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2.22.2016

Pope Francis' Claim that Trump 'not a Christian'

The Pope recently made these comments about Donald Trump & regarding his pledge to build a wall at the Southern US Boarder;

A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not a Christian......I say only that this man is not a Christian if he has said things like that.

I find it unbelievably disconcerting that the Vatican has made this statement, for two reasons.

First of all, Church likes to pride itself on saying that it isn't superficial, that it goes to the heart of things, examines things like motives, etc. in determining the morality of decisions.  And the Vatican loves to think that it does not quickly draw conclusions about a person's character, it takes the long view, say, on assessing a person's candidacy for sainthood (took 300 + years to name Teresa of Avila a Doctor of the Church).   And now for the Pope to make such a broad judgement on Trump's inner convictions based on a political statement that he's made......ugh.  Just unbelievable.

And let's look little more closely at the flagrant hypocrisy of this claim that Trump isn't Christian coming from the Pope's mouth.

Preceding the Iraq War, Pope John Paul II spoke out emphatically against the war, including meeting with world leaders in order to discourage such action.  Obviously, these leaders ignored his pleas and fought a bloody violent war in which many people died.
Following the war, Prime Minister and Iraq war advocate Tony Blair decided that he wanted to convert to Catholicism.  The Vatican allowed this, despite the fact that they disagreed with violent actions that he took in which many many people died and lives ruined--action which, according to his statements in his memoir A Journey, he has justified.  In short, they decided Blair was a suitable Christian.

Donald Trump has made outrageous statements regarding building a wall at the US Southern Boarder which more than likely are nothing more than the hyperbolic campaign promises that all the candidates are now making.  No one has physically been hurt from these comments; certainly no lives have been lost due to Trump's saying that he will build a wall.  And yet the pope has decided that Trump is not a suitable Christian.

Anyway, geez.  And for the Pope, too, to have jumped into the crass partisan fracas that Trump personifies.  Trump will certainly work to have the Pope's statement help his campaign; his platform seems to be something like 'all publicity is good publicity so get as much of it as you can."

Now even the Pope is making me embarrassed to be a Catholic.  I had higher expectations for The Church in these matters.  I guess that people's visceral response to Trump is exposing idiocy and superficiality in us all.

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