*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
It has always been difficult to come to a reasonably consistent assessment of the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis because on several occasions he appears to be what one can confidently call a fairly “real Christian.” He certainly does preach and talk like Jesus Christ’s representative on planet Earth, but he does not always walk the talk in many important regards; primarily not selling off everything the Church owns and giving it to the poor which is precisely what Catholic Jesus commanded his followers to do to make it to Heaven. However, as far as preaching, admonishing and praying that all “Christians” follow the “ethical” examples and teachings of his religion’s namesake, Francis has been a reliable advocate for being a real “follower of Christ.”
Although he has not officially weighed in and joined the growing chorus of the religious and non-religious alike condemning the Trump’s patently “un-Christian,” illegal, and unconstitutional executive overreach banning Muslims from majority-Muslim nations from entering America, Pope Francis revealed what a Christian thinks about Trump’s ban last October.
The Pope couldn’t have known that Trump would only ban Muslims from ‘Muslim-majority’ countries that don’t profit Donald J. Trump’s bottom line. That would have incurred another level of “Christian” wrath from the Pope about the pursuit of wealth. The Pope also would have railed on Trump for lying and saying his religious tyranny is not aimed at the Muslim faith. That lie was monumentally exposed because the ban exempts “Christians” from those majority Muslim countries where Trump doesn’t make money. The Pope couldn’t have addressed the special treatment Trump gave Christians, or the exemption for terror-supporting, Muslim-majority nations he profits from, but he did know enough about the fallacious nature of Americanized Christianity to call Trump and his evangelical supporters hypocrites and not real Christians.
According to the report from Catholic News Service just prior to the election, the Pope berated the phony Christians “in the West” as hypocrites for claiming Christianity as their be all, end all “faith” and yet readily reject its most fundamental tenet; be like Christ and follow his teachings and examples explicitly. The Holy Father’s remarks targeting “the West” meant America and when he used the term “hypocrites” he meant dirty Donny and his evangelical sycophants who are now celebrating banning beleaguered refugees and legal immigrants, including American citizens, from entering America because they worship according to the “wrong” faith. Those “Muslims” that actually made it into the country’s international airports were immediately detained and deprived of due process; a patently unconstitutional action ordered by Trump the “Christian.”
The Pope listened to so-called “Trump Christians” in America talk like cruel savages and took time to condemn the hypocrisy from “Christians who are merciless to refugees and people of other faiths.” In particular, the Holy Father “rebuked the contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West, and, on the other hand, are against refugees and other religions. This is not something I’ve read in books, but I see in the newspapers and on television every day.” Now the Pontiff is watching the realization of that hate speech come to fruition in America while the evangelical Trump supporters revel in their victory.
The Pope actually gave a little “Jesus” lesson that every “real” Christian already knows, but the hypocritical Christians in America still cannot possibly fathom the meaning of Jesus’ teaching or they would not have voted for, or now support, the Trump. First, the Pope reminded American Christians what Jesus considered a “major” sin; hypocrisy. The Pope said,
“The sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy, which is precisely what is happening when someone claims to be a Christian but does not live according to the teaching of Christ. You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian.”
The Pope explained his meaning by making a reference to what is known, or should be known, to anyone calling themselves “Christian” as the Judgment or the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. The Pope said,
“You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25.” That passage contains Jesus Christ’s commandment to help the needy by doing humanitarian and merciful works such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and welcoming the stranger no matter their faith or country of origin.
In a direct shot at the Trump and his American barbarians, the Pope charged that,
“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help. If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”
There isn’t much doubt that Trump, a savage barbarian whose only form of worship is reserved for himself, will even remember that the Pope condemned his un-Christian proposal to be cruel to ‘the stranger’ simply for the sake of being cruel. However, the Pope’s condemnation of the Trump’s evangelical supporters may have some impact on a segment of America’s Christians; at least on marginal Christians who were not necessarily caught up in the fear-mongering from the fascist now in the White House.
It is a sad fact of life in Trump’s fascist America that no amount of condemnation or criticism from a Pope, many humanitarian religious groups, Democrats, or the masses protesting an un-American act by an un-American living in the White House will have any effect whatsoever. Although it seems the Trump painted himself into a corner with an unpopular, un-Christian, and unconstitutional Muslim ban predicated on which Muslim-majority nation makes money for the Trump, it is important to remember that Donald Trump believes he is above any and all laws unrelated to profit for Trump or promoting his deification.
Trump rejects not only the law of the land but the ‘law” of the religion he claims is his own when it is profitable, like his latest money-making ban on certain Muslims who are learning that it is dangerous and insane to want to come to Trump’s America.
The above commentary is the sole opinion of its author.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.