My amusement for this week comes from all the folks who are questioning the right of Pope Francis to suggest that Donald Trump is not the Christian he claims to be. "Who is he to judge?" they wonder. Well, um ...
- What part of POPE don't they understand? He's the supreme head of the Catholic Church, which has been making such judgements for oh, almost two millennia. Remember the Spanish Inquisition? Martin Luther? Henry VIII? Not to mention anyone who wants to join the Church?
- Or any church, any religion. Most Mormons claim to be Christian, while a large number of Christians think otherwise. Protestants and Catholics have traditionally proclaimed each other "not true Christians." My friends who think they remain Jewish after having also become Christian tend to find that their community thinks otherwise. Ask Sunni and Shia Muslims what they think of each other's faith.
- How about any organization with standards and definitions for membership? Or even just traditions? I have a friend who claims I'm not a "real" Democrat—despite the fact that I've been a member of the Democratic Party since the day I first registered to vote, and even worked for a Democratic presidential candidate while I was still in high school—because I share several values with Republicans (and others with Libertarians, etc.).
I agree with those who assert that only God knows a person's heart, but in the meantime we mortals have to make what judgements we can with our imperfect knowledge. Whether or not Donald Trump is a Christian does not make a hill of beans difference to most voters. It matters to me as a human being, and a Christian myself—though Pope Francis may not agree with that label in my case, either, since I'm not Catholic—but as a voter? Meh. In my life the two worst presidents have been the most obviously Christian. (Present administration excepted; I'm holding back official judgement on that until time has given me some hindsight.) Faith means a lot, but what it does not mean is that you have the wisdom, knowledge, and courage to be the president of the United States.