PopeFrancisThe pope’s speech, inasmuch as he addresses the big issues, should reflect Christianity. Christianity does not allow for ideological complacency. If I, as a red blooded American right winger, want to be a true Christian, it is going to create friction with my nationalism, capitalism, and my ethnocentrism. If I am left wing, generally speaking, Christianity is going to call me out on homosexuality, abortion, monogamy, chastity.

The trendy thing to do is if you disagree with a doctrine, you write it off as cultural, the bigotry of Paul, etc. You fashion a Christianity that pretty much leaves you alone and comfortable. Anyone who is serious abut Christianity will encounter this challenge with reconciling faith with culture, ideology etc.

Pope Francis has been blunt in his attacks on wealth and power, which is generally speaking what he should do. If anything, I think the worst thing that ever happened to Christianity was its intertwinement with the power structure of Western European civilization. The big question is if he’ll fold on the social issues.

If the pope makes two thousand years of theology turn out to precisely match politically correct culture in Europe and America in the year 2015, that will be a major disappointment and a major loss of credibility. I hope the pope will be where he needs to be, challenging everybody, not letting anybody off the hook. We shall see.