Washington Post Conservative Claims That Honoring the Pope is Hating America


During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq and throughout the George W. Bush administration, Republicans became very adept at portraying any American with dissenting opinions as not being a patriot and hating America. The election of Barack Obama did little to change the Republican tactic and there has been no dearth of ways Republicans claim opposition to their policies and agendas is hating America. It was not enough to claim ending billions in subsidies to the highly-profitable oil industry was un-American, or President Obama pledging to hold BP accountable for devastating the Gulf coast was un-American, or that seeking new clean and renewable energy sources was unpatriotic and un-American. Now that Pope Francis is coming to America and expected to continue his crusade to combat climate change when he addresses Congress, conservatives have declared that any American who dares honor the Pope for his humanitarian efforts cannot possibly love America.

That ridiculous idea that no American can possibly honor the Pope for speaking out about climate change and still love America is from an epic climate denier and conservative columnist George Will, but he is not alone by any means. Will wrote about the Pope’s impending visit to Congress on Friday and his calls for action on climate change. The “noted conservative” accused the Pontiff of “embracing ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary. They would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak — if his policy prescriptions were not as implausible as his social diagnoses are shrill. He stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies in which people and their desires are not problems but precious resources. Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.” More simply put and typical of Republicans; Americans who honor the Pope and reject Republicans’ devotion to the fossil fuel industry really hate America.

As reported here, last week the marketing director of the Heartland Institute, Gene Koprowski, attempted to sully the Pope and a billion-plus Catholics around the world by claiming the Pope’s climate change encyclical was motivated by “pagan remnants of nature worship reasserting themselves in the Catholic Church.” This claim that the Pope is “Paganizing” the Vatican, although bizarre and frankly hilarious, is exactly what to expect from a Koch organization.

The same Koch surrogates asserted three years ago that any human being who accepts the reality of climate science, and journalists who report climate facts accurately, are comparable to “mass murderers and madmen like Charles Manson, the Unabomber, and Osama Bin Laden!” So apparently by extension the Pope, too, is a “mass murderer and a madman” for appealing to the world’s nations to address climate change. It also means that any Americans honoring the Pope’s humanitarianism not only hate America, they must be like mass murderers and madmen as well because they do not buy into Koch Republicans’ lies and denial that anthropogenic climate change exists.

Thus far, Republicans have rejected nearly everything about this Pope. But what has Republicans in a rage, and conservatives claiming if an American honors the Pope they must hate America, is best summed up in the closing of the Pope’s “encyclical on the environment and climate change.” Pope Francis ends the encyclical by supplicating his god to please “Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live.

Obviously, the Pope was not only “preaching like Jesus,” he was addressing everything the various conservative and evangelical movements stand for and made an impassioned entreaty to god to “enlighten them.” If one follows the conservatives’ mindset and logic, they are making a robust statement that any American who fails to embrace all things Koch Republican certainly hates America. Very few semi-aware Americans would disagree that those who hold power and wealth, the Republicans’ masters, and their poor stupid and racist supporters could not care less about the weak, the environment, or the common good; that is what decent civilized human beings care about.

The Pope may have support from other nations, President Obama, and some Americans in his crusade to address the looming environmental catastrophe, but he will face fierce resistance from fossil fuel industry Republicans. This resistance, and continued climate denial, is despite the fact that the fossil fuel industry has known for over four decades that their products were destroying the environment. A just-released investigation reveals that ExxonMobil executives were warned of their precious fossil fuels’ role in creating devastating changes to the Earth’s climate in the 1970s; thirty years before the rest of the world was informed and started paying attention. Subsequently, the oil industry responded forty years ago exactly how the Koch brothers have ordered Republicans to respond today; by devising devious strategies and legislation to block climate solutions. And now they are executing a well-planned assault on the Pope and his understanding of climate science by portraying him as a Pagan and his followers as un-American.

No sane human being believes anything George Will says, but Republicans and their base are not sane and heed carefully conservatives like George Will, “Misinformer of the Year” for 2014, despite his irrational ramblings against climate science and now the Pope. One leading climatologist, Michael Mann, said that “George Will is known for grossly misstating the science of climate change,” and his own  newspaper “overtly contradicted his lies and misstatements” about climate science in its news pages.

Will even offered his “proof“  that the Pope’s calls for action on climate change are founded on “woolly sentiments that have the intellectual tone of fortune cookies.” Will wrote that the Pope is a fool for saying that “People occasionally forgive, but nature never does. The Vatican’s majesty does not disguise the vacuity of this. Is Francis intimating that environmental damage is irreversible? He neglects what technology has accomplished regarding London’s air (see Page 1 of Dickens’s “Bleak House”) and other matters.”

So here is a 21st Century science denier citing a piece of fiction from the 1850s as proof that Americans  honoring the Pope’s appeal, based on real 21st Century science,  to the rich and powerful to help save the climate is proof they hate America. George Will is patently wrong and the Pope is correct; anthropogenic climate change damage  is irreversible and it has been a well-documented fact since at least 2009.

In a paper published by a group of highly-regarded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists, they reported that there already is “Irreversible climate change because of carbon dioxide emissions.” The paper also concluded that “the climate change that is taking place now because of increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop.” If the Pope, 97-percent of climate scientists, and Americans living the devastation of climate change were to somehow be successful and stop emissions today, the climate might revert to “normal” in 3015.

Sadly, too many conservative Americans struggling to comprehend the difference between an apple and a garden rake due to brain disorders accept the Republican, fossil fuel industry, and Koch belief tanks sophistry about climate change. They are willingly condemning their children, grandchildren, and countless future generations to “irreversible dry-season rainfall reductions in several regions comparable to those of the ‘dust bowl’ era and inexorable sea level rise.” It is also sad that those same low-intellect conservative supporters will reject the Pope’s message just to show Republicans that they do not hate America and give the Koch brothers exactly what they want; no action on climate change and more animus toward a Pope simply because he is not a fossil fuel acolyte.

39 Replies to “Washington Post Conservative Claims That Honoring the Pope is Hating America”

  1. BULLSHIT! I would say that honoring or voting for or supporting Conservatism is Hating America! I was baptized Catholic and survived 1.5 years of Catholic schooling and eventually became an atheist. But Pope Francis has my support because he is following the REAL Jesus Christ and THAT is what has the Fake Jesus freaks pissing in their pants.

  2. Contrast the Pope’s visit with the current visit of the Chinese head of state. Let go of the environmental rhetoric for a minute. China is a Communist country, and, though it’s let capitalism creep in, the great proportion of its industry is nationally owned, and all of it is bound tightly by government regulations. If the GOP really wants to get hysterical about who we’re honoring, why not be upset about the Chinese premier’s visit? He’s Communist and anti-capitalism. Aren’t these things more important than getting worked up about a religious leader whose country is about 10 square miles?

    I think the difference here is this: 1) China owns a lot of our debt & is a huge trading partner 2) They pollute at will, a Koch brothers’ fantasy 3) People actually love and pay attention to the Pope. That’s what truly upsets the GOP: they’re worried that average Americans will listen to what the Pope has to say. And they should be terrified.

  3. …George Will and his ilk were never worth an”Aeronautical Intercourse into a Revolving Pastry” …his hypocritical pseudo-intellectual conservatism is an affront to actual scholarship,..his pontificating as a “Moral Leader” lacks a critical component…{morals} not to mention he’s so full o’ shit that every time he opens his mouth any toilets in range of his voice immediately flush from sheer sympathy…

  4. Those Conservatives are insane and disrespectful. Everytime I hear the bullshit they spout , I think you couldn’t make this stuff up. I am not a Catholic and not particularly religious but honestly, they are so rude and ignorant I cant find the words to express what I want to say . I am left speechless …..

  5. Oh, there are plenty of Americans with hate in their hearts…..for repugs, evangelicals, misogynists, white racist patriot liars, warmongers.

  6. Shadowolf, I like your version but mine I think is more descriptive. “An airborne fornication in a rotating deep fried dough ring” I get a lot of flack from the sticker I printed that’s on my truck, Conservatism is a Mental Disorder. I just laugh at the people who challenge it.

  7. Scott Walker was insisting the President cancel the Chinese visit. Look where that got him. We have relationships with plenty of countries that we have disagreements with.

  8. George Will? Is he still alive? Oh well. He’s got to be a few centuries old by now (his ideas sure are), so he’ll be dead soon enough.

  9. Anything that causes Will’s hemorrhoids to flare up
    must be counted as a good thing.

    Welcome, Francis!
    You do Good.

  10. I don’t think they give a rat’s patoot about what he says about the climate, this is about the one and only subject on the GOP agenda this coming year….ousting immigrants. Not only is he Latino, but he preaches compassion when it comes to immigration reform. That, and the majority of Latinos are Catholic.

    I am happily an Atheist, but my husband is a Mexican Catholic and you can’t realize how important he is to their culture as a whole. I may not agree with everything he says, but the man has heart. Of course, the GOP will hate on ANYONE who sees immigrants as human beings instead of a bottom line.

  11. Look folks, and this is just one man’s opinion. The Republican affiliated AKA “Conservative” devils. Conserve what? Their way of humanity and compassion? Checks n’ balances? Get real. This is just one of the reasons Europeans immigrated & stole this land from the Indians. We now discover it’s all about money. All of the talk of “we need to elect conservatives to force everyone to live according to “their beliefs in capitalism” doesn’t leave much space for humanity does it. When we get old & in their mindset, useless, their intent is let them die off. Get out of our way, more money. Damn whether or not disability or old age has stifled our way of life, these bastards want us to “die off”. The average American has paid into SSecurity & such. Conservative believers & Teaparty(what a joke to human beings) want sufferage, misery, servant women. Still want to vote Republican, do so at our own risk. Then again, vote for them means you condone their beleifs, old or disabled, you’re doomed…

  12. The only comforting thought is that Will and the rest of the insane gopers only speak to 30% of the people in this country. Granted, that 30% is close to 60% of so-called republicans but it is still far less than the majority in this country. You can only fool 30% of the people all of the time – and that is a recipe for a gigantic fail.

  13. I find it amusing that so many of the bible thumping GOP are so opposed to the Pope and his unabashedly Christian values!

  14. “…no American can possibly honor the Pope for speaking out about climate change and still love America…from an epic climate denier and conservative columnist George Will.”

    “Love is infinite: you can always make more,” from the Disney Channel Movie Twitches.

  15. A biological definition of conservatism: the tendency of certain plants or animal groups to remain narrowly adapted to a particular environment and undergo minimal evolutionary change or differentiation.

    There you go. Republicans don’t evolve.

  16. Republicans are the Antichrist. Their policies create death and destruction in their wake, and they use lies and misinformation to deceive the rubes into following them. The Pope is ripping off their mask and revealing the rot that lies underneath. And they are FURIOUS!

  17. The Pope spreads truth about climate change and shines a light on the climate change deniers’ lies. Republicans hate the truth and Kochroaches hate light.

  18. I love this country far more then any right wing shill could ever. The idea that to support the Pope is to hate America is so beyond stupid that it’s almost criminal to think what would be worth supporting in their eyes.

    To me, the Pope is everything they hate and when he speaks to Congress, he will give them a lesson in being a true Christian and, in a odd way, a true American.

  19. “christian” conservatives are in a PANIC

    Someone who has read the bible cover to cover countless times, knows everything about the catholic division of the Christian church. Francis is educated and has a masters degree in chemistry.
    He is for feeding the poor, the Iran nuclear deal, he doesn’t judge same-sex marriage, anti-capitalism and now he says women can repent for having an abortion.

    Francis is a LIBERAL POPE and they can’t stand him because they look like total fools!!!

    I may have to attend a mass to thank this pope, however my very protestant granddad would be spinning in his grave.

    Don’t be drinking anything or you’ll spit it up laughing…

  20. The fact that the Pope says the things he is saying does not bother me. It’s perfectly natural. Property rights, liberty, the need to limit the power of the state. These are not easy concepts. They are not popular or sexy. If he preached those things, now that would be a surprise.

  21. I’m an atheist, but I love this Pope, he is everything that is what religion has been missing for decades

  22. Pope was asked, What can we do for you?
    He said ‘Pray for Me, that’s important’.
    We should send Him Strength!

    WSJ Headline:
    “Here Comes The Progressive Pope”

  23. George Will is a legend in his own mind. A charlatan political commentator, living in a self imposed cave. This guy is as relevant as a right wingnut. An intellectual w/o an intellect.

  24. Seems a lot of bad things can be said about
    the old Levite Tribe with their speakeasy curtains at confession. Main thing, Jesus Christ fulfilled all the old laws with Priests and Popes. Today, we are children, sons and daughters of God. Once taught about Holy Spirit guiding us, where does that leave the church other than a way to inform the children about God living within us.
    Sorry about you guys leaving out 50 books written by the Apostles and taken to Nag Hammadi, Egypt – BEFORE Priest craft edited the books, and burned THEY didn’t like as not considered to be Orthodox.

  25. There is now an option. It is called the Gnostic Christian Church. Jesus our Christ was a Gnostic in knowing and teaching the Holy Spirit is within us – in fact, that is what we all are while still living in a carnal body. The Holy See is known as the third eye located in center of head and is called the Pinal Gland, which is generally shaped like a pine cone. Their flag shows two crossed keys below a somewhat cap showing a sketchy pine cone.

  26. I have never understood why Mr. Will is considered an intellectual. True, he does use a lot of big words – but that does not make you an intellectual – just a person with a $10 vocabulary to show off.

    A true intellectual learns how to write in clear, concise language so the intent is clear and understandable; not lost in a bevy of words. Mr. Will for years has written to confuse and confound, which is hardly intellectual.

  27. Damn!! I’m too old to fornicate and I survived a Catholic parochial school. There are excellent reactions to the Will article. The conservative GOP lives a lie financed and propagated by the Koches. The Pope will speak truth to power. Let’s listen and get ready for the Republican barrage of Bullshit.

  28. “Republicans claim opposition to their policies and agendas is hating America.”

    Entirely true. But in addition to that, whenever a “Buy American” provision has been proposed in order to promote American jobs they reject it as being “protectionism”. I fail to see how opposition to creation of American jobs can be construed as “supporting” America. It certainly seems to me that such opposition clearly indicates a hatred for America.

  29. While I tend to agree with much of what has been said here, I find myself tiring of the growing use of hyperbole in this author’s articles. The original article cited references Pagan influences but does not outright call the Pope a Pagan. Reactions to this statement have also been extreme to both sides.

    I recommend toning down the extreme rhetoric and trying to instead find compromise and points with which we can all agree. Conservatives, in my opinion, are people who love America; love what America has been; and are afraid to embrace anything that might their image of America.

    Progressives also love America; love all of the things that have made America better; and openly embrace changes that (hopefully) will make America even better.

    Certainly we can find a way to work together and stop demonizing each other!

  30. In the Pope’s climate change encyclical
    (or letter)the Pope indicates the letter
    is a message of recognition of the human’s
    responsibility of proper care of planet
    Earth and of the people of the earth.

    The Pope further indicates the letter is
    NOT a document of science…if your looking
    for new science you won’t find it in the

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