Thursday, May 14, 2015

That Uppity Pope

The oil and gas industry thinks that Pope Francis is getting too big for his cassock. The Kochs, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, BP and their whole coterie of climate change-denying think tanks are tightening their collective sphincter in anticipatory dread of the Pope's upcoming major encyclical on the environment. His global warning to mankind will be followed this fall by his address to a joint session of congress.

 I wonder if the neoliberal pols will dare pull a police state union stunt and turn their backs on the Pope as he calls them out on their selfishness and capitalistic greed. I wonder if John Boehner will turn a brighter shade of orange as he is forced to take a public back seat directly behind a religious leader who accepts science as fact.

Environmentalists, stung by the recent betrayals of Barack Obama, the self-described environmental president (Atlantic and Arctic oil drilling now, tepid pollution reductions way down the road), are all excited by both the encyclical and the Pope's upcoming visit to the United States.

Despite the propaganda of so-called militant atheists, organized religion does not have a built-in anti-science bias. There is an organization called the National Religious Partnership for the Environment  which draws its membership from across the denominational spectrum to spread the message that environmental justice, social justice and economic justice are inextricably intertwined. Evangelicals love clean water and hate methane emissions as much as secular humanists do. Rationality and religion are not mutually exclusive.

This is making the God-fearing climate denialists' heads explode in paroxysms of cognitive dissonance. Therefore, like any fringe cultists worth their salt, they are tweaking their doctrine just enough to adjust to the changing times and a Pope who doesn't hail from the same right wing universe as they do. The heartless Heartland Institute, for example, now claims that he is not scientific enough to know whereof he speaks. Oil and gas magnates sent a group of their scientists-for-hire  all the way to the Vatican last month to issue a prebuttal to the Pope. Their main beef, though, is that he is teaming up with their other nemesis, the United Nations, in order to spread the scientific gospel. They're sounding the alarm against climate alarmism, and spending millions of tax-exempt dollars to do it. They get their tax-exempt 501 (C)3 "charity" money from the billionaire Koch Brothers, among others. They were recently outed in what's become known as ClimateGate: a group of scientists were exposed as deliberately lying for cash money. They're a nasty bunch, even going so far as to threaten to sue those who dare publicize their chicanery.

So now they think they have the Pope on the ropes? This ought to be good, coming as it does when the GOP Clown Car (which, due to rapid overcrowding, should probably be upgraded to the GOP Clown Recreational Vehicle) will be in full, grinding, dissonant gear.

The Heartland Institute has put its own financial backing into the presidential campaign of college dropout Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. They're calling it Operation Angry Badger. But although they might get their sadistic kicks out of badgering people and popes,  they're really nothing but a bunch of wretched weasels.


Meredith NYC said...

The Right Wing infotainment won’t let the Pope get too uppity.

This reminds me -- last year I complained to the Times that a page 1 article quoted the president vs Rush Limbaugh in the same sentence, re the Pope’s remarks on poverty. Do other countries equalize talk show hosts with their leaders?

Guess the Times thought Obama and the Pope were ‘left wing’, so they had to quote the Fox star to be fair and balanced. To be anti poverty is now anti corporate, so quote an anti Marxist? Like Obama should be pres of all the people, the Times should be the paper for all the people. That explains their warped op ed page, maybe?

The article was "Popular Voice in the Capitol? It’s the Pope’s" by Sheryl Gay Solberg, Jan 5, 2014.

I emailed----“The Times quotes Rush Limbaugh and President Obama in the same sentence in a page 1 article about the Pope on a national controversy. “Mr. Obama approvingly quoted the exhortation in a speech on inequality, but Rush Limbaugh, the radio host, promptly accused Francis of spouting “pure Marxism,” setting Washington conservative policy circles abuzz.”

Setting abuzz? Indeed. I was buzzed off. The rw is setting the terms of our debates.

Ms. Stolberg emailed me back that she “respectfully disagrees with my comment but would defend our readers' right to make them.”

That’s a relief—we live in a free country.

annenigma said...

I absolutely love this Pope! I'm not kidding. I want a picture of him to hang on the wall.

He recently told children that some evil people don't want peace because they make their money from war. Who else in the public eye is saying that? Probably not even Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Certainly not Barack Obomber, the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Go to Hell, Mr. President!

Pearl said...

Jeb Bush Gets Schooled By College Student for 'Spouting War Rhetoric' -

Education can be a dangerous thing.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I'm with Anne! I know I have been shot down for this in the past but I just LOVE this guy! When you compare this guy to the Fundamentalist Right, there is no comparison.

How hysterical that the oil industry is pooping their pants about what the Pope will say and are issuing counter arguments.

And poor Obama! Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown on one side and now the Pope on the other.

A bit of a non sequitur. Who cares if Obama calls Elizabeth Warren by her first name? What matters is that he is calling her a liar and saying she is misinformed.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Let’s step back a bit and take a fresh look at pieces on the chess board. Obama says Warren is misinformed and a liar. Both at once? How can that be? Those two states are at war with each other.

If she’s misinformed (as a result, by the way, of Obama’s blackouts of data) and as a result she makes statements based on misinformation, then she can only be, at most, mis-tak-en, poor dear.

On the other hand, rest assured Obama is exceedingly well informed. His security clearance and his Google account span the universe and reach to the very bottom of the deep state, where the CIA, NSA and corporate giants are continually sifting every bit of data they can extract from the ether. Our dear leader has got to be in the know.

So, when Obama errs, his errancies from fact would have to be intentional and purposeful. Oh-oh…. There’s a word for that.

Meredith NYC said...

Pearl...yes, and the 19year old college student Ivy Ziedrich was interviewed on msnbc last night by Lawrence O. She knows her stuff, and would make a good commentator. They should have a weekly round up of College student opinion, to get the younger generation trends. And do same for the much larger group of non college young--those trying to earn a living. Find spokespeople for both.