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Reactions by religious leaders
to Pres. Trump's 1st Muslim ban.
Trump issues second Muslim ban.

2017-FEB/MAR

Part 8

Donald Trump 1

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This topic is continued here from the previous essay.

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2017-FEB: More reactions by religious and political leaders to President Trump's first Muslim country ban:

One hundred individual Evangelical Christian leaders took out a full page ad in the Washington Post. 5 It was placed there in the name of World Relief, an evangelical Christian organization that specializes in settling refugees in the U.S. It was addressed to the President and Vice President. Thousands of more leaders have endorsed the message online.

In an apparent reference to Jesus' statements in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke in which he commanded his followers to obey the Golden Rule, the ad quoted Scott Arbeiter, the president of World Relief saying:

"As Christian pastors and leaders, we are deeply concerned by the recently announced moratorium on refugee resettlement. As Christians, we have a historic call expressed over two thousand years, to serve the suffering. We cannot abandon this call now." 5

World Relief invites congregation leaders to sign their own names to the letter. As of 2017-FEB-26, 6,742 had done so! 6

John Connelly, writing for Hearst Seattle Media at SeattlePI discussed a Quinnipiac University poll released on FEB-08. It found:

  • 51% of randomly selected U.S. adults oppose the ban; 46% support it.
  • When asked about Trump suspending indefinitely immigration of Syrian refugees, the public was opposed 70% to 26%.
  • U.S. adults disapprove of how Trump is handling immigration issues by 56% to 41%.
  • U.S. adults disapprove Trump's handling of terrorism issues by 49% to 44%.

Tim Malloy of the Quinnipiac University Poll quoted the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, saying:

"Message to President Donald Trump:  'Give me your tired , your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free' still has profound resonance with Americans.

"Significant pushback on immigration tells the President that many voters are not on board with a ban on refugees and that voters [who] are strongly opposed back those most threatened: Syrian refugees."

The polling group conducted a poll at the two-week point of Trump's presidency. They found that male adults support President Trumps performance by 50% to 43%; women disapprove by a much larger margin: 58% to 35%.

Majorities among U.S. adults also concluded that President Trump is not honest, does not have good leadership skills, is not level headed, and does not care about ordinary Americans! The national poll involved 1,156 randomly selected voters and has a margin of error of ±2.9 percentage points. 16

Cleveland.com published a list of comments by Ohio politicians about the Muslim country ban. It runs several pages. One comment was by Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH). He said:

"President Trump's executive actions ending the refugee resettlement program and barring Muslims from entering the United States is a dark stain on American history. I fear students in the future will learn of these actions along side our failure to admit Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi occupied Europe. We know now what a mistake that was, can we not see the error here?

We've got to reverse these decisions, which do not live up to our American ideals. I am certain history will not be kind to us if we fail to do so." 17

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Other developments in the Trump universe:

  • On FEB-24 at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), President Trump referred, for the second time, to "fake news" media as enemies. He said:

    "They are the enemy of the people because they have no sources. They just make them up when there are none." 7

After his speech, he held a White House briefing, but blocked CNN, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, and BuzzFeed from attending. Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times commented:

    "Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest." 8

Marty Baron, the executive editor of the Washington Post said in a statement:

    "Appalling. This is an undemocratic path that the administration is traveling." 8

Reporters from Breitbart News, Washington Times, Fox News and Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS and Bloomberg were allowed to attend the briefing. The Associated Press and Time Magazine boycotted the meeting in protest. 8

  • On FEB-25, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) concluded. It was held in a suburb of Washington DC, in Maryland. This year, the straw poll showed 86% support for President Trump. At last years CPAC, he only received 15% support. 9

  • Also on FEB-25, President Trump tweeted:

    "I will not be attending the White House Correspondent's Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening." 10

    The WHCA dinners have been held annually since 1921. Few presidents have missed ny. John F. Kennedy threatened to miss the 1962 dinner unless female members of the WHCA were allowed to attend; he succeeded in eliminating the gender bar. Ronald Reagan did miss the 1981 dinner because he was recuperating from an attempted assassination. Trump will be the first President of the United States in three decades to not attend! His tweet received 113,758 likes and 23,248 retweets as of FEB-27 at 1 PM, ET.

Deputy White House Press Secretary, Huckabee Sanders, defended President Trump's decision. She said:

"This wasn’t a president that was elected to spend his time with reporters and celebrities. This is a president who campaigned on speaking directly to Americans, and that’s what he’s going to spend his time doing. 11

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2016-MAR-06: President Trump abandons earlier executive order and issues a second, revised, travel ban:

President Trump issued a new executive order that is less extreme than his original order which had been stalled in the courts. It goes into effect on MAR-16.

It appears to have been modified in a way that may avoid it being stalled by the courts. Changes include:

  • Travel restrictions no longer involved Iraq. They would continue with six out of the seven original countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.

  • The Independent, a major UK newspaper, emphasized that:

    "Muslim-majority countries where Donald Trump does business [were] left untouched by travel ban. Wealthier countries which could pose a risk of terror but do business with the Trump Organisation will not face restrictions. ..."

    "Excluded from the list are several wealthier Muslim majority countries where the Trump Organisation has business interests, including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, the UAE, Egypt and Indonesia. 12

    It is worth noting that almost all of the nineteen terrorists who demolished the World Trade Center in 2001-SEP-01 (911) were from Saudi Arabia, which is not one of the six countries included in the ban. None of the remaining 911 terrorists were from one of the banned countries either.

In fact, as Jennifer Williams stated earlier on Vox after Trump's first ban by executive order:

"No immigrants from any of the seven countries on the original list -- Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia -- have killed Americans in terrorist attacks in the US. Not one. What immigrants and refugees from most of those countries are doing, however, is fleeing repression, violence, and war -- in the case of Iraq and Yemen, [these were] wars started or supported by the US itself."15

Thus, the claim by President Trump that the executive order was needed for homeland security is pathetically weak.

The second executive order gives federal government departments ten days to adjust their procedures to handle the ban before it becomes effective on MAR-16. That is much better than Trump's first executive order which went into effect immediately, and threw airports and other entry points into the U.S. into chaos.

The ban on travel to the U.S. from Syria is no longer of an indefinitely long duration.

USA Today posted a video on the new ban:

  13

The American Civil Liberties Union posted a simple Tweet:

ACLU's message 14

Amnesty International Canada sent an email to its mailing list on MAR-06:

In it, Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said:

"Playing with the lives of refugees due for resettlement is unconscionable. This order could affect families who have escaped the rubble of Aleppo, or fled war and famine in Yemen. These are people fleeing conflicts and other serious threats, and they deserve protection. Banning people from these countries will not make America safer.

This latest executive order is a direct attack on freedom, justice and dignity. It is a clear violation of international human rights law." 

"... we've been urging the Canadian government to protect people at risk under new US policies. Now we must call on President Trump directly to stop abusing his power, to uphold the US' commitments to the world’s most vulnerable refugees and to end the discriminatory travel ban."

Webmaster's comment: [bias alert]

Except for people in medical emergencies, I cannot think of another group that is more in need of support than refugees who are attempting to escape violent, inhuman, hopeless and life-threatening situations in their home countries. The Golden Rule -- which calls for a person to treat others as that person would wish to be treated by others -- precisely applies here. The Rule is found in throughout the world among Agnostics, Atheists, all the major religions, and all the minor religions -- including even Satanism -- that we have investigated.

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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

Islam, the second largest world religion.

The Golden Rule

Quotes about the Golden Rule from the texts of major world religions

Agnosticism

Atheism

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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. Daniel Burke, "11 more bomb threats target Jewish community. Trump finally responds," CNN, 2017-FEB-21, at: http://www.cnn.com/
  3. Daniel Dale, "The complete list of all 99 false things Donald Trump has said as president," Toronto Star, 2017-FEB-24, at: https://www.thestar.com/
  4. Erin Wathen, "Refugees are not political," Patheos, 2017-FEB-21, at: http://www.patheos.com/
  5. Daniel Burke, "100 evangelical leaders sign ad denouncing Trump's refugee ban," CNN, 2017-FEB-08, at: http://www.cnn.com/
  6. "Evangelical leaders call on President Trump and Vice President Pence in support of refugees," World Relief, at: https://welcomerefugees-worldrelief.nationbuilder.com/
  7. Jenna Lemoncelli, "Trump Bans ‘Enemy Of The People’ CNN, NYT & Multiple Press Outlets From WH Briefing ," Hollywood Life, 2017-FEB-24, at: http://hollywoodlife.com/
  8. "White House blocks major news organizations from briefing, escalating Trump’s war on the press," Toronto Star, 2017-FEB-24, at: https://www.thestar.com/
  9. Daniel Dale, "In the Trump era, the fringe takes over conservative movement," Toronto Star, 2017-FEB-25, at: https://www.thestar.com/
  10. "Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "I will not be attending the White House ... ," 2017-FEB-25, at: https://twitter.com/
  11. Chris Enloe, "Top WH aide explains why Trump is skipping WHCA dinner -- and Americans will love the reason," The Blaze, 2017-FEB-26, at: http://www.theblaze.com/
  12. Rachel Roberts, "Muslim-majority countries where Donald Trump does business left untouched by travel ban," The Independent, 2017-MAR-06, at: http://www.independent.co.uk/
  13. USA Today, "What Trump's new travel ban looks like," USA Today, 2017-MAR-06, at: http://www.usatoday.com/
  14. Omar Jadwat, "ACLU National," Twitter, 2017-MAR-06, at: https://twitter.com/
  15. Jennifer Williams, "Trump’s “Muslim ban” is a huge gift to ISIS," Vox, 2017-JAN-29, at: http://www.vox.com/
  16. Joel Connelly, "Poll: Majority of Americans oppose Trump travel ban," Seattle PI, 2017-FEB-08, at: http://www.seattlepi.com/ ary Kilpatrick
  17. Mary Kilpatrick, "What lawmakers in Ohio and across the country are saying about travel ban," Clevland.com, 2017-JAN-30, at: http://www.cleveland.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

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Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Posted on: 2017-FEB-26

Last update on: 2017-APR-03
Author:
B.A. Robinson
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