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Pope Francis doesn’t get United States

In his remark regarding Donald Trump’s wall against illegal immigration, Pope Francis showed a disturbing lack of understanding of what the United States is all about. Said the pope, talking about walls without bridges is not Christian.

What Thomas Jefferson termed “separation of church and state” is one basis of our Constitution. A more specific statement of this separation principle was issued by our Senate in 1797: “The United States is not, in any sense, founded on Christian religion.”

My first reply to the pope would be: In the United States, deterrents against illegal acts (in this case illegal immigration) have no obligation to be Christian or in any other sense religious. To that I would add that we are not obligated to be Christian in our attitude to those who break our laws. And another point: The pope was wrong about the lack of a bridge. The wall along our border with Mexico would be a barrier against illegal immigration. The bridge would be immigration by legal process. Put another way: If you want to immigrate to the United States, don’t try to jump the wall. Instead, use the bridge. That’s why it’s there.

Additionally, now a note of irony in the pope’s assessment of Trump’s wall. In his most often quoted assertion that there should be no relationship between church and state, Jefferson specified “a wall of separation” between the two.

Finally, the pope spoke hypocritically: That is, his pontification was judgmental. I recall that Jesus Christ, from whom the term Christian derives, cautioned us not to judge lest we be judged.

Tom Wright

Aztec

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