A holy man, but not as holy as Arizona's Paul Gosar
Rep. Paul Gosar, honorable congressman from the fine state of Arizona—hey, they can't
be from Texas—will not be attending Pope Francis's upcoming speech to Congress. He will be boycotting the speech, albeit with a heavy heart, because Pope Francis gives a flying damn about the fate of the planet and up with that the "proud Catholic" Gosar will not put
Many believed, like I did, that this was an opportunity for the Pope to be one of the world’s great religious advocates and address the current intolerance of religious freedom. An opportunity to urgently challenge governments to properly address the persecution and execution of Christians and religious minorities; to address the heinous and senseless murders committed by ISIS and other terrorist organizations. An opportunity to address the enslavement, belittlement, rape and desecration of Christian women and children; to address the condoned, subsidized, intentionally planned genocide of unborn children by Planned Parenthood and society; and finally, an opportunity for His Holiness to refocus our priorities on right from wrong.
Media reports indicate His Holiness instead intends to focus the brunt of his speech on climate change--a climate that has been changing since first created in Genesis. More troubling is the fact that this climate change talk has adopted all of the socialist talking points, wrapped false science and ideology into “climate justice” and is being presented to guilt people into leftist policies. If the Pope stuck to standard Christian theology, I would be the first in line. If the Pope spoke out with moral authority against violent Islam, I would be there cheering him on. If the Pope urged the Western nations to rescue persecuted Christians in the Middle East, I would back him wholeheartedly. But when the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one.
Got it. As long as the Pope promotes ideas that conservatives like and does so in a conservative frame, Paul Gosar is a big fan of the Pope. But if the Pope slips up and introduces something "proud Catholic" Paul Gosar doesn't like, the Pope can go straight to you-know where.
Gosar then proceeds to round out the rest of his statement with a few of the most hokum-filled talking points (The earth's climate has always been changing!), thereby identifying himself as someone whose sole knowledge of the issue comes from a trove of 20-year-old emails he just now got around to opening, and a specific condemnation of the Pope for talking about what the Pope wishes to talk about instead of what Paul Gosar wants him to talk about.
You know, Paul, I am probably not nearly as "proud" a Catholic as you are, but if your local priest is willing to pop a Communion wafer in your mouth after you writing a public column condemning your own Pope, you should consider yourself a very lucky little boy. Then again, it's been clear for a long time that the "conservative" fascination with religious tenets extends to those things you said—making sure everybody knows the other religious are bad, abortion is bad, and explaining why American Christians ought to be able to decide All The Things no matter how badly it steps on anyone else's faith—and to absolutely none of the bullshit about making sure anyone has food or medicine or shoes on their feet, so you'll forgive me if I consider your own personal "faith" to be eggshell-thin and there only as pretext for your own personal goals. You know, as long as we're judging who's got the right interpretation of Jeebus and who doesn't.
If individual members of Congress don't like what the Pope has to say, who cares? The concept of bringing in a religious leader to give a congressional speech is always a loaded proposition to begin with, and I would hope that it's a flat given that any speaker you could name would say things that one or more in that audience would disagree with. But Gosar is writing this column as a "proud Catholic," and in it he's saying that he will leave the building rather than have his ears soiled by notions of morality he might not agree with, if that doesn't sum up the whole state of conservative "faith" in this country then I don't know what would.
As an aside, remind me to write that essay I've been meaning to write about how all the elements for the ascension of true fascism are now in place among the top ranks of the American right. The adaptation of pseudo-"Christian" rhetoric to promote movement goals (expansionist interventionism, hyper-nationalism, xenophobia, a focus on "true" members of the nation versus the undesirable intellectual, political, religious and ethnic "others") while actual Christian thought is marginalized as "leftist" and even dangerous ought to be good for a sub-essay of its own. Or maybe someone else should write that and leave me the hell out of it, because people like Paul Gosar and their incessant streams of bullshit are wearing me out.