A Jew’s View of the Pope



Bereligion 1rnie Sanders is not a Catholic. He is a Jew. But he is an enthusiastic supporter of the Pope. That tells me, as much as anything else, how much this new Pope means to mankind.

The Vermont senator, who is a candidate for the presidency, praised the Pope in an email I received this morning. He noted that the pontiff  “is reaching out not just to the Catholic Church. He’s reaching out to people all over the world with an incredibly strong message of social justice talking about the grotesque levels of wealth and income inequality.”

To me, this is a dramatic example of that “common ground” Pope Francis keeps referring to, an example also of the “common good” he urges politicians to pursue.

Compassion, charity and justice are not just teachings of the Catholic religion, or of other Christian faiths. They are advocated by every major religion, including Judaism and – yes – Islam.

Even Humanists, who reject or question the existence of a Supreme Being, acknowledge these moral imperatives.

So you have to wonder at the rage with which America’s right-wing media (and others in the Religious Right) have greeted the Pope’s message.

I am flabbergasted by the unapologetic way in which these hatemongers embrace a pariah philosophy.

They find virtue in greed, oppression, injustice, cruelty, bullying, selfishness, extremism … all the vices I was taught to abhor.

They would destroy our beautiful Earth, not only with pollution but also with bombs and missiles. They glorify looting and  plundering. They advocate violence to resolve any dispuite – large or small.

If ever there was a conflict between Good and Evil in this world of ours, we are witnessing it today. And it’s not between Christians and Muslims, as so many believe. It’s simply between the Good and the Evil in all of us, whatever our race or creed.

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