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2017-FEB: Early in Donald Trump's
Presidency: Anti-religious Talk And
Violence. Reactions. Trump's initial
Approval/Disapproval Ratings.


During FEB-06 to 08

Part 5

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Donald Trump 1

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This topic is continued here from the previous essay.

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  • Monday, FEB-06: Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of The Huffington Post, posted an essay on the Thrive Global web site titled "How to Get Out of the Cycle of Outrage In a Trump World." 2

She wrote, in part:

"Trump has brought many new things to our lives. And one of them is this state of perpetual outrage (Trumprage? Trumpdignation?) provoked in reaction to the state of perpetual chaos his administration seems to generate on a daily, even hourly basis."

She quotes Kevin Baker who wrote in Politico:

"... thanks to social media, and to the nature of our new president and his administration, politics is suddenly with us always, in every aspect of our lives, including wherever we may look for diversion."

Arianna concludes on a positive note, with a saying by the late Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968):

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. Remember: truth and justice ultimately always win."

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  • Tuesday, FEB-07: Conservative Christian radio talk show host, Bryan Fischer, said that Jesus would approve of President Trump's Muslim ban:

"Focal Point" is a talk radio program on American Family Radio. 3 Producer Jeff Reed asked host Bryan Fischer about President Trump's Muslim ban. Reed drew a parallel between the President's extreme vetting of:

  • Muslims fleeing from chaos in their home country and who are trying to enter the U.S., and

  • People who died on Earth and will be trying to attain Heaven and avoid Hell at the time of the Final Judgment.

Jeff Reed asked:

"Don’t we hear stuff about the Pearly Gate, which is some kind of entrance [to Heaven]? The new Jerusalem, I think in Revelation 21, where he talks about a high wall, a great wall was built with twelve gates. And even [for] Lazarus and the rich man, He [God] fixed a chasm in between. I don’t want this to sound sacrilegious, but isn’t Jesus or God the Father doing some extreme vetting on who He’s allowing to spend eternity with Him and who is not?"

Fischer replied:

"That’s actually a powerful analogy. You talk about the ultimate form of immigration is from earth into the Kingdom in the age to come. That’s the ultimate form of immigration. You migrate from here [Earth] to there [Heaven] and you have got to have a valid entry pass or you’re not going to be let in. You can’t just go in there because you want to. You’ve got to have a permit, You’ve got to be vetted and you have got to have the right certifications to be able to go through the pearly gates. Otherwise the gates are shut and you are on the outside ... So yeah; would Jesus be in favor of restricting immigration? Absolutely.

Hemant Mehta, editor of Friendly Atheist on the Patheos web site, appears to be unimpressed by this exchange. He commented:

"Let’s set aside the irony that Jesus, if He lived today, would be a dark-skinned, Middle Eastern refugee himself, and talk about why Heaven’s vetting process is awful.

Anyone can get in. The Pearly Gates are so porous that rapists, thieves, abusers, and everyone else who made life for others a living hell can easily get into Heaven as long as they repent on their deathbeds and 'accept Jesus' into their hearts. I’m sure their victims are thrilled to run into them in the afterlife. What sort of 'vetting' is St. Peter doing up there to allow that to happen?"

Webmaster's comment: [bias alert]:

    Hemant is discussing the criteria that are used to decide who enters Heaven. According to most conserative Protestants:

    • Step 1: One must repent of their past sins.

    • Step 2: Before dying, one must have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    This belief system is found throughout the Gospels in passages attributed to followers of Jesus. However, the Bible is ambigous on whom shall be admitted to Heaven. For example, the Sheep and Goats passage in Matthew 25:31-46 quotes a single criterion for salvation in words that are attributed to Jesus. The only thing that matters is how a person has behaved toward other people. If the person had helped the poor, naked, hungry, sick, homeless, etc. then they are admitted to Heaven; otherwise they are routed to the torture chambers of Hell. All that matters is whether the person follows the Golden Rule. It requires a follower to treat others as the person would wish to be treated by others. That is, religious beliefs don't matter; only good works towards others decides one's fate after death.

  • Wednesday, FEB-08:
    • The Harvard University Law School Review recommended that Canada suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement. 4,5 This is a bilateral refugee pact between the U.S. and Canada. It was established in 2004 and prohibits refugees from claiming asylum in both the U.S. and Canada. At the time the agreement was passed, both Canada and the U.S. were regarded as safe places for refugees. Deborah Anker, who heads the Harvard program, said:

      "... the finding that the U.S. is safe [for refugees] is [now] wrong and unfounded, and should be blown out of the water.

      The Harvard Review concluded that Trumps executive orders would:

      • Expand immigration-related detention and the construction of new detention centers at the southern border [of the U.S.];

      • Expedite removal of refugees without due process;

      • Authorize state and local officials to detain individuals on 'mere suspicion' of immigration violations;

      • Call for massive increases in the prosecution of immigrants and subject refugees with gender-based asylum claims to prolonged detention.

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    • Exactly one hundred "top evangelical" Christian pastors took out a full page ad in the FEB-08 edition of the Washington Post. It was an open letter to President Donald Trump and vice-President Mike Pence, expressing dissagreement with the president's executive order that banned all immigration from some predominately Muslim countries. It was coordinated by the World Relief arm of the National Association of Evangelicals. The letter said that those signing were:

      "... "deeply concerned by the recently announced moratorium on refugee resettlement. ... [They also] welcome[d] the concern expressed [in the order] for religious minorities, including persecuted Christians. ... We live in a dangerous world and affirm the crucial role of government in protecting us from harm and in setting the terms on refugee admissions. However, compassion and security can coexist, as they have for decades. For the persecuted and suffering, every day matters; every delay is a crushing blow to hope." 6

Webmaster's note [bias alert]:

Much of the Internet is ignoring the obvious factor that the President's executive order concerning refugees was a wonderful, supportive gift to ISIS. It gives them massive amounts of fuel for their propaganda battle; they can now say: "See -- The U.S. hates all Muslims."

Probaby many people are unaware that the ban is against all refugees from certain selected Middle Eastern countries. That includes Muslims, Christians, persons of other religions, and of no religion.

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Related essays on this web site that you might find interesting:

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. The "Trump Cube" image was created by Pete Linforth and was downloaded from the Pixabay web site of "free high quality images," at: https://pixabay.com/
  2. Arianna Huffington, "How to Get Out of the Cycle of Outrage In a Trump World," Thrive Global, 2017-FEB-06, at: https://journal.thriveglobal.com/
  3. Hemant Mehta, "Bryan Fischer: Jesus Would Support the Muslim Ban Since Going To Heaven Involves 'Extreme Vetting'," Patheos, 2017-FEB-07, at: http://www.patheos.com/
  4. "Ottawa should suspend refugee pact with U.S., Harvard report says," Toronto Star, 2017-FEB-08, at: https://www.thestar.com/
  5. "The Impact of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Asylum Seekers," Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, undated, at: https://today.law.harvard.edu/
  6. David Roach, "Open letter: refugee ban 'deeply' concerning," Baptist Press, 2017-FEB-10, at: http://www.bpnews.net/

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Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last update on: 2017-FEB-26
Author:
B.A. Robinson
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