House Speaker Paul Ryan is a Christian man, so he should be familiar with 1 Samuel, 16:7, in which the Lord sent the prophet in search for a new King of Israel. The first candidate for the job was Eliab, son of Jesse and flower of the House of Judah. He was tall, handsome, fair and strong. He had one hell of a resume and everybody loved him, and yet the Lord said unto Samuel, “Look not upon his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
Apparently, old Eliab had some skeletons in his closet and after some extreme vetting by the Almighty, he was tossed from the Bible entirely. No job for you!
1 Samuel: 16:7, came to this collapsed Catholic’s mind today when I read a quote from Paul Ryan’s office, asserting that the President Trump’s Executive Order “. . . is not a religious test, and it is not a ban on people of any religion.”
That, my friends, is a bunch of bullshit and in his heart, Paul Ryan knows it. Though the words “Muslim” and “Christian” never appear in the document, this is, very much, an edict that bans Muslims from entry into the United States and if there is a God – and Paul Ryan claims to believe there is – then He knows it too.
Section 5, subsec b, reads:
Upon the resumption of USRAP (U.S. Refugee Admissions Program) admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, 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. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.”
It seems innocuous at first, but as the law only concerns countries with majority Muslim populations, by default, the religious minorities in those communities will be Christian and there are far more Christian refugees in the pipeline than there are places in the Refugee Admissions Program. Thus, the result: No Muslim Refugees.
This is not hard to figure out, even though the law is intentionally obfuscatory.
This sort of sophistry is not new. Consider the image at the top of this page. It is a literacy test administered at the discretion of white poll workers, who were all political party hacks, in Louisiana in 1960. Now, who do you suppose they had take that test?
See, lawmakers in that state, and throughout the South during Jim Crow, understood the Constitution prevented them from explicitly barring Black citizens from voting, but they also knew that the law can, if written ingeniously enough, achieve a desired, utterly bigoted, end without triggering an unwanted legal backlash – and that exact same thing is happening again today, only today, it’s Paul Ryan, a good Christian man, who is trying to get away with sophistic bullshit while actually defending a blatantly bigoted policy and no matter how much that modern-day Eliab smiles and awww-shucks for the camera, he is doing the devil’s work.
I say we warn him of the peril at which he is placing his immortal soul.
Call the Speaker and tell him that you, like the Lord on High, can see into his heart and that you know that he knows that he is supporting an indefensible, bigoted, offensive law. Tell him that what he’s doing is no different than defending a modern-day, border-crossing-administered literacy test, and that we will never, ever forget.
Nor, of course, will his God.
Speaker Ryan does not have an email address that I can find, so give his office a try at (202) 225-0600, though that’s probably not going to work, either. He actually doesn’t really want to hear from you. So make him! One sure way you can do your Christian duty is to send him a postcard at the address below.
The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House of Representatives
H-232. The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Remind him that we are “looking on his heart.” Remind him that the whole damn world is “looking on his heart.”
Then maybe call him a dick.