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Resignation pre-empts rant, so consider the pope

  • Author: Shannyn Moore
    | Opinion
  • Updated: December 16, 2017
  • Published December 16, 2017

Well, I had a big ol' rant about all the reasons Rep. Dean Westlake needed to let the door hit him where the good Lord split him. After several legislative staffers accused him of sexual harassment, Mr. Westlake finally got the message and is resigning. I wrote over a month ago that a reckoning was coming and I don't give a fig whose team these men play for. Be. Gone.

Pope Francis waves after delivering his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican December 25, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Roy Moore can go back to denying he's any relation to me, or that he's been abusive to women and girls his whole life.

A tax bill, eliminating an essential component of the Affordable Care Act, and opening ANWR has the votes of the richest body of rule we've ever had. More than half of them are millionaires or better. They've been really honest that they have to pass it to please their donors or their campaign coffers will dry up.

In Anchorage they are talking about charging students for school bus rides and the governor wants more of the Permanent Fund and income taxes to pay for oil subsidies. Again, folks, Alaska makes more money in interest off of our fund than we do in oil revenues. I write that every chance I get, and I don't think it's getting through.

We can now say "Merry Christmas" even though we always could, but the town of Jesus' birth, Nazareth, has canceled Christmas celebrations after President Donald Trump named Jerusalem the capital of Israel. It's just too dangerous. So there's that.

I keep thinking of Pope Francis and how he's handled his job. He's a rebel. I think Jesus — you know, the guy who chased the investment bankers out of the temple — would like him too.

This pope doesn't prance around in red Prada shoes like the previous quitter pope. He has instructed clergy to sell their newer cars, give the money to the poor and drive beaters like his 1984 Renault. He told them to think of starving children instead of fancier cars.

He has washed the feet of prisoners in a remarkable display of humility. "Who am I to judge?" was his response to a question about homosexuals. He wants to focus on issues of poverty and economic justice rather than the church's recent "obsession" with gays, abortion and birth control.

When he was elected, he told the head of Vatican charities to get rid of his desk — he wouldn't need it because he would be out among the people finding their needs. Germany's "Bishop of Bling" was fired and his mansion, with its $40 million in renovations, was turned into a soup kitchen.

Several years ago, the Vatican published a document that is basically the pope's platform. He's the spiritual leader of a worldwide population of Catholics three times larger than the U.S., so chances are he's got quite an audience.

In his "manifesto," Pope Francis took on greed and consumption. He flogged unfettered capitalism as the new "tyranny." The lure of consumerism is there to serve the financial system that rules us, he said. (See 2008.)

He wrote, "The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose." (Apparently he's familiar with Walmart.)

"The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person!"

Oh, the humanity!

"Trickle down" economics is nothing more than a gimmick to fool the naive. It works for the tricklers, not the tricklees. (See the last 30 years.)

This pope isn't falling for it. He said politicians should guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education and health care." Holy moly! The man wants "entitlements" — or what some of us call "human rights."

Dignified work? A living wage? He's a crazy radical!

I think he sounds like Jesus.

You know, healing the sick (without talking nonsense about death panels), feeding the hungry (without teaching them to fish first), telling people to sell their possessions and give the money to the poor (redistribution of wealth, for God's sake!), and praising the peacemakers (you know, those of us who don't think bombing is the first stage of diplomacy).

Apparently someone got to him a long time ago. Back in Argentina, he was known for distributing bread at night to the poor, and sitting and talking to homeless people.

While the GOP is busy cashing in on the "war on Christmas," Pope Francis gets what's really happening. The war on Christmas is being waged by thoughtless consumption and corporate greed.

I have to shrug at our politicians, especially the Catholic and self-proclaimed Christian ones, who keep talking about the war on their faith. Their policies are a war on us all, especially the least of us. It's like the memo to store up their treasures in heaven got lost in a junk folder. Sad!

Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.

The views expressed here are the writer's and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at) Send submissions shorter than 200 words to or click here to submit via any web browser.

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