Pope Francis may need a primer on free market economics (while I'm recommending books, I suggest "The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism" by the great Catholic philosopher Michael Novak), but there is no doubt he is imbued with a love of God that translates seamlessly into a love of his fellow men. Like Robertson, he accepts the Christian teaching that homosexuality is a sin, but he also lives the Christian teaching about loving the sinner and embracing all people -- the ill, destitute and in one moving moment from the past year, the disfigured -- as God's children who are owed dignity and inclusion.
When he announced his impending retirement from the House of Representatives, Frank Wolf issued a simple statement: "As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves ... "
Would he have described himself as a humble "follower of Jesus" if he were making an announcement for reelection instead of retirement? Would any politician in a purple state like Virginia dare to do so? Doubtful.
What is not in doubt is that Wolf did speak for the voiceless and did defend the persecuted throughout his 34 years in Congress. Wherever men were persecuted, they could be sure of an advocate in Wolf. He traveled to the Soviet Union, Romania and Bosnia to investigate and report on human rights abuses. In 1997, he traveled to Tibet on an ordinary passport and visa -- not as part of an official delegation -- to meet with persecuted Buddhists. When he returned, he held a press conference denouncing the "unspeakably brutal conditions" that prevailed in the mountain region "in the dim shadow of international awareness." He has continued to press the State Department and various administrations to raise human rights questions with the Chinese government.
Wolf was among the first members of Congress to travel to Darfur, Sudan, and those suffering in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq and Egypt have also benefited from Wolf's tireless devotion to human rights. He fought human trafficking in the U.S. and worldwide, and attempted to persuade his fellow members to resist the seduction of legalized gambling.
Wolf and Francis, you might say, are attempting to impose their religious values on other people. God bless them.