Cool guy, that new pope.
Wish those House Republicans would spend some time studying the interview Pope Francis gave to the Italian Jesuit journal La Civita Cattolica that was published online by America, a U.S.-based Jesuit publication.
They might learn a few things about compassion, priorities and how to be real Christians.
Francis thinks the church, to its detriment, is "obsessed" with its battles against abortion, gay marriage and contraception. "The teaching of the church is clear," he said. "But it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."
God bless that man.
But Francis didn't just rock the world with unexpected words of conciliation about those hot-button social issues, he also said the church must be less rigid and must listen to the "feeling of the people, especially the poor."
The same day his words were published, the inflexible Republican House majority voted to snatch food right out of the mouths of the less fortunate – up to 3.8 million of them. A day later, setting the government on a flight path toward a shutdown that will only come back to haunt the GOP, they voted (for the 41st time) to defund the Affordable Care Act, the program that is about to make health insurance accessible to an estimated 15 million uninsured Americans.
While the pope was declaring that "people get tired of authoritarianism," House Republicans were deciding who can eat and who can go hungry.
This un-Christian view was captured by Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a former seminary student who thought Hurricane Sandy victims should not receive disaster relief. "I think most Americans don't think you should be getting something for free," he said, "especially for the able-bodied adults."
(Unless you're Tim Huelskamp's parents, who, according to Politico, received $1.1 million dollars in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2009.)
How many of the 217 House Republicans who voted for the measure can really pretend they don't know any able-bodied adults who can't find jobs, or whose full-time jobs in the service industry keep them below the poverty level?
"Discernment in the Lord guides me in my way of governing," the pope said.
Wish that were true for this House.