Vail Daily column: The protection of freedoms |

Vail Daily column: The protection of freedoms

Richard Carnes
My View

I want everyone to realize how hard this is to type, but I’m going to type it anyway (but with gloves on): I agree with Donald Trump.

Not on everything, mind you; it’s not like I turned a corner and suddenly found myself being an ignorant racist with a side of narcissism and an ego the size of Kanye West’s T-shirt closet.

But I do agree with him on one particular point, which is the pope should keep his religious condemnations out of American politics.

According to the media, the leader of the world’s tiniest nation recently implied, or allegedly accused, Donald Trump of not being a Christian, which in some circles is considered an insult, but in American politics should have the same impact as Kanye West does on rock ’n’ roll.

But enough about Mr. Kardashian, as we should focus on this evangelical infatuation with turning our great nation into a theocracy.

There is very little in this world more entertaining to me than an evangelical desperately attempting to prove their particular version of their particular deity is real, and all the others are childish make-believe.

As I have said repeatedly (preached?), a person’s beliefs are none of my business just as mine are none of theirs, and by keeping our beliefs out of government we protect everyone’s right to believe whatever they wish, including a complete lack thereof.

And the evangelicals agree all religion should be kept out of government as well — except theirs of course, which is the problem.

There is a very valid reason the founding fathers made the Constitution the supreme law of the land as opposed to a very particular version of a very particular book.

And that very reason is freedom.

In spite of what some presidential candidates espouse, secularism is not state-forced atheism. It is the state simply keeping its hands off of personal freedoms, of which religion is one of many.

So yes, I agree with Trump calling the pope’s remarks “disgraceful,” although I would have used the word “unfortunate” instead. (I have a little more tact, usually.)

But here’s the kicker for this entire silly issue — the pope never actually said it. Nope, he never said “Donald Trump is not a Christian.”

The pontiff (whom I think is truly nice and well-intentioned) simply said, in reply to a reporter’s question concerning immigration, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

That was basically it; no personal attacks on The Donald of any sort and no attempt to tell his sheeple how to vote.

Yet the national media flipped head over heels to convince the American public that the pope had taken a stance against Trump, and Trump moronically retaliated in return.

I’m half surprised (disappointed) no one thought to include a “does the pope poop in the woods” joke.

But if this teaches us anything, it’s the next nine months will be full of more media-induced cow turds than any time in American political history.

Be sure and keep your gloves on.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at