In response to Pope Francis questioning his Christian morals and principles, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump immediately shot back referring to the Pope as “disgraceful” while also issuing a vague threat to the Vatican. Instead of reflecting upon the religious leader’s words or performing his Christian duties of expressing humility and forgiveness, Trump merely acted like a petulant child while reinforcing the Pope’s harsh depiction of him.
After a recent six-day visit to Mexico, Pope Francis was asked his opinion on Wednesday about GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. The Pope responded, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.”
Promising to deport millions of illegal immigrants, build a wall around Mexico, and make the Mexican government pay for the wall if elected, Trump has publicly referred to Mexicans as “criminals” and “rapists.” During a speech from December 2015, Trump also called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Although the Pope refused to endorse any U.S. presidential candidates or influence how Catholics should vote, he added, “I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and I will give him the benefit of the doubt.”
At a campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump immediately responded, “If and when the Vatican is attacked, the pope would only wish and have prayed that Donald Trump would have been elected president.”
On Thursday, Trump issued a press release stating, “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.”
No religious leader should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith? Really, Donald? That’s all religious leaders do! They blame everyone for our collective lack of faith. Popes have only been criticizing their fellow Christians for two thousand years!
Notorious sycophant and Trump supporter, Jerry Falwell Jr. told CNN that the pope had crossed the line. Falwell falsely asserted, “Jesus never intended to give instructions to political leaders on how to run a country.”
According to the Gospels, Jesus told everyone to love each other as God’s children. That includes political leaders. He didn’t add an amendment that excluded political leaders from the golden rule.
Besides the Pope, Sen. Ted Cruz has also called Trump’s Christian values into question. In a recent television ad, Cruz’s campaign shows a 1999 interview with Trump asserting that he’s “very pro-choice” concerning the issue of abortion. In response to the campaign ad, Trump issued another press release this week stating that he is now pro-life.
Raised as a Presbyterian, Trump has a history of failing to recall Bible verses. According to the BBC, Trump flubbed a Bible verse when giving a speech to a Christian university in Virginia and has referred to communion, the Christian sacrament signifying Jesus’ last supper, as having “the little wine” and “the little cracker.”