This morning, I told my wife that I was going to write a blog about the “Brother of the Prodigal Son.” Then, this afternoon, a publicist contacted me and asked if I wanted to jump into the so-called feud between Pope Francis and Donald Trump.
The subject of the email read:
Jim, send me a few lines on this asap.
Attached was a link to a CBS News article titled: Pope Francis: Donald Trump “is not Christian.”
Based on the position of the quotes in the headlines, my first thought was “this is going to be bull.” Isn’t this the same guy who said, “Who Am I to judge?”
So, I thought, there’s just three possibilities: Either Pope Francis was misquoted then or is being misquoted now or the Pontiff was misquoted both times. (The latter being the most probable.)
With that, I responded with this:
I don’t know the question asked by the reporter or how it was framed, but by reading beyond the headline it appears the Pope is suggesting that the person described to him would not be Christian — not Donald Trump. So, suggesting otherwise is NOT GOSPEL. Instead of trying to stoke a feud between Pope Francis and Donald Trump, our nation should instead be focusing on the bridge of friendship built between the late conservative Justice Scalia and his judicial opposite (and “best buddy”) Justice Scalia.
The publicist reply:
That’s not what they’re looking for…
The New York Times version of the article was embedded in the email. Immediately I read the first line of the article:
ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRLINER — Inserting himself into the Republican presidential race, Pope Francis on Wednesday suggested that Donald J. Trump “is not Christian” because of the harshness of his campaign promises to deport more immigrants and force Mexico to pay for a wall along the border.
Though the New York Times states that Pope Francis is “inserting himself in the Republican presidential race”, the reality is when asked if Catholics should vote for Donald Trump, “Pope Francis” CBS News reported, “wasn’t willing to advise Catholics on whether to vote for Donald Trump at all.” So, it’s the NY Times who is inserting Pope Francis into the GOP race — for obvious reasons.
Yup, I was right. This is pure bull. So I replied:
It’s BULLSHIT! Pope didn’t say it. He wouldn’t say it. There’s an effin wall around Vatican City! He said “A person who thinks ONLY about building walls … is not Christian…. We must see if he said things in that way and I will give him the benefit of the doubt.”
Is that better 🙂
Immediately, my Catholic guilt kicked in and I again replied:
Sorry. This is a lose-lose. But thanks for thinking of me. I’m sure this going to be HUGE.
The publicist replied:
Its OK, I want you to say, As a Catholic, I think………….
It’s humbling when the publicist acts with more grace than the inspirational author who s/he’s trying to promote. With that, I replied with this quote:
As a Catholic, I think the Pope doesn’t have the right to involve himself in the politics of nations — he has a moral obligation. With that said, I don’t believe the headlines that the Holy Father said Mr. Trump “was not Christian.” He wouldn’t say it. Heck, there’s a wall around the Vatican. Pope Francis said “A person who thinks ONLY about building walls … is not Christian…. We must see if he said things in that way and I will give him the benefit of the doubt.” In other words, the Pope said of Donald Trump, “Who Am I to judge?”
Would I love the publicity for my book? Heck yes! But I’m not willing to toss the Pope, Donald Trump, or anyone, for that matter, under-the-bus just to sell a few books. That’s not what my book Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul is about. It’s about lifting up others and in turn, lifting oneself up. It’s about “Making Yourself Great!” Gee, why does that sound familiar?
Hmmmm, I guess, in a way, I did write about the Prodigal Son and his brother today.