[The New York version of Pravda and the USCCCP agree in disagreeing with The Donald’s executive orders on refugees and migrants – but for different and opposite reasons: One because he’s a theocrat, and the other because his actions are not Christian (Where have we previously heard that rhetoric? Pope Francis on Trump: Building walls ‘is not Christian’); hat-tip to Canon212: AQer Matt Abbott: “I’m not at all surprised by The New York Times. As for the bishops, no, I’m not really surprised by their reaction, either. Just a lot more disappointed.”]
By Matt C. Abbott
President Trump is taking heat from The New York Times and the U.S. Catholic bishops over his executive order regarding refugees and migrants.
Who’da thunk it?
The New York Times and the U.S. bishops appear to have very different understandings of President Trump’s motivations, but do seem to arrive at an equally negative conclusion.
First, here is Times’ editor David David Leonhardt’s take, titled ‘Trump Flirts With Theocracy’:
Let’s not mince words. President Trump’s recent actions are an attempt to move the United States away from being the religiously free country that the founders created — and toward becoming an aggressively Christian country hostile to other religions….
The USCCB has now released a joint statement …which states in part:
…Our actions must remind people of Jesus. The actions of our government must remind people of basic humanity. Where our brothers and sisters suffer rejection and abandonment we will lift our voice on their behalf. We will welcome them and receive them. They are Jesus and the Church will not turn away from Him….
Olson (rightly) believes that both positions are misguided.
Then there’s the statement issued by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, which begins:
This weekend proved to be a dark moment in U.S. history. The executive order to turn away refugees and to close our nation to those, particularly Muslims, fleeing violence, oppression and persecution is contrary to both Catholic and American values…
I’m not at all surprised by The New York Times. As for the bishops, no, I’m not really surprised by their reaction, either. Just a lot more disappointed. But then, I’ve essentially given up on their “leadership” as a whole. Yes, there are some good bishops who deserve praise, but the mediocre and bad ones outweigh the good. The USCCB (not to mention the Vatican) is, for the most part, a bureaucracy riddled with leftists. Barring a miracle, I don’t see it vastly improving anytime soon.
I admit to struggling on the issue of immigration. To me, it’s never been black or white. In fact, the official teaching of the Catholic Church on the matter, per the Catechism, is nuanced.
That said, most of the reactions to the president’s executive order have been overblown, if not downright hysterical. And those who should know better have been some of the worst offenders. Certain bishops have made it a point to remind the laity that Catholics were once in the same position as the Muslims: discriminated against over the last eight years at one point in our nation’s history.
However, as William Kilpatrick writes in Crisis Magazine:
Rational discrimination against Muslim immigration in the twenty-first century is not the same as irrational discrimination against Catholic immigration in the nineteenth century. Unless, of course, you are naïve enough to believe that all religions are basically of the same peace-loving sort.