Why One Lawmaker Is Boycotting Pope's Speech to Congress

He wants Pope to focus on abortion and the persecution of Christians instead
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2015 4:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – "When the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one," Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona writes in an op-ed published yesterday on Town Hall. Gosar, a Catholic, is boycotting Pope Francis' scheduled address to Congress next week because he believes the Pope will focus on climate change instead of more important issues like abortion, "violent Islam," and the persecution of Christians. Gosar writes that Earth's climate has been changing "since first created in Genesis" and bashes the Pope for not focusing on "standard Christian theology." "If the Pope wants to devote his life to fighting climate change then he can do so in his personal time," he writes. "But to promote questionable science as Catholic dogma is ridiculous."

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Gosar says he won't attend unless there are "assurances" the pontiff won't be discussing climate change, USA Today reports. A spokesperson for Gosar—who is currently trying to impeach an EPA administrator—tells Politico other legislators are interested in joining the boycott, but he was unable to give any names. Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana tells USA Today he plans to attend the address but hopes the Pope will use his time to re-emphasize the evils of abortion instead of wasting time on climate change. Politico reports the "vast majority" of the world's scientists say the Earth is getting warmer mostly due to human activity. (Read more climate change stories.)

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