Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Don’t look now, but another person who hates free market capitalism, calls for radical government action to address global warming, wants to silence free expression, believes lawmakers should micromanage the family lives and sexual behavior of individuals, and has people convinced he’s infallible is in Washington.

But this time, it’s not some dimwitted new member of Congress.

It’s Pope Francis.

The popular pope will undoubtedly be received generously by President Obama and Congressional lawmakers when he addresses Congress on Thursday. His approval numbers, however, seem based less on his accomplishments and more on the fact that he’s is not his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who was directly involved in covering up child sex abuse by priests, while displaying all the personality of a boiled turnip.

Despite his popularity, Pope Francis is more deserving of a cold shoulder than a warm welcome from Americans because of his peculiar, offensive and foolish stances on everything from economic policy to free speech.

The pope showed a total lack of understanding about basic economics when he criticized capitalism and blamed many of the world’s woes on inequality in his first apostolic exhortation.

“We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the ‘invisible hand’ of the market,” or “continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Pope Francis wrote in 2013.

While there is certainly inequality in developed nations that benefit from free markets, the poorest people in those countries generally enjoy a better quality of life than nearly anyone in most countries with limited economic freedom.

Countries where equality is the greatest are also the places where everyone is poor, crime is highest, starvation is rampant and the quality of life is dreadful.
Pope Francis must really believe Jesus was onto something when he said “blessed are the poor.” The pope appears committed to creating lots of them. His economic beliefs would leave everyone blessed, but equally – and hopelessly – impoverished.

When he’s not pretending to be an economist, the pope moonlights as a climate scientist encouraging governments to adopt policies to address global warming. Those ideas, of course, involve Marxist regulations that allow the government to dictate economic activities by determining who can produce what, and when and where it can be produced.

The pope also believes that married couples who don’t have children will face “the bitterness of loneliness” in old age. There’s nothing quite as irresponsible as telling people who don’t want kids to have them, and there’s nothing quite as heartless as making people who can’t have children feel even worse than they already do.

The pope’s lowest point came when he condemned free speech in the wake of the January terrorist attacks at the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published cartoons of Muhammad.

He justified the killing of a dozen people by Muslim extremists, by saying “You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

If someone “says a curse word against my mother,” Pope Francis commented later, “he can expect a punch. It’s normal.”

Contrary to what Pope Francis thinks, it’s not normal. It’s never normal for words to be met with physical violence. Any school child who has heard the saying about “sticks and stones” knows better than to punch someone who says something unkind or offensive. The pope’s despicable victim-shaming of those killed for drawing and publishing cartoons is the equivalent of blaming a rape victim for wearing a short skirt.

Given the pope’s support of socialist-style, anti-American ideas, and his disdain for limited government, capitalism, individual liberty and free speech, it’s obvious that he has turned his back on many of the principles Americans hold most dear. Members of Congress should return the favor by turning their backs on Pope Francis and walking out of his speech in a show of disapproval.

Americans would be better off if Congress doesn’t hear the pope pontificate in support of his foolish big government beliefs. There are enough bad ideas on Capitol Hill already.

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