Last week the Marxist quasi-dictator of Bolivia, Evo Morales, presented Pope Francis with a gift — a carved wooden hammer-and-sickle cross on which the figure of Christ is crucified. The Vatican announced that the pope had not been informed in advance about the gift. And some commentators said that photos of the pope and Morales show that the pope was actually offended. That was a false — probably wishful — interpretation. The pope himself later announced that he was keeping the hammer-and-sickle crucifix and taking it home, saying, “I understand this work. For me it wasn’t an offense.”More troubling is the context. The pope is but a symptom of what the rot of the West.
It also reconfirms what is probably the single most important development one needs to understand in order to make sense of the contemporary world: The most dynamic religion of the past hundred years has been leftism, not Christianity, not Islam, not any other traditional religion. Indeed, regarding traditional religions, leftism has influenced them — particularly Christianity and Judaism — far more than they have influenced the Left. Mainstream Protestant Christianity, much of Catholicism (especially in Latin America, where Pope Francis lived his whole life before becoming pope), and most of non-Orthodox Judaism have become essentially liberal/Left movements with religious (and in the case of Judaism, ethnic) identity.So very late in the day.