From this Friday's The PBS Newshour, resident hack and professional Republican turd-polisher David Brooks took a shot at Pope Francis as being "a little out of his lane" because he dared to criticize the problems being caused by record income disparity, unfettered capitalism and the idolatry of money. I guess this shouldn't come as any big surprise to anyone, since Brooks has made his living trying to whitewash the very policies which have done nothing but make these problems worse, and this segment was no exception.
These Republicans lamenting that the Pope is being too "political" with his views as Brooks was here sure as hell have never had the same qualms when it comes to telling women what they should do when it comes to their own health and reproductive rights. That's A-okay in their book. Criticize the rich... now you're getting out of line.
HARI SREENIVASAN: OK. Let's shift gears.
The pope came out with -- I want to get this correct -- his first apostolic exhortation. It was his first major work, big report. In there, he takes quite a few very specific jabs at capitalism, calling it a new tyranny. I mean, popes in the past have had these concerns before, but really he's laying this out. And some of the sort of pope watchers, experts are saying that this is the agenda for how to reform the Christian church.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, well, I -- I actually have a lot of sympathy.
I'm a fan of capitalism, but I have a lot of sympathy for it. And it should be remembered that Benedict and John Paul II issued some extremely critical statements on capitalism. That is the job of the Catholic Church, to be a balance to the materialistic drives of our culture and of economy.
I guess I would wish he would emphasize two things, first, that capitalism over the last 25 years has been an incredible moral good. It has reduced poverty more in the last 25 years than ever before in human history, mostly in Asia. But that's been a phenomenal good. That's relieved suffering. And that has been a product of capitalism.
The second thing I would say is sometimes I think the analysis and some of the language used this time was too narrowly economic. One of the things capitalism does is, it does enhance and exacerbate the sin of pride, making yourself, the material world the center of your universe, instead of God's will.
But the doesn't only happen in capitalism. That can happen in faculty clubs. It can happen at NGOs. And so that is a spiritual sin. And to talk about some of the spiritual sins that capitalism encourages in a broader scale seems to me the right way to do it. To focus on a certain sort of economic theory, that seems to me a little out of the pope's lane.
MARK SHIELDS: I think it's very much in the pope's lane.