There seems to be a strong current of religious prejudice swirling around new Donald Trump campaign chairman and former CEO of Breitbart News Steve Bannon.
The Hill reports that Bannon, responding to an open letter from Princeton law professor Robert P. George, a Princeton law professor and dozens of other Catholic leaders that denounced Trump, accused the Catholic Church of championing Latino immigration so that the numbers of Catholics in the United States would increase.
Bannon allegedly said on March 8, “I understand why Catholics want as many Hispanics in this country as possible, because the church is dying in this country, right? If it was not for the Hispanics. I get that, right? But I think that is the subtext of part of the letter, and I think that is the subtext of a lot of the political direction of this.”
According to Pew Research Center, 29% of American Catholics were Latino in 2007; 34% were Latino in 2014.
Bannon also slammed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for “rubbing his social-justice Catholicism in my nose every second.”
In late February, Pope Francis admonished Trump for his desire to build a wall along the U.S. Mexico border, even doubting Trump’s Christianity, saying, “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. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he says things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”
Trump said in response, “No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith.”
It isn’t just Catholics who have earned Bannon or his cohorts’ disdain; over the weekend Breitbart, which has already said that Bannon may return to his former position if Trump fails to win the White House, published a piece by former Congressman Tom Tancredo in which he attacked the Mormon community for supporting “open borders and lax enforcement of immigration laws.” He accused the leadership of the Church of Latter Day Saints of suffering from “an episode of moral incoherence.”