Homer Dodson wrote a letter to Pope Francis and it was posted in this fine paper. He quoted the Pope as having said “A person who thinks only about building walls wherever they may be and not about building bridges, is not a Christian.” According to what I have been able to find that is exactly what he said. Whenever the Pope speaks there are those in the media just waiting to spin whatever he says into a political statement. One headline in a Catholic publication said “Pope said building walls to keep immigrants out is not Christian”. He never said that at all! As a matter of fact the saying “too many people build walls instead of bridges” has long been attributed to Isaac Newton though I doubt he ever said this.
This also is not the first time the Pope made a statement about walls and bridges. At a Mass on September 5, 2013 Pope Francis said that the Church “does not grow by means of proselytizing,” but “by attraction, by witnessing, by preaching,” and Paul had this attitude: proclamation does not make proselytization – and he succeeds, because, “he did not doubt his Lord.” The Pope warned that, “Christians who are afraid to build bridges and prefer to build walls are Christians who are not sure of their faith, not sure of Jesus Christ.” The Pope exhorted Christians to do as Paul did and begin to “build bridges and to move forward”:
In my opinion the Pope is right. America needs to reach out and spread the ideas established in our Constitution. We need to extend our Christian faith to all. In my life time I saw our neighbor to the south, Cuba, go from a prosperous nation to utter poverty under communism. Why were we not involved enough to keep this from happening?
As far as building a wall is concerned we might want to first examine what has been happening in our country. For years we have acted like hypocrites. We have invited illegal immigrants to work our farms, trim our trees and make the kind of money that is really just a form of slavery. We have said to stay out but with a wink and a nod give them a job. I do not know any president in recent times who ever really tried to enforce the laws already on the books. Our current president has completely abandoned the law putting in place his own policies.
One last thing I want to say is that America needs immigration. It needs legal immigration. Because of birth control and the abortion of over 40 million Americans, we are a nation with a negative population replacement rate. Fully 25% of our country is made up of immigrants and their families, each year over 1 million people immigrate to America and yet the growth of our country is now at .73% the lowest it has been in a long time. Whoever becomes president this time I hope they finally enforce the law and work to establish an immigration policy that is fair to us and our neighbors. We might need walls but we certainly need bridges.