Radical activists are hijacking the forthcoming papal encyclical on the environment and the planned appearance by Pope Francis before the U.S. Congress and the U.N. General Assembly this Fall to promote their own secular, “progressive” agenda.
No one knows for certain, however, whether His Holiness tacitly approves of these radical tactics, or whether he has told his underlings, and their U.N. confreres, to cease and desist with their misleading statements, so to speak.
News reports on the controversy differ as to Pope Francis’s true disposition. But that has only, irrationally, emboldened the far-left environmentalists.
Liberal U.N. officials are self-righteously making the case in every media interview and op-ed they publish that “climate change is real” and that the church now says it is a “moral imperative” to reduce “unsustainable” global economic growth, fueled by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. “If God is with us, who can be against us,” said a recent report at The Daily Kos about the U.N. advising the Vatican at a recent climate workshop.
To be sure, the environmental activists have a lot at stake here. They want the U.S. to sign a proposed U.N. treaty, in the offing this Fall in Paris that would constrain global economic growth by cutting the use of fossil fuels. The progressives want to appropriate the Pope’s planned statements and homilies this Summer and Fall on the environment to give them the moral high ground in the global debate over climate change.
The leftists also hope you, and others who follow the news, have a very short attention span, and give no weight to the fact that they routinely deny the existence of God, and the truth that progressive activists voted on a plank requesting that the name of God be stricken from the platform of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. In other words, these radicals lack any credibility here on issues of religious faith, and how faith can inform one’s daily life. They are disingenuously spinning the Pope’s statements on the environment for their advantage, and hoping that you and I don’t notice.
One of the more egregious assaults on the truth here was launched last week by the progressive SuperPAC American Bridge which misappropriates the words and image of the Roman Pontiff in a secular TV ad bashing those who would dare disagree with the environmentalist extremist agenda.
The 53-second Spanish-language ad contrasts images of the Koch Brothers – the environmental bêtes noiresof the Left – and the humble, kind and friendly Francis. The ad claims that the American right-wing – financed by the Kochs – is trying to get the Pope to lose his faith in the left’s environmental agenda. It’s all completely over-the-top.
What’s missing here is a proper, prudent perspective. The liberals’ belief that the Pope has somehow become a wild-eyed crusader for the environmental alarmist cause, in fact, completely contrasts with the context in which he, as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, has spoken on the issue of the environment.
Like his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Francis has stated that man has a duty to be a judicious steward of the environment. These teachings are right out of Genesis 1:1-25, 1:26-31, and 2:7, which state than man is charged by God with cooperating with Him and utilizing His creation for divine purposes.
“A Christian who does not protect creation, who does not let it grow, is a Christian who does not care about the work of God; that work that was born from the love of God for us,” Francis said in a homily earlier this year. “And this is the first response to the first creation: protect creation, make it grow.”
Viewed in the context of the Bible and church teachings on the environment during the last 30 years, Francis’s statement seems to be a rather standard homiletic exhortation to live life guided by the scripture.
But, unlike his predecessors, Francis is perceived in the world media as a liberal, himself, and the Left fullyexpects him to take their side in political arguments over abortion, divorce, gay marriage, and the environment.
Never mind that the Church has not abandoned its stance on divorce and gay marriage, and shows no signs of doing so, the secular liberals still breathlessly anticipate that Francis will join them on the radical environmental ramparts.
This is the kind of suspension of disbelief that one usually sees among those watching a futuristic science fiction movie, not the mindset of those accurately analyzing the real world.
Though the planet has not warmed, research shows, for 18 years, the environmentalists believe it has. This belief has now been fused with the left’s foolish faith that the church agrees with their global warming hypothesis.