The Catholic Church has a new pope. I am not Catholic, nor even religious. No doubt this leader will maintain the same ultra-conservative positions on social issues the Catholic hierarchy has always held. However, Pope Francis has expressed a desire to help the world's poor and preserve the health of the planet, including stopping human-caused climate change.
On the other hand, the hard-core right-wing ideologues who control the Republican Party here are virulently anti-environmental protection. They deny the existence of human-caused climate change. Certainly this is partly because polluting fossil fuel industry is a major contributor to political campaigns, mainly Republican.
There is a deeper reason why Republicans are anti-environment. They are ideologically opposed to environmental regulation. They even want to abolish the EPA. Being anti-environment is religious dogma to them.
They are as archaic as the Vatican on social issues -- anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-artificial birth control, even anti-woman. As for the poor, the Republican core group believes it is their fault that they're poor and don't deserve any government help.
The Vatican is an anachronistic, male chauvinist hierarchy, caught in sex scandals and financial mismanagement. However, they use the right language when discussing helping the poor and preserving the environment.
The Republican base is much more archaic than the Vatican. Whereas the Roman Church seems to be stuck in a medieval time warp, the base of the Republican Party belongs in the Stone Age.
Larry L. Brown