As described in detail in my November 20 post, Donald Trump's July 6 Warsaw speech was a virtual manifesto for keeping non-European immigrants out of the United States in order to preserve the "values", "civilization" and "traditions" of "the West" which Europe and America had "inherited" from "our ancestors" (white ones, that is). Indeed, Trump, in that speech, called protecting the borders of "the West" "the most fundamental issue of our time."

However, even though Trump gave his speech (which had very uncomfortable echoes of the "Blut und Boden" - ("Blood and Soil") slogan of the Nazis who once occupied Poland and exterminated Warsaw's Jews with the help of their own Warsaw Ghetto Wall -which Trump's proposed Mexican Border Wall inevitably brings to mind) in Poland, one of the most Catholic countries in all of Europe, the president's interest in "Western Values" does not seem to extend to paying any attention to the words of the Pope, one of the greatest symbols of Western traditions and values of all time.

Reuters, in a November 24 article:

Pope criticizes politicians for stoking racism over immigration

reports that the Pope has issued a message called:

"Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace"

The article quotes Pope Francis as follows:

"Many destination countries have seen the spread of rhetoric decrying the risks posed to national security or the high cost of welcoming new arrivals, and doing so demeans the human dignity due to all sons and daughters of God."

The Pope also said:

"Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia, which are matters of great worry for all those concerned about the safety of every human being."

If the president cares as much about the values and civilization of "the West" as he claimed to do in his Warsaw speech, he might want to think about showing a little more respect for the greatest "Western" value of all - the universal value of tolerance and respect for all human beings, as reaffirmed by the Pope.

And if Trump is not willing to follow the values exemplified by the Pope, he might do just as well by basing his immigration polices on the maxim of the great 1st Century A.D. Roman poet Lucan (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus) who, though not a Christian, lived his short life (before being killed by the emperor Nero) at a time when Christianity was just beginning. Lucan famously wrote (in his epic poem De Bello Civili about Rome's brutal and destructive civil wars of the century just before his own):

Inque vicem gens omnis amet ("May all nationalities live in harmony with each other.")

Following both the message of Christianity, as reaffirmed by Pope Francis, as well as the great humanist admonition of a Roman poet of 2,000 years ago, would be a welcome change from Trump's current policies of division, discrimination, deportation and demonization against non-European immigrants.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law