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15 December 2013


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"If he’s breaking new ground, it’s because he’s discovered an effective way to call people to Christ." I think this is the sentiment so upsetting to the professional left.

Thomas Alan Parker

You are wildly incorrect Fred, as an atheist and a full blown member of the left for the last 50 years I can say we're all really thrilled the Pope is speaking about excessive greed and taking care of the poor. Eff Wall Street and The City.

The last 2 popes were fully committed to be being anti-commies (me too, 4 years in the Airborne thank you very much) and anti-democratic liberalism. Pope Francis makes me feel like making peace with the church for a change instead of thinking of them as just another wing of the of corporate machine that is the Republican party.

I read SST to learn about the Middle East not Christian charity and faith.

Laura Wilson

I'm not sure it is the "professional left" that is so upset. Dorothy Day is not a strange name to the left….now the Right, on the other hand…is kinda freaking out!

No matter…it is high time we ALL heard the Gospels preached based on the "read words" in the Catholic Bible. This Pope seems to actually have read them, internalized the message, and has no problem living out their message.

He has recently taken on Limbaugh's rant about how "Marxist" the Pope is…rather beautifully and from a very Christian viewpoint, I think. He is, in short, a good man.



Welcome aboard. What airborne outfit were you in? As for SST, it is a blackboard on which I organize my thoughts. pl


Laura Wilson

Until proven wrong I will accept that he is a good man. pl


I read the WP article I quoted twice and find no mention of Dorthy Day, who passed away many years ago. Matthew Yglesias, however, is on the left and is quoted: “There’s a lot of stuff about Jesus in his thinking that I can’t really sign on to.”

I am unsurprised by Rush Limbaugh's remarks. I know a gentleman who managed to get him thrown out of an RNC meeting long ago. Hopefully as Rush's influence continues to decline he'll manage to do so again. I do agree with the rest of what you wrote, however.



I was referring to the media professionals. I read SST to learn far more than just about the Middle East, which thanks to the host and his 'committee of correspondence' I continue to do, including charity and faith, Christian and others too. BTW my brother was in the 82nd, two sister did tours in MI units and the 1st ID. I did two tours on submarines.

Dr. K

I think you mean "red print", The words attributed to Jesus.

Dr. K

The only prople upset are right wing wackos like Limbaugh and Varney. Hardly the left.

Thomas Alan Parker

We've exchanged messages before Colonel, I was just an enlisted MI corp weenie (Spanish interpreter) down at Fort Bragg in the 80s. Nothing impressive.



Old Pope meets youthful coming-of-age generation without work and living in a war weary country

What has been their favourite reading? Harry Potter written by Church of Scotland socialist, JK Rowling, and The Hunger Games, written by (there's been a bit of controversy about this) Catholic Socialist Suzanne Collins.

As a member of an older generation my contemporary literature was about liberation of the self, being "cool" (screw everyone else) or hairy chest beating super egos. Their literature is about friendship, co-operation, trust, and self-sacrifice. James Bond vs Harry Potter.

Thomas Alan Parker

Most everybody has family and friends who have served honorably, good for all of us. And I've been reading SST daily since the blog started, Pat Lang was voice in the wilderness a decade ago.

Most of the subjects discussed by the 'committee of correspondence' are fascinating reading. I was just a little shocked at the anger directed at Chris Hayes, he seems to be one of the smartest and least offensive of the TV talking heads. And if I remember correctly his family has deep ties to the church. Tweety deserves abuse, not Chis Hayes.



I think that your characterization of Benedict on economics is not quite accurate. Check out his final New Year's message:


Benedict's teachings on economics also caused discomfort among conservative Catholics, see:


It is also important to note that Francis, in responding to Limbaugh's absurd comments noted that Marxist ideology is wrong.

There is a lot more continuity between Benedict and Francis than the media coverage would lead one to believe. The fact is that the media was gunning for Benedict from the beginning. He was primarily a theologian rather than a pastor in his personality. Francis has a much better sense of the power of symbolism and is doing an excellent job of making his points. On the other hand, what he is saying is not a departure from Catholic doctrine at all, which should be apparent to anyone who has attended mass regularly or has interacted with Catholic Charities.


"Most everybody has family and friends who have served honorably...."

The statistics do not bear out this observation. As to your comment regaring Chris Hayes and 'Tweety', I was making a general comment not somthing 'abusive'.

Babak Makkinejad

Both stories are Manichean in their broad theme - Good vs. Evil - and thus both are more of a Zoroastrian nature than Christian.


The Hunger Games is about "friendship, co-operation, trust, and self-sacrifice."? I have not read the books,perhaps they are different in detail but my take away from the movie was different than this, though I do see how some could come to this conclusion.

Charles I

And you have proved a sinner - this one - can love a true Catholic.



I don't know about the left, but this Pope is certainly raising hackles on the (far) right:



I thought the Hunger Games was about surviving by killing off all the other competitors. Never having seen the movie I could be wrong.


Viva Francis!

I think everyone wants to latch on and see Francis in their own light but for me this guy is shaking things up without having much to say. His actions are speaking loudly. In my little world the Parish Priest is out there on the stoop shaking hands prior to and after mass plus there are no more of those pink, blue, green or red bulletin stuffers espousing someone's radical view being seen and everyone seems to be getting along better than they did. So Francis keep doing whatever it is your doing.


Or, indeed, Zurvanism.

There is, though, openly Christian symbolism and references in both sagas. In Harry Potter he actually dies and comes back to life.

Its interesting that Tolkien in the depths of the similarly dark 1930's, likewise omitted all explicit references religious references in Lord of the Rings, even though he intended it as Catholic propaganda.

I do like the picture of him and his fellow Christian conspirators - CS Lewis, Charles Williams - in the back room of the Eagle and Child in Oxford, in the midst of the 30's darkness of fascism, communism, liberal economics and industrialisation, plotting away to write their subversive Christian propaganda.

They were nothing then. But they've had a huge influence ever since.


That's exactly what I found in it. Hollywood nihilism; graphicly gruesome without promise of redemption only of a sequal.

Medicine Man

The Pope's response to Limbaugh's "Marxist" comment:

"The ideology of Marxism is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended," Francis was quoted as saying. Defending his criticism of the "trickle-down" theory of economics, he added: "There was the promise that once the glass had become full it would overflow and the poor would benefit. But what happens is that when it's full to the brim, the glass magically grows, and thus nothing ever comes out for the poor ... I repeat: I did not talk as a specialist but according to the social doctrine of the church. And this does not mean being a Marxist."

There isn't much there for me to disagree with. I think Pope Francis has the common touch and says a lot that his focus on the social aspects of the gospels looks like a revolutionary act to so many.


An urban metropolis obsessed with the latest hedonistic impulse demands sacrifice in the form of goods and children from the rural areas for their amusement.

Am I talking about the modern US or The Hunger Games?

Medicine Man

I think the author of the Hunger Games wrote it that way deliberately. I know I found the vapid, gossip obsessed media in the capital strangely familiar.

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