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Pope Francis’ Call to Host Refugees Contrasts With Anti-Immigrant US 'Religious Right'


Pope Francis’ Call to Host Refugees Contrasts With Anti-Immigrant US 'Religious Right'

Juan Cole

Not all American Christian leaders have covered themselves in glory when it comes to the issue of Syrian refugees being accepted by the US ( not many are). Evangelist Franklin Graham sees these refugees as a security threat because many of them are Muslim (though there are lots of kinds of Islam in Syria, and some 5% are Christian). Sen. Rand Paul, who mixes some evangelicalism into his libertarianism, has expressed similar sentiments.


This Pope embodies the spirit of his faith. This Pope is a mercy unto this weary world of ours and it is about f'n time too!

Whether people can face the fact that he is his own man and a cookie cutter version of Pope exactly the same as every previous one (including the Borgias to hear some people) is not important.

This Pope reveals his faith in God by his deep and abiding concern for people. He is a mercy to this merciless world. Too bad the fanatics and fools aren't right when they claim the Pope controls and virtually owns every church and monastery etc. He doesn't but he asks them to help the refugees. They don't have to obey but the way he asks makes it a matter for their conscience and thus a matter of their faith.

Gosh how I love this Pope and believe that he is truly a man of faith in a God of love.

Viva il Papa!

A man of mercy


Yet, no call from the Pope to halt the onslaught by the US on the MidEast??? Another safe, non-controversuial stance taken by the Church. Wonder if Jesus would have done the same?


This is a beautiful, inspiring article, Mr. Cole and I must say--not as a Catholic--that I have great admiration for this Pope and all that he's doing to raise global consciousness about poverty, the state of Mother Earth (and he does use that not exactly patriarchal reference); and in this case, the state of the multitudes displaced both by actual wars and wars against climate as fostered by today's Shock Doctrine new colonialist-conquistadors (aided and abetted by an arsenal of high tech machinery).

I'd like to see American congregations--from Judaism to Fundamentalist Christian ones--raise funds to subsidize the community actions being taken throughout Europe to find homes for the hordes of refugees that N.A.T.O's wars largely created.

That would be not just a tithe, but a payment to the Spirit of Mankind... and sea change against all the inhumanity reaching a fever pitch due to the idiot war on Terror!


Cut the crap and give credit where credit is due!


I will give credit when I see the Pope and others discuss the reasons for this calamity. And condemn it loudly!!! And your last line says it all......you believe this is a War ON Terror. What nonsense. Its a War OF Terror.


I agree with you. Nice sentiments from the Pope. How many Vatican resources has he devoted to the cause? Will he help curb population growth by encouraging contraception and abortion when necessary? Not likely that either will occur. I think his most useful contribution would be to deliver a strong statement on root causes of the crisis--and this would certainly involve an attack on western de-stabilization of the region. That would be the beginning of a very important dialog, and would take a huge amount of courage. He should do that, as no other world leader seems to be interested in discussing culpability for the chaos.


Would this "God of love" the Pope believes in be the same one who performed the first large scale water-boarding in history: the Flood? Would he also be the same God who invented Hell? I know these are all myths, but they do say something about a fundamentally inhumane belief system.


Never cared for any of the Popes - until now.

I hope he has a top-notch security force.


Do you have a point? I ask this because you frame you question as if no one ever had a different view of faith except the fundamentalist nonsense. You say the Flood and then you say it is a myth. Like I said do you have a point? Why don't you ask me some other question about what fundamentalists believe. Maybe that fossils were put here as a trick by God to test the faithful? Or something like that?

Are you talking about this Pope or fundamentalists? I can't tell. Should I quote St Augustine who advises us to remember that when the bible says something that is obviously wrong or against rational understanding that it speaks in metaphors not actuality nor literally? I'm guessing that you never read about what you criticize but you sound upset as if the Flood story was an indictment of God. Yet you don't believe it happened (nor do I except around the black Sea or the Persian gulf either one or both) so what is your point?

Hell? Who says there is a hell? You'd be surprised to hear theologians debate. Once people thought there was a limbo... remember? Oops... guess there wasn't. How does that work...lol.

Do some homework and if you want to talk fundamentalist religious beliefs then please go to one of their sites and do so.

Rev. Martin Luther King was also a man of faith btw. As was Ghandi. As is the Dalai Lama.

Come to think of it...could you please name a recent atheist (assuming that is what you are) who is noted for n=being a person of peace? I'd appreciate it if you would ...thanks


There is simply no historical or mythical support for your claim that the Old Testament god the Pope believes in is a "God of love." The evils of catholic and christian theology may be less glaringly apparent nowadays, but they are embedded in the world view and still operative at countless levels in countless countries. My point was to challenge those false and misleading words: "God of love." I don't have to cite innumerable authors and thinkers who share the same view re the toxicity of organized religion and religious belief systems.


Religious right is conservative, like Satan is. Pope Francis is liberal, like Jesus is.


Then why twist words and conflate concepts. You conveniently slip in the distinction "Old Testament God" and instantly became boring. Like I said if you think all people of faith believe as do fundamentalists then why don't you go argue with them? Jesus said God is love but I'm guessing you already knew that. The Pope is a believer in the New Testament - the new covenant as it were. St. Augustine? you make no comment. Naming an atheist who is similar to the people of faith like the Rev. MLK or this Pope? You claim innumerable authors etc but I asked about progressive activists and doers not apolitical debaters about religion and atheism.

You don't have a point do you...you just want to babble. So the Pope's calling for catholic churches and parishes to take in refugees is what you call the evils ... embedded in the world view and ... sheesh... you are not very good at this.

Play nice and please try not to disturb the adults.


I know that it's a war of terror. You may or may not be new to this forum. Your screen name implies the latter. I have used those words (as have many others): War of Terror before you showed up. And you are just looking for a way to downplay the significance of this Pope's inspired leadership. Hey, he hasn't said enough about women's rights yet... but the fact that he speaks out about global poverty, the calling of decent people to take in these refugees, and the state of Mother Earth are HUGE plusses.

You and the other forum character assassins look for what's missing in this Pope's efforts, along with those of: Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Medea Benjamin, Marjorie Cohn and so many others.

When YOU achieve the heights of these individuals and commit your time, life, and energy to good causes, perhaps then you will be in a position to cast the first stone.


Who are you and what have you done with the real SR?

Please don't hurt me... I am wimpy but inordinately proud of it!!!


You obviously don't believe in justice, mercy, compassion, forgiveness or turning the other cheek. So it's quite convenient for you to dismiss God as if Creator and the manmade limited beliefs that seek to understand and explain the Great Mystery are one in the same.

And I suppose it's just a coincidence that another hater shows up on a Sunday as if sprung directly from the head of Zeus?


What is this supposed to mean?

I dislike orthodox, patriarchal religions and I am well-aware of the harm they've done for centuries. But this Pope has stepped out of that mold. Word is, he may even make an announcement that we mortals are not alone in this manifest universe.

I can't stand pompous white sexist males, but that doesn't mean I can't learn things from the likes of Alex Jones.

I take TRUTH wherever I find it. This Pope is incredibly refreshing and HOW the old Vatican Boys' club ever let him in is a mystery. Maybe they sense that through this act they burn some of their own dark karma. Who knows?

The canard that "I have done something with the real SR" is on a par with Johnny John suggesting that I worked for British Intelligence because--in misunderstanding the comment of a grammarian--he took my American spelling for major words for those used by the Brits. (They might say organisation where in the U.S. it's organization, and so forth.)

Since the tag team by its very nature holds more members than a singular individual, when I point out the nature of the embeds it's now common for the group to flag my posts so that they disappear. How convenient then for that same group to by turns accuse ME (one way or another, sometimes through humor or attempting to appear glib) of being the imposter.

I am not a TEAM girl. I do not salute "either-or," "With us or against us," "Winner versus loser" frames. And this not following "the lines" or being limited to linearity is a real challenge for you boys. Or most of you.

I've got big news: The imminent collapse will be ushering in a phase where broad-thinking will become the norm. Those stuck in boxes that function through strict labels will not only be passe: those who advocate for such positions will be seen as spiritually and morally retarded.

Now you may thus recognize that the education offered through my trans-categorical tutorials just might be YOUR salvation.


Madam... it was a joke and at root a compliment since I liked your post.

Can't you laugh anymore SR? My post was only to make you smile. So you really think that I consider myself wimpy? Or anything else? It was humor and nothing more.

Just being friendly actually. Stop being so grumpy and just talk with people.

Okay maybe I am a little wimpy ... we (ahem) get that way with age. wink


Stay on topic. Point to a time when the Church condemned any War of Terror action by the US Empire??? I've been a lifelong Catholic and all I've heard from my many times in Church is a "prayer for the troops."
PS - I did applaud the pope being pictured in Palestine. We need more of that.


Good comment, speechless, in recognizing Pope Francis' visit to Palestine. The Vatican recognizes the nation of Palestine, and the Pope addresses Mahmoud Abbas, "angel of mercy," as president of Palestine.

The Pope, in May, canonized two Palestinian saints, Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, and Miriam Bawardy. This importantly recognizes the dignity and sanctity of all Palestinian people, and shouldn't be overlooked.

Agreed that the endorsement of the Iraq War, along with these 21st century wars, by the US Catholic hierarchy has been shameful. One prelate, Archbishop Tom Gumbleton, opposed the illegal war on Iraq; all other male prelates endorsed it. It's a shameful track record for those entrusted with the gospel of Jesus.

Best wishes and peace.