Pope Francis Is a Fool

Pope Francis says that all nations have a moral duty to disarm:

Pope Francis said Sunday that military disarmament is not optional but constitutes a “moral obligation” for all nations.
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“How many resources are wasted on military expenditure, which, because of the current situation, sadly continues to increase!” he told the estimated 20,000 tourists and pilgrims gathered in the square.

Actually, I think it is a fact that a smaller proportion of resources is going to military spending, in almost all countries, than at any time in history.

He went on to express his hope that “the international community will understand that disarmament is first and foremost a duty, and that disarmament is a moral obligation.”

“Let’s get this into our heads,” he added. “And this requires the courage of all members of the great family of nations to move from a balance of fear to a balance of trust.”

But some leaders, and some nations, can’t be, and shouldn’t be, trusted. Francis’s foolish advice is reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most overrated men ever, who urged Jews not to resist the Nazis. Wouldn’t want to dirty your hands with weapons. Back to Francis:

In the past, the pope has suggested that if people are really serious about world peace, the solution is to “ban all weapons.”

This is gun control writ large: blame the inanimate weapon, which can be used either for good or for ill, rather than the evil regime of Hamas, Putin, or the Chinese Communist Party.

For decades, the Catholic church has criticized the arms race and consequent build-up of nuclear arsenals, but Francis is the pope to call for the banning of all weapons. If he were to be taken at his word, this would imply outlawing everything from rifles to hand grenades to the halberds carried by the Pontifical Swiss Guards in the Vatican.

Good point! People used to go to war with spears and swords, tools which were sufficient to kill vast numbers.

The existence of weapons leads humanity to live “in fear of war,” the pope declared, and the only way to remove this fear is to eliminate all weapons.

People live in fear of war for excellent reasons. They lived in fear of war two thousand year ago, too, when weapons were much more primitive. The way to remove fear of war is to be more powerful than one’s potential adversaries.

I suppose Francis’s defenders would say that his call to disarm is aspirational, and that he doesn’t really want countries like the United States and Italy to turn their swords into ploughshares tomorrow. But when you tell people they have a moral duty to do something that it would be stupid and even fatal for them to do, you forfeit any claim to moral leadership.

Francis is a fool. Happily, there is no chance that anyone will listen to his bad advice.

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