Image from The Telegraph
As a lapsed-but-still-Catholic-if-I'm-dying-in-a-hospital, I kind of adore Pope Francis. He touches poor people, as opposed to Benedict who sort of sneered at them, he loves everyone, he studied chemistry and believes climate change is real, and he's taking the Catholic church out of the dark ages, albeit with baby steps, because honestly, that's all Catholicism can handle. He also calls out hate and xenophobia when he sees it, as he recently did in Mexico:
'A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,' Francis said when a reporter asked him about Mr. Trump on the papal airliner as he returned to Rome after his six-day visit to Mexico. (source)Pope Francis is absolutely correct. Trump's rhetoric attacking refugees, Muslims, and Mexicans, is the antithesis of Christ's message. Given how Bible-y Trump has tried to become in order to court evangelicals, one would think he might understand this. Of course, conservative evangelicals aren't exactly following in Christ's footsteps either.
In response to Pope Francis's statement, Donald Trump released one of his own:
If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened. ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians.
The Mexican government and its leadership has made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope, because they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them. The Pope only heard one side of the story - he didn’t see the crime, the drug trafficking and the negative economic impact the current policies have on the United States. He doesn’t see how Mexican leadership is outsmarting President Obama and our leadership in every aspect of negotiation.
For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith. They are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful. Really. Where was Trump when Franklin Graham waffled on a question about President Obama's Christianity? Or when Franklin Graham said Obama only knows Islam? Or when James David Manning called President Obama the devil? No leader should have the right to question another man's religion or faith. Oh. My. Goodness. Here are a few "leaders" questioning President Obama's faith:
Donald J. Trump
Donald Trump is Christian at this moment because he's courting evangelicals. Trump isn't an actual Christian any more than I am an actual tall person. And how big an ego does a man have if he truly believes Pope Francis's first thought if Daesh attacks the Vatican is "oh dear, I wish Donald Trump was president."
Pope Francis is right. Refusing to accept the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses, goes against the teaching of Jesus. But there's good news for Trump: A lot of conservatives hate the Pope. They think he's too liberal, as opposed to the actual Jesus, who, I guess, was a raging capitalist who hated the poor? So this attack on Pope Francis most likely didn't change the minds of Trump's more rabid supporters. Odds are, Trump will ratchet it up a bit.
Remember, he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue, and people would still love him. Because that's what Jesus would do.