Weak Point. Shout!


By Fr. George W. Rutler (Pastor of Church of Saint Michael. NYC)

In the margin of a public speaker’s manuscript was the notation: “Weak point. Shout.” Such is the rhetoric of those who place emotion over logic and make policy through gangs rather than parliaments. In Athens 2,400 years ago, Aristophanes described the demagogue as having “a screeching, horrible voice, a perverse, cross-grained nature and the language of the marketplace.” That marketplace today includes the biased media and the universities that have become daycare centers.

The recent action of our government’s executive branch to protect our borders and enforce national security is based on Constitutional obligations (Art. 1 sec 10 and Art. 4 sec 4). It is a practical protection of the tranquility of order explained by Saint Augustine when he saw the tranquillitas ordinis of Roman civilization threatened. Saint Thomas Aquinas sanctioned border control (S. Th. I-II, Q. 105, Art. 3). No mobs shouted in the marketplace two years ago when the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act restricted visa waivers for Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. The present ban continues that, and only for a stipulated ninety days, save for Syria. There is no “Muslim ban” as should be obvious from the fact that the restrictions do not apply to other countries with Muslim majorities, such as Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Turkey.

These are facts ignored by demagogues who speak of tears running down the face of the Statue of Liberty. At issue is not immigration, but illegal immigration. It is certainly manipulative of reason to justify uncontrolled immigration by citing previous generations of immigrants to our shores, all of whom went through the legal process, mostly in the halls of Ellis Island. And it is close to blasphemy to invoke the Holy Family as antinomian refugees, for they went to Bethlehem in obedience to a civil decree requiring tax registration, and they violated no statutes when they sought protection in Egypt. Then there was Saint Paul, who worked within the legal system, and invoked his Roman citizenship through privileges granted to his native Tarsus in 66 B.C. (Acts 16:35-38; 22:25-29; 25:11-12) He followed ordered procedure, probably with the status of civis Romanus non optimo jure—a legal citizen, but not allowed to act as a magistrate.

It is obvious that the indignant demonstrators against the new Executive Orders are funded in no little part by wealthy interests who would provoke agitation. These same people have not shown any concern about the neglected Christians seeking refuge from persecution in the Middle East. In 2016 there was a 675% increase in the number of Syrian refugees over the previous year, but while 10% of the Syrian population is Christian, only one-half of one percent of the Syrian Christians were granted asylum. It is thankworthy that our changed government now wants to redress that. The logic of that policy must not be shouted down by those who screech rather than reason.

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4 Responses to Weak Point. Shout!

  1. A superb, reasoned essay, but these days who listens to reason where Islam is concerned?

    Never mind the likelihood that that nice 10-year-old refugee boy will, in a few years, discover those passages in the Qu’ran that call for the death of unbelievers and an Islamic world government, to be achieved by jihad.

    Never mind that few people understand that the word “Islam” does not mean “peace.”

    The word “Islam” means “submission,” submission to the will Allah as expressed in the Sharia. It means submission to the idea that adulterers are to be stoned, that thieves are to have their hands cut off, that women are inferior to men, that homosexuals are to be killed as punishment for their behavior – and those are only a few of the ways that the “great” religion of Islam expresses itself in daily life.


  2. toadspittle says:

    …And we Catholics laugh at the idea of submission to the will of God.

    “Never mind that few people understand that the word “Islam” does not mean “peace.””
    I’ve never met anyone who thought “Islam” did mean ‘peace” – any more than the word “Catholicism” does.
    I’d have thought most people would think “Islam” means “Muslim.” But maybe I’m wrong.


  3. johnhenrycn says:

    Gosh, Toad. Your glass is empty again.


  4. berolahragamolten says:

    good post


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