Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, said Sunday that this "weekend proved
to be a dark moment in U.S. history."
actions give aid and comfort to those who would destroy our way of life,”
Cupich wrote in a Sunday statement. "They lower our estimation in the eyes
of the many peoples who want to know America as a defender of human rights and
religious liberty, not a nation that targets religious populations and then
shuts its doors on them."
Vasquez of Austin, Texas, the migration committee chairman of the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement released the same day Trump
signed the order that "we strongly disagree" with its major
restrictions on refugee admissions. "We will
work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration
with Catholic Charities without sacrificing our security or our core values as
Americans, and to ensure that families may be reunified with their loved ones."
Trump told the
faith-based CBN TV station on Friday that he wanted to see Christians facing
persecution receive preferential consideration for refugee resettlement in the
U.S., and he tweeted on Sunday that "Christians in the Middle East have
been executed in large numbers. We cannot allow this horror to continue!”
Christian refugees from
Syria have “been horribly
treated,” Trump went on to tell CBN News’ The Brody File. “Do you
know if you were a Christian in Syria, it was impossible, at least very tough,
to get into the United States?” Trump asked. “If you were a Muslim, you could
come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible. And the reason
that was so unfair ― everybody was persecuted, in all fairness ― but they were
chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians. And I thought
it was very, very unfair.”
As Elise Foley reported
in Huffington Post on January 27, it’s true that Christians
make up only a small portion of Syrian refugees admitted into the United
States. In the 2016 fiscal year, less than 1
percent of Syrian refugees admitted were Christian, although
Christians make up about 10 percent
of the Syrian population.
It’s worth noting that
Christians made up 44 percent of refugees from around the world admitted to the
U.S. in the 2016 fiscal year, while 46 percent were Muslim ― calling into
question the idea that Christians were being discriminated against as a whole.
As of 2010, Christians made up about 31 percent of the world’s
population and Muslims made up 23 percent, but the Muslim population was
projected to grow more quickly.
For Syrian Christians
specifically, Obama administration officials and experts have said the numbers
have more to do with logistics than any attempt to focus on one religion over
another. Only about 1 percent of all refugees worldwide are chosen for
resettlement at all. Most are first vetted by the United Nations High
Commission on Refugees, which determines whether they are, in fact, refugees
― someone who has been forced to leave his or her country and who
“has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion,
nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group,” according
to the UNHCR. The refugee agency also determines whether
resettlement is an appropriate option for an individual or family.
explained the discrepancy in the resettlement rates of Christian and Muslim
refugees from Syria during a Senate hearing in September. Simon Henshaw, of the
State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, said that
although Christians made up about 10 percent of Syria’s prewar population, they
comprised only about 1 percent of those who have fled. Some still reside in
Syria’s government-controlled areas, while others have fled to Lebanon, where
UNHCR and the U.S. have smaller programs for screening refugees, he said.
Henshaw said they were trying to build up those programs.
worth noting that Christian, Jewish and other refugee-focused organizations have condemned
efforts to exclude Muslims or to prioritize members of one religion
for resettlement over another.
Besides that, World
Relief vice president of policy Jenny Yang, whose evangelical group works to successfully
resettle refugees, says that the Trump administration is misguided to presume
that Christians in the Middle East would benefit from potential exemptions they
might receive under the executive order.
think they understand the risk Christians face when they’re refugees,"
Yang said in an interview. "Thinking Christians are preferred to other
religions actually perpetuates the risk they face" while seeking shelter
in the U.S.
may be even scarier:
whirlwind first week of Donald J.
Trump’s presidency had all the bravura hallmarks of a Stephen K.
It started with
the doom-hued inauguration
homily to “American carnage” in United States cities co-written
by Mr. Bannon, followed a few days later by his “shut up”
message to the news media. The week culminated with a blizzard
of executive orders, mostly hatched by Mr. Bannon’s team and the White House
policy adviser, Stephen Miller, aimed at disorienting the “enemy,” fulfilling
campaign promises and distracting attention from Mr. Trump’s less than flawless
But the defining
moment for Mr. Bannon came Saturday night in the form of an executive order
giving the rumpled right-wing agitator a full seat on the “principals
committee” of the National
Security Council — while downgrading the roles of the
chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff and the director of national intelligence, who
will now attend only when the council is considering issues in their direct
areas of responsibilities. It is a startling elevation of a political adviser,
to a status alongside the secretaries of state and defense, and over the
president’s top military and intelligence advisers.
In theory, the move put Mr. Bannon, a former Navy surface warfare officer,
admiral’s aide, investment banker, Hollywood producer and Breitbart News
firebrand, on the same level as his friend, Michael T. Flynn, the national
security adviser, a former Pentagon intelligence chief who was Mr. Trump’s top
adviser on national security issues before a series of missteps reduced his
Regarding that, someone sent me this. Could it be true?
"Everyone is missing what is happening
Trump's Muslim ban getting slapped down
by courts, the media condemning it, protesters coming out, politicians from
...both parties finally starting to speak up about it, all tee up something.
Now, with Steve Bannon on the NSC, and
the DNI and Chair of the Joint Chiefs sidelined, the ONLY thing that needs to
happen is for a big terrorist attack by a Muslim refugee, especially a green
card holder. No previous president would ever have done this, but we've gone
through the looking glass. That attack would give Trump and Bannon rhetorical
space to say that not only are Muslims the problem, but also, politicians from
both parties are a problem, the media is a problem, protesters are a problem,
and the courts and judges are a problem. They've already prepared all of this.
Kellyanne Conway was on TV this morning saying that the ruling of the
"Obama appointee judge" doesn't affect the executive order, because the
order is "preventing not detaining" and it's only a small percentage
of people affected. They're TRYING to cause a Constitutional crisis and tee up
the idea that national security, and executive law enforcement, trumps EVERY
other consideration. Almost every Latin American country that copied our
constitution fell to dictatorship because of that argument that national
security trumps court rulings at some point in the last hundred years.
And since Trump's national security
establishment has been hollowed out by purges and hiring freezes, and since the
Constitution forbids military deployment within the US, Trump can say that
government law enforcement isn't working, we need to contract out to private
Erik Prince, the former CEO of
Blackwater, the private army that occupied Iraq, is reportedly "advising
Trump from the shadows." His sister is Betsy DeVos, one of Trump's biggest
donors. There is already a mercenary army waiting in the wings.
Russia won this election for Trump for a reason, and we are failing to
appreciate the gravity of it. We are so much closer to zero hour than anyone in
Washington seems to realize. ... He MUST be impeached before it's too late."