The most dangerous person on the planet is someone who is seeking strange new respect from their adversaries. And that is what the Pope is doing.”
Fox News Channel pundit Greg Gutfeld
WARNING: You’re about to enter the “No Spin Zone!”
God help us.
It turns out that the most admired and popular man alive — the most respected religious leader on the planet — is, in fact, “the most dangerous man on the planet!”
This according to the up and rising star at Fox News Channel, Greg Gutfeld (see bio here), who apparently pines to be the next Rush Limbaugh.
Naturally, Rush Limbaugh shares Fox star Gutfeld’s bizarre estimation of the head man in the Vatican.
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Speaking of the Vatican, my own Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said last week — and as comic writer Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up! — that while he doesn’t know “how the pope thing works,” the Vatican needs to “fire this pope” and get a new one!
Now, one might expect a puffed-up young broadcast news star, and Rush Limbaugh wannabe who makes a lucrative living off of TV ratings, to spew the stuff of his dark heart and willful ignorance out to his millions of viewers who, like him, would never read a serious Catholic encyclical before assailing it if their lives depended on it.
But for a United States Senator like (the Honorable???) Ted Cruz, who is seeking the highest office in the land, to demonstrate his casual ignorance of Catholicism 101, and his utter disrespect for this admired Pope, and alienate a huge segment of the huge block of American Catholic voters and Catholic leaders, can only be filed under “Rank Stupidity.”
But then, what might we expect from a man who announced his presidential candidacy at Jerry Falwell’s “Liberty” University.
Not that Jerry Falwell ever spoke out from a moral-Christian perspective on political or scientific (Creationist Div.) issues like the alleged Marxist in the Vatican you-know-who.
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But back to Fox News Channel’s increasingly popular pundit, young Mr. Greg Gutfeld.
According to him, Pope Francis — “the most dangerous man on the planet” — is obviously more dangerous than the following world-class evil terrorists on this God-given, green planet:
— that evil leader in North Korea who pops up once in a while to remind us that he may be No. 1 in dangerous threats to the world;
— those dangerous ayatollahs in Iran;
— more crazed, presumably, than bin Laden or Saddam Hussein were;
— that sick guy in Nigeria who specializes in slaughtering girls;
— and of course, to cite just one more example, Pope Francis apparently is more of a threat than those blood-thirsty haters from ISIS.
If that were Pope Francis, and I had the power to do it, I would fire the pope and get a new one myself.
And I’m not even Catholic, in spite of a lot of Catholic sensibilities and years of studying Catholic writers, theologians, teachers and papal documents, including encyclicals that, to paraphrase Mark Twain’s definition of the classics, “everybody talks about and nobody reads.”
They come with footnotes, after all, to support a pope’s moral argument. And who but a scholarly Christian or a simple theology geek like me reads documents with footnotes?
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As if he were not insanely shrill, bizarre and simply disrespectful enough of one of his elders, young Fox star Gutfeld in his clever voice of reason(?) went on to say:
“He doesn’t want to be your grandfather’s pope, he wants to be a modern pope. All he needs is dreadlocks and a dog with a bandana and he could be on Occupy Wall Street.”
Pope Francis is just another anti-Wall Street slacker in Catholic garb.
Young Gutfeld might as well have come right out and dubbed Pope Francis as the anti-Christ, which a rising number of crazy American Protestant fundamentalists fear.
I grew up around ignorant, paranoid, Protestant fundamentalist Christian zealots, of which there is never a shortage in Texas and the former flag-waving Dixieland, who claimed that the Catholic Church was “the whore of Babylon” mentioned in the Book of Revelation, it which is surely the most misused, abused and misinterpreted book of hope, when properly interpreted, ever put to a scroll.
But the Catholic Church has never peddled in wrong-headed “rapture” theology, which makes the church a target of suspicion, if not contempt, to so many Protestants to this day.
(NOTE to any fundamentalists reading these words: I’ve written fondly of my Aunt Newell, a fundamentalist, Pentecostal Christian who understood that the overarching message of the Bible is fundamental love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithful, self-control, respect for other people’s opinions and common, American decency.)
Back in the day, I also heard it said by a lot of Protestant Christians that “Catholicism will take over before Communism.”
Such harsh dismissals of the Catholic faith tradition have long been virtual mantras of the Klan, of course, who doesn’t limit its hatred to blacks, Jews and God knows who else.
Honestly, I fear for the Pope’s safety when he comes to America because of the mindless and dangerous vile spewed out by Greg Gutfeld all over America, paranoid America included.
God forbid that something does happen to this pope, which Gutfeld will be obliged in his seat of punditry at Fox to discuss, with, presumably, some measure of appropriate remorse.
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Gutfeld did acknowledge that this traditional, very conservative Pope Francis is against same-sex marriage, against condoms and doesn’t want female priests, but went on to ask “why aren’t we focusing more on that before heaving a nightmare-worthy cackle out of his face.”
I am hoping against hope that Gutfeld does not “identify” (to use a trendy word) as “Christian.”
Now, in the interest of that old Fox-style fairness and balance, one of Fox’s diminishing number of generally sane and sober broadcast journalists, Chris Wallace, hosted an actual U.S. Catholic Cardinal and gave him ample opportunity to respond to critics who have assailed the pope’s encyclical addressing the ways we are destroying God’s good, green earth, and how it affects the poor among us most of all.
You can view it on the video below, where the Cardinal politely schooled not only Rush Limbaugh, but also a very Catholic candidate named Bush.
And in the interest of why not?
I wonder why Fox New’s Chris Wallace served up Rush Limbaugh, and not Fox’s own Greg Gutfeld, for the American Cardinal’s response????
[Click here, for example, to the traditionally very conservative Catholic journal First Things for another welcome response (and check out the critical responses in the journal, too)].