To the editor:
President Trump’s temporary immigration ban was abrupt to prevent a surge of terrorists who would try to get in before a pre-announced tightening of the vetting process.
The short list of countries affected by the ban, though Muslim (like many others), had in common being identified by the Obama Administration as especially concerning.
President Trump’s Executive Order, as I understand it, also tried to extend help to non-Muslim refugees who usually couldn’t even get registered as refugees due to religious intolerance in the refugee camps. And consequently were prevented from being resettled into safe countries.
There was, however, serious trouble for no few immigrants and potential immigrants, their families, their employers, and affected U.S. agencies. The Catholic Church is helping immigrants as best it can.
But President Trump’s actions and statements on immigration generally raise one important question, which is who are “we the people”? Do we want freedom to do wholesome things in community with others of like mind, or do we want the anarchy of state-protected liberty to do personal evil with impunity?
The last U.S. presidential election left we the people with a stark choice: freedom, truth, and life, or liberty, lies, and death. About half of the people have been led into a moral death trap, which many actively embraced.
The Trump Administration may be a providential reprieve. The Catholic Church in America is not now in immediate danger of having all of the faculties of the U.S. government turned against it, as they might otherwise have been.
After near victory, antitheists have regained their composure and are assaulting the Trump presidency. Catholics would do well not to join President Trump’s enemies, but try to guide him away from mortal-sin pitfalls.
Yet all politics is coercive: the presumption of all law is that it will be enforced with weapons and prisons. The seductive eye-beam of political action led to the Guy Fawkes disaster for the Catholic Church in England. And the tragic war of the Vendee in France and similarly tragic Cristeros revolution in Mexico.
When the pope turned the hearts of Catholics around the world towards God by means of worldwide Eucharistic Adoration, a potential superpower clash over chemical weapons then held by the Assad regime in Syria was avoided. But the pope accomplished little if any apparent good by later invoking states, and the U.S. in particular, to attack ISIL.
Catholics may wish to ponder the negative value of seeking refuge in “Egypt” instead of in God. And not just refuge in politics, but the “Egypt” of a personal spirituality which has supposedly grown beyond our Lord Jesus Christ.
Name withheld upon request