A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC IN DECLINE

preamble to the constitutionDo I hate the US Catholic Bishops? No. Do I think they are especially bad people? No.  Nevertheless, I think their stance on immigration is stupidly immoral. What is their stance? See for yourself: Catholic Church’s Position on Immigration Reform.

How did I come across the statement the US Catholic Bishops made on immigration. A commenter (here) cited them as some kind of authority and posted a link. I replied (here). Here is the gist of what I said.

The Democratic Party advocates open borders; it just calls it something else. You pointed to a naive front group like the US Catholic Bishops. At the same time those bishops are suppose to be fighting against the killing of babies, abortion, they are working to guarantee Democrat victories at the polls. I don’t have to mock the authority of those men. They do it themselves.

What the US Catholic Bishops want is effectively a second immigration amnesty. SECOND immigration amnesty. We need a second one because the last one worked so well? For whom?

We have always had controlled immigration into this country. Now it is far more difficult. What is different now? People can travel more easily, of course, but what is crucial is our health, education, and welfare programs. Need I say the obvious? Democrats are eager to use these programs to buy the votes of gullible immigrants. (from here)

The US Catholic Bishops have a similar stance with respect to refugees. That is, they disliked President Trump’s Executive Order halting immigration from seven nations that are currently ungovernable. The US Catholic Bishops’ statement on the executive order is available at this post: US Catholic Bishops Publicly Shame President Trump Today At Church by Silence of Mind.

Disgusted, I commented that too. Here is the gist of what I said in my first comment.

What do we call people who substitute weeping emotion for rational thought? Helen Thomas, a White House reporter, ironically invented the expression when she told us how much her heart bleeds.

It is an unfortunate fact of life, but lots of clerics are bleeding hearts. Europe is being overrun by people who do not have any use for democracy. Once their government collapses, where are the Europeans supposed to go? Here? Why would want more brainless fools? Don’t we have enough already?

Seriously, when you play chess, to win you have to think 4 – 5 moves ahead. If we accept millions of refugees, I agree that solves the immediate problem. We have already put who even knows how many such people on welfare, and we are still not bankrupt. Just the same, if we keep accepting refugees and putting them on welfare, the consequences are readily predictable. The refugees will vote Democrat. That’s why the Democrats want them.

In addition, because our taxes are already out of sight because of expensive heath, education, and welfare programs, absorbing endless refugees will just cause our economy will fold up and close shop. We will also become a multilingual nation, a tower of Babel (That’s why the European Union never had a chance.). The collapse will be complete when our government becomes tyrannical. That is the only way it will be able to maintain order. If you have any doubts about the tyrannical part, consider all the disruptions the Democrats are causing Trump. The jackasses are deliberately trying to make the country ungovernable, and they think that is a smart move. The Nazis did the same sort of thing to the Weimar Republic.
🙄 (from here)

The US Catholic Bishops are ignoring the teachings of the Bible.  What is our basic problem? We don’t love each other enough, right? Does putting on a big show that supposedly shows how much we care solve that problem? No. Does overloading our health, education, and welfare systems solve that problem? No. Does electing a bunch of Democrats solve that problem? No. Does creating a situation that is guaranteed to foment immense social strife solve that problem? No.

Here is the other comment I left behind.

Hypocrites, people who only pretend to be highly and even perfectly moral, cannot make a constitutional republic work. The reason is simple enough. They won’t truly abide by the constitution. They will only make the pretense that that is what they are doing. Meanwhile, they will accuse their opponents of every damned thing they can imagine.

Still, the proof of their duplicity comes from their own lips. It is they, to excuse their lies, who call the Constitution a “living document”. With those two words they render the Constitution meaningless, and they think themselves clever. Yet with those two words they also expose the proof of all their own lies. (from here)

The modern Democratic Party and many in the Republican Party engage in legalism.  Like the Pharisees of old, they supposedly uphold a complex legalistic code. This code they tell us is quite honorable, but unlike the nonsense the Pharisees taught their lie can be easily seen. Their code is living; it conforms to the politics of the moment.  As they say, IT IS ALIVE! It is in truth a dishonorable monstrosity.

Should we help refugees from war zones? Of course, we should, but destroying our own culture and almost deliberately sowing social strife into our society will not help anyone. It just spreads the problems the refugees are trying to flee. Don’t we already have enough trouble getting along with each other? Isn’t adding bunches and bunches of poorly educated refugees, many accustomed to violence, like adding fuel to a fire?

Here is the order President Donald Trump issued: EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES. As you read it, consider what the Constitution says in Article I, Section 8. It explicitly authorizes Congress to control immigration policy. Effectively, the Federal Government (unless a Republican is in office) has plenary power over immigration policy.

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States; (from here)

Therefore, the only question before a court should be whether Congress has authorized the president to deny restrict travel to our nation from nations that are deemed threats. In fact, since the president’s primary job is commander-in-chief, doesn’t he have that responsibility already?

So what did the Ninth Circuit Court decide when the Trump administration appealed to it and asked it to stay District Court Judge James L. Robart’s order which had ruled Trump’s unconstitutional and effectively revoked it.  The Ninth Circuit Court let Robart’s order stand.  See Motion for Stay of an Order of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington James L. Robart, District Judge, Presiding. Why? Here are a couple of examples of the ridiculous logic.

  • Foreigners have 5th Amendment rights. Effectively, using such logic, foreigners have the right to enter the United States any time they want to do so. We may as well call them citizens.
  • Foreigners have 1st Amendment rights. Does that mean foreigners have freedom of assembly in the United States. Why don’t we just lay out the welcome mat for foreign armies? Congress has in the past favored immigration from certain nations over others. Why? We shared a similar cultural heritage, including religious heritage. Commonsense, now seemingly in short supply, dictates that immigration from such nations would be less disruptive.

So, do foreigners, foreigners who are not even in our country, have rights under our Constitution? Well, the Framers made it explicitly clear whose rights they wrote OUR Constitution to protect.  See the Preamble at the beginning of this post.

This is not just bad law. It is insane. Those judges need to be removed from the bench. This decision is legal malpractice. If the judges on the Supreme Court don’t have enough good sense to overturn such blatant BS, God help us.  Hopefully, our new Attorney General will take the case over and devise a successful strategy.

Other Views

57 thoughts on “A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC IN DECLINE

  1. Now that you have had a chance to let whaf really happed in court sink in, perhaps we should deal with this:

    “You know better I do that what Judge Robart did was wrong. You know better I do that the circuit court should have ruled for the Trump administration. Yet you would rather win than be right, and that’s sick. And that’s why you have talked around the actual issues.”

    I have never argued that the EO is unlawful or unconstitutional. My claim is that it is unchristian and immoral. You of all people know the difference between something being legal and being right.

    I have heard arguments from good lawyers on both sides, but with my very little and very dated expertise on these things, it seems that Trump’s EO would prevail in court despite that it was incompetently written and implemented, it has hurt our security and has only caused chaos. I could be wrong though. Sometimes you lose in court even when you are right on the law but are wrong on all the facts or just present your case badly. Don’t blame the judges for being activist if you are convicted when its really because you hire sucky attorney and you are a terrible client.

    Now I think you should apologize for calling me sick. 😉 That was meant as a joke bro.

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    1. @Tony

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/12/terror-convicts-came-from-countries-targeted-for-e/

      The odds are very good Trump will not prevail on this matter in court. And how will you react? “Well, I guess my expectation was wrong. Because the law is whatever the Supreme Court says it is, the Constitution says whatever the Supreme Court says it says. Those wise old men and ladies in black robes can’t be wrong. They have more gray hairs than Tom.”

      The ends do not justify the means, no matter how noble we think they might be. Lying that way is not right.

      Our judges are increasingly making decisions designed to satisfy their politics and personal opinions. They are suppose to decide according to the law. When they rule according to their personal preferences, that corrupt, and I can cite quite a few scriptures that say that. Politicians who select judges they already know will not rule impartially are corrupt.

      Where did all this corruption begin? It began with us. It began when we let our leaders start health, education, and welfare programs. When the Federal Government started that crap, they had to ignore the Constitution, and we still let it happen. Now corrupt politicians are bringing in illegal aliens and supposedly needy refugees and putting them on the public dole. They want their votes. And without proper voter ID, they don’t even have to wait until non-citizens becomes citizens.

      And you want blame to Trump? If judges can arbitrary decide cases using criteria that is clearly outside their purview, would you like to explain how a lawyer is supposed to prepare for a case?

      When you call me a xenophobe, it just shows you are not listening. You do not get it. It is not the immigrants I have a problem with. It is the people we have elected, especially the Democrats. They have no scruples and exhibit no shame.

      Do you by any chance have one standard for Trump and another for anyone who opposes him? Why is that?

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  2. What scripture? Well, let’s just start with the interpretations of scripture that the US Catholic Bishops referred to in the link I posted and in the links that you reposted. It seems that Stephen has also made some impressive scriptural arguments here that you have never even dealt with, much less refuted with any authority of your own. I can find more links if you like. If we are going to use Christian Gospel and theology as the moral basis for our political involvement, then it is hard for me to imagine a situation where it is so uncontrovertably a government function which can either necessarily have a moral Christian basis or an immoral one. This is not the government usurping the individual role for charity Tom. The is the government doing what is absolutely required to do, what it only can do for us as a nation in either a way that is morally right or morally wrong.

    As for the legal issue, the District Court has yet to hold a trial or hearing on the merits of the plaintiff states’ claims, Constitutional or otherwise. Based on the fact that the plaintiffs provided enough evidence to show considerable harm from the EO, and that the Justice Department provided literally nothing to defend any harm otherwise, the District Court enjoined the EO on its face until a hearing on the merits could be prepared for and held. And it could have been held fairly quickly. However, the Justice Department instead decided to file an interlocutory appeal to the Circuit Court to abate the injunction. I listened to the Circuit Court hearing, and absent any evidentiary record from the defendants, at least one of the judges was practically begging the Justice Department to present some evidence that there was virtually any security threat at all, but they refused to, and instead just kept claiming that Courts had no authority to review the EO at all. It’s a ridiculous argument.

    No court has yet to actually hear on the merits whether the EO is lawful and constitutional. The standard of review that District Court’s will have to apply and the discretion afforded to the President will be much higher at trial. The standard of review once they actually have a record and evidence on appeal also provides the President much greater discretion, but his powers are not unlimited. In my humble opinion, the President will probably prevail unless his justice lawyers keep screwing it up completely. In fact, he probably would have prevailed initially before the District Court and the Appelate Courts had they not defended the EO so incompetently and with such contempt for the authority of the court. And of course, our Comander and Tweet didn’t help his case much either.

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    1. @Tony

      Which scriptures did the bishops interpret. Do you know? Can you cite some verses?

      Stephen is impressive. That is, he is impressive until you read what he has quoted in context. A hot air balloon is impressive, but there is no telling where it might take you. Fun, but not practical. Do you own research.

      Our government does not exist to solve all the world’s problems by making everyone who would like to be on welfare an American citizen. Yet that is what Barack Obama has been trying to do. His foreign policy was a wreck, and Putin just helped matters along. Have you ever seriously investigated all the problems Europe is having with its Muslims. We are just lucky the Spanish did not have any patience with the vile gods some of the Indians south of our border worshiped.

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  3. “I am not frustrated; I am annoyed. Instead of talking about the actual issues, you are just trying to guilt me into same foolishness you WANT to believe.

    You speak of basic church doctrine. Based upon what? Whenever you quote scripture it blows up in your face. So what do you do? You quote experts who say Jesus would do this or that with nothing more to go on than their own mystical authority. Have you ever seriously investigated the matter? No. I could point to scripture and say here is why I don’t take the bishops seriously, but it is a side argument. I have no interest in undermining the Catholic Church. Generally, the institution does more good than harm. When there are more pressing concerns, I don’t generally feel obliged to tell other people how to be Christians. I am content with my example.”

    Tom, isn’t one of the main purposes of your blog here to convince other people and to have discussions as to how your Christian faith informs you political beliefs? I used to be sceptical about that concept, but I admit that you have convinced me otherwise. I’m not trying to “guilt” you into anything. I’m just happily participating in the friendly Christian debate here just the same as you.

    When you study the Bible, don’t you rely on various authorities for interpretation? Don’t you look at several translations and then read the interpretations of scholars who have studied and prayed over the best exegesis of a given passage? Don’t you rely on a priest or pastor who has studied Christian philosophy and theology for how a given passage falls into an overall theological theme. Finally don’t you take that theological theme and apply it to how you should attempt at living a Christian life and how you should apply those beliefs to your politics?

    You don’t trust my authority on scripture, but unlike you, I am not even asking you to. I’m just saying that your scriptural interpretation on this issue disagrees with the authority of my church and of many other Christian churches. I have pointed out that scriptural authority and so have you, but you have not as yet to presented an authoritative argument that (forgive the pun) trumps theirs.

    When you essentially are preaching here that my politics is not Christian and that yours is, it seems to me that you are telling us how to be a Christian. I’ve got no problem with that. I and my church (whose policy I have actually researched) in this case just simply disagree with you, and we are having a discussion about it.

    As for your legal concerns, you don’t seem to understand the vast difference between a legal injection and a hearing on the merits.

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    1. What scripture?

      You want to help the poor? I have not argued against it. I have complained your methods are foolish. If someone came into a doctor’s office and had a serious infection (gangrene) in his right foot, and the doctor removed his left foot, would the problem be with diagnosis and understanding of the problem or his execution?

      What was unconstitutional about Trump’s order? Did the judge say Congress had not given him the authority he exercised?

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  4. Here are a few examples quoted in a CNN article of religious congregations that have voiced disagreement with Trump’s EO:

    “Even Trump’s childhood church has condemned the executive order.
    The Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, the top official in the Presbyterian Church (USA), called Trump’s order ‘a miscarriage of justice.’
    ‘I urge the president and his administration to reverse this very harmful decision regarding refugees,’ Nelson said. ‘Presbyterians are not afraid of this so-called terror threat. We are not afraid because we profess a faith in Jesus, who entered the world a refugee.'”

    “The Rev. Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ, a partnership of some 38 U.S. churches and denominations, drew on the example of Christianity’s Holy Family.
    ‘By effectively preventing the entrance of refugees into this country, President Trump is establishing a policy that would have kept Joseph, Mary and Jesus from entering our nation,’ Winkler said.”

    “On Monday, meanwhile, Russell Moore, the top ethics and public policy official in the Southern Baptist Church, which has some 17 million members, released a letter that he will send to Trump and Vice President Michael Pence.
    Moore acknowledged concerns about admitting immigrants from trouble spots in the Middle East and Africa but said refugees are already stringently vetted and that his church — and the country — have long traditions of ‘welcoming the stranger.’

    ‘As a nation, we must seek to resolve the tension created by these two values — compassion for the sojourner and the security of our citizens — in a way that upholds both values,’ Moore said.”

    The article also acknowledges some support of Trump’s EO from pastors of some congregations. Considering the support that Trump had from evangelical Christians and Catholics who voted overwhelmingly in support of Trump during the election, the CNN article also recognizes that there may be a split between pulpit and pew on this issue. However, recent poll evidence sited is confusing as to whether or not these same groups who voted for Trump on some issues (such as abortion and gay marriage) may now be disagreeing with Trump on migration issues in general, or as to this specific EO. Even if one, for the sake of argument, allows that there may be a split between shepard and flock on refugee migration, there is no doubt that the more conservative establishment denominations’ scriptural interpretation is toward traditional Christian acceptance, while the membership view appears more reactionary. However, without better evidence of this split, I would not concede it actually exists, particularly within the Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian or Lutheran denominations. And as noted before, perhaps because of their past history of discrimination, the usually diverse Jewish groups seem to be fairly unanimous in their acceptance of refugees and in opposing any migration discrimination which is even indirectly based upon ethnicity, race or religion.

    Here is a link to the whole article:

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/30/politics/trump-immigration-religion/

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  5. “Effectively, using such logic, foreigners have the right to enter the United States any time they want to do so.” No, it means that if we detain them, they have the right to be held on actual charges. You know, basic human rights and all that.

    ” Does that mean foreigners have freedom of assembly in the United States.” Seeing as most of the Founders believed freedom of speech to be a natural human right, it is fully in keeping with our national heritage.

    “Why don’t we just lay out the welcome mat for foreign armies?” This makes no sense.

    “Congress has in the past favored immigration from certain nations over others. Why?” Short answer is racism and religious bigotry. The WASPs that were in power didn’t think the Irish were fully white and that Jews were icky.

    “We shared a similar cultural heritage, including religious heritage.” Make America White, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant again. I was actually shocked to find you writing this post; I thought I had stumbled on some Roundhead, No-Nothing page. Please give us advance notice when you all decide to burn down convents and lynch priests again.

    “Commonsense, now seemingly in short supply, dictates that immigration from such nations would be less disruptive.”

    Yes, less disruptive to Trump’s reelection campaign.

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