Perhaps unsurprisingly, conservatives are scrambling to condemn Pope Francis’s views on climate change in advance of his speech to Congress on Thursday.
Some of these condemnations are stranger than others. Gene Koprowski, marketing director of the conservative Heartland Institute, said last week that the pope’s public statements about environmental concerns were motivated by “pagan remnants” of “nature worship” in the church. “I think we’re seeing the revelation of an animistic form in the church,” he added.
Others stopped short of accusing the pope of paganism. In an op-ed last week at Town Hall, Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, expressed his displeasure at rumors that the pope would be discussing the climate in his appearance before Congress, instead of “the condoned, subsidized, intentionally planned genocide of unborn children by Planned Parenthood and society.”
The climate “has been changing since first created in Genesis,” he wrote, and “if the Pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate change policies, then I will not attend.”