HuffPo: You can’t be a Republican (who hate and mock the poor) and a Christian

At HuffPo there is a stunningly dopey headline over a stunningly dopier opinion piece by someone named Larry Atkins, whom I don’t recall ever having heard of before.


Why Would a Christian Want to Be a Republican, in Light of Pope Francis?


Here is the essential argument.

Pope Francis is for “the poor”.
President Obama is for “the poor”.
Republicans, I am not making this up, “frequently mock and hold in contempt the poor.”


We should have even bigger government, which means that – in the name of Pope Francis himself! – you should be a Democrat or you are a bad Christian and, obviously, a bad person.

You have to read that piece.

This is another example of what I wrote about, HERE.

Never mind the official Democrat promotion of abortion (the writer claims the Bible is silent on that, btw)….

Some people think that free-markets and entrepreneurship will help “the poor” more efficiently, more quickly, and in a way that protects and fosters their human dignity. Others think that money should be redistributed, in “fairness”, through the agency of a vast government bureaucracy.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Andrew says:

    There’s a big pot of gold accumulated through taxation and people eye it with avarice. They spin all sorts of doctrine where the bottom line is always the same: you will covet your neighbors goods. Don’t let anyone have more than you.

    As today’s Gospel reading has it: “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”

  2. I guess the obvious question for Mr. Atkins would be: “Are there any actual *data* that support the claim that bigger government and more government welfare programs lift people out of poverty?”

    On the opposite side of the coin, free-market principles have lifted literally hundreds of millions out of dire poverty in China and India. I think that counts as data…

  3. benedetta says:

    Right, show us the citations…I’ve never heard of any Republicans mocking “the poor”, however, this Huff Po author deserves serious mockery.

  4. wanda says:

    Conversely, why would a Christian want to be a Democrat?

    Party platform, let’s see..Abortion on demand, all the time, anytime even after the child is born, oh yeah and the government will take your money and mine to pay for it.

    Next, so called same sex not marriage. Push this accross the globe via the UN. Push also population control accross the globe. Coerce acceptance by dangling money before their eyes.

    Next, remove all references to God from the party platform and from the public square.


  5. Phil_NL says:

    Sadly enough, I get the impression this line of thought still runs rampant in many diocesan offices. Even though wanda neatly sums up the main problems with the democratic platform (and lefties worldwide), they still have a lot of sympathy from among many clergy because of their perceived battle for ‘the poor’. Add to that a poor knowledge of economics and low level of care for freedom, and you have a recipe for disaster.

    To repeat, reverent bishops, superiors, etc.: stay out of politics where-ever there prudential judgement applies (and how to care for the poor falls squarely into that category) and wean yourself of HuffPo thinking. Your faithful will be grateful, and in the long run you as well.

  6. unavoceman says:

    Wanda: “Conversely, why would a Christian want to be a Democrat?”

    Amen. There is no policy anywhere that holds the poor in deeper mockery and contempt than the “cleansing the world of undesirables” Nazi sacrament of abortion so beloved and treasured by liberals.

  7. Ben Kenobi says:

    @Master Samwise

    They interpret ‘compassion for the poor’ as taking money from other people (some of them working poor), taking a percentage for oneself and then giving it to the ones who they like. “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

  8. Bob B. says:

    Drones, the IRS, NSA, etc, don’t seem to bother the Dems, either. I guess it’s okay to give up some of your rights to obtain a little security (to change Ben Franklin’s words around a little) and to manufacture other “rights” when it suits you, Obama or his cronies.

  9. Palladio says:

    I suspect that self-identifying liberals or progressives have so thoroughly declined in intellectual acuity and humane learning that they are now little more than rank ideologues who, like Clinton supporters in the 1990s, vote with their guts. So long as they can stuff their gullets and feel the nanny state does the same for those who cannot do for themselves, they are satisfied. “Blind mouths.”

  10. Clinton says:

    I think it’s interesting to compare the charitable giving of our Republican politicians
    and the Democrats, just to see if HuffPo is indeed full of it.

    George W. and Laura Bush’s tax records consistently show charitable contributions of about
    10%, both before and during Mr. Bush’s presidency. The Obamas’ tax records show a much
    less consistent and less generous history:

    In 2000, the Obamas reported $240K in combined income and gave 1.0% to charity.
    In 2001, the Obamas reported $270K in combined income and gave 0.5% to charity.
    In 2002, the Obamas reported $238K in combined income and gave 0.4% to charity.
    In 2003, the Obamas reported $238K in combined income and gave 1.4% to charity.
    In 2004, the Obamas reported $207K in combined income and gave 1.2% to charity.
    In 2005, the Obamas reported $1,655K in combined income and gave 4.7% to charity.
    In 2006, the Obamas reported $983K in combined income and gave 6.1% to charity.

    In 2005, the Obamas’ reported income was over 2x that of the Bush’s, yet the Bush family’s
    total amount of reported charitable giving was 2x that of the Obamas.

    As for the VPs, In ’05, then-Vice President Cheney gave 77% of his income to charity. No,
    that’s not a typo– the man the left accuses of being heartless gave 77% of that year’s income
    to charity. In the 10 years prior to Joe Biden becoming VP, he and his wife gave a combined
    of $3,690 to charity– 0.2% of their income. They gave in a decade what most
    Americans in their tax bracket give in a year.

    And just for the fun of it I will note that John Kerry, who until he recently became our
    Secretary of State was probably the richest man in the Senate, in 1993 reported $175 in
    charitable contributions on his tax return. Which is a lot better than 1995, when he gave $0.
    But he’s a Democrat, so I’m sure he loves the poor…

    I think we can all agree that HuffPo is full of it.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  11. there are days i wake up and wonder how we can bear even more day of the silliness and ignorance. It has to be deliberate. What’s even more amazing is that there are people who believe it’s true.

  12. mike cliffson says:

    Bread and circuses

  13. eben says:

    I’ve followed HuffPo for about a year now and did so in the belief its important to have some understanding of what the enemy thinks and what they are promoting. Being something of a slow-study, it took me that long to figure out several things about HuffPo. First, its less a news site than an outlet for Progressive/Liberal/Marxist opinion pieces. Second, they’ve only got about 40 to maybe 50 topics that are daily covered on the site. After reading bits and pieces for a year, I could write a piece they would love on anyone of those topics. Basically, its a “group think” site and its basically the same stuff day in and day out.

    Its still important to know what the enemy is up to, but I’ve quit going there except maybe once a week to quickly scan the stories; I don’t have to read them, I can glean the content from the title. What I do think is important is to keep in mind that while its still important to maintain surveillance on the evil and its tactics, its also important to not feed the beast. HuffPo, like the rest of the internet news sites is fed by “clicks”. To the extent we stop clicking, the beast begins to starve, much like MSNBC which has seen its viewership plummet precipitously to the point where, according to one report, in a nation of 300 million people, MSNBC pulls in fewer than 1 million viewers a day.
    Pax et Bonum

  14. Jeanette says:

    Looks like Mr. Atkins has confounded Masonic humanism with Christianity. I’ll admit that since the advent of the Second Vatican Council, for all intents and purposes it looks like our Holy Fathers, the Popes, have done also. It’s clear from the documents of the Council, public addresses and papal documents such as Pacem in Terris, Populorum Progressio, Caritas in Veritate to name a few, that the supernaturalism and immutability of Christianity has fallen by the wayside in favour of the material advancement and equalization of man in the spirit of: Liberté, égalité, fraternité!! (Not to mention the scandal that the American “catholic” nuns have caused jumping on the bandwagon of material progress…) It’s no surprise then that individuals such as Mr. Atkins have been scandalized into believing that the Catholic religion could abide taking the position of Pres. Obama.

  15. Again it’s the Second Vatican Council to blame. >

    ” It’s no surprise then that individuals such as Mr. Atkins have been scandalized into believing that the Catholic religion could abide taking the position of Pres. Obama.” He hasn’t been scandalized into believing the Catholic religion could abide taking the position of Pres Obama. They will outright lie,twist information around and do whatever it takes to get ppl to follow Obama. Obama and his whole admin is corrupt. PERIOD.

  16. we have a lot of lapsed Catholics.Not sure how we get them back,catechize them properly and get them to open their eyes.Much prayer needed,much work.

  17. Johnno says:

    Why a Christian can’t be a demoncrat

    Demoncrats hate God
    – They want God out of all public areas
    – They don’t want any religion in public
    – They want God removed from all areas and declarations of the U.S.
    – They voted to remove God from their platform
    – They don’t want to obey God’s moral teachings

    Demoncrats practice sexual immorality
    – They support and are proud adherents of divorce and adultery and pre-marital sex
    – They push contraceptives to prevent life & destroy the relationship between husband and wife for sexual pleasure
    – They push and promote homosexuality that destroys the poor men and women who suffer from it exposing them to sexual abuse, diseases, psychological abuse, drug addiction, physical abuse, suicide etc.
    – They want to sexualize children and promote pedophilia through homosexual tolerance programs and explicit sexual education and violating parental rights to protect their children
    – They force religious people to violate their consciences to support their immoral sexual policies

    Demoncrats are thieves
    – They rob the taxpaying people of America to support failed businesses and corporations because they are involved with them and receive support.
    – They rob taxpaying people through big government spending and useless programs, creating more poor people.
    – They impose taxes based on non-scientific environmental claims and other insane regulations that small businesses owners and the average man on the street can’t afford, creating more poor.
    – They rob taxpaying people to fund illegal wars and arms deals that destroy other nations abroad creating more global poor and creating more dangerous anti-American sentiment.

    Demoncrats are murderers of children and the poor
    – They push and promote abortion, when the Bible declares life begins at conception and frowns on child sacrifice and attempts to curtail the natural functions of sexual intercourse that create children, and all of which is explicitly condemned by the Catholic Church who is the ultimate authority of Biblical interpretation.
    – They want to ethnically clense the poor off the face of the earth through eugenics and preventing them from marrying and having children.
    – They want to ethnically clense those people of African American and non-white origin who are the largest statistics of people considered living in poverty. They push this agenda inside and outside the United States.
    – They use drone warfare, illegal spying programs, illegal wars & terrorism to destroy the people of other nations and make slaves and serfs of their own countrymen.
    – They want to destroy much of the population to reduce it and thus undermine the foundations of their own economy creating more poor people without children to support them and uphold pension and medical programs.

    I could go on and elaborate, but feel free to pass this on to Mr.whoever-wrote-this piece of pathetic illogical ignorant claptrap and got paid by the huffington post for who are undoubtedly also staffed by demoncrats. not that the Republicans are some shining beacon either. The whole U.S. Government and the world government for that matter is evil and communistic.

  18. Johnno will post here and tweet:
    I understand the reason Obama got elected is that too many people stayed home.The crowd sizes for Romney were enormous but a friend warned me.He said crowd sizes don’t indicate voter turn out.How could anyone have stayed home?There was much voter fraud and Soros was involved in some nefarious way.Nothing would surprise me.I wonder that O didn’t get elected by corrupt means.Still ppl did stay home. Anyway,Catholic first and American second.

  19. Shonkin says:

    A Republican or a conservative sees a poor person and gives him some money.
    A Democrat or “progressive” sees a poor person and pulls a gun on a bystander, saying, “Hey you! Give that poor person your money.”

  20. letchitsa1 says:

    Their logic kind of reminds me of a bumper sticker I’m seeing a lot around here that says, more or less:

    “Do you really think Jesus would own a gun or be a Republican?”

    My response is always the same:

    “Do YOU really think Jesus would advocate killing babies or be a Democrat?”

    The response I usually get to that isn’t repeatable in polite company, lol, but a very good reminder of why I became an independent a number of years ago.

  21. StJude says:

    Mock the poor? oh please.
    Remember this?

    2 Salvation army buckets were set up.. one in liberal/much richer San Francisco and a Walmart in Sioux Falls…
    Yeah.. Sioux falls gave more.

    No way I could vote for the party who boo’s God and is pro abortion.

  22. Jack Hughes says:

    As someone who used to be a brainless liberal I cannot help but despair at these people’s stupidity

    a) They are all about giving people money that they didn’t earn which the government doesn’t have and therefore putting people on the hock for the dumb government programs they implement.

    b) They seem to think that taking money from the working poor and then giving them some of it back in ‘tax credits’ constitutes benevolence

    c) They love science when it ‘allegedly’ supports their materialistic worldview but then run away at the metaphysical implications of the Big Bang, says that life begins at conception and that actually a married man and women with children is the basis of society.

    d) They love giving money the government doesn’t have to people who can’t be bothered to work (I work in a company that deals with these people) and then attack people who think that it is nasty to think that money should stay with those who earn it.


  23. PA mom says:

    Because government spending is a collective activity, voting for greater social spending involves taking other people’s money in order to increase your own charitable contributions. That isn’t necessary, as an individual could accomplish this by choosing a charity of their choice and doing so, and it seems to encourage the practice of certain vices within human nature. Corruption, fraud, waste within the system and certain beneficiaries, and then there is the purposeful destruction of people’s good name which occurs whenever someone suggests that a program should spend less or benefit fewer people or even return to its original intent and parameters.
    It was really Pope Benedict who gave me a lot to think about in his message about how socialism removes most of the grace from the act. Once I saw it in that light, I could see how accurate it was.

  24. maryh says:

    I’m not surprised either. And one of the reasons, remembering when you were poor or being able to imagine needing help yourself, certainly counts for me.

    You know, maybe the record of charitable giving over the past 10 years should be something we look for before voting. I’d love to see candidates campaigning on their charitable giving record.

  25. Hugh says:

    Fr Z, you’re in esteemed company in your support of the free market in the war against poverty. Bono has come on board:

    “In a recent speech at Georgetown University’s Global Social Enterprise Event, Bono admitted that even he himself finds it hard to accept that he has become a rock star who preaches capitalism. “Wow; sometimes I hear myself and I just can’t believe it,” he said. Bono is well known for leading charitable organizations and initiatives that are fighting poverty and disease in Africa. He also may or may not be the world’s wealthiest musician as a result of his investment in the Facebook IPO. At the Georgetown speech, Bono made the following statements: “Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid. “In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure. “Entrepreneurship is the most sure way of development.” In a speech in Dublin in October, Bono express similar sentiments according to Forbes. “Job creators and innovators are just the key, and aid is just a bridge … We see it as startup money, investment in new countries. A humbling thing was to learn the role of commerce.” ”

  26. Legisperitus says:

    Well, certainly oppression of the poor and defrauding laborers of their just wages are sins crying out to heaven for vengeance.

    But so are willful murder and sodomy.

  27. CharlesG says:

    Johnno said, “Demoncrats practice sexual immorality”.

    I think it better to say that “Democrats practice and promote sexual immorality.”

    We have all sinned and fallen short, whether conservative or liberal, but it is the Democrats that call vice a virtue.

  28. Cathy says:

    Liberal help for the poor – get dad out of the family, send mom to school and to work, send babies to daycare, headstart, before and after school programs. Give mom and babies birth control and make sure they know that marriage means loss of benefits. Make laws regarding the transportation of children very oppressive, car seat ’til their fourteen, and, they now include an expiration date so they can no longer be donated. Make laws regarding how many square feet are required for single family home occupation in order to keep families small. Set up an affordable health care system that is actually unaffordable whose prices increase exponentially with every additional family member. Make laws regarding minimum wage so that absolutely no teenager will ever have any work experience during high school. Set up a cash for clunkers program so that poor people are now charged twice as much for a twenty year old used car. Claim that we need to be energy independent while shutting down as many domestic energy sources as possible causing more unemployment, then complain that the conservatives hurt them because they don’t want to offer them foodstamps while they vote in increased benefits and pensions for themselves.
    In the meantime, conservatives combat amongst themselves because they fear losing the esteem of liberals who would never vote for them in the first place.

  29. Jack007 says:

    Cathy, probably the best synopsis I’ve read in a while!
    I’m tempted to “steal” it! LOL
    Jack in KC

  30. Lin says:

    All of the above is true but we need a path forward! Much prayer! And catechism!

  31. robtbrown says:

    Whenever I come upon phrases like “concern for the poor”, I think of people who yap about govt programs or use jet travel to attend conferences on poverty, not those who volunteer their time at soup kitchens, or with Vincent de Paul.

    I know a man, an Oral Surgeon now c 70 yrs old and an habitual Repub voter. Acc to the half witted author of the article, he has contempt for the poor. In reality, the OS seems he always to have just returned from a weekend somewhere (sometimes out of the country) to donate his time and expertise to those who cannot afford dental care.

  32. Kathleen10 says:

    Clinton, nice work. Nothing like some facts to clear things up, for some people anyway.

    The low-information citizenry seems unreachable, to me. There are just too many people who give not a moments analysis to issues like these. These are literally people whose talk is only about other people, personally known or celebrity, and who’s orientation is completely secular and focused on wants and needs for the day. They are not reading anything except Shades of Grey, and they and their friends have pretty much no interest in such issues as truth, God, eternity, sin, and so on. They are interested in evil, as demonstrated in the movies they see and the programs they watch, and they revel in it and enjoy it, but they are not interested in evil as a reality, one they should avoid, even if by making a comparison between one political party and another to see which one is truly evil and which one just has confidence and identity issues.
    When an election comes around, or an issue, they tote the water for the real power brokers, by quoting smarty pants one liners to show their support, or shouting down a dissenter in the office, or spending a moment to say how much they “hate” some politician (always a conservative). They will typically all nod and agree to this, thereby completing their intellectual and political exercise for the month. They may even occasionally get up off their arse and go vote about something if a few girlfriends will go with them and they can stop for drinks afterward. After all, women must stick together on abortion and we all agree now our gay friends are just like us and just love each other. Besides they make good friends, we are so cutting edge to hang with them and they have solid fashion or design sense. Whoever says not is a bigot, a hater, a racist, a Republican who wants to control everyone else and has to be stopped. Wealthy people are evil unless you are lucky enough to marry one. Mitt Romney is a hater. John Boehner is a hater. Lindsay Graham is a hater. Michelle Bachmann is a hater. Sarah Palin is one of the worst haters! We hate the women especially so. Why? We don’t know. But other people hate them and we’re very used to hating other women for no reason so it just feels right. Whaaat? She’s against choice! We ALL agree that abortion is necessary for women and you are a freak if you imply not. Traitor. Religious nut!
    And they all make the same kind of protesting squeaks and noises that indicate they all think the same way. There’s no actual analysis going on so, they really do!
    Are facts going to penetrate those thick craniums? Doubtful, you are the enemy and you are shut down the second you begin. It would be inconvenient to think differently than your friends. Shut out the inconvenient truth!
    I’m sorry to sound like such a pessimist on this, but about the rising stupidity of the American populace, I am.
    My point is, we have larger and larger groups of just plain, well, dumb Americans! Dumb as bags of hammers, they are becoming a larger share of the population, and they are a force, a big, dumb force. Their gods are whatever media celebrity is in front of them at that minute, in the morning it’s their news station complete with little panels of liberal (preferably gay) celebrities, in the middle of the day it’s The View coven, then Judge Judy and daytime shows, in the afternoon it’s Ellen Degeneres, then at night any number of gods show up, lately really celebrating and reveling in evil of all kinds. They often don’t read the paper, but if they do it’s USA Today or some other rag with more celebrity news than anything else. Oh of course, there is a Facebook God as well. “Likes” are their Holy scripture and will inform them of what they are to consider good and true. Just champion the “Likes” and you’re all set.
    So we are bound to see some of these rise to the level of media scribblers at some point, and all the little lemmings will come along as good supporters. Generally GOP=BAD DEM=GOOD or CATHOLIC=BAD HINDU=GOOD. There are others of course.
    How to try to get through to the dim bulbs. I applaud anyone who tries.

  33. Supertradmum says:

    Once Catholics and others stop looking towards the government and give to the poor directly, these arguments based on parties are stupid. God did not create government to take care of the poor. He created US to take care of the poor. Socialism has been consistently condemned by the Popes since 1848. When Catholics and other Christians adopt a poor family or poor person per family, per person, then I would be more interested in these conversations.

    Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and all the corporal works of mercy are for each one of us, and not for the party platforms. We have destroyed the willingness to work and the desire to give by supporting socialism. We have destroyed individual dignity.

    Why we as Catholics cannot support the Dems is rather simple: abortion, contraception and ss rights are in the Dems party platform and not in the GOP platform. However, at this time, we need to look outside both parties, imo.

  34. BLB Oregon says:

    Yes, “If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16)….that is true. No matter the political stripe, a Christian is bound to walk the talk. Republicans, like everyone else, need to insist that they try to elect lawmakers who will see to justice for the poor, however that is accomplished. There is not just one set of laws or societal expectations that will accomplish that, though. The truth is, the more freely it is accomplished and the more people seem themselves as directly responsible for the poor, the better. We can’t let people starve waiting for the human heart to thaw, but we can’t despair of it entirely, either.

    On that note, though, if telling poor pregnant women that the key to their freedom from poverty is for the state to pay to abort their unborn children is not to mock the poor, I do not know what is. What could be a more cruel sort of mockery than that, I’m sure I don’t know.

  35. JMody says:

    No. No. No.

    Archbishop Lefebvre had more to complain about than just the changes to the Mass — as a missionary in Africa, he spent years working against communism, and COMMUNISM is, in lighter or larger dose, the real problem here. For over a hundred years, the Church taught that communism and socialism and all other things that taught man to look to the state for his well-being were EVIL, because they were rooted in a belief that the State could, under the guidance of experts, cure all ills and create (impose?) true happiness on Earth — without God.

    This is the bile that HuffPo spews, that the Democrats of today spew, and it is plain for anyone to see who paid attention during the Cold War, or who read the papal decrees between 1789 and 1961, that it is what has taken control of the Democrat party and a good share of the institutions in the West. I feel like Tolkien’s Boromir — the time of the West has ended, my city will fall, and all will come to ruin. Dear God in heaven, Father Son and Holy Spirit, how can we make people see this vile trick (And not even a good trick at that …) for what it is? Why did the Church go silent on this horrible evil? Why did she let in so many who would embrace this philosophy? How can she get back her voice of authority?

    My city will fall, and all will come to ruin …

  36. C N says:

    When people like Pelosi and Biden identify themselves as “devout catholics” it would be easy for someone who votes based on candidate popularity and who has no background on Catholic doctrine (or Christian theology, for that matter) to get confused and think a Christian would be a democrat.

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