Pope Francis was in Mexico a few days ago, and during his visit he criticized presidential candidate Donald Trump over his stance on immigration, particularly his position on building a wall across the border between the United States and Mexico. The Pope also stated that the Donald’s desire to build such a wall does not make him a Christian. Trump responded by describing the Pope’s remarks as disgraceful and accused the Mexican Government of using the Pope as a political pawn in the debate over immigration. Since then both the Pope and the Donald have toned down their rhetoric.
It should be noted that Vatican City is surrounded by walls for security purposes- thus Pope Francis is contradicting himself. It should also be noted that the United States has a much larger border (in fact, just one of several) to watch over. Needless to say, immigration (especially illegal immigration) is not a major issue for Vatican City, and if the Vatican can have protective walls, then why can’t the United States?
If someone decides to build walls or fences in order to protect their borders from criminals (e.g. drug smugglers) and terrorists, how does doing so put their faith in question? Pope Francis (mainly due to his liberalism) has in all likelihood has only heard one said of the story – Mexico’s. Perhaps he should visit the American side of the border and visit with Americans (e.g. the Border Patrol, people who live near the border) and listen to what they have to say about illegal immigrants.
He should also be told about how drug cartels and terrorist groups have penetrated our borders. In addition, he could be reminded of this quote from the Bible: “So he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God’ ” (Luke 20: 25). Although this quote is referring to paying taxes, it has also been interpreted as simply obeying the law of the land (e.g. the scene from the film Sergeant York).
Meanwhile, the Pope has remarked that arms manufacturers are not Christians. Given the threats to world peace (e.g. Iran, ISIS, Al Qaeda), I don’t think it is a good idea to stop producing arms. Is the Pope also saying that someone who is Christian who owns a firearm (or any type of weapon) is no longer a Christian? Perhaps he needs to be reminded that the right to self-defense (which includes owning weapons for such purposes) is a God-given right.
Image: photo credit: Prayer Vigil ahead of Synod on the Family with Pope Francis via photopin (license)