Is Trump a Christian?
As a boy I was brought up in a very Christian home, attending church many times a week and off with my pals the rest. I never really struggled with church as the people there were lovely and ultimately, as a boy, I’d never known any different. I would question things from time to time, but my parents were pretty good at turning a blind eye to matters out of their understanding such as rock music or late night parties that saw me return in a state of inebriation high on one too many babycham’s! Coming back late was always the safer option with Dad being in bed asleep and only my doting Mother waiting my return and always thrilled to see me home.
Love kind of gets you through most things in life and my adolescence was no different. It wasn’t until I reached my 20’s that I kind of got tired of the many rules my brand of Christians lived by. In fact I longed to be CofE where people seemed more relaxed & less, well, judgemental. This week sadly confirms just how wrong I was on that count.
And so to Trump and the blessed pontificate declaring that just possibly the views Donald is expressing are less than Christian. Amen to that, someone of authority actually keen to express an opinion that many of us share. Replace Christian with ‘human’ and more than a few of us are on board. Of course the Trumpettes are all unilaterally outraged & no doubt you can expect a Republican Catholic backlash to match the Mexican one. A country that has for many a year used and abused cheap Mexican labour now has a Republican leading candidate seek to reach the moral high ground over the very workers that have been used. Of course there are five million issues, but the Pope hit the nail on the head when he said ‘A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian.’
I remember being a teenager and hearing the adults I loved talk through hushed tones of the evils of gay people. Their words only matched the playgrounds I was running around in and I didn’t like it one bit. And there’s the real rub of religion right there because for all Pope Francis’s fine words his faith still has some damning words for those not on the inside Catholic track. It is is this one size fits all that is the huge banana skin for religion. This is as true for those who follow the God of mammon as it is the god of creationalism. You follow the rules or you face exclusion in this life or for eternity.
Still, for the Pope speaking out, I am grateful and I applaud his words. Our world needs more inclusion.