It seems that conservatives believe the afterlife will be a lot like airport security. When they die and approach the gates of heaven, conservatives think they’ll move quickly through some pre-screened, pre-approved line as they speed off to their first-class seats. All the common folk, though, will be patted down and x-rayed and scanned by some Rambo-style St. Peter, a 9-millimeter semi-automatic holstered in each of his saintly wings, before they get to their economy seats.
And included in that long line of pat-downs and feel-ups will be none other than Pope Francis, a recent survey indicates.
According to Gallup’s recent survey, conservatives’ favorability rating of the pontiff plummeted 27 percent in the last year, dropping from 72 to 45 percent, and specifically because of Francis’ progressive public statements.
According to Gallup:
This decline (in favorability with conservatives) may be attributable to the pope’s denouncing of ‘the idolatry of money’ and linking climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality — all issues that are at odds with many conservatives’ beliefs.
In a Vatican report issued November 2013, Pope Francis criticized free-market economics, calling this Republican-favored policy “the new tyranny.” Following a June 2015 encyclical on global warming, Francis was criticized by Catholic presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, who claimed government must favor business over the environment. And when it comes to poverty, the Republican policies of taxing the poor and denying them healthcare make the widening gap between conservatives and Christianity more evident.
So just forget about all those “blessed are the poor” (Luke 6:20) and “give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21) biblical quotes from Jesus himself. And conservatives aren’t buying this old classic from Mark 10:25, either: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Francis’ overall rating by Americans in this July 8-12 poll was 59 percent, a decline from 76 percent in February, 2014.
The pope’s rating dropped somewhat amongst self-identified liberals, too (now at 68 percent approval), but specifically because he’s not made changes to established Catholic Church policies that prevent priests from marrying and that don’t allow women to serve as priests, Gallup says.
Featured image by Republic of Korea via Flickr