“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” —George Washington (1783)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- The question of “birthright citizenship” may be settled by a bizarre case.
- Catholic leaders are holding a summit to deal with sexual abuse. Will it work?
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Hoda Muthana, the daughter of a foreign diplomat, was born in the United States in 1994. Her father, Ahmed Ali Muthana, who subsequently became a U.S. citizen the old-fashioned way — legally — was formerly a Yemeni diplomat. Four years ago, Hoda left the U.S. to join with Islamic State fighters in Syria.
She married an ISIS terrorist and supported the jihadis’ brutal slaughter of innocent men, women, and children. Now that ISIS is nearing defeat (not to suggest its ideology will ever be defeated), Hoda has decided that maybe Alabama would be a better place to raise her son than the ruins of a Syrian desert.
This is setting up a legal battle that may shed some light on who is and, more importantly, who is not entitled to U.S. citizenship.
On 16 February, Donald Trump said, “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters,” in order that they be tried as terrorists and held accountable for their crimes against humanity. But in Hoda’s case, Trump says, “I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country.”
According to Secretary Pompeo, “She may have been born here but she is not a U.S. citizen, nor is she entitled to U.S. citizenship.” He insists Hoda “will not be admitted into the United States,” because “she does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.”
The administration is arguing that Hoda is subject to the “diplomatic blue list” rule, which excludes her from any right to citizenship because her father was a diplomat at the time of her birth. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services guidelines, children not born to parents who were “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” as stipulated in the 14th Amendment, including diplomats, are not entitled to citizenship.
Hoda’s father is now suing the government for repatriation of his daughter, arguing that he had been discharged from his diplomatic status by the time of her birth. He also says she was issued a U.S. passport in 2004, which could well have been a bureaucratic error. Muthana and his wife were here legally at the time of Hoda’s birth, but not as diplomats and, thus, she is not subject to the diplomat exclusion.
This case sets up what could be a consequential legal battle over the issue of so-called “birthright citizenship,” which has never been established as a “right” but rather an assumption. In this case, it will bring into focus the question of whether children born to those legally in the United States have a right to citizenship, at a time when there is an assumption of “birthright citizenship” for those born to parents illegally in our country.
As I have previously thoroughly documented in regard to “birthright citizenship,” the plain language of our Constitution’s 14th Amendment has been contorted by leftists to comport with their contemporary political agenda. This contortion exercise is consistent with their insistence that the Rule of Law enshrined in our Constitution is subordinate to their errant notion of a “living constitution” that means whatever they want it to mean.
The 14th Amendment does not establish a right to citizenship for those born here to illegal aliens, because their parents were not “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” Will this case finally provide that clarification?
The Bible is clear: Homosexual behavior is wrong and a sin. It’s not an acceptable alternative lifestyle, let alone a practice in which to take pride or a choice that others must celebrate. From the Old Testament to the New, Biblical writers call it an “abomination” and “dishonorable,” listing it among the sins that will keep its practitioners from inheriting the Kingdom of God.
To be fair, sometimes conservative Christians elevate homosexuality as a particular bogeyman because they’d rather not deal with their own idolatry, greed, adultery, or other sinfulness. Homosexuality is not the cause of the epidemic of broken man-woman marriages in Christendom, for example. Neither is it beyond the reach of redemptive grace. Yet unlike many other sins, homosexuality is also a sin of disorder. It’s not too much of a good thing; it’s a perversion of what God created — something the Apostle Paul calls “contrary to nature.”
Nevertheless, liberal Christians have handled the issue by declaring that the Bible doesn’t actually say what it says, or that Scripture’s prohibition is now culturally irrelevant. In any case, our culture’s brazen embrace and outright promotion of gender disorientation presents particular challenges for Christians.
One of those manifestations is that the Catholic Church has for decades struggled to come to grips with the sin of sexual abuse among its clergy. Unfortunately, many Catholic leaders flatly reject the notion that this is a homosexual problem. “Anyone who tries to make the argument that homosexuality is a root cause does so against all the research that has been out there,” insisted Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago. The Washington Post claims research shows no connection between sexuality and abuse.
Pope Francis, who in December said homosexuals should “leave the priesthood,” is leading a four-day summit to address the problem of sexual abuse. “Listen to the cry of the young, who want justice,” and “transform this evil into a chance for understanding and purification,” Francis declared. “The holy people of God are watching and expect not just simple and obvious condemnations, but efficient and concrete measures to be established.”
Francis’s newfound zeal for stopping and punishing this abuse is welcome, though it remains to be seen what concrete actions will result from this summit. That depends on the effectiveness of his 21-point plan.
Regarding the prevalence of homosexual priests, the Catholic Church must come to grips with how it hates the sin but loves the sinner. Perhaps those tempted by homosexual desires are drawn to the priesthood because they hope the ordered celibacy will provide needed guardrails. If so, it’s evidently a yoke too heavy for some to bear, and rather than finding grace and healing, they’re finding rules and restraints they can’t abide. Perhaps others are drawn to the dirty little secret — what some cardinals fear is a cabal of homosexuals bent on advancing an agenda.
The truth is in there somewhere, and we hope the pope and other Catholic leaders can deal with it honestly and forthrightly.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: SCOTUS: States Subject to Limits on Seizure, Too — How excessive is the practice of civil assess forfeiture? The justices were unanimous.
- The Department of Mis-Education — The Government Accountability Office identified some serious problems within the department.
- Behind the Left’s ‘Free College’ Mantra — It’s more than buying votes; it’s sustaining fiscally unsound colleges and universities.
- CBO Grossly Overestimated Uninsured — It was way off in its estimates of the number of uninsured without the individual mandate.
- Are Current Immigration Numbers Too High? — Total immigration numbers are a bigger problem than many care to admit.
- Video: What Made George Washington Great? — There would have never been a United States of America without George Washington.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP HEADLINE SUMMARY
- The platforms of Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren include slavery reparations, according to Fox News. “Reparations would involve the federal government’s acknowledgment of the ongoing legacy of slavery and discrimination and providing payment to those affected. Policy experts say it could cost several trillion dollars.” National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson construes reparations as lacking substance: “The proposals are not intended to mitigate evil. They are intended to make Elizabeth Warren … or Kamala Harris, or Kirsten Gillibrand … president of the United States.” Notably, Harris this week met with race hustler Al Sharpton.
- “House Democrats pushed ahead Friday with a measure that seeks to terminate President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration that he issued last week in order to circumvent Congress and build his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. … Once it passes the House, the measure would be sent to the Senate, where unlike most pieces of legislation, GOP leaders could not block it from reaching the floor. The federal law requires that the Senate take up the House-passed resolution within 18 days. The resolution is considered ‘privileged’ — which means it would not be subject to a filibuster and require 60 votes to move forward. Instead, it would simply require 51 votes to pass. If all 47 Democrats were to support the measure, they would need only four Republican defections to pass it.” (NBC News)
- “The U.S. is not completely pulling out of Syria just yet,” NPR reports. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday stated, “A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time.” NPR adds, “A senior administration official … [explained] that the decision to leave some troops in Syria was intended to encourage France and Britain to also keep troops there.”
- “North Carolina officials on Thursday ordered that a second election take place in the state’s ninth district after the initially victorious Republican candidate conceded that the first vote was tainted by an illegal get-out-the-vote effort indirectly backed by his campaign. The state board of elections voted unanimously to hold a second election after being presented with evidence that Leslie McCrae McDowless, a contractor hired by Republican Mark Harris’s campaign, ordered his volunteers to go door-to-door collecting absentee ballots and, in some cases, filling them out in favor of Harris.” (National Review)
- “A veteran IRS employee has been charged with leaking the banking records of President Trump’s onetime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels,” Fox News reports. Regardless of Cohen’s guilt, this is unbecoming. The IRS’s targeting of conservatives was merely a glimpse into what remains a toxic, scandalous environment.
- Cue the outrage mob: “Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee wore Confederate uniform in 1980 yearbook photo,” headlines The Washington Post. The best line of the story? “A Lee spokesman added that the governor has never worn blackface.”
- And since we’re on the subject of outrage… “Vandals targeted a statute of General Lee outside a North Carolina museum in what the museum curator believes was an act of mistaken identity,” The Daily Wire reports. “The statue defaced was that of General William C. Lee — who fought during World War II — not of General Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general during the Civil War whose monuments are now being vandalized.” Oops.
- Humor: Bernie Sanders disappointed to learn that $6 million in campaign donations was actually in Venezuelan money (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: “Has Pakistan supplanted Iran as the leading terror sponsor?” Read more on why the Washington Examiner’s Michael Rubin believes Pakistan deserves more scrutiny.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Michael Reagan: “At a press conference Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said it right: Smollett ‘took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I’m left hanging my head and asking why.’ Why? Because Smollett is a troubled egomaniac and had every reason to believe he could get away with it. … Chicago Police Supt. Johnson was terrific. He blasted the celebrities, media people and presidential candidates for giving Smollett’s ‘phony attack’ so much favorable national publicity. But where is the outrage of the black community? Where is the outrage of the LGBTQ community? They are the ones who should be most offended by Smollett’s incredibly inept scheme to become a celebrity victim, because his stunt has diminished the credibility of real hate crimes in the future. … He could end up in jail for three years for filing a false police report, but in the long run he’ll be excused or forgiven by Hollywood and the liberal media because he’s such a devout Trump hater. In fact, it won’t surprise me if his progressive friends in La-La Land give him a special Oscar Sunday night for the acting job he did in his dishonest interview with Robin Roberts on ‘Good Morning America.’”
For the record: “Republicans were explicit about the goals of the tax cuts. They want you to have more money in your paycheck. If you have more money in your paycheck, you aren’t giving the government as much. Ergo, they will not be holding as much of your money at the end of the year. What they give back will be less. Math anyone?” —Stacey Lennox
Friendly fire: “My dear departed grandmothers … as well as my deceased parents must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation, and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not, with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics. Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.” —retired Stanford professor Donald Harris, after his daughter, Sen. Kamala Harris, associated her previous drug use with her Jamaican heritage
Might want to reconsider that: “Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional … and … he is not being written out of the show.” —Fox Entertainment
Non Compos Mentis: “In the court of public opinion, Jussie has lost. … And he lost that because of how — and not his fault. … You think it’s his fault? You think he was doing what he wants? … In cable news. Sean Hannity is going to eat Jussie Smollett’s lunch every single second. Tucker Carlson is going to eat Jussie Smollett’s lunch every single second. … The president of the United States is going to eat his lunch. And who does the president of the United States watch every night?” —CNN’s Don Lemon
Non Compos Mentis II: “No matter how you feel about the wall, I think it’s a moral abomination. I think it’s like the Berlin Wall. I think it’s like any other wall designed to separate human beings and block out people who are running away from the humanitarian disasters. I just think it’s wrong.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Non Compos Mentis III: “I have friends who are in Caracas right now. There is, so far, no civil war, no mayhem, no murder, no apparent dictatorship, no mass imprisonment of opposition, no suppression of the press — none of that is going on even though that is the narrative that is being sold to the rest of us.” —songwriter Roger Waters
And last… “Beware of euphemisms. Radical changes in vocabulary are usually admissions that reality is unwelcome or indefensible.” —Victor Davis Hanson
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher