A group called the North Carolina Pastors’ Network (NCPN) has put up a controversial billboard supporting Trump’s travel ban and warning citizens about “Muslim immigrants.”
The billboard states, “Why Support President Trump’s Immigration Ban??? 19 Muslim immigrants killed 2977 Americans September 11, 2001.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the North Carolina Pastors’ Network (I was), according to their website, they’re a political organization dedicated to supporting initiatives, legislation, and candidates with Biblical values (whatever the hell those are). Their other pet issues include fighting the ability of transgender people to use the public restroom they identify with, defunding and/or eliminating Planned Parenthood, and preaching to the nation that Jesus Christ is the only cure for what ails the United States.
So now you understand what we’re dealing with here.
There are a few problems with NCPN’s rationale here. First, we haven’t had a Muslim immigration ban for the past 15-plus years, and another 9/11-type attack has not occurred. Instead of banning Muslims from coming to the US, we’ve stepped up airport security measures and improved anti-terrorism intelligence. A rational person would agree that we’re doing a relatively good job preventing another massive attack without alienating an entire religion.
Second, although I’m not a Christian, I would assume that Jesus’s love applies to all, not just people who aren’t Muslim immigrants. It seems odd that a group who encourages spreading the love of Jesus would outwardly advocate against allowing Muslim immigrants to enter this country in search of a better education, safer living situation, and more prosperous life. Instead, because a tiny percentage of radicalized Islamists attacked the US over 15 years ago, we should shut the door on all Muslims seeking refuge from a war-torn Middle East.
Here’s how the president of NCPN addresses this point on their website:
“Well, let me unequivocally say this. I am more than willing to die for MY faith. But, I am NOT willing to die, or allow my family to do so, for HIS faith! And, that is precisely what Islamic extremists are doing. They are killing for their faith and ideological belief system.”
But isn’t dying for your faith (a drastic assumption that would happen in the first place) the same as dying for someone else’s? I mean, normally if you’re martyred, you’re being killed in advancement of someone else’s religion over yours, right? How exactly do you die for your faith without dying for someone else’s at the same time? It makes no sense to me.
Third, as many have noted before me, Trump’s proposed travel ban doesn’t include any of the countries the 9/11 terrorists came from. But based on NCPN’s statement above, I assume they’d advocate for a ban of all Muslims if asked. After all, the goal of this organization is to get Christians into office and support Christianity-based legislation. Sounds pretty theocratic to me… something they rail against on their website:
“There is a judicial, legal, political system within Islam. In other words, Islam dictates ALL aspects of the adherents (sic) life. And, not just the individual’s life. Islam dictates the legal, political, judicial life of the nation where it is in the majority. So, it’s far more than a mere religion.”
This group is dripping with hypocrisy. They advocate for government based on Christianity, but criticize another religion for doing exactly what they want to do.
NCPN’s billboard is a message of intolerance, plain and simple. It’s the message we see from Christians in the US every day. “If you want to live in the US, worship like us or we’ll turn everyone against you by equating you with the most evil among you.”
If we’re to use the bad actors of a group as the basis of which to judge them all, then let’s ban Christians from all positions of power, since they’ve been found guilty of egregious abuses in pretty much any category you can think of.