Pope Francis said today that Donald Trump is not a Christian. I can only assume the Pope has secretly cut a deal with The Donald.
"Pope. Donald here. I need you to give me some crap about the wall."
"Just, uh, call me a Muslim or something. Make it look sincere, ya know?"
So the Pope stands at the U.S.-Mexico border and says anyone who wants to build a wall "is not a Christian."
First, I am Catholic. And I actually studied the teachings of the church pretty earnestly for a few years. (I said "studied," not "obeyed.") I don't remember the part where the Pope gets to decide who's Christian. He can declare Catholics excommunicated, but he can't undo a valid baptism. I could be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.
Second, Vatican City is surrounded by a wall. Vatican City is a country. So if a wall around your country makes you not a Christian, the Pope and everybody who lives in Vatican City is not a Christian.
Third, since when are national borders subject to religious review? Every country has the right to control entry to its territory. It's why people make countries.
Maybe the Pope meant to say something else. Maybe he said what he meant. The effect will be to boost Donald Trump. And, despite my tongue in cheek opening, I'm pretty sure that's not what Francis intended.
The reason the Pope's comment will boost Trump is simple. First, immigration is the defining issue of the Trump candidacy. Most Americans want an end to illegal immigration. We're with Trump on this whether we're Trump voters or not. An outsider telling us not to stanch illegal immigration instantly loses credibility, no matter what kind of hat he wears. Second, saying Trump "is not a Christian" presents a theological challenge that the Pope might not be able to back up. Every American Christian, Catholic or not, has to wonder if they hold positions for which the Pope might expel them from Christendom.
This round goes to Trump. And Pope Francis might want to stick to the script.
Looks like I'm not alone. Silvio Canto writes on American Thinker. (H/T Cousin Carol)
And Dilbert creator Scott Adams expected Vatican to walk back Pope's comments.
Which the Vatican did.
And, finally, this remarkable analysis by Mollie Hemingway. The Pope might see if Ms. Hemingway is available as communications director, Lutheran and all.