Pope Francis: ‘The Che Guevara of the Palestinians’?

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In, is now available.


pa“The Che Guevara of the Palestinians” is set to visit Palestinian Authority-controlled Judea and Samaria next week, beginning in Bethlehem, and the city of Jesus’s birth is already in high excitement. The bearer of that illustrious title is none other than Pope Francis. According to Israel National News, “Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a member of the Argentinian parliament and close friend of Pope Francis…said that the pope intends to define himself as the ‘Che Guevera of the Palestinians’ and support their ‘struggle and rights’ during his visit.”

If the Pope or anyone around him has expressed a similar intention to speak out about the Muslim persecution of Palestinian Christians, it has not been recorded – in sharp contrast to the abundance of signals that the Pope has sent to Palestinian Authority officials. Fr. Jamal Khader of the Latin patriarchate of Jerusalem explained: “He is taking a helicopter directly from Jordan to Palestine — to Bethlehem. It’s a kind of sign of recognizing Palestine.” In anticipation of his doing just that officially, Palestinian officials have put up posters proclaiming “State of Palestine” and depicting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Pope Francis, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

Not only that, but while in Bethlehem, Pope Francis will meet with Abbas; he also plans to celebrate Mass there rather than in Jerusalem, a move that Israel National News says “has been called a show of support for the PA.” He then plans to visit a Palestinian “refugee camp.”

Khader predicted: “Knowing who he is, and his sensitivity for all those who suffer, I am sure that he will say something defending all those who are suffering, including the Palestinians who live under occupation.” Ziyyad Bandak, Abbas’s adviser for Christian affairs, was enthusiastic: “This visit will help us in supporting our struggle to end the longest occupation in history….We welcome this visit and consider it as support for the Palestinian people, and confirmation from the Vatican of the need to end the occupation.”

All this comes after a Church official in Jerusalem criticized Israeli authorities for asking that a sign announcing the Pope’s visit be taken down from a historic site on which such signs are prohibited for preservation reasons. The unnamed official referenced recent Hebrew-language hate graffiti spray-painted on mosques and churches, saying that he and other Church officials “question the fact that the police, instead of taking action against the extremists who paint hate slogans on mosques and churches, choose to remove a sign with a positive message that welcomes the pope in three languages. We hope the police will act with the same determination to prevent the growing incitement and violence against Christians.”

While referring to the graffiti as “incitement and violence against Christians,” however, Church officials have been much more reticent regarding Muslim persecution of Palestinian Christians, even when it has included actual violence. According to Israel National News, “Christian Arab residents of the village of El-Khader in the Bethlehem area were savagely attacked by local Muslims as they celebrated a Christian holiday two weeks ago. A report by CAMERA, an organization which monitors anti-Israel bias in the media, reported that Christians attempting to enter Saint George’s Monastery in the village were intimidated and attacked with rocks and stones.”

Yet about this and other incidents of Muslim persecution of Christians, Pope Francis, as well as Vatican and Church officials, have said little. Last November, Pope Francis decried the plight of “Christians who suffer in a particularly severe way the consequences of tensions and conflicts in many parts of the Middle East.” He added that “Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other areas of the Holy Land sometimes overflow with tears” and declared: “We won’t resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians who for two thousand years confess the name of Jesus, as full citizens in social, cultural and religious life of the nations to which they belong.”

Neither on that occasion or any other, however, has Pope Francis ever ascribed the suffering of Middle Eastern Christians to anything beyond “the consequences of tensions and conflicts in many parts of the Middle East.” Apparently he believes that if those tensions and conflicts could somehow be resolved, Christians would be able to live freely in the Middle East. After all, he has famously asserted that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” thereby dismissing the possibility that Christians may be facing persecution from Muslims who are obeying the Qur’anic imperative to fight them “until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29).

What’s more, when Pope Benedict XVI spoke out in January 2011 against the jihad bombing of the Coptic cathedral in Alexandria, Egypt, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the world’s most prestigious Sunni Muslim institution, reacted angrily, breaking off dialogue with the Vatican and accusing the Pope of interference in internal Egyptian affairs. In a statement, Al-Azhar denounced the pontiff’s “repeated negative references to Islam and his claims that Muslims persecute those living among them in the Middle East.” When Pope Francis succeeded Benedict, Al-Azhar and other Muslim authorities expressed hopes that he would repair relations between Muslims and Christians by not repeating the mistakes of his predecessor — including speaking out about the Muslim persecution of Christians.

Francis complied, affirming his “respect” for Islam and apparently accepting al-Azhar’s stipulation that “casting Islam in a negative light is ‘a red line’ that must not be crossed.” He has not, in any case, crossed it, even to decry the actions of Muslims to harass, victimize and persecute Christians because of Qur’anic declarations that they are accursed of Allah for saying Jesus is the Son of God (9:30); are unbelievers for affirming the divinity of Christ (5:17; 5:72); and must be warred against and subjugated (9:29).

And so during his trip that the Palestinians are awaiting with such excitement, it is likely that he will have little, if anything, to say about how core beliefs held by the Palestinians he is celebrating are used to justify the oppression of their Christian brethren. It is even less likely that he will note that Christians in Israel enjoy greater rights and freedoms than their brethren in any Muslim country. We may only hope that whatever the “Che Guevara of the Palestinians” says in Bethlehem or elsewhere in the Palestinian Authority, that it will not be capable of being exploited, by those persecutors of Christians he seems determined to ignore, to justify their actions and perpetuate that persecution.

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  • karpenter

    Will The One World Religion Of Revelation Be Islam ??
    The Only Upside Is That The Mosque On The Temple Mount Is Not Mentioned

    • Gettingby

      Of course! What act of aggression or oppression is not allowed in Islam under certain circumstances? The perfect vehicle to instill obedience through fear. There will be billions of worshipers fervently willing to point out and accuse anyone they know of apostasy or blasphemy. Every adult a “gestapo member”, every child a “Hitler youth” all joyously giving 10% of all they earn to the cause.

    • Simon

      All they need is a Caliph, then it is game on. We will watch the world pretend that Islam is “the religion of peace” even as the Christian death toll in Islam controlled nations skyrockets and people will only realise at the last minute when antichrist casts the earth into turmoil.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        The 160,000+ dead in Syria prove the oxymoron called “the religion of peace”.

      • Juniper Desert

        Isnt the caliph Obama??

      • RevRoy

        They already have a Caliph. His name is Barak Hussein Obama and he is most likely the last American President. Just imagine if he declares Martial Law, cancels the elections and announces his “conversion” to Islam and declares himself the new ” Caliph of the New American Caliphate”. 50% of American “dhimmi’s” will accept their subservient role, 25% will hoot and holler with many being killed or thrown into Fema camps, and 25% will rebel and fight back. Obama’s private military and militarized police forces will go into action and battle the evil Christians and Tea party types in a prolonged gurella type warfare (unless they all get taken out by an EMP from Iran, Korea or China). Hmmmmmmmmm !!!
        Better be looking up. There is only one good way out of this mess and you know Who I am talking about. His name is Jesus, and this time around, He is not coming back as a Lamb for the slaughter but as the KIng of Kings and Lord of Lords to bring Judgement on the peoples and the nations. Are you ready ??

  • Americana

    The man is making statements that condemn Muslim aggression against Christians even if he’s not uttering them frequently enough. I’d say based on the following statement by Pope Francis, the Palestinians and other Arabs will be mighty surprise by what the Pontiff has up his sleeve for religious sentiments to be voiced during his visit to Palestine.
    _________________________

    (From the above story): Yet about this and other incidents of Muslim persecution of Christians, Pope Francis, as well as Vatican and Church officials, have said little. Last November, Pope Francis decried the plight of “Christians who suffer in a particularly severe way the consequences of tensions and conflicts in many parts of the Middle East.” He added that “Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other areas of the Holy Land sometimes overflow with tears” and declared: “We won’t resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians who for two thousand years confess the name of Jesus, as full citizens in social, cultural and religious life of the nations to which they belong.”

  • uleaveuswithnoalternative

    Please read, “The Vatican Against Israel: J’accuse” by Giulio Meotti.
    The Vatican has a long history of siding with “Palestinians” and meeting with “Palestinian” leaders. In fact, Pope John Paul 2nd met with Yasser Arafat at least 11 times and never once condemned the violence used against Israel or the Israeli’s.
    The Vatican (and various other Popes), have long called Muslims, “our brothers and sisters who worship the same true God.” Various encyclicals have praised Muslims and the Islamic “religion.”
    This Pope, like many others, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
    His call for peace will be a unilateral peace, with Israel making all of the concessions and Arabs making none.
    It is well known that the Vatican wants control of Israel’s holiest sites, even the Temple Mount.

  • Prof. L. Wessell

    So far commentators have missed the really shocking, and disgusting aspect of the “Che of the Palestinians” Pope’s planned activities. If the Pope had wanted to be the ‘”Martin Luther King of the Palestinians” I could understand. Certainly Martin Luther King is a very positive personage, whose non-violence principles were excellent (and alas not followed by the Palestinians). This Pope, however, lets himself be identified with “Che Guevera”. Che was an atheist, communist, murderer, tryannt and contributed to the establishment of the Castro dictatorship. The silence re the Pope’s figure of inspiration amazes me. The Pope flys the banner of a communits tryannt. Actually, when one thinks about, a “model” who murders the enemy with the desire to eliminate him corresponds to the ongoing program of the Palestine leadership. Maybe that is why Che was chosen? Will the Pope bless the next rocket sent streaming into Israel? Will the Pope visit the families terrorized by Palestinian terrorists? The Pope’s odd care for the suffering seems to be but another case of “selective indignation” and the principle of selection reveals a lot about the man. Finally, if the Pope himself carries the banner of Che, perhaps Israel should deny the man entrance in to Israel for being a supporter of terrorism.

    • Americana

      Che may have been an atheist but he died too young to have Communism be declared to be his political philosophy of choice. More like someone experimenting to see what a rational form of social justice might be when SOCIAL INJUSTICE has been the historical norm for an entire continent thanks to EURO COLONIALISM and a consequent outgrowth of the privileged ruling class! The fact Che turned away from being a member of that ruling class when he witnessed the immense poverty throughout South America says everything about his vision and says nothing much about what his politics eventually would have become if he hadn’t been killed so young.

      The fact the Pope sees the value in neutrality and the value of understanding the realities in the situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians is the status quo for many people and not just those w/such exalted theological dogs in the fight. Can’t believe it — “It is well known the Vatican wants control of Israel’s holiest sites, even the Temple Mount.” — yet another bizarre claim that enables Israel to continue to pretend it’s not obligated to negotiate w/anyone. “The Pope carries the banner of Che…” These are simplistic misrepresentations richly emblematic of exactly why the situation remains in limbo in that region!

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “The fact Che turned away from being a member of that ruling class when he witnessed the immense poverty throughout South America says everything about his vision and says nothing much about what his politics eventually would have become if he hadn’t been killed so young.”

        He turned away from the establishment to create his own blood-soaked ruling class, you moron. A new ruling class based on the law of the gun and driven by Marxist delusion.

        • Prof. L. Wessell

          The story has it that Sidhartha (?) saw the massive sufferings of humans, buthe did not try to enact a murderous revolution so as to end all suffering. (Heck, if some is dead, that person suffers not.) On the contrary, he sought a non-violent way of overcoming them.

          This current Pope stemms from Latin America (i have taught some there) and Spanish speakers (e.g. also in Spain where I studied) are open to the grand Marxist “mythos” (principle of the dramatic according to Aristotle), i.e. there are two fundamental groups of humans, in an aboslute antagonism of good vs. evil, of expoliter vs exploited, an antagonism of All-or-Nothing. The fundamental problem is, as Marx discussed in his critique of the Gotha Progam, INEQUALITY. I cannot here explain. The Pope has stated that inequality is the source of social evil (locating sin in sociality rather than the individual reveals some of the Marxist uptake of the Pope). The Pope has criticized the market because there is not only a winner, but a loser, and that disturbs him. In my preliminary judgment this Pope has absorbed into his feeling of life dislike of being “superior” in any form. (Note his not wearing of some normal clothing of a Pope.) If the man does identify with Che, then he finds solidarity in Che’s hate of “inequality” and, by his choice, an affirmation (at least passively) of Che’s murderous radicality.

          • bob smith

            “If the man does identify with Che, then he finds solidarity in Che’s hate of “inequality” and, by his choice, an affirmation (at least passively) of Che’s murderous radicality.”

            Spot on! this pope in particular personifies the historical facts of insurmountable deaths in furtherance of Christianity and now, given that those deaths for that cause have abated over the past few centuries, he is free to sell out any and all forms of successes in civility and societal progress’ in the hope of attaining equality.

            I am still scratching my head of which inequality meter is the template to be used in search of ‘whose’ equality?

            I am sure the pope and odumbo will eventually let us know…if they can figure it out.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            Would would che have said about the 55 year (1959+) Castro family dictatorship of Cuba?

            When Fidel got sick, and had to go to France for proper medical care, despite the SOCIALIST claim that Cuba has the Best Healthcare in the Western Hemisphere, his brother Raul took over.

            It’s gotta be a Castro.

            Isn’t 55 years is long enough? Time for a change comrade?

          • BagLady

            ‘Fairness’ might be a better word.

          • Americana

            Siddhartha wasn’t trying to find ways to assist humans in ways political OR economic. All Siddhartha was doing was assisting humans in interpreting and living w/the emotions and the vagaries of human life and fate and what the human brain produces in each of us. Siddahartha didn’t venture off into how public affairs should be conducted, he didn’t tinker w/sociology so much as psychology, etc. Siddartha was as much a product of his time and place as any of the other major human figures but I am pretty sure that if someone asked him if was of like mind to the current Pope, he would likely answer in the affirmative. After all, he NEVER returned to his life of being a rich man once he walked away from it. I’d hardly call this Pope a Marxist because he has the gall to point out the inequality. Jesus Christ pointed out the inequality as well and he was vilified for it by the upper classes of his time. If Jesus Christ has perfectly acceptable bona fides on this issue, then, by default, the Pope does as well.

            At this point in time, there is an extremely dangerous ability of Wall Street to absolutely FLATTEN Main Street for a decade. But what hits Wall Street in a minor way is catastrophic to individuals w/lesser resources and it’s catastrophic for our nation to be undercut by irresponsible investment concepts that won’t stand the test of time past their sell-by date.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I’d hardly call this Pope a Marxist because he has the gall to point out the inequality. Jesus Christ pointed out the inequality as well and he was vilified for it by the upper classes of his time. If Jesus Christ has perfectly acceptable bona fides on this issue, then, by default, the Pope does as well.”

            Fail. False equivalence. Jesus did not “call out inequality.” He cited certain conditions and had an entirely different approach than Marx and his disciples. The solutions Jesus had were first about voluntarily following commandments and then examining one’s own heart to see what role one should play in first supporting the teaching of the Gospel, but also in “doing good” voluntarily and according to the Biblical commandments.

            Marx had an entirely different approach, calling for bloody revolution without justice as defined by the Bible where individuals are judged rather than entire classes of people. Marx was an envious collectivist. His motives were completely narcissistic. Jesus actually gave his life for his “cause.”

            The pope as far as anyone can tell is a follower of Marx in the name of Jesus, and that is mendacious. That is anti-Christian.

            The contradictions can only be reconciled by Marxist interpretations of the Bible, which then makes followers of those beliefs Marxists in the name of Jesus, just like this pope.

          • Americana

            I’m not talking false equivalency at all when I say that Jesus RECOGNIZED inequality in the same way that Marx and anyone else recognizes inequality. That’s all I’ve stated in the above post, that each of these men saw inequality and attempted to change the societal recognition of that inequality. The fact these two men — Jesus and Marx — had different belief systems regarding the methodology of how to go about rectifying that inequality is as much related to their respective stations in life and their political awareness as it does what their philosophies were viz wealth accumulation.

            I don’t believe this Pope is a Marxist at all. I believe he’s got the same belief in ascetic minimalism as did St. Francis of Assisi. I think American Christians find him threatening because he’s so condemning of acquisition of riches at the expense of others. Perhaps if the Pope stated that acquiring riches is fine as long as you do as much good as your wealth enables you to do and you do no harm in acquiring them, people would understand him better. I am pretty sure this Pope would love all capitalists to take a Hippocratic oath of “First, do no harm.” As far as I’m concerned, that’s not an oath tainted by Marxism. That’s a fairly straightforward exhortation to recognize the fragility and interconnections among all of us.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I’m not talking false equivalency at all when I say that Jesus RECOGNIZED inequality in the same way that Marx and anyone else recognizes inequality.”

            How? Who doesn’t recognize inequality in some way or the other? Where the comparison based on some kind of objective analysis?

            “That’s all I’ve stated in the above post, that each of these men saw inequality and attempted to change the societal recognition of that inequality.”

            Jesus took a stand on “inequality” consistent with all the other prophets before him that spoke on the issue. I would argue that the Biblical recognition of “inequality” is entirely distinct from what Marx saw and illustrated.

            “The fact these two men — Jesus and Marx — had different belief systems regarding the methodology of how to go about rectifying that inequality is as much related to their respective stations in life and their political awareness as it does what their philosophies were viz wealth accumulation.”

            They had very little in common. I would say nothing. Jesus was not here to rectify “inequality” or even earthly injustice. At best you can say that he exhorted individuals to turn to God and use Godly standards for acting justly, recognizing needy people and justice according to Biblical (not atheistic collectivist) definitions.

            The fact that their standards for measuring “justice” was totally incompatible tells us that your comparison is deceptive at best.

            If all you have is that Jesus taught to put God first and to think of others, that’s pretty weak. Because that’s not what Marx wanted. He wanted *others* to put altruism first with a deceptive and mendacious plan to take wealth coercively from people he envied. That’s not Christian in any way, shape or form. Marx put himself first and appealed to other envious people to do the same, reasoning that together they could knock off “the rich” villains of their fantasies.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I don’t believe this Pope is a Marxist at all. I believe he’s got the same belief in ascetic minimalism as did St. Francis of Assisi. I think American Christians find him threatening because he’s so condemning of acquisition of riches at the expense of others. Perhaps if the Pope stated that acquiring riches is fine as long as you do as much good as your wealth enables you to do and you do no harm in acquiring them, people would understand him better. I am pretty sure this Pope would love all capitalists to take a Hippocratic oath of “First, do no harm.” As far as I’m concerned, that’s not an oath tainted by Marxism. That’s a fairly straightforward exhortation to recognize the fragility and interconnections among all of us.”

            Marx derived some of his delusion from what he thought the Catholic Church could have done in the past had they been openly atheistic and “worldly” in their approach. That’s why you see some parallels.

            Is the current pope a Marxist? I would consider him a dupe rather than one that openly espouses or believes Marxism above Catholicism.The problem here is that Catholics have a long history of co-opting culture because they believe they can “Christianize” it. That’s a partial explanation for his attire and for his espousing this fusion of Marxism and other atheistic interpretations of the Bible.

          • Americana

            I don’t see this Pope’s behavior as arising from your perspective. This Pope is certainly not a dupe simply because he’s asking capitalism to be more responsive to human needs. As for whether Marx was delusional in regard to the Catholic Church and all religion, Marx saw the Catholic Church as being self-aggrandizing, taking money and offerings from its parishioners without giving them anything more than palliative platitudes to live by. Marx believed the Catholic Church served simply as the opiate of the people. I don’t recall Marx ever excoriated the Catholic Church for not doing more throughout Western European history to serve its adherents better. Instead, his message about the Catholic Church was to not listen to organizations that fundamentally don’t work on your behalf. except in the most passive way possible.

            This pope wouldn’t have been elected by the cardinals if he didn’t fully embrace Christ’s message in all its forms.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I don’t see this Pope’s behavior as arising from your perspective. This Pope is certainly not a dupe simply because he’s asking capitalism to be more responsive to human needs.”

            You don’t see it because you too are a dupe as proved by this very statement I’m quoting.
            Capitalism is use of resources. Complaining that the world is “unjust” and could be remedied by revising “capitalism” is like saying that agriculture could be “revised” to help feed everyone.
            Really? How? And should we say that “agriculture” has problems or possibly that there are simply problems in the world that could be fixed with more food?
            The very idea that “capitalism” has essential problems with justice is Marxist.
            Early “socialists” had problems with various aspects of the status quo. Marx created a framework for blaming all of those problems on “capitalism.” If you propagate these erroneous and simplistic ideas, you are a dupe at least to the degree that you repeat his ideas without even understanding them.
            You don’t like the status quo? Find specific problems before you start pointing to alleged roots of the problems.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “As for whether Marx was delusional in regard to the Catholic Church and all religion, Marx saw the Catholic Church as being self-aggrandizing, taking money and offerings from its parishioners without giving them anything more than palliative platitudes to live by.”

            I’m saying that he liked the idea of having so much control, but wanted to use different paradigms. No, he didn’t like theistic religion but he loved the idea of having a top heavy sovereign to control life to a huge degree as the pre-reformation RCC did.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “This pope wouldn’t have been elected by the cardinals if he didn’t fully embrace Christ’s message in all its forms.”

            In appearance. To them. Probably more dupes.

          • Americana

            I don’t expect most Americans or most of the world’s citizens who haven’t traveled to the world’s poorest regions will understand what this Pope is attempting to encourage. I am not threatened by what he is suggesting, at least as I understand his thinking. I don’t believe he’s a Marxist or any other form of irrational ideologue. What he seems to be envisioning seems to me to be eminently achievable. At least as far as my feelings go about wealth and an enriched life, I am trying to achieve this sort of lifestyle on my farm.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I don’t expect most Americans or most of the world’s citizens who haven’t traveled to the world’s poorest regions will understand what this Pope is attempting to encourage.”

            Maybe, but some of us that have spent a lot of time in developing regions know that he’s barking up the wrong tree. And that’s a huge understatement. And that’s not even getting in to the massive failure of using Che.

            “I am not threatened by what he is suggesting, at least as I understand his thinking.”

            I’m neither threatened nor confused. He’s just way out of line for all of the reasons discussed with plenty more. It’s simply idiotic.

            Look, if we were sitting around with the pope drinking sparkling water on Lake Como, and he said something like that. we’d have an interesting discussion and I’d give him some slack but I’d roundly rebuke him all the same.

            How is it that such a statement is made publicly? There is no excuse. Sorry.

            “I don’t believe he’s a Marxist or any other form of irrational ideologue. What he seems to be envisioning seems to me to be eminently achievable.”

            Some of the ideas of the socialists are seductive. The Wizard of Oz had some seductive ideas as well.

            “At least as far as my feelings go about wealth and an enriched life, I am trying to achieve this sort of lifestyle on my farm.”

            I have to question how much you’ve traveled yourself if you think that answers the problems people around the globe are having.

            What really happened was that the rise of Marxism meant that a lot of good things got stigmatized and those things are rejected by people that should want to learn about them.

            OK? They adopt things chaotically as they interpret. They want to learn intuitively how to compete and how to get modern things. If someone comes to help them learn, and that foreigner contradicts tradition or any of the viral ideas of Marxism, that foreigner is seen as “neo colonial.”

            They want modernism on their terms without understanding how to deal with it in their modern lives where they hang on to tradition but also want “things” they see the foreigners using.

            Part of the solution is explained here:

            http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitextlo/tr_show03.html#19

            HERNANDO DE SOTO, Founder and Director, Institute for Liberty and Democracy, Peru: The problem that’s happened over these last years is that somehow or other people who are capitalists in countries like the United States considered the real interlocutors are rich people from developing countries, so they’ve been touching the wrong constituency. The constituency of capitalism has always been poor people that are outside the system. Capitalism is essentially a tool for poor people to prosper.

            NARRATOR: Hernando de Soto is one of the most original economists in the developing world. An advisor to Mexico, Peru, Egypt, and other countries, he seeks to cut through the old debate about wealth and poverty and reinvent capitalism in the name of the poor.

            CHARLIE ROSE, Journalist and Talk Show Host: Hernando de Soto has been called the most important economist in the Third World. He’s a champion of market economics and property rights in Latin America. His new book, The Mystery of Capital, talks about the question of why capitalism triumphs in the West and fails everywhere else. Welcome.

            HERNANDO DE SOTO: So the important thing about a capitalist system is that it’s a system of representations. Therefore it’s a little bit like when I go to the United States. People ask me for my identity, and I say: “My identity is me. I mean, look at my face. I am Hernando de Soto.” But the man at the U.S. immigrations just says, “Look, give me your passport.”

            The reason that things travel so well in the market economy of the United States, and values travel from one place to another, is because they all have passports. And the real value is like my identity. It’s not in me; it’s in my passport. Real value to pay the hotel room is not in me; it’s in the credit card. And so what happens is that this system by representation, it requires of course that all the representations — the credit cards, the passports, the IDs, the property titles, and the shares — be organized by a system of law that allows people to be able to trust what they’re dealing with.

            NARRATOR: In September 2000, de Soto published his explanation of why capitalism hasn’t worked for the poor. He took his message directly to some of Latin America’s most remote regions.

            HERNANDO DE SOTO: The reason I’m going to Cajamarca now is because 12 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and 11 years after Peru adopted pro-market policies, their situation hasn’t got much better, and they want to know why. The Mystery of Capitaloffers an explanation. It says that the system per se works in the West, but that in our country, like in much of the Third World, it isn’t functioning because we have missed some of the crucial elements that the Westerners added in the 18th and 19th centuries, like property rights, without which the system cannot function.

            Onscreen caption: Cajamarca, Peru

            NARRATOR: De Soto’s book had become the number one bestseller in Peru’s history. And in poor neighborhoods across the country, this economist had become a celebrity.

            De Soto believes that people are capitalists by nature, but that in the developing world, most are locked out of the capitalist system.

            HERNANDO DE SOTO: Peru, like in every other developing and former communist nation, people on the ground, with or without a property law, have basically agreed on the distribution of assets among themselves. You go to any of the places we’ve been to — the hinterland of Egypt, of the Philippines, of Haiti, where there is no official law that is actually in place or being enforced, but there is another law in place: You step on somebody’s territory, and somebody comes up and says, “Get off my territory,” where there’s a law or no law. You walk down the street, and you walk into a garden, and the dog starts barking, and you start finding out that that dog is defending a consensually agreed determination of possession rights throughout a certain area. So there are property systems in place. The question, I think, the important thing is that they’re illegal. They’re extra-legal, to be more precise.

            Follow the link to read more.

          • BagLady

            However, I am waiting for him to put his money where his mouth in. The Vatican is THE wealthiest corporation in the world and pays no tax to anyone. Let’s see if his austerity at home translates in more investment elsewhere.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I am pretty sure this Pope would love all capitalists to take a Hippocratic oath of “First, do no harm.” As far as I’m concerned, that’s not an oath tainted by Marxism.”

            If the pope was a true “vicar” or disciple of Christ, he’d point to the Gospel as remedy and not some popular extra-Biblical sentiments.

          • Americana

            I don’t believe the Pope feels he **IS** speaking only from extra-Biblical sentiments. That’s certainly not MY interpretation of his source inspiration. I stayed overnight in some of the caves outside the village of Assisi in Italy where St. Francis of Assisi lived for years. I feel I know in my heart what St. Francis meant when he talked to his acolytes about living simply and purely. Now, is what St. Francis did for his lifestyle what most Americans should aspire to today? No, certainly not, but some of his precepts are very relevant.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I don’t believe the Pope feels he **IS** speaking only from extra-Biblical sentiments. That’s certainly not MY interpretation of his source inspiration. I stayed overnight in some of the caves outside the village of Assisi in Italy where St. Francis of Assisi lived for years. I feel I know in my heart what St. Francis meant when he talked to his acolytes about living simply and purely.”

            You seem to believe in an open Biblical canon. That’s a big part of the problem.

            “Now, is what St. Francis did for his lifestyle what most Americans should aspire to today? No, certainly not, but some of his precepts are very relevant.”

            Perhaps we can get some inspiration from some of these guys who had good intentions. But simply withdrawing and dealing only with what we see is not the most effective way to help people that are suffering.

            “No, certainly not, but some of his precepts are very relevant.”

            Only superficially. People need help navigating these complicated modern ideas. They want modernism but don’t understand it will enough to get what they want and what they need.

          • BagLady

            Only superficially. People need help navigating these complicated modern
            ideas. They want modernism but don’t understand it will enough to get
            what they want and what they need.”

            Who are these poor simple folk who need help and, who are ‘they’ with superior knowledge who will teach them complicated, modernism?

            Perhaps Tony Blair would be a good teacher. As he said of the British people, they have not moved with the times and don’t understand the benefits of multi-culturalism in the twenty first century. This is the man that quietly opened the immigration floodgates, lying about the annual increase

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Who are these poor simple folk who need help and, who are ‘they’ with superior knowledge who will teach them complicated, modernism?”

            Engineers need to learn the relevant physics. Doctors need to learn biology, all of it and not just the parts that don’t conflict with tradition. Accountants need to learn how to account for assets accurately in good faith. Lawyers need to learn (relatively) complex legal concepts that allow consistent property laws that encourage development.

            All over your head I’m afraid. And you think you have the answers. The bottom line is that you and your ignorance a big part of the problem. Westerners that testify mendaciously against the West hurt developing societies.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Perhaps Tony Blair would be a good teacher. As he said of the British people, they have not moved with the times and don’t understand the benefits of multi-culturalism in the twenty first century.”

            You are such a simpleton. You’re one of the victims and you think you have the answers. Your a victim of your own ignorance, which makes you a perfect fit in the developing world. Perfect in the sense that you go along with the tide of backwardness.

            “This is the man that quietly opened the immigration floodgates, lying about the annual increase”

            According to you, “multiculturalism” will solve everything.

          • BagLady

            Is the Gospel set in stone? Can it not be added to over time by more ‘Gospels’ from future Saints? Modern day parables are called for and this Pope seems to be the man to write them.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Is the Gospel set in stone? Can it not be added to over time by more ‘Gospels’ from future Saints?”

            Evidently you don’t know the difference between a saint an apostle and a disciple. No, it can’t be “added to.”

            It must be explained to people in their circumstances, and those circumstances change but the Gospel does not.

            “Modern day parables are called for and this Pope seems to be the man to write them.”

            From one Marxist to another.

            He’s not offering adapted explanations. He’s adding Marxism with very little Gospel left over. In fact one could easily make the case that there is none of the original Biblical Gospel left in his public discourse.

      • Prof. L. Wessell

        If, and only if, the Pope presents himself as the “Che of Palestinians”, does he carry Che as his banner indicating his own view as to what he should be for the Palestinians. And “Che” is worldwide, particuarly in Cuba, seen as part of Castro communism. Many Eastern European communists (and I knew one) did no consider Castro to be a communist because of certain theoretical position. This his hair-spliting. How would it be for the man to be the “Himmler of the Palestinians?

      • 1Indioviejo1

        Your rant is more emotional than fact. “Che” was a Communist. Venezuela and Cuba are products of his “vision”.He was never a member of the Argentine ruling class nor were his family. He barely obtained his Medical degree, but new he was incompetent and never practiced. He was just an agitator or “community organizer”, who latched on to the Castro Brothers as a way to a Marxist Revolution where he felt relevant.

        • Americana

          Venezuela and Cuba and every other Communist or Socialist country are the result of a great many people seeing something in the practice of Socialism. They don’t shift their political allegiance just on the basis of the vision of a single individual like Che Guevara. NO ONE wins out over an entire population if the population doesn’t want that person and what that person represents.

      • ben t

        I read “Mi Hijo Che” in the original Spanish. Che comes from a militant, Stalinist, Communist family.
        He was nursed on leninist milk! For you to state that “he died too
        young” to “declare his political philosophy” is TOTAL B.S.!!! It also
        ignores the help that he and the Cuban Communist Party gave to the already convinced Communist, Fidelito, in their revolution to turn Cuba into a 19th century hellhole.

        • Americana

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/guevara_che.shtml

          Well, obviously I didn’t mean that literally — I meant that someone’s political philosophy is generally moderated throughout their life. Would have have remained the Marxist that he was if he’d had more failures instating Marxism? Political evolution happens.

          As for what his family contributed to his values, I don’t ever think of his family as being militants or staunch Marxists. I think of them as being interested in what the possibilities are for those economic and political philosophies. His family was not part of the ruling class in that they owned a huge estancia but they were safely ensconced in the middle class. In South America, someone looking outward from that position is going to see the abject poverty as inexcusable.

          indioviejo, you’re really going to throw the term “community organizer” at Che Guevara as well because it’s been such a successful smear when used against Pres. Obama? I’ve never read anywhere that he was incompetent as a doctor and that’s why he never practiced. Whether you condemn him or not for his revolutionary activities, South America at the time he lived wasn’t on track for success.

          • Drakken

            The fact that you offer sympathy and empathize with that commi trash says it all about you.

          • Americana

            The fact you’re unwilling to acknowledge that each new economic vision has arisen from massive failures in previous ones speaks volumes about you. The fact there were horrific attempts to enact Marxism and Socialism because of armed opposition from the oligarchy in power doesn’t mean those economic systems have nothing to contribute to new economic permutations.

            Either we learn from every twist and turn of human history or we don’t, but we don’t pretend we’ve learned they don’t work and they’ve got no extractive value when we aren’t even giving an honest evaluation to each and every aspect of those systems. I happen to believe Capitalism is the most successful economic system mankind has ever invented. Does that mean it should dominate without change from here on out? Not at all. Like every human system, we need to maintain flexibility and analyze the circumstances we face in the present tense. What happens if 20 years from now, most jobs are outsourced to robotic machines? How is capitalism as we’re now practicing it — where each person ears a wage from their manual/mental labour — going to survive that change?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “The fact you’re unwilling to acknowledge that each new economic vision has arisen from massive failures in previous ones speaks volumes about you.”

            It’s not about a rational look at how to improve anything. Marxism is based on delusion. Period.

            Massive failures of what? Humanity? You can’t solve human imperfections by demonizing something that you can’t even accurately describe.

            Capital is about managing property and projects driven by humans. There’s nothing innately good or bad about property or projects, but most human projects are done with good in mind. The humans that own the capital are behind the successes and failures.

            Whatever analysis you have to attribute “failures” of “capitalism” based on the philosophy of Marx is based on delusion. It’s just that simple.

            Capital management isn’t about changing the world from the top down. You can’t do it. We call that tyranny when deluded maniacs try to.

            You can realistically change the world for the “greater good” slowly through spread of better ideas and coalesce around them. But when these ideas are demonstrably false, you’d better start over or there will be a lot of conflict…thanks to those spreading the false ideas.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “What happens if 20 years from now, most jobs are outsourced to robotic machines? How is capitalism as we’re now practicing it — where each person ears a wage from their manual/mental labour — going to survive that change?”

            Basically your fear is that technology will suddenly get “done” and there will be nothing productive for humans to do. Therefore economic activity will come almost entirely to a halt and there will be almost no social mobility.

            There are two essential approaches. First, it’s ridiculous to think that now. Maybe Marx can be forgiven if we look at the time and place where he experienced life. but should we really forgive people that maintain this ridiculous idea that technology will actually become stagnant because…nothing left to do?

            Really?

            The other approach is that we can take this idea seriously. OK, when do you suppose this “end of development” will happen? People will start making suggestions that are unneeded, the market place will reject these new ideas because we already have perfect or “good enough” cars or other transportation, foods, food processing, entertainment options and so forth. How can that be in the real world? Is that what’s been happening over the past century? Really?

            This fear is only real to myopic narcissistic lunatics. The reality is that people pay for others to create. If you’re unhappy about what people are willing to pay you, you can either take a look in the mirror and evaluate your own potential – or you can blame “the system.” Marx created the pseudo-scientific framework for blaming “the system.”

            If Marx had not caught on, perhaps many technologies we have could have arrived sooner. Maybe we’d be using “zero carbon” energy and whatever else these socialists keep demanding. IOW, Marx just gives people reasons to blame “the system” for their own failures.

            Which is not to say that there are not problems in the world that can be fixed by revising the economic realities.

            The real answers lie with equality of opportunity in free market capitalism. Because that is the only proven equalizer. In fact, it is free market capitalism that solved the social mobility problem in Europe. It was not a cause, it was the solution. It was cronyism that allowed the social classes to remain relatively rigid in Europe, and that allowed them to accumulate capital. Not the other way around. Under free market capitalism, it’s about competence, not cronyism. Therefore each individual has good reason to work on self development. If they have equal opportunity to do that. there is nothing better on Earth to serve true justice.

            Marx was just myopic and ignorant.

          • Americana

            Where did I suggest that work and progress would stop entirely??? That is not my point at all. What I’m suggesting is that just as with the agrarian revolution, there will be time lags where the population numbers and the job sectors don’t quite match up. When vast numbers of jobs were lost on American farms to automated farm machinery, we had significant depressions that were only alleviated by WW I and WW II. None of these economic shifts are easily accomplished no matter how they come about. They’re painful and they’re economically bloody.

            Free market capitalism is as much about cronyism as it is about competence. Otherwise we wouldn’t have huge gatherings of like-minded individuals wishing to enact legislation of benefit to themselves as capitalists. We wouldn’t have had the stock market meltdown without cronyism facilitating the creation and sales pitch to allow these derivatives to go onto the market. I do believe that free market capitalism is the economic vehicle that yields the most in terms of development. But it does need self-examination and self-restraint to be both productive and to do no harm.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Americana objectivefactsmatter • 6 minutes ago

            ‘Where did I suggest that work and progress would stop entirely??? That is not my point at all. What I’m suggesting is that just as with the agrarian revolution, there will be time lags where the population numbers and the job sectors don’t quite match up.”

            OK, let’s say that happens some times and even if we blame “capitalism,” would it be better to have no industry at all, to have free market capitalism or to have command economy spreading the created misery around according to the decisions of this new oligarchy that all planned economies require?

            You’re dealing with concerns that at best can be used to argue for some welfare provisions, not a centrally planned economic system.

            “When vast numbers of jobs were lost on American farms to automated farm machinery, we had significant depressions that were only alleviated by WW I and WW II. None of these economic shifts are easily accomplished no matter how they come about. They’re painful and they’re economically bloody.”

            And none of these things happen in a vacuum. Without rampant communist agitation propaganda, people might not have put their hopes in political solutions and simply done what people always did in America prior to that.

            Again, these are arguments that at best support the need for some honestly run “worker safety net provisions,” not government market interventions.

          • Americana

            I have never once voiced any support for a centrally planned economic system! I’ve been labeled a Marxist simply because I said we should learn from each and every economic system we’ve created. I’m not a Marxist or I wouldn’t be wrangling w/a genuine Marxist professor on another BB who’s trying to claim that America’s foundational documents show evidence that the founding fathers were interested in socialism and collectivism. If I didn’t fundamentally disagree w/her, I wouldn’t be so eager to point out that if the first Americans wanted socialism, they picked a strange time to open the New York Stock Exchange (1792).

            But there are reasonable elements to each economic system even if you believe the entire system is false. Look at the Israelis w/their free kibbutz childcare. Now that was a BRILLIANT solution to the desire to allow women to have children but also remain working mothers. It was cost-effective, it benefited the children and it solidified the community. What’s not to like about certain “socialist” economic tools if they facilitate the most efficient use of resources?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I have never once voiced any support for a centrally planned economic system! I’ve been labeled a Marxist simply because I said we should learn from each and every economic system we’ve created.”

            Alright then. You tell me what the “alternative” is to “capitalism?” Virtually everyone that attacks “capitalism” is arguing for the partial or complete destruction of personal sovereignty over capital. The implications of that are centrally planned (government) industries.
            Do you know of another choice other than personal property and community ownership property? I don’t. All community property projects require “central” planning because the individuals no longer have sovereignty.

            There are no other choices. Although crony capitalism is seen as a bridge in between. It’s still socialism when done by the government in the name of “social justice.” And crony capitalism gets approved because it was planned by the government that chose the cronies. Basically a mixed or fascist economy is “another color” choice the way that grey is another choice between white and black.

            Enlighten me. I might have overlooked something.

            That’s a big part of the problem: People rarely think through the implications of what they argue for.

          • Americana

            I’ve never said we should abandon capitalism so, no, I don’t feel it’s incumbent on me to put forward another entire system since I’m not suggesting capitalism needs to be replaced. I believe we ARE still tinkering w/the mechanisms and functions of capitalism and whatever additional mechanisms we enact may come from another economic philosophy or may just as easily come from a profound re-think of what the present mechanisms are within capitalism when we hit a crisis point. I’m not being evasive in response to your question, I simply see capitalism as always being on a continuum of development as it gets bigger and more complex.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I believe we ARE still tinkering w/the mechanisms and functions of capitalism and whatever additional mechanisms we enact may come from another economic philosophy or may just as easily come from a profound re-think of what the present mechanisms are within capitalism when we hit a crisis point.”

            OK, but the other economic philosophy will be either about personal sovereignty or government sovereignty. Or shades in between. The labels are just about marketing. This is about sovereignty. It’s about power, but not in the way that you think.

            The point is that freedom is being attacked as being innately unjust. It’s not capital that is being attacked. That’s what I want you to see. People are being attacked and their freedoms are being attacked because “capitalism” is supposedly innately unjust. That’s exactly like saying freedom is innately unjust.

            Socialists and communists don’t have a problem with capital. They want to control it. They want your capital under their sovereignty because you can’t be trusted. You’re not a benign elite bureaucrat. The world is divided between oppressors and oppressed and only by creating a new oligarchy of regulators can social justice be achieved.

            It’s a new oligarchy to replace the old. I can see why some might have thought that was in improvement in France or UK more than a century ago. But today, it’s just silly.

          • Americana

            Well, I don’t see additional monetary regulatory regimes to be headed in the direction of ending capitalism. No way! Those greater protections are meant to preclude the corruption and subversion of our banking system.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Well, I don’t see additional monetary regulatory regimes to be headed in the direction of ending capitalism. No way! Those greater protections are meant to preclude the corruption and subversion of our banking system.”

            “Meant to.”

            Ever heard of caveat emptor? The ethic we’re teaching is that big government will make it safe and if you hurt yourself, big government will find someone to blame if you can build a big enough victim group or a sad enough story.

            And all of these “make safe” regulations create opportunities for crony capitalism or at the very least, loopholes and fraud.

            We need to be a lot more careful about where our good intentions lead us.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I’m not a Marxist or I wouldn’t be wrangling w/a genuine Marxist professor on another BB who’s trying to claim that America’s foundational documents show evidence that the founding fathers were interested in socialism and collectivism. ”

            They were, sort of. But their ideas about non-coercive socialism are entirely different than Marxist coercive socialism and communism.

            However, they were not collectivist at all!

            col·lec·tiv·ism noun kə-ˈlek-ti-ˌvi-zəm

            : a political or economic system in which the government owns businesses, land, etc.

            Full Definition of COLLECTIVISM

            1: a political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution; also : a system marked by such control

            2: emphasis on collective rather than individual action or identity

            —–

            In no way were they interested in government owned enterprises nor were they unconcerned about individual rights. Obviously.

            The founding fathers were overtly antagonistic towards collectivism. And socialism was not seen as necessarily coercive at the time.

            In fact non-coercive socialism is already innate to our constitution. You have to go back and study the earliest thinkers to see why. But Marxist socialism requires coercion and even tyranny. That’s not what the early socialist thinkers had in mind at all, not all of them at any rate. The kind of non-coercive socialism they had in mind has already been largely achieved.

            This Marxist you mention is either a liar or a fool. Probably both.

            The founding fathers would absolutely reject every aspect of Marxism. Marxists are mendacious because the underlying theories are based on fantasy and they have theories about “false consciousness” that lead to them justifying use of deception.

            The world would be a lot better place if Marx had never been born.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “If I didn’t fundamentally disagree w/her, I wouldn’t be so eager to point out that if the first Americans wanted socialism, they picked a strange time to open the New York Stock Exchange (1792).”

            The discourse can get confusing. Usually a Marxist or more specifically a neo-Marxist is simply a dupe of some or all the stealth Marxist ideas. You strike me as a classic dupe. But I guess it’s to be expected that if such absurd ideas are going to still be taken seriously after this much time, there is no way that could have happened without legions of liars and dupes.

            The thing is that capitalists have no need to go out and fight Marxism directly until it becomes a serious threat. Few intelligent people take those ideas seriously as if Marx was some kind of genius. But once you have enough dupes out there, the discourse gets clouded and it’s easier to get ensnared. Things have gotten out of hand and now it’s difficult to get that genie put away.

            The fundamental mistake that people make is that they understand criticism as always helpful if they agree that something should be improved. But if it’s mendacious criticism, it is not helpful.

            Macroeconomics can be very confusing. Running a business successfully and understanding it well enough to teach to others…not that easy without experience and good teachers I guess. But people should still recognize that criticism is not necessarily valid just because you agree that the target of the criticism is imperfect.

            The space shuttle program sucks because the thing needs rocket boosters. Therefore it’s useless and needs to be scrapped. Wait a minute, are you sure?

            But the booster rockets blew up and killed people and now we must have a space shuttle that flies on energy derived from rainbows. Well, OK…that seems valid because I don’t like it when booster rockets blow up and kill people. Although I’m not a rocket scientist so maybe I should not pin my hopes on that rainbow thing.

            See what I mean? But people do that all the time in economics. They think rainbow energy or magic government interventions are going to perfect or replace industry or capitalism or some thing they don’t like about the world.

            Marx provided a very popular framework for justifying all of this kind of magical thinking and for ignoring dissenters as “oppressors” and deluded people with “false consciousness.” So lots of Marxists take on the magical thinking along with the idea that dissenters should be ignored as ignorant and malicious.

          • Americana

            I’m a dupe when I’m arguing that America’s founding citizens weren’t interested in socialism? Hardly.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I’m a dupe when I’m arguing that America’s founding citizens weren’t interested in socialism? Hardly.”

            You’re being too defensive. We all get duped about various things. I perhaps have some false ideas that originate in Marxism. If someone suggests that, I have to take that seriously and examine my own thoughts.

            One can be critical of some thing and be duped about it at the same time.

            And the founders were interested in “socialism” in terms of solving the problems early socialists complained about. They arrived at largely non-coercive solutions based on equality before the law.

            Socialists wanted to solve problems of entrenched classes exploiting workers. The industrial revolution made it easier for well capitalized enterprises to exploit workers. Marx came up with idiotic theories about how history had arrived at that point.

            That’s the irony of having a Marxist make the claim. The founding fathers had already solved the essential problems of the relatively rigid social classes and proved Marx wrong in many ways. Only by pointing to slavery and blaming capitalism can Marxists make emotional arguments that make the American constitution seem unjust because it did not immediately establish rights for all humans, which would have been a new concept at the time. The constitution established the rights of citizens.

          • Americana

            The fact that America was founded from the ground up initially gave the American colonists the wonderful opportunity of an entirely clean slate — socially, politically, economically, and demographically. We are a country that began under the blessed perspective of men who’d experienced tyranny of all kinds and they weren’t going to let that be repeated. Since none of the economic and social philosophies we’re talking about had been INVENTED at the time of America’s founding, it seems to me our founders were operating in the vague awareness of there being better ways of structuring society based on some of the social movements of their time. But they weren’t Socialists in the later political sense, to me, at all. The fact America’s founding enabled our first citizens to elevate everyone to a landed farmer if they so choose was the first step on America’s economic road.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “…it seems to me our founders were operating in the vague awareness of there being better ways of structuring society based on some of the social movements of their time. But they weren’t Socialists in the later political sense, to me, at all. The fact America’s founding enabled our first citizens to elevate everyone to a landed farmer if they so choose was the first step on America’s economic road.”

            Agreed. They were not “socialists” as radical revolutionaries in the sense that others suggested. They could reboot a new society without destroying an old one. Therefore they didn’t need to lie and create fantastic history narratives about how the old society was deserving of complete destruction.

            They were “socialists” only to the extent that they were concerned about the status quo as seen in Europe. They agreed that things needed to be changed and that generally speaking workers should not be “exploited.”

            But the person you’re arguing with is probably trying to build a mendacious case that the founders would have liked to eventually destroy private property rights, which is very obviously not the case.

            And I’m certainly not defending this person you’re arguing with. I’m explaining the only basis this person has for the claim so that you can defeat these stupid arguments if that’s what you want to do.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Free market capitalism is as much about cronyism as it is about competence.”

            The only cronyism that is “unfair” is cronyism that allows enterprises an unfair advantage against their rivals. Otherwise the market will correct the “mistake” of choosing incompetent partners and employees. It’s simply none of your business if I hire my son or family member. If they are incompetent, I pay the price, not you.

            The cronyism we’re concerned about is illegal or “social justice” government interventions where some enterprises are favored against free market competitors. That is what hurts the economy and equality of opportunity.

            Therefore free market capitalism is NOT crony capitalism given that property owners are fully accountable for the performance of their enterprise and are fully entitled to partner with anyone they wish to as long at these choices don’t give them unfair advantages against competitors. According to you, this cronyism makes them weaker. Therefore they will go out of business eventually because smarter competitors will drive them out. Or you’re simply not in a position to judge who is competent and who isn’t.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Otherwise we wouldn’t have huge gatherings of like-minded individuals wishing to enact legislation of benefit to themselves as capitalists.”

            Wait. You’re saying that free market capitalism is innately based on cronyism because some “capitalists” want to jump on the socialism gravy train before their competition jumps on them?

            No, the solution is to get rid of cronyism, not free market capitalism.

            And virtually every step towards communism or socialism in every established economy has been fascistic crony capitalism. Period. Sure a few companies might get taken over, but they never reduce crony capitalism. They increase it. And if you think cronies don’t benefit from state owned operations, you’re more deluded than I thought.

            Free market capitalism IS THE ONLY SOLUTION to cronyism, short of outlawing all industrial projects on earth.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “We wouldn’t have had the stock market meltdown without cronyism facilitating the creation and sales pitch to allow these derivatives to go onto the market.”

            What? The meltdown was caused by socialist interventions in the home loan industry that completely corrupted the pricing signals in the real estate markets.

            Derivatives were *derived* from those investments, but the investments went bad because of the bubble created and then exploded by socialist interventions.

          • Americana

            Socialist interventions they may have been, but the vulturine capitalists certainly took them to a totally UNEXPECTED LEVEL OF LARCENY within a few months of recognizing what an opportunity was presented. If there had been the same boost for homeowners **without the larceny from the realtors and the banks,** this mortgage derivatives meltdown would never have started rolling.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I do believe that free market capitalism is the economic vehicle that yields the most in terms of development. But it does need self-examination and self-restraint to be both productive and to do no harm.”

            That’s fine, but your calculus for figuring out where the harm comes from is what leads you towards defending Marx and his deceptive theories.

            Marx read everything wrong. Entrenched elites had capital, therefore capital as the most obvious tool of the elites must be the cause. No, it due to ancient ideas about how to construct society, and those advantages allowed them to accumulate capital with more ease than the plebs.

            But when a new society comes along and reboots all of that, it’s easy to see where the root problems were. Not only this but it then becomes easier to see how the class problems were solved (to some degree) in Europe by free market capitalism and not be socialism.

            The ideas of socialism did allow some workers to organize and negotiate better positions for themselves, but socialism was not really the solution. It was simply the ideology they rallied around. What solved the problems were better opportunities to contribute to the economy and getting rewarded for those efforts. Had they been better educated, they would have done better economically without the ideology of socialism. Although a few parasites would have had to find other ways of siphoning resources.

          • Americana

            Listen, mr. objective, I’m stating this one last time. Get off calling me a Marxist or a Marxist apologist and any other Marxist derivative you’ve got rattling around in your head. I’m NOT a Marxist, not a sympathizer, not an adherent.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I’m NOT a Marxist, not a sympathizer, not an adherent.”

            I said that you’re a dupe. Anyone that goes around criticizing “capitalism” as “inadequate” is a dupe. That’s like saying “agriculture” is inadequate for delivering social justice.

            Give me a break. You’re a dupe. And of course you’ll disagree with that assessment until you throw off the ignorance of your beliefs.

            It’s OK to disagree. But I’d advise you to learn a bit more about what you’re talking about before vigorously claiming that nobody has ever deceived you about social or economic theories.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Like every human system, we need to maintain flexibility and analyze the circumstances we face in the present tense.”

            Sure, but we also have to purge mendacity, incompetence and delusion.

          • Prof. L. Wessell

            I do not like to responsd to vacuity, but this time yes. I have seldom read such propaganda that dances around everything, stating the obvious that, well, there are new ideas, etc.. O.k! Two ideas in the form of questions:
            1. How do humans act rationally, viz., techologically to change raw nature for use. Or: how can math be applied to techonology/nature?
            2. How do humans act rationally in their economic activity? Or: how does one apply math to the economic activity?
            The subordinate questions are ultimately the most difficult ones because of the appplication of math to human acts/nature is entailed. Derive a series of categries that enable you to integrate the manifod of technological realities or economic realities into a systemtic form. Will there be just one theory or two?
            In 20 years we may have the techonogy to utilize robotic machines for certain human labor today (which would be a repetition of the industrial revoluton re previous agrarian societies). The understanding of robotic technology is a function of the first question. The “economic” decision is a function of the second question. The answers entailed do not change in 20 years (though individuals might change ideas).

            Finally, come back to the Pope or to any religioius leader who pontificates theses in the field of human technological activity or human economic activity! The theological background of said prelates, partiuclarly in their theologies reflecting revelation, cannot in any way alter the answers to the questions posed..The theory involved refers to human action and nature. Alas, I find, whatever the goodness of the Pope’s heart re associating himself with Che may be, whatever his concern for sufferingma be , he most likely could not answer my questions above or, indeed, he most likely has never considered them.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            che was a doctor who instead of saving lives, took them.

      • Drakken

        The fact that your hero Che died like the simpering coward that he was, gives me cold comfort. You leftards who side with our enemies deserve everything that is coming, and when it does, you will find no mercy or sympathy.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          Leftards also side with Islamofascists – ignoring the contempt Islamists have for Infidel leftists.

        • Americana

          I didn’t know anyone videotaped the simpering coward as he was shot so as to know he died a simpering coward… But, hey, history is what you make of it.

          This stupid Leftards siding w/Islamofascists” concept is the height of irony considering the source of most of the sentiment. Who gives a rip which groups have contempt for which other groups? The fact is, regardless of the contempt and the backstabbing, if that other group is here for the foreseeable future and it’s part of your cultural imperatives, you’ve got to interact and work w/that group even if you have to remain on your guard. End of story.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I didn’t know anyone videotaped the simpering coward as he was shot so as to know he died a simpering coward… But, hey, history is what you make of it.”

            I’ll accept the words of witnesses before I accept yours or that of any other deluded Marxists that love worshiping murder in the name of Utopian “social justice.”

          • Americana

            Where and when have I EVER posted in this thread (or any other thread) that what happened in Cuba AFTER the revolution should be tolerated in the name of social justice?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Americana objectivefactsmatter: “Where and when have I EVER posted in this thread (or any other thread) that what happened in Cuba AFTER the revolution should be tolerated in the name of social justice?”

            There is no “after the revolution” in Marxism.

          • pfbonney

            I’ve noticed that Castro was STILL identifying people & ideas as being counter-revolutionary in the early 2000s.

            My first response was, “God god! It would seem to me that the revolution must have failed if he doesn’t consider himself as having succeeded by this point.”

            But no doubt, you’re right. Once started, it never ends. To them, revolution can be “BAU” – Business As Usual. To the left, it doesn’t necessarily mean a state of war, as it does to most normal people. I guess it just means that they will always kill people who don’t share their vision.

            So I guess that means that the American Revolution continues on. And Democrats are our “Counter-revolutionaries”.

            It would suit me just fine if they were all killed, just as they would us if they had total control.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “But no doubt, you’re right. Once started, it never ends. To them, revolution can be “BAU” – Business As Usual. To the left, it doesn’t necessarily mean a state of war, as it does to most normal people. I guess it just means that they will always kill people who don’t share their vision.”

            Trotsky among others noticed this. They need “the revolution” to be perpetual just to even have any hope of getting people to do what needs to be done. Until the magic robots and free energy sources take over labor. You have to have some way to create this wartime ethic. Even if the enemies have to be invented.

            Trotsky’s mistake probably was discussing this too openly.

            Theory of permanent revolution

            Leon Trotsky in exile in Siberia 1900

            The theory of Permanent Revolution considers that in many countries which are thought under Trotskyism to have not yet completed a bourgeois-democratic revolution, the capitalist class opposes the creation of any revolutionary situation. They fear stirring the working class into fighting for its own revolutionary aspirations against their exploitation by capitalism. In Russia, the working class, although a small minority in a predominantly peasant based society, were organised in vast factories owned by the capitalist class, and into large working class districts. During the Russian Revolution of 1905, the capitalist class found it necessary to ally with reactionary elements such as the essentially feudal landlords and ultimately the existing Czarist Russian state forces. This was to protect their ownership of their property—factories, banks, etc.—from expropriation by the revolutionary working class.

            Therefore, according to the theory of Permanent Revolution, the capitalist classes of economically backward countries are weak and incapable of carrying through revolutionary change. As a result, they are linked to and rely on the feudal landowners in many ways. Thus, Trotsky argues, because a majority of the branches of industry in Russia were originated under the direct influence of government measures—sometimes with the help of government subsidies—the capitalist class was again tied to the ruling elite. The capitalist class were subservient to European capital.

            Trotsky, Leon, Results and Prospects, pp 174–7, New Park publications (1962)

            There’s more but I can’t find the quotes. Partly it was because he didn’t want to compromise with anything short of communism but also he was quoted discussing the need to get people working at “war time” productivity rates even if there was no actual war to fight.

          • pfbonney

            I’ve always intended on reading up on Leon Trotsky, and seems like there was a Beria, too, in the early days. I remember by older brother and sister discussing Trotsky when they were in Junior High back in the late ’60s (I was born in ’58), and it intrigued me enough for me to remember that even now.

            Sounds like you know much more than the average Joe (no reference to Stalin, here) about this history.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “So I guess that means that the American Revolution continues on. And Democrats are our “Counter-revolutionaries”.”

            According to their paradigms, perhaps that’s how they see it…but they would argue that class struggle has always been a kind of warfare. And we’re still the villains because we support the status quo of “capitalism.” I’m not sure how they see the American Revolution itself but certainly they would have a hard time coming up with anything good to say about it without rejecting Marxism…or lying about history.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        SOCIALIST INJUSTICE.
        SOCIALIST COLONIALISM.

        Both are Crimes Against Humanity.

      • iluvisrael

        You know who else died too young? The many young men and boys che murdered. From what I’ve read, he enjoyed it.

      • Prof. L. Wessell

        Fact check: Marx was 30 years old when he published “The Communist Manifesto” and certainly was self-identified as such in “The Economic Manuscripts” (1844/45/, i.e., he was 27 years old. Because of this young age can we doubt Marx’ commitment to communuism?
        Che Guevera life dates are: 1928-1967, i.e., he died at 39. Was this too young to decide? Turn to Wikipedia and “quotes from Che”,, specifically his 1966 letter to his parents: “My Marxism has taken root and become purified”. Could this possibly mean that Che was old enough to decide? In interent there can be found “Quotes about Marxism” wherein Che is cited: “One should be a Marxist with the sure naturalness which one is as a ‘Newtonian’ …” “We recognize the essential truths of Marxism”. Does that sound like a decision?

        Let me return to the papal “Che of the Palestinians”. One co-fighter, Aba, said: “We should give our life for him (Che)”.I thought the Pope should die, if need be, for Christ. A co-fighter is willing to surrender his life for Che, a fighter with a “purified Marxism”. Note that Aba was a co-FIGHTER (i.e., willing to kill) for a man, who with a “naturalness”, proclaimed a “purified Marxism”. This means violence, killing, and subjugating people with the intent to establish a “dictatorship of the proletariat”! NO? If it does, then the papal self-identificaltion with “Che” as a symbol for Francis’ chosen relationship to the Palestinians is a poor choice or, an insight into an unseemly side of the Pope. At any rate, it is totally unworthy of a Pope, even one from Argentina. The carrying of Che on his banner, is one that, in my opinion, places the Pope and his ability to discern “real” evil, is a bad light. I can see no excuse for the usuage of a reovlutionary Marxist. I can see no honest defense of the integrty of the Pope in this context. I feel very sad!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “This Pope, however, lets himself be identified with “Che Guevera”. Che was an atheist, communist, murderer, tryannt and contributed to the establishment of the Castro dictatorship. The silence re the Pope’s figure of inspiration amazes me.”

      Everything about this is shocking.

      “Finally, if the Pope himself carries the banner of Che, perhaps Israel should deny the man entrance in to Israel for being a supporter of terrorism.”

      Should but won’t.

      • BeautifulAmerica

        Must!

        • BagLady

          Aggression versus peace. You’re on your own mate. Prat — if you don’t mind me adding.

      • BagLady

        I got the feeling Che was an impressionable young idealist whose image was warped by the right wing US in there war against more equality in the marketplace.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          BagLady objectivefactsmatter • 7 hours ago: “I got the feeling Che was an impressionable young idealist whose image was warped by the right wing US in there war against more equality in the marketplace.”

          You say some pretty unbelievable things.

          War Against More Equality. Oh yeah.

    • 1Indioviejo1

      The new Pope is a product of the Liberation Theology spoused by numerous Marxist priest in Latin America.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        That’s my early assessment as well.

      • Lanna

        Exactly, A Jesuit.

  • wildjew

    The book of Genesis (chapter 12) says:

    “And I will bless those who bless you,
    And the one who curses you I will curse.
    And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

    vs. 6: Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite (the Palestinian?) was then in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”

    Does the Pope really believe Jesus would be with Israel’s enemies? Does he believe Jesus would support Israel’s destruction?

    • PAthena

      Then Arabs are now miscalled “Palestinians” because of Soviet propaganda. From the time that the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 A.D., after the last Jewish rebellion under Bar Kochba, renamed Judea “Palestina” in order to eradicate all memory of Judea and the Jews (he also outlawed Judaism and renamed Jerusalem “Aelia Capitolina,” Aelius” being his gens name) the name “Palestine” has been synonymous with “land of the Jews” and “Palestinian” with “Jew.” That is why Great Britain was awarded the “Palestine Mandate” after World War I, to be “the homeland of the Jews.”
      In 1964, in Cairo, Gamal Nasser of Egypt and the Soviet Union, haters of the Jews and Israel, founded the “Palestine Liberation Organization” (P.L.O.) to destroy Israel. It massacred the Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, whence Arabs have been called “Palestinians.”
      By the way, has anybody asked the enemies of the Jews what the origin of the term “Jew” is? (From the name Judea, in fact.)
      The Canannites were NOT “Palestinians,” either Jews or Arabs.

      • JayWye

        before they were “Jews”,they were Hebrews.(in Egypt.)

  • Von Stierlitz

    The Pope is a dhimmi fool.

  • Webb Cook

    He should be called Pope Pagan. He is far from being a Christian.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Sounds like he may be the first Pope to have dropped his allegiance to Christ and to have replaced him with Karl Marx. Oh well.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      That’s been established already. Now he’s going for dealing directly with Satan.

  • Johnny Palestine

    Love to see this Poppy Pope crawling on all holy fours while begging his Muslim captors to go to the bathroom in Arabic, along with the Queen of England doing the same

    • objectivefactsmatter

      As long as he stops calling himself “Vicar of Christ” he can do what he wants for all I care.

  • sybarite123

    When a people suffer ‘Dhimmitude’ for a certain period of time, these unfortunate people also ‘internalize’ their dhimmitude, that is, they begin to act as slaves to their masters, and do so quite willingly. Truly such unfortunates accept as true their inferiority to Muslims. They have no ‘fight’ left in them!
    Was it St. Augustine who said, “Do everything as though it depended on you, but also on God.” The Dhimmis do not act at all in their own defense; they can only pray, “If it is God’s Will.” They have lost all confidence in themselves, whereas Christians ought to glorify God by doing great things with, of course, God’s grace!
    In other words, don’t just pray for ‘Deliverance’, but resist slavery, even if that resistance begets martyrdom. Indeed, do Dhimmis become ‘Cowards’?
    My tentative point of view, from a retired Catholic priest in Canada.

    • Lightbringer

      Well, the former dhimmis of Israel — i.e., the 600,000 or so Jews from Muslim countries who had to flee for their lives in 1948, and their descendants — don’t seem to have much of a slave mentality toward their former masters. They have been and still are willing and able to fight, and if they die, they are determined to take a few of their enemies with them.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    ““Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a member of the Argentinian parliament and close friend of Pope Francis…said that the pope intends to define himself as the ‘Che Guevera of the Palestinians’ and support their ‘struggle and rights’ during his visit.””

    Not acceptable. This would be the worst papal mistake since WWII.

  • 1Indioviejo1

    The Pope has lost his luster already. An Argentinian Pope who knows exactly who “Che” Guevara was. “Che”, a Communist murderer, a racist who despised black Cubans, Jews, and most Latinos because of our Indian heritage, a demagogue and a committed Stalinist who saw the Catholic Church as the “opium” of the masses, would have had no attraction to John Paul II. Why did the Church turn to the left by electing a Pope with Liberation Theology on his mind? All I can say is that they will pay a price for it.

  • Joel Cairo

    Pope Francis may be attempting to preside over the demise of the Catholic Church. Somehow, the church elders are failing to recognize that in order to survive they must stand for something.

    • Lightbringer

      Much as Obama is attempting to preside over the demise of Western democracies. They seem to be hand in hand in their determination to destroy Western Civilization.

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    Pope Francis declared himself to be the “Che Guevara” of the Palestinians? Note that Che talked little. But he killed much.

    This is very sad …

  • Dyer’s Eve

    Ya gotta love this line ‘…the longest occupation in history…’. Yes, that’s right. The occupier being Islam. As for Pope Franny, whomever considers the Catholic church as Christian is kidding themselves. Don’t ya just love his ‘respect’ for Islam? Will he ‘respect’ Islam when the City of Seven Hills is destroyed? Read your Bible; Book of Revelation, ch. 17.

  • Ken Kelso

    Why is the Pope meeting Islamo fascists?

    http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=11466
    Pope to visit PA Mufti who preached Jews are enemies of Allah destined to be exterminated by Muslims
    by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
    May 19, 2014

  • Walter Sieruk

    Maybe that means the pope doesn’t really believe the Bible. For the Bible teaches that all of this land that is now the State of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. As seen ,for example ,in Genesis 28:13-15. 35:10-12. Deuteromony 32:47,49. Psalm 105:7-11. 135:4. Moreover, all this land also belongs the Jewish people by the rights of history. As shown in First Kings 4:20,21,25. 8:55,56.

  • Drakken

    As a Catholic myself, I am absolutely appalled by the Pope openly endorsing Islamic jihad. The Catholic church has forgotten the basic founding principle, Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s. This is what 50 years of Marxism has wrought.

  • Drakken

    No communist is the correct term.

    • kertitor

      The difference between the communists and the Nazis is that the Nazis regarded themselves as racially superior and the commies as ideologically superior. But the outcome was the same: killing, destroying .

    • BeautifulAmerica

      same disease

  • SoCalMike

    If this Pope truly identifies with Che Guevara, there is something seriously wrong with him and by extension the members of the church not condemning this.

    • Lightbringer

      Yes, if he does, there would be something extremely wrong with him. Che Guevara was a sadistic sociopath who delighted in killing helpless victims while portraying himself as a warrior. He was one of the more disgusting human beings to emerge from the blood-soaked 20th century.

  • David

    There’s an article on the Huffington Post that whitewashes Islamic intolerance and tries to blame the exodus of Christians on Israel.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/21/christian-emigration-middle-east_n_5365180.html

    I tried to comment on the article and point out how ridiculous this is but HuffPost deleted it as they have deleted many of my Pro-Israel comments. Has anybody else noticed how they tend to delete Pro-Israel comments?

    • JayWye

      every visit to that site gives them more revenue from their advertisers.Thus,I never go there.

  • Webb Cook

    He oughta get his chin waddle pierced and hang a crescent from it.

  • lina

    this is amazing the palestinians have been in fear and no electricty clean water nothing after the the israels invaded palestine theve lost everything they need there land back ISRAEL NEEDS TO LEAVE OR BE EQUAL WITH THE PALESTINIANS!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Dupe.

    • JayWye

      well,that’s because there are costs and penalties incurred from making war on a peaceful neighbor. Israel already left Gaza,but still supplies Gaza with electricity,food,and clean water,but HAMAS goes and fires rockets and mortars back in return. Thus the electricity gets cut off. water and food trucks can’t move during combat ops.
      If the muslims lay down their arms,there will be peace and prosperity. If Israel lays down it’s arms,there will be no more Israel.
      Besides,there’s no such thing as a “Palestinian”. They are Arab/muslim invaders.

  • luciano tanto

    wrong! the palestinian of israelian.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    The Pope compared himself to a murderer, a rapist an executioner etc.. YIKES!!!

  • Maynard

    Sounds a lot like John Kerry

  • sydchaden

    Israel should tell the Pope that it sees the Islamic doctrine of “death to infidels” as the biggest problem confronting the world today. Some academics and theologians contend that the doctrine exempts “People of the Book”, i.e. Christians and Jews, from the death sentence, but the Fatwas of leading Muslim clerics make it very clear that by “infidels”, they mean, “non-believers in Islam”. The doctrine is the root cause of the Islamic terrorism that plagues the world today. Yet, Western leaders ignore it, probably because they lack the courage to confront an Islamic religious doctrine.

    The Muslim World takes the doctrine very seriously. The two major branches of Islam, the Sunnis and the Shia, each consider the other to be “infidels”, and they have been killing each other for centuries, for that reason. Muslims continue to kill Muslims to this day, pursuant to the doctrine, in Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Mali, Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon and Syria. Muslims have killed non-Muslims, pursuant to the doctrine, in Egypt, Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Russia, India, Europe, the USA, and Israel.

    Interestingly, Obama, President of a country of “infidels” who have been sentenced to death by the doctrine, ignores it. Rather, he fantasizes that “Islam is the religion of love”, and, “Islamic terrorism is the work of a tiny minority”. But, the Sunnis and the Shia are hardly a tiny minority, and “death to infidels” is hardly a message of love.

    Surely,unlike Obama, the Pope will take an interest in a doctrine which calls for the death of Catholics, as well as all other “non-believers in Islam.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “Interestingly, Obama, President of a country of “infidels” who have been sentenced to death by the doctrine, ignores it. Rather, he fantasizes that “Islam is the religion of love”, and, “Islamic terrorism is the work of a tiny minority”. But, the Sunnis and the Shia are hardly a tiny minority, and “death to infidels” is hardly a message of love.”

      It seems incoherent to us, but if you know his biography and what was going on in Indonesia during his stay there, it’s easy to see where he gets these delusions of fusing communism or socialism with sharia.

      This guy thinks he’s more important to “humanity” and to “progress” than Karl Marx. He really sees himself as a messiah of sorts that can fuse “the best” of all human ideals.

  • herb benty

    A ROMAN Catholic Priest helped write the bloody Koran. Rome has always been jealous of Jerusalem( the real “Eternal City”).

  • Larry S.

    “We won’t resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians who for two thousand years confess the name of Jesus, as full citizens in social, cultural and religious life of the nations to which they belong”

    This statement is a little difficult to parse, so perhaps I am mis-understanding the pontiff. But as I read it, there’s just one thing wrong with the statement: it’s not true. At various times and places in the Middle East, Christians have been able to practice their faith openly without punitive measures. But that felicitous state hardly encompasses the entire history, which is filled with things like dhimmitude and the impressment of young Christian boys as soldiers in the Ottoman army.

    It would be astonishing if the reigning pope were ignorant of that history- and if he is not ignorant of it, then why the dishonesty, which is surely unbecoming to a pope? If he truly is ignorant, then perhaps he could ask retired Pope Benedict for instruction on the matter.

    I consider his statement to be a slap in the face at the Christians over the centuries who perservered in their faith in the face of crushing discrimination and oppression. Utterly disgraceful coming from the Bishop of Rome.

  • Texas Patriot

    Christianity is not a matter of geography. It is a matter of heart, soul, mind, and spirit, and it can be practiced anywhere and everywhere without anyone knowing it. As Jesus said, the most (only?) authentic form of Christian prayer and worship is done alone, in private, where only God can see what you do. That said, Christians are required to confess and not deny their faith when called upon to do so, but they are not required to remain in places where they are discriminated against. Therefore, it wouldn’t surprise (or concern) me in the least if eventually there were no more Christians in the Middle East.

  • Walter Sieruk

    The Bible had predicted about the coming of the “man of sin” otherwise called the Anti-Christ. One of the evil things that the coming Anti-Christ will do to Israel is to “divide the land…” Daniel 11:39. It very much seems that the pope does very much have some of the spirit of the Anti-Christ.

  • Per Ardua

    Che Guevara was nothing but a mass murderer.

  • uleaveuswithnoalternative

    You are so welcome Ken!

  • TL2014

    Nothing more pathetic than the Catholic Church at this time. How anyone can still remain catholic in this day and age is beyond me.

  • Webb Cook

    The moderator must not have liked my suggestion that he pierce his chin waddle and hang a crescent from it. Anyone who is so stupid as to go around in a getup like his that makes his brisket hang down 2 inches below the top of his collar, is far too stupid to be entertained by Israel. How could anyone look at him and keep a straight face while the wind blew his waddle? Yeesh.

  • BagLady

    Oh for pity’s sake. The Catholic Church has historically left me with a bitter taste in my mouth but this Pope seems to be a truly ‘good’ man with nothing but caring on his mind.

    • BeautifulAmerica

      Iin his own eyes, but not in God’s, Who seeks good for all. This guy is a communist. Communists do NOT seek good for all, but absolute power for a few.

      • BagLady

        I don’t see that as a description of this man at all. Which part of his sermons and leadership style leads you to such illogical conclusions?

  • jedd

    I think the Pope’s anti-semitic right hand man–Cardinal MAradiaga–must have planned the trip

  • Tukadoodle

    The Church is the biggest/original Commie/Antisemite as history and Common sense show. They invented most of these memes about big noses,the chosen ones, pigs/apes still used today. Yep, ” stole old JaC from us real Jews” for market share/$ and been trying to kill all of the witnesses ever since. Just Google the history of Magic to see the ancient coin-operated Church. Sorry, but Jesus didn’t die for the Church/folks to continue their horrific crimes into eternity. Yep, any crime is diminished to only ” sins” easily forgiven by the sinister Church. Google the Pope’s new Ratline deal with the MB…Just like before and Once Again. Yep, it’s repeating Roman history by midevil EuropeOn ” folks” with the uber bloody Brits/Church still leading the Commie/Shari’a charge. Now see the RW/LW being exactly the same NWO/Agenda 21 Communosocialists once again blaming tiny Israel as their false flags….Once Again

  • dougjmiller

    Pope Francis thank you for trying to make peace. But there never has been, there is not now and there never will be a country called “Palestine.” The Arab/ Moslems squatting on land in and around Israel are overwhelmingly either descendants of invaders, illegal immigrants or trespassers. The term “Palestinian” was popularized after the Six Day War in ’67 in an attempt to delegitimize Israel. There are already 21 Arab/ Moslem dominated countries spread out over a few millions square miles of territory. The Arab/ Moslems are not interested in creating a 22nd Arab controlled country. Their only desire is to annihilate the one and only Jewish state.

  • Clockp

    This is why I don’t read fiction: you cannot make this stuff up!!

    Surreal…

  • hkton

    The catholic church is rotten. Why is he not defending christians??? Why not?? He’s a coward, a spineless man, worse he’s playing politics. I believe with a leader like him the church is deader than dead.
    As far as I am aware he’s the holy father. The father of christians who he ignores. What a @#@##@!
    Amen!

  • Lanna

    The Social Justice pope. He does not represent the church of Christ….Peter was the leader of the churches…Jesus would never advocate the government using redistribution of wealth, its the churches duty to Feed my sheep John Chapter 21. Romans 12:20 “if your enemy is hungry, feed him” Paul is addressing the church. Christians were also oppressed by the Roman government…..all this hype about him being for the people is more deception…he is hand in hand with the antichrist agenda soon to come.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      The “State of Palestine” in a Christian parable would be the analog to Hell.

  • JayWye

    NO “State of Palestine” exists,because nobody can cite any defined borders for such a State. There’s merely the informal areas known as the West Bank and Gaza. UNassigned lands,ungoverned. The “Palestinians” can’t even agree on a government.
    After all,the Arabs REFUSED a “State of Palestine” back in 1948,when the State of Israel was formed from the Mandate and recognized by the UN. Then Jordan illegally seized the West Bank,and Egypt did the same with Gaza,and ran them as part of those nations.

  • DefiantJewess

    DefiantJewess • 7 minutes ago

    Chillarious—-the Pope Francis is an appeaser and a foe of the Jews., he who comes to the Jewish state and talks glibly of neutrality and peace. In the mean time Islamic terror prevails killing his brethren the Christians. Where is his voice speaking out against that???? He has time to visit the fence and discuss israeli arab politics but no mention of the slaughter of his own??

    The Pope should have gone to the Security fence in Israel to pray for the souls of the murdered Jews from the horrific bus bombings and cafe bombings and stabbings. Or how about the Christian arabs who were murdered and pushed out of Bethlelham and other places by Islamic terrorists.

    The fence should be named ANTI-TERRORISM FENCE.

    Also Bibi should have while meeting with EL PAPA outlined the offenses of the Catholic Church over the centuries- he and the Catholic Church OWES US, and his eminencies taking the side of the enemy, the PA, a terror outfit, or claiming NEUTRALITY- ha!!!!! That is a crime no less than the Inquisition or the inaction of Pope Pious with the Jews during the Shoah.

    The hatred of Jews is the responsibility of the Catholic Church. I blame them for the deaths of innocents, millions of people who suffered at the hands of Hitler.

    THE CHURCH OWES US> Am Israel big time. They are responsible for spreading hatred and anti Semitism in the world. Where is the Pope now when Christians are being murdered everywhere in the MIDDLE EAST? Not a peep from El PAPA. The man speaks with a forked tongue. I have no use for this charade or” passion play” he has played for the world. His actions are empty and full of hypocrisy.

    shalom

  • DefiantJewess

    The Pope needs to make amends for centuries of anti-Semitism spread by the Church- they are responsible for the death of millions of innocents.

  • The Thing That Really Matters

    The truth about all the pope’s down through the centuries is that they talk out the side of their mouths: decry and blast what they perceive as sin and sinful behavior, while at the same time comfort and befriend those same ones committing the sins they berate. Yet the people love the popes. If satan ever had an advocate the pope is the one. The fact that this pope is now aligning himself with radical hate groups against Israel…. that’s really scary stuff. And the fact that he wants Palestine to be a free Sovereign nation. God help us all! Now it begins….

  • KevinT819

    Good for Francis. Standing up for the oppressed!