Friday, December 6, 2013

Is the Pope Capitalist?

Apparently not.

A humble Pope Francis honors the poor and ill.
It has been entertaining to see the right-wing go after the Pope, of all people. I mean, if Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are all against the guy for his views on Capitalism and the Social Gospel, almost they persuade me to become a Catholic! Except that if anyone really reads the Book of Mormon, the revelations of Joseph Smith, or teachings of Brigham Young, they wouldn't be a Capitalist either. It's only the Anti-Christs in the Book of Mormon who preach that each man prospers according to his own genius!

I had my own little difference of opinion with Mormon blogger DCP last week on this theme. I wasn't bothered at all by his responses to me. My pride made me laugh; my heart made me kind of sad.

I understand that some free-marketers think they are fighting for "freedom" so they can use their free agency to help out the poor on an individual basis. I just wish they could understand that progressives think we can do that best as a people united in providing better opportunity for all. And I agree that neither the Capitalists nor the Socialists are going to heaven unless they've got some of that good intent and actions going to follow through. I think that we ought to at least be trying no matter how often we fail.

Yes, I am an idealist and incurable romantic (in the philosophical sense - check with my wife on the other). Our influences in youth tend to mold us. I return to a film that hit me at an impressionable age, Zeffirelli's Brother Sun, Sister Moon. There is a portrayal of Francesco, the eventual St. Francis of Assisi, receiving a blessing from Pope Innocent III played by none other than Obi Wan Kenobi.

In that scene, there are some forced extremes between the self-imposed poverty of St. Francis and the ostentatious wealth and power of the medieval Pope. There has to be a happy medium somewhere. Pope Francis is on the right track.

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