Matthew 25: 35 I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Donald Trump, 06-16-15 “Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best..they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists…”
Pope Francis, 02-18-16 "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel."
Trump, 02 -18-16 "Disgraceful. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man's religion or faith. [Mexico has] made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope.”
We have been through so many outrageous moments during the Trump campaign that we almost forget the most egregious of all. The attempt to sully emigrants as rapists and drug dealers. Now the pope has joined the British, French and Irish leaders in rejecting such comments.
Undocumented workers contribute $12 billion to social security. If they were legalized that figure would be over $20 billion. You will never hear any comments on that from Trump.
Can you imagine if such terminology as he employs was was used against Americans in a Mexican election? The outrage and splutter would fill many a Rush Limbaugh show.
Finally someone with absolute stature has called out Trump. Not the Republican Party, which, however much it wants to drag its feet, has to march to his drum. Not the media, who love the ratings palooza; not the Democratic Party, mired in it's own internal battle to the death.
Here is what he told the press on his plane home after a trip to Mexico.
“As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he said things like that....”
That is an extraordinary statement from the pope, an emotional one after spending days with the poorest of the poor in Mexico.
Welcoming the stranger has been a fundamental core belief for this pope. Demonizing immigrants has been a strong undercurrent of Trump’s rise to the top of the pack in the GOP. The clash was inevitable.
Cardinal Dolan in New York also previously took Trump to task on his immigration policy, with a scathing op-ed.
Trump may have the luck of the devil in one way. Anti-Catholicism was once rampant in South Carolina, where the notorious Bob Jones University specialized for generations in anti-Catholic anti-Pope fulminations. The viral strain of anti-Catholicism still exists.
In fact, so anti-Catholic are some in South Carolina that the Reverend Ian Paisley, at the height of his anti-Catholic career, traveled frequently to Bob Jones University, which gave him an honorary doctorate and praised him for calling the pope the “whore of Babylon.”
As for Bob Jones himself, the following comment is all you need to read: "Pope Paul VI, archpriest of Satan, a deceiver and an anti-Christ, has, like Judas, gone to his own place … A pope must be an opportunist, a tyrant, a hypocrite, and a deceiver or he cannot be a pope.”
So Trump could paradoxically benefit from the old “Whore of Babylon” trick by blaming the pope.
Sometimes it takes an outsider to see clearly what Americans cannot – Donald Trump would be a disaster for America and the world.
Pope Francis has done the world a favor by pointing it out.
The question is, are GOP voters listening?