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President Obama and Pope Francis

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. Yet around the world at this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and even killed because of their faith. Believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship. The faithful are imprisoned. Churches are destroyed. So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.

Pope Francis gets political in Washington debut

Pope Francis immediately dove into the whirlpool of U.S. politics on Wednesday, using his first direct address to the nation to weigh in on deeply divisive issues including climate change, Cuba, marriage and immigration.

The pontiff, speaking before 11,000 ticketed guests at an elaborate welcoming ceremony on South Lawn of the White House, signaled he will take on controversial issues during his six-day visit.

In remarks delivered slowly in accented English, Francis said he was ready to listen to the “hopes and dreams of the American people” and to offer guidance to those charged with shaping the nation’s political future “in fidelity to its founding principles.”

In comments that could antagonize Republicans, Francis endorsed President Barack Obama’s efforts on climate change and rebuilding ties with Cuba after more than half a century of estrangement.

He said it was “encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem that can no longer be left to a future generation.”

“When it comes to the care of our ‘common home’ we are living at a critical moment of history,” he said.

Francis also made reference to one of the central themes of his papacy: that the modern global economy is enriching the few at the expense of the many.

“I would like all men and women of good will in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development,” Francis said.

But he also delivered a firm defense of traditional values, warning that the institution of marriage and family needed to be protected at “a critical moment in the history of our civilization,” remarks that could irk liberals months after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide.

He said that it was right that society was “tolerant and inclusive” but warned that American Catholics were “concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty. That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions.”

Stepping into another delicate political issue, the Argentine-born Francis pointedly noted that he was a “son of immigrants” — a sign that he could step into the debate later in his visit on how to handle millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States that has roiled the 2016 presidential campaign.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama earlier greeted the Pope at the White House as he stepped out of his small black Fiat, which he is using to make a statement of humility in Washington, a city full of limos and hulking government SUVs.

On a glorious early-fall morning, the President and Pope stood together before an honor guard as a band played the national anthens for the Vatican and the U.S.

Obama paid warm tribute to the Pope as an individual as well as the leader of 70 million U.S. Catholics, saying he displayed “unique qualities” of a leader “whose moral authority comes not just through words but also through deeds.”

The White House has said that Obama will not seek to exploit the visit of Francis for political gain — but the president warmly welcomed the pontiff’s support on climate change and Cuba, for which he is trying to build domestic support.

“Holy Father, we are grateful for your invaluable support of our new beginning with the Cuban people, which holds out the promise of better relations between our countries, greater cooperation across our hemisphere, and a better life for the Cuban people,” Obama said.

The president also said the Pope had offered reminders that “we have have a sacred obligation to protect our planet.”

“We support your call to all world leaders to support the communities most vulnerable to a changing climate and to come together to preserve our precious world for future generations.”…

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in News

 

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The Pope’s a “Socialist Muslim”! And Obama is Closing the Vatican Embassy!

Totally absurd off the wall accusations have become standard fare for Republicans in their psychotic hatred of President Obama. When you’ve got a base who is stupid enough to believe anything – the the political thing to do is to throw as much shit on the wall as possible. Because some segment of that base is racist enough and stupid enough to believe anything.

Apparently Jeb Bush plans to throw his hat into the 2016 race.

Then the is the “problem” with the Pope. Seems he is getting ready to turn the largest Christian denomination in the world in some decidedly non-conservative directions! If Ol’ Jeb hadn’t spoiled their psychosis, right about now outraged Tea Baggers could be marching, loaded to the nines with their guns to “peacefully” demonstrate at the nearest Catholic Church to demand we pull the American Embassy out of the Vatican – a “Socialist-Muslim Institution”. They would need the guns of course to protect themselves from the Nuns, whose cassocks suspiciously look like Burkas! You never know when one of those flying Nuns might decide to run into a tall building!

“The culture of prosperity deadens us,” the pope writes in a document laying out the platform for his papacy.Pope Francis on Tuesday called capitalism “a new tyranny” and very explicitly called on global leaders to act on poverty and growing inequality.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us

My…My…My… Is the Pope now a (gasp!) “Socialist”? “Trickle down economics” sound familiar, Jeb? ” To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed.” Sound like a rejection of Ayn Rand, Dittohead? What the Pope laid out as the basis of his Papacy, is an utter and complete rejection of the principles of conservatism as promoted by Republicans.

Can’t wait for the “Pope Francis is a secret Socialist Muslim” from the Sno Ho, the Minnesota Birdbrain or some other illiterate, brain dead scion of the right! After all, he lives in the Vatican which is suspiciously close to the Middle East. I expect any moment for the conservative “press” to release at least a dozen “best sellers” on the “Vatican Brotherhood” being responsible for Benghazi! Dram Queen and Lawn Jockey Extraordinaire Alan West appearing on Faux News with the “bubbling blonde bimbos”  to claim he knew the Pope was a secret Muslim all along because the Church has black members!

In any event, the second part of my story — Jeb Bush, who was supposed to be the Bush brother with brains… Gets Stupid.

Jeb Bush Perpetuates Myth That Obama Is Closing The Vatican Embassy

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called out President Barack Obama for closing the U.S. embassy to the Vatican, questioning whether the decision was political “retribution” for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Bush tweeted about the closure on Wednesday evening:

Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.

However, the Vatican Embassy isn’t actually closing.

Last week, the State Department announced that it would be moving the embassy from its standalone Vatican facility to a larger compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy, as well as the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. According toReligion News Service, the move is anticipated to save the government $1.4 million a year.

Conservatives were quick to criticize Obama on the move.

As CNN reports, the National Republican Senatorial Committee described the relocation as “the latest anti-religion pursuit of this Administration, a slap in the face to Catholic-Americans around the country that weakens America’s position as a global leader.”

“It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See,” Raymond Flynn, a former envoy to the Vatican, told the National Catholic Reporter.

The administration, however, maintains that the move is not indicative of any strain on the United States’ relationship with the Vatican.

According to CNN, a State Department official said the move will result in “no reduction in diplomatic staff, there’s no reduction in ambassadors, there’s no reduction in mission.”

 

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