• House honors Israel ad nauseam but won’t recognize Pope Francis.
By Michael Collins Piper —
Anyone familiar with the official congressional record knows full well that hardly a week—maybe even a day—goes by that a representative or senator doesn’t stand up and loudly offer a tribute to some wealthy Jewish businessman (they always call him a “philanthropist”), Jewish rabbi or Jewish community leader in towns and cities (big and small) across the country. Almost as frequently, members of Congress will ask their colleagues to approve various and sundry resolutions saluting those folks.
And when the state of Israel is—as often happens—under global condemnation for its treatment of the Christians and Muslims of occupied Palestine, members of Congress trip over themselves to propose resolutions—usually passed unanimously (though former Representative Ron Paul and a handful of black Democrats would occasionally dissent)—affirming United States support for “America’s best friend and our only democratic ally in the Middle East.”
But guess what? Although some 18 months have gone by since Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was crowned Pope Francis—spiritual leader of 1.1 billion Roman Catholics worldwide, including 75.5 million on American soil—Congress has yet to even bring to the floor a proposed resolution, quite mundane in nature, acknowledging the Pope’s election and recognizing his “spiritual statements and actions.”
The one resolution proposed in December of 2013 is grounded in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where it must be approved for presentation to the full House.
Introduced by Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and John Larson (D-Conn.), House Resolution 440 has 223 cosponsors but only 20 are Republicans—out of 234 GOP members in the 435-member Republican-controlled House.
It turns out many GOP conservatives in the House, including a few Catholics, think the new pope is “too liberal” and, as one unnamed Republican told The Hill newspaper, he (the pope) “talks about equality” and has criticized “trickle-down economics.”
Politically, as this newspaper commented on June 30, the pope might rightly be called a populist. In the manner of famed 1930s radio priest Charles Coughlin, Francis has condemned the “idolatry of money,” blasting Western bankers and others among the plutocratic elite who’ve gotten rich through rampant speculation in financial markets while, he said, “the many are deeply burdened by the consequences.” This kind of talk upsets the Republicans.
Love him or hate him (and/or his church), whatever the pope’s political persuasion (real or perceived) this may be the first time (in recent history anyway) that Congress has failed to go through the traditional motion of honoring a new pope. If truth be told, many previous popes were not particularly “conservative” but downright “liberal” in the political sense.
But the point is this: Many of these conservatives who don’t want to give the new pope a “big hello” are among the first—even more so than many Democrats—to rush forward, like the obsequious pro-Israel sycophants they have become, and propose and vote for resolutions hailing “dear little Israel” or some Jewish big shot whose big-bucks campaign contributions (real and potential) and other means of political clout are much coveted.
Although this is an interesting story, the bare bones details of the matter (obviously without reference to the “Israeli angle” noted here) were quietly buried in the back-pages “metro” section of The Washington Post—the big daily “must read” newspaper for official Washington—on August 4. The Post didn’t even bother to assign one of its own correspondents to the story. Instead, it picked up a report from the syndicated Religion News Service (RNS).
In fact, this is a major scandal, the full parameters of which say much about the reality of who reigns supreme in America—The New Babylon—today and how “our” elected officials have become their eager and willing tools.
RNS commented that since nearly half of all simple resolutions introduced in the House in the past two years were approved “it’s notable that one praising Pope Francis couldn’t even make it out of committee in this Congress.”
Though all too often we see much outrageous conduct reflecting hypocrisy and double standards relating to congressional fawning over Israel and pandering to Jewish interests, this one beats them all.
Michael Collins Piper is an author, journalist, lecturer and radio show host. He has spoken in Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Canada and the U.S.