Trump, the Pope, and the wall
The Pope created a firestorm of controversy by going to our southern border and making the building of a border wall the litmus test of Christian faith. “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.”
Setting aside the plain truth that the litmus test of Christian faith is what a man does with Christ, not what he thinks about a wall, the Pope has hoisted himself on his own petard here. The Vatican is surrounded by the mother of all walls, and has the stingiest citizenship and immigration policy of any sovereign state in the world.
The low-information media and the Vatican itself have scrambled to the Pope’s defense. The Vatican reminds us that the Pope did not build the Vatican wall. True. But he’s making no effort to take it down either.
The wall was originally built in the 800s for the same reason we need to build a wall along our southern border: to protect from invasion. Building a wall to keep people out is much different than building a wall to keep people in. One European country after another today is either building a border security fence or thinking about it because the tsunami of unvetted illegal Muslim aliens is threatening their safety and cultural identity.
According to the Vatican press office, as of December 31st, 2011 the Vatican had granted citizenship to just 594 people: 71 Cardinals, 359 members of the clergy, 109 members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, and 55 lay persons. In other words, outside of the Swiss guard, the Vatican uses a strict religious test for citizenship. The Pontiff would hardly be in a position to complain if the U.S. did the same.
The Vatican is very stingy about granting refugee status to anyone. Its total contribution to solving the refugee crisis is to admit two – count ‘em, two – refugee families inside its walls, both of them Catholic.
Building a wall for the safety and security of citizens cannot possibly be, in and of itself, an ungodly thing to do. If it is, we need to rip the entire book of Nehemiah out of the Bible. I’m quite sure that’s not something the Pontiff is prepared to do.
CNN just this week did a feature piece on what it would take to build a wall along our entire 2000 mile southern border. Using pre-cast concrete panels, CNN’s experts estimated it would take about $10.5 billion – that’s chump change in D.C. – and take less than four years. In other words, it’s perfectly doable.
Trump is also right about one other thing – Mexico can easily be made to pay for it. Right now, the single largest component of the Mexican economy (bigger even than oil) is remittances – the $24.8 billion that is transferred by Mexicans in the US to their relatives across the border every year. The bulk of it – 97% – is handled electronically. A 4% surcharge on each transaction would generate $1 billion a year. In 10 years, the wall would be paid for. By Mexico.
Building a wall is the most Christian and compassionate thing a government can do for its own citizens. It protects them and their families from drug dealers, gangs, human traffickers, sex traffickers, rapists, and jihadis, as well as from those who come to America to take rather than contribute.
The Pope understands this. That’s why he maintains a wall around his own sovereign state. Perhaps he can be persuaded to let us do the same.
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