Hope for the Pope

By Risë Birnbaum


I’ve always liked the whole Pope-mobile/red shoe thing the Popes have going on (Gucci or Prada?), but never been a big fan of the Church’s silence on pedophile priests (at least up until last week!).  That said, the Pope’s latest document on global warming is pretty darn cool.

Pope Francis defends science by saying, “plenty of scientific studies point out that the last decades of global warming have been mostly caused by greenhouse gases … generated by human action.”

So, what do some of the Catholic Presidential candidates have to say about the pope’s latest scientific declaration?  Both Jeb(!) and Rick S. pretty much distanced themselves from the papal white paper.  Bush said, “I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope.”  Santorum made it clear we need to leave science to the scientists.  Then, Bush mumbled something about the waters getting higher around Miami (hope he has an arc in mind…or at least Carnival Cruise Ships).

The thing is, this ongoing “I am not a scientist,” Republican line is beginning to wear a little thin.  Why?  Because not only are the world’s scientists the ones claiming that climate change and global warming are real, but also because Pope Francis is actually a scientist.  Yup.  The current pope earned a degree in chemistry and worked as a chemist before joining the seminary.  Put that in a pipe and smoke it.

Get this irony – many of the Republicans want to leave the science to scientists, yet they won’t listen to the factual evidence for climate change. Isn’t that what science is all about – the study and behavior of the world through observation and experiment?  Don’t we know there are facts surrounding climate change that are rock solid?  And now, they won’t listen to the Church either.  It’s obviously going to take more than heaven and earth to get these folks to listen to someone with a brain. Honestly though,

And, if the Repubs want to get millennial’s on their side they better start seriously thinking about the reality of climate change, gay marriage and evolution ‘cause these are big issues for the flip flop-wearing, texting crowd.

As for Pope Francis?  Given his views on abortion, gay marriage and climate change, I’m definitely warming towards him.  I mean, who can argue with a guy who says all dogs go to heaven? Just pray others are, too.

Moose & Me

DSCF0151 I never really wanted a dog to begin with.  I’m allergic and also figured I’d be the one stuck walking it. So, it was all my daughter’s fault.  At eight years old she came to my husband and me with pictures and descriptions of dogs in the hopes of twisting our arm.  Well, it worked.  She wore us down.  After about two weeks of pleading, we went out and bought our first dog, a non-allergenic maltese.

We named the dog Moose ‘cause my husband and daughter had just seen a moose in Jackson Hole and we all thought the name was pretty cute for a four pound white bundle of fur.  And Moose was definitely my daughter’s dog.  He slept with her and she walked him…until she went to sleep away camp that following summer, when he became all mine.  If anyone came within about six feet of me, it was Moose to the rescue.  And it was also Moose who would lick my face every time I hugged him.

One thing you should know about a maltese…they really like to hang with people.  So, I’ve spent the last chunk of my life holding, feeding, sleeping with and catering to the little guy in just about every way you can imagine.  Groomers – been there.  Vets – done that.  Doggie cardiologists – even done that.

Moose was 15 when I had him put down last week.  It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.  He wasn’t feeling well for a few days so I brought him to the vet.  He threw a blood clot to his lungs and was in an oxygen tent for three days.  It took those three days and the hospital trying everything they could to finally come to terms with letting him go.  So, he rested his chin on my hand while I gave the doc the green light.  What a horrible moment.  This adorable dog that provided me with unconditional love after a divorce and my daughter moving to the coast wasn’t coming home.


I still feel like I’m living in the Twilight Zone.  I come home, open the door and expect Moose to run around in crazy circles so happy to see me.  And I was so happy to see him.  And I say to myself if I could only turn the clock back a few weeks…or the snow storm hadn’t come and I had taken him to the hospital a day earlier.  It’s like I’m on empty or aliens came and abducted my best friend.

Anyway, friends tell me I’ll feel better in time and suggest I get another dog, and I guess I will on both fronts.  But, in the meantime, Moosie, this blog’s for you.