Even a permabull gets it right from time to time

Larry Kudlow writes of Pope John Paul II’s influence on his life:

It was sometime in 1993 when I first read the great papal encyclical “Splendor of Truth,” written by Pope John Paul II. The slender book was recommended by Fr. C. John McClosky while he was counseling me during the worst personal crisis of my life: Alcohol and drug abuse were dragging me down. The problem got much worse before I finally surrendered to God, literally on my knees, and began a new life of faith — and sobriety.

John Paul’s book had no direct advice on drugs or alcohol. But, then again, as I came to realize later, it had everything to do with these things. The book is about the need for spiritual and moral courage in choosing good over evil in our daily lives. It is about being personally accountable for our actions. It is about abiding by our conscience so that we may hear the voice of God and follow His direction.

As a full-fledged member of a twelve-step fellowship, I later learned that the biggest problem facing all those who suffer from chronic addiction is “sickness of the soul.” That’s exactly what John Paul II talks about in “Splendor of Truth.” He tells us to “be not afraid” in pursuit of the life of faith. Be not afraid to trust God. Be not afraid to stand for the right values. Be not afraid to be faithful to your spouse, or unselfish to friends, or diligent in work and the many duties of everyday life.

As the subset of readers who follow my economic writings know, I disagree with Mr. Kudlow on almost everything with regards to what has happened in the economy, what is happening now, what will happen and the reasons why. But despite my vehement opposition to his rosy-viewed interpretations, I have always respected the man’s forthright Christianity.

It takes some courage to insist that we are still in a bull market. It takes even more to confess how one’s past failings have led one to accept Jesus Christ. I have to respect that in the man, regardless of what I think of his cheerleading for Wall Street.