5 Things Bothering Me About the Response to Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees

Izzy Berdan, of Boston, center, wears an American flags as he raises his arm and chants slogans with other demonstrators during a rally against President Trump's order that restricts travel to the U.S., Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Boston. Trump signed an executive order Friday that bans legal U.S. residents and visa-holders from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. for 90 days and puts an indefinite hold on a program resettling Syrian refugees.

By Michael Brown Published on January 30, 2017

Have you ever seen America so ablaze with controversy? Protests in the streets; hysteria in the news rooms; chaos and weeping at the airports; cries for impeachment among political leaders — all because of President Trump’s executive order concerning refugees.

Some have openly called for the president’s murder, drawing swift rebuke from others (the original tweet pictured below from @indiaknight has since been deleted):

tweet

A well-educated Christian professor in Canada has dubbed Trump an antichrist:

A progressive Christian leader argues that supporting Trump and following Jesus are incompatible:

The leftwing media elite are indignant, with the New York Times branding Trump’s order a “cowardly and dangerous” act of “unrighteousness,” with a host of others echoing similar claims.

On the flip side, rightwing sites like Breitbart feature bold headlines declaring “Terror-Tied Group CAIR [The Council on American-Islamic Relations] Causing Chaos, Promoting Protests & Lawsuits as Trump Protects Nation.”

On Twitter, I asked my followers, “Is Trump’s executive order on the refugees fundamentally unChristian, or is it being misreported by the media?”

In response, 74 percent answered “misreported by the media,” 16 percent said it was “fundamentally anti-Christian,” and 10 percent chose “Other.”

How do we sort this out?

Wading Through the Confusion

In response to the national (actually, international) outcry, President Trump issued a statement Sunday afternoon, restating the rationale behind his order and defending its particulars. In the statement he emphasized that “America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border.” And, he stated, “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”

Others, far too numerous to cite here, have disputed his words, and the din on both sides is rising in intensity by the hour. So, rather than try to sort out all the controversies surrounding the executive order, let me share five things that are bothering me about the reaction to Trump’s order.

To be clear, though, we need to separate the executive order itself from the way it was executed, which led to even more chaos, including the momentary banning of green card holders returning to the States and even the alleged detention of a newborn and an 18-month old baby, both American citizens, at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. One can be upset over the initial implementation of the order while still defending the order itself.

Here, then, is what is sticking in my craw.

1.The Left’s Outrage Seems Driven by Hatred Toward Trump 

First, I have a hard time believing that suddenly, across America, countless thousands of Americans are upset that Muslim refugees from seven countries will be temporarily banned from entering our country while “extreme vetting” measures are put in place.

Muslims make up about one percent of our population, and many of the Muslims who live here are not from the countries on Trump’s list. Yet suddenly, all across the nation, Americans are outraged that Muslims from countries like Libya and Yemen will be temporarily prohibited from immigrating here.

In my opinion, while some of the outrage is legitimate, much of it is more of an expression of hatred toward Trump than an expression of solidarity with, say, Somali refugees. As to the degree that Islamic groups like CAIR are behind some of the protests, others can decide.

2. Hypocritical Concern: What About Slaughtered Christians in the Middle East? 

Second, this massive, loud, national expression of compassion for Muslim refugees strikes me as quite hypocritical when we remember that there have been very few words spoken about the decades-long genocide of Middle Eastern Christians at the hands of radical Muslims. As I tweeted out Saturday night, “Where were all the protests across America as millions of Christians overseas were being slaughtered or sold into slavery or exiled?”

Yet now, we Americans are in a state of frenzy because of the temporary halt on some refugees entering our country. Something is not lining up here.

3. There’s Nothing Wrong With Prioritizing Help for Our Christian Brethren

Third, I don’t understand why some Christian leaders are upset with putting a priority on resettling Christian refugees. (I suggested prioritizing Christian refugees back in November, 2015.) This is the right thing to do scripturally and legally, for at least three reasons.

1) Christians are called to do good to all people, but especially to fellow believers (see Galatian 6:10); so, we continue to help Muslim and other refugees, but as a majority Christian country, we prioritize Christian refugees.

The perception of Christian refugees in Jordan is that “American Christians had completely abandoned them.”

2) Christian refugees really are “the least of these My brethren” in the classic words of Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46, being trapped as a tiny, persecuted minority in the midst of Islamic civil wars and surrounded by Islamic countries, with very few making it to our shores. Sadly, as I noted in 2015, “A friend of mine who pastors a large church in Tennessee traveled to Jordan and spoke with Christian refugees there. Their perception was that American Christians had completely abandoned them.”

3) Legally, the issue is not one of Islamophobia but rather, to quote the executive order directly, a call “to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” This could apply to groups like the Yazidis too, and rightly so. (See here for talk of Safe Zones in countries like Saudi Arabia aiming at helping Muslim refugees.)

4. There is No “Muslim Ban”

Fourth, I have no tolerance for the media’s hysteria and their use of inflammatory phrases like “the Muslim ban.” As David French explained on the National Review (note that French was a well-known Never Trumper):

You can read the entire executive order from start to finish, reread it, then read it again, and you will not find a Muslim ban. It’s not there. Nowhere. At its most draconian, it temporarily halts entry from jihadist regions. In other words, Trump’s executive order is a dramatic climb-down from his worst campaign rhetoric.

Again, French is hardly a defender of Trump, writing that “the ban is deeply problematic as applied to legal residents of the U.S. and to interpreters and other allies seeking refuge in the United States after demonstrated (and courageous) service to the United States.” But he is quite correct in labeling much of the media’s reporting of the order as “false, false, false.”

Similarly, Dan McLaughlin, also posting on the National Review, penned an article titled, “Refugee Madness: Trump Is Wrong, But His Liberal Critics Are Crazy,” stating that the anger at Trump’s new policy “is seriously misplaced.”

Because the immigration crisis is volatile enough in itself, as is the presidency of Donald Trump, some of the media’s irresponsible and inflammatory reporting could easily provoke acts of wanton violence.

I would go as far as saying that some major media players are being downright irresponsible, engaging in the worst type of partisan politics, possibly even endangering lives in the process. I say that because the immigration crisis is volatile enough in itself, as is the presidency of Donald Trump, and some of the media’s irresponsible and inflammatory reporting could easily provoke acts of wanton violence.

5. Evangelicals: Stop Blindly Defending Trump

Fifth and finally, I don’t understand why evangelicals who voted for Trump feel the need to defend everything he does and even how he does it (and I am one who voted for him and who at times has defended him). Not only does this give further fuel to the fire of those critics who claim that we are hurting our Christian witness by supporting him, but it eliminates our high calling to be the president’s “loyal opposition” at times (a phrase used by biblical scholar Yochanan Muffs regarding Israel’s prophets). If we truly care for and support the president, we should demonstrate that by lovingly opposing him when we feel he has done wrong.

Let’s put our faith before our politics, lest we make the mistake the religious right made in previous generations and become an appendage of the Republican Party.

In this case, I’m not saying that he has acted wrongly (although, as is self-evident, the implementation of his order was terribly messy and unnecessarily confusing). I’m saying that we can’t simply have a gut level reaction of defending the president against all criticism, even if, in some (many?) cases, he is being unjustly accused.

Let’s put our faith before our politics, lest we make the mistake the religious right made in generations past and become an appendage of the Republican Party.

That said, if you know how to pray, now’s a good time to put those prayers to work. We desperately need God’s gracious intervention to heal our broken land.

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  • Gary

    Those who claim that what Trump has done about illegals and about trying to keep Americans safe is “unchristian”, should be able to prove their claim from the New Testament. And I don’t think they can.

    • Braden_Campbell

      “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

      “”The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” (Matthew 25:40)

      “‘Love your neighbor as yourself… [parable of the good Samaritan]… “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10: 25-36)

      Need more?

      • Braden_Campbell

        Oh, how about…

        “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” (Matt 5:39)

        ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt 5: 43-45)

        • Gary

          God can rain on the righteous and the unrighteous if they are not in the US as easily as he can if they are in the US.

        • David Kim

          One only share these passages so carelessly and smugly if they know it only abstractly.

        • Jim Walker

          Please unlock your home door and gate so that you can welcome the illegal immigrants and refugess into your home.

      • Gary

        None of those scriptures puts any kind of obligation on the US Government to allow in anyone who wants to come. Not admitting people into the US is NOT mistreating them in any way.

      • Whilst I applaud your use of the Bible to justify your politics I think your application of your supporting verses is far too superficial. Rather than go through every example of where Jesus tells us to love it would be far more beneficial to think about how those verses may play out in our current predicament. Christians have different duties of responsibility to different groups and if one group is determined to do harm to another we must use wisdom and discernment to decide the most “Christian” course of action. We have a duty of care to our family, above our duty of care to the world. As such, it would be an incorrect application of the verses you cite to allow people who seek to kill us into a position where they can do just that. I totally agree that we need to love Muslims, atheists or whoever it may be, but that love must be demonstrated in a way that does not put our duty to love our families in jeopardy.

      • imamazed

        the good Samaritan parable as you know is about a man who beaten to near death, stripped and robbed. No Christian should ever turn their back on any individual in that state, no matter what country they are from, and we won’t. YOU, however, are asking us to invite the robbers and muggers into our home (nation), not the helpless man who needs our mercy.

        • Linda Davidson

          I would imagine most of the refugees fall into the helpless man category.

          • imamazed

            imagining and knowing are two very different things, and the vetting processes we have in place are insufficient according to those who are actually in charge of doing the vetting. If even just one of these refugees turns out to be radicalized and blows up a mall where your son or daughter is watching a movie and they die, are you “ok” with that? What if it is your neighbors children? The good Samaritan didn’t bring the helpless man into his own home. He showed mercy and took him to a safe place (an inn) and paid for his care until he was well. It has been suggested that we (USA) set up, supply and man safe zones for these refugees in or near their own country. This would provide multiple advantages; 1) we are still caring for those in need 2) they are in an area where they know the language 3) the customs of the societies in the area will be close to their own and 4) the able bodied young men will be close enough to return to their country and help their fellow countrymen fight for their own freedom and retake their country from the radicals. Based on the pictures I have seen of these refugees, at least half seem to be young men and not just women and children. This solution would calm the fears of many American citizens while still helping those in need. It is my belief we should prayerfully consider this course as opposed to possibly bringing hate filled killers (even one is too many) into our midst.

          • Linda Davidson

            Thank you for your thoughts (and time.) A couple of parable points. The Good Samaritan first took care of the man himself who was most likely a Jew. Notable because most Jews despised Samaritans and vice versa. It was not until the next day that he left the man in the care of the Innkeeper not only paying for care upfront but also indicating he would settle any money owing once he returned that way.

            I understand the desire to protect loved ones but I think we need to be cautious that we are not ruled by unrealistic fears. There are 4.7 million Syrian refugees living in camps with limited ability to earn a living, buy food, have children go to school, access health care. Almost 27 out of every 1000 babies now born die – which is almost double before the civil war began. The refugee camps are hard. Is it even feasible for the US to provide safety, schools, health care and food and clean water for that number of people? If it could be done, then that is probably a good solution minus one of the key drivers for overseas refugees – to be able to provide for one’s own family and to have disposable income. However that would make them economic migrants and not refugees I would think, I once read that it did not make sense for ISIS to use refugee camps to infiltrate terrorists into other countries when they could simply access travel or student visas instead of sitting in a refugee camp for possibly 10 or more years.

            In Canada, Canadian government sponsored Syrian refugees were prioritized according to vulnerability – women and children first, persons with handicaps, medical conditions, families, etc. (Privately sponsored refugees were given more latitude). The very last category would be single young men. Canada only select from those who referred through the UN ‘s screening of refugee claimants as possible overseas refugees – winnowing the number considerably. Further vetting of claimants was then done by Canada.

          • Jim Walker

            Please unlock your door and gate so that you can welcome the illegal immigrants and refugees into your home.

      • Linda Davidson

        Just thought I would share this with you. Yesterday this question was
        thrown out for reflection at our small church study/discussion group –
        is God is a noun or a verb? The more I thought about it, the more I
        thought one’s answer would help explain the differences in how differing
        Christians perceive Trump.

      • Jim Walker

        Please unlock your home door and gate so that you can welcome the illegal immigrants and refugess into your home.

  • Autrey Windle

    I’m very glad that the president did this and without warning or detail. It’s time to sort the wheat from the chaff and this kind of action shows who is really interested in finding out exactly what was ordered and who only wants to use any unusual action to further division and hate by storming the airports and taking to the streets to declare a holy war on the poor Muslims. At least if they are at the airports they’re not illegally blocking traffic and shooting cops. If Obama ever helped the man who turned over Osama, I missed it. Last time I heard he was begging Obama for protection and instead was jailed by the Pakistanis. He may be dead for all those bleeding hearts care. As for being Christian, Obama refused Christian refugees more than once and as for the least of these, I’m pretty sure in Muslim countries especially, that would be the Christians. As for the troll who ask me to love my neighbor as myself, I will continue to do just that when I include him as my neighbor who I pray our President keeps safe as I hope he keeps me safe by continuing to really know who is coming to my neighborhood and that they are not a radical islamic extremist from some other country masquerading as a poor refugee.

  • m-nj

    How about #6… Visitors and refugees are NOT covered by and protected by the US Constitution until such time as they become citizens. On the contrary, I believe the executive branch is given wide latitude to decide policies related to border control and immigration.

  • Wayne Cook

    Michael…somehow I missed your coverage of the historical precedent for this order. The previous 5 Presidents all issued similar orders…and the elite barely raised an eyebrow. Already this last weekend several outlets revealed that George Soros was behind, paying through several cover organizations, the protesters. Amazing.

    Secondly, According to other writers on this very site, plus Samaritan’s Purse, the number of Christians persecuted and murdered has risen above 900,000. But neither the protesters nor the media care. Certainly not Chucky Schumer or his ilk.

    Blindly? Hardly. We have 35 documented terrorist training camps which the FBI is monitoring, Two of which have been in place just south of El Paso since 2010. More than 7000 mosques were built during the last 8 years, while a majority of Muslims in this country (83%) support Sharia law (which is against US law: 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, a.k.a. the McCarran-Walter Act), as well as the current codes in half of US states today.

    With the exception of millions of voters who backed Trump, the country seems to be in addict denial. I won’t even comment on the Canadians. Irrelevant.

  • The Unknown Comic

    Does God consider someone who is unrepentant of “progressive” beliefs and practices redeemed, saved, adopted, etc.? How is an unrepentant sinner a Christian?

  • Autrey Windle

    Braden is a tiny insignificant troll…PLEASE DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!

    • Braden_Campbell

      Braden is actually a seminary student currently in his second year, and is specializing in evangelistic preaching. But call me names if you wish.

  • Leon Petersen

    Great article Dr Brown…well said

  • Dicksie Garrett

    As stated, the ban is ‘temporary’ in order to give the current administration time to develop and implement vetting policies so that we can, indeed, help those who need help, but also refuse admission to those who desire to come here to harm us. The past administration took little thought of that and yes, they did refuse many persecuted christians in lieu of preference to Muslims. One of the main requirements for asylum is to provide evidence of persecution based on religious beliefs, but those Christians have been denied that recourse by past administration. As to Biblical admonishments to care for the foreigners and etc, I’d like to compare this whole situation to believers as INDIVIDUALS. If you, as a believer, see a homeless person on the streets, are you willing to take them, as many as want to come, into your OWN homes for refuge? If not, why not? I think you would ‘vet’ them. ie. Do they really want and need help? Can you afford to feed your own family and take in all that want to come? Do you consider whether they might be drug addicts or criminals that would, due to their lifestyle, intend harm to you or your family? Yes, we are to show compassion, but we are not to throw common sense out the door in doing so.

    • imamazed

      well said. America is the most compassionate and charitable nation in the world. We have assisted more people (both inside our borders and outside) than any other country in recorded history. That fact is NOT attributable to the government but rather to the citizens (mostly Christians) and churches of our nation. We always have and always will continue to seek out the lost and helpless and give help where we can. That said, we also have an obligation to try to make sure our government protects the people of this nation as well. A TEMPORARY ban on immigrants from nations with governments not only vocally stating that they hate us and consider us the “big satan”, but who actively sponsor terrorist organizations is justified until we can get a grip on the situation. We can still do outreaches and other programs to actively help refugees in need without putting ourselves and our neighbors in this country at risk.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    The hypocrisy among many on the left is indisputable. Looks like objectivity has taken a holiday as this is merely a portent of things to come as it has been of things before where the lefts vision of this administration is concerned. So exasperation aside, It’s time for those of us who embrace realistic solutions to real problems w/out feigning tears & self indignation to enjoy the ride. “Theres a new sheriff in town”. Sure we don’t back down in the face of false accusations & dubious intentions thrown almost randomly in every direction. As Mr. Bannon & Ms. Conway realize, we are in the drivers seat. The race is on & we’re way ahead. No need to look behind. There’s a bright future available ahead up the road. Let us keep our eyes on that while the detractors rants & raves grow fainter & fainter the closer we get to the “prize”. The “Trump Train” is picking up speed.
    Not our fault that some have missed the train …

  • SophieA

    I agree with all your point, save the last. The primary job of our Federal government is to protect its citizens and provide for the common good. Perhaps the implementation was clumsy. Or perhaps it was sabotaged. I don’t know. And certainly there are exceptions such as the babies or the translator. I don’t think the Christians I know are blindly supporting Mr Trump in all things. Our eyes were opened on September 11, 2001 and the atrocities perpetrated against the West and Christians everywhere have only underscored the need for more protection not blind compassion. So many examples: Orlando, San Bernadine, Fort Hood, Boston Marathon. Where are the tears for those killed or maimed? I’ve asked this before. When does our compassion end and our cultural suicide begin? As long as this President works to keep THIS country’s citizens safer, I shall support his administration’s efforts. Call me blind if it pleases you. But once you’re dead; you’re dead. Our justice system can punish the villains only. No one can restore the victim’s life or missing limbs. Ask the family of the Oklahoma grandmother gruesomely murdered or all the other survivors of Islamic terrorist attacks. What if this were President Obama’s ban on refugees from certain countries? Oh wait, this did happen for 6 months in 2011. Nary a peep of opposition was heard. Why now?

  • Hi Michael. In my tweet I did not refer to Trump as “the antiChrist.” Rather, I referred to him as “an antiChrist.” The indefinite article is essential because it means I am identifying Trump as one of a class of people who live in a way opposed to Christ and his kingdom. I am making no grand eschatological claims about Trump’s role in the book of Revelation.

    So why do I believe Trump is an antiChrist? He lies habitually, he is a narcissist, he bullies and insults people ranging from POWs and Gold Star parents to handicapped reporters and women he doesn’t find attractive, he uses dangerous, demagogic language, he creates fear and antagonism toward those Jesus called the least of these, he brags about sexually assaulting women, and the only apology he ever offered for any of his atrocious behavior (when he “apologized” for the video depicting him bragging about sexual assault) consisted largely of him attempting to refocus the discussion on Bill Clinton. That’s not an apology.

    For these and many other reasons, I believe his conduct is profoundly opposed to Christ and his kingdom. And that is the genesis of the epithet by which I described him.

    • m-nj

      Well, you just described 90% of the American populace! OK, maybe only 50% ;-).

      I think the case can be made that the Apostle John in his letters was referring more to false religious leaders/teachers, rather than to political leaders. This is especially evident when John points out, “They went out from us”, and, “This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son”.

      Throwing this epithet at President Trump seems like a stretch, unless you meant it in the most broad and unspecific sense… in which case, it is essentially meaningless and just throws gas on the fire.

      • Thanks for your comment. Nicely stated. It is true that using a highly provocative term like “antiChrist” is subject to a complex cost/benefit ratio. On the one hand, it expresses well the depth of my aversion to the man’s behavior and policies which I believe are profoundly contrary to the call of Christian discipleship. But the very force of the expression is liable to alienate a significant number of people who won’t stick around to hear the nuance that goes with the term, let alone the supporting evidence for it.

        • Linda

          I don’t mind at all when people say they support Trump for his carnal attributes, none of my business. But it’s when they say he is a Christian, it makes me nauseous. He is not he is not he is not!!

          • SophieA

            Hey, Linda. Calling The sitting President of the United States an antiChrist is despicable. I’m not defending Mr Trump’s claims of being a Christian. But to claim he is an antiChrist is disrespectful to the office. Unlike you and some others, U do not have a window into Mr Trump’s soul. So heartened to know liberals such as yourselves are around to call that spade a spade.

          • Linda

            I’m not liberal in the least. I’m pro-life, pro-Biblical definition of marriage, pro-Israel, law abiding, loyal church member, etc. When anti-Christ and his minions appears on earth, do you think Christians won’t recognize him or should not name him? Why would we keep quiet and not sound the alarm when we recognize evil? That wouldn’t be right.

          • SophieA

            Then as a good Christian you are obligated to pray for our leaders. You remember Paul’s epistle to the Romans, right?

          • Praying for your leaders is consistent with praying for their impeachment if you believe they are living and ruling in a way counter to Christ.

            Or do you place the rule of an earthly leader above the rule of Christ?

          • SophieA

            Praying for impeachment is sedition. Get over it.

          • Disrespectful to the office?! Give me a break. Every human office shall be shattered in the coming of Christ’s kingdom.

          • SophieA

            Then as the good Christian you say you are, your obligation according to Paul’s epistle to the Romans is to pray for our leaders. You are a good Christian, right?

          • There is no one good but God. But if you think Romans 13 is a rubber stamp for all governing authorities, you are mistaken. In Revelation 17 we read a very different assessment of the ruling authorities. In that passage, John refers to Rome as the harlot of Babylon and the kingdom of heaven waits for it to be overthrown.

            But I hope you prayed for Obama’s success every day based on your understanding of Romans 13.

          • SophieA

            I in fact pray for all our leaders and supported Pres Obama in every way I could. I never called him an antiChrist. Never even thought to do so. I looked at his fruit and questioned his decisions and I have eight full years of disagreement with his actions. It’s a tough job. I thank him for his service. However, you remain so wrong to label our current President an antiChrist. Doesn’t love trump hate? What is loving about calling our sitting President an antiChrist?

          • By their fruits ye shall know them. Trump’s fruits include staggering narcissism, greed, habitual dishonesty, and the bullying and sexual assault of a long catalogue of victims. Don’t let GOP ideologues tell you that black is white. You know better.

          • AvantiBev

            If by their fruits ye shall know them, you need look to the false prophet of Mecca and Medina and 1400 years of bloody fruit. The Quran and Hadiths along with RELIANCE OF THE TRAVELER should have been read by every American since 2001. These are the “executive orders” of a true antiChrist the so-called “angel Gabriel” who whispered in the ear of a true meglomaniac in Arabia 1400 years ago. Pray for our citizens safety and pray for conversions.

          • Jim Walker

            if I were you I’d pray that he becomes one instead of just being nauseous… where is the love of God that resides in you?

    • SophieA

      So Mr Trump is an antiChrist? You say he is vile, lies, and is a narcissist among other abhorrent sins you mention. I don’t deny he is a vulgar man and guilty of many sins, but I cannot agree with you that he is an antiChrist and should be impeached. Where were you when Mr Clinton abused many women and brought to light in our common discourse an activity I can’t find the words to describe in polite discussions? Where were you when Mr Clinton lied to us over and over again? Was Mr Clinton an antiChrist? Where were you when the media taught this baby boomer, married for decades vile definitions of “sloppy seconds” and “tea bagging?” Where were you when Mr Obama lied about the video tape inciting the attack that left four dead including our ambassador? Where were you when Mr Obama refused to uphold his red line in Syria leaving so many innocent people to die? Is Mr Obama an antiChrist? Should he have been impeached? Why is it that the media who have enabled so many other lying, vile Presidents have now grown a moral compass with Mr Trump?

      • Your comment is a non sequitur. In other words, it is simply not relevant to what I’ve written. As Mom said, two wrongs don’t make a right. Each president must be judged on his own terms. I’ve provided some the reasons why I have applied the epithet “antiChrist” to Trump. If you want to provide a rebuttal you should focus on challenging the adequacy of the groups I’ve provided to justify applying the term to Trump. The behavior of any other president is irrelevant.

        • SophieA

          I thought you’d respond this way. Coward.

          • So now you’re retreating to insults? That doesn’t change the facts. Neither the fact that Obama participated in the expansion of a drone program that terrorized citizens and killed innocent people nor that Bush invaded a country on faulty intelligence leading to the death of 100,000 civilians and blowing three trillion dollars, nor that Clinton was a philanderer and liar who abused his office is relevant to the moral evaluation of Trump’s behavior. Each person must given an account for their own behavior. And insulting me behind the veil of your anonymity does you no favors.

          • SophieA

            Touchy aren’t you? Maybe Mom has a comforting cliche to soothe your conscience. You make assertions and I make assertions. You won’t answer my main point: Why have the vile, corrupt media decided that Mr Trump must pay for his sins whilst giving a pass to other vile deeds from liberal presidents. You have asserted that Mr Trump is an antiChrist. Fine. Time will out. Glad to know you have a direct line to God.

          • Linda

            Um, because he is the sitting President. That’s why. And Clinton was impeached.

          • No, I’m not touchy. I’m just pointing out your hypocrisy at criticizing the alleged cowardice of others from your veil of anonymity. That’s the problem with the internet: folks like yourself behave in secret in a manner you wouldn’t behave in public.

          • imamazed

            garbage….everyone is anonymous on the internet. I could pull any name from anywhere and add any picture off that very internet and post it as “my” picture. For all anyone on the internet knows you could be an Asian woman with purple hair, nose rings and tattoos on your forehead…it’s a ridiculous comment

        • Sherri

          The past behavior of any other president is irrelevant? Your arguments have just lost credibility.

          • I didn’t say that. I said each must be judged independently.

      • Mel

        Let me ask you…howdo you know that he didn’t speak out against Clinton as well? And answer this for me..how did you feel about Clinton’s situation with women?

    • Linda

      Hear, hear. I am heartened to see the growing number of Christians waking from their slumber or fearful silence, and calling a spade a spade. I agree with your analysis wholeheartedly and have been subjected to vitriole when I have tried to raise the alarm on this forum and others. That is why I sincerely believe Trump followers have fallen under a cultic spirit.

    • FO

      The very problem with your assertion is that it does not provide any solution, if any, and if you are in it with him being replaced by Hillary, you’ve got to be kidding me. That is why I mentioned in my tweet that talk is cheap. Criticizing is easy, as anybody can do that, while being part of the solution is another. However, you saw fallacies in my argument (rebuttal to yours), in which you are missing the whole point, the very fundamental issue that divide the country. I think learning to listen will be a good start, especially since you are a professor.

    • Mel

      “e lies habitually, he is a narcissist, he bullies and insults people ranging from POWs and Gold Star parents to handicapped reporters and women he doesn’t find attractive, he uses dangerous, demagogic language, he creates fear and antagonism toward those Jesus called the least of these, he brags about sexually assaulting women, and the only apology he ever offered for any of his atrocious behavior (when he “apologized” for the video depicting him bragging about sexual assault) consisted largely of him attempting to refocus the discussion on Bill Clinton.” — Thank you thank you thank you thank you……..I am opposed to Trump because of my Christian values. How can anyone tell me that I am wrong for that?

  • Matt Schefer

    I agree with your article and the conclusion with the exception of the last statement that implies that Evangelicals are “blindly”defending Trump. So far so go and have I not yet found much of a reason to oppose anything he has done. I am sure at some point I will disagree with something he does but for now I continue to thank God we are not dealing with a President Hillary Clinton, especially with the coming anouncement on his pick for the next SCOTUS appointment.

  • missy

    Well done and well said Michael. It is shameful the blinded media for the most part aren’t reporting the facts you outline in your article. You are right — what is making headlines today is the left centered (sponsored) protesting, anarchy and negative media bias hype against the decision from President Trump ultimately meant for border protection safety and security of US citizens. The plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East deserves more positive attention than what the mainstream media is reporting these days. All of us could be doing more to help and we have an obligation as fellow Christians to assist them.

  • Juan Acuna

    Greetings from Southlake, Rabbi. I enjoyed your commentary and agree with your assessment “we need to separate the executive order itself from the way it was executed..” Policy implementation tends to get lost in translation within the federal bureaucracy. In their defense, DHS, specifically Customs and Border Protection, controls over 300 ports of entry nationwide with thousands of travelers applying for admission at any given time. Each port of entry is managed by a port director who retains a certain autonomy to how policy is implemented at his/her respective port. Thorough vetting for that matter is a daunting task coupled with the ever present error of interpretation. Nevertheless, the statistics of detainees associated with the EO(.03% of all entrants) support that CBP, as a whole, did exceptionally well an implementing a policy with little to no forward guidance; as is the case in any transition of power. Things will get better. My empathy for those unjustly detained, signed this former CBP employee.

    • Gary

      I don’t think you can prove that anyone was “unjustly detained”.

      • Juan Acuna

        I’m not trying to prove anything. I’m only offering perspective on the matter. I’m quite sure if you traveled abroad and on your return were sent to secondary inspection for a little more than 30 minutes you probably would feel “unjustly detained”. My appeal is to the sentiment of those who were detained. I have been on both sides of that encounter and it is unfortunate.

        • Gary

          If they stay in their own country, perhaps these kinds of problems would be fewer.

          • Juan Acuna

            Perhaps….

  • Nick Stuart

    To say that “the implementation of his order was terribly messy and unnecessarily confusing” is the counsel of perfection.

    A reasonable argument can be made that the way it was done was the correct way to do it. Bang, get it done, and sort out the problems when they crop up. The order contained the mechanisms by which this could be done, and was done.

    As for blindly defending Trump. The media is largely operating as an opposition party, so are the Democrats, and so are a goodly number of Republican office holders. All Trump has in his corner are the people who voted for him.

    • fullerhonda

      But you have to admit there are a lot of us. So, please demonstrate to our President he has our support. Message him or whatever.

    • Mel

      How is that different than what Fox News did when Obama was President. How is that different that what the Republicans did when Obama was President?

  • Linda

    The mean and clumsy way it was rolled out – without proper consultation with CBP for example – is the story and the problem here. Also, Sally Yates, the governments top lawyer, has just released her legal opinion that the order might be unlawful and Justice Dept lawyers should not defend it in court. At minimum, this administration is woefully amateur, unskilled and inadequate.

    • Gary

      There was nothing mean about the way it was done. And nothing illegal about it. Sally Yates will soon be unemployed by the Justice Department for failure to do her job.

      Trump is an amateur politician. Exactly what America needs.

      • Lilburn Wesche

        we NEED{?} an amateur president??? GOOD GRIEF!!!

        • Jim Walker

          Obama was also an amateur president…

        • Mel

          Lol….we need an Amateur..you can’t make this stuff up

    • Autrey Windle

      This country has become so used to Presidents announcing every move they make 2 month or at the least 2 weeks ahead of time that they don’t know what to make of a president that understand battle strategy, which this President is faced with at every turn on every subject because of Soros and his ilk using every single breath as a reason to write fake news and start phony riots. I applaud his unannounced way of taking on the problems with big solutions without giving the radicals time to trash every good idea he has to keep us free and safe. This is not a President the bullies can bully and he calls the jerks and liars jerks and liars to defend the Americans against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Somebody remind Sally Yates what that means. GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY AND GOD BLESS OUR PRESIDENT!

  • fullerhonda

    Those who are breaking it don’t want healing; they want control.

  • SlyEagle

    Point 1: There is no evidence that our current vetting was insufficient and these new motions are unnecessary, cruel, and unlawful. Our immigrants have rights and they are being violated.
    Point 2: Why are you so sure that none of the refugees being put on hold aren’t Christians that are in danger of being slaughtered?
    Point 3: Actually, there _is_ something wrong. Favoritism based on religion is banned in the constitution. If Trump follows through on favoring Christian refugees over Muslim ones, he is violating the constitution again. Also, your question “Where were all the protests across America as millions of Christians overseas were being slaughtered or sold into slavery or exiled?” seems intellectually dishonest to me. Was it America shipping Christians overseas to be slaughtered? Did America have anything to do with it? Then what would be the point of lining up outside the offices of your representatives and demanding they stop it?
    Point 4: It is true that the actual order is not a “Muslim Ban.” However, when Trump talked about doing it on the campaign trail that’s what _he_ called it. Furthermore, at it’s most draconian, it is banning travel for legal immigrants from seven countries. Many of them are being held and deported, simply for being abroad when this order was signed completely without warning. And these seven countries have NOT produced any terrorist attacks on American soil, and Libia and Syria not even any potential ones that were thwarted. Yet Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirites all had citizens that were involved in 9/11, but the ban doesn’t target them at all.
    Point 5: Well, this I can agree with. Trump just removed all the generals with actual military experience from the National Security Council and replaced them with neo-Nazi Steve Bannon, who is also still serving as his Chief Strategist and Advisor.

    • Gary

      I disagree with all of your points. I view YOU as a threat to me and my family.

      • SlyEagle

        I can only tell the truth. I can’t make you want to hear it.

    • James Doyle

      I Would like then to ask you a question. I am a from The U.K. and am fed up with the way our country is being run . Will you arrange a flight for me so as I can just up and Emigrate to the U.S. When I get there will you put me up in a nice flat ,and furnish it for me . Will you pay my heating bills and clothing. Will you pay for my medical and dental bills for me my wife and my children. And last but not least will you donate and pay for my household food for a year or until I can learn your way of life . Finally I will find it hard to get a job as I am and have never been used to manual labour. Yours Faithfully Mohamed.

      • SlyEagle

        Sure thing, just send me proof that your home and belongings have been destroyed in the warfare, proof that you are at risk of being killed by insurgents or your own government, and proof that you have no living relatives in a safe location. Also I will need all you and your families personal information so that I can verify you are who you claim you are and your entire work history so that I can relocate you somewhere where you will be able to work. <3

        • James Doyle

          I didn’t say my home was destroyed. Your a Hypocrite. Well what your asking of me is exactly what your President is asking. Also my friend 70% of the Muslim immigrants in Europe are economical ones . Many have I Phones – I don’t – many have designer clothes – I don’t- many as you know and I have pointed out –are not homeless but have left homes -Many have been offered sanctuary and shelter in France and other European Countries and have wrecked havoc . WHY . Because they want to get first and foremost to The U.K. WHY . Because our country gives them the most BENEFITS that’s why otherwise most would stay in Turkey . And for you to ask for prove of Homelessness is stupid beyond belief . So if I have been bombed out of my country and have no papers ,no birth certificates for my family you won’t let me in . Yet you condemn President Trump. Man no wonder you voted for Clinton.

          • SlyEagle

            I see you are not well versed in US immigration policy, which is understandable as I am not versed in UK immigration policy and would not claim I could speak to it. Let me explain. What I described above was Obama’s policy on accepting refugees. That’s right, Obama’s. You say that it is beyond belief and I agree with you. Unlike Dr. Brown claims, people on the left DID protest Obama’s policy as well as the processing freeze that ended up stranding some refugees to their deaths. I was one of them, signing petitions and contacting my senators. But when he did that freeze, it was in response to them discovering that one Iraqi terrorist got through the process. That’s right one, and they caught him. At the time some people thought it was wrong, some people thought it was reasonable, and some thought it was not enough. The Trump supporters appear to come from the crowd that thought it wasn’t enough, as his policy is that Obama’s was not enough. So the change has gone from we will only help you if you pass this highly rigorous test to we will not help any of you for any reason. Therefore, it’s now being protested by people like me (who voted for Jill Stein, fyi) who felt America wasn’t doing enough to help in the first place AND the people who thought Obama’s measures were reasonable.

          • Mark Luhman

            None of Obama measurement were ever reasonable, after all Obama felt the one world view and his measures had killed millions, look at the mess in Libya, Iraq, Egypt and the other countries that were stable until he put his pompous nose into it. Obama policies lead to the final purge of Christians from the middle east. Jimmy Carter decision lead to the chaos in the middle east by letting the fundamental muslim take hold in Iran east and Obama add to it in steroids. One thing I have to give it to the left they can kill million and never have to apologize for anything. It even worst when the left kills million their useful idiots support them and cheer them all the more. God one thing on earth is I hate the actions of you useful idiots.

        • There you go — you’re vetting the man. Let Trump do the same.

    • To all five points: so what! This is for the purpose of checking the vetting system that was in place following the administration which was openly open borders in philosophy. It’s about preparing for the future and actually doing what a president is primarily supposed to do — secure the country. No one can predict which countries will be a problem. It only makes sense to ban the ones that are the most dangerous — so Trump started with the seven chosen by Obama. Did you raise the concern of your point one when Obama put the seven countries on his list and when he banned immigrants from Iran for six months? Probably not.

  • faithntrust

    I read through some of these posts & I have to question if some of these posters get blocked & they just change their name so they can keep up their argumentative, baiting, inciting responses & they must respond to almost every post? Blocking does help your blood pressure! & you that are disagreeable it works both ways. You can block also.

  • Big changes are sometimes messy. Take Obama’s roll out of Obamacare for example. It was a mess for several months and has remained so for years. They couldn’t even get their website to work. This seven countries ban roll out was messy for hours at the most and much of the messiness was caused by protesters who were planning on protesting no matter what happened (think George Soros).

  • Mel

    If we truly care for and support the president, we should demonstrate that by lovingly opposing him when we feel he has done wrong…..but i didn’t see any of this “loving” opposition when Obama was President. Not even from Mr. Brown himself.

    • Linda

      The racist seed in the heart of the Trump campaign is buried quite deep and many followers don’t even recognize it.

      • bamared2222

        What a load! Same old liberal scapegoat response of racism. Get informed and get over it!

        • Linda

          Denying that Barack Obama is born in the USA and that he is not Muslim, despite his saying so, is the only proof needed.

  • Amber Hunt

    After reading two of your articles outlining your point of view on the President’s recent executive order refugees, I am more shaken to the core than any of the justifications I’ve read other Christians give to support this ban. I don’t think I ever truly understood the depths to which people will go in order to rationalize the fear of others until now, even when faced daily with pictures of the women, men, and children who are suffering because of wars our leaders have started.

    You attempt to emotionally manipulate your readers to believe that people opposing the ban couldn’t possibly be doing so out of concern for those “Somali refugees” as you put it. It must be hatred of Trump. People look to their religious leaders to be above politics but I see scattered throughout your post are derogatory statements about the “liberal left.” I’ve seen more compassion and sense of humanity in atheists the last few weeks than I have seen in most Christian leaders in a lifetime. And I grew up Christian in a rural town in the Bible Belt.

    With your words you’ve reminded me of what pushed me away from Christianity to begin with. The inconsistent “truths” and mind-boggling hypocrisy. When merely faced with actual scriptures from your book of worship, you attack the character of the reflector. And you go on to rationalize fear and hate of those who suffer, whose only mortal sin is to be different from you.

    And I know your response to this message, if you even do respond, will be further rationalization, further explaining away, further attacks on someone who dares be outraged by this executive order. I think at the heart of you, you know it’s not right but it’s difficult to admit it. I understand. But please, for the sake of those who heed your words, and for the rest of us, find your humanity again.

    • Linda

      Yes, Michael Brown should trust his original gut instinct telling him Trump was an indefensible choice for a Christian. I fear he is now trying to silence that discernment because it’s hard to run in Christian circles and oppose Trump. There’s a cultish spirit in the White House.

    • RCD

      Please change your avatar. The veil of oppression made from the American flag is beyond oppressive!

      • Amber Hunt

        Really? Do you feel the same way about a nun’s habit?

        • RCD

          Apples and oranges. Nun wears her habit voluntarily. Muslim woman is forced to wear veil of subjugation by men.

    • David Marshall

      Your outrage is selective and hypocritical. America has never admitted everyone who wanted to come — before WWII, FDR admitted few Jews, which was a shame. Barack Obama admitted few Syrian Christians — where were the protests then? Tens of millions of others, from around the world, would love to immigrate to the US — but Republicans and Democrats have kept them out. Why is it that when a Republican president institutes reasonable and temporary rules that effect a few hundred people, the Left goes utterly crazy? This is hypocrisy of the highest order. You take the splinter out of the Right’s eye, and ignore the log in your own.

      • Amber Hunt

        Reasonable and temporary rules that select a few hundred people?! The visas affected number in the thousands. Also, as has been ddemonstrated ad nauseum in the last week or so Obama never issued an outright but a slowing of processing of visas in a specific geographic area related to a specific terrorist threat. And did not involve people who had already been vetted. But sadly facts will never persuade you to see reason, I suspect.

        Also, just because our country has tragically allowed horrors to befall our fellow humans in the past, that’s ok for it to continue?

        As an atheist I never claim to be perfect and have all the answers. All I can do is treat others how I would like to be treated. If I were fleeing war and my family was suffering, I would hope others would do their best to help make it happen and not turn their backs to me due to xenophobia.

        This is why youth are turning from the church in record numbers. Modern Christianity is now associated with xenophobia and racism. The Christian faith has a golden opportunity here to be a beacon of light against fear and hatred. People are aching for unity and a positive role model of humanity. They want to see Jesus’ words in action. Sadly, what is happening is the opposite. We are witnessing white old men in power attempting to preserve the status quo. And the worst part of all is that they are picking and choosing which bible verses to use to justify that fear of change.

  • protect honor

    Yes, now 2 Executive Orders, one more on Saturday, 2-11. This Executive Order is to stop people with criminal records involved with selling drugs, jail records of stealing….etc. He was told over and over again the last two years that The People wanted the borders shut down. To think of it, this is the very beginning of his Presidency and he just wanted to make sure ISIS wouldn’t run in just when he was getting settled in. So many said he made a mistake, maybe he did on the first Executive Order.
    If we do get Immigrants into our country, they should be Lots of Teachers, Engineers, Scientists. We need THINKERS!

    What a sad state our country is in right now. Especially schools that can’t afford to keep on lights and heat during the winter. We just need money Flowing:
    Right now we need to focus on getting as many Businesses and Corporations back into America. We need everybody – Anybody to work. Training Schools to better our lives so that we can feel great about ourselves. We just must get down the horrible Inflation. More Manufacturing, with training just like what happened after WW2 (according to Ken Burns), Our country had gone through, at that time, The Dust Bowl, Stock Market Crash, Depression with people starving and homeless and so afraid.

    How did we change it all to become a great nation again? Industries. Businesses educating, training people, getting them housing. People got to work with new skills. People helped each other out Roads were built.. Schools built, Infrastructure strengthened. We CAN do that again. First thing we can do: call up any companies you like,or if you have products you like: Call them up! Thank them. “Really like this——. Keep making it. We need you to stay in our country!

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