To the Editor,
In his column dated February 20, 2016, titled “Pope should put own house in order,” Mr. Joyce has so many facts wrong that it is hard to swallow. He starts with saying, ‘I’ve made a habit of not trashing anyone’s religion, whether it’s – – -‘. He then takes his entire column to trash, not only the Catholic Religion, but Pope Francis, personally as well. I have never read such a diatribe against a religion or man of the cloth in a reputable publication.
The first error of fact,, if you read news media, or watch news media, you know that this Pope has, from day one, been busy shaking up the staid, granite like, unchangeable Catholic Church. No easy task. I am not Catholic, and do not follow it closely, but even I know he has made some drastic changes in how the pedophile cases within the church is handled. I suspect he has done all he can, but is not through. He is changing, ‘clarifying’ doctrine left and right.
Second error of fact: “…in addition to the fact scientific debates continue to surround this issue…” is blatantly untrue, if you discount the American right wing, and the American energy industry and their paid lobbyists. Within the scientific community, something like 90 percent are convinced of the soundness of the proofs of climate change aided by mankind’s activity. The 10 percent who disagree are largely professional ‘experts’ who can be bought, or are on the flaky fringes of science. You might note every other industrialized country thinks as the Pope does, as does many other countries. The American right is almost alone in this bizarre refusal to believe the science.
Third error of fact: The immense cost of ‘going green’. Some countries are shifting from coal, gas and oil, to sun, wind and water, with enormous success and savings. Solar and wind have generated many jobs in areas where it is permitted and encouraged. Look at North Carolina before the state government removed incentives and added legislation making it harder to utilize. Use of tidal surges are being studied, and even used in some parts of world, such as the Netherlands.
Fourth error: The Pope’s comments on open borders have nothing to do with the nasty political arguments you cite. He cites Biblical quotes supporting, among other things loving your brother as yourself, etc. You need to look at his citations, if you are Christian. The Bible seems to quite strongly support open borders, or at least looking after the ‘foreigners’ in your country. Regarding your claiming illegal immigrants take American jobs and decrease wages and use benefits without paying for them is questionable, as there are good studies showing not true about jobs and wages. It was Congress that topped wages. As to paying, even illegal immigrants are charged sales and property (thru rents) taxes, and state and federal taxes are payroll. So illegal immigrants pay them, but lose many of the benefits. Studies show Latinos are beaconing Americanized and learning English as quickly as previous waves of immigrants. Irish, Italians, Germans and Swedes.
The Pope never attacked any religion. He said if anyone supported a wall, cutting of all immigrants, ‘it was not Christian’ and then further said a person who espoused these ideas was not Christian. He did not say anything about any religion. You can read this as an attack on Mr. Trump, or an example of “if he does so and so, then he is….” Generally, a person who does not follow the teachings of Christ would not be considered Christian. That is what the Pope says. He did not even imply that Trump’s religion in any way played a role it his critique.
I am not sure what you mean by ‘limited resources’ as previously you indicate we have no responsibility to take care of the earth, our only resource. I agree with your concern about birth control, but as I understand 90 percent of Catholic women use contraceptives, seemingly the Pope doesn’t have much control in this area. He has greatly softened His church’s position on contraceptives.
Every point I have made can be validated by a little research, which will require a little time with the Google machine, and or reading some scholastic type books.
I can’t help but wonder, after your first ‘holier than thou’ statement, if you ever even implied that it was improper, not nice, or wrong, for your party to question Mr. Obama’s religion? From what I have read he lives, and has lived, an exemplary life, as person, husband, father, politician and self proclaimed Christian.
I don’t read all your columns, but have you made comments about Islam? If so, I trust you were positive. Many in your party are not.
Most of your points are blind, unquestioning regurgitating of Fox News Channel, which is somewhat biased.
Perhaps you should follow your own advice about your own mouth. You can and should do better. Many people read and believe you.
J. Fred Norman