First, a couple of caveats. (Though this is never a wise practice in one’s writing.) I normally try to steer clear of political party or opinion in these posts, because that’s not what Winds of Peace is about and political opinion is like pollution of all sorts: it’s everywhere. Second, my intention is not to sway anyone’s beliefs when it comes to politics. If something that I write makes a reader reconsider an opinion that he/she holds, that’s entirely up to them. But every once in a while, someone from the political ranks says or does something that, in my view, merits response. That’s what this posting is about.
I read that former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, has called for the deportation of all people of the Muslim faith who profess belief in Sharia law– not engaged in illegal activities, but merely believing in a certain religious philosophy. It’s the latest in a series of xenophobic ideas to emerge from so-called political “leaders” in this country, but an idea which is both unconstitutional and logistically impossible. Gingrich, who has often promoted unconventional ideas, has clearly exceeded even the boundaries of his own narrow perspectives. But his concept of extreme prejudice got me to thinking, “what if?”
Gingrich seems to desire a return of Muslim immigrants to their countries of origin due to the fear that, based upon their beliefs and the violent actions of some constituents of the faith, they will undermine the security and safety of U.S. society. For the sake of argument, let’s go along with Mr. Gingrich’s postulate and see where it leads.
First, it might be helpful to know where Mr. Gingrich stands with regard to his own religious faith. He was raised in a Lutheran home environment, though the denomination never seemed to resonate with him. Later, in graduate school, he became a Southern Baptist convert and most recently he converted to Roman Catholicism.
In any case, it seems as though he may have unwittingly and retrospectively condemned himself and his entire family to deportation from the U.S. For the annals of criminal justice are brimming over with convicted murderers of all three of the faiths followed by Newt Gingrich. In his proposal for Muslim deportation, he has condemned all Muslims based upon the actions of some who have killed or vowed to kill U.S. citizens. If that suggestion has rationale, then we certainly must be prepared to deport Lutherans, Southern Baptists as Roman Catholics, since like some Muslims, their followers have presented threats to the peace and security of this country.
Perhaps it should also be pointed out that during World War II, the Nazi regime was led by a number of “staunch Christians,” including their maddened leader, Adolph Hitler. There is no argument about the threat which Adolph Hitler posed to the U.S. during his reign of terror, but I doubt that Mr. Gingrich would opine retrospectively about the propriety of expelling Christians from the U.S.
If we go back in history far enough, he might even consider the external threat posed to the original inhabitants of this land and the deadly, culture-destroying invasion of Europeans here. They, too, were driven by a divine faith which clashed with established religious practice of our earliest ancestors. They, too, (or their descendants) perhaps warrant deportation.
Taken to its logical conclusion, Mr. Gingrich seems to have set the table for all people to be sent back to the land of their earliest discernible ancestry. For many Nicaraguans, that might be Spain. For many inhabitants of the Americas, it’s Europe. We all might find ourselves asking one another, “where did your people come from?” Because under Mr. Gingrich’s logic, we should be sent back.
The constitutional tenets of this country provide for each of us to read and believe whatever we may choose, as long as we do not violate laws or the rights of others. Mr. Gingrich has put forward an idea that utterly rejects that freedom and thus, the U.S. Constitution itself.
The analogies here might seem stretched. But no more so than the panicky abdication of legal and moral rights expressed by a man who, until this week, was apparently under consideration for the vice-presidency of the United States. We are always but one voice removed from another human tragedy….