15:37 GMT12 May 2021
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    The Pope & the Dopes - Francis Goes to Congress

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    Pope Francis, his historic addresses at the US Congress and at the White House - and some of the insane Republican attacks against him - are covered in most of the hour today. Rev. Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network, joins us to discuss the Pope's visit. Plus: tragic deaths of pilgrims at the Hajj, and more...

    Pope Francis' historic addresses to the US Congress on the heels of his landmark remarks at the White House yesterday.

    Rev. Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network — an organization working to bridge the partisan gaps on climate stewardship — joins us to discuss both. He was at the White House on Wednesday for the Pope's address there and joined the throngs on the Mall in D.C. He describes the experience as "probably my most memorable experience".

    He explains why that is and how the event has given him hope that we may get out of "our partisan silos" and "actually accomplish something in the United States. Instead of just having these partisan divides. We could agree on the things we agree on, and least dialogue on the things that we don't agree on."

    We discuss why it is that, following the call for action on climate change and global warming from previous Popes we did not have the same kind of denialist response from the Right as we are now seeing. "What the Pope does more than anything else," Hescox says, "is he puts the issues of climate change…about being as pro-life, about being hope for rebuilding the economy, about sustainable energy for all. And that's the kind of language that, I think, awakens conservatives — both theologically and political.

    "I think that puts a little fear in people that the momentum is gathering against those who would differ on climate change, for all sorts of reasons… And it also puts fear in those whose way of life and, quite honestly, maybe whose funding sources may change."

    Hescox rebuts the GOP/Fox "News" notion that Francis is "being political" in his positions on climate and other (suddenly) controversial issues. "He stands in the tradition of the Bible, which mandates to care for the Earth, to be good stewards of it and certainly, as we all know, to care for 'the least of these', which climate change impacts the most severely, both here in this country and around the world."

    "Pastor Mitch" was last on the show in June, following the release of the Pope's encyclical on climate change. He tells me today that, since then, he's seen "a groundswell building" in the religious communinty and even saw, by way of one example, his own "moderate" Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), "support the EPA's Clean Power Plan basically because of his faith, because of the Pope's actions."

    In the meantime, however, GOPers continue to try and marginalize the Pope as "meddling in politics" or, worse, as a "false Pope". Those folks are roundly criticized and held up to the ridicule they so richly deserve on today's program…which also includes one of the funniest moments in BradCast history. (At least in my opinion — if not Desi Doyen's.)

    Also today: More than 700 Muslim pilgrims are killed during an horrific stampede near a holy site in Saudi Arabia.

    You can find Brad’s previous editions here.

    And tune in to radio Sputnik one hour a day, five days a week.

    global warming, climate change, US Congress, Pope Francis, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
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