Best quote from Pope Francis after the smack-down with Donald Trump last week: “Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as ‘animal politics.’ So at least I am a human person.”
Take that, all you critics who say that religion and politics should never mix!
I do have to say that I’m not a fan of making a judgement about whether or not someone is Christian. My own faith has been called into question too many times. But I can understand the Pope’s reaction. Contrary to Trump’s charge that he doesn’t understand the situation on the US/Mexican border, Francis knows very well the suffering of those fleeing poverty, violence and oppression. So his response to a question about what he thought of the plan to build a wall across the border was a statement of theology not of politics. Because he hadn’t heard before of Trump’s border plans, Francis said he’d “give the benefit of the doubt.” Then he added: “I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that.”
I hear that as a wake-up call to anyone who identifies themselves with the teachings of Jesus: are you really following those teachings? It’s not enough to “sip the wine and eat the little cracker;” you have to walk the walk.
It’s not just about one egregious sinner (although he makes a good target of himself). It’s about all of us and how we hold ourselves and one another accountable to the way of Jesus. I may hesitate to make a judgment on someone’s faith, but I don’t think it’s wrong to question behaviors that go against the principles which we say we believe.
Jim Wallis of Sojourners said in a post responding to this kerfuffle: “I know this much: our relationship with God is personal, but it’s never private. The public practices and policies we choose to support demonstrate what we mean by the gospel and about the world we believe God calls us to help create.”
This cartoon is not my political endorsement, but it certainly illustrates the bad name some self-identified Christians give the whole religion. So, yeah, I’m going with the Jewish guy, too. That would be – Jesus.