Is Pope Francis More Republican or Democrat?

Prepare to watch Democrats and Republicans fight over ownership of the pope and his air of moral legitimacy: Let the Great American Papal Tug-of-War begin!

Is Pope Francis More Republican or Democrat?

Unless you live beneath a rock (and if you do, more power to you, I guess), you're fully aware that Pope Francis is visiting the United States this week for the first time, much to the simultaneous excitement and fright of both conservatives and liberals. You should expect every word to come out of the pope's mouth to be stretched and dissected five times over as Republicans and Democrats fight over just exactly whose pope he is. Both sides are desperate to co-opt the popular pontiff so you should expect to see Francis treated as a toy to be fought over by political children over the next few days.


All things considered, it's pretty much business as usual.

Why are the two American political establishments fighting over poor ol' Papa Frank? First, because he's insanely popular among Americans despite the fact the Church itself remains decidedly less so. The whole "God's representative on Earth" thing tends to lend to those who can associate with him an air of moral legitimacy — even in the eyes of non-believers. Simply put: The pope's the cool kid on the playground right now and everyone wants to be friends with the cool kid.

Why are the two American political establishments fighting over poor ol' Papa Frank?

Second reason: Francis is in many ways a ball of ambiguity — and that makes America's political leadership crazy. The pope's popularity stems from the political and social diversity of his beliefs. He holds a variety of stances that are both sacred and anathema to Republicans and Democrats, each in their own way. For example, Francis is anti-abortion, but also too often accused of being a Marxist. He's a major advocate in the fight against climate change, but also isn't about to start marrying gay people.

Is the Pope more aligned with Republicans or Democrats? It's not an easy question to approach and it's the sort of thing that makes the major American political parties uncomfortable. These folks want Republicans to be Republicans and Democrats to be Democrats. Easy. Simple. Done. When someone as beloved as Francis arrives at the doorstep threatening to straddle the line, each side's spin doctors and narrative hounds are bound to try and shift the story to co-opt him for their own side. "He's ours," shout the Democrats. "No, he's ours," shout the Republicans.

Branding and leadership expert Charlene Li explains how Francis has harnessed social media to engage with a previously dispirited audience.

How New York's largest hospital system is predicting COVID-19 spikes

Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.

Credit: Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
  • The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
  • Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
Keep reading Show less

Listen: Scientists re-create voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy

Scientists used CT scanning and 3D-printing technology to re-create the voice of Nesyamun, an ancient Egyptian priest.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists printed a 3D replica of the vocal tract of Nesyamun, an Egyptian priest whose mummified corpse has been on display in the UK for two centuries.
  • With the help of an electronic device, the reproduced voice is able to "speak" a vowel noise.
  • The team behind the "Voices of the Past" project suggest reproducing ancient voices could make museum experiences more dynamic.
Keep reading Show less

Dark matter axions possibly found near Magnificent 7 neutron stars

A new study proposes mysterious axions may be found in X-rays coming from a cluster of neutron stars.

A rendering of the XMM-Newton (X-ray multi-mirror mission) space telescope.

Credit: D. Ducros; ESA/XMM-Newton, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Surprising Science
  • A study led by Berkeley Lab suggests axions may be present near neutron stars known as the Magnificent Seven.
  • The axions, theorized fundamental particles, could be found in the high-energy X-rays emitted from the stars.
  • Axions have yet to be observed directly and may be responsible for the elusive dark matter.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Put on a happy face? “Deep acting” associated with improved work life

    New research suggests you can't fake your emotional state to improve your work life — you have to feel it.

    Credit: Columbia Pictures
    Personal Growth
  • Deep acting is the work strategy of regulating your emotions to match a desired state.
  • New research suggests that deep acting reduces fatigue, improves trust, and advances goal progress over other regulation strategies.
  • Further research suggests learning to attune our emotions for deep acting is a beneficial work-life strategy.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Surprising Science

    World's oldest work of art found in a hidden Indonesian valley

    Archaeologists discover a cave painting of a wild pig that is now the world's oldest dated work of representational art.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast