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A "war on aspiration"

Adam Shaw (he of the "Pope Francis is the Catholic Church's Obama" fame) has posted another column attacking Francis, which is sure to go viral.  Here is how it starts:

Pope Francis has declared war on those who aspire to provide a better life for themselves and their families, expressing the misguided snobbery of a man for whom money has never been an issue.

In the first week of his papacy, when briefing the media, the pope exclaimed:

“Oh how I long for a poor Church for the poor!”

This statement is a perfect summary of Francis’ papacy, a primary theme of which has been a peculiar dislike of prosperity. His first major document, -- “Evangelii Gaudium” -- was a prime example of his disdain for those who are not content to soak in poverty or to submit to socialism.

It just gets better from there, with Shaw taking umbrage at how the Pope is disparaging his efforts to put bread on the table for his young family. 

I suspect some of you will become incensed over this, but to be honest I just laughed out loud.  It's painfully obvious that Shaw has figured out that his surest path to becoming a big wheel at Fox is to follow the Ann Coulter model of employing ridiculously over-the-top rhetoric to make his points.  I predict that television appearances will follow and perhaps a full-length book attacking Francis will appear in the next year or so.

I generally don't begrudge a man who's just trying to make a living, particularly (as I am painfully aware at the moment) it will be hard for Shaw to send his kids to Catholic high school on a Fox junior editor's  salary.  So as a father who also is trying to put bread on the table for his family, I wish Shaw well in his efforts to monentize his purple prose. 

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The difference is that Coulter attacks those (liberals) who a fair amount of people like to hate.  Everybody really likes Pope Francis, so Shaw's strategy won't be as effective with Francis as a target.

This is great!  Stuff like this can help invite back so many progressive Catholics who felt forgotten or beseiged under the two pervious popes.  

Mr Shaw's column gives lie to this statement:

The reason that there are no more freak shows is because we have become a society that has no place for freaks.  Christopher Lasch

 

Fox is one continuous freak show.

Guess he is all in with Fox News now - his biased and inaccurate writings cost him another job:

http://davidgibson.religionnews.com/2013/12/06/fox-news-columnist-ripped-pope-francis-loses-catholic-news-service-gig/

Your analysis is right on, Peter. I was going to follow Shaw on Twitter but thought better of it since his obvious reason for being outrageous is to attract attention and as you say, make more money. Maybee Russ L will employ him as an intern. 

His comment that rich Catholics fund all the Catholic hospitals and soup kitchens, etc., raises a question that we should ponder more on these pages. Namely, the Church's constant courting of the wealthy which began in earnest in the fourth and fifth century as the church, for the first time, started to extol the virtues of wealth. As long as the money was given to the church. What theChurch developed at the time was an offering to the rich that their  funds would be expiated by alms giving. Thus leading the way for soldiering in the Crusades and the selling of indulgences. 

Shaw would like nothing better to join the company of rhe rich. So he can expiate his sins also by giving. Personal behavior change, like so  many wealthy  Catholics, can wait.  For how can God punish a ruthless pursuer of wealth since he gives so many millions to the church. The bishops would agree. 

Sorry Frank Langone.

 

Shaw needs to differeniate poverty and the poor.  Pope Francis is not pro-poverty, he's pro-poor.  He is not against wealth absolutely, he is anti-exclusion of the poor from the good material things.  He just sent a message to the meeting of the super-rich and powerful at Davos asking them to help the poor with a better distribution of wealth, with jobs and getting past welfare.  From HuffPost:

"I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it," Pope Francis said in the message read at the opening ceremony by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice.

The Argentinian pope, who has identified strongly with the poor since his election last year and severely criticized capitalism, acknowledged that business had helped lift millions out of poverty, even if it had led to widespread social exclusion.

"The growth of equality demands something more than economic growth, even though it presupposes it. It demands first of all 'a transcendent vision of the person'," he said in the message.

"It also calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality."

 

Urges Davos Elite At World Economic Forum To Serve ...

"The pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor." -- Evangelii Gaudium 58.

That said, I would not have canned Shaw from his job reviewing films and video games. It doesn't require an incisive mind for philosphical or theological distinctions to review material pitched to 15- and 16-year-olds and adults who think like them. If Fox let him get out of his depth, that shouldn't affect his work for Catholic News Service, which had him in a job he could do.

Shaw might save himself some time (and money) if he realizes early the emptiness of mammom with help from Same Pole who wrote a riveting article about his own experiencing with making millions which brought him emptiness. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/for-the-love-of-money.h...

This is the message that Francis is working on bringing out. 

I'm thinking that Glenn Beck's defection to what could be a real world has left an opening for Mr. Shaw to fill.

I've been wonering about that assertion that  rich Catholics bankroll the Church's work. I certainly think that  should be true (those who have more ought to give more), but  I wonder if its really so. I know quite a few mderate income people who tithe; do all of our rich brthers and sisters do so to an equal or greater degree? 

"I know quite a few mderate income people who tithe; do all of our rich brthers and sisters do so to an equal or greater degree?  

Probably not.  As the parable of the widow's mite reminds us, those who give out of their need are more favored by God than those who give out of their surplus.  Billionaires who support charities yet are still billionaires probably aren't tapping their need.