A parody of 'The Apprentice' puts real words from Catholic presidential candidates in perspective.
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SumOfUs

Before November 2016, we have a lot to learn about the presidential candidates and their visions for the future of the country — and the planet.

Part of that means really listening to what they're saying — especially when it comes to the issues that affect us all, like the climate.

In the parody below, the pope takes a different throne — not unlike a certain presidential candidate was "fired" from by a certain TV network. He acts as judge and jury in a competition between five self-described Catholic presidential hopefuls.


And as each candidate states their case, you might join me in thinking, "Holy geez, this is way too close to reality." Take a look:

The actor playing the pontiff opens with some familiar words.

They're familiar because the real Pope Francis wrote them in an encyclical. He was quoting Patriarch Bartholomew, the archbishop of Constantinople and spiritual leader to over 300 million Orthodox Christians.


Like the pope, each contestant is played by a highly skilled actor whose lines were modeled after actual remarks made by the individuals they portray.

All GIFs via SumOfUs/YouTube.

Here are five things pope don't play when it comes to a presidential climate plan:

1. God wants us to burn fossil fuels.


Blessed? Or cursed?

As contrary to Catholic values (according to Pope Francis) as that sounds, the ideas were lifted right out of a selectively Catholic presidential candidate's response on behalf of the opposing party to President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address.

2. Talking about climate change? So stupid.

Yes, please. Make it stop.

The candidate quoted above, an “evangelical Catholic," thinks not being stupid means asking the president not to mention climate change during his visit to New Orleans for the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The same candidate also happens to believe gay people, not greenhouse gases, are to blame for rising severe weather events.

3. Scientists, you do you. We'll be over here. Not listening.

Right. And we'll leave the not talking to you.

The candidate behind this statement hears what he wants to hear when it comes to the voice of his church. Of course, he doesn't seem to realize the irony of what he's saying.

He wants the church to "leave science to the scientists," but he'd rather lawmakers completely ignore the consensus among 97% of climate scientists that global warming is likely caused by human activity.

4. Energy policy is like parenting. You can't play favorites.

I'm beginning to think we shouldn't from this group either.

The spiritually confused candidate represented here wants to end all federal energy subsidies — not just for oil and gas (which amounts to almost half a trillion dollars over the last century) but also for solar, wind, and other renewable energy development.

He doesn't want to "pick winners," but oil has been the big winner of the past 100 years. Investing in renewables is really more like practicing good sportsmanship.

5. Climate change is real. (Wait, what?)


OK, that's what I'm talking about! Maybe we're onto something here?

Go on...

Oh, damnit! What a piece of work. Despite publicly stating that he believes climate change is to some degree caused by humans, this presidential hopeful's actions as a governor suggest just the opposite.

While his state legislature — his constituents' representative body — has urged him to rejoin a regional climate change plan, he has ignored their pleas, calling it "useless."

To tell it like it is, talk is cheap, buddy.

It's starting to seem fashionable among certain Catholic candidates to deny the wisdom of their spiritual leader.

Pained nose-grab, indeed.

That begs the question of who they actually follow.

The video closes with a clue.


If this is the first time you're hearing about the Koch brothers, they're billionaires who want to dominate the American political landscape. And they're spending a fortune to do it through elections and legislation.

Money in politics isn't just a threat to democracy. It's a threat to the planet.

And it has been a problem on both sides of the aisle. But we can be hopeful. Research out of Yale University shows that a lot of conservative voters are being misrepresented on climate issues, and it's just a matter of time before they take action.

The good news is we have until November 2016 to separate the wheat from the chaff and rally our communities for a climate plan both Pope Francis and the world can (literally) live with.


Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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