Iowa congressmelon Steve King is a Catholic, and as a concerned member of the most strictly hierarchical religious institution on the planet, he’d like to take the opportunity to set Pope Francis straight about a few points of Catholic doctrine. Now, you might think that takes a lot of the chootzpah, for a mere Catholic layman to presume to lecture the man who — according to canon law — is the direct inheritor of the apostolic succession going back to Saint Peter. But sometimes rightwing American Catholics must speak harsh truths, even to the Bishop Of Rome, especially if the Pope doesn’t see why the GOP platform is more important than silly concerns about “economic justice” and “the planet.”
In an interview with Politico, King explains where the Pontiff has got Christ’s Word all wrong, and what he would say to Congress if he were Pope. Which, we might note, he is not.
I’m hopeful that Pope Francis will speak to these two issues: One is the church’s unfailing and steadfast opposition to abortion, the position that life begins at the moment of conception and it ends at natural death, and the dignity of every human person … I’m looking forward to that. Second component that is so strong among the Catholic Church is the position of marriage, and it being between a man and a woman.
Hmm. We have a feeling that no matter how much he’s looking forward to hearing that, he just might not, given Francis’s explicit calls to de-emphasize culture-war issues. King also said the Pope should be careful not to slag capitalism, or maybe Francis might not gain U.S. citizenship, and could even lead others astray!
If he truly is taking a position that is critical of free enterprise, that’s on our immigration test: What is the economic system of the United States? And for people about to ready to take the test, I’d remind them the answer is free enterprise capitalism.
We weren’t aware that Francis had scheduled any study sessions with people prepping for the naturalization test, but that’s a helpful tip, just in case. King also seemed personally affronted by the Pope’s statement that “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” Not really true, said King:
I would disagree that there’s a definitive science that has concluded that mankind has turned the earth’s thermostat up and that we can turn the earth’s thermostat down at will, we just haven’t yet found the will. That’s the argument on climate change. If they were right, we would be using the terminology “global warming,” rather than climate change.
Oh, that’s pretty cute, what he did there, claiming that there’s no such thing as global warming because Frank Luntz recommended in 2003 that the George W. Bush administration use “climate change” because people felt less compelled to do anything about that. Besides, “the weather” is none of the Pope’s business anyway, because Steve King doesn’t think the science is any good, as proven by a focus group 12 years ago:
I think that it would be better for the Vatican to focus more on theology, and less on this thing that they’ve now had to have a name change from global warming to climate change.
King also worried that Democrats — a bunch of hypocrites, the lot of them, since God is a Republican — have tried to act as if the Pope agrees with them somehow:
I’ve noticed that some Democrats, who seldom mention their faith or maybe never mention their faith will seize on to a phrase that Pope Francis may have said, and they want to attach themselves to that agenda. Political opportunists is what they are.
Shame on them! What people need to realize is that there are certain eternal values that the Pope speaks to, or would, if the Pope would just pay more attention to Steve King:
So, one of the reasons I emphasize the timeless values is that if Pope Francis would come here and address two topics and only two topics, it should be life and it should be marriage, and if he emphasized those two points and went back to the Vatican, he would leave a lasting impact on the entire United States of America and we would talk about those two issues within the parameters of the theology of the Roman Catholic Church, and I agree with both of those positions completely.
Ah, but what if, instead, Francis were to talk about climate change and inequality, as has been his wont? (Francis does have a wont, though he usually covers it with his alb.)
It would be a different kind of lasting impact, certainly. And I don’t think that it could move our national policy nearly as far or coalesce our national policy, because these topics that Democrats are more likely to embrace that we anticipate he’ll bring up are less religion and theology and more politics.
Good to know that reversing the Supreme Court’s decisions on abortion and marriage equality are a matter of theology, not politics. Say, does that mean that Steve King will leave decisions about whether to have an abortion or get married to someone of the same gender up to the consciences of individual believers? That would be pretty cool.
Also too, as an afterthought, King added that while Pope Francis has called on nations to take in more Syrian refugees, if he really cared about fixing Syria, he’d listen to Steve King:
I’d say, instead of bringing 10,000 refugees here…we should train them up, package them up, put them in uniform, hand them a weapon and send them back to their country to take their country back. Otherwise, at some point, we’re going to be asking American soldiers to go to do the fighting that young Syrians today are running from.
Spoken like a true American Christian.