Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Travel Ban

It seems like every day there is something else for the media, the left and the Dems to go apoplectic about.  If they didn't look like such idiots, it would be comical.  

I must admit, I'm really having trouble processing what all the hullabaloo is about regarding the Executive Order enacting a TEMPORARY travel ban on seven countries which either have proven that they can't vet incoming immigrants or have no structures to do so.  This TEMPORARY ban will enable Homeland Security to assess their own procedures and put in place some very sound (some would deem extreme, in a good sense) vetting procedures for visitors or immigrants from those countries.  When it was signed, it seemed pretty logical to me.  And it was certainly a strong step back from President Trump's election rhetoric about a ban on Muslims, which no thinking American believed would happen.  

I looked up the law that allows and supports the ban and found this.  Now I'm not a lawyer, but this seems pretty specific.  And it seems that he is well within his rights.  
But then came the hysteria.  The people claiming that this was a Muslim ban surprised me (although given the rhetoric I guess it shouldn't have).  The demonstrations and the ignorant "standing with refugees" was over the top.  Now not only are more cities claiming to be "Sanctuary cities" but California and New York are flirting with the idea for the state.  It literally makes no sense.  These places are saying they will not turn over criminals to Federal authorities.  Think about that.  Criminals.  No one is saying they expect cities to round up illegal aliens, whoever they might be, and turn them over to the Feds.  But to listen to some of these zealots, you'd think that all who support our President want to round up 11 million people and kick them out.  It's ridiculous.  

Academia, the media, many churches and several other institutions went way over the top in their hyperbolic and ignorant comments and decrying of the order.  The Bishop in my Diocese came out with a statement that was not only against the ban but also against our President.  It was almost too much to take.  It really wouldn't take too much for me to walk away.  Here it is so you can judge for yourself.  

We are all Syrian. We are all Muslim.

The last nine days have been a disquieting and dizzying display of presidential action in Mr. Trump’s first days in office. It is difficult for us to find focus as he occupies the media space railing about the size of the inauguration crowd and making unsubstantiated claims regarding voter fraud. From a public policy perspective, there is much to worry about: news blackouts from federal departments, possible trade wars, and comments about illegal torture to name a few.
However, Friday’s executive order to halt immigration from seven Muslim countries, including the suspension of refugees from war-ravaged Syria, is an affront to our sense of fairness and equity. Indeed, the president even stated that our nation would give preferential treatment to Christians over Muslims, thereby invoking a religious standard for entry that is anathema to our national creed. Fanning the fears of 9/11 and ISIS, the president wants us to believe that we will be safer because we change who we are as a people who welcome the immigrant and the refugee. But we are the nation of the Marshall Plan, Famine Relief and Tsunami recovery. Our dark chapters of the last century include Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order 9066, which interred Japanese Americans because of their ethnicity. This is too eerily familiar. Surely we have learned from our past and discovered the better angels of our nature.
As a Christian and a bishop, I have struggled with Trump’s quick claims of his own Christian identity, which seem at odds with his sexist behavior, his dishonesty, and his ostentatious consumption and wealth. But I now know what “America First” means to him and I cannot be silent. America First means the exercise of power and selfishness of which I want no part. These actions will give fodder and strength to those who wish to do us harm. We are at our best as a nation when we give. We are strong when we have appropriate boundaries and an open heart. The truth of the Christian life is indeed part of our national story: it is in giving that we receive.
After 9/11, the French paper, La Monde, ran a headline that declared: “Nous sommes tous Americains,” “We are all Americans.” In the spirit of the Confessing Church of Dietrich Bonhoeffer that stood against Nazi Germany, this follower of Jesus Christ can only stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters from other nations and other faiths who are refugees. On this day, we are all Syrian. We are all Muslim.
President Trump’s actions are unacceptable and un-American. They do not represent who we are as a people. We must recover our senses. It is time to speak out in the name of all faiths and our national identity as a people united in our diversity. That is our gift to the world.
All of this hyperbole is a real affront to the majority of Americans who voted for or support President Trump and believe in the sovereignty of our nation.  It is also an affront to intelligence.  If we can't even take moderate, temporary steps to protect our nation, how can we govern ourselves?  I take heart in the writings of our Presiding Bishop, Michal Curry, who truly embodies the Episcopal way of discerning things through scripture, tradition, and reason.  I certainly won't be a part of a radical leftist church, so we'll see where this goes.

And as these things typically do these days, it quickly went to the courts.  So a liberal judge slapped a restraining order on the ban and it's now being appealed up through the Appellate Court.  But since it's going to the 9th Circuit Court, the most liberal court in the land, it will most likely go to the Supreme Court.  So we'll see.  I'm pretty sure Trump won't give up on this so it's likely to continue.  Welcome to the zoo!
Post a Comment