Republicans and Democrats, as usual, heard different messages from Pope Francis' address to Congress yesterday, the difference is as stark as comparing Louis Gohmert with Elizabeth Warren. The Pope was expected to discuss poverty, climate change and other 'liberal' causes, so the GOP wasn't nearly as optimistic as they were with Bibi Netanyahu's talk in March. It was unlikely Francis' pronouncements would validate their mantra that: greed is good, immigration is a plague on society, the military should be robust, the wealthy should be admired and war is a necessary evil to
impose bring Democracy to the world.
Steve Doocy spoke with Republican Congressman (LA) Steve Scalise (Doocy pronounced it 'Calise') about his impression of the Pontiff's memorable speech. Scalise, himself a Catholic, was pleased with the apolitical nature of the speech.
DOOCY: "He gave a speech, what do you think?"
SCALISE: "I think he really rose to the occasion and he gave a speech that transcended politics. There were people on the Left who were trying to co-opt his message for their own agenda, and I don't think he did that, I don't think he played out specific items that the Left can go and say, 'see the Pope said this...He talked about real problems, but he also talked about defending the sanctity of life... and I don't think that's something that some folks on the Left expected."
The Louisiana Majority Whip somehow surmised that the primary purpose of the Holy Father's address was to protect the unborn (fetuses) and protect 'religious liberty.' He must have dozed off, and missed a considerable amount of content.
From The Hill:
... "Francis lived up to his reputation as a provocative figure, at one point denouncing the global arms industry as being fueled by “money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.”
Invoking Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, Francis made an impassioned plea for the refugees fleeing Syria, saying the crisis is “of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War.”
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Noting his own status as “the son of immigrants,” the pope pivoted to a more sensitive subject: The flow of illegal immigrants across the United States's southern border.He urged compassion for immigrants, warning not to repeat “the sins and the errors of the past” by turning them away.
On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation,” Francis said, according to his prepared remarks
“In Laudato si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to redirect our steps and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity,” the pope said. “I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States — and this Congress — have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies.”
In addition to his call to action on climate change, the Pope voiced his acquiescence to same-sex marriage. He also lauded the Iran Deal, immigration reform, and the restoration of U.S. relations with Cuba. Of course, as the head of the Catholic Church, he expressed his opposition to abortion, which shouldn't surprise anyone. Scalise saying that the Left didn't expect him to denounce abortion is a complete lie, of course.
Scalise never mentioned the most memorable parts of the speech, where he invoked the Golden Rule which is antithetical to the legislative style of the G.O.P. Rep. Scalise also steered clear of the Pope's unmistakable condemnation of the Death Penalty and excessive weapons proliferation. He felt that Francis avoided 'specific' terminology, and he just wanted to reaffirm the sanctity of (fetal) life.
The Louisiana Republican did not mention why some Catholics chose not to attend the speech.
In addition to Catholic (AZ) Republican Congressman, Paul Gosar, who boycotted the speech, and a variety of other criticism from ultra-conservative Catholics, of the six members of the US supreme court who are Catholic, only three (John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Sonia Sotomayor) attended the pope’s address to Congress. The more right-leaning Catholic justices (Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito) were notably absent.
Somehow the clearly 'Left-ish' ideals advocated by the Pope of the People went way over Scalise's head. Republicans have an amazing knack for hearing only what they want to hear, much like all the Fox 'News' viewers who exist only in the GOP bubble.