On the second episode of Jesuit Autocomplete, Fr. Eric Sundrup and Fr. Paddy Gilger discuss what the pope thinks about hell, evolution, President Trump, Medjugorje, purgatory, and divorce:
Christopher White writes:
One U.S. prelate has gone where none have dared to go before: Directly condemning President Donald Trump for racism.
In a series of tweets on Monday evening, San Antonio’s Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller pleaded with Trump to “stop hate and racism, starting with yourself.”
In several follow-up messages, the Mexican-American archbishop directly called out the president saying: “President stop your hatred. People in the US deserve better.”
“President you are a poor man, a very week [sic] man. Stop damaging people. Please!” Garcia-Siller wrote in another.
“Stop racism!!!! Stop!!!” he tweeted. “Starts with leadership.”
Cardinal Joseph Tobin writes:
A wall would probably drive them into more remote areas of the desert or mountains, possibly to their deaths, as the forces driving them — violence, persecution and extreme poverty — are more life threatening than a risky border crossing. In fact, close to 8,000 migrants have died in Arizona and parts of Texas since the construction of the San Diego and El Paso sectors of the wall in the mid-1990s.
The latest arrivals at our border are primarily asylum seekers from the Northern Triangle of Central America, who, when they cross the border and ask for protection, are in compliance with both our domestic and our international laws — the Refugee Act of 1980 and the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and its 1967 protocols.
A wall would prevent asylum seekers from asking for protection at any point along our border — their right under the law — and would leave many of them at the mercy of drug cartels and other criminal groups in northern Mexico. More humane ways to achieve border security can be found to avoid these harmful consequences, through technology, additional legal avenues for entry and policies that address the factors pushing migration….
Other policies his administration has pursued, including family separation, the rollback of asylum laws, family detention, the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and termination of Temporary Protected Status for most of its beneficiaries, show that the administration’s intent is to rid the United States of as many immigrants — legal or otherwise — as possible….
His justification for the wall is based upon lies and smears against the vast majority of immigrants who are law-abiding and moral, but whom he paints as less than human.
According to Falwell’s creative theology, Christ “went out of his way to say that’s the earthly kingdom, I’m about the heavenly kingdom,” and loving your neighbor as yourself only applies to the latter.
The man whose institutional mission includes being “a voice for the voiceless” then meditated on the uselessness of the poor — “A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. It’s just common sense to me.” He then suggested that it might be immoral for Christians not to support Trump….
Falwell’s flawed exegesis is comically absurd, but its implications are profoundly unfunny. While the Liberty University president purports to be an evangelical leader, his statements are in total contradiction to Christian truth. This isn’t just benign confusion: This is heresy.
And, like many heretics, Falwell and his fellow evangelical Trump apologists are on their way to founding a new religion, one in direct conflict with the old. This new religion doesn’t have much to do with Christ at all. Instead, it centers Trump as savior above any other god.
Michael Gerson writes:
Headed into a possible impeachment battle, the most ethically challenged president of modern times — prone to cruelty, bigotry, vanity, adultery and serial deception — is depending on religiously conservative voters for his political survival. And, so far, it is not a bad bet…..
He is the enemy of their enemies. He is willing to use the hardball tactics of the secular world to defend their sacred interests. In their battle with the Philistines, evangelicals have essentially hired their own Goliath — brutal, pagan, but on their side.
Archbishop John C. Wester, the leader of New Mexico’s largest diocese said Wednesday he believes comments about immigration attributed to President Donald Trump “reflect bigotry” and that immigrants from poor countries made the U.S. great….
Last week, while meeting with lawmakers about a potential deal on immigration, Trump questioned why the U.S. should allow more people from Africa or Haiti.
Several people who attended the meeting said Trump disparaged those countries in vulgar, racially tinged terms. He also said he would prefer more immigrants come from countries such as Norway.
“Those kind of quotes reflect bigotry, and bigotry is just wrong, period,” Wester said. “We’re great because of the people who came from developing countries in past years, countries that were less fortunate, countries that may not have been able to do much for us.”
At the Washington Post, Michael Gerson writes:
Sometimes it is necessary to begin with the obvious. The claim that America needs more Norwegian immigrants and fewer Africans from “shithole countries” is racist. It is not the same as arguing for a higher-skilled immigrant pool. That argument might go something like: “We need a higher-skilled immigrant pool.”…
On this issue, Trump has not earned a single benefit of the doubt. His racial demagoguery in the Central Park Five case . . . his attribution of Kenyan citizenship to Barack Obama . . . his references to Mexican migrants as rapists and murderers . . . his unconstitutional attempt at a Muslim ban . . . his moral equivocation following the deadly protests in Charlottesville . . . his statement, reported by the New York Times, that Nigerians would never “go back to their huts” after seeing America . . . all of these constitute an elaborate pattern of bigotry. Trump makes offhand racist comments, he promotes racist stereotypes and he incites racism as a political strategy.
via Washington Post:
President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed granting entry to immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.
Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday. The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt they help the United States economically.
The remarks have sparked a strong backlash:
Racist. Xenophobic. Inhuman.
— Michael Bayer (@mbayer1248) January 11, 2018
This has always been the reality: Not everyone who supports Trump is a racist, but they do not consider racism to be disqualifying in the President of the United States. https://t.co/imS342321u
— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) January 11, 2018
I won’t use the word Trump did because it’s a crude and inaccurate way to describe human beings and places, but remember Jesus was born in a dusty town few valued. That’s where Christians believe God chose to become human. Not a rich country. God is a God of forgotten immigrants.
— John Gehring (@gehringdc) January 11, 2018
Here is my statement on the President’s comments today: pic.twitter.com/EdtsFjc2zL
— Rep. Mia Love (@RepMiaLove) January 11, 2018
“Why are we having all these people from sh#*hole countries come here?”
1) They are our brothers and sisters in need.
2) They are often fleeing war, violence or famine.
3) There are children among them.
4) It’s the right thing to do.
5) That’s who we are.https://t.co/vQKrB7vyYv
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 11, 2018
Where we identify value will tell us a lot about our own souls. A narcissist can only find value where he identifies personal benefit.
— Michael Wear (@MichaelRWear) January 12, 2018
MSW, highlighting a presentation by Millennial writer Nichole Flores, writes:
There was an entire conference on the subject of polarization in which I participated, at the University of Notre Dame, which resulted in the book Polarization in the US Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal….
All of the contributions at the conference were excellent, but one has taken on greater significance for me in the past year of Trump: Professor Nichole Flores’ presentation “When Discourse Breaks Down: Race and Aesthetic Solidarity in the U.S. Catholic Church.” As I listened to Flores deliver her talk back in 2015, I found it interesting and provocative, but now I realize that the issue of race cuts through our society and our church in ways I had hoped were behind us.
Like many Americans, I hoped we had crossed a frontier with the election of our first black president. Yes, there were still too many incidents in which young black males were victims of violence at the hands of police, and, yes, the income differences between races remained persistent and wrong, but I did not see race as the motivating driver of politics that it had been in, say, the 1950s and 1960s. I was wrong.
We have learned, as a church, that racism still has the power to drive a political narrative, an ugly narrative to be sure, and one the finds a home in the hearts of too many Catholics. Even if we stipulate that many white Catholics do not warm to the president’s stoking of racial animus, too many American Catholics are prepared to overlook or dismiss the racism Trump espouses. Too many Catholics do not see racism for the sin that it is, nor care to examine the evil effects of that sin.
The pattern is obvious: Whenever Trump feels he needs a boost, he returns to the alt-right, white-nationalist themes that rile up his base. That is his core comfort zone because it animates his most devoted supporters. And many of those supporters are Catholics. At a time when our wonderful pope calls us continually to an inclusive vision of the church and of society, we have a president who has built his political strength on divisiveness and exclusion….
The president is a man with no moral compass. We knew that a year ago when he won the presidency. But what has become more and more obvious is that there is a moral vacuum at the heart of our society today, not just on this issue or that but systemically. Many of us disagreed with some of the moral conclusions of previous presidents, but we did not have to contend with a complete lack of a moral framework in the most visible and consequential leader in our polity.
The leaders of our church will meet in Baltimore next week. I wonder if they will even discuss the moral crisis the nation faces on account of the Trump presidency.