If one was to regularly watch or read the conservative media, one would notice that a common theme is that there is a so-called “war on religion” on the left. While there are legitimate instances where the left have overstepped the intentions of the Constitution, this is really a manufactured war designed to keep us distracted from what is going on in DC.
In spite of this, I have to wonder if there is a conservative war on Catholicism. Ever since Pope Francis was elected, it seems that there has been constant attacks by conservatives. A number of conservative politicians have demanded that the pope to not mix religion and politics. I find this interesting as these same politicians are some of biggest mixers of religion and politics. The truth is that the pope is not really mixing the two.
Conservatives have accused the pope of engaging in class warfare when has been critical of greed that is currently practiced by our business leaders. The truth is that the pope is not engaging in class warfare. The pope is actually restating a belief that Catholicism has held for centuries. Greed is a sin and the Catholic church as not changed its stance. What the pope is saying is that when our business leaders harm others to increase their power and wealth, they are engaging in greed.
Another, more recent, topic of controversy is the pope’s stance on climate change. A number of those on the right are demanding that the pope should leave matters of science to the scientists. I will have to say again that I find this statement interesting because many of these same people are telling us that we should not listen to the scientists on this issue. As I understand, Catholicism (along with many other religions) has a belief that God expects us to be good stewards of this world. If we are truly causing climate change, then we are not being good stewards of this world. In which case, the pope does have a valid point.
In my opinion, the reason for these attacks on the Pope by conservatives in not due to a war on Catholicism. Rather, it is a case of cognitive dissonance. The pope is making statements that do not support the conservative ideology. Unfortunately, this makes him a target of attacks by those who have an agenda and those who have allowed their ideology to limit their thinking.