Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, gave Pope Francis a special gift this past Thursday, during the Pontiff’s visit to his South American nation. The gift? Why, a crucifix carved into a hammer and sickle, of course! The Pope is on record as stating he wasn’t offended by the presentation of the “communist crucifix.” Indeed, all accounts say he accepted the gift and took it home with him.
In retrospect, this shouldn’t be a big surprise, as he spent much of his time in Bolivia- as he has elsewhere of late- railing against capitalism. Yet, ironically enough, before his first mass in country, he changed into his papal vestments in a nearby Burger king.
Incredibly- or would that it were- both the Vatican and the Bolivian government insisted with straight faces that Morales, no friend of religion, really wasn’t trying to make a political statement with the gift. Yet I’m guessing they may have frowned upon the gift if the crucifix bore the Burger King logo or had a confederate flag attached to it instead of being implanted onto a hammer and sickle. What the Hell, communism has only killed a little over 60 million people in its time, and enslaved countless millions more, but, hey, red meat can kill too? Right? Right?!
This stupefyingly sacrilegious “gift” is entirely in keeping with recent social, cultural, political and religious trends. Communist countries banished God and religion in order to make room for the state to assume God’s role and communism/socialism to assume religion’s role.
Obviously I can’t speak for Jesus, but I rather doubt He would be thrilled by having His sacred likeness- on the cross yet- affixed to the modern symbol of world-wide godlessness, oppression and brutality. The gulags attempted to crush faith, hope and love.
This Pope, the anti- John Paul II, after harshly denouncing the economic system that has done the most of any to liberate millions of people around the world and unfetter them from their economic shackles, actually accepted a “gift” from an atheist socialist that blasphemed his savior…and he shrugged.
Ironically, Atlas hasn’t.