How This Pope Is Remaking the GOP

by Rachel Baker on April 18, 2014

Here’s a really interesting article about how those in the GOP are quietly changing their positions on some issues that are largely unpopular within their party. Those that are changing are doing so because Pope Francis has begun a long battle to shift the spotlight to issues like poverty and immigration.

This is good news, maybe in the near future, we can start talking about how to actually make sure the children get enough to eat, rather than what gender their parents are having sex with.

When Jeb Bush stepped up this month to declare illegal immigration “an act of love,” he provoked precisely the conservative pile-on you’d expect. The right’s favorite crabby uncle, Charles Krauthammer, dourly pronounced the comments “bizarre.” Rep. Raul Labrador accused Jebbie of pandering. Noted intellectual Donald Trump declared Bush’s thinking “ridiculous” and “dangerous.” And God help anyone who ventured onto sites like RedState.com. Most perfectly, fake-winger Stephen Colbert eulogized, “He will be missed.”

In the midst of all the huffing and grumping, it was easy to miss the smaller, quieter sounds of satisfaction emanating from some of Bush’s fellow Catholics, particularly those on the social-justice-minded end of the spectrum. For these faithful, the governor’s assertion—with its decidedly biblical ring—was yet another sign of the change in conversation being driven, even within the fetid swamps of U.S. politics, by the wildly popular Pope Francis.

A little over a year into Francis’s tenure, debate continues to rage throughout the church over the question of just how radical this pope really is, and the degree to which he might shift the Catholic spotlight from issues of sexual morality onto those such as poverty, immigration, torture, and even the environment. Not that issues of poverty and human dignity haven’t always concerned church leaders: “They just never got much attention if they didn’t involve a conflict over some sexual issue,” says John Carr, who served 25 years as the director of justice, peace, and human development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). But in the Francis era, says Carr, “the same work takes on added meaning and, you hope, takes on added visibility and passion.”

Read the whole article here:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/18/how-this-pope-is-remaking-the-gop.html/

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: