Why Pope Francis Is Correct About Donald Trump

Maybe this guy knows more about the Bible and about what Jesus said than Donald J. Trump. Of course Trump doesn't think so, but his dispute with Francis gives us an insight into one of Trump's shortcomings: an inability or unwillingness to imagine a critic might just be right, especially when that critic is actually doing the job he is supposed to do. Unlike what so many alleged Christians imagine, the Pope is simply following the teachings of Jesus Christ when he points out that Donald Trump's policies are in many ways un-Christian.
Yesterday, as you may know, Pope Francis entered the political fray in the USA, commenting about the policy objectives expressed by Republican candidate Donald J. Trump. The Pope explained that Trump's vision of excluding millions of immigrants based on their ethnicity or religion is not Christian.

Francis said:
"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel."
Trump took little time in replying, basically accusing Francis of being un-Christian in calling Trump un-Christian. Don't they have that rule about not judging people after all?

Trump said:
"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."
Trump here seems to be invoking  the alleged rule about questioning or judging another Christian's faith.

Of course, what that rule is about is taking upon oneself to judge the merits of any one person's chances of getting into heaven. You just never know what of lout God may decide to save—and it isn't for you to know because you aren't God.

But nowhere in the teachings of Jesus does he indicate that we are to evade judging the teachings people espouse. If an alleged Christian teaches us to do exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught, is that teaching really Christian, or is it something falsely posing as Christian?

And more to the point, does Jesus talk explicitly about the situation in question: i.e., Trump's building a wall—or walls really, because there will be real walls and legal barriers to entry that act like walls—perpetrated against entire peoples on the basis of their ethnicity and religion?

In Luke 10, Jesus is confronted by—what else, a lawyer—who asks him a question:
"Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
This is the answer Jesus gave:
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."
Note especially the last bit—the identification of oneself with one's neighbor. But the lawyer, being a lawyer, was interested in what exactly Jesus meant in any fine print. And the lawyer asked Jesus:
"And who is my neighbour?"
Good question. Because if somebody isn't your neighbor, you don't have to love that person as you would yourself, do you?

Jesus responded at this point with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Jesus explains that a Jew traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked along the way by thieves, who stole all he had, stripped him naked, and left him beaten and bleeding on the road.

A number of people pass by the bloody body of the man, including a Jewish priest, and one of the priestly assistants of the tribe of Levi. In other words, fellow Jews, supposedly people trained in a higher form of ethical understanding than the average person, and they left the man to die.

Finally, a man of the tribe of Samaria, usually depicted as "other" by the Jews, because their religion was different, and often they were portrayed as enemies, passed by the body of the beaten Jew. Jesus tells us:
"But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee."
And then Jesus asked the lawyer:
"Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?"
And the lawyer replied:
"He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise."
News flash to Donald Trump—you're not doing likewise, pal.

Building walls to keep out others, instead of showing mercy to others as we would to ourselves, is pointedly not Christian. So says Jesus Christ, whom Donald J. Trump apparently thinks is a lousy religious founder.

This is the point Pope Francis was making, that Trump really seemed to be confused about what being a Christian was all about. Well, lots of alleged Christians are confused about that. And a lot of those people are going to vote for Donald J. Trump it seems.

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