So, you will recall the piece I wrote here last Thursday about how the invitation by Republican House Speaker John Boehner to Pope Francis for speaking before a joint session of Congress would cause a problem for Republicans, because of the Pontiff's stance in support of the Iran deal and Climate Change action.
Well, it only took a few hours.
Later that same day (and I'm not suggesting he reads these pages here, but it certainly is suspiciously impressive timing if he doesn't...) the first Republican, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) wrote an op-ed, which you can read here, for the conservative website Townhall explaining why he would be boycotting the Pope.
I'm sure he believes that he has very fine reasons supporting his decision. But just imagine if it was liberals who said they were boycotting the Holy Father...
Among other things, Mr. Gosar wrote --
"If the Pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate change policies, then I will not attend. When the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one." [No doubt if Rep. Gosar agreed with Pope Francis speaking like a reactionary politician, he would have no trouble treating the pope merely like a pope.]
And -- "The earth’s climate has been changing since God created it, with or without man. On that, we should all agree." [What we should also agree is that 97% of climate scientist all agree that man's actions have accelerated that change at unprecedented levels, and zero articles in peer-reviewed science publications have refuted the science.]
Also -- "If the Pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate change policies, then I will not attend." [Okay, that whole "97% of climate scientist all agree that man's actions have accelerated that change at unprecedented levels, and zero articles in peer-reviewed science publications have refuted the science" thing makes the only "flawed" thinking that which is coming from Climate Change Deniers like Rep. Gosar.]
Not to mention -- "It is my hope that Pope Francis realizes his time is better spent focusing on matters like religious tolerance and the sanctity of all life." [It is my belief that that is not even remotely Mr. Gosar's actual hope, because it would mean the pope speaking on religious tolerance towards the Muslin religion, and the sanctity of gays and lesbians. I say this given all the right-wing criticism towards Pope Francis towards his more liberal and open statements in the past.]
Anyway, if Rep. Gosar or any Republicans or anyone in Congress chooses not to attend the pope's address, that's perfectly fine and their choice. It just makes it more difficult for those who have long placed religion and the infallible pope high upon a mountain to keep doing so when they want to use that total grace for their political benefit.
By the way, since then, conservative Republicans have also been upset that Pope Francis is visiting Cuba. And they're still upset that the Pontiff supports the Iran nuclear deal.
Infallibility just isn't what it used to be.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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