do allegedly worship they same god.
It is easy for them to justify the arrest of a young Muslim child for building a clock (you know, ‘terrorists invading Merica’)
It’s much harder to use their carefully cultivated Persecution Industrial Complex to attack someone who has a closer relationship to the author of the user’s manual they both rely on, although they’ve tried.
When he released his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (Joy Of The Gospel) , he removed all doubt as to where he stands and what his intentions for his Papacy are. They are revolutionary, and are already being compared to Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.
We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?
In reality, he IS a socialist, just like a well-known carpenter from Nazarus was.
This is why Pope Francis is more a threat to their ideology of hate than ISIS or any other Islamist extremist group. His humility and teachings on poverty and inequality are a daily reminder of the lessons that Christians believe that Jesus Christ taught.
Everything that he’s done or said since his elevation is supported – word for word – by the actions and teachings attributed to Jesus Christ.
If Jesus does return to America, he’d better bring a security force. Because the American Evangelicals will crucify that sandal-wearing, long-haired Hippie Socialist on sight