Opinion: Defending the pope’s remarks

Lucas Misera

As the primaries begin to take shape, Donald Trump is proving to be a legitimate contender with wins in both New Hampshire and South Carolina. The latter solidified his place in the race, pulling in 50 delegates and finishing with over 32 percent of the vote. The success was shocking, especially following news that Pope Francis condemned Trump’s platform and stance on Muslims. When asked about Trump’s candidacy, the pope stated, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

Although Trump argues that he is indeed a good Christian, his mannerisms and often insensitive behavior have contradicted this notion. Pope Francis has nearly represented what many expect from a leader of Catholicism; his more “liberal” brand of thinking preaches the importance of kindness and acceptance rather than the stringent intricacies of the religion.

Francis controversially advocated the use of contraceptives to prevent the spread of the Zika virus, suggested that the LGBTQ community shouldn’t be denied a route to heaven and remains open to the public in times when his influence is needed. All in all, Francis is moving Catholicism into a more modern scope. Trump, essentially the pope’s foil, is the deadweight preventing the advancement of social issues.

Of course, Trump quickly struck back at the pope, defending his Christian views and making an absurd claim that Francis would clamor for him in the White House if ISIS were to attack Vatican City. The irony is that Trump’s extremism is what promotes the eventual rise of radicalism. Excluding Muslims is precisely what leads to the disdain of Western culture, entirely contradicting Francis’ goal of acceptance progress.

Supporters of Trump were outraged by the pope’s comments, arguing that the religious leader has no right to call his faith into question. Sadly, the same people who defend Trump against the pope’s word have no qualms allowing the Republican candidate to call into question the morals and goals of Islam, advocating a persecution of a typically peaceful community of people.

Francis, considering he is the leader of the largest religious base in the world, should be concerned that a country of over 300 million citizens remotely reveres Trump as a man of Christian values. For the pope to involve himself with the presidential race should be a red flag, but it’s a warning that nobody seems concerned with.

Frankly, Pope Francis is justified in attacking Trump’s stance on Muslims, but the businessman’s political platform is concerning on more than just that front. His display of immaturity on such a grand scale should have the rest of the world worried, and more leaders than the pope will be condemning Trump’s antics if he continues to serve as a formidable force.

Lucas Misera is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]