Take notice, One Percenters: The Pope is not your friend. Pope Francis is dangerous. He is stirring up the rabble, the 99 percenters, especially the 47 percenters. He is also the nemesis of your vassals who look after your interests in legislative bodies and government agencies, not only here in the U.S. but around the world—wherever you need them to protect your assets.
There were early signs of his subversive tendencies. In fact, on day one of his papacy he came out to address the crowd in St. Peter’s square dressed not in the embroidered finery of the papacy, but in a plain white cossack. Instead of the traditional miter on his head, he wore a plain little skull cap. From there, things got more ominous by the day. He declined to ride in the Pope-mobile back to the hotel where the cardinals were staying. He climbed on the bus with them. He went to the hotel desk and paid his own bill. It gets worse. He declined the splendid papal apartment in the Vatican and is staying in a small apartment elsewhere on the grounds.
But now comes the ultimate thumb in your eye, One Percenters. He went to a juvenile detention center and washed the feet of the inmates there, including a Muslim girl! The message couldn’t be more clear. He has identified himself not with you, as have many of his predecessors, but with THEM. Not even the 99%, or the 47%, but with the bottom one percent.
He’s acting like Jesus. Now that is truly scary.
But he’s not only acting like Jesus, he’s talking like him, too. Recently he visited the city of Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia.[i] He came there to meet with unemployed workers. He had a prepared speech. But first, he invited those gathered there, 20,000 of them, to talk to him. One man, Francesco Mattana, a 45-year-old married father of three, spoke up. He had lost his job four years earlier and hasn’t been able to find another one. Mattana said, “Unemployment oppresses you and wears you out to the depths of your soul.”
At that, Pope Francis tossed aside his prepared speech and spoke from the heart—for twenty minutes. “I find suffering here…It weakens you and robs you of hope,” he said. “Where there is no work; there is no dignity.” The crowd chanted what Francis called a prayer: “Work, work, work!” Francis spoke of the rights of workers and the personal devastation caused by joblessness.
Then Francis was moved from empathy to anger. “We don’t want this globalized economic system which does us so much harm. Men and women have to be at the center (of an economic system) as God wants, not money,” he declared. “The world has become an· idolater of this god called money.”
He said globalization has brought with it a culture where the weakest in society suffered the most and often, where those on the fringes “fall away,” including the elderly, who he said are victims of a “hidden euthanasia” caused by neglect of those no longer considered productive. Strong stuff, indeed.
But wait, there’s more. “To defend this economic culture, a throwaway culture has been installed. We throw away grandparents, and we throw away young people. We have to say no to this throwaway culture. We want a just system which helps everyone, he continued. He ended with a prayer, asking God to “give us work and teach us to fight for work.”
How does that square with the determination of members of the U.S.Congress to cut $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), while preserving huge subsidies for Big Agriculture?
Or attempting to de-fund the Affordable Care Act thereby keeping 47 million people from getting health insurance. And what does it do with Robert Benmosche, CEO of AIG, the corporation that wrote billions of dollars worth of derivative trades that went sour, helping plunge the economy into deep recession, destroying millions of jobs? Mr. Benmosche complained to a news reporter about the angry public uproar that followed announcement that he and other AIG execs were going to get whopping bonuses. He referred to the uproar as sounding like a lynch mob!
If Pope Francis has it his way, or rather Jesus’ way, One Percenters, you haven’t seen anything yet. Think how, when he was bishop of Buenos Aires, Francis sided with unemployed workers in their conflict with government austerity plans. And think about his parting words in Cagliari: “give us work and teach us to fight for work.” He’s calling for workers to organize and fight back from a position of power. He’s talking about labor unions! I told you he’s dangerous. You’ve spent the last 40 years undermining and destroying labor unions. Now this meddling· Jesus freak is calling on workers to organize.
In a way, you should be pleased. One of your stock arguments against welfare is that people should take; responsibility for their own destiny rather than depending on government to take care of them. Well, here they come, with the Pope leading the charge!
[i] As reported by Philip Pulella, of Reuters As reported by Philip Pulella, of Reuters.