The Book!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Trump versus the Pope


Wsll of Vatican Museum

When I saw last night that Donald Trump has gotten into a feud with Pope Francis, my fist reaction was to think this must be from the Onion. I mean, as Charles Krauthammer asked, who is he going to tangle with next, God? Surely this time Trump has gone too far.

I was surprised at the erection among commentators, which has been almost universally that this will help, not hurt, Trump. I wonder if we are seeing the good old American anti-Catholicism here.

A few points that seem to be being missed:

!. Trump started it, not the Pope. Nobody seems to be reporting this. The pope was responding to prior accusations by Trump that he was being “political” and was a dupe of the Mexican government in holding a mass at the border. Press coverage makes it sound as if the pope was interfering in US politics.

2. The Pope did not say Trump was a bad Christian. You see this even in headlines, but Francis never said it. What he said was “I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that {that he wanted to build a wall across the border, but did not want to build bridges],” Francis said. “We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”

3. Trump's wall, he has emphasized, would include “a big beautiful door.” In other words, he is not guilty of wanting walls and no bridges. The pope's criticism does not, in fact, apply to him. This being so, he could have easily defused the controversy by simply pointing this out. Instead, he chaw to go to the mattresses against the head of the Catholic church.

4. Trump's fans have pointed out that there is a big wall around Vatican City. Which has the most restrictive immigration policy in the world. Hence, the Pope is supposedly a hypocrite. This is simply a pile o steaming crap. Has anyone reading this been to Vatican City? There is certainly no wall around it. There are not even any customs posts. There are no markers whatsoever. As a practical matter, it is impossible to know when you are in Italy or in the Vatican. Sure, there are walls around the Papal garden, There are walls in my apartment, too, This nexcessarily means that the Vatican cares nothing about, and has no protection against, illegal immigration, but it is just silly to think that illegal immigrants wouldd target the Vatican, where there is no work for them.

5. Trumps' response, that he was in fact a “very good Christian,” proves that he is not. A Good Christian would never make that claim.





No comments: