I’m somewhat amused by the sudden popularity of the new Pope.
Pope Francis, TIME Magazine’s “Man Of The Year,” is being hailed now by many on the political Left as the voice of reason, of sensible egalitarianism and as an important cultural critic of rampant, unbridled capitalism.
He may indeed be all of those things and possibly more. He may turn out to be a great Pope, too; I’m not Catholic and have never paid much attention to the Vatican so I don’t really know how to judge such issues.
I do find it strange, though, that many of the Leftists who are now fawning so over Pope Francis are usually the very ones who deride and decry organized religion—including Catholicism—at every turn. That they have suddenly “found religion” when this Pope speaks their language is telling indeed.
For the same reason many of those who admire Ayn Rand all of a sudden jumped on the Ted Cruz ship when he read from the sacred pages of “Atlas Shrugged” in the Capitol during his filibuster circus so, too, Lefties who could care less about the Church—or any faith—are suddenly in the Pope’s corner.
It’s nice to have your ideas and beliefs respected by others. It’s human nature to seek out, and want approval, from those who share what you think. But popularity polls and peer approval does not truth make. The act of thinking, and thus acquiring the necessary knowledge on the road to truth, is one performed alone.
In their rush to count the Pope as an intellectual ally, I believe my friends on the Left are succumbing to the dangers of groupthink. Of course, strange political bedfellows can be made on the spur of a moment for a specific issue or agenda—it used to happen all the time. The Left and Pope Francis may share some disdain—some would say hatred—of the market and of what both see as its unfair wealth “distribution”; but that’s probably where the affinity and similarity will end.
When this Pope strongly denounces abortion again—as we know he must, in his position—what will the Left do then? Distance themselves? Pick and choose issues? Probably the latter but it will be interesting to see the bed empty when the light of day eventually enters the room.
Yes, thinking is a lonely activity. It is necessarily performed independently and requires consistency if it is to be more than mere opinion. Because of this fact, I think the mutual love fest currently taking place between the Left and the Pope will eventually run its course sooner rather than later. The two are just too far apart fundamentally—as I believe Liberation Theology proved.
This is not all to say that the Left and Pope Francis have no validity in the ideas they currently agree on—some of their criticisms of the market must certainly be addressed. But let’s not kid ourselves into imagining that some great harmonic convergence is about to take place. It’s not.
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