The pope is allowing science to guide him, why can’t his followers do the same?
Historically, religious zealots have long defied scientific advances and theories because they didn’t coincide with their faith and beliefs, but Pope Francis has been changing this ever since he became the Catholic leader in 2013.
As perhaps the most liberal pope that Catholicism has ever produced, Pope Francis has extended kindness to a variety of people, said that prayer needs to be followed up with action, and declared that science is necessary if we are to save the planet and its people.
In late 2016, he asked world leaders not to delay the implementation of environmental policies that were already agreed upon in 2015 at the Paris climate summit. His remarks were likely in reaction to President-elect Donald Trump’s comments about pulling the U.S. completely out of their part of the deal. When addressing a group of scientists at the Vatican, Pope Francis claimed that there has “never been such a clear need for science” to address environmental concerns caused by humans.
With Trump’s inauguration only 11 days awhile and an already-active Congress working to strip Americans of their rights, there’s no saying what will happen when Trump takes office. Trump has long expressed his disbelief in climate change and will soon be the one of the only world leaders to reject scientific proof evidencing its existence and immediacy. In addition to pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate change deal, which would have rapidly decreased carbon dioxide emissions in the involved countries, he also plans to cut back on pollution regulations for oil, gas, and coal companies and get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency completely.
Pope Francis said that because people with political power have failed to make the necessary decisions needed to combat climate change, the world should turn to scientists. He said,
“I would say that it falls to scientists, who work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences so that the vast potential of productivity will not be reserved for only a few.”
Since international and even domestic policies continue to fail the people of the world because of the imperfect humans making decisions, it has become imperative for the human race to follow the word of scientists who spend their life studying this field. If leaders like Trump decide to take away regulations, the American people must fight back and express their malcontent with these dangerous decisions that affect the entire world.
If the pope can put aside his religious beliefs, such as the notion of creationism, in order to call for action in this dire situation, even the biggest zealots should be able to follow his lead. The world depends on it.
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