Donald Trump is disgusting and his latest remarks highlight how ignorant many of his supporters are. We should absolutely properly vet and, in cases of people who enter the United States from nations with heavy radical islamic groups, monitor Muslim people trying to enter the United States, absolutely. But to ban an entire group of people because of their religion? That’s not only over the top, stupid, and just downright low.
To defend his position, Mr. Trump has cited Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese American citizens. Of course, this episode is looked at as one of the lowest points of American history. I remember my Dad, whose parents lived through World War II, told me about the Japanese internment camps as a kid telling me, “this is what happens when liberals are involved in conflict, they under react in the lead up and then when something that to them unimaginable hits, they over react.” It was almost universally supported at the time (except for one Republican governor from Colorado) and wasn’t resolved until President Ronald Reagan signed the American Civil Liberties Act, which formally apologized to and compensated Japanese Americans affected by the policy. The internment of Japanese Americans is not something we should celebrate. Trump says he’s not saying he supports the policy, he’s saying that Roosevelt is celebrated by the media and yet he did this. This is true and it’s something conservatives should bring up when myth busting the Roosevelt legacy, conservatives don’t celebrate or admire Roosevelt beyond his resolve as Commander in Chief during World War II (after he was forced into the war, by the way). And it’s not an excuse to put forward an over the top, reactionary policy driven by the same kind of fears.
The policy is stupid because it will seriously undermine our intelligence gathering efforts. Guess who our insiders are in Muslim nations? Muslims. I know it’s a TV Show, but “Homeland” illustrates this, almost all of Agent Carrie Mathison’s insiders are Muslim. When there is some intelligence that she gets that’s vital to national security but they fear for their life if they give the information, she can offer them safe haven and protection in the United States, as our real intelligence officers should be able to do in order to defeat ISIS, Al-Queida and other radical Islamic groups. What do you think Muslims who have helped us in the past are going to say now that the front runner for one of our major party’s presidential nominations has said we shouldn’t let any Muslims in?
Finally, this goes against the spirit of who we are as a nation. If you disagree, maybe you should meet some Muslim people. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church here in Southern California invited two Imams and their congregations to their church this Sunday morning. Now before some of you freak out. Pastor Rick is not saying that Islam is equal to Christianity, he was reaching a hand of grace. This is who we are as a nation. I saw a comment in response to this story a woman noted that she was a conservative, believes we need to defeat radical Islam, and that she and her husband own a restaurant where a Muslim couple, with a woman in full niqab came in. She said she walked over to them, put her arm around the woman, looked into her eyes and said, “you are always welcome to eat here.” She said as she said it, she blessed the family in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The woman’s response was “Thank you.” I know many of you on Red State are Christians, as believers we are called to love God and love others above all else. Jesus said that these are the greatest commandments. In fact, Jesus himself said that “By this everyone will know you follow me, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
We should not be stupid, we should be vigilant. We need to be doing a better job gathering intelligence and monitoring people suspected of involvement with radical Islamist groups. We absolutely cannot be so crippled by political correctness that we ignore suspicious activity by Middle Eastern American Muslims out of fear of profiling. But at the very same time, we can not lose who we are in the process. As Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” If we believe America is a nation founded on Christian values, we’ve got to show some kindness to Muslim people. If there was anything that underscores how far removed Donald Trump is from our own Christian values, I hope this does it for people.