The folly of the fury over Trump's refugee order

Did the judge that struck down Trump's ban realize who was and who was not being allowed into the USA?

Steve Apfel

OpEds Immigrants taking their oath of U.S. citizenship at the Federal Building in Newark
Immigrants taking their oath of U.S. citizenship at the Federal Building in Newark

The Christian faithful are not like Muslims. They never put themselves out for co-religionists. They’ll remember to pray for fellow Christians under dire threat – perhaps. But picket the White House, occupy piazzas, marshal the media into battle, take the UN by storm – never.

It is not, God forbid, that patriarchs and cardinals, clergy and layman are reticent or quiet. Not at all. They proclaim publicly what a bad deed it is, what a black immoral deed, to save specifically the lives of fellow Christians. Cardinal Blase Cupich the Archbishop of Chicago, blasts President Trump’s executive order for offering Christians, but not Muslims, a safe haven in America. He calls it a dark moment in American history. The red-capped Cardinal proclaims that helping Christians before Muslims is contrary to Catholic values. How would St Peter or St Paul have reacted to their flock being butchered like cattle? What imprecations would Jesus have uttered? – though he lived and died a Jew. The mind boggles. ‘Mr Trump, why pick out Christians for favorable treatment? Why save a Christian skin before a Muslim skin?

Has Cardinal Cupich met his match in another man of the cloth, Archbishop J Welby, titular head of the Anglicans? Welby, in so many words, pleads with latter day martyrs: Don’t flee! Love! “Historically, the right response of Christians to persecution and attack is — it’s the hardest thing, but Jesus tells us to love our enemies. It’s the hardest thing when you’re violently attacked. It’s an indescribable challenge. But God gives grace so often for that – to love our enemies.” That was the head of the Anglicans, consoling his brothers in Christ even while they drown in blood. Love conquers. 

There’s an old proverb attributed to the Arabs: "Better to be the enemy of the English, for that way they will buy you; but if you are friends with the English they will most certainly sell you." Who would blame a Christian about to surrender life for his faith if he applied that proverb to the comfortable clerics abroad! Let Welby and Cupich, before they preach and virtue signal, put their virtuous heads on the block.

They have their defense and rationale all ready, no fear of that. A bias towards saving Christians, so the clerical mind works, may harm beleaguered Christian pockets in the Middle East; Western agents or a Fifth Column, they’ll be branded. Patriarchs and clergymen have made that excuse before. Opening the gates for Christian refugees, they add for their own good conscience, would only hasten the eradication of Christianity.

Do they not know the next Arab proverb? “It does not hurt a sheep to be skinned after being slaughtered.” The fate of a Yazidi or a Christian girl fleeing from barbarian Islamists is as bad as it gets. It is difficult to see how being branded a ‘prioritized refugee’ can make life more difficult for a martyr.

But there is more to find in this clerical pot of virtue. Muslim-majority countries, including the seven outraged by the entry ban Trump imposed, themselves have a ban on Israeli nationals in place – locking out people of another faith.

The record of the White House may be a matter of pride to clerics of the utterly selfless sort. Out of 14,460 Syrian refugees admitted into the US since 2011, just 182 belonged to religious minorities. Barack Obama, if truth be told, let in a mere 124 Christians and 25 Yazidis out of the 14,460 lucky souls that lived to kiss the Statue of Liberty. Who knows, but somewhere in that data lies the nub of Barack Obama as the clerics’ worshipped idol.