Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear asks an interesting question. Who is the better insult slinger: Pope Francis or the Mouth from Wittenberg: Martin Luther?
Background and Fighters
When it comes to Christians slinging insults, two heavyweights come to mind. First, of course, is the reigning heavyweight champion of the sour science of insult. The Bear gives you the pride of Saxony, the Heresiarch of Haymakers, the Raging Bull himself: Maaaaartin Luuuuuther!
And in this corner, a real up-and-comer, and a big surprise, the Pontiff of Punching, the Argentine Bombshell, and you know what’s coming! The Bear can only mean: Horhaaaaay Bergoliooooo! The 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church!
Luther started the Reformation in 1517, which split the Church under Bergoglio’s predecessor, Pope Leo X. Although the two camps have tried to keep the smack talk dialed down lately, you just have to know this is a 500-year-old grudge match.
Will Luther keep the title he’s held onto for half a millennium? Or will the antipodean upstart pull an upset? There are no rules, and low blows are encouraged. So let’s watch the Pope and the Heresiarch go head to head to find out who is the more insulting. The two fighters will square off over ten rounds, each with a different theme.
1. Johnny, Take That Out of Your Mouth!
Pope Francis: “Formenter of coprophagia!”
Martin Luther: “You are like a magician who conjures gulden into the mouths of silly people. But when they open their mouths, they have horse (dung) in them!”
Bear — the two statements are similar, but Luther’s earthy clarity beats the Pope’s spectacular display of vocabulary. Round One: LUTHER.
2. Say Again?
Pope Francis: “Self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagian!”
Martin Luther: “You sophistic worms, grasshoppers, locusts and lice!”
Bear — here the Pope’s vocabulary dazzles, even if nobody understands it! Luther already looks tired in this round. Round Two: POPE FRANCIS.
3. Animal Crackers
Pope Francis: “Creed-reciting Parrot Christian!”
Martin Luther: “For you are an excellent person, as skillful, clever and versed in Holy Scripture as a cow in a walnut tree or a sow on a harp!”
Bear — Wow! What a comeback. Pope Francis is clever, funny, and right on target, but Luther’s humorous and memorable imagery demonstrates why he’s the champ. Round Three: LUTHER.
4. A Few Beads Short of a Rosary
Pope Francis: “Sloth-diseased, acedic Christians!”
Martin Luther: “You people are more stupid than a block of wood!”
Bear — Pope Francis may be getting a little cocky. He sounds like a doctor, here, and falls back into his tendency to use jargon that lacks impact. On the other hand, Luther connects with the simplest insult imaginable, but good enough to put the Pope on his heels. Round Four: LUTHER.
Pope Francis: “Airport bishops!”
Martin Luther: “As for the signs of your peculiar priesthood, we are willing to let you boast of these mean things, for we know it would be quite easy to have, anoint and clothe in a long robe even a pig or a blog of wood!”
Bear — Here we see the difference. Pope Francis lands a popping jab that’s effective. But Luther just overwhelms him with an impressive combination relying once again on concrete, humorous imagery. He even slips that “block of wood” punch in again. Round Five: LUTHER.
Pope Francis: “There are Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord!”
Martin Luther: “You are a bungling magpie, croaking loudly!”
Bear — This one comes down to bat vs. magpie. The judges are going with bat! Round Six: POPE FRANCIS.
You see, in order to be a champion insulter you cannot merely be an eloquent insulter. You must always be willing to insult on the most solemn occasions and not care how your words wound and divide. You must be willing to allow your bile to always freely flow so that those around you are always on pins and needles, waiting for your latest outburst. It is especially good form to allow insults to fly against those who are looking to the insulter for moral guidance and example. This brings into stark relief the willingness of the insulter to sacrifice all other considerations for the purity of the insulting art.
Taking these factors into consideration, Martin Luther was a mere insult piker in comparison to our Pope, the true master of malice!