RELIGION IS BEING USED
AS A WHIP AGAINST TRUMP
If you want to encourage a lefty agnostic to read the Bible, tell him it’s a great source of material for bashing Donald Trump.
Ever since media began focusing on the practice of detaining illegal-immigrant kids separately from adults, Facebook has become a veritable Scripture study. You needn’t look hard to find passages such as…
“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”
— Exodus 22:21
“There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native…”
“Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.”
— Deuteronomy 27:19
“Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner.”
— Jeremiah 22:3
Indeed, you’d think Progressives have their iPhones set to stream “The Bible Answer Man” 24/7.
All this lefty Bible thumping received an unexpected bit of episcopal support when Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson called for a pronouncement by the U.S. bishops that Catholic government officials involved in immigration policy and border enforcement could be subject to canonical penalties. That is to say, they could be excommunicated for carrying out their legally assigned duties.
I think it unlikely that the hierarchy will make such an overt frontal assault on the Trump Administration. But Weisenburger’s initiative definitely widens the gap between lay faithful who support The Donald for (among other reasons) his strong stand on immigration control and a segment of the Catholic clergy deeply hostile to Trump and the populist sentiment that underlies his political success.
As commentator Deal Hudson (who led George Bush’s campaign outreach to Catholics) observed in an essay on Newsmax…
“The intention of using excommunication to force Catholics into line about immigration policy is demeaning. It won’t be viewed as an opportunity for spiritual healing but as punishment for being part of the Trump Administration….
“This level of hostility towards Trump, his staff, employees, and supporters is dividing even further an already divided Church.”
Hudson contrasted the bishops’ fervor over immigration with their notably ambivalent stance on abortion…
“For decades, pro-life Catholics have begged the bishops to get tough with pro-abortion politicians. A few stepped up to the plate only to be scorned and isolated by their brother bishops….”
To Trump’s critics it makes no difference that the Department of Homeland Security is carrying out procedures for handling juvenile illegals that have been on the books and in use since long before Trump took office. The difference is that Trump has ordered border security to be enforced consistently — that is to say with Zero Tolerance — where the approach of previous administrations had been wildly capricious.
Are things worse under The Donald?
Who can tell? The endless stream of falsehood, distortion and hypocrisy obscures the question.
As I understand this situation on our southern border, most adults and children crossing illegally claim to be escaping threats of violence, persecution, even death — and those threats may be entirely real. But since these folks haven’t applied for asylum, they’ve broken our law. Their cases must be examined, and under Zero Tolerance people are being detained.
It is established procedure — established well before Trump — that minors are held in secure facilities intended to shield them from possible predation by adults. These facilities are apart from those in which their parents or other relatives are held (in some instances quite distant). But after the situations are sorted out and the adults are either scheduled for deportation or granted asylum, families are reunited.
Now we know that there are also a lot of minors (mostly teenagers) who have entered the country on their own and were never accompanied by adults in the first place. Those are harder cases that require more extended care and investigation.
No doubt the system is over-taxed, things aren’t functioning flawlessly, and there’s much family disruption, anxiety, and strain. But a process does seem to be at work here — although how it’s going to operate after Trump’s executive order about keeping families together is still to be figured out.
In any event, it’s safe to assume that the reality of what’s happening is different from the image being propagated — that Trump is stealing children or just being a big ol’ meany.
As with so many other crises whipped up to impugn The Donald, I think this controversy is actually strengthening his position. Despite all the disingenuous wailing about caged children and broken families, Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy demonstrates once again that he is doing what he was elected to do: tighten border security and crack down on illegal immigration. And this is reflected in the polls.
Writing for The Hill, Ford O’Connell of George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, observes…
“Trump’s supporters see him as a man who keeps his promises and disrupts the swamp.
“They like that he has put in place a conservative Supreme Court Justice and a record number of federal appeals judges in his first year. They love that he pulled out of the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that he has cut nearly twice as many regulations as promised — all despite unprecedented obstruction and resistance from Democrats and a handful of recalcitrant Republicans in Washington and beyond.”
(Add to that broad public approval of economic growth and the upswing in employment.)
But specifically, as regards the border situation, O’Connell insists…
“Based on recent polling, immigration is, as Gallup put it, the ‘strongest countervailing issue determining Republican turnout,’ and Trump’s proposal — amnesty for 1.8 million illegal aliens in exchange for funding the wall on the Mexican border and ending chain migration and the diversity visa program — ‘encompasses the popular position on every major immigration issue….”
More and more people are seeing the increasing tide of illegal immigrants not as the humanitarian crisis it’s presented as being. Rather, they see it as an invasion — part of what Pat Buchanan has called “the invasion of the west.”
From the standpoint of Christian charity this reaction is unfortunate, because it raises people’s defenses, closing hearts to human need.
Still, their assumption is not without a large kernel of truth. And their resentments are exacerbated by hypocritical gestures like the Left’s sudden fondness for Scripture, as well as by threats of Church condemnation. Such displays look less like moral appeals than the work of a faith-based Fifth Column intended to aid and abet an intentional, coordinated attack on our national sovereignty.
If anybody is seen as heroic just now it’s the Border Patrol agents and other immigration officials who are struggling desperately to keep from being overwhelmed, adjust to rapidly evolving political conditions, and correct vile misrepresentations of their efforts.
That’s something for the good Bishop Weisenburger to keep in mind as he ponders his dreaded canonical penalties.
This graphic circulating on Facebook speaks to a cynical attitude about the family separation issue that’s clearly growing…
The Democrats have exploited the situation in their efforts to tar Trump. But this recollection of the Elian Gonzales case from back in 2000 stirs a whiff of hypocrisy…
And then there’s Hillary, desperate as always to be relevant…
Molly Hennessy-Fiske of The Los Angeles Times provides a good overview of the border situation, including a look into unproven charges that federal agents removed an infant from a breastfeeding mother…
For a visual demonstration of how long this situation has persisted — and how long kids have been separated from adults — the Daily Caller ran a collection of photos taken back in 2014. Very enlightening…
The irascible Pat Buchanan situates our border crisis within the larger issue of global migration. He sees things a bit on the gloomy side. But I think he too senses that support is coalescing behind The Donald, declaring…
“Trump may be on the wrong side politically and emotionally of this issue of separating migrant kids from their parents.
“But on the mega-issue — the Third World invasion of the West — he is riding the great wave of the future, if the West is to have a future.”