Pope Francis

On the 'Invasion' of 'Libertarianism,' Pope Francis' Ignorance Is Showing

We're not all the egoistic Ayn Rand acolytes the Catholic pontiff imagines.

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Pope Francis
Tânia Rêgo/ABr / Wikimedia Commons

"Pope Francis had harsh words to describe libertarians Friday," Breitbart reports. That's OK. I'm a Catholic libertarian, and I've had some harsh words to describe Pope Francis.

My main critique, which I published here at Reason on the eve of his 2015 visit to the United States, was that the pontiff's ignorance of basic economics has led him to a bad conclusion about which public policies are best able to reduce the crushing yoke of poverty in the world. I went on to encourage him to consider that, as a matter of empirical fact, markets are the single greatest engine for growth and enrichment that humanity has yet stumbled upon.

I don't doubt for a second that Pope Francis cares deeply about the least of his brothers and sisters. But I deny that his chosen prescriptions would do anything but make the problem worse.

This is not a bad time to be reminded that popes aren't infallible, according to Catholic doctrine—instead, they are possessed of the ability to deliver infallible teachings on matters of faith and morals. As I pointed out in my piece, "In practice, such 'definitive acts,' in which a pope makes clear he's teaching 'from the chair' of Jesus, are almost vanishingly rare." Arguably, though, the pope's remarks today to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences do pertain to faith and morals. He seems to be arguing that an outlook that places the individual above "the common good" is morally suspect.

As with his comments about capitalism, then, the problem is not so much that he's speaking to issues that go beyond the scope of his office; the problem is his speaking to matters on which he is ill-informed. In this case, his statements betray a shallowness in his understanding of the philosophy he's impugning. If he took the time to really engage with our ideas, he might be surprised by what he learned.

He might, for instance, be taken aback to discover that many libertarians hold beliefs that transcend an Ayn Randian glorification of selfishness (and that Ayn Rand rejected us, too, by the way). Or that what Pope Francis calls an "antisocial" paradigm in which "all relationships that create ties must be eliminated" (Breitbart's words) is better known by another name: the liberty movement, a cooperative and sometimes even rather social endeavor among people who cherish peaceful, voluntary human interactions. Or that lots of us are deeply concerned with the tangible outcomes that policies have on vulnerable communities, and that libertarians' support for capitalism is very often rooted in its ability to make the world a better place. Or that some of us are even—hold on to your zucchetto—followers of Christ.

Most of all, he would likely be startled to find that, far from thinking "only the individual decides what is good and what is evil," few libertarians are moral relativists. (Except the Objectivists, of course. Or am I getting that wrong?) Speaking as a devotee of St. John Paul II, one of the great articulators of the importance of accepting Truth as such, this one is actually personal.

It's hard not to wonder whether Pope Francis knows any libertarians. In the event he's interested in discussing the ideas of free minds and free markets with someone who ascribes to them, I'd be happy to make myself available.

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  2. “markets are the single greatest engine for growth and enrichment that humanity has yet stumbled upon.”

    Even if that is true, that does not in any way imply that libertarian policy ideas are the best way to handle markets. “Some is good, thus more is better” is not logical.

    You’re not anarchists so you believe in some redistribution, and if taxation and redistribution is OK, then we get to debate what to spend the tax money on. Stop trying to tiptoe out of that basic fact.

    1. You are either a complete idiot or a masterful troll. Can’t decide which.

      1. Definitely the latter.

      2. There’s a third possibility, and I think it applies with Tony. He’s an idiot savant of trolls.

        Kind of like Trump is an idiot savant at getting publicity and getting elected President.

        Whenever Trump attempts to do something unrelated to getting publicity for himself, he reveal that he is otherwise an ordinary idiot. Same when Tony attempts anything unrelated to trolling libertarians.

        1. Or Trump operates at such a high level that you can only attribute it as idiocy.

          Can someone who’s made many millions of dollars in a cutthroat business be an idiot? Can someone who succeeded in being elected President whom the establishment of both political parties and the vast bulk of the media opposed him be an idiot? Perhaps the real idiots are people like you?

          1. “Can someone who’s made many millions of dollars in a cutthroat business be an idiot? ”

            Yes. Esp. when they started with approximately $40 million in seed money to get off the ground, and was in real estate in the 70s.

      3. Why can’t he be both?

    2. “You’re not anarchists”

      This will be news to those on the AnCap end of the libertarian political spectrum

      1. Too true.

        It’s a big tent, and Reason itself represents the more Liberal end of that tent.

        1. Please stop misusing the world “liberal”, and no capitalizing the L doesn’t excuse it.

      2. This will be news to those on the AnCap end of the libertarian political spectrum

        Also, all those communes, coops, partnerships, and corporations with zero leadership or exceedingly fluid and unidentifiable leadership will probably be surprised to learn that they’re actually governments and thereby validate $19T in debt.

    3. “Even if that is true, that does not in any way imply that libertarian policy ideas are the best way to handle markets. “Some is good, thus more is better” is not logical.”

      Except that neither you nor any other lefty ninny has offered evidence to suggest otherwise.
      In SF, the lefty rag Chronicle held a ‘conference’ regarding “The Future of the Left”. They did so the day before Maduro nationalized the GM plant there, putting thousands out of work and ending a sizeable portion of the Venezuelan economy. They just had to wait several hours to see the “future”.
      Here, Tony. Here’s your alternative:

      “Venezuela formally notifies OAS it will leave amid protests”
      […]
      “CARACAS, Venezuela
      Venezuela formally notified the Organization of American States on Friday of its intention to leave the regional body amid sometimes violent protests at home and international calls for its embattled government to hold delayed elections and release prisoners.”
      http://www.miamiherald.com/new…..93109.html

      Fucking lefty imbecile….

      1. Well hellu to you, Mr. captain false dichotomy!

    4. Sure, because protecting the borders and building roadz = redistribution, you dishonest puke.

      1. Doesn’t it?

        1. Not necessarily.

    5. Not really accurate. Most of us non-anarchists would say the default position is favoring less government, toward ultimately as little as we can get away with, which I’d say means the state should only exist to the extent that it prevents any members of society from trying to impose their will on the rest of it, which I think is inevitable, if only because around 1% of people are sociopaths and cannot be expected to be moral. So I really only think government is necessary because it is inevitable.

      Which of course has little to do with economics or markets, and isn’t an argument for government control of production of goods or price setting in any measure.

      1. Yes, thank you! Been trying to articulate this for a long time.

      2. “around 1% of people are sociopaths and cannot be expected to be moral. So I really only think government is necessary because it is inevitable.”

        The problem is that intelligent sociopaths find it most profitable to go into government and become advocates for growing government. They eliminate direct competition from the less intelligent sociopaths either by making them agents of the state’s coercive apparatus, or by incarcerating them, and bamboozle the 99%.

        1. Exactly. And they tend to arrest those who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid.

    6. Fuck off, slaver.

      -jcr

    7. “You’re not anarchists so you believe in some redistribution, and if taxation and redistribution is OK, then we get to debate what to spend the tax money on. Stop trying to tiptoe out of that basic fact.”

      Actually no I don’t. People flood worthy causes with money all the time. I am fine with zero taxation and a government funded by voluntary contributions. People pay for things they value all the time on a voluntary basis.

    8. You’re not anarchists so you believe in some redistribution, and if taxation and redistribution is OK, then we get to debate what to spend the tax money on.

      That doesn’t follow at all; democracy doesn’t have to be two Tonys wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.

      For example, the group of people who gets to debate what to spend any particular tax money on could be limited to the people actually paying that tax.

      In addition, taxes simply could be spent in areas that are clearly redistributive. In fact, a nation like the US could enumerate a limited list of powers and functions that, say, the federal government has and simply not include any redistributive functions.

    9. if taxation and redistribution is OK

      It’s not though.

    10. You’re not anarchists so you believe in some redistribution, and if taxation and redistribution is OK, then we get to debate what to spend the tax money on. Stop trying to tiptoe out of that basic fact.

      You’re assuming that government, or governance, requires coercion and aggression. Most people do. That’s basically the meaty center of the libertarian objection to government, that it initiates force on peaceful people. Coercive force is not actually necessary for government to function. Or at least we can argue that if any coercive force is “necessary” then we should all do our best to minimize it as much as possible.

      1. Apparently, it’s also fun for those not on the receiving end so there’s that…

    11. Re: Tony,

      Even if that is true, that does not in any way imply that libertarian policy ideas are the best way to handle markets.

      Markets are the result of billions of daily interactions between millions upon millions of willing individuals. This means the very notion of “handling markets” is absurd. The fact that you’re seriously arguing this shows in no small measure that you harbor a nasty bias against markets because I don’t believe you are that ignorant.

      “Some is good, thus more is better” is not logical.

      Indeed? Like health? Or happiness? More is not better? You’re conflating physical limits with economic limits or even moral limits.

    12. Libertarians don’t have policy ideas, you schmuck. That’s why they’re libertarians. Unless you are claiming that leaving markets alone is a “policy.”

      “Some is good, thus more is better” is not logical.

      So then a little cancer is better than none.
      Or is the idea that no cancer is good “not logical.”

      “You’re not anarchists so you believe in some redistribution, and if taxation and redistribution is OK, then we get to debate what to spend the tax money on.”

      Is taxation to pay for the military (a legitimate function of government) redistribution? Libertarians believe that if we are to have a government, it should be a very limited government with only a few legitimate functions: protecting the citizens from each other and from any outside influence.

      This is a pretty narrow point of view that doesn’t leave a lot of room to “debate what to spend the tax money on.”

      No one’s trying to tiptoe out of anything. You, on the other hand, are wading through bullshit.

    13. Thanks for telling us all what we believe in. Where in the constitution does it grant the government the power to redistribute wealth as it sees fit? The purpose of the federal government is to provide security and interface with foreign governments period.

  3. Worst pope since Martin V.

    1. Dunno. This one was pretty scary.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLffO4nae9c

  4. I cannot fail to speak of the grave risks associated with the invasion of the positions of libertarian individualism at high strata of culture and in school and university education

    Even if libertarians were horribly evil, the idea they have control over the high strata of culture and the education system is laughable.

    1. I wish we lived in this libertarian distopia the Pope and leftists fear we do.

      The irony is, in the same breath they bemoan how libertarianism is spreading like cancer, they’ll ask, “oh yeah, if libertarianism is so great, why are they no libertarian governments?”

      Libertarians: everywhere and nowhere, all at once.

      1. It’s because we’re basically Batman.

  5. “…I don’t doubt for a second that Pope Francis cares deeply about the least of his brothers and sisters…”

    This is a man who spent the better part of his life ignoring his biologic sexual drives (which is no small matter) and then in all likelihood used some sharp elbows to work his way into contention for pope-hood.
    I have no reason to believe “cares deeply about the least of his brothers and sisters” and will be happy to agree with you after you provide some evidence.

    1. If you have no reason to believe, you haven’t engaged with the question very deeply.

      The relevance as to whether and how one uses their genitals to whether they care for the less fortunate is not clear at all.

      The ‘sharp elbows’ complaints of his detractors in the Church are mostly that he’s very forward and loud about how he denies himself luxury, self-indulgence, and personal pleasures. This also doesn’t seem very relevant to the question of how much he cares for the poor.

      There is the testimony of actual poor people about how he has, over many years, shown genuine care for their lives and situation but hey, you’re probably not very familiar. The stories were out there and unearthed by the mainstream media when he first became papabile.

      The man sets my teeth on edge with his style and approach. It’s no reason to lie about him.

      1. “The relevance as to whether and how one uses their genitals to whether they care for the less fortunate is not clear at all.”

        Bill Nye and the Democrats would like to have a word. I suspect a Reason writer or two might as well.

      2. It’s no reason to lie about him.

        You’re right: “Pope Francis [probably] cares deeply about the least of his brothers and sisters”, likely in the same way that “Stalin cared deeply about the working class” and “Hitler cared deeply about the German nation”.

        1. Who has the Pope killed? Who has Catholic Charities killed? Who have they coerced?

          1. Stalin and Hitler didn’t kill anyone either. And I don’t think we need to get into the death and suffering caused by the rejection of birth control, do we?

          2. The pope coerces about a billion Catholics.

          3. I didn’t accuse Pope Francis of being like Hitler and Stalin in every single respect. What I am pointing out is that “caring about people” tells you nothing about their morality or whether they are actually helping people.

          4. Who have they coerced? How about every child ever born to catholic parents? FEAR GOD OR ROT IN HELL FOR ETERNITY!! Nice.

            1. You’re conflating a statement that few take literal with ‘coercion’.

              They don’t coerce jack shit and I’m Catholic. That’s just non-Catholic ‘fuck the pope’ stuff.

              In Western Europe and North America alone his influence has waned significantly so this thing he ‘controls’ billions is plain retarded.

              And just to make clear, I’m not suggesting there aren’t Catholics who take the Papacy at its word, but the way it’s presented here is slight hyperbole in my view.

              1. As for his thoughts about creeping libertarianism.

                He’s a bit of a non-informed rubed. But then again, he is a commie so we shouldn’t expect anything less, right?

              2. I didn’t say Pope Francis coerced anybody. What I said is that nobody should give a fuck about whether “he cares deeply” about anybody as if that were some sign of moral goodness. People who “care deeply” about the well-being of other people have caused millions to die.

  6. “He seems to be arguing that an outlook that places the individual above “the common good” is morally suspect.”

    I see very little in the New Testament to support the idea that God values the common good over human agency. In fact, I see the New Testament God as a radical libertarian–more so than I am. He’s so preoccupied with human agency, he watches the Nazis murder, the communists starve their own people to death, the Spanish Inquisition, etc. and does nothing to save whole generations of people–out of respect for the right of individuals to make their own choices.

    My understanding of Christianity was transformed by that chapter in The Brothers Karamazov, “The Grand Inquisitor”, where Dostoevsky has Jesus return to earth during the Spanish inquisition. The Grand Inquisitor has Jesus brought before him–and reads Jesus the riot act for giving people their freedom of choice. How dare he!

    Dostoevsky’s take on the three temptations of Christ had such a profound influence on me, I can’t really think of them any other way anymore. The first temptation was for Jesus to make people follow him by giving the people what they want. Turns out we’re supposed to choose to do right irrespective of our greed. The second temptation was to save people from harm–but God resisted that temptation also. Turns out, God won’t make our free choice to respect each others’ rights a function of fear either.

    1. “I see very little in the New Testament to support the idea that God values the common good over human agency”

      Ken, I suggest “Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew”, Ehrman.
      The new testament was put together in a political log-rolling session in Bone’ (near Carthage) in (without looking) the 6th century, among competing claims of those who could finance their attendance.
      The assemblage had to do largely with who could (claim to) deliver the largest ‘voting block’ and who could form the beat coalitions. Is this beginning to sound familiar?
      In short, it was what the Rs are gonna give us to replace O-care. Which ignores the lack of evidence of any god whatsoever.

      1. That’s fascinating. Doesn’t really have much to do with the text, though, right?

        You’re just going after the motives of the editors?

        I didn’t think the New Testament came to us out of a virgin fully formed.

        1. Ken Shultz|4.29.17 @ 12:42AM|#
          “That’s fascinating. Doesn’t really have much to do with the text, though, right?”

          WHAT?
          After you READ that, get back to us. It has 100% to do with the text as anyone who read that or other similar histories would know. Until then, simply admit you’re in over your head. Again.
          You should learn to shut up when you don’t know what you are posting about.

      2. Carthage? I thought it was Constantinople, and Constantine the emperor. But I have never paid much attention to the whole matter, since the entire basis is so confused and irresponsible.

      3. Ken, I suggest “Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew”, Ehrman.

        If we “never knew” that Christianity, then it isn’t actually Christianity.

        And if you’re trying to argue that the “faiths we never knew” are the true representation of God and his teachings, and we got something corrupt because of a “political log-rolling session in Bone”, you are actually supporting Ken’s point, because if an omnipotent God lets his faith be corrupted in that way, obviously, free will is more important to him than the good of the community.

    2. The new testament isn’t radically libertarian. It isn’t libertarian at all (take Luke 7:24-30, for example). It’s pretty clear Jesus is advocating Kibbutz style communism as his preferred way of living.

      Thankfully I’m not Christian, so I don’t have to care what he thought, but it never cease to amuse me the level of denial right wing Christians go to convince themselves that Jesus was a capitalist.

      1. I have no idea why that passage has anything to do with communism.

        Surely you can see the point that if God watches capitalists do what they do and communists do what they do, and any of them are evil or not, and he does nothing to them whatsoever . . .

        Imagine a government with ultimate power and ultimate surveillance. Not only does it see what everyone does and whether it’s just, this government can also see into those people’s hearts. It knows when there’s malice there and when there’s good will.

        And this government takes these people who do evil and have evil in their hearts, and you know what it does to them?

        Absolutely nothing.

        That’s fucking radical freedom. That’s the God the New Testament describes.

        1. I have no idea why that passage has anything to do with communism.

          The giving away everything you own because you shouldn’t have individual property part? Perhaps I should be more explicit:

          Acts 2:32-37

          32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
          33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
          34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
          35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
          36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
          37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

          1. I mean yeah, there’s no central government making them do it (which is why I said Kibbutz-style). But really, Jesus was fine with that too:

            Matthew 25:31-46

            1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
            2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
            3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.
            4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
            5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
            6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
            7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

            1. Sorry, that last was Romans 13:1-7, not Matthew 25:31-46

            2. Sharing is good and Christian’s needn’t be anarchists, ok, but where does he condemn private property? Or suggest state ownership of means of production.

              I think you’re stretching it.

              1. “Do whatever the government people tell you because I put them in charge” is a bit stronger than “don’t be an anarchist”.

                “If you owe taxes, pay taxes”. That’s hardly the “taxation is theft” headline from earlier today.

                But yeah, whatever. Jesus is a RADICAL libertarian.

                1. The quotes aren’t actual quotes. You’re describing a caricature of christianity. You might profit by considering Matthew 5:38-45. Just because taxation is theft doesn’t say anything about how you should react to the theft.

            3. Christians were especially big on being law abiding citizens–especially as the New Testament as we know it was being codified and edited.

              Did you know that the Blood Libel against Jews actually started as a Roman smear against Christians? It initially had to do with misunderstandings about communion. Gotta drink the baby Jesus’ blood and eat his body, doncha know! The Romans had a field day with that–the association with Jews came later, when Christians went from being seen as a Jewish sect to being more broadly Roman. Then the libel became about how it wasn’t us Christians doing that–it was those Jews!!!

              There was a sharp division of opinion on how to deal with persecution, too. The church leadership was insistent that lying about being a Christian or going ahead and bowing to an effigy of the emperor meant excommunication. Others, as perhaps evidenced by the recently recovered Gnostic “Gospel of Judas” seemed to argue that Jesus died so we didn’t have to–and they advocated what Islamophobes call Taqiya.

              Certainly, one of the points of Jesus’ message (according to the New Testament) was that his movement wasn’t about overthrowing the Romans.

              He was going to take them over individual by individual, heart by heart. . . . and it’s hard to argue with success. I mean, that’s the way Christianity took over the Roman empire.

            4. I don’t see that as moral advocacy of Roman totalitarianism–just like I don’t see the statements about how ‘if you’re a slave, be a Christian slave and make the best of it’ being openly supportive of slavery. If anything, it’s both stoic and pragmatic. Don’t let your circumstances get in the way of your Christianity, and if there are any Romans listening, please understand, we’re not here to overthrow the government.

              Letters from Pliny seeking guidance from the emperor regarding what to do with Christians who were sticklers for being law abiding citizens suggest that Christians 100 years later were holding fast to this. Again, I don’t think they were looking to create a totalitarian state on the advice they read in Matthew. I think they were simply talking about how not to end up like the victims of Masada. I’m sure the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in CE 70 was still on every Christians’ mind, and it wouldn’t take the prescience of the Son of God to see that taking on the Romans (rather than living under them) might be a recipe for disaster even 70 years earlier.

            5. If anybody here is interested in Christianity and the state, they should check out
              libertarianchristians.com.

              It has an excellent, short exegesis on Romans 13 at link. It brings up a number of points that both non-Christian libertarians and non-libertarian Christians have never considered.

              It is really a worthwhile read if you have a modicum of interest in the topic.

              1. That essay was garbage. It’s doing to the bible what everyone complains about left wing judges doing to the constitution. They don’t like the plain meaning of the text so they come up with a lot of sophistry to explain why it really means the opposite of what it says.

                The proper response to Paul’s obviously conformism is not to pretend Paul was really a radical libertarian; the proper response is just to conclude that Paul was wrong.

          2. “The giving away everything you own because you shouldn’t have individual property part?”

            Once you get into Acts, you’re talking about what the church was doing after Jesus’ death–and not necessarily what he taught. No doubt, the early Christians in Acts are seen as being quite noble, but as far as the New Testament being a communist or socialist text because early Christians did something in Acts is taking that kinda far.

            I can point to other parts of the Bible that seem more capitalist. I’d argue that socialism is a sin in so far as socialists covet. I mean, there’s a commandment against that. Jesus was perfect, in no small part, because he kept the ten commandments.

            “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

            Is it possible to be a communist and not covet things that belong to other people? I’m not sure how this Pope Francis is getting around that commandment either.

            Also, look at the parable of the vineyard–looks pretty capitalist to me:

            1. “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle,[a] and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.'[b]

            2. 8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?

              Matthew 20:1-16

              1. “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?

                You’d certainly have a hard time getting from there to a minimum wage, much less communism.

                1. As I said, it never ceases to amuse the contortions right wing Christians go into to convince themselves Jesus was a Capitalist.

                  So trying to prove he is, what do you do? You point to a parable about how everyone should get the same pay regardless of how long or hard they worked, and claim it supports capitalism because it makes a passing reference to property at the end while COMPLETELY IGNORING THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE PARABLE.

                  Nope, there’s nothing in there that could be interpreted as supporting socialism. LOL.

                  1. It’s refuting the labor theory of value, pointing at the market setting prices through supply and demand, and then it’s asserting the right of people to do as they please with their own property.

                    That’s what it’s saying on its face.

            3. Is it possible to be a communist and not covet things that belong to other people?

              Of course it is! There is an old joke about a Russian peasant who didn’t want his neighbor’s cow for himself – he just didn’t want his neighbor to be able to have it.

        2. Doesn’t do anything to them except after they die, he tortures them forever. I’m not Christian, because they can never acknowledge moral cause and effect. Dostoyevsky ALMOST gets it right.

          1. Annihilationism holds that the soul is not inherently immortal and, hence, that the wages of sin is oblivion.

            It’s no different from what atheists expect to find after death–which is absolutely nothing.

            The apocalypse of Revelation has the world being consumed by fire and God recreating the earth on its ashes. Jesus comes back to save the world from total self-destruction. There is no eternal hell in the middle of that heaven God recreates–unless you believe that hell is eternal non-existence.

            Again, it’s no crueler than the atheist conception of death. And you can’t go to hell unless you willfully choose to ignore your obligation to respect other people’s rights.

            Thou shalt not worship graven images.
            Thou shalt not steal.
            Thous shalt not murder.
            Thou shalt not bear false witness.

            . . . and thou shalt do all these things of your own free will!

            Sounds like Libertopia to me . . . especially if everyone who doesn’t go doesn’t go of their own free will. You don’t have to go! You can live your life, die of old age, and never be forced by God to do anything. It’s all up to you. Just like it should be if God were a radical libertarian.

            1. Thou shalt not worship graven images.

              Yeah, especially those of dead presidents and Goddesses of Liberty. “Verily, I say unto you, that it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven.”

              That part doesn’t sound very capitalistic or libertarian to me.

      2. Maybe there’s hell to pay in the next life. I see the New Testament telling us that the ultimate consequences of evil is annihilation–eternal oblivion like before you were born. . . . not any different from what atheists expect to see after death anyway. The murders and the rapists, the thieves and the arsonists, however, on this earth? They may never be brought to justice–not because of anything God does. They may even live happy, fulfilling lives! You can do pretty much whatever you want on this earth–despite an omnipotent God. The omnipotent God of the New Testament wouldn’t even save his own son from a wrongful crucifixion, and the God of the New Testament has watched many thousands since–and has refused to intervene.

        This is a God that respects human agency in the extreme.

        This is the God Pope Francis says cares more about the common good than individual freedom?

        Pope Francis must be looking at a single stump through a microscope to miss that forest–it’s so big in the New Testament.

      3. Um what? Out of curiosity I looked up Luke 7:24 – 30. It’s a passage where Jesus talks about John and something about people who were baptized by John and something something Pharisees not getting it. Nothing remotely relevant to to kibbutz style communism.

        I know it’s often claimed that Jesus was a communist, though the only way one can get that seems to be by equating renunciation of material indulgences with communism.

        1. Sorry, 6:24-30 (this is what happens when you start doing bible research at 1am)

          1. Generosity is not communism.

            1. “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again” is not merely being “generours”.

      4. Why do you even think he existed? The Jesus story is a retelling of the Horus story through the Mithra story.

        1. “Why do you even think he existed?”

          Faith is not the absence of uncertainty. Faith is impossible without uncertainty.

          Even scientific knowledge comes with a certain amount of uncertainty attached. In fact, ALL scientific knowledge comes attached with some amount of uncertainty. The amount of uncertainty that comes attached is function of the amount and quality of scrutiny to which a scientific premise has been subjected. The problem of induction remains regardless of the quantity and quality of scrutiny, but some scientific premises we feel less uncertain about. I have relatively little uncertainty about the premise that the earthy orbits the sun. I have more uncertainty about uncertainty about the inevitability of an AGW extinction event or string theory. Heck, we’re still trying to think of excellent ways to refute string theory. If we weren’t, string theory would be more like a religious belief.

          Have you thought of any ways to refute the existence of Jesus?

          I mean, yeah, there are reasons to doubt . . . almost everything. There are reasons to believe in Jesus, too–none of which will eliminate uncertainty. We’re never going to escape uncertainty–on either side of the equation.

          1. Have you thought of any ways to refute the existence of Unicorns?

            1. My uncertainty about the existence of unicorns is much higher than my uncertainty about the existence of Jesus.

              Are you telling me that your uncertainty level on the existence of Jesus is the same as it is with unicorns?

              1. I have no uncertainty about either.

          2. It shouldn’t be about eliminating uncertainty, Ken. It’s about having enough good evidence to justify belief.

            1. I would add that I think it’s reasonable to think there was a Jesus that the Gospel stories and Christianity are based on. It’s useful though to examine the possibility of such a person not existing either, as Richard Carrier and Robert Price do.

              1. Not if you know the story of Horus.

        2. Somehow, a lot of people have come to imagine that there’s, you know, atheists on the one hand, and those are the people who are sure there’s no God. And then there’s the agnostics, who aren’t really sure–but doubting that there’s a God. And then there’s the theists, and they’re the ones that are sure there’s a God.

          That’s all bullshit. There are people on both sides who are sure, and they can all be safely ignored. Everyone else, Christian and atheist, are dealing with some uncertainty. And an agnostic, in reality, is an incredibly rare individual. An agnostic is someone who, if an alien from outer space suddenly appeared before him and said, “I’ve got the answer of whether there’s a God, tell me the right answer or I’ll blow your head off”, the agnostic would reach into his pocket and flip a coin–because he’s genuinely 50/50. The rational rest of us, theist and atheist, have an opinion one way or the other–despite our uncertainty.

          1. As an agnostic, an alien would be tangible proof of some being besides humans. The proof of a God is just not there- unless you count something started the Universe.

            Besides, maybe humans are the space creatures that are part of a long lost group that was stranded on Earth while dropping off prisoners here. Australia reference! It would no explain why humans have so many similarities to many of the mammals on Earth unless we brought pets that were trapped too.

            Maybe all the infinite circumstances came together on this volcanic rock at the perfect time to go change single cell organisms into humans in a few billion years. Imagine what changes would happen in the next billion years. Then the Sun goes all Red Giant on Earth.

            Maybe an omnipotent One controls everything and you better do what the Pope tells you.

            1. Obviously we are all just descended from the yeast which survived the tnictipun rebellion against the thrint.

            2. “As an agnostic, an alien would be tangible proof of some being besides humans.”

              Again, you seem to be using the term “agnostic” as if the term describes people who are different from the other two groups in that they’re uncertain.

              Rational theists are not 100% certain.

              Rational atheists are not 100% certain.

              Proper scientists can always be persuaded to revise old positions by the emergence of new data that contradicts their former positions. The problem of induction means every scientific fact is tentative to some extent.

              The presence of uncertainty in no way makes agnostics unique. Both rational Christians and rational atheists are also uncertain to some extent. The only thing unique about self-described agnostics is their bizarre refusal to take a position despite the uncertainty–despite uncertainty being a universal feature of the human condition.

              There are people who buy fire insurance despite being uncertain whether they’ll need it. There are people who don’t buy fire insurance despite being unsure whether they’ll need it. Anyone who imagines there’s a third group of people who neither buy insurance nor don’t buy insurance–both because of their uncertainty–isn’t an agnostic. They’re just delusional.

              If you don’t buy fire insurance because of uncertainty, then you’re in the group of people who don’t buy insurance. Your agnosticism, if it denotes uncertainty, is a meaningless distinction.

              1. “Rational theists” is an oxymoron. Rationalism is the belief that reason is the chief source of knowledge. Theism is the belief that faith is the chief source of knowledge. As someone once said “No man can serve two masters: for either he. will hate the one, and love the other; or else. he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”

                1. That’s infantile garbage.

                  People who qualify their uncertainty are not being irrational.

                  And, empirically, there are plenty of rational theists.

                  I’ve never seen a group of people more easily reduced to memes than atheists.

                  Is believing in string theory–despite the uncertainty–irrational if there’s no way to test it?

                  Not only is it not irrational, but looking for ways to test the theory actually makes it science. Not that science has a monopoly on rationality. There are all sorts of disciplines that aren’t scientific but are rational. Science is just one subset of reason.

                  Philosophy is another, broader, discipline than science–that isn’t confined only to science’s rules.

                  Theology is another. If you don’t think rationality can be applied to questions of uncertainty, then for goodness’ sake, stay away from risk management and financial projections. Or do you imagine that risk management and financial projections are inherently irrational because theyre done in the face of uncertainty?

                  Almost everything we do is a function of uncertainty, and if theology deals with it head on, that hardly makes it inherently irrational.

                  I’ve had atheist philosophy professors who would tear people apart for saying stuff like this. What, are you going to tell me that Kierkegaard was inherently irrational because his mind was big enough to apply reason to faith?

                  90% of the atheists I talk to could be replaced by a meme generator. Don’t be one of them.

              2. Bizarre refusal to follow the sheep mentality? Its not bizarre and its certainly not amusing. I would give you uncommon since most people on the Earth believe in some deity.

                Humans are scared by nature and many behaviors that are geared toward forcing a common good to help with that fear of being alone. Religion is one such common good.

                Funny you say not following some religion is delusional. Why is it so important to you to not have those who don’t know, so don’t want to waste their time and money on religion?

                So religion is like insurance? Better to have it than not. As I said, I am fine with my decisions and if there is a God, I will have not problem arguing my case for being skeptical and using the brain that I have to spend my few resources on family and friends which is a much more tangible use to find happiness. If you use religion as a safety net because you are a scared pussy, you are part of the problem.

                1. “Funny you say not following some religion is delusional.”

                  I didn’t say not following some religion is delusional.

                  I said people who imagine they’re in a group that neither buys insurance nor not buys insurance is delusional.

                  If you don’t believe in God–despite your uncertainty–then you’re an atheist.

                  If you believe in God–despite your uncertainty–then you’re a theist.

                  If you think that having uncertainty somehow puts you in another third category, then you’re delusional.

                  Genuinely not knowing for sure doesn’t differentiate you from anybody rational. Genuinely not knowing for sure is the human condition. I suppose in theoretical math we can be sure that 1+1 = 2. Move to chemistry and use significant figures, and you’ll find that 1.0 + 1.0 does not equal 2. Meanwhile, whenever you’re adding something you have to depend on yourself to not transpose numbers, assume that whatever you’re adding was counted correctly by someone else, etc. Yeah, in theory, 1+1 is certainly 2.

                  Nothing else in this world is certain, and differentiating yourself based on your uncertainty isn’t even making a distinction, much less a difference.

                  The proper word for people who can’t make up their minds despite uncertainty isn’t “agnostic”. It’s “indecisive”.

            3. P.S. The Bible asserts the existence of beings who aren’t humans.

              6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.

              7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

              8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

              Job 1:6-8

              Seems there’s this council, made up of people from different planets apparently. Satan shows up to the council and says he’s there to represent the earth. God counters that he doesn’t represent everyone on earth. This story is from before when Jesus was born. Nowadays, apparently, Jesus represents us–which is supposed to be awesome. Like having a guy on the inside.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cXrEPNvRO8

              Have you ever seen the Drake equation?

              Seen the number of habitable planets where life could evolve in the galaxy, the known universe?

              There are reasons to believe that there are intelligent beings that aren’t humans–even if we’ve never observed one.

        3. I’ve seen the essential principles of the Sermon on the Mount put into practice. I have more certainty about those principles than I do about the historical accuracy of some of the gospels. The things he taught seem to be true. There’s some evidence there. Ask me if Jesus really existed, though, and I won’t tell you I’m certain he did. I’ll tell you I’m cautiously optimistic. Tell me there’s no reason to think he did, and I’ll point you to the problem of induction. Tell me you’re sure he didn’t exist, and you probably don’t have anything interesting to say on this or any other topic.

          1. I would say it’s on you to prove God exists.

            1. There are plenty of rational disciplines that aren’t science–and yet even science doesn’t require irrefutability to be rational. In fact, I’d argue that if you only believe in things that are irrefutable, then you’re an irrational person.

              Again, I don’t need to know that my house is going to catch on fire in order for it to be rational to buy fire insurance. It’s a question of cost and risk. Some of those considerations are quantifiable, but how much a person is willing to pay for peace of mind is also a qualitative question. That can be about personality and culture–neither of which make anything irrational.

              The real question is what you’re trying to assert by assuming there’s a God. Sometimes that question isn’t really the pertinent question at all. Sartre argued that the difference between existentialists and non-existentialists was greater than the difference between Christian existentialists and atheist existentialists like himself. You really need to take that stuff about the inescapability of uncertainty to heart.

            2. I mean, you need to prove that God exists . . . in order to what? Certainly, we don’t have to set up a boolean operator to evaluate non-boolean arguments.

              Jesus’ teachings have been used to take over the Roman empire, kick the British out of India, end Jim Crow, and make the government of Tunisia collapse. God = True or God = False has nothing to do with that. And yet if when people implement the strategies of the Sermon on the Mount, and it produces precisely the sort of results Jesus predicted, that is evidence in his support. It certainly doesn’t hurt the Christian argument any.

              http://tinyurl.com/lmsgffa

              1. kick the British out of India

                What?

                1. I gave you a link.

                  “This letter, along with Tolstoy’s views, preaching, and his book The Kingdom of God Is Within You, helped to form Mohandas Gandhi’s views about nonviolent resistance”

                  http://tinyurl.com/lmsgffa

                  Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is Within You, by the way, starts with a question about what Jesus meant when he told people to turn the other cheek. Instead of meaning all the things people have rationalized over the years, what if Jesus meant exactly what he said?

                  What would happen if people started to act like that?

                  Well, I just gave you a pretty impressive list, and Tolstoy didn’t have the benefit of hindsight.

              2. You need to prove God/Jesus exists to say Christianity is anything but belief/religion.

                Why can’t religious types be satisfied with religion being just belief in something? Because you cannot have dissenters. It is not enough for you to believe in what you believe. You need as many others on board too. You feel better about your delusion and wasting your time because others are doing it too?

                Science requires testable explanations and predictions about our Universe. Religion has not been able to allow other to test what old books say about God(s).

                The funny thing is that the more religious types push for no dissent with religion, the more I call religion mass delusion.

      5. You must have a different version of the Bible.

      6. It’s pretty clear Jesus is advocating Kibbutz style communism as his preferred way of living.

        Kibbutzim aren’t “communist” in the political sense, since membership is voluntary. Ditto for other forms of voluntary sharing, like the traditional nuclear family.

        Communism is a form of government in which everybody is forced, if necessary at gunpoint, to live according to communist principles. Jesus didn’t advocate that.

        1. I’d add that the description of how people in Acts were living wasn’t something Jesus said.

          I don’t remember reading anywhere that Jesus told people to live like that.

    3. Yeah I was also profoundly influenced by that book. Although I’ve long since fallen from grace, I’ve always thought the collectivist denial of free will (i.e. individual rights) a denial of the fundamental basis of Christianity.

  7. The Grand Inquisitor condemned Jesus for cursing humanity with the horrible burden of freedom. Individuals making choices of their own free will? It’s insane. It’s cruel! Haven’t you met the people? They’re begging to be led around by the nose–and here you gave them freedom? Go away and never come back again, Jesus! And leave the church to its true purpose–to alleviate the horrible burden of freedom.

    Pope Francis reminds me of Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor.

    http://tinyurl.com/cx79nr9

    1. Maybe you should become a follower of Dostoevsky instead of Jesus.

      1. Follower isn’t the right word.

        I’m more like a student.

        I mean, we’ve been reading each others’ comments here for how many years?

        Do I seem like the kind of person who takes anything anybody says for granted?

  8. Pope Francis: “…the invasion of the positions of libertarian individualism at high strata of culture and in school and university education…”

    Yep.

    Supreme leader of the most hierarchical religious institution in the world has a problem with individualism? Let me find my shocked face.

  9. Fuck the Pope. Yes, I said it. Nothing more embodies authoritarianism and deference to the state than the pope.

    1. He worships idols and ancestors.

    2. Fuck the Pope. Yes, I said it.

      I’m sure it’s happened many times throughout history. With a smile on his face.

    3. FIGHT THE REAL ENEMY!

  10. As with his comments about capitalism, the problem is not so much that he’s speaking to issues that go beyond the scope of his office; the problem is his speaking to matters on which he is ill-informed.

    Well, that can’t be. Look at all the countries with Catholic governments that Liberation Theology have made into economic powerhouses. Like… Well… Probably shouldn’t count Venezuela. Or Cuba. Mexico, perhaps? Lots of Catholics in the U.S., but we have freedom of religion and more of the Protestant ethic. The Philippines? Well…

  11. Coercive governments replace individual voluntary social interactions with government-mandated theft and redistribution. Instead of man helping man, government helps nobody very well and does its damnedest to discourage individuals helping and caring for each other. One need look no further than the many governments which forbid soup kitchens on the grounds that government hasn’t certified their food as healthy.

    I myself, and many people I know, reduce what we give to charity and what charity we provide ourselves, for several reasons. One is that government has stolen so much from us that we don’t have the funds. Another is that government having taken charity upon itself and sneered at individual charity, it’s all too easy to say “Fine, you take care of it then.” A third reason is that too damned many people are so used to getting government largesse with no questions asked, as a birthright, that their attitude towards individuals is “gimme more for laying about”, not “thanks and I will try to do better”.

    So Fuck Off, slaver.

  12. Can’t imagine what it would be like to give a shit what the dictator of a cult has to say about my liberty. Pope Francis and David Miscavige can both go fuck themselves.

    -jcr

  13. His ted talks was really boring. =/

  14. If you think anyone of the Catholic power-players care about average Catholics you are wrong. The Catholic cult systematically moved child molesters around the World and tried to buy off victims. Cardinals knew about it. Bishops knew about it.

    This is an organization that demanded allegiance from European Kings and other leaders or you would be deemed a heretic and the religious faction would go to war with you. This is an organization that sanctioned burning “heretics” for speaking out against the cult or doing something that displeased the ruling class.

    Its a story of power. The Catholic church has only changed on what it can get away with. They need kids as converts to drink the kool-ade.

    As an agnostic, there may or may not be a God. One thing is for sure, no just God would punish you for using the brain you got to be skeptical of stories told by millennia old humans. God is going to allow people to suffer natural tragedies and humans hurting one another but send you to Hell for taking the Lord’s name in vein?

    I treat other people the way that I want them to treat me- respectful of natural rights.

    1. “I treat other people the way that I want them to treat me- respectful of natural rights.”

      Then you are following the teaching of Christ.

      1. Not really, just make up his own mind.

      2. I’m sure Jesus also said the sky is blue.

      3. The Golden Rule has been present in numerous religions and ethical traditions. It was around way before Christianity.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

        1. Are you saying that independent confirmation hurts the case for Christianity?

          Were you under the impression that the knowledge Jesus imparted could only have a supernatural origin beyond the discovery of normal humans?

          What is this observation supposed to mean?

          Jesus presumably said a lot of things that had been said before. He also said them in preexisting language that he didn’t invent himself.

          So what?

          1. I replied to Vernon, who replied to loveconstitution, saying that loveconstitution was “following the teaching of Christ” by treating others as he would want to be treated.

            I wanted to clarify that the Golden Rule is not only a teaching of Christ but a near universal ethical sentiment. Vernon might have been unaware of this. His comment alluded to the supposed awesomeness of Jesus that is so powerful that people even follow his teachings without knowing it–implying divine significance. Hence, my point that the Golden rule has been taught by many people and cultures and that it’s not an extraordinary thing found in the Bible.

            1. The Golden Rule may have been articulated by others, but it didn’t come to prominence in the Western world by way of Zen Buddhism. We all know where it came from and why it is so heavily emphasized and influential in our modern culture.

              The Sermon on the Mount was so influential on our culture, yeah, that even atheists and LGBT argue that they should be treated the same way we would want to be treated if we were them.

              What difference does it make if the Golden Rule was also articulated within another ancient context?

              1. It matters because you tried to imply that my being respectful of other’s natural rights can only be achieved by following the teachings of Christianity.

                I was influenced by many works and people some christian-centric and some not. I am agnostic, so my good deeds come from selfishness to make myself feel better about helping people and that I help other people with the desire that others will do good deeds for other people too.

            2. “…the Golden Rule is…a near universal ethical sentiment.”

              Absolutely not. It is an idea that has been widely and often expressed, but, in most cultures and times, it was a radical and subversive idea. It directly contradicts the ethics behind social institutions like nobility, monarchism, slavery, and filial piety.

              The allusions and implications you read into my post were in your mind only.

        2. “The Golden Rule has been present in numerous religions and ethical traditions. It was around way before Christianity.”

          It’s also been a radical and controversial idea in most places for most of human history, with the prevailing idea being that the way one treats others is dictated by relative social status or the pursuit of ones own needs.

  15. Wow….you insist on commenting about “objectivist libertarians” but you appear to have little or no understanding of objectivism. Next time do the decent thing – Trash the Pope and leave “me” out of it. But, you don’t really want to criticize the Pope or Catholicism (or mysticism more generally) do you? This site is called Reason – If you’re going to write for it / its audience than respect that or find another place to peddle your cognitive dissonance / corruption.

    1. This site is called Reason

      DRINK!

  16. Eugenio Pacelli, papal nuncio in 1929 who later became the infallible “Hitler’s Pope”, agreed that “the Common Good Before the Individual Good” (Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz) was virtuous altruism preached in the Sermon in the Mount and enacted as law in Christian Germany by the Enabling Act in 1933. The Non-Aggression Principle was penned by Ayn in 1947, while Christian National Socialist enabled actors were stretching ropes in the denazification process in Nuremberg when Truman was president. But the anti-fascist Ayn perceived that National and International socialism were the same thing. The Republican nomination of Barry Goldwater surely sufficed as proof that the GOP despised communism, but unlike JFK’s Pope, was not complicit in exterminating all Jews. So yes, Ayn Rand turned against the LP in defense of Nixon’s party in the Cold War nuclear arms race. This, however, said more about her appreciation of the power of LP spoiler votes than about the virtues of mystical Republicanism. She needn’t have feared. McGovern only carried a single state preaching a “physical environment whose resources are used for the good of all.”

    1. So yes, Ayn Rand turned against the LP in defense of Nixon’s party in the Cold War nuclear arms race.

      And as I recall from that time, she soon had cause to become displeased with Nixon as well when he and the GOP granted Communist China diplomatic recognition.

  17. Most of all, he would likely be startled to find that, far from thinking “only the individual decides what is good and what is evil,” few libertarians are moral relativists. (Except the Objectivists, of course. Or am I getting that wrong?)

    Well, the Catholic church certainly preaches that the individual decides what is good and what is evil; if the individual makes the wrong decision, then they are committing a sin.

    Pope Francis is, of course, equivocating, because he deliberately conflates “decides (as the basis for their own actions)” and “decides (as a normative judgment for the community)”.

    And let me just add that I certainly have “decided (=come to the conclusion)” that Pope Francis is an evil prick, in a long line of evil pricks running that materialistic, corrupt, homicidal sex club called the Catholic Church.

  18. “Most of all, he would likely be startled to find that, far from thinking ‘only the individual decides what is good and what is evil,’ few libertarians are moral relativists. (Except the Objectivists, of course. Or am I getting that wrong?)”

    Yes, the author is getting this wrong. Objectivists are not moral relativists. Objectivism holds that morality is a science that, like all knowledge, must be proven based on facts and reason. No one “decides” what is good or evil, rather one must discover what is true and good, false and evil, and act in accordance with the facts of reality. It is reality that is the final arbiter because reality is absolute.

    Here’s a good overview:

    http://tinyurl.com/lzbjuxs

    1. Thank you.

  19. “We’re not all the egoistic Ayn Rand acolytes the Catholic pontiff imagines.”

    “In fact, more and more of us are leftist SJWs like you are Mr. Pope, we just make our professional living pretending to be libertarians. In fact, make that pretty much all of us here at Reason!”

  20. RE: On the ‘Invasion’ of ‘Libertarianism,’ Pope Francis’ Ignorance Is Showing

    The Pope is only a socialist when it comes to the Churches money.
    If he really believed in the failed Marxist tenets of redistribution of wealth, then he would giving billions of the Church’s money to the “poor and the oppressed.”
    But he won’t.
    He wants other people to give up their money.

    1. ^ This.

      As someone who has visited the Vatican and it’s museum, I can pretty safely say that the Pope could raise enough money to put a major dent in world poverty, outside of the money that the Church already has. But, as you point out, he won’t.

      As someone later pointed out, you can’t buy your way into heaven. The Catholic Church appears to be trying though.

  21. Marx was wrong about pretty much everything except religion: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the OPIUM of the people.”

  22. Dear Stephanie Slade, I think this article is based on a misunderstanding. The source you are using is Breitbart (and this should have rang a bell) but you should have checked the original source which is this one: http://press.vatican.va/conten…..00641.html

    Pope here is clearly talking about individualism (individualismo libertario, in italian noun and adjective are inverted). Libertarian is an adjective in his sentence but in italian doesn’t have the same meaning as in english. We libertarians in non-english speaking countries in Europe have hard times in describing what libertarianism is because historically libertarism has been associated with socialist anarchism (from the french libertaire). In this context in today usage libertarian has very close meaning to libertine. No doubt that this pope is anticapitalist and anti-freedom but in this case the bases of this article are wrong.
    No one knows what libertarianism is in Europe and neither the pope.

    This is a classic case of lost in translation and americacentrism mentality but that doesn’t excuse the use of Breibart as the sole source for one of your articles. I expect better from Reason.
    thanks

    1. True. In Latin America liberal means gelded libertarian or neo-laissez-faire wannabee. American national socialists cursing “liberals” for advocating the legalization of beer in 1932 have completely distorted latino comprehension of political reality. As a result only Uruguay and Colombia have functioning libertarian parties. The rest of the continent, unlike Italy, is governed from Rome.

    2. Yes, please give a better source than Breitbart in the future. I expect and pay for better too.

  23. “as a matter of empirical fact, markets are the single greatest engine for growth and enrichment that humanity has yet stumbled upon.”

    You can’t buy your way into heaven, the Pope would say. And Jesus himself is quoted as saying “Verily, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    1. The ‘eye of a needle’ was a small side gate in a walled city. Not an actual needle.

      Not a Christian but I get pretty sick of people misinterpreting that passage as proof you must abstain from acquiring wealth. Heaven is still possible with it, it’s just more difficult with the added temptations.

      1. I have no trouble with your interpretation. The point of Christianity is not to overcome poverty but to prepare for an eternity in paradise. Overcoming poverty is the baliwick of capitalists, communists and other retards.

      2. Doesn’t matter whether the eye of a needle was an actual needle, a hole in the wall, or a hole in your ass; the proper interpretation is that it is going to be next to impossible for a rich man to enter Heaven – not just simply “difficult.”

    2. You can’t buy your way into heaven, the Pope would say

      No, you can’t–but if the Pope is going to comment on earthly matters, he’s certainly open to criticism of his positions regarding earthly economic systems.

      Given his laughable assertion that libertarian thought has taken a foothold amongst the cultural elite and intelligentsia, it’s obvious he’s doing this more for earthly praise than any deep concern over the spiritual salvation of the masses.

      1. “it’s obvious he’s doing this more for earthly praise than any deep concern over the spiritual salvation of the masses.”

        It’s less than obvious to me. I can imagine other possible motives. Give him a bit of slack about the meaning of ‘libertarianism.’ He’s from Argentina and they have another different connotation for the word down there.

    3. You can’t buy your way into heaven

      You can’t mumble or virtue-signal your way into it either. It’s a fictional place.

      -jcr

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  26. Just the continuation of the Protestant Reformation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformation The power struggle never ends

  27. You know why I still like this place, despite Michael Hihn and some usually articulate writers losing their cool a bit on Donald Trump – the fact that someone can write “I’m Catholic (pro life) libertarian” and not earn the partisan snark of the commenting section. Whereas on places like Breitbart the legion would be upon a pro choice conservative.

    And the feminazis of the women’s marched blocked out pro life participants, even though they make a big deal out of intersectionality.

    1. intersectionality

      Intersectionality is about black disabled lesbian transgender entities, not about pro-choice conservatives! Geez, don’t you know anything???

  28. Libertarians arguing about religion. So boring I zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  29. So some of “us” are mystical infiltrators rewriting the LP platform to advocate coercing pregnant women? How infallibly reassuring. Back when Popes were infallible, some of them endorsed Vin Mariani.

  30. The wrench in the whole Pope as authority thing for me is the notion of infallibility – whether in reference to the person or his teachings. His opinions and proclamations are not, to me, automatically credible simply because he is Pope and issues them. So I pay no attention to him. That’s it.

  31. As another Catholic, I’m confused by your reference to the “Chair of Jesus”.

    Perhaps you meant the “Chair of Peter?”

  32. I don’t know if Tom Woods is still a pariah among the Reason crowd, but you should probably check out his book on the Church and the market if you want to reconcile your Catholicism with your libertarianism.

  33. Fuck the Dope sitting in his gilded palace and all of his corrupt predecessors too. There, I said it.

    1. Thanks in no small part to an outcome of the Enlightenment, words are not to be equated with actions. So saying fuck the pope does not equal actually doing the deed with/to the pontiff. Wasn’t so terribly long ago that them kind of words would land you on the rack, literally.

      However; there is a small but disturbing trend right here in the US that wants to treat words as though they were actions. By Any Means Necessary, I believe it is called.

  34. Fascinating. A pope who idolizes the state over God

    1. Through most of its history the Church considered itself to be the State of God

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  36. He’s a Peronista, why is anyone still surprised by all the leftist/SJW nonsense that comes out of his mouth.

  37. Stop being so stupid.
    No – the ‘free market’ is what brought us forcing 4-year-olds into mines, and forcing workers to buy their own safety equipment at the Company Store, and being paid in scrip that could only be used at the Company Store, and being forced to live in Company Housing so that if you got fired for complaining about working 15 hour days for the equivalent of three dollars, you were automatically evicted as well.

    Yes, we know you folks really wish you could just bring slavery back.
    But we’re not going to let you.
    Sorry.

    ‘Free Markets’ mean bread that’s 80% sawdust. And ‘juice’ that is nothing but water and sugar. Can’t have any of those ‘onerous’ regulations that limit the profit potential of the owners. Let the consumers and workers be damned.

    You people suck

    N_J

    1. Thank you Comrade NJ.
      We will memorize your wise and beneficent remarks and apply them diligently in the next Party meeting.

    2. Stop punishing the rest of society for your daddy issues, or at the very least, keep your cartoon version of the free market in the campus coffeehouse where it belongs.

      Yes, we know you folks really wish you could just bring slavery back.

      If it means running your dumb ass into the ground doing something productive instead of your typical left-wing bitching, you could hardly make it sound more appealing.

    3. Incidentally, you fucking skinny-ass neckbeard twerp, you’d be advised to start lifting something heavier than a 16 oz craft beer if you don’t want your head kicked in by some Trumper at the next Antifa riot.

  38. Oh, I see. When I read “The Invasion of Libertarianism” I thought it was about Reason and its faux classically-liberal agenda.

  39. Oh, I see. When I read “The Invasion of Libertarianism” I thought it was about Reason and its faux classically-liberal agenda.

  40. The Pope is not ignorant, he is malicious. Behind the warm smile stands a man who is deeply and viciously opposed to any kind of individualism. He is a true believer that humans are cursed by Eve’s original sin and must be carefully controlled lest their inherently evil nature emerges and wrecks havoc.

    His statements are incontrovertibly monstrous. He condemns the system that has brought more people out of poverty than anything ever imagined by the Catholic Church. If he had his way the entire world would look like Cuba or Venezuela with billions of people starving to death. He yearns for the medieval world of papal omnipotence and individual impotence.

    His advocacy of socialism deserves full and complete condemnation by every rational, compassionate human being.

  41. Ah, another parishioner preaching to the church of convenient Catholics.

    A brand new BA in Accounting, a soft spot for incense and chrism, and no real callused immersion into the true world of capitalism other than as a paid partisan pundificator now going to bat against the Pope on behalf of their mutual funds and “religious freedom”.

    “You still need to do one thing. Sell everything you have and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.”

    1. Stop pushing your religion on everyone else.

    2. Sell everything you have and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven.

      Tell ya what: I’ll keep what I have and the destitute can have my treasure in heaven. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

  42. >few libertarians are moral relativists

    lolololol 90% of the DC Koch Institute libertarians are moral relativists and many of them are also poly-amorous. Most libertarians I know don’t just advocate for the ability for same sex couples to get married, they also think it’s beautiful, or something. Libertarian is now basically synonymous with Libertine.

  43. I’ve always felt real sorrow for Leonard Peikoff. He never grew a mind of his own, did he?

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