William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.
Earlier today, I commented on how the media like to ask Donald Trump to opine about the pope’s position on immigration, but no one wants to ask Hillary Clinton about the pope’s position on abortion. Now the pope is being asked about Trump’s position on immigration. The pope is making headlines everywhere for saying, "Trump is not a Christian.” But there is much more to this story than what is being reported.
First, the question to the pope inaccurately reflected Trump’s views. Quite frankly, the pope was set up. The reporter told the pope that Trump "wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, thus separating families.” That is patently false. On August 16, 2015, Chuck Todd, on "Meet the Press,” asked Trump, "You’re going to split up families. You’re going to deport children?” To which Trump said, "Chuck—no, no. No, we’re going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together.” When asked where they would go, Trump said, "We will work with them.” So the pope was misled.
Second, after misrepresenting what Trump said, the reporter asked the pope "if an American Catholic can vote for someone like this.” This is rather amazing: Do some in the media now want the pope to tell Catholics who to vote for!
Third, the pope, unlike the media, was totally fair to Trump. He said, "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” (My italic.) He added that "I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that…and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.” (My italics.)
In fact, Trump’s official position on immigration lists three principles: "A nation without borders is not a nation”; "A nation without laws is not a nation”; "A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation.” The last two principles are never mentioned by the media, thus do they distort Trump’s thinking. The bias, which is as strong on the right as it is on the left, is astounding.