“The pope seems to prefer common ownership of the means of production, which is Marxist, or private ownership and government control, which is fascist, or government ownership and government control, which is socialist. All of those failed systems lead to ashes, not wealth… What shall we do about the pope and economics? We should pray for his faith and understanding and for a return to orthodoxy.”
— Fox News regular Andrew Napolitano in an op-ed in today’s Washington Times titled “Pope Francis Should Be Saving Souls, Not Pocketbooks”
I swear, right now there’s little that’s as endlessly entertaining as watching the clowns of the American right — who for so long figured they had the market cornered on Jesus — lose their minds over the new pope. Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, the Breitbart team, all either claim to be holier-than-thou servants of the one true God or just assume they can count on keeping those in his thrall safely under their thumbs. And here comes a guy who’s supposedly truly sanctified and infallible, the living embodiment of God on earth, and he’s completely fucking their shit up. He’s leading by example and taking on the responsibility of the papacy in a way that I’ll bet is more Christ-like than any of his predecessors were going back a very long time, and in doing so — by completely obliterating the status quo we’ve come to expect from the church and Christianity — he’s pulling a Jesus-in-Jerusalem on these people, upsetting their money-changing carts in the temple and gracefully challenging their corrupt Pharisees.
And they’re not happy about it.
It was bad a couple of weeks back when Sarah Palin — an idiot who wouldn’t know true compassion for her fellow man if it got stuck in her ass like buckshot — concern trolled the pope over statements of his that she felt were a little too “liberal.” But all hell broke loose when the pope delivered that recent encyclical in which he slammed unfettered capitalism (read: greed). Over the past couple of days, you could close your eyes and practically feel the fabric of conservative reality being rent in two. Fox News, Limbaugh, Drudge, that pompous prick Stuart Varney — they’ve all torn into Pope Francis, because he happens to be a guy who loves atheists and gays and, most distressingly, has the nerve to go out at night in street clothes and feed the poor. They’re tearing into the pope for being exactly what Jesus was, word for word, action for action.
But Napolitano’s criticism is special. It’s special because, well, the fucking gall of him. He isn’t just offering, pardon the pun, good faith dissension — he’s lecturing, chastising. And maybe there’s something even more offensive about the fact that he couches his insolence in claims of being not simply a Catholic, but, astonishingly, a better Catholic than the pope. He “prays” that Pope Francis returns to what he practices and has come to expect from Catholicism and Christianity, the brand that’s embraced and been corrupted by the very greed Francis claims to be at least attempting to move away from.
I can ridicule the pope’s belief system because I disagree with it completely and don’t feel the least bit beholden to it; Napolitano has the balls to imply a position of authority above that of the leader of the church he purports to be a dedicated member of. He can’t even imagine the possibility that, as a man supposedly imbued with knowledge directly from the almighty, Pope Francis might be the right one in this scenario and he may be the guy who’s been doing it wrong all this time. That’s beyond his comprehension. It’s easier to just be an original-sinning flesh-and-blood nobody thinking he’s got it all figured out and it’s the pope who’s screwing everything up.
Andrew, you arrogant asshole, you’re getting a lesson in how to truly be holy from a man who supposedly knows a lot more about these things than you. If you subscribe to the Catholic faith, then Pope Francis is the man whose example you have to follow. He’s right and you’re wrong. So it’s time for you to say ten Hail Marys and five Our Fathers, then sit down and shut the fuck up.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.