On the second episode of Jesuit Autocomplete, Fr. Eric Sundrup and Fr. Paddy Gilger discuss what the pope thinks about hell, evolution, President Trump, Medjugorje, purgatory, and divorce:
Cardinal Joseph Tobin writes:
A wall would probably drive them into more remote areas of the desert or mountains, possibly to their deaths, as the forces driving them — violence, persecution and extreme poverty — are more life threatening than a risky border crossing. In fact, close to 8,000 migrants have died in Arizona and parts of Texas since the construction of the San Diego and El Paso sectors of the wall in the mid-1990s.
The latest arrivals at our border are primarily asylum seekers from the Northern Triangle of Central America, who, when they cross the border and ask for protection, are in compliance with both our domestic and our international laws — the Refugee Act of 1980 and the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and its 1967 protocols.
A wall would prevent asylum seekers from asking for protection at any point along our border — their right under the law — and would leave many of them at the mercy of drug cartels and other criminal groups in northern Mexico. More humane ways to achieve border security can be found to avoid these harmful consequences, through technology, additional legal avenues for entry and policies that address the factors pushing migration….
Other policies his administration has pursued, including family separation, the rollback of asylum laws, family detention, the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and termination of Temporary Protected Status for most of its beneficiaries, show that the administration’s intent is to rid the United States of as many immigrants — legal or otherwise — as possible….
His justification for the wall is based upon lies and smears against the vast majority of immigrants who are law-abiding and moral, but whom he paints as less than human.
According to Falwell’s creative theology, Christ “went out of his way to say that’s the earthly kingdom, I’m about the heavenly kingdom,” and loving your neighbor as yourself only applies to the latter.
The man whose institutional mission includes being “a voice for the voiceless” then meditated on the uselessness of the poor — “A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. It’s just common sense to me.” He then suggested that it might be immoral for Christians not to support Trump….
Falwell’s flawed exegesis is comically absurd, but its implications are profoundly unfunny. While the Liberty University president purports to be an evangelical leader, his statements are in total contradiction to Christian truth. This isn’t just benign confusion: This is heresy.
And, like many heretics, Falwell and his fellow evangelical Trump apologists are on their way to founding a new religion, one in direct conflict with the old. This new religion doesn’t have much to do with Christ at all. Instead, it centers Trump as savior above any other god.
Michael Gerson writes:
Headed into a possible impeachment battle, the most ethically challenged president of modern times — prone to cruelty, bigotry, vanity, adultery and serial deception — is depending on religiously conservative voters for his political survival. And, so far, it is not a bad bet…..
He is the enemy of their enemies. He is willing to use the hardball tactics of the secular world to defend their sacred interests. In their battle with the Philistines, evangelicals have essentially hired their own Goliath — brutal, pagan, but on their side.
In the past, Christians seem to have relied on the shared religious identity of their chosen candidate as shorthand for justifying that preference without deeper thought. If a candidate is a Christian, there is no need to think any more deeply about whether that person’s beliefs are compatible with Christian teachings or values — how could they not be when the candidate themselves is a Christian? This way of thinking has been brought into crisis by the Pope’s statement that Trump is not a Christian.
If they accept that Trump is not a Christian, his supporters must find another way to rationalize supporting him. Christian Trump supporters would be forced to ask themselves whether his positions are truly consistent with their Christian values, and most would find that they are incompatible. This realization would force Christians to either choose their religious values over their preferred candidate or admit to themselves that they value some other criteria more highly than their faith.
Much easier than facing this dilemma, though, is doubling down on the old rationalization and insisting against all evidence that the Trump is a Christian who lives out these values.
You can read the full article here.
Holding his customary in-flight news conference Feb. 17 after a six-day trip that ended at the Mexico-U.S. border, Pope Francis was asked about his reaction to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal that the United States extend the fence along the full length of the border and his comments to Fox Business Network that Pope Francis is a politician and is being used by Mexicans.
“Aristotle defined the human person as ‘animal politicus’ — (so) at least I’m a human person” in Trump’s eyes, Pope Francis said.
“As far as being ‘a pawn,’” the pope said, “that’s up to you, to the people, to decide.”
But one thing Pope Francis said he did know was that “a person who thinks only of building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, isn’t Christian.”
Asked if a Catholic could vote for such a candidate in good conscience, the pope told reporters: “I’m not going to get mixed up in that. I’ll just say, this man is not Christian if he says this” about building walls.