Unlike many, Rush Limbaugh found Pope Francis’ rebuke to neoliberalism entirely out of step with Christian values. In fact, Limbaugh claimed it was “pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.” Which is stunning on a number of levels.
First and foremost Marxism is expressly atheist which would prove problematic for the head of the Catholic Church. Then there is the issue that Pope Francis was quoting scripture which predates even the existence of Karl Marx – let alone his philosophy – by several hundred years. And finally the implication of Limbaugh’s red baiting smear would be that Jesus Christ was a Marxist given that Pope Francis is basing his analysis on faithfulness to the teachings of Christ.
I don’t actually know what it’s called — the latest papal offering, statement from Pope Francis. Now, up until this — I’m not Catholic. Up until this, I have to tell you, I was admiring the man. I thought he was going a little overboard on the “common man” touch, and I thought there might have been a little bit of PR involved there. But nevertheless, I was willing to cut him some slack…
But, regardless, what this is — somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. There’s no such — “unfettered capitalism”? That doesn’t exist anywhere.
Limbaugh does admit he’s not Catholic, though that did not stop him from labeling the head of the Catholic Church a Marxist and even claiming “the pope here has now gone beyond Catholicism.”
What is clear from Limbaugh’s following rant on the dangers of socialism and the ecstasy of the market place is that Catholicism, and Christianity more broadly, are competing not with reason but a different faith, neoliberalism. A faith that extolls the infallibility of the market and the original sin of government and society. Regardless of the facts, regardless of reality, we must always be faithful and true to the invisible hand of the market.
In Hayek’s name we pray, Amen.