Trump takes on Pope for suggesting he ‘is not Christian’

Washington (IANS) Taking a calculated political risk, Donald Trump took on the Pope for suggesting that he “is not Christian” over his pledge to build a wall between the US and Mexico and deport illegal immigrants.

Coming back hard on Pope Francis for thrusting himself into the US presidential race, the Republican frontrunner told a rally Thursday ahead of South Carolina’s crucial primary on Saturday: “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.”

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The Pope is Mexico’s “pawn,” he asserted, adding that if the Vatican were attacked by the Islamic State, “the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president because this would not have happened”.

Trump’s comments came hours after Francis said on the plane taking him back to Italy after a six-day visit to Mexico: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

The Trump campaign immediately fired back, saying: “No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith.”

“If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’ ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president.”

Later, at a Town Hall with CNN, Trump called Pope Francis a “wonderful guy” and said he would meet with him “anytime he wants”.

“I don’t think this is a fight,” Trump said. “I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media.”

Analysts were generally inclined to suggest that this probably won’t hurt ‘Teflon’ Trump, who has time and again emerged unscathed after making similar politically incorrect comments.

In fact, CNN suggested that it would benefit Trump as it would knock South Carolina’s Indian-American governor Nikki Haley’s endorsement of Florida senator Marco Rubio off the front pages in the final hours before South Carolina votes.

Rubio, who is Catholic, also sided with Trump in an interview with CNN. “As far as building walls on the border, the wall is not just about immigrants,” Rubio said.

“It’s also about, potentially, terrorists crossing that border, not to mention the drugs that are coming across that border and the human trafficking that’s occurring because people know they can get people across the border.”

Earlier at the Town Hall, two other Republican rivals former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Ohio governor John Kasich refused to be drawn into the debate between Trump and the Pope.

Kasich simply said he was “pro-Pope.” “This man has brought more sense of hope and more about the do’s in life than the don’ts,” Kasich said, referring to the Pope. “This guy has been so humble.”

Bush, who is a devout Catholic, didn’t criticise the Pope’s comments. But he said he personally wouldn’t “question people’s Christianity.”

“I think that’s a relationship they have with their Lord and saviour and themselves. So I just don’t think it’s appropriate to question Donald Trump’s faith,” Bush said. “He knows what his faith is.”

But for Vice President Joe Biden, the feud was “not a hard call”.

“Pope Francis, Donald Trump? That’s not a hard call for me, not even close,” Biden told MSNBC. “I am not a theologian nor am I priest or a minister, but I think that building walls is fundamentally contrary to what made this country what it is.”

13 Comments

    • Mr. Jay, the Pope is not interfering in the world politics. All the political candidates of both parties are born in a Christian family except Senator Sanders who is a Jew. None of the Christian candidates are repeating the catchy vocabulary ” Christian”. Did Pope Francis endorse any political candidate? He has simply exposed the unchristian and ruthless statement of Mr. Trump to treat the helpless people like trash. What he said was very true that the Christians are supposed to be bridge builders not wall builders. Personally I know hundreds of very poor people from Mexico and Guatemala who are living in the poverty level in the U.S. through Government and public charity from the compassionate people. Mr. Trump Christianity is contradicting the teachings of JESUS CHRIST. It would have been better, if he had the sense not to keep repeating “I am a Christian”, as if the rest of the candidates are straight from hell.

      Do you know that half a century old political wall in between Cuba and the U.S. was kicked down by Pope Francis? Was he interfering in the international politics? Do you know that Pope John Paul II played the key role along with President Ronald Regan and Margarett Thachr of England to uproot communism in the Eastern European countries? Was it good or bad?

    • Mr. Jay,

      I do not think that the Pope was indulging in politics. He may have read Mr. Donald Trump’s psyche very well and probably if this maverick becomes the President then there is nothing for this maverick to become a dictator.

      I personally feel that Mr. Trump is the wrong man for the job and may God Bless America.

      With regards,
      Nelson Lewis

  1. Did JESUS, GOD who took the form of a man, thus 100% GOD and 100% man, come to the world to start a new religion called ” Christianity”? The followers of JESUS were addressed by the non-followers of JESUS at the city of Antioch for the first time as Christians.

    In the New Testament times, there is no other country like the U.S., whose very foundation is strictly based on the Biblical teachings; the U.S. constitution which is the guiding constitution of the democratic countries was written on the Biblical teachings.

    Among the U.S. Presidents, this list shows, how the leaders of the U.S. were guided by GOD’s direction; and how deeply they called upon GOD on their knees for divine guidance when faced with critical problems in the nation. They were George Washington, John Adams, his grandson John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland, Dwight D. Eisenhover, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush Sr.

    The U.S. immigrants came from the European countries mainly due to the religious persecution; they came to an unknown land far away to worship GOD without fear. They were thankful to GOD and as guided by GOD, open the doors for the helpless people from around the world to have a place of peace-harmony and opportunity. In 1967, Senator Edward Kennedy took an extra initiative to change the immigration system through abolishing the quota system which was exclusively favoring the European countries, thus opened doors for the immigrants from all parts of the world, and India is one of the leading nation got blessed by the new opening.

    Pope Francis, does he have the right to judge Donald Trump? When Pope Francis became the Pope of the universal Catholic Church, he took the way of humility, from the Benz ride to the Fiat ride; a very humble Christian lifestyle taught by JESUS CHRIST, caring for the poor and underprivileged. One Afro-American Catholic Church Bishop not far away from my home was living in a 2 million mansion among the rich people of the society; while in the same city, the vast majority of the black people were living in mere survival; so he had to get out from the pampered lifestyle.

    What did JESUS do in his brief ministry on earth of 3 1/2 years; preached the gospel-healed the sick and fed the hungry.
    Did HE do that for a political office? Not at all, but to be followed by every believer and follower of JESUS CHRIST.

    When an American missionary came to our home a few years back, in our village of 50/50 Hindu Christian population, dozens of Hindus came to our home so that the missionary will pray for them. On the other hand, close to Trivandrum, some street hooligans did beat an American missionary putting the charge on him ” forced conversion”. Can we call the hooligans as Hindus?

    Why Mr. Trump is trying to play the ” Christian card” repeatedly? JESUS said that we know the tree by its fruits. The State of Texas (largest State in the nation, three times bigger than France) and New Mexico, and part of California were taken from Mexico through U.S. Mexican war. I have travelled through Mexico by car, very hard working people, living in poverty, most of them have food but faced with illiteracy problem. I don’t support illegal immigration, but simply deporting 11 million illegal immigrants through causing them tears, and dumping over the border like rats is completely impossible, and the statement is totally contrary to the teachings of JERSUS CHRIST who taught us to love our neighbor and feed the hungry world. Among the philanthropists of the U.S., his name can’t be found. If he had not mentioned repeatedly that he is a Christian, then either Pope Francis or anybody had the right and opening to question his Christianity!

  2. Mr Trump my vote is for you. Mr Biden,early immigrants who built America were not Terrorists nor Drug smugglers nor Kidnappers. Early Immigrants came humbly,worked hard and built US.

  3. Dear readers,

    If is unfortunate that world superpower has succumb to politics defined by religion. It is right time pontiff has intervened. The USA has already involved in worst diplomacy and foreign policy.The proxy war on the famous phrase line of ‘axis of evil’,’weapons of mass destruction’ proved illusion. The great Bush and Clinton legacy has left more orphans and widows in the entire Middle East with destruction which won’t see recovery any time soon.The trail of refugee crisis has started affecting economy of the EU and once the champions of human rights are forced to pass the legislation which drifting the religions apart.

    The US economy which is only driven by weapons sale,the conflicts around the world become driving force with many more innocents being killed.

    When Paris attack was orchestrated by the terror world stood and raised one voice condemn. But Syria,Iraq,CAR,Libya and so on, there is no value for humanity.

    I appreciate the Pope for raising voice.Will our Sadhu,Sant,Mahayogi,Shankaracharya and Maulvi will it be lesson to learn?

    Jai Hind

  4. The Pope embraced Castro, a dictator who has killed and imprisoned political opponents. The Pope did not condemn Castro for murdering political opponents. The Vatican is surrounded by a wall which is guarded by Italian soldiers on the Italian side.

    • Mr. Victor,

      Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussain, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goering, et al had warped, destructive and unworkable ideologies and they were all mass murderers. Killing people for them was like killing swatting flies, mosquitoes, bed bugs, etc. These tyrants did not have any conscious and when it came to some of them, their end was ghastly and/or they could not be accorded proper funerals considering the exalted positions they had held or wrested.

      There may have been a reason for the Pope to embrace the notorious dictator who has messed up Cuba with his brand of socialism, killings and forced countless people to flee from Cuba to Florida by resorting to various means, i.e. flying by small aircrafts and crossing the sea by balloons, sailing the seas by crafts, etc. This fellow, as I see him, is a maverick, crackpot and dictator, who held his people to ransom, subjugated them and stunted their development and growth. Christianity is a religion of forgiveness. I may not totally agree with the Christian philosophy but, to a greater or lesser extent, if any person is bad, wicked or of not the same wavelength, I do not quarrel or fight with him, but conveniently ignore him. If, God forbid, I suddenly bump into him somewhere or someplace and cannot vanish in the by-lanes or streets, I just politely greet him and vanish away. However, I have a salesman attitude. Even if a person has hurt me, but I perceive him to be of use at some time or the other, I have kept in touch with him. If a person is a non-entity or a parasite, I have just brushed him aside.

      I had a director who was very bureaucratic and he came to office with a look that was not conducive at a workplace and would be on his chair as if stuck with glue, entertained toadies who filled his ears with their versions of information about colleagues and others, including me (in order to curry favours). When things went wrong, he made his departmental staff the victims (rather than having the spunk to admit he had erred), said lies, shouted like a maniac in a very loud voice that made females to cry and employees quit. I stood up to all his shit and rantings and, after the dressing downs, mostly for no reason or rhyme, I would emerge out of his office smiling. He left this place in 2000.

      When I had problems in 2004, hearing about it he called and listened to me and gave me an offer letter the very next day. Very fast action for a change, considering that he was very bureaucratic. He was my boss for four years and he had not changed, nor had I changed. The matter was highy aggravated by a Keralite lady, who had taken a long leave from the Income Tax Department, Mangalore Circle, to join her husband abroad. With the help of a fellow Keralite, she sneaked her way in my workplace, but did not change her sponsorship giving the excuse that she is under her spouse’s employer’s sponsorship and she would lose her benefits like family status, free annual air tickets, house rent, etc. She always used this ploy and took increments, but did not change her sponsorship.

      She handled recruitments and took gratifications from expatriate candidates on the sly (for pushing their papers and influencing departmental superiors and directors to get them employed) and ads were placed on Kerala television channels for vacancies in her husband’s name. She laid great emphasis in getting Keralite Protestants employed, especially those from her Church (and not Keralite Hindus or Muslims or other Indians) Since it was a Kerala channel, employers were not aware and a few employees who had seen it, just spoke to some colleagues, but did not have the cuts to approach the Management to bell-the-cat and get her sacked.

      Mr. Victor,

      Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussain, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goering, et al had warped, destructive and unworkable ideologies and they were all mass murderers. Killing people for them was like killing swatting flies, mosquitoes, bed bugs, etc. These tyrants did not have any conscious and when it came to some of them, their end was ghastly and/or they could not be accorded proper funerals considering the exalted positions they had held or wrested.

      There may have been a reason for the Pope to embrace the notorious dictator who has messed up Cuba with his brand of socialism and forced countless people to flee from Cuba to Florida by resorting to various means, i.e. flying by small aircrafts and crossing the sea by balloons, sailing the seas by crafts, etc. This fellow, as I see him, is a maverick, crackpot and dictator, who held his people to ransom, subjugated them and stunted their development and growth. Christianity is a religion of forgiveness. I may not totally agree with Christian philosophy but, to a greater or lesser extent, if any person is bad, wicked or of the wrong wavelength, I do not quarrel or fight with him, but conveniently ignore him. If, God forbid, I suddenly bump into him somewhere or someplace and cannot vanish in the bylanes or streets, I just politely greet him and vanish away. However, I have a salesman attitude. Even if a person has hurt me, but I perceive him to be of use at some time or the other, I have kept in touch with him. If a person is a non-entity or a parasite, I have just brushed him aside.

      I had a director who was very bureaucratic and once he came to office just stuck to his chair like a glue, entertained toadies who filled his ears with their versions of information about colleagues and others, including me (in order to curry favours). When things went wrong, he made his departmental staff the victims (rather than having the spunk to admit he had erred), said lies, shouted like a maniac in a very loud voice that made females to cry and employees quit. I stood up to all his shit and rantings and, after the dressing downs, mostly for no reason or rhyme, I would emerge out of his office smiling. He left this place in 2000.

      When I had problems in 2004, hearing about it he was kind enough to call me and listened to me and gave me an offer letter the very next day. Very fast action for a change considering that he was very bureaucratic. He was my boss for four years and he had not changed, nor had I changed. The matter was highy aggravated by a Keralite lady, who had taken a long leave from the Income Tax Department, Managalore Circle, to join her husband abroad. With the help of a fellow Keralite, she sneaked her way in my workplace, but did not change her sponsorship by giving excuses that she is under her spouse’s employer’s sponsorship and she would lose her benefits like family status, free annual air tickets, house rent, etc., unless my company matched those facilities. She always used this ploy and took increments, but did not change her sponsorship. She handled recruitments (because this post was a goose laying golden eggs for a corrupt person like her) and took gratifications from expatriate candidates on the sly and put job ads in Kerala television channels using her husbands name. In my career of 40 years, I had never come across such a dirty, sly, unethical and corrupt person. My earlier boss’ successor in the post was caught in a big fraud where this dirty lady shared the gratification money with her. However, since she was illegally working in the company and knew a lot of sensitive things, nothing be done, because the empoyers were wrong in employing her without sponsorship. She had joined on 13.05.2007 and left, if I recall well, on 10.05.2011 and may have continued her job with the same Department. If anyone hd informed I.T. or the governmental authorities in that country, she would have been in a soup or faced the music. In fact, the company had received from a senior Vigilance Officer of the I.T. saying that they had heard this person having been empoyed by the company. In that event, could they have the position she held, the monies paid to her and the duration she was employed. However, the third director with whom I served showed me the letter, but probably slept over it.

      I do not know why the Central and State Governments give long leaves for their employees, who misuse it by working illegally abroad. In short, they over-staffed, employees are not doing their jobs and are a liability on taxpayers and the government can afford to let these employees go and work abroad under various pretexts.

      If I were to meet this despicable creature, I certainly would not embrace her and act as if I did not know her. I heard very much from the grapevine that she is very much in India. She had won the hearts of the two top people in the management by taking care of their needs (and did not know her devious ways), but the other 550 or 560 employees just hated her and when she left, there was no farewell for her and the third director called her and said a few words to her after the office had closed. Everyone had walked away without wishing her. She was so dirty that she did not give a proper handover notes to the person taking from her and had blocked all the files without revealing the passwords.

      Thanks to my ex-boss who was dictatorial and tormenting in his ways and left us after four years, I spent 10 years and given a grand farewell not only at departmental level, but also at management level.

      In short, dictators and evil creatures are found in all walks of life. 

  5. “None of the Christian candidates are repeating the catchy vocabulary ” Christian” – writes AS Mathew

    I wonder if our friend Mr.Mathew is too busy consuming beef and not paying any attention to news!! Almost every candidate on conservative Republican party boast what a good ‘christian’ they are!! Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Rubio, Ben Carson, Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Jeb Bush, Bobby (Piyush) Jindal – All were shameless in using ‘Christian’ card. Isn’t it ironic that ‘Beef club’ members attack RSS and BJP in India but maintain a complete silence on communal politics practiced here at US? Is it pure ignorance or a ‘kutantri’ tactic? Well…

    • Dear Mr. Original Pai,

      I agree with you that the Republican candidates are telling the electorate or people thronging to listen to them, about how good Christians they are? These are simply election ploys to win votes, similar to the way Indian political parties offer the hard up voters, especially in rural areas, money, dhotis, saris and bottles to drunkards to drown their sorrows.

      Once they are elected, they will have forgotten the Church and I am confident that they will rule the country as per their party’s manifesto and their conscience, backed by highly accomplished advisers and not as per the diktats of the Church. In States, both the Executive and Church are two separate entities and have nothing to do with each other. Further, American governance is more efficient than that of India, because they have able and committed bureaucracy and not boot-lickers and toadies and “haan jees”, whose main aim is to amass ill-gotten wealth for themselves and their masters.

      Unlike the BJP, the Democratic or Republic President will not approach the Catholic or any other Churches seeking their advice and blessings on how to run the country. They may attend the obligatory weekly masses and masses during Christmas, New Year, Good Friday and Easter, like any person attending temples for religious solace.

      In States, there is no RSS-like foundation that acts like an idelogue or mentor to any party. Everyone has the freedom to practice whichever faith he opts for and there is no discrimination. I personally feel that both politics and religion cannot be mixed together and should not interfere in each other’s functions.

  6. “Unlike the BJP, the Democratic or Republic President will not approach the Catholic or any other Churches seeking their advice” – Nelson

    Dear Nelson Lewis,
    I suggest you read more on how Republican leaders and Conservative justices in Supreme Court have allowed their religious convictions drive public policies. This goes all the way back to slavery and women’s rights issue. Even today, the opposition to same-sex marriage, stem cell research, global warming and many other social issues come from deeply held religious beliefs. Even today, it’s not easy for a non-christian to run for office and win elections. It’s almost an impossible task for an atheist to run for office as there is so much stigma against atheists and Eastern religions. (You can read about the attacks on Nikki Haley for her Sikh background. )

    However, I agree that the politicians over here are far less corrupt as compared to the ones in India. More importantly, the public and media don’t worship every politician as some kind of celebrity. Indian media and public are notorious in Neta-worshiping!!! Take a look at how they get invited to every event as chief guests!! See how our media glorifies when a politician eats at a local restaurant!!! Unbelievable!!

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