Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, September 20, 2013

The Pope Makes Republicans Look Medieval

Primal prejudices are intractable, but American liberals of my era are put to the test with a new Pope professing a large-hearted vision of the Catholic faith even as the Tea Party hunkers down in Washington to defend to the death its deep belief that the poor and the sick are unlovable and evil.

Religion and politics collide in a spiritual train wreck. Those of rational bent are hard-pressed to sort out where America is going.

In his first authorized interview, Francis I says, “The proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives, adding that the Church “is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people...We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity.”

Here, in the so-called New World, a GOP group YouTubes an ad showing a young woman in hospital gown, feet in stirrups for a gynecological exam, when an Uncle Sam caricature pops up and the messages, “Don’t let government play doctor” and “Opt out of Obamacare” flash on the screen.

At the same time, House Republicans slash billions from food stamp programs, a move described as “the most heartless bill I have seen” by a long-time Democratic Congressman but justified by Speaker John Boehner, captive of his mindless Kamikaze caucus, as “getting Americans back to work a priority again for our nation’s welfare programs.”

Just as burning at the stake was a way of clearing the minds of heretics in the good old medieval days.

In his interview, the Pope recalls, “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”

Someone should tell that to Tea Party here and, in next year’s election, take away their matches.

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