Class of 2017-Politics
Pope Francis questioned Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s religious convictions, saying that “a person who thinks only about building walls… and not of building bridges is not a Christian”. This was a story that quickly shared on many a Catholic University student’s Facebook page.
Of course, this news should not come as a shock to anyone who has been paying attention. Any person who cites the Bible by saying “Two Corinthians” and was previously on record as being “pro-choice in every respect” is not likely to be an avid Bible reader. This is not to say that I know Trump’s religious beliefs. Trump has claimed to have changed his stance on abortion, and it is entirely possible that this is true. However, I don’t think many people really believe Trump is a true believer, especially compared to other candidates like Ted Cruz or Ben Carson.
But none of this really matters. What I find more interesting is the Pope’s silence on other issues. It’s easy to morally grandstand and call out Trump’s wall remarks, but he is notoriously silent when it comes to serious issues. I do not recall seeing the same outrage from the Pope (or CUA students, for that matter) over Manny Pacquiao’s recent comments on homosexuals as being “worse than animals”. Where was the outrage after that? No doubt, Pacquiao’s disgusting comments are way worse than anything Trump has ever said in his life. Yet the Pope stays silent. The Pope could call those remarks, un-Christian, but that would be difficult. Comments like Pacquiao’s are almost a sure sign that someone is a Christian. Besides, calling out Pacquiao may upset the Catholic majority nation of The Philippines, where he is worshipped like a folk hero. So naturally, no one wants to criticize those beliefs. But Trump is unpopular, so he gets blasted. Of course, not all Christians feel this way, but let’s face it: everyone who does feel this way is devoutly religious.
I suspect many CUA students would feel uncomfortable criticizing someone who sees things like they do. In the end, Pope Francis’ obvious cheap shot at Trump is unimpressive. Obviously, Trump is not a very devout Christian. If his comments were meant to be a critique of Trump’s attitude, there are other places that he should start looking first.