Past Features

February 19, 2016

Separation of Pope and State

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes." ~ Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813
AP -- February 16, 2016 
Pope On Trump: Anyone Who Wants Border Walls Isn't Christian
    Pope Francis said Thursday that Donald Trump is “not Christian” if he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. Trump immediately fired back, saying it is disgraceful for a religious leader to question a person's faith.
    The rare back-and-forth between pontiff and presidential candidate was the latest astonishing development in a U.S. presidential race that has been roiled by Trump's freewheeling rhetoric and controversial policy proposals, particularly on immigration.
    The front-runner for the Republican nomination, Trump has said that if elected, he will build a wall along the Mexican border from Texas to California and expel 11 million people who are in the country illegally. The Pope's comments en route home from Mexico came hours after he prayed at the Mexican border for people who died trying to reach the United States.
    Asked what he thought of Trump's pledge, Francis said: “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.”
    Not having heard about Trump's border plans independently, Francis said he'd “give the benefit of the doubt.” But he added: “I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that.”

Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian?
    He was not an orthodox Christian because he rejected, among other things, the doctrines that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the incarnate Son of God. Jefferson's religion is fairly typical of the American form of deism in his day.

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