THE BLOG

The Left, The Right and The Encyclical

06/24/2015 12:24 pm ET | Updated Jun 24, 2016

Mike Huckabee on Meet the Press this morning while continuing to not commit on climate change even in the face of the Papal encyclical declaring it a danger. In his comments he noted how the left might embrace the wording climate change but would not look so favorably on the Pope's pro-life stance. We on the left shouldn't pick and choose what we like in the encyclical. Of course this is what Mr. Huckabee is doing by dismissing the climate change warnings. All he could talk about was the need for cheap fuel for Americans, never mind what getting it could do to the earth's future.

This hypocritical double talk is routine for many on the right. Pointing out the faults of others while doing the same thing themselves. One thing that Mr. Huckabee doesn't point out is that we on the left usually do not wear our religion on our sleeve as much as those on the right do. Therefore if we pick and choose what we like from a religion it is not as hypocritical when someone on the right cloaks himself in religion. The Pope might not be his religious leader but he is one with moral weight that a religious person should listen to.

Now I believe in climate change and support measures to fight it like investing alternative energy or cleaner emissions standards for industry. So when the Pope lends the power of his voice to this cause I embrace it. I hope that his influence will bring greater attention to this important cause. I don't believe in the pro-life stance so I can't support him on this and it also not new or groundbreaking for a Pope to be pro-life. I respect this Pope because not only is he pro-life but in fighting climate change and campaigning against world poverty he is showing that he believes in making a better life for those living on the earth. This respect goes back to when the Catholic leaders were campaign against nuclear proliferation as part of their pro-life views.

Since I don't cloak myself in religion, I don't feel I am hypocrite for choosing which of the Pope's pronouncements I choose to embrace. For the right wing politicians like Mike Huckabee who claim God guides their beliefs it is more hypocritical when they choose which pronouncements they choose to believe. To ignore a religious leader on climate change so that Americans can continue to get cheaper energy would seem at odds with "religious" beliefs. How can they say religion guides them and ignore a world religious leader? Instead of following religion many on the right use religion as a cover for their beliefs, picking and choosing which religious pronouncements they will follow.