I tried to like this pope when he was selected. I think most of the world wanted to love or at least respect him.
But his American tour has shown beyond any doubt that instead of a man of God, he is a man of the Left. And while he uses the poor continually as a prop in his speeches, a la “do this because the poor are suffering,” he is pushing the same tired leftist rhetoric about economic equality, social justice and environmental welfare that you can get from your run-of-the-mill Marxist college professor.
His message has consistently been spread the wealth and put trees and animals at the top of the list of Christian concerns.
Now, I do believe that responsible Christians have a duty to properly manage the environment, but I don’t think that’s what Pope Francis has been talking about, as his talks have tended toward the airy view that humans are somehow capable of destroying the Earth by simply using natural resources to provide energy, goods and commerce — all the things that make modern life so much more tolerable than, say, life in the Middle Ages.
The poor “suffer unjustly from the abuse of the environment,” the pope said Friday, even going so far as to say that “a true ‘right of the environment’ does exist” because human beings are a part of the environment.
But the pope wasn’t talking so much about things like air, water or food quality as he was about the fact that “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and disadvantaged, either because they are differently abled, or because they lack adequate information and technical expertise, or are incapable of decisive political action.”
In other words, he’s concerned that some people are able to get wealthy, while some people don’t do the work and wind up staying where they are.
First, even the poorest people in the United States are usually better off than the average person in any of the scores of Marxist countries the pope doesn’t criticize (such as his recent hosts in Cuba).
Second, the poor aren’t poor because someone’s drilled for oil to make the gasoline that runs our cars. They’re poor because they have no jobs or businesses to work at. And for that, you should look to the very governmental behavior the pope is advocating, producing a planned economy that relies on collectivism and discourages individual creativity and risk-taking.
Whenever government has stayed out of business’s way, the poor have benefited and wealth has flowed even to the most disadvantaged corners of society.
The types of regulation the pope and other statists advocate only benefit big, corporate interests, because it’s the small businesses that can’t absorb the costs of government regulation and wind up shutting down.
Francis, and others, look at the poverty produced by unemployment, and they blame greed, when what they should be doing is looking in the mirror and seeing the real culprit in creating mass poverty: government intervention in free markets by busy bodies who should stay out of other people’s affairs.
The Parable of the Talents tells the story of three servants who are given charge of their master’s money while he’s out of town. One servant is given five talents (gold coins), one is given two, and one is given one. The first two servants invest wisely and double the master’s money, and they are rewarded with positions of more responsibility and bigger rewards. The other servant buries the one talent and does nothing with what he is given, and the angry master takes even that one talent from him and gives it to another servant.
What the pope and other statists are advocating, if we continue in the vein of the parable, is taking the additional money earned by the first two hard-working servants and distributing it to the lazy servant so that they all have the same amount regardless of their own efforts, on the theory that the first two really just made their money by abusing the lazy servant in the first place. The master who’s money it is gets cut out entirely, and his good servants never see any reward, while the lazy servant gets everything for nothing and just winds up demanding more.
In other words, the pope is touring the country preaching from not just a non-biblical, but an anti-biblical, philosophy based in a purely mechanistic and demonstrably wrong worldview that has human misery as its aim.
And that’s enough reason not to listen to him anymore.