The Pope Trumps All
(Allow me to be Papist for a moment.)
The Pope would never step so low to merely criticize a political jerk. There’s something far deeper in the Holy Father’s words that we must recognize.
Let’s start off first: never before has a Pope commented so directly on American politics, and it means something that the Holy Father has now said something. He could have chosen not to say something. Especially coming from a trip to Mexico, that silence could have been profound, but he decided to say something. It’s not merely because he’s pretty comfortable talking about anything. He felt the need, in the face of the question about Donald Trump, to teach us something about the nature of a Christian man. This obviously startles everyone, because Donald Trump is part of the must-be-Catholic Republican party. No pope even said anything when the Church-oppressing Antichrist was elected. Instead, he brokered a deal that built a bridge between Cuba and the United States. At least the man is consistent.
He (or Pope Emeritus Benedict) didn’t say anything when any Catholic pro-choice politicians ran prominently for election. He didn’t do anything when Paul Ryan and Joe Biden had a pissing contest about who was more Roman on a national debate stage. He had many other opportunities many would have liked him to say something, to finally stop the supposed hemorrhaging of orthodoxy and dogma in Catholic America or proclaim liberal Catholic values once and for all. But he never took a side, never said a word, until now.
The Pope’s comment is strong, secondly. This isn’t some intellectualized, well-written and generally vague pleasantry from Benedict. This is clear, syllogistic logic:
All persons who think only of building walls are not Christian.
Donald Trump only thinks of building walls.
Donald Trump is not Christian.
There! See? Facts, my good Donald, facts. And he’s not questioning the man’s faith — a man can believe very strongly and not live a Christian way of life.
But that really isn’t the point, is it? Because we all knew Donald wasn’t living the “Christian” lifestyle, already? No, I’m not talking about divorce. I’m talking about the nastiness about groups of people and ways of life, fear mongering, and that the man thinks of himself of a living god. That doesn’t sound like a man two-thousand years ago who talked about a good Samaritan (read: Muslim or Mexican), and decided to be the ultimate anti-political hero. And what do you have to say for yourself when the Pope gives you an honest critique on your rhetoric:
“ 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.”
God-figure Donald Trump is actually the one who will defeat ISIS. Let alone the comments thinking my Holy Father is a weak-minded fool and pawn of the Mexican government — the man that was a pastor and Bishop through the Argentinian Dirty War knows far more about oppressive and wicked governments than the man with golden toilets does. Yet we all already know this. What’s really shocking is not that the pope criticized a politician, but the universal nature of the critique.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
This implicates far more than the reality TV star, in the worldwide audience the Pope is speaking to. It definitely implicates Hungary , as well as most right-wing Europeans throwing up barriers against refugees. Hell, it implicates Israel in their own wall-building campaign. The Pope is aware of national security fears, but he and his predecessors (a German Pope Emeritus) remember times when “national security” became an excuse for all types of vices. Even if America were never to reach the treachery of the Nazis, we can certainly reach treachery with that buzzword. Building bridges, sacrificing pride, and trying to love is the only way to bring peace. Hate doesn’t drive out hate: only love can do that.
And then there’s the general notions of “walls” and “bridges” that ring so strong in our partisan politics. Has anyone noticed how much everyone hates each other in Washington now? There’s a cat-fight still going on above Scalia’s fresh dead body. Every obituary was a thinly-veiled reference to supporting or opposing the President’s power to appoint a judge. It’s sickening. The poor man couldn’t die in peace. You wall-building monsters.
The Pope is a preacher, and does not say things lightly, or out of lack of intelligence. Maybe your local parish priest may not understand the nuances of global and national politics. Pope Francis does. He didn’t even need to say these words to implicate Trump. Trump implicated himself long ago. Like many of the words he uses, Trump has no understanding of the word “Christian” other than a group of voters concentrated in the southern states. If he did understand that word, he may have responded with some humility, or possibly once speak with some charity. But his pretentious reply implicates him further.
I don’t like commenting on politics. There is this notion in Catholics or Christians on both sides that a single party or person represents the Christian way. In reality, both parties have elements of Christian understanding, and there is a wide field of grey area both parties could operate within to discuss a variety of Christian approaches. Charitable capitalism can be just as Christian as well-thought moderate socialism. Yet instead, both parties regularly reduce themselves to their anti-Christian elements, if not in policy, then in character.
God-Head, Wall-Building Trump, go get your crown. We made you our golden calf years ago. A nation in fear, not of love, will bow down in worship.