Skip to comments.Morality and economics, Pope Francis, and Rush Limbaugh
Posted on 11/30/2013 3:59:08 PM PST by NYer
Pope Francis recently issued the apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel." Click here to read it.
Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh isn't pleased with the document, calling it "pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope." (Source)
I sought comment on the matter from Father John Trigilio Jr., Ph.D., Th.D., president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. Below is Father's analysis (slightly edited).
I often listen to Rush Limbaugh and find him to be an intelligent man and an erudite conservative journalist. He uses common sense and logic to expose the fallacious arguments of liberal progressives. Unfortunately, he himself has fallen into a trap by which he erroneously extrapolates a false premise from the recent papal document from Pope Francis.
Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) is an apostolic exhortation issued on November 24, 2013. While not an ex cathedra infallible document, it nevertheless contains ordinary papal magisterial teaching that demands submission of mind and will by faithful Catholics.
Rush is uncharacteristically inaccurate in his quotations. Pope Francis did not criticize unfettered capitalism; he used the phrase unfettered consumerism. The late and great Father Richard John Neuhaus defined consumerism as:
Capitalism is an economic and political ideology, whereas consumerism is a personal and individual ideology. The former is focused on a free market; the latter is obsessed with the acquisition of goods in and of themselves. Blessed John Paul II made the distinction that communism and consumerism are far extremes, and both threaten human freedom. One denies the right to access of necessary goods; the other deifies materialism and promotes avarice, greed and envy. A free market system, on the other hand, treats human beings equally, not giving undo advantage to card-carrying members of the Communist Party while penalizing those who express some political dissent.
What Pope Francis, Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul, Pope Leo and others have consistently been saying and teaching, however, is that the individual person is a moral agent. He must answer to God for what he did or did not do to help his neighbor in need. The Gospel of Matthew ends by separating the sheep from goats based on what each individual did or did not do to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, and so on. It is not a judgment of government policies or agencies; it is a personal judgment on each one of us.
That said, besides personal acts of Christian charity, it is logical and reasonable, prudent and necessary to pool resources and, even for the state, to help in cases where the most needy and most urgent cases are helped. Yet no pope ever promoted, nor called for, a welfare state that perpetually cares for the poor. The ultimate goal is to enable the poor to rise above poverty and reach a level of dignity commensurate with their human dignity.
Access to necessary goods is a natural right. That does not mean, however, that the natural moral law requires the poor to become enslaved to the state by permanently keeping them dependent. Rush calls Pope Francis a Socialist at best and a Communist at worst. Does this sound like a commie comment?
Contrary to what many modern public school textbooks currently tell our children, capitalism was actually created during the high Middle Ages and, as Michael Novak wrote in 2003, Catholicism is what created it. While feudalism sustained Christendom from the fall of the Roman Empire (476 A.D.) through the so-called Dark Ages, during the 12th to 14th centuries, the middle class arose thanks to capitalism, which eventually replaced feudalism. Medieval guilds and religious orders, such as the Cistercians, became contemporary entrepreneurs of their time.
Thomas Woods' How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization has an entire chapter titled "The Church and Economics" in which he, too, proposes that money was not an artificial product of government (crown or parliament), but a result of a voluntary process between merchants. Barter became more and more impractical when dealing with perishable items and dealing with transporting goods over long distances. Religious orders like the Cistercians devised accounting systems by which goods could be bought and sold between fellow monks, and this was duplicated by lay merchants who participated in the process.
While the secular states were governed by aristocracies and monarchies, and while the Church herself is hierarchical, it is still Catholic doctrine that all men and women are created in the image of God and by baptism are considered children of God. That spiritual equality was translated into an economic equality, which transcended the political. The emerging middle class came from the peasant class. They did so because their faith taught them they were equal in the eyes of God and therefore had equal opportunities to improve their material situation. Those who could not – the destitute poor, the lame, widowed and orphaned – relied on the Christian charity of the nobility and the emerging middle class.
It was the Church who literally created the colleges and universities, hospitals and orphanages, and who ran the poor houses and soup kitchens. The secular state (government) did not create these institutions; religious orders and dioceses did. Christian charity motivated those who had more to help those who had less.
When you read Evangelii Gaudium in its entirety, it continues the papal magisterium found in Rerum Novarum, Quadragesimo Anno, Mater et Magistra, Gaudium et Spes, Centesimus Annus, and, of course, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The very reason a nation has banking and finance laws is that human beings are not perfect. Original sin affects everyone, and some people, be they CEOs, CFOs, bankers or brokers, sometimes make bad choices that produce bad effects that cause great harm to many innocent people. I know of no conservative or liberal, Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian who would advocate the repeal of laws barring insider trading.
We need laws to maintain some parameters on banks and stock brokers to protect people from abuse and exploitation. Republicans and Democrats dispute the length, breadth and depth of such legal regulations, but even a free market has some borders that cannot be ignored. Limited government is still very different from no government. Some, even if minimal, legislation is needed since not everyone acts prudently or fairly or for pristine motives.
That said, it was totally unfair and inaccurate of Rush to attack Pope Francis for addressing a letter as head of the Roman Catholic Church to his more than one billion members. The pontiff was merely reiterating consistent Church teaching that supports a free market, but also reminds the moral obligation to act responsibly, honestly and prudently. No one can command generosity but it is something which should be encouraged and promoted. Welfare dependency helps neither the individual nor the nation. Some welfare is necessary for those who cannot be helped by private or non-profit charitable organizations. However, the goal is always to help move those into economic independence and become self-sufficient.
Laborem Exercens teaches us the sanctity of human work. The Catechism tells us that the Catholic Church always believes justice and solidarity are essential and necessary to human freedom. Justice is distributive, commutative and social. Unfettered consumerism is not synonymous with capitalism. A free market system respects human freedom and autonomy. Consumerism is an abuse and an extreme. Communism wrongly treated human labor as a means of production for the state. Consumerism wrongly treats the product of human labor and of the free market as the final source of happiness and fulfillment.
Material things, while helpful, do not produce enduring and true happiness. They make life easier, more comfortable and more convenient. Technology helps cure sickness and disease and helps makes life less a burden. All Pope Francis is warning is that the possession and acquisition of goods is not salvific, nor does it bring lasting joy. Pleasure is temporary, whereas joy can be eternal.
The pontiff is not forcing any nation or government to abandon capitalism; he's not advocating socialism let alone communism. He is, however, reminding Catholics all over the globe that we must buy and sell prudently while using our consciences. In that light, I see no reason for Rush to take offense or issue with Pope Francis.
I highly urge Rush to read Father Robert Sirico's Defending the Free Market and John Horvat's Return to Order. Mr. Horvat does a splendid job explaining the notion of frenetic intemperance, which is a cousin of unfettered consumerism. Father Sirico precisely shows that freedom requires a free market and that greed is no friend of capitalism. Rather, greed flourishes under socialism.
Rush returns to the air waves on Tuesday, December 3. Having devoted a large segment of his Thursday broadcast to this topic, I expect the topic will resurface on that show.
Too long a read. Rush only dedicated a few paragraphs of content to the issue, and this guy spent a ton time to hit Rush back on Rush’s brief commentary.
Thank you for the post.
A few paragraphs? Perhaps you missed his rant. Here it is, in its entirety.
RUSH: You know, the pope, Pope Francis -- this is astounding -- has issued an official papal proclamation, and it's sad. It's actually unbelievable. The pope has written, in part, about the utter evils of capitalism. And I have to tell you, I've got parts of it here I can share with you. It's sad because this pope makes it very clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth. Wait 'til you hear it.
RUSH: I was doing show prep last night, usual routine, and I ran across this -- I don't even know what it's called, the latest papal offering, statement from Pope Francis. Now, I'm not Catholic. Up until this, I have to tell you, I was admiring the man. I thought he was going a little overboard on the common-man touch, and I thought there might have been a little bit of PR involved there. But nevertheless I was willing to cut him some slack. I mean, if he wants to portray himself as still from the streets where he came from and is not anything special, not aristocratic. If he wants to eschew the physical trappings of the Vatican, okay, cool, fine. But this that I came across last night totally befuddled me. If it weren't for capitalism, I don't know where the Catholic Church would be.
Now, as I mentioned before, I'm not Catholic. I admire it profoundly, and I've been tempted a number of times to delve deeper into it. But the pope here has now gone beyond Catholicism here, and this is pure political. I want to share with you some of this stuff.
"Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as 'a new tyranny' and beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church. ... In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the 'idolatry of money.'"
I gotta be very careful. I have been numerous times to the Vatican. It wouldn't exist without tons of money. But regardless, what this is, somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. Unfettered capitalism? That doesn't exist anywhere. Unfettered capitalism is a liberal socialist phrase to describe the United States. Unfettered, unregulated.
Folks, in recent weeks I have endeavored to try to make you understand how it is that people like modern-age Democrats look at small business and business at large. They do not, in the terms of small business, understand how fragile it is. Their view of business is that people who own them or run them cheat their customers, abuse their employees, hoard all the money, and have tons of it. They take it and keep it for themselves. They deny their employees a livable wage. They deny them health care. They deny them benefits. They produce products that kill and maim and sicken, or they produce products that destroy the planet, destroy the environment, or what have you.
I mean, it's a litany. This is their view and it is why they claim that they must take it over and control it, because it's inherently unfair that a select few capitalists rip everybody off. Rip off their employees, rip off their customers, and that's how you have unequal incomes, and this vast gap between wealth and poverty. It's all because of capitalism. They claim that as socialists or reformers or progressives, that they are fair and compassionate, and they will make that gap between the wealthy and the poor narrower, and they will make life more equitable, and they will engage in equality of outcomes and so forth, and wherever they've tried, they've failed.
Wherever socialists have gained power, they have done nothing but spread poverty. They cannot and do not produce wealth. They do not understand it. All they can do is destroy it. They are not compassionate; they coerce. And to hear the pope regurgitating this stuff, I was profoundly disappointed. The idolatry of money, urging "politicians to 'attack the structural causes of inequality' and strive to provide work, health care and education to all citizens."
What has been happening in this country the past five years? Exactly what this man claims to want. We have a president who has attacked the structural causes of inequality, and what's he done? He's raised taxes on the producers and the achievers for the express purpose of redistributing it. All he's done is create massive debt. He has destroyed jobs. There are 91.5 million Americans not working in America today, 91.5 million not working. All the while the president, 19 or 20 times, says that he's doing nothing but focusing on creating jobs, but he can't. No government can create jobs, not in the private sector. All they can do is hamper job creation.
Now, if government wants to deregulate and get out of the way, then job creation will take place. What is capitalism? The value of anything is established in the private sector. That's where the value of money is established. That's where the value of work is established. The value of whatever it is you want to buy or trade, the private sector, capitalism, is where that value is established, not by government proclaiming it.
The pope "also called on rich people to share their wealth." We were just talking about the charitable donations and contributions that existed in this country, and they are profound. The United States is near the top of the list in the world of charitable countries, but even with all the charity, and it is tremendous, it cannot compete with capitalism in elevating people out of poverty. There is nothing the world has ever devised that has elevated more people out of poverty than capitalism.
Look at the United States. How can you deny, how can anybody objectively analyzing and looking, deny the United States became a superpower. In less than 250 years, the United States became a military, economic superpower devoted to the concepts of freedom here and everywhere else around the world. We were the defenders of freedom. Our own and others. In less than 250 years, a nation of, for the most part fewer than 300 million people, produced an economy that created the highest standard of living the world has ever known. We fed the world, produced so much food, more than we ever needed ourselves. We were able to feed the world, and after doing all of that, we were able to provide disaster relief for anywhere else in the world that it occurred, where it was accepted.
There's been nothing like the United States, ever, in world history. Nothing. And certainly not for this length of time, nothing even compares. It goes back to what I've always talked about in regards to American exceptionalism. What made this possible was our founding documents enshrining the notion that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, meaning nobody can take 'em away, and that is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights come from our creator, God. They are part of our natural existence. We are born that way.
We are not granted these rights by a government or by a king or by a president. The only thing that can happen to those rights is when people try to take them away or usurp them, which is what has been happening in this country since the day it was founded because there are always people who oppose free societies. A free society can't be controlled. A free society can't be dominated. It's very, very hard to pilfer and steal from a free society. The United States and an honest, objective look at its history, is all the proof you need to see the absolute benefits of capitalism. That's what we were. That's how we were founded. There's nowhere in the world approaching the standard of living that we've had.
Now, it's true that leftists (identified as Democrats in this country) disagree. They think that standard of living is unjust and immoral, because not everybody has experienced it. But our country is such that the opportunity is there for everybody. No two people are the same. No two sets of opportunities are the same. Some people do have advantages over others. Like the Kennedys, for example, and other wealthy families.
But they had to become wealthy in the first place. Somewhere in every family's history is somebody who earned it. So granted you can be born into a specific family and have your wheels greased more than others, but it doesn't impugn the system. It doesn't impugn capitalism. Because there isn't anything that approaches it. There's nothing that gets even close to it. Socialism does not eliminate poverty, does not lift people out of poverty.
Socialism does not create free people and societies, and it does not preside over massive charitable giving and compassion. Socialism, Marxism constrain people, limits people, prevents people from realizing their potential as human beings. The United States of America and its genuine exceptionalism has allowed people to reach the pinnacle of their ability combined with their ambition and desire.
It's pretty much the one spot in the world, although there are a couple other societies that are free that have had had similar characteristics and opportunities, but not formally enshrined as have ours been. This is a country where your dream can come true. You can make your dream come true. It's not gonna be easy. It doesn't happen overnight. But it can come true. Most of the people in the world, their dreams are nothing but that.
They start as dreams, and they end as dreams, and that's why people around the world have sought to come here. So reading what the pope's written about this is really befuddling because he's totally wrong -- I mean, dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong. Here's another excerpt. "Pope Francis said that trickle-down policy..." We hear about trickle-down policies? "Pope Francis said that trickle-down policies have not proven to work."
Oh, but they have. It's exactly what Obama is trying to create, in fact, although he wouldn't dare call it that. When you hear Obama talking about job creation and people going to work and roads and bridges being -- what the hell is it but trickle-down? The left has defined trickle-down as the rich are compassionate and give people things. And when that doesn't happen, they say that trickle-down doesn't work. The left has bastardized terms and definitions to the point that trickle-down's become a dirty word.
Trickle-down is human nature! Trickle-down is exactly what happens when you engage in economic activity. You spend money and it trickles down to everybody you spend it with, and then it trickles down to everybody they end up interacting with economically. Trickle-down is precisely what happens. But the left has defined trickle-down as the rich are supposed to give the money that they don't need away to people.
They're supposed to give products away, or they're supposed to give their employees massive raises that are not based on productivity. Or they're supposed to give them health care -- and when the rich don't do that, that is an indictment of the rich and that is an indictment of capitalism, and they say, "See? It doesn't work, because the rich don't share. The rich hoard, and they abuse, and they impugn, and they take advantage of, and they steal!"
It's gotten to the point now that many people have been told that the rich got rich by stealing money from the poor, and I've never understood the mathematics of that. If trickle-down economics doesn't work, why is Obama's Federal Reserve pumping $85 billion would it be into the stock market every month? What's supposed to happen to it if it doesn't trickle somewhere? Trickle-down is the magic, and yet here's Pope Francis saying that "trickle-down policies have not been proven to work and they reflect a 'naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.'"
There you go.
Exactly what I was saying: "naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power." In other words, naive trust in the rich to be generous with their money, but they never are. You see these people, they've got five or six billion dollars, and they don't give it to anybody -- and that means capitalism doesn't work. There's nobody who "needs" $6 billion. Who the hell do they think they are? We need to go take that money! That's more than they need.
Nobody has the right to determine what anybody "needs," and the minute you let somebody do that for you, you are surrendering total control of your life. It's not Obama's business what anybody "needs." It's not a matter of "need." In the United States, we deal with need and desire, need and want -- and everybody benefits, if they're willing to work. Gotta take a break. There's much more to this, too. You know, there's a good way to sum up the way the left sees businessmen, and I believe share it with you when we get back.
RUSH: I watch a television show from the BBC called Ripper Street. It's a crime drama set way back in the Jack the Ripper days of London, and in the most recent episode, the evil banker character... He's not in every episode. In this episode, an evil banker sold phony investments in tin and copper in the Argentine, and a lot of people lost everything, and this particular guy also had a bias against gays and was dispatching one of his minions out to kill them. So it's a a dual-edged, anti-conservative theme.
Big bankers equal cheating everybody, and plus they attack gays. So the sheriff, or the chief constable finally corners the bad guy, the banker, and he's preaching his morality to him, telling the banker how he's screwed up and how he's ruined lives. The banker says to the chief constable, "You and your laws. You think that there is right and wrong. There is no right and wrong. There is only profit and loss. Gold is what runs the world, sir. Not your laws and not right and wrong. Profit and loss. You concern yourself with your laws when there are only ledgers."
I mean, you just couldn't have a more textbook attack on capital, and that's how the left sees all of this.
RUSH: Just a couple more things here on the latest anti-capitalist proclamation from the pope. I would be remiss if I did not point out Pope John Paul II, who had as his primary enemy, communism. Pope John Paul II largely credited Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for the defeat of Soviet sponsored communism in Europe. The liberation of Poland. And juxtaposed against the actions of Pope John Paul II this pope and the things that he released yesterday or recently are really striking.
You talk about unfettered, this is an unfettered anti-capitalist dictate from Pope Francis. And listen to this. This is an actual quote from what he wrote. "The culture of prosperity deadens us. We are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime, all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle. They fail to move us." I mean, that's pretty profound. That's going way beyond matters that are ethical. This is almost a statement about who should control financial markets. He says that the global economy needs government control.
I'm telling, I'm not Catholic, but I know enough to know that this would have been unthinkable for a pope to believe or say just a few years ago. But this passage, "The culture of prosperity deadens us. We are thrilled if the market offers us something new to buy. In the meantime, all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle." I have to tell you, folks, I am totally bewildered by this.
The Catholic Church, the American Catholic Church has an annual budget of $170 billion. I think that's more than General Electric earns every year. And the Catholic Church of America is the largest landholder in Manhattan. I mean, they have a lot of money. They raise a lot of money. They wouldn't be able to reach out the way they do without a lot of money. Anyway, that's it. I've gone as far as my instincts tell me to go. Made the point.
RUSH: Now, by the way, in fairness to the pope and in fairness to the Catholic Church, I will admit that communism years ago was much easier to see and identify than it is today. And the obvious evil that was communism was easy to see. Soviet-sponsored communism, the gulags, the First World military with the Third World economy, the blustery behavior of Soviet Communist Party bosses, the constant Soviet expansionism into Cuba and Sandinista land and Nicaragua and everywhere.
Communism today is much more disguised.
Communism today, in large part, is the Democrat Party. Communism today is in large part the feminist movement. Communism today is found in most of the AFL-CIO-type unions. As such, it seems just a political point of view. It's just an alternative political point of view. It's just the Democrats, and it's a much tougher thing to identify and target, because it can be your neighbor. It's not some foreign country easily identified as "the Evil Empire." Communism has a much different face today.
Identifying it is, I think, much more difficult today and takes much more guts to identify it today than in the past.
RUSH: I want to go back to this quote from the pope again, from his -- there's the name for the document. I can't think of it and I dont have it in front of me. "The culture of prosperity deadens us. We are thrilled in the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime, all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle. They fail to move us." I'm not even sure what the connection there is.
We are thrilled if the market offers us something new to buy? I guess there's something wrong with that. We're not supposed to be thrilled if there's something new to buy. That's how I interpret it. Now, let me give you a fascinating stat I just learned today. The iPhone 5S, which is the top-of-the-line iPhone, was announced way back in September, and has been in shortage ever since.
They have been unable to meet the demand, for whatever reason. They have just recently caught up, and would you like to know how they did it? They have put one million people on different assembly lines, 600 employees per assembly line at the factory in China at the one factory, where they are making 500,000 iPhones a day, and they still haven't caught up to demand.
That's a lot of people who are thrilled with something new to buy. A lot of people in China make a lot of money on these places. I mean, they're not paid what they're paid in America, but they're paid much higher than anybody else in China at these factories. There's a lot of income being earned. There's a lot of product being made. There are a lot of taxes being paid. There's all kinds of economic activity taking place. It is stunning. One hundred production lines, 600 people per line.
A total of more than 300,000 workers dedicated solely to building one product, the iPhone 5S, in one factory. And this company has many different factories. They make 500,000 phones a day, and they still haven't caught up. Now, there's a new phone from Motorola, the Moto X. It has sold 500,000 in one quarter, and the iPhone 5S is selling 500,000 a day, and that's even short of demand.
That's a lot of people thrilled at something new to buy.
RUSH: I am receiving e-mails from people who are telling me that the pope, his economic writing, has been mistranslated. Now, my first reaction was, "Come on, this document is too big and massive for it to be mistranslated." But then I caught myself, and this is exactly what the left does. If they had a chance to take somebody as influential and revered and beloved as the pope and put their words in his mouth, they would do it in a minute.
So now I'm gonna have to track this down, because I have to tell you, what has been attributed to the pope here doesn't make sense, with 50 years of the Catholic Church. It doesn't jibe. But it sounds exactly like what your average, run-of-the-mill leftist would say each and every day: unfettered capitalism, trickle-down doesn't work. I don't know this pope, but I don't know that the bishop of Rome speaks in terms of trickle-down. One of the things they're saying is that the pope didn't say "trickle-down," that the correct translation would be "spillover." He didn't say "trickle-down." So there are people that are telling me, "Hey, Rush, the pope was mistranslated," and my first reaction, "Come on, now."
But then I had to catch myself. They are -- by "they," I mean the worldwide left -- they are entirely capable of this, and they wouldn't hesitate to do it, if they thought they could get away with it. Hell, they wouldn't hesitate to do it even if they do get caught doing it because they know that the original phony translation they put out will be the one that survives. The truth takes a long time to catch up when the lie gets out of the gates first. So I can't sit here and summarily reject the claim that the pope has been mistranslated. I know it sounds inconceivable. (interruption) The pope? He said something about homosexuals and later they said he was mistranslated? His original statement, he appeared to condone homosexuality, and then somebody said he was mistranslated. Well, there seems to be a pattern here, then, of the pope being mistranslated.
You know how we would know, is if the pope came out in favor of contraception and abortion, then we would know that there's mistranslation going on. Now, the left hasn't gotten that brave yet. But this other stuff -- see, my problem is that I can see that attempt being made. Somebody this powerful, this revered, this loved, beloved the pope is, for the left to put their words in his mouth by translating what he says for the rest of the world? I would not discount that. Sounds a little far out, but.
The thing about buying, though, I just have one more thing to say about this. Buying is free will. By definition, people choose to buy. Except health care, then they're forced to. There's always a caveat to everything, isn't there? But in an unfettered -- ahem -- capitalistic society, people choose to buy. A purchase is an act of individual sovereignty. And in order to succeed, a business must do something that makes their fellow man want to buy it, willingly part with their cash to obtain it. That's capitalism. Government is compulsion, on the other hand. Capitalism is moral because it honors individual freedom, but government is compulsion.
We are compelled to buy Obamacare. We must or we are in violation of the law. That's not capitalism. There's no free will there. There's no sovereignty. There's no choice. We are being compelled under threat of fine and possible imprisonment -- yes, it's in the law -- if we don't buy it. I'm telling you, that's not the solution to anybody's economic problems, is forced purchases. It just isn't.
Rush is a very intelligent man. I would be surprised if he did not further address this issue.
“Too long a read.”
Sometimes the correction of errors takes a lengthy read.
“Rush only dedicated a few paragraphs of content to the issue, and this guy spent a ton time to hit Rush back on Rushs brief commentary.”
You think the article was about Rush’s comments alone? Have you been paying attention the last few days?
Not only did Rush incorrectly read the Exhortation, his counter example, of iPhone manufactured in China driven by American consumers’ demand, is cheesy.
It would be good to see Chinese demand fueling Chinese industry. It would be good to see American demand fueling American industry. Instead we have a rather frivolous American demand (what they had no phones before iPhone?) fueling employment in China. Now some Chinese make a product not invented in China and not particularly needed (for its cost) in China; some Americans are out of work because the American demand is sourced to China. This is not free market: this is a convolution possible because some governments and some international bankers made this Ponzi scheme possible. If it were just about x iPhone owners and y Chinese electronic factory workers, we could merely say, —whatever. This would be an irrelevance, a fluke in the flow of normal commerce. But this is a system whereby Ohio sits on welfare, the Bay Area is filled with six figure salary earners, often from a foreign country, sharing closet-size condos, driven into childlessness, and the rest of Central California on welfare, and China now having our industrial base. For Rush to promote this ship of fools as functioning capitalism is plain idiocy.
“Sometimes the correction of errors takes a lengthy read.”
Sometimes a lengthy read to correct errors is just spin.
Rush is not infallible. This is a great post and serves as a splendid refutation that Pope Francis is against free markets. He is of course as he should be, very critical of the Lehman Bros, Enrons, the Bernie Madoffs, and currency manipulators like Soros that impoverished the middle class in many Third Word Asian nations like Thailand and Malaysia. Rush appears to have mixed up unbridled consumerism and unchecked manipulation of goods and services with Adam Smith free markets.
Communism (marxism) is the philosophy of envy and thievery, lies and murder. It is not the denial of necessary goods. Not sure why Catholics have such a tough time defining evil.
As entertaining as Rush can be at times, I think we all have to remember that that’s exactly what he is: an entertainer. Rush has never run for office, held office, managed a corporation (other than his personal radio empire, which is built on him alone and does not produce anything), or practiced a profession.
He simply delivers opinions but does so in an entertaining way. He’s often very wrong on things, and personally, I blame him with his frequently off-base comments about the positions of various candidates (such as when he accused Gingrich of being anti-capitalist) for having the GOP end up with the unfortunate Mitt Romney.
Increasingly, I think Rush simply reads nothing but secondary sources - the opinions of others - or perhaps just the headlines or maybe the lead paragraph from any article, report or document and never really sits down and analyzes it before he opens his mouth. And once his mouth is open, I’m not sure even he is always sure what will come out.
Rush and Sarah should mind their own business when it comes to our Pope.Let he without sin cast the first stone.Rush used drugs and Sarah’s family is no longer threatened.Us Catholics will clean up the rest.If they want to just read press releases they are not worth listening too.Anybody can do that.But we don’t get paid a lot of money to do it and have a huge base.
Sometimes, but not this time.
We’re in big effing trouble when we equate some radio entertainer’s blabber to the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation.
“Not sure why Catholics have such a tough time defining evil.”
We don’t. I’m not sure why people make things up about what Catholics can do with ease.
If the Pope told you to drink flavor aid mixed with cyanida, i am willing to bet the ultramontanists would follow. What slavish automatons they are...
Neither is the Pope. He is a Jesuit after all. And they have been known to be real goobers at times.
I personally believe that the translations were manipulated.
I also firmly believe that there is a queer fifth column actively attempting to subvert the Church by causing this type of conflict.
I am neither Catholic nor Christian, so I am basically an objective bystander.
But I have noticed that the queer element in the Church has never been effectively dealt with. And that failure is going to be the demise of Christianity.
Some times, you really DO need to get TOUGH and cast out the demons.
Apparently Michael Novak isn’t on Rush’s speed deal. Pity. Also, here’s why Fr. Neuhaus is sorely missed.
Not nearly as bad as the mind dead minions who grovel in the street chanting: "HOPE, CHANGE, HOPE, CHANGE, OBAMA, OBAMA....."
Part IV. Of the Kingdom of Darkness
Chap. xlvii. Of the Benefit that proceedeth from such Darkness
 ...For from the time that the Bishop of Rome had gotten to be acknowledged for bishop universal, by pretence of succsession to St. Peter, their whole hierarchy (or kingdom of darkness) may be compared not unfitly to the kingdom of fairies (that is, to the old wives' fables in England, concerning ghosts and spirits and the feats they play in the night). And if a man consider the original of this ecclesiastical dominion, he will easily perceive that the Papacy is no other than the ghost of the deceased Roman empire sitting crowned upon the grave thereof. For so did the Papacy start out of the ruins of that heathen power.
 The language also which they use (both in the churches and in theirpublic acts) being Latin, which is not commonly used by any nationnow in the world, what is it but the ghost of the old Roman language?
 The fairies, in what nation soever they converse, have but one universal king, which some poets of ours call King Oberon; but the Scripture calls Beelzebub, prince of demons. The ecclesiastics likewise, in whose dominions soever they be found, acknowledge but one universal king, the Pope.
Part III. Of a Christian Commonwealth.
Chap. xxxviii. Of Eternal Life, Hell, Salvation, and Redemption.
 And first, for the tormentors, we have their nature and properties exactly and properly delivered by the names of the Enemy (or Satan), the Accuser (or Diabolus), the Destroyer (or Abaddon). Which significant names (Satan, Devil, Abaddon) set not forth to us any individual person, as proper names do, but only an office or quality, and are therefore appellatives, which ought not to have been left untranslated (as they are in the Latin and modern Bibles), because thereby they seem to be the proper names of demons, and men are the more easily seduced to believe the doctrine of devils, which at that time was the religion of the Gentiles, and contrary to that of Moses, and of Christ.
 And because by the Enemy, the Accuser, and Destroyer, is meant the enemy of them that shall be in the kingdom of God, therefore if the kingdom of God after the resurrection be upon the earth (as in the former Chapter I have shewn by Scripture it seems to be), the Enemy and his kingdom must be on earth also. For so also was it in the time before the Jews had deposed God. For God's kingdom was in Palestine, and the nations round about were the kingdoms of the Enemy; and consequently, by Satan is meant any earthly enemy of the Church.
Part IV. Of the Kingdom of Darkness
Chap. xlvii. Of the Benefit that proceedeth from such Darkness
Besides these sovereign powers, divine and human, of which I have hitherto discoursed, there is mention in Scripture of another power, namely, that of "the rulers of the darkness of this world," [Ephesians, 6. 12] "the kingdom of Satan," [Matthew, 12. 26] and "the principality of Beelzebub over demons," [Ibid., 9. 34] that is to say, over phantasms that appear in the air: for which cause Satan is also called "the prince of the power of the air";[Ephesians, 2. 2] and, because he ruleth in the darkness of this world, "the prince of this world":[John, 16. 11] and in consequence hereunto, they who are under his dominion, in opposition to the faithful, who are the "children of the light," are called the "children of darkness." For seeing Beelzebub is prince of phantasms, inhabitants of his dominion of air and darkness, the children of darkness, and these demons, phantasms, or spirits of illusion, signify allegorically the same thing. This considered, the kingdom of darkness, as it is set forth in these and other places of the Scripture, is nothing else but a confederacy of deceivers that, to obtain dominion over men in this present world, endeavour, by dark and erroneous doctrines, to extinguish in them the light, both of nature and of the gospel; and so to disprepare them for the kingdom of God to come.
Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan: with selected variants from the Latin edition of 1668. Ed. Edwin Curley. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994.
Part IV. Of the Kingdom of Darkness
Chap. xlvii. Of the Benefit that proceedeth from such Darkness
When the fairies are displeased with anybody, they are said to send their elves to pinch them. The ecclesiastics, when they are displeased with any civil state, make also their elves, that is, superstitious, enchanted subjects, to pinch their princes, by preaching sedition; or one prince, enchanted with promises, to pinch another.
Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan: with selected variants from the Latin edition of 1668. Ed. Edwin Curley. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994.
Nice to see you Clemenza:)I don’t like what the Pope said in certain translations.I have decided not to explain this Pope.I can say Foff to so called media personalities who do.Then they back track-well I didn’t read everything.Well it might have been mistranslated.Well did it boast your ratings and did you make more money honey.Yea-sure.Ride that train.
this particular pope being the good jesuit he is, spouts communist doctrine and then turns around and says oh no that’s not what I meant . and his defenders scurry to make it so
I never ceased to be amazed at how words with commonly understood definitions manage to get twisted to someone’s view point.
this jesuit made very clear his dislike of market systems and his desire for government to intervene
then maybe ‘your’ pope ought to do the same
thee have been a number of occasions that I have heard him quote almost verbatim from this site. I have heard him repeat what a poster here has said on at least 5 occasions. He will quote the response and then expound on it.
As what Nifster?
I agree that the Pope condemns consumerism. But he also condemns capitalism. Check out paragraph 54.
The Pope has made his choice. The poor, he makes clear, are morally superior. He chooses to associate with them and condemn those who attain a degree of wealth, as how could anyone justify having any wealth when there are starving people in the world?
As for me, I have made by choice. I will follow Jesus.
Here is what Jesus said regarding the moral superiority of the poor. After saying it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle, his disciples said, who then can be saved. They said this because the Jews of that time generally thought wealth was a sign of the elect. Jesus did not respond, you Jews have it wrong. It’s not the rich who are going to heaven, it is the poor. No, he responded, by man this is impossible; but, by God, it is possible.
What a c completely unchristian thing to say and dead wrong at the same time.
“Rush and Sarah should mind their own business when it comes to our Pope.”
your words so maybe the pope ought not be talking about politics or what governments ought to do .perhaps the pope should focus on the log in the roman eye
So you wish the Pope to talk about the Pope.:)I don’t understand.
The first was against the Muzzies, your point being?
Was that a Christian thing to do?
I guess we both find revisionist history entertaining. Thank you for sharing your version of it.
To put it another way Rush's comments used about 200 lines whereas Fr. Trigilio used only 90 or so to say what he had to say.
I hope that Rush thinks things out more thoughtfully in the future,I think he and his opinions have created more problems than solutions,often he has relegated very good thinkers and men and women of integrity to the "fringe group" as he salivated over one of his favorites candidates.
Thanks for a good article NY'er!!!!
No, not Jewish mammonism. More like Jewish Calvinism.
“To the Calvinists, material success and wealth was a sign that you were one of the Elect, and thus were favored by God.”
Max Weber, in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, contrasted the sanctification of work, saving, investment, management of enterprises, and so forth, provided by Protestants, to the Catholic Ethic of ecstatic poverty.
Weber may have over-simplified. Within the Catholic tradition, we might identify three perspectives on wealth: (1) Thomas Aquinas, who justified private property based on scarcity; (2) Augustine, who was suspicious of wealth (perhaps because he wrote during a time of corruption and decline), and (3) Francis of Assisi who embraced ecstatic poverty.
My reading of the document issued by Pope Francis is not that he sees himself as one of several valid perspectives on wealth within the Catholic tradition. The thing reads like a screed. It is polemical, unforgiving and relentless. It is completely imbalanced (finding fault only with the free-market, as though government is without fault). It is full of factual errors. It should be embarrassing, and I notice that many learned Catholics are attempting to explain it away.
If your point is to criticize Rush, your point is valid. He (Rush) should have been more politick. But, if your point is to exonerate the Pope, no, the excesses of Rush do not excuse an error by the Pope. Right now, many conservative Catholics are grappling with this document. I think the only proper response to this document is to pray for the unity of the faithful.
Matthew 21:12 (KJV)
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.” So, Pope Francis is in good company.
The Pope (why one, all of them!) could learn a great deal from the Great Wise Men of the American radio, the Catholic gurus like Savage (not his real name!) or Levin (his real name?) Is Woo Woo Ginsburg still around?
“Rush appears to have mixed up unbridled consumerism and unchecked manipulation of goods and services with Adam Smith free markets.”
Please, you are just reading the main stream media’s liberal spin on what Rush said. Plus it was a very bad translation of Rush’s words. /s
“Rush and Sarah should mind their own business when it comes to our Pope.”
Really?? It seems that the Pope puts out his ideas into the marketplace of ideas and should expect a discussion of those ideas.
Yea if they read them.Both admitted they didn’t.
This article is pure spin! The Pope was quite clear when he was condemning “trickle down economics” and “unfettered markets” and condemning those who do not want to provide the necessary “regulations” and political interventions.
The Catholics are fighting us out over the definition of “is,” and they’re even slicker than Slick Willy on it.
The words of Francis, without the spin, stand on their own quite well.