“Some Comments on a Few Journal and Newspaper Articles,” by Andrew Schatkin

I am an avid reader of both newspapers and journals, whether The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, or America (the Jesuit magazine). I find them all of interesting, informative, and helpful. I would, however, like to comment and differ on a few journal and newspaper articles. For example, there was a story in AP news by Gene Johnson that US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle in response to a lawsuit brought by immigration activists. She ruled that the activists can pursue their claims that the delays violate the due process rights of detained asylum seekers across the country. The complaint stated that migrants seeking asylum after entering the United States illegally had to wait weeks or months for asylum interviews at which an immigration officer determines whether they have a credible fear of persecution or torture in their home country. After that, there have been delays in getting bond hearing which determines whether an asylum seeker will be released from custody. As the case proceeds, Judge Pechman ruled that the plaintiffs had adequately pled they are within the borders of the United States without permission but, while detained, still enjoy inherent constitutional protection.

I am not in a position to second guess the ruling and decision of a United States District court Judge but I want to say this… The plaintiffs were and are not only in violation of the law but in defiance of our legal system. They complain of family separation yet they bring their children here well-knowing they are involving them in actions that they know are illegal. These plaintiffs and anyone else at all can enter this country legally and then seek asylum. Seeking asylum by entering the country illegally and making this claim is an act of manipulation and a gross subterfuge using our legal system which consider these asylum applications as a method of to gain entrance they are not legally entitled to and obtain legal status and residence which in the first instance they are not entitled to. Asylum is a screen to gain illegal entrance and support and allow and gain it. I make no legal analysis here but offer my view and opinion as to what is truly happening and occurring here, which is a gross attempt at legal and factual manipulation and will and does make fools of us all who obey the rules—black, Latino, Asian, and Caucasian— and obey the law and respect our system as governed by the rule of law. We cannot be a country of lawbreakers and then be told and convinced that law breaking should be endorsed and even rewarded.

I would also like to speak about another article in the NY Times, which addresses the rise of Right-Wing extremism and how U.S. law enforcement has ignored it. The article speaks of a forthcoming article by Janet Reitman, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, and says that 22 million Americans found neo-Nazi and white supremacist views “acceptable” according to a poll taken after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville , VA in 2017. The article states that far right extremists have taken more lives since 2001 than any other category of domestic extremist. The NY Times is entitled to take this position, but it provides no fact. The NY times conveniently ignores the Islamic fundamentalist attacks over many, many years, all over the world whether the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa, including the significant persecution of Christians in the Middle East, and Egypt.

Most recently, there was an attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg in which three people perished and others were injured. Like the attack on the Christian market in Berlin, this was an anti-Christian act and cannot be interpreted otherwise. In Ohio, two persons were arrested for plotting terror attacks with undercover agents. In May, a French citizen born in Chechnya stabbed several people with a knife in an area of downtown Paris. Earlier in the spring, a Frenchman born in Morocco killed one person while hijacking a car, entered a supermarket in a small southern French town and killed two people and took a woman hostage.

These ongoing attacks and their brutality the New York Times conveniently ignores and then without facts speaks of the danger and rise of right wing extremism. I note that the Times in reporting the most recent attack in Strasbourg refers to the perpetrator as an attacker and gunman, making no reference to what was a clear jihadist attack. I add that these jihadist attacks are conducted by a small minority of the Muslim community, the overwhelming majority of whom are law-abiding and good and responsible citizens. I do say, however, the NY Times position which I have just mentioned ignores the obvious factual reality, as I have just set forth.

Finally, I would like to address another concern that I think important. The other day, I read a rather long article on the Internet saying that the origins of Christmas are pagan, whether expressed in yule logs, mistletoe, or the Christmas tree. I live in NYC and have noticed that all Christmas carols on a public basis referencing the religious character of the Holiday such as “Joy to the World” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” have been eliminated from the Public Square. Apparently, referring to the birth of Christ, which is the source of Christianity and Christmas itself, is not acceptable in an increasingly secular society. Christmas is not about Rudolph Red-Nosed Reindeer, gifts, and Christmas trees. It is about the entrance of God in Christ his son, to rescue us from sin, which impedes and encases us and gives us eternal life. Christmas is and always will be God’s entrance into the world in Christ to remake and transform a broken and failed humanity. Christmas is Jesus and nothing more and secularism and weak thinking, which ignores this and misses the point, fools and misleads us all.

Finally, I comment on an article in the latest issue of America, by J.D. Long-Garcia, a senior editor. I have a great deal in common with the Catholic church and the Jesuit Order, although I am a Lutheran. My concern for social justice and Jesus’s identification with the poor and the underprivileged are for me embedded and undeniable realities. I say this, however: that a person who comes here illegally, with or without his family, and takes employment, medical care, and educational opportunities, is using our system and abusing it and grossly manipulating it. To cry ‘compassion’ when the President clearly is doing his duty as the President and leader of our society and country is to justify law violation. To come, stay, and use our resources with no legal basis or status when legality was readily available and obtainable begs the question and is unanswerable.