Yet that's where we find ourselves.
Pope Francis may have picked a fight with the wrong bully.
After months of taking subtle swipes at Republican politicians, the pontiff went for a direct punch at Donald Trump on Thursday, suggesting the GOP poll leader is “not Christian” because of his desire to build a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
And Trump, practically pre-programmed to counterpunch, fired off a withering retort. He not only called the pope’s comments “disgraceful,” but he also suggested that the Islamic State would find the Vatican to be a mighty fine target.
The back-and-forth between the spiritual leader and the crass candidate was stunning, even for this rule-breaking presidential cycle, and once again thrust Trump to the fore of the news cycle as the GOP field scrambles to make its last impressions before Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
As we've learned from Francis's prior commentaries, he is very nuanced. So when he says here that "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," I don't believe he was talking exclusively about a literal wall between Mexico and the United States. I'm more inclined to think it was a symbolic talking point about Trump's inclination to be so divisive as opposed to reaching out to others.
With all that said, I do take issue with the pope's judgmental tone in which he suggests Trump is "not a Christian," a charge which Trump definitely was not going to let go unanswered.
"For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith."
Emphasis was mine.
If Trump really believes what he says in that statement, that no leader (particularly someone seeking to be leader of the free world) should question the faith of another man, he might wanna take that up with.....er.....himself.
How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2016