Yesterday Pope Francis spoke to Congress, and of course the Umbragettes are umbraging. Also, the Senate preserved Planned Parenthood. (More)

“We must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind”

If you haven’t yet read or watched Pope Francis’ speech, the Washington Post has a video and a transcript. It’s worth reading in full, but I especially liked this paragraph:

Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology, or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom, and individual freedoms.

In other words, people should be free to believe whatever they want about religion, politics, or economics. But we should be wary of people who are so certain they know The One True Way that they’re willing to destroy those who disagree. I think that’s very good advice, and not especially controversial. Au contraire….

“The Pope’s comments are offensive, wrongheaded, and detached from present-day reality”

Cue Gary Emerling at U.S. News and World Report, concern trolling under the headline “Pope Francis Just Echoed Obama’s ‘Offensive’ Prayer Breakfast Remarks“:

The remarks [quoted above] echo those delivered – albeit with more explicit historical references – by President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in February.
Obama’s comments were criticized as “offensive,” “wrongheaded” and detached from present-day reality. Of course, it’s more politically acceptable to criticize the president than the pope – time will tell if Francis’ remarks draw a similar response.

And like a fly to feces, Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer was all over it:

Happy to oblige, Gary: the Pope’s comments are offensive, wrongheaded, and detached from present-day reality.

Where today are the Christians who are guilty of “ideological extremism” that moves them to “violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities”? Where are there mobs of Christian “extremists” lynching innocent Muslims for perceived “blasphemy,” turning mosques into churches, and forcing Muslims to submit to them and pay them a special tax?

There is an escalating Muslim persecution of Christians that makes the Pope’s moral equivalence at best, disastrously out of focus. At best. Do the suffering Christians not warrant any consideration at all? Any realistic discussion of what has happened and is happening to them? Does the Pope not have any responsibility to speak out realistically and honestly about them and why they are being persecuted? Do those who say he does immediately by doing so put themselves outside of the Church? Are Catholics so in awe of his position they will not oppose him to his face when he stands condemned (cf. Galatians 2:11)? Do they really think God values blind sycophancy over standing for the truth even against the hierarchy?

But the pope’s comments were not limited to religion. And over the past few years, plenty of non-Muslim fundamentalists have committed mass murder. Like the anti-immigration fundamentalist who killed 13 people in Binghampton, New York. Or the ‘men’s rights’ fundamentalist who killed four women at a Pennsylvania fitness club. Or the anti-government fundamentalists who murdered two cops and a bystander in Nevada.

“The death penalty is a recognition of the preciousness of human life”

Also, the staff of The Federalist fumed that the pope didn’t mention Jesus by name, because magic words, I guess. Oh, and at the National Review Mark Krikorian condemned the pope’s “shameful and culpable silence” because His Holiness spoke about the death penalty and weapons sales but not about protecting life “from conception.” And Ted Cruz said “the death penalty is a recognition of the preciousness of human life.”

So we should execute executioners, to “recognize the preciousness of human life.” And then execute the executioners of the executioners. And so on. Of course Cruz doesn’t believe that … because he doesn’t believe in the preciousness of all human life. Only the human lives he approves of are precious. The rest are disposable.

“Surrender across the board”

Speaking of Cruz, he’s also up in umbrage because Republicans don’t have enough votes to defund Planned Parenthood:

“President Obama’s position is that if Congress funds 100 percent government that he will nonetheless veto funding for the government, unless Congress also gives $500 million to Planned Parenthood,” Cruz told reporters, noting the group is not part of the government and under investigation. “That is a radical and extreme proposition.”

On Tuesday he accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) of capitulation after news broke they planned to move a spending bill stripped of language that would defund the family planning group, which has been engulfed in controversy since the release of undercover videos detailing its fetal tissue program.

“Republican leadership’s position has been, in effect, to surrender across the board,” he said in a fiery floor speech.

Not exactly surrender. Majority Leader McConnell offered exactly the bill Cruz wants, and it failed:

The Senate on Thursday rejected a short-term spending bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, thwarting the opening move by Republican leaders to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Senators voted 47-52 on ending debate on the short-term continuing resolution, well short of the 60 votes needed. The legislation would have funded the government through Dec. 11.

The vote divided Republicans, with eight of them breaking ranks. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (NH), Susan Collins (ME), Tom Cotton (AR), Dean Heller (NV) Mark Kirk (IL), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rand Paul (KY) and Ben Sasse (NE) all voted against moving forward.

Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) was the only Democrat to vote in favor.

After the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed a new short-term spending bill that would fund the government and Planned Parenthood.

Despite Republicans holding a 54-46 edge in the Senate – the two Independents caucus with Democrats – Sen. Cruz couldn’t even get a simple majority, let alone the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster, and nowhere close to the 67 votes needed to override an inevitable presidential veto.

That’s not “surrender.” That’s just “losing.” Cruz should used to it.


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Good day and good nuts