Republican Presidential Candidates’ Climate Views Spoofed In ‘The Catholic Apprentice’ Video

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In the Bible, Jesus famously told his disciples that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Can you even imagine what Jesus would say about rich men who want to hold the highest office in the land while flat out denying the reality of a crisis as urgent as climate change?

On the eve of Pope Francis’ visit to the US, social justice group SumOfUs.org released a video satirizing the climate views of the Catholics hoping to become the Republican presidential candidate in 2016 — all of whom espouse views sharply at odds with those of the Pope, the leader of the Catholic church.

On the “finale” of reality show “The Catholic Apprentice,” Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal vie for the approval of the Holy See.

“To commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against God,” the Pope tells the presidential hopefuls before asking for the climate solutions they’ve come up with.

“Your Holiness, our government can’t control the weather, and neither can the American people,” Rubio replies. “But God blessed America with abundant coal, oil, natural gas.”

If you’re wondering, yes, that’s an actual statement made by the real Marco Rubio. In the end, all of the candidates give in to “the temptation of special interests” — namely the Koch Brothers and their dirty money.

“Too many politicians continue to deny the devastating impacts of climate change backing the interests of their corporate donors even in the wake of Pope Francis’ call for humanity to fight climate change,”

Paul Ferris, Campaign Director at SumOfUs, said in a statement emailed to DeSmog. “It is time for the Republican Presidential field to clarify their stance on climate. We are asking them today: do you stand with the Pope or with the Kochs?”

Earlier this year, the Pope released an encyclical titled “Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home,” in which he calls on all Catholics to recognize humanity’s moral responsibility to “protect our common home” by tackling the root causes of the two great global crises of our time, which he sees as interlinked: climate change and poverty.

Not all Catholics are as willing as Bush, Christie, Rubio, Santorum and Jindal to deny the Pope’s call for climate action.

“It is simply not acceptable for our elected leaders to deny climate science, particularly when the leader of our faith has embraced it and urged all believers to take action to combat this threat to Creation,” Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network, a leading Catholic advocacy group engaged on climate issues, said in a statement.

“The world’s faith communities are united on climate change. Our hope is that the Republican candidates will stand with their fellow Catholics and Pope Francis and acknowledge the reality and urgency of addressing climate change.”
 

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Mike Gaworecki is a San Francisco-based journalist who writes about energy, climate, and forest issues for DeSmogBlog and Mongabay.com. His writing has appeared on BillMoyers.com, Alternet, Treehugger, Change.org, Huffington Post, and more. He is also a novelist whose debut “The Mysticist” came out via FreemadeSF in 2014.

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