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  1. Boehner Says Pope Francis Inspired Him to Quit: Departure Hurts Progressive Movement
    — September 26, 2015
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    John Boehner abruptly and unexpectedly stepped down as Speaker of the House yesterday. Why? Because he was tired of serving the right-wing fanatics that have taken over the GOP party. However, the breaking point came Thursday after Boehner met with Pope Francis, and then listened to his speech before Congress. In stepping down, Boehner stated:

    Just yesterday we witnessed the awesome sight of Pope Francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world. And I hope we will all heed his call to live by the golden rule. But last night, I started to think about this. And this morning, I woke up and I said my prayers, as I always do, and I decided, you know, today’s the day I’m going to do this.
    As Boehner (a long-time Catholic) sat directly behind Pope Francis during his speech, Boehner began to openly weep as the Pope spoke about the true message of Catholicism, and the obligations that an American politician has as a “servant.” Pope Francis implored Congress to stop their warmonger mentality, hatred, bigotry, and unwillingness to help those in need:

    A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject. Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice.

    . . .

    Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money – money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.

    . . .

    We the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants.

    . . .

    We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.

    . . .

    Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.

    . . .

    A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to dream of full rights for all their brothers and sisters as Martin Luther King sought to do, when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.
    Pope Francis’ message was the final straw in Boehner’s internal conflict continuing to represent the current hate-filled GOP. The Tea Party mentality has taken over. He no longer can pretend to believe their racist and bigot message. Unfortunately, for Progressives, Boehner’s departure actually will be a setback. Boehner had a least some control in preventing the Tea Party mentality from completely taking over the GOP, and his resignation will leave the GOP in a more chaotic state. “It appears that even a very conservative speaker like John Boehner is unable to control the extreme right-wing drift of Republicans in the House,” said Bernie Sanders. “Without Boehner, it may get even worse.”

    This unexpected political move definitely will have an impact on current status-quo.

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