RUSH: Okay. So I got a question, folks, real quick question for the progressive left. Does this mean now that it's okay for you people to be openly supportive of the Roman Catholic Church? I've never seen the left come to the defense of a pope or the Catholic Church like I have seen them come to the defense of the pope and the Catholic Church this time. This is one of those days where my dad would not believe what has happened here.
Greetings, my good friends, and how are you? Great to have you here. Rush Limbaugh, as usual, predictably, reliably so behind the Golden EIB Microphone, executing assigned host duties flawlessly, zero mistakes, even though it's earlier, there won't be any because I can't do wrong. I mean, this show is me and what happens is me. There's no mistakes to it. Anyway, telephone number, if you want to be on the program is 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
So here it is. It's all over the place. "Pope Francis to Rush Limbaugh: I’m No Marxist, But I Have Known Plenty of Good Marxists," and they're not bad people. But I'm not one of them, or whatever. Folks, the media is beside itself. They don't know what to do. They're conflicted. I mean, A, you know they despise the Catholic Church. They despise it. They despise the pope. The papacy, not the pope personally, but just the office. They despise it because it is the seat of modern morality and judgmentalism. It is purely pro-life and anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and yet the media's jealousy, envy, hatred for me has driven them into the arms of the pope.
I'll tell you what else I've detected. Six audio sound bites on this. The media is livid at the same time that the pope deigned to respond to me. That has 'em ticked off. They name him Man of the Year simply because he attacks capitalism and ticks me off. And in the process they've named, as Man of the Year, the biggest pro-lifer in the world. The institution that's the biggest pro-life institution in the world, the biggest anti-gay marriage institution in the world, and they are recognizing this guy as Man of the Year for one reason: He did a big hit on capitalism, they think, which, as an ancillary reason that ticked me off, so they think they've got a twofer here. But they have now been unwittingly driven into the arms of the Catholic Church. They are embracing Il Papa.
I'll tell you, the Lord does work in mysterious ways. I mean, it wasn't that long ago if you hit out at the church, you would be excommunicated or otherwise. But you would never, ever be responded to. You would never be reacted to. Talent on loan from God. You know, the thing is, I didn't know about this over the weekend. Nobody told me and I didn't pay any attention to the news over the weekend. I really didn't. We did a lot of Christmas wrapping and stuff, and just the usual Christmas season stuff, and I didn't have any news on.
So I didn't know until last night, I got an e-mail from somebody last night who said: "Do you believe all this snarky coverage about you and the pope?" And I didn't know what it was about. I got in here this morning and there are six sound bites that Cookie has prepped on this. So a legitimate question here for the left. I mean, they're ticked off. I'm not making this up. I've studied it now. They're ticked off that the pope acknowledged me, and responded. No matter what he said. That's not the point. The fact that he responded ticks them off.
The second thing is, look at what they've done, just to repeat. This is profound. The left's sacrament is abortion. It's the defining characteristic of modern progressivism and liberalism. Bigger than anti-capitalism, bigger than the redistribution of wealth. Pro-abortion identifies them. That is the litmus test. You cannot be a leftist and be everything else but. If you are pro-life and Marxist, you cannot be a leftist. You can't. Being pro-life will cancel everything out. That's how big it is on the left. Pro-abortion, abortion itself is the sacrament to the left.
You can be the biggest leftist, socialist, communist in the world, but if you're pro-life, you don't get a ticket into their little tent. And yet they have embraced, they have honored, they have bestowed upon one of their highest awards, the Man of the Year, TIME Magazine representing the Democrat Party, representing the Obama administration, representing all of the worldwide left, TIME Magazine, Man of the Year, Pope Francis. A man who is opposed to the main thing they believe in, abortion, opposed to the second biggest thing they believe in, gay marriage. And yet they have honored him. Why? All because I, El Rushbo, who they despise apparently even more, deigned to be critical of the pope's criticism of capitalism. And that made them think that he was an ally of theirs.
As Mr. Snerdley just said, "The Lord works in mysterious ways."
And so now it's a serious question for the progressive left: Does this mean that it's okay for your Catholic members to say they're Catholic? Is it okay for leftist Catholics to be openly Roman Catholic now? Are you going to stop bashing the church at every opportunity, or was it just a convenience play? Was it just a convenient thing to side with the pope for a few days because you think the pope is a compadre in your anti-capitalism -- and, as a bonus, you hate me, and this gives you a chance to make everything about me?
Look at the conflict they got. So now you name the pope the Man of the Year. (snorts) How can they come out and continue to bash the Catholic Church now -- seriously -- with any credibility? They will. Don't misunderstand. I mean, they're not gonna openly embrace Catholic Church. I'm just putting 'em on the spot with the question here. Let's take a look at some headlines from the past just to show you. March 2013, Salon.com: "Is Pope Francis a Fraud?"
Nope, not anymore. Pope Francis is Man of the Year. From November 2012, "Fifty Reasons to Boycott the Church," Salon.com. From May 2012: "The Arrogance of the Catholic Church." Salon.com, November 2008: "Why Churches Fear Gay Marriage." Salon.com, November 2009: "The Pope Launches a Right-Wing Affirmative Action Program." Salon.com now: "Pope Francis to Rush Limbaugh: I'm No Marxist, But I've Known Plenty of Good Ones." That's Salon.com over the weekend.
They've gone from... When I tell you that they have unabated hatred for the office of the papacy in the Catholic Church, do not doubt me. The significance of these people embracing Il Papa, I just cannot tell you what a profundity it is. Let's just show you in the audio sound bites here. This is a montage of the media responding to all of this. Jonathan Karl of ABC News. Headline News Natasha Curry, George Stephanopoulos... I won't bother give you all the names. It's just from all over the spectrum.
JONATHAN KARL: Rush Limbaugh recently attacking the pope. But this weekend Pope Francis responded.
NATASHA CURRY: Pope Francis is firing back at critics accusing him of being a Marxist. Rush Limbaugh blasted the pope.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS: He responds to criticism from prominent conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh.
PAMELA BROWN: Pope Francis says: Nope, I'm not a Marxist. The pope's blunt criticism of capitalism led Rush Limbaugh to call the pontiff's views "pure Marxism."
MARTIN SAVIDGE: Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was quick to jump on that comment.
SONIA RINCON: He's not offended Rush Limbaugh called him a Marxist.
VICTOR BLACKWELL: The pope responding to some of his critics who called him a Marxist, and maybe not some, but one, Rush Limbaugh. Let's use the name.
PAM GIGANTI: Rush Limbaugh lashed out against the pope regarding capitalism. The pope says that he is not a Marxist.
DICK JOHNSON: Rush Limbaugh sparked the debate over the pope's beliefs.
MARK HAYES: The pope fires back at Rush Limbaugh?
RUSH: See? See, folks? That's from the broadest spectrum of the media over the weekend. They're just beside themselves. They just can't square it. Here's Yahoo.com: "Pope Francis Says He's No Marxist, Greets Worshipers at St. Peter's Square -- Pope Francis said he knew a lot of 'good' Marxists but was no communist himself, following criticism of his diatribes against unfettered capitalism from conservative commentators in the United States.
They quote the Pope: "Marxist ideology is wrong. But in my life I have met a lot of Marxists who are good people, so I do not feel offended." Well... "Marxist ideology is wrong. But in my life I have met a lot of Marxists who are good people, so I do not feel offended. That does not mean being a Marxist," just 'cause I know some, just 'cause I like some. Some of my best friends are Marxist but that doesn't make me one. I've known a lot of really cool, really good Marxists.
"US radio host Rush Limbaugh labeled as 'pure Marxism' a text published by the pope," blah, blah. The stories are all over. There's Mediaite: "Pope Francis Addresses 'Ultraconservatives' (and Limbaugh?) Calling Him a Marxist." Let see. There's one more. They're just all over the place here, folks. So it's a profound thing I think. It's a profound thing that the leading anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage person in the world has been named Man of the Year by people who any other day of the week or year, hate the man.
The Official Program Observer, Mr. Snerdley, has a question.
What's the question? (interruption) "Why do I suppose the pope responded? Well, how can I possibly know that? How can I possibly know why the pope responded? What would be the reason? I have no idea. This is not something I would feel comfortable speculating about. All I can tell you -- and I've seen nothing officially, but you even mentioned to me you saw this. Last week I saw two different stories that the Vatican was trying to walk back the comments that were interpreted as anti-American capitalist.
But I've not seen anything official. There have been a total of three, maybe four different stories that alluded to the fact the Vatican was a little nervous and was trying to walk it back. Now, if that's true, that could be a reason why. But normally when you react to something, it's because whoever does it... You know, it's an open field as to whether or not somebody in the public should respond or should not. I've had this little fight with myself for 25 years, and for as many people have advised me, there are that many theories on whether to respond or not.
I remember when this program first started and I started getting labeled (just 'cause I'm a conservative) with the racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe stuff, and I would have people say, "You cannot let that stand. You have got to refute that." I said, "Yeah, that makes sense." So I'd refute it and the critics delighted. "Oh, wow, we must have hit home here! This must really bug Limbaugh." So they just kept it up. By responding I was admitting it. Other people said, "Just ignore it and laugh about it. You can't stop it anyway. Don't give them the pleasure."
There are just as many different theories, but the pope responding to it... Again, I'm not gonna speculate. I don't know why. I know he's got more spokesmen than anybody else in the world, and yet he did it himself and so forth. I think that this pope is clearly a populist. In addition to being a pope, he's clearly a populist. Clearly, by virtue of his own words, he does not want to be thought of as a Marxist. For whatever reasons, he doesn't want to be thought of as one, so maybe that's it.
RUSH: Welcome back. Rush Limbaugh, leading more leftists to the Catholic Church, leading more progressive leftists to the teachings of the Catholic Church than any modern media figure. Merry Christmas. It's astounding, is it not? Let's keep with the sound bites here just to get this out of the way. PBS Inside Washington Sunday morning, Mark "Maxi" Shields is on the panel, and they're discussing me and the pope, and the host is Gordon Peterson, and he says to "Maxi" Shields, "Rush Limbaugh says that he's Karl Marx out to destroy free market capitalism."
SHIELDS: The words haven't changed, but the music has. That's the difference. He welcomes the divorced, he welcomes lesbians and gays, he speak to and for the poor, he drives around in a 1984 Renault.
RUSH: You see, folks? When the choice is between me and Il Papa, these liberals see what they want to see. The Catholic Church is not welcoming gays and lesbians, not in the way "Maxi" Shields wants you to think. The Catholic Church is still opposed to gay marriage. They're not changing any aspect of their belief system on that. They're not changing the doctrine of the church whatsoever. The pope, whoever the pope has been, has always "spoken out for the poor," and a lot of popes have driven around in old cars.
And, by the way, Gordon Peterson even mischaracterized me in the question. "Rush Limbaugh says he's Karl Marx out to destroy free market capitalism." That's not what I said at all. What I said was that if this is true, the pope doesn't understand economics. What I said was that capitalism is what built the Catholic Church and is responsible for its wealth -- and, by the way, that might be reason enough for there to be some walking back there inside the Vatican, 'cause can't deny that.
RUSH: Back to the audio sound bites. I just want to wrap up two more things on the pope and the left being really totally snarky and beside themselves that the pope responded to me. I cannot tell you how that frosts 'em. We just heard Mark Shields just say, "Well, the pope welcomes the divorce, he welcomes lesbians and gays, and speaks out for the poor." The church doctrine on that stuff hasn't changed. I don't care what they want to try to convince themselves.
See, Mark "Maxi" Shields has to say that to justify his support of TIME choosing the pope as Man of the Year. This is a guy that's anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and they are embracing him. Folks, I'm running the risk of making this about me, which I'm not doing and I hope you don't think that. So I want to stay focused. What has happened here is really profound. You have the number one figure, statesman, whatever -- the most powerful office in the world -- that stands for life and stands opposed to gay marriage, and the left has embraced the man.
The left has honored the man. Who cares why? It is astounding.
So to make themselves feel comfortable with what they've done here ('cause they really can't believe it), they have to now tell themselves a story. "Well, you know, the pope is open-minded about gays and lesbians and he's open-minded about the divorced and the transgendered." Church doctrine hasn't changed. This is just how they tell themselves this stuff, 'cause their whole world has been upset. Their cocoon has been penetrated.
It's leaking, and they're upset. Did you ever think that the Drive-By Media, led by TIME magazine or anybody, would ever honor the pope or anybody who's pro-life and anti-gay marriage, in this climate? Yet they have, and here is a reporter from CNN. This is one of the international correspondents, a guy named Ben Wedeman. The anchor is Martin Savidge, and they're talking about me and my criticism of Pope Francis. Martin Savidge says, "Look, Pope Francis is being seen by many as a reformer of the Catholic Church. Is he too liberal, Ben?
WEDEMAN: Martin, there's been a lot of talk about Pope Francis and his so-called liberal views, but it's probably a bit more complicated than that. For instance, he's made it quite clear that he's not about to change the Church's stance on gay marriage or bringing women into the priesthood or abortion. Instead, he seems to want to refocus the church's attention away from these divisive issues and onto the plight of the poor and the marginalized.
RUSH: Which the Catholic Church does any day, every day, and always has. I know, Mark Shields says he's a practicing Catholic, but Mr. Wedeman is exactly right. The pope, in fact, after this controversy erupted came out last week and affirmed -- using my words, but he said in no uncertain terms to everybody -- if you think that this means the church is gonna change on abortion, think again. If you think that we're gonna allow women the priesthood, if you think that we're gonna change on gay marriage, think again.
He made a point to tell them this.
Here is Dan Harris. This is Good Morning America. This is their discussion about this.
HARRIS: Then there was what he wrote in a major Vatican document last month attacking "unfettered capitalism" as a new tyranny. That provoked conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh to say this...
RUSH ARCHIVE: This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.
HARRIS: The pope responded, saying Marxist ideology is wrong. Also in the interview, the pope was asked about the possibility of female cardinals. No, he said. Women should be valued but not clericized. That is another example of how Francis is refusing to change core church teachings on hot-button issues.
RUSH: Okay, there you go. Bottom line: They're not change the doctrine, no matter what the left tries to tell themselves. They're stuck with it now, folks. They're totally stuck with it.
RUSH: You are listening to the most talked about host of the most talked about radio show in the country. You are talked to death by other people, but not by me.
I know, they're now talking about me on another cable network, about me and the pope. They're upset here that the pope responded me, and they're really upset the pope said he wasn't offended. No, no, no. The pope said Marxism is wrong, but I know a lot of good Marxists, and so I'm not offended. You know, folks, the pope could be a fan. You know, you never really know. The pope is from this hemisphere. You just never know. But, let's take that sentiment. Well, look, Marxism is wrong, but I know a lot of good Marxists, or whatever he said, so it's not necessarily a bad thing.
Substitute something for Marxist. Let's see, what could we substitute, just to have fun here? Sexist. You know, sexism is wrong, but I know a lot of good sexists, so I'm not offended. (interruption) Ooh, ooh, ooh. Snerdley, how about this. (laughing) I know that racism is wrong, but I know a lot of decent racists, so I'm not offended. I know Nazism is wrong, but I knew some good Nazis and I'm not bothered. Well, we're just having fun here, folks. Just lighten up. Fascists. You know, I know that fascism is wrong, but I know a lot of really decent fascists, so I'm not bothered by it.
Anyway, they're upset. They just can't believe the pope responded and that he's not offended. It would have been one thing if he responded. The pope responded to Limbaugh? Why not Hume? Why not Mark Shields? Why isn't the pope responding to Paul Krugman or something? Why does he have to respond to Limbaugh? And then he wasn't offended. The pope may not have cable but he's got satellite, make no mistake.
RUSH: This is Amy in Decatur, Illinois. Amy, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thank you so much for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: Merry Christmas.
RUSH: Same to you.
CALLER: Thank you. I was calling in regards to capitalism and the Catholic Church. I'm a practicing Catholic and I've been over to Rome twice, and I can just tell you that just about every church over there, including the Vatican, has a gift shop, and you have to go past the gift shop most of the times on your way to exit the church that you're visiting.
RUSH: That's a very interesting point --
RUSH: -- that you make there. What would be the point of the gift shop? I mean, you have to buy things there, do you not?
CALLER: Yes. And most of them were always crowded, especially the Vatican one. I mean, just very quick transactions and I believe that's how they get a lot of their money through tourism and people wanting to take something home as a symbol of their faith.
RUSH: Let me ask you a question. Why did you go twice?
CALLER: Once I went with the World Youth Day with the Catholic Church, and then the second time I went on a business trip with my husband.
RUSH: And after you saw it the first time you had to show it, you had to --
RUSH: -- go visit it with somebody that mattered to you, right?
CALLER: We had to go back, yes.
RUSH: And have you been all through it? Have you been down to the tomb of St. Peter, Sistine Chapel and all of that?
CALLER: Yes. Yes. It's incredible.
RUSH: It is breathtaking.
CALLER: And I get chills every time I talk about it or somebody else talks about it. And not only would they sell Catholic memorabilia, but also replicas of things that were in the museum, and they have a lot to purchase.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate the point you're making. They are engaging in their own form of capitalism.
RUSH: They're not giving the stuff away in the gift shops.
RUSH: By any stretch. And so people are engaging in trickle-down when they visit the gift shop. But you're right, it's not just the Vatican. I have to tell you, I've been more than once, too. I'm not Catholic, but I am so moved every time I've been there. I've spent days there, and I have done the various guided tours, private tours and so forth, and I mean, I'm not gonna bother sharing my personal reaction to it, but I was in awe, particularly the first time that I was there.
All of Rome does this to me, the Colosseum, the catacombs, the ruins there from BC Rome, it's really amazing. The aqueducts that are still standing after thousands of years, the way they got water into the city. The bowels underneath the Colosseum, you can learn about it. It's stunning, it really is, and of course the jewel is the Vatican.
I got in trouble once. My first trip was in February, 1985, I think, when I was working in Sacramento, and I took a tour of listeners, traveled there. It was el cheapo, too. It was like $1,400 a person for the week, and the hotel we stayed in was actually some cheap dormitory of a college that was not in session. And it snowed 12 inches the second day we got there, the day we happened to tour the Trevi Fountain. It was just a mess. But despite all of that, when I got back, this is 1985 and I'm talking about it on the air. I was telling people how in awe I was to see what people's religious beliefs could inspire in them, and I had people calling me the most vicious things.
"What do you mean, religious beliefs? There was none of that, Rush. Everybody that did that was paid. The pope's commissioned it. There wasn't any religious beliefs that built that. That was just money. They were just being paid to do it that way." Ripping into Michelangelo and Sistine Chapel ceilings and so forth. And that was '85, some years ago, 20, 30 years ago, whatever. That was my first exposure to real venom. But when I grew up nobody hated churches in my little town. Remember, my little town was Bedford Falls in It's A Wonderful Life, and I didn't learn about all this hatred and racism and sexism and stiff 'til I left when I was age 20.
I was speaking of how in awe I was of the Vatican and call after call after call, "You gotta wake up. You gotta understand something. That wasn't religious beliefs that inspired that. That was evil popes commissioning people to do that or they die, and they were all doing it for money. There wasn't anything about religious."
I said, "Sir, you can't tell me that there wasn't some divine --" and I remember talking about this to Mr. Buckley, who of course had been there with Charlton Heston when they filmed Michelangelo. Look, the point here is that I have an almost profound, in-awe respect and curiosity about the Catholic Church and the Vatican and its history. I only mention this because my intention with the pope was not at all anti-Vatican, anti-religion, anti-Catholic at all. I was just simply stunned at what I thought was just utter, sheer -- I mean, the lingo was no different than what you would read in a post at the Democrat Underground about capitalism. It really floored me and I was really taken aback by it.
RUSH: At the beginning of the program I talked about fact that the media was all upset that the pope responded to me. They were really despondent over it. They were snarky. We have the evidence now. It just happened on CNN. Two sound bites. It's Brooke Baldwin, the infobabe, speaking with their "religion commentator," Edward Beck, Father Edward Beck. To set up the segment, the infobabe said this...
BALDWIN: If the whole pope thing doesn't work out, Francis would make a pretty good cable news pundit, because he is certainly not afraid of taking on his critics. The leader of the world's Catholics responding to folks like Rush Limbaugh, who called him a Marxist.
RUSH: "If the whole...?" They say I disrespect the pope? How about, "If the whole pope thing doesn't work out"? They say I am disrespecting the pope? "The whole pope thing"? Here is what Father Edward Beck said in reply.
BECK: No, I can't say that I have. However, he was asked by La Stampa, in an interview about this, and you know this is --
RUSH: Wait a second. Wait a second. Cue that back. I forgot to tell you what the question was. There's another question. She said to him, "In all of your studying and knowledge of the pope's past, have you ever heard of a pope taking on a radio talk show host?"
BECK: No, I can't say that I have. However, he was asked by La Stampa, in an interview, about this -- and, you know, this isn't a pope who shies away from answering.
BALDWIN: You know, we're not hearing specifically the name "Rush" come out of his mouth. We know who he's responding to in this particular interview. Do you think he should be responding? Do you think it diminishes his stature?
BECK: I don't, because I think what people like about him is his willingness to respond. Rush isn't the only one who has said similar things, by the way.
BECK: So he's gonna critique global capitalism, which he has, and he says it's not equitable. People are gonna say, "Okay, then, what do you really believe?" and he has really responsibility, then, to say what he does believe, and he's certainly saying it.
RUSH: Well, now isn't that interesting? Here's a free invitation to rip into a critic of what the pope said, and Father Beck doesn't get close. (summarized) "Aren't you worried that he could be diminishing his stature by responding to Limbaugh?" "No, not at all. After all he stepped in it, he criticized global capitalism, have the discussion." Folks, there are a lot of people who were surprised by what pope said.
I'm not the only one. A lot of people were. I'm just the only one who said so. But as far as the CNN babe's concerned, I thought they wanted him to respond. I thought the media was going over there and demand, "What do you think of what Limbaugh said?" and he responds, and they worry about his stature? They've been so snarky. You know, if he would be responding to, say, Wolf Blitzer, why that would be one thing. That'd be okay, 'cause Wolf is a real journalist.