Monday, September 21, 2015

AZ congressman thinks he's a better Catholic than the Pope (and a better climate scientist than all climate scientists)

Apparently, the Pope isn't Catholic or Christian enough for AZ Congressman Paul Gosar, who wrote an open letter to In it, he tells why he is "boycotting" the papal address to the US Congress. And in it, he also shows himself to be incapable of making a logical argument. (Either that or I can't follow his logic.) So here's his letter (along with my comments).

(tl;dr version: Gosar is a nitwit who is pandering for votes from constituents who also don't believe in climate change.)
It is difficult to convey the excitement I first felt when it was revealed that His Holiness Pope Francis was invited to Washington D.C. to address the world from the floor of the House of Representatives. (Great! So you'll go and pay attention to the man who is the head of your Church?) Many believed, like I did, that this was an opportunity for the Pope to be one of the world’s great religious advocates and address the current intolerance of religious freedom. (Aaaand here you prove to be an idiot. The purpose of the Pope's visit was announced beforehand, and it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that it's about his last Encyclical, Laudato Si'.) An opportunity to urgently challenge governments to properly address the persecution and execution of Christians and religious minorities; to address the heinous and senseless murders committed by ISIS and other terrorist organizations. (Again, this is not why he is travelling around the world. He is travelling around the world in order to talk about the implication of his Encyclical.) An opportunity to address the enslavement, belittlement, rape and desecration of Christian women and children; to address the condoned, subsidized, intentionally planned genocide of unborn children by Planned Parenthood and society; (You are intentionally being an idiot; the Pope is traveling around the world telling people about the Christian and Catholic message of the Encyclical. He is doing other things, too, but his main point is about the Encyclical. And as a Catholic, you should know how big of a friggin' deal a Papal Encyclical is, and - relatedly - why he would want to talk about it on his state visits.) and finally, an opportunity for His Holiness to refocus our priorities on right from wrong. (This is the first point that is about how the Pope is framing his Encyclical: refocusing our priorities on right from wrong. Too bad it is clear even now that you don't think that the Encyclical does this, or that the point of the Encyclical is contained in the list of moral issues that you feel the Catholic Church and the US government are failing the American people on.)

Media reports indicate His Holiness instead intends to focus the brunt of his speech on climate change--(Duh. His Encyclical is about climate change. Seriously, have you read the Encyclical put out by the head of your Church? You claim to be a good Catholic, but I think you haven't taken the time to actually read the Encyclical. And with you choosing not to be in DC to hear what the Pope has to say about it, you are choosing to remain ignorant. "Well done.") a climate that has been changing since first created in Genesis. (Yeah... The Encyclical talks about this and why this framing of it is not useful.) More troubling is the fact that this climate change talk has adopted all of the socialist talking points, wrapped false science and ideology into “climate justice” and is being presented to guilt people into leftist policies. (I'm sorry, but I've read through the Encyclical, and I saw all the references to Biblical morality and moral messages from various Christian saints... all of whom died centuries - if not a millennium before the the idea of "leftist policies" was even imagined as a thing. However, if you were to reframe the writings of the saints and the apostles in a modern political framework, then Jesus, the apostles, and the saints all tend to be talking about "leftist policies." In that light, then, the teaching of Christianity are what you should be blaming, not the Pope, but that would cause really obvious logical problems to your argument from your Christian faith...) If the Pope stuck to standard Christian theology, I would be the first in line. (He is. He cites previous pontiffs, saints, apostles, and Jesus Christ. If these people aren't part of "standard Christian theology" then who are?) If the Pope spoke out with moral authority against violent Islam, I would be there cheering him on. (Christianity was around centuries before the rise of Islam. There is nothing in the Bible talking about Islam. As such, Islam - specifically - isn't a part of "standard Christian theology," which is what you bemoaned the Pope not talking about in your previous sentence. And here you are also bemoaning the Pope for not talking about non-standard Christian theology and political policies. Dude, pick a logical argument and stick to it!) If the Pope urged the Western nations to rescue persecuted Christians in the Middle East, I would back him wholeheartedly. (This is *also* not part of "standard Christian theology." It is a part of public policy, which you seem to be against the Pope talking about when it lines up with "leftist" policies that are based ont he Bible, but when it's about non-"leftist" policies that have no Biblical connection, you wish the Pope would talk about them... as the major part of his visit to talk about his Encyclical? Seriously, you are packing a bunch of pride in there!) But when the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one. (And when the Pope chooses to act like the head of the Catholic Church, you will choose to act like a member of the Catholic Church? You feel like you had a wrong committed against you, but you choose not to turn the other cheek? How un-Christian of you.) Artist and columnist Maureen Mullarkey (who isn't the Pope) effectively communicated this fallacy stating, “When papal preferences, masked in a Christian idiom, align themselves with ideological agendas (e.g. radical environmentalism) [they] impinge on democratic freedoms and the sanctity of the individual.” (But when papal preferences, maked in a Christian idiom, align themselves with idological agendas (e.g., expanding war in the Middle East), they don't impinge on democratic freedoms and the sanctity of the individual?" How friggin' logically inconsistent!)

The earth’s climate has been changing since God created it, with or without man. (Seriously, this is a tired old rag that shows next to no understanding of what climate science is, let alone what science is. It also shows that you have no interest in actually reading or understanding the Encyclical.) On that, we should all agree. (No, because it's a loaded premise.) In Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment (written with the consultation of that great seminary the EPA and its embattled (only because of knuckleheads like you) head Gina McCarthy), he condemned anyone skeptical of the link between human activity and climate change (because there are almost no rational, science based arguments against it, and even those that are based in the scientific method are highly problematic.)  and adopted the false science (calling climate science "false science" without appearing to know any science is another example of poor thinking) being propagated by the Left (and the right and the center; not everyone conforms to your view of the world and what to do about it). If the Pope wants to devote his life to fighting climate change then he can do so in his personal time. (He is doing exactly that, silly. He is speaking to the US Congress on his personal time, too! Seriously, this is such a strange and non sequitur statement that I don't know what to do with it.) But to promote questionable science as Catholic dogma is ridiculous. (And now you have a problem with your statement of being a "proud Catholic," since a "proud Catholic" who fundamentally disagrees with a papal encyclical is showing themselves to be far more proud than Catholic.)

Furthermore, I am a proud Catholic. (Who just chooses - based on inconsistent logic that isn't based in any apparent relevant science - to oppose the leader of his Church.) I chose to attend a Jesuit college in the Midwest, not just for my undergraduate but also my graduate studies (D.D.S.). I received an excellent education where I was taught to think critically (If this letter is an example of how you were "taught to think critically" then you got a poor education in this area.), to welcome debate and discussion (And by "welcome debate" you apparently mean "write an open letter to a right-wing online news site about how you don't agree with the Pope, the science of climate change, and the impacts of climate change on the world's poor, and that you would rather completely not engage in any chance of debate or discussion on this topic, but instead will choose to hightail it back to Arizona and pout about how bad the Pope is.) and to be held accountable for my actions (By making public policy decisions that aren't scientifically valid?); a trademark of a Jesuit education. (Yes, these are trademarks of a Jesuit education... all of which apparently never actually became internalized.) And finally, I am a Conservative, a member of Congress, a constitutionalist and adamant defender of our Republic; an American that believes in strict adherence to the rule of law and a firm believer in our First Amendment protections, in this particular discussion, the freedom of religion. (This statement fails utterly in even bringing up the philosophical point that it is not possible to be a proud Catholic - or member of any religion - and also a staunch American - or citizen of any nation. Another lack of distinction for the AZ Rep.)

So at this pivotal moment in world history, His Holiness, Pope Francis, is intending to spend the majority of his time on one of the world’s greatest stages focusing on climate change. (Again, yes. Again, it's because that is what his Encyclical is about. And again, if you had read the Encyclical, you will see why he believes that it is actually an important point to bring up on "the world's greatest stages.") I have both a moral obligation and leadership responsibility to call out leaders, regardless of their titles, who ignore Christian persecution and fail to embrace opportunities to advocate for religious freedom and the sanctity of human life. (He is not ignoring Christian persecution. He is just not talking about it as the primary purpose of his visit to the US. It is possible to hold positions on a topic without speaking about that topic all the time. You do know that, yes?) If the Pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate change policies, then I will not attend. (Because you are open to "debate and discussion"? Oh, wait, it's because you aren't, and it's because you need to do something to transform your tantrum into vote-pandering.) It is my hope that Pope Francis realizes his time is better spent focusing on matters like religious tolerance and the sanctity of all life. (I'm sure that he does have opinions about these matters. In fact, he's talked about them.) As the leader of the Catholic Church, and as a powerful voice for peace throughout the world, His Holiness has a real opportunity to change the climate of slaughter in the Middle East (Which means encouraging more warfare in the Middle East against violent Islam?)… not the fool’s errand of climate change. (Again, it's clear that you haven't read any of the Encyclical, let alone any of the science about climate change and the impacts of climate change. Or the reports from the UN, Oxfam, and Save the Children. Or military and CIA reports about the security implications of climate change. But what do they know? Those organizations are all just on a fool's errand, right?)

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