The “politics of fear” — here again, the Pope speaks as if fear were something always and in every case to be shunned, despised, and rejected. But is that really the case? The proper response to the jihad threat should not be fear, but determined resolution to stand for freedom; still, is fear really something that is tantamount to being morally wrong? If someone has a headache that lasts for days and goes to the doctor because he is afraid he has a serious illness, should the doctor say, “Go home and don’t give in to fear”? If a hiker is confronted by a hungry, ferocious lion, should he refuse to flee because that would be giving in to fear?
“Mercy is the best antidote against fear.” And as for jihad terrorism, “the best antidote is love. Love heals everything.”
Well, maybe. But I expect that right after the Pope puts a flower in the barrel of an Islamic State rifle, the Islamic State rifleman will pull the trigger.
Note also that the Pope is much more exercised about the Trump proposals regarding immigration than about the Clinton campaign’s support for abortion, which the Catholic Church opposes on the basis of the fifth commandment. As I have noted before, the Catholic Church of today is more concerned about enforcing its policies on contemporary issues — such as its willfully ignorant fiction that Islam is a religion of peace — than it is with teaching and propagating its actual dogmas and doctrines.
“Days Before U.S. Election, Pope Francis Warns Against Politics of Fear,” by Michael O’Loughlin, America Magazine, November 6, 2016:
In a speech delivered at the Vatican just three days before the U.S. presidential election, Pope Francis urged social justice activists from around the world not to give into the politics of fear by building walls but instead work to build bridges.
“Because fear—as well as being a good deal for the merchants of arms and death—weakens and destabilizes us, destroys our psychological and spiritual defenses, numbs us to the suffering of others,” he said.
“In the end,” he continued, “it makes us cruel.”
The pope did not mention the Nov. 8 U.S. election, but many of the themes he touched on have played out in debates between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton in recent months.
For example, the pope reiterated his plea for nations to respond more generously to the global refugee crisis, which he blamed on “an unjust socio-economic system and wars.”
He pointed specifically to the hundreds of thousands of people who have died in the Mediterranean Sea seeking entry into Europe in recent years and, he said, “no one should be forced to flee their homeland.”…
On the issue of migration more generally, Francis devoted several minutes of the speech to condemning “physical and social walls” that “close in some and exclude others.”
Mr. Trump has proposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which led to a tussle with the pope earlier this year.
In February, following a visit to the border, the pope said in response to a question from a journalist that politicians who propose building walls instead of bridges are “not Christian,” leading to objections from the Trump campaign. The Vatican later clarified the remark, saying that the pope was not speaking about specific candidates….
The pope said on Saturday that Christians should not give into the temptation to build walls, even in the face of “hateful and cowardly attacks,” a reference to global terrorism.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he said, “all walls fall.”…
Francis said “mercy is the best antidote against fear” and that it “is much more effective than walls, that barbed wire fences, than alarms and arms, and it is free. It is the gift of God.”
He also touched on the need for individuals at the grassroots level “to revitalize” democracy around the world that are imperiled due to “the enormous power of economic and media groups that seem to dominate” and repeated his condemnation of placing money above human beings.
Christians have a duty, he said, to be active in political life, but he warned against corruption and arrogance.
“Anyone who is too attached to material things or the mirror, who likes money, lush banquets, sumptuous mansions, refined suits, luxury cars,” he said, should avoid going into politics—as well as the seminary. Instead, political leaders must lead by example, living frugally and humbly.
Francis also offered some advice on how to fight terrorism and oppression, saying, “the best antidote is love. Love heals everything.”