The Republican voter base in the U.S. is undeniably largely comprised of those with strong Christian views and values, so front-runner Donald Trump knows that he’s going to need the support of those Christians if he wants to snap up the Republican nomination. However, his campaign has now been dealt a major blow, with Pope Francis branding Donald Trump as “not Christian” over his controversial views on immigration.
Pope Francis used a recent visit to Mexico in order to weigh in on the incredibly heated American presidential race, saying that he doesn’t see Donald Trump’s plans to build a wall along the border of U.S and Mexico as a Christian solution. Those comments from Pope Francis are sure to deal a major blow to Donald Trump’s campaign, which is currently trying to pick up the heavily religious vote from Ted Cruz.
Quite predictably, Donald Trump replied in his usual manner, saying that it’s “disgraceful” for such a well-known religious leader to question his faith. Either way, tension is definitely growing between one of the world’s most powerful leaders and a candidate for a similarly powerful role and in all, which is a blow for Trump’s campaign.
The debate follows Donald Trump’s incredibly vocal plans to build a wall along the Mexican border that would stretch from Texas to California. The intention of that wall is to keep out around 11 million illegal immigrants. For voters in the south of the country, immigration from Mexico is an incredibly important issue, and that’s something Donald Trump knows all too well. In fact, many commentators have claimed that his comments are purely a bid to tap into that voter base. However, it’s worth considering that the same voter base is also incredibly religious, so Donald will need to tread incredibly carefully.
Those comments from Pope Francis were, of course, timed accordingly to coincide with his recent visit to Mexico, where he prayed for those who’ve died trying to cross the border into the United States. He took some time to provide the following about Trump.
“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. Give him the benefit of the doubt. I’d just say that this man is not Christian if he said it this way.”
Pope on Trump: “A person who thinks only about building walls…is not Christian.” This is Vatican City. pic.twitter.com/ehmsLoljTl
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 18, 2016
It’s worth noting that other candidates in the race for the Republican nomination have touched on building a wall on the south border, but none of them have attacked the issue in the way that Donald Trump has, and given his poll ratings, it appears to be working.
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 18, 2016
Either way, Trump was quick to hit back at Pope Francis’ claims, saying that the move was ill-informed and showed Francis as being exploited by the Mexican government. Trump also added that the pope doesn’t understand the danger of the open border, further commenting that any religious leader should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith. Definitely a strong war of words between Trump and Pope Francis.
Pope Francis has undeniably been one of the church’s most politically active leaders and hasn’t shied away from providing his opinion about hot topics in politics. That being said, many in the U.S. are likely to think that this intervention from Pope Francis is a step too far. That being said, many more who make up the U.S. Roman Catholic population will definitely take the pope’s views into consideration when it comes to casting their vote in the upcoming Republican primaries and the main election later this year.
[Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty images]