Mark Meets World: listen to Pope Francis for the right reasons

Mark Feuerborn

Pope Francis finished his first ever visit to the United States this past Monday, Sept. 28. He traveled to Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia, and commented on the warmth of the American people.

“It was a beautiful thing and also different. Washington, the welcome was warm but more formal; New York was a bit exuberant; Philadelphia very demonstrative,” Francis said.

Francis also became the first Pope to address the United States Congress, and had quite a few topics to touch on with them.

“Legislative activity is always based on care for the people,” Francis said.

The point I’ve referenced that the Pope made is one I can agree with, and one that just about any American should agree with. It is a sound idea, one that is sensible with no religious bearing.

Another important reference I will make is to Thomas Jefferson’s “separation of church and state,” a phrase used by this man to express an understanding of the intent of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the American Constitution. This means that the government shall not favor any religion, and will not be led one way or another by any religious belief. Politicians cannot use religious reasoning for political agenda.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have made points of weaponizing the Pope’s stance on various issues. Republicans attack Democrats with the Pope’s stance on abortion while Democrats yell in triumph over the Pope’s stance on climate change.

I urge Democrats and Republicans alike to recognize our country is not run by any church. If we are to heed any advice from the Pope, let it be because we believe his ideas benefit the people, not because of religious obligation.