By Scott St. Clair | The Save Jersey Blog
Watching his address to the House and Senate was excruciating. It took him an hour to give a 10-minute speech. Fingernails meet chalkboard.
Those of us who live in his blast zone have been bombarded by coverage of his visit and his speeches, including his rebukes against those who make or own and use weapons.
Since I’m a gun owner, I took that personally. And I was struck by this graphic that showed what appears to be Secret Service personnel running alongside the Popemobile keeping a sharp eye on the crowd. Since it’s pretty well known that they don’t do this unarmed, all you need do is count them to see how many GUNS were within a few feet of the Pope providing him personal protection.
The rest of us, however, don’t get such consideration. We’re on our own when it comes to defending ourselves. So, don’t lecture me that I shouldn’t have a firearm or that I’m wicked if I do because that’s a lot of hooey.
Now, Francis seems like a sincere guy who loves people, means well and whatnot. But on policy, he’s awful, which isn’t surprising. My friend Matt Rooney does a good job picking apart his strong level of misunderstanding of America, economics and how you become prosperous. But since the Pope was born and raised in Argentina during the Juan and Eva Peron era where right-wing socialism and cronyism ruined the economy and lived there until getting elected Pope, he has zero experience with how capitalism works to benefit everyone. That Argentina was also a haven for on-the-run Nazi’s like Adolph Eichmann shouldn’t be ignored.
I’ve been accused of being anti-Catholic because I called him Frank. But as a Protestant with a history in attending (when I did) a church where the individual congregation was supreme in terms of hiring or firing clergy, owning the property, deciding questions of church governance and the like, what do you expect? I called every preacher by his first name, and one in particular by other choice names because the crook deserved it.
It’s not a question of being anti anything other than hubris and ignorance. And I’m not the only one who called him Frank. Peggy Noonan, who’s, well, more Catholic than the Pope, did too when she critiqued some of his more off-the-wall pronouncements during his U.S. visit.
Every public figure and every public institution is fair game for comment, criticism and, where warranted by ridiculous behavior or statements, ridicule. The minute you declare one to be off limits is the minute you insulate it from being held accountable for bad acts.
But when he and his church were unfairly attacked for sins that were 500 or more years old, I defended both. While the Catholic church has much for which it still must be held to account, I spent over 25 years attending a church that is of a denomination born out of being on the wrong side of the greatest moral issue the U.S. has ever confronted, and then it was by means of a Civil War where guns and the people who used them determined whether we would be a nation that was free or only half-free and half-slave.
Anyway and like I said, I’m sure he would make the perfect neighbor, and he looks to have the heart of a pastor. But he’s most certainly not on par with our Founding Fathers when it comes to what it means to have and defend liberty and Milton Friedman or any other free-market economist on how to become prosperous and spread wealth.
Washington Post columnist George Will said he engages in “fact-free flamboyance” that has the intellectual heft of a fortune cookie. Roger that.