Pope Francis Nails Conservatives By Shaming Religious Extremism In Speech To Congress

Pope Francis spoke to Congress today and conservative “Christians” are not going to like what he had to say.

The pontiff gave a sneak peek of the policies he supports on Tuesday during a speech at the White House, but Pope Francis added something new on Wednesday when he took a shot at religious fundamentalism as House and Senate Republicans watched on.

“Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion,” Pope Francis pointed out. “We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.”

Not only did Pope Francis call out fundamentalists for trying to force their extremism upon society in the name of God, he also made it clear that it is wrong to simply categorize people as between those who sin and those who are righteous.

“A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps.”

Pope Francis also took a shot at the hypocrisy of conservatives, noting that they are in danger of becoming the very tyrants that Americans have rejected.

“We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.”

This isn’t the first time Pope Francis has smacked down ideologically driven religious extremism.

In October 2013, the pontiff took aim at ideologically obsessed Christians, calling their strictness an illness.

“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”

For too long, conservatives have tried to force their religious beliefs upon the rest of us by making an effort to enshrine their religion as the law of the land even though the Constitution forbids such a thing. And they have become incredibly aggressive in doing so, even going so far as to threaten violence and bloody revolution if they don’t get what they want. Fundamentalist “Christians” have bombed and set fire to women’s health clinics, killed doctors who perform abortion services, initiated armed stand-offs with government officials, and passed extreme legislation in an attempt to legalize discrimination.

Pope Francis did the right thing by calling out religious fundamentalism, and it was the perfect way to put an exclamation point on this historic day since he is the first pontiff to ever deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress. The fact that he literally blasted religious extremism as Republicans sat and watched in person is just absolutely glorious. And now we get to hear them whine about it for the next few weeks.

Featured Image: Screenshot via MSNBC