Wingnut Week In Review: Papa Don’t Preach

Terrance Heath

Pope Francis came to town in Washington, DC, this week, calling for a “revolution of tenderness,” and bringing his powerful messages on climate change and poverty to Congress. Naturally, wingnuts don’t want to hear it.

Right-wingers have been giving Pope Francis the side-eye ever since he took up residence in the Vatican. On economics, Pope Francis is closer to Bernie Sanders than Paul Ryan. And Francis’ views on subjects like capitalism, poverty, and climate change, gave conservatives the vapors from day one.

On Inequality

“Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.”
– Said in criticism of the government of Néstor Kirchner, former President of Argentina, in 2009

“Money has to serve, not rule.”
– Speech to new ambassadors to the Holy See, in 2013

“Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry. We all have to think if we can become a little poorer, all of us have to do this.”
– To students from Jesuit-run schools in Italy and Albania

On The Environment

“A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. … A number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity.”
– From Pope’s encyclical on the environment, in 2015

“God always forgives, we men forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives. If you give her a slap, she will give you one. I believe that we have exploited nature too much.”
– Press conference, flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, January 15, 2015

On Social Issues

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? We shouldn’t marginalise people for this. They must be integrated into society.”
– Interview with Vatican correspondents, in 2013

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”
– Interview with America: The National Catholic Review, 2013

No wonder right-wingers were unhappy. The complaining started will before Pope Francis even set foot on American soil.

Wingnuts whined even louder after Pope Francis arrived. There was plenty to upset them.

If that wasn’t enough, Pope Francis followed his White House speech with a historic address to a joint session of Congress. In a speech that went on for nearly an hour, Pope Francis:

And away they went.

Twitter was the usual love-fest.

Fox News host Shepard Smith had the perfect response to Pope Francis’ right-wing critics: “consult a mirror.”

Bye-Bye Boehner

John Boehner - Caricature

Image via Donkey Hotey @ Flickr.

It’s the only news bigger than the Pope coming to town. One day after meeting the pontiff, House Republicans won’t have John Boehner to kick around anymore. House Speaker John Boehner is resigning from Congress, come October.

Did he jump, or was he pushed? Probably a little from column A, and a little from column B. Column A: the tea party caucus in the House pushed Boehner out because he wouldn’t shut down the government over Planned Parenthood. Column B: facing a likely no-confidence vote, tired of saving the House GOP from itself, Boehner decided 20 years was a good run, and left to go work on his tan and his golf swing.

Wingnuts jubilantly waved Boehner’s scalp on Twitter.


And the reaction of the crowd at the Values Voters conference pretty much says it all.

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