FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2016
Sojourners President and Founder Rev. Jim Wallis released the following statement today:
"Bridges or Walls?
"As Christians, we are called to answer: What does God want us to build, bridges or walls?
"Donald Trump has never met a wall he doesn’t love. He believes in border walls, in gated communities, in structures and policies that separate “us” from “them” – especially when “them” can be defined as immigrants or people of color or the poor.
"Pope Francis has a different answer. “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.”
"Trump responded by calling the Pope “disgraceful.” added Francis to the long list of people he attacks.
"I know this much: our relationship with God is personal, but it’s never private. The public practices and policies we choose to support demonstrate what we mean by the gospel and about the world we believe God calls us to help create. And the Pope is right: the policies Donald Trump espouses are in direct conflict with the gospel. Donald Trump has become the race candidate, the white nationalist candidate who calls for walls instead of bridges, that appeals to those who want to block America’s new multi-racial demographic future. Trump is the “Walls Candidate.” And Pope Francis rightly calls us all, religious or not, to build bridges.
"The most powerful metaphor for where we are going as a nation is crossing the bridge to a new America. Will we be willing and able to make our way to a genuinely multiracial and multicultural society, where diversity is seen as a strength rather than as a threat? Or are we headed for a conflictual future of one collision after another, with a resistant and even violent white minority building higher and higher walls? Many Americans, especially a new multiracial generation, want to build bridges now. Whether Donald Trump is a Christian or not is something between Trump and God. But Donald Trump’s vision for America’s future and his policies are indeed, contrary to the gospel. Donald Trump is an anti-Christian candidate.
"And that is now our choice—bridges, or walls? I choose to stand with the Pope, and I call on all Christians to do the same."
Jim Wallis is Founder and President of Sojourners. His most recent book is America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America