How Wrong Can the Pope Be?
Pope Francis I last week told us that “inequality,” whatever that’s supposed to mean, is the root of social evil.
What are we to make of such a foolish statement? You would think this pope has never read the Bible, although that can hardly be possible.
What ever happened to sin as the root of all evil, including “social evil,” whatever that may be? Yes, at one point St. Paul did say, “The love of money is the root of all evil” (I Timothy 6:10). It’s obvious he meant the lusting after money, the coveting of money: and covetousness is a sin. And I think we can be sure Paul wasn’t suggesting we give all the other sins a pass.
Addressing the humanist coven of the U.N., the pope called for “the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.”
How wrong can a man be? Private sector? If all wealth is the state’s, to redistribute as the sinners in charge of the state see fit, then there is no private sector. But we must remember that this pope comes from Argentina, where Juan Peron brought together the corporate fat cats and the labor unions in a formula that guaranteed that nation’s future as a perpetual underachiever.
By now everyone ought to understand how a war on poverty works. The state, through taxation and the threat of force, seizes people’s hard-earned money. A few pennies of every dollar get doled out in entitlements to the ruling party’s favored voter base. The rest goes to create enormous bureaucracies that grow and grow forever, never shrinking, whose pampered employees provide the ruling party with yet another mob of loyal voters. If you can get enough of the population dependent on benefits from the government, you can rule the roost till Doomsday.
That’s how it works in the civilized countries. In places like Zimbabwe and North Korea, the rulers simply keep all the wealth for themselves, their families, and friends, and the whole nation is impoverished to the point of actual starvation.
How can the Pope not know these things?
What would happen if you took a single city and made all wealth the property of the municipal government, to be divvied up “equally” among the citizens—minus that portion that goes to keep the members of the government in mansions? Very soon, everyone who wanted a decent return on his labor would flee that city.
So you can’t make it work with just one city. You have to impose collectivism on the whole country, leaving no avenue of escape. To make doubly sure, you impose collectivism on the whole world, making escape impossible.
Oh—but what about the socialist Edens of Western Europe? Don’t they work just fine?
Solon warned King Croesus not to declare the winner of a wrestling match until the match was over. Western Europe’s wrestling match is far from over. Already several members of the Eurozone are clamoring for bailouts. Europe has been invaded by Muslims who hate European culture and refuse to assimilate. A resurgent Russia stirs along the borders. Western Europeans have just about given up having babies. Their socialist experiment, like every other socialist experiment, will go belly-up sooner than they think.
Does this pope really, truly trust the various governments of the United Nations to create “equality”? Does he think we’ll all wind up with palaces and private jets like the world leaders have?
No government in all of human history has succeeded in making all its people rich. But many governments have succeeded in making all their people poor—except for the favored few, of course.
The root of all evil is sin: disobedience to God’s commandments. It’s in our flesh, inborn, ineradicable. We cannot save ourselves, nor can any government impose salvation. If it were otherwise, God would not have sent His Son to earth to make atonement for us.
We can, of course, do all that’s in our power to help our fellow man. That’s charity. It used to be the work of churches, communities, families, and individuals. But when the state takes on all the work of human betterment, what becomes of charity?
When a thief has just a little power, he steals a little. When he has a lot of power, he steals a lot. And when he has the coercive power of the state at his disposal, there is no limit to his depredations. From shoplifter to organized crime syndicate to corrupt government, the only difference is how much they can steal.
Does the Pope believe that families, communities, and churches consist of sinners, but government is staffed by angels?
The challenge of our age is to beat back the metastasizing state into the role ordained for it by God—to keep the peace, protect the innocent from evildoers, and to punish the guilty.
Not, not, not to make it even bigger.
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