Watching Pope Francis destroy conservative ideology on a frequent basis must really sting for the self-proclaimed members of the Christian Conservative movement, who seem to think Jesus was a big fan of corporate greed and humiliating the poor. It almost makes you wish we had some data that could show us their butt-hurt progressing on an annual basis, doesn’t it? Well good news, friends: now we have exactly that!
According to a recent Gallup survey released on Wednesday, Pope Francis’ approval rating among conservatives has dropped in a big way here in the United States in the past year. Only 45 percent of conservatives have a favorable view of the leader of their Church, down from 72 percent in 2014. That’s a staggering 27-point drop.
Of course, you don’t need to decipher centuries-old clues left behind by some long-dead Italian painter to figure out why conservatives aren’t especially big fans of Pope Francis. In recent weeks alone, the pontiff lambasted corporate greed and the super-rich, referring to capitalism as “the dung of the devil.” Last month, he defended evolution and the big bang, saying that God is “not a magician.” Oh, and let’s not forget his huge encyclical warning us all to take climate change seriously. And this is just stuff that happened in the past several weeks.
The Pope’s words have been repeated slaps in the face of conservatism here in the United States, where the right has often tried to use Christian morality to criticize social progress. It would seem those conservatives who take the firmest “pro-Jesus” stance are often the ones who care the least about the poor, the sick, or the otherwise needy. To a conservative, the poor are lazy freeloaders and the sick should take care of themselves… pretty far removed from all that stuff Jesus said about helping others, isn’t it?
There’s no reason why any of us should assume Pope Francis really cares what American conservatives think, or Americans in general, for that matter (apart from the Catholic Americans, of course). But one thing remains clear: the more Francis reminds conservatives of their glaring, open-faced hypocrisies, the less fond of him they’re going to get. Whether they’ll actually listen to the world’s most popular living Christian and take heed remains to be seen.