The Lexington Libertarian has received some feedback on previous articles on this site critical of Pope Francis’ plans to be a spokesman for Anthropogenic Global Warming. Some commenting on these article have not been very kind in any disagreement with the Pope. Some have also not been Catholic. So the question is why would people of faith desert their religion in favor of secular ideology? The answer is that Liberalism or Leftism is their primary religion and Christianity or Judaism or whatever is only secondary to it.
Such has been aptly reasoned by that great purveyor of spiritual and political reasoning, Dennis Prager. I urge you to wade through TWO Prager articles reprinted below to get a true sense of how this idea is logically presented.
The World’s Most Dynamic Religion Is …
For at least the last hundred years, the world’s most dynamic religion has been neither Christianity nor Islam.
It is leftism.
Most people do not recognize what is probably the single most important fact of modern life. One reason is that leftism is overwhelmingly secular (more than merely secular: it is inherently opposed to all traditional religions), and therefore people do not regard it as a religion. Another is that leftism so convincingly portrays itself as solely the product of reason, intellect, and science that it has not been seen as the dogma-based ideology that it is. Therefore, the vast majority of the people who affirm leftist beliefs think of their views as the only way to properly think about life.
That, in turn, explains why anyone who opposes leftism is labeled anti-intellectual, anti-progress, anti-science, anti-minority and anti-reason (among many other pejorative epithets): leftists truly believe that there is no other way to think.
How successful has leftism been?
It dominates the thinking of Europe, much of Latin America, Canada, and Asia, as well as the thinking of the political and intellectual elites of most of the world. Outside of the Muslim world, it is virtually the only way in which news is reported and virtually the only way in which young people are educated from elementary school through university.
Only the United States, of all Western countries, has resisted leftism. But that resistance is fading as increasing numbers of Americans abandon traditional Judeo-Christian religions, lead secular lives, are educated by teachers whose views are almost uniformly left-wing and are exposed on a daily basis virtually exclusively to leftist views in their news and entertainment media.
And when there is resistance, the left declares it “extremist.” Merely believing that marriage should remain defined as it has been throughout recorded history, as between a man and a woman, renders you an extremist. So, too, belief that government should be small — the Tea Party position — renders one an extremist. Last week, the managing editor of Time Magazine, Richard Stengel, said on MSNBC that the Salafis, the most radical Islamist sect, are “the Tea Party of Muslim democracy.”
Even Christianity and Judaism, the pillars of Judeo-Christian values, the moral value system upon which America was founded and thanks to which it became the world’s beacon of liberty, have been widely influenced by leftism. Many priests, ministers, rabbis and many Jewish and Christian seminaries are leftist in content and Jewish or Christian only in form.
Years ago, I debated one of the most prominent rabbis in the Conservative movement of Judaism on the issue of whether morality must be God-based. The Ivy League Ph.D., yarmulke-wearing rabbi argued that God was not morally necessary. If you want to understand why so many Jews vote left while nearly all the Western world’s opposition to — and frequently hatred of — Israel emanates from the left, one explanation is this: For most American Jews, their religion is leftism, while Judaism is their ethnicity and culture. The Reform, and increasingly the Conservative, movements have, to a large extent, become political movements that use Hebrew and Jewish rituals to equate Judaism with progressive politics.
Within mainstream Protestantism and Catholicism, the same dominance of leftist values exists. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops largely holds the same social and economic views as the Democratic Party and The New York Times editorial page. It differs with the left with regard to same-sex marriage, abortion and religious freedom issues such as those pertaining to Catholic hospitals and government-funded contraception. As for mainstream Protestant denominations, they, too, are largely indistinguishable from leftism. Proof? Ask a liberal Protestant minister to name one important area in which he and leftism differ. Ask a liberal Reform or Conservative rabbi the same question. Their silence will be telling.
The truth is that the left has been far more successful in converting in converting Jews and Christians to Leftism than Christianity and Judaism have been in influencing leftists to convert to Christianity or Judaism.
Finally, leftism has even attained considerable success at undoing the central American values of liberty, “In God We Trust,” and “E Pluribus Unum,” supplanting liberty with egalitarianism, a God-based society with secularism, and “E Pluribus Unum” with multiculturalism. (I make this case at length in “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph” [HarperCollins].)
This triumph of the twentieth century’s most dynamic religion — leftism — is why, even in the midst of an ongoing recession, the leftist candidate may win. As I wrote in my last column, it’s not just the economy, stupid. (1)
“Unfortunately, however, being a wonderful person doesn’t mean you will be a wonderful pope. Any Catholic who tweets, “Inequality is the root of social evil,” as Pope Francis did last March, should be a socialist prime minister, not a Christian leader. The moral message of every Bible-based religion is that the root of evil is caused by poor character and poor moral choices, not by economics. The pope’s tweet is from Marx, not Moses.”
Pope Francis, the Climate and Leftism
One of the rarest and most important things a pope does is issue encyclicals. In the eight years of Pope Benedict’s papacy, he issued three encyclicals. In the 27 years of Pope John Paul II’s papacy, he issued 14 encyclicals.
Since his ascendancy to the papacy in March 2013, Pope Francis has issued one.
But Pope Francis is about to issue an encyclical to the world’s 5,000 bishops and 400,000 priests that tells us a great deal about him, about Latin America and, most of all, about the influence of what has been the most dynamic religion in the world for the last hundred years.
Hint: It isn’t Christianity or Islam.
This year, the pope will use an immense amount papal moral influence to address global warming, or as it is now called, in light of the small amount of warming actually taking place, climate change. In a few weeks, he will visit the Philippine city of Tacloban, which was devastated by the super typhoon Haiyan in 2012. Then he will present his encyclical, and in September he will address the United Nations General Assembly on the subject. This will all be done in order to influence the December 2015 international Climate Change Conference in Paris.
The world’s left is ecstatic with this pope. As the Guardian reported:
“In recent months, the pope has argued for a radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation. In October he told a meeting … ‘An economic system centered on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.
“‘The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands.
“‘The monopolising of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness,” he said.
“The god of money needs to plunder nature.”
“[Ecological] evils that tear man from the land of his birth.”
That is left-wing, even radical left-wing, language.
How are we to explain this?
How are we to explain that at the very moment that the oldest Christian communities in the world are being violently destroyed; that while Christians are murdered, raped and tortured in Africa and the Middle East; and while horrific barbarities are committed daily in the name of God, the pope issues an encyclical and travels around the world to talk about climate change?
It is happening because leftism has taken over much of Catholicism, most of mainstream Protestantism, increasing numbers of evangelicals and most of non-Orthodox Judaism. Not to mention the secular worlds of the news media, entertainment media and academia.
It is happening because the default philosophic, moral and political position in Latin America is leftism. Support for big government and the redistribution of income, and condemnation of capitalism and corporate profits — these are givens in Latin America. And Pope Francis is Latin American to the core.
His leftism was the primary reason he worked so diligently to get the United States to normalize relations with the Castro brothers in Cuba — instead of using his moral authority to condemn a brutal tyranny that has crushed and impoverished the Cuban people for 55 years.
Senator Marco Rubio, a practicing Catholic, put it succinctly:
“I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy.”
In the long run, this will bring down the Church — just as it has mainstream Protestantism and non-Orthodox Judaism — as well as diminish decency on earth.
It is, moreover, clear that the pope has been so influenced by leftism that he appears to know only the propaganda, not the science. For example, the typhoon in the Philippines had nothing to do with global warming. The leading science journal, Nature, wrote as much:
“Did climate change cause Typhoon Haiyan? There is limited evidence that warming oceans could make superstorms more likely.”
Defenders of Pope Francis note that Pope Benedict, too, spoke eloquently about man’s obligations to protect nature. That is true. And it is irrelevant. First, he issued no encyclical on the issue; his encyclicals were, like almost every papal encyclical, non-political. Second, everyone knows we have an obligation to care for the planet. But caring for the planet has as much to do with left-wing environmentalism as protecting workers had to do with Communism.
By all accounts, Pope Francis is a wonderful man. Conservatives understand that good people can hold left-wing positions. If only bad people held left-wing positions, leftism wouldn’t be the world’s most dynamic religion.
Unfortunately, however, being a wonderful person doesn’t mean you will be a wonderful pope. Any Catholic who tweets, “Inequality is the root of social evil,” as Pope Francis did last March, should be a socialist prime minister, not a Christian leader. The moral message of every Bible-based religion is that the root of evil is caused by poor character and poor moral choices, not by economics. The pope’s tweet is from Marx, not Moses. (2)
The World’s Most Dynamic Religion Is …
Pope Francis, the Climate and Leftism
Dennis Prager – http://www.dennisprager.com/pope-francis-climate-leftism/