False doctrine, or heresy, is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, and is distinct from both apostasy, which is unequivocal renunciation of one’s faith and principles, and blasphemy, which is derision toward religion. False doctrine can take on any form, and for thirty years Republicans have promoted a belief that is at variance with established economic theory and preached that giving the nation’s wealth to the rich will help the masses. False doctrines such as trickle-down theory, like false Christianity, became an opiate for Republican supporters and like promises of spiritual salvation based on aberrant Christianity, economic salvation based on false economic doctrine is fiscal heresy.
The Christian bible warns the faithful that false prophets bearing false teachings will sway many Christians and lead them to eternal damnation, so it has always been a mystery why so many professed “followers of Christ” embraced an agenda contrary to their lord and savior’s admonition to give up all their possessions to help the poor. Many have wondered when a true “follower of Christ” would emerge and speak out against Republican economic policies of taking from the poor to give to the rich that their religious right devotees embraced with the same god-like devotion they give to Ronald Reagan.
Those who observe American Christianity, and its adherence to Republicans’ economic agenda, have opined that if Jesus Christ appeared in America preaching to care for the poor, he would be branded a false-prophet, liberal, and Marxist and be summarily executed by conservative Christians. Since Jesus is not here, his representative on Earth, the Catholic Pope, is spreading his message of tolerance and acceptance that has not been well-received by conservative Christians over issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and birth control. Now the Pope has written a new apostolic exhortation condemning trickle-down economics as “not having been proven to work and reflect a naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power;” Republicans and conservative Christians must be apoplectic.
The Pope exhorted governments to adopt a saying that “not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood” and strongly condemned “governments adhering to laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized, without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.” It is unclear if the Pope was speaking directly to Republicans and their conservative Christian supporters, but he certainly sounded like he was attacking Republicans’ economic agenda and branded them purveyors of ”a new tyranny.”
The Pope’s Christ-like words were too much for Rush Limbaugh to take and he accused Pope Francis of offending unfettered capitalism by labeling it a new tyranny. Limbaugh said “Now, up until this, I thought he was going a little overboard on the common man touch, but the Pope here has now gone beyond Catholicism here, and this is pure political.” Limbaugh likely is unfamiliar with Christ’s teachings because he railed on the Pope for “beseeching global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality,” and claimed Pope Francis went too far in “criticizing the global economic system and attacking the idolatry of money.”
Limbaugh’s assertion that the Pope’s comments were political led him to conclude that “somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. There’s no such — “unfettered capitalism”? That doesn’t exist anywhere.” Limbaugh is wrong; unfettered capitalism is the entirety of the Republican economic agenda. However, Rush is absolutely correct on one count; somebody did get to the Pope and write his opinions for him. Since everything this new Pope said is straight out of the Christian bible gospel accounts, the Pope got his opinions from whoever recorded Jesus Christ’s sermons, parables, and teachings commanding his followers to care for the poor; likely the disciple Luke. It is also likely that Pope Francis used a sentence Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote in a 1786 dialogue between Head and Heart that says, “This world abounds indeed with misery; to lighten its burden we must divide it with one another.”
The Pope may as well have directly addressed Republicans by calling on politicians to guarantee “dignified work, education and healthcare” to their citizens, and he “begged the Lord to deliver politicians who were more concerned with the poor and inequality.” The only politicians in America working tirelessly to give all Americans dignified work, education, and healthcare are President Barack Obama, Senator Bernie Sanders, and the majority of Democrats in the House, Senate, and state legislatures. For their part, Republicans have made every attempt to kill jobs, slash education spending, and their advocacy for eliminating healthcare is legendary putting them at odds with every utterance of the Pope and as his representative on Earth, Jesus Christ.
One does not have to be a devotee of Catholicism, or Christianity for that matter, to understand that this new Pope is the first major leader of the Christian faith who is a real “follower of Christ.” In fact, Pope Francis said he is “obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor,” and he exhorted world leaders to “generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.” For a secular humanist and former Christian minister, it is heartening to finally hear a Christian leader of the Pope’s stature advocate for an economic approach that favors human beings; not corporations, the filthy rich, or Republican campaign coffers.
What is glaringly evident is that every time Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, libertarian oil magnates, racist teabaggers, and conservative Christians decry President Obama’s economic policies as Marxist, socialist, or communist, they are in effect condemning the Pope, Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, and Jesus Christ. It is also obvious that like Republicans’ precious trickle-down economic agenda, conservative Christians, evangelical fanatics, and the entire religious right are steeped in false Christian doctrine and their avid support for Republicans to steal from the poor to enrich the wealthy informs they are heretics in opposition their lord and savior Jesus Christ. Subsequently, if the bible is true, they are all going to burn in Hell.