The Pope and The County Clerk

Here's why it's important:

A crucial part of the conservative cultural and political hegemony for the last forty plus years has been the alliance between the white Catholics and the White evangelical Protestants. That alliance depended on the Catholic hierarchy prioritizing all of the issues of sexuality and patriarchy above all other issues in its public theology. While the social teachings of the church have always had a pro-worker and anti-war content, the hierarchy was far more insistent that abortion and same-sex marriage were the issues that really count. Those were the issues that they mobilized voters about. No cardinal ever threatened to withhold communion from Catholic legislators who voted for war, or who supported the death penalty, or who voted tax cuts to the rich while cutting programs for the poor.

I have personally talked with lifelong Democratic voters who have been torn about voting for Democratic candidates for President, because they thought that the Church wanted them to cast their vote against abortion.

Pope Francis has not changed the any of the teachings of the church. But he argued for a different priority in the public political practice of the church: away from the 'culture wars' and towards immigration, climate justice and inequality.

Pope Francis' priorities drive a wedge into the conservative coalition in the United States.

If Roman Catholic voters were inclined to vote their faith's values, working class Catholics might be persuaded to come home to the party that stands with the poor, in all that implies in the current issue environment. (I know, I know: to say that the Democratic Party "stands with the poor" is a generous characterization to be sure.)

That is why the purpose and meaning of the Pope's meeting with Kim Davis is important.

Davis' and her legal representatives want it to be a signal that the Pope is still committed to the conservative Evangelical/Catholic alliance in the US. It is clear that they have exaggerated the meeting of the minds that they claimed occurred when they met.

The Vatican appears to be downplaying the meeting: first just not denying that the meeting took place, then confirming that it did, and now issuing a statement that it was not a statement of support for Davis.

The conservative era in the United States was built on the casting of spells, delusions and deceptions: an ideological fog. That fog is lifting. In the end, delusions are maintained by cheap tricks and sleights of hand. The "great summit" between Kim Davis and Pope Francis is such a trick, another conservative con, now being exposed.


  1. There's a con all right, but it's not Kim Davis that's pulling it -- it's Bergoglio. He is very much on the anti-lgbt side and allied with evangelicals and Mormons on this. That's why he hosted a nasty anti-lgbt summit at the Vatican last November:

  2. Elisabeth3:36 PM

    It seems worse to me that there seems to be a call to "believe the Pope's version" or "believe Kim Davis' version". It seems naïve to accept one explanation over the other as the TRUTH, when both may be the truth of the teller and no more.

    I hear that line from Casablanca: "I am shocked, truly shocked, Rick, that the Pope opposes same sex marriage."

    Let us get on with the work of civil rights, of "controlling" violence, of justice, of Black Lives Matter, of healing body and mind and soul, of treating all with respect and dignity. Learn to accept help in parts of that work from whoever can help and wants to help. Time is to precious to take to throw mud or to figure out who threw the first mud.


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