Monday, June 22, 2015
Pope Francis: You can’t call yourself Christian if you manufacture weapons
People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.
Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.
“If you trust only men you have lost,” he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address.
“It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to applause.
He also criticized those who invest in weapons industries, saying “duplicity is the currency of today … they say one thing and do another.”
There is a bizarre logic to the Pope's positions. On one hand he wants to fight poverty, yet on the other he doesn't hesitate raising electricity rates, which would affect the poor, not the rich, and he is against consumerism when billions of people around the globe would love to be able to be consumers of at least food.
Look, it is not rocket science that the true wealth of our nation and the globe is measured by how many goods and services are produced, not by money , and those goods and services have to be consumed by someone, "consumerism" being another of the Pope's gripes. So okay, if we are "wealthy" in terms of goods and services then of necessity we are consumers.
Lesson two. Anyone who is even remotely familiar with history will know that the most dynamic engine of production has been capitalism, and the most effective organizing and rationing force markets. Don't believe me? Look at all of the socialism experiments of the last century, some of which survive in the poorest countries on earth.
Yes, modern capitalist wealth creation is the basis for more reduction in poverty than all the other solutions combined in the history of mankind. For this to happen, however, nations must have the correct political systems in place.
If the Pope is really concerned about the poor, he should stop criticizing those nations that have robust, inclusive, functioning political systems, and criticize those that do not.
Much of the impoverished world is ruled by tribal mores, by autocrats, and by kleptocracies. Fixing this would do more to create the conditions for poverty alleviation than any action that the Pope can urge upon developed nations.
Barack Obama says we are bad compared to other countries because we have guns, and the Pope says I am bad because my consumerism creates jobs. I think I will either live it up or wrap it up, I don't know, unless, wait, we can make the Pope and Obama rulers of the world. Now that would fix everything, won't it?
I am not trying to be facetious, at least not too much, but I am tired of being preached by people whose logic fails on the face of the facts. I have great respect for the Pope, but he is threading into areas that are political and with shaky facts.