“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness Is like a villain with a smiling cheek, A goodly apple rotten at the heart. O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!” – The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene 3
The last time I checked, the ultimate authority on the law in the United States is the Constitution. In their quest for rationalizing cruel and unusual treatment of migrants, Trump’s officials have decided to bypass this document, claiming the moral high ground by using biblical verses.
I’ll get to Romans 13:1 –their go-to passage for justifying authoritarian rule–shortly.
There is a larger point besides the inappropriateness and sordid history of this particular verse, namely that the Attorney General has chosen to make a theocratic argument. I said it before, and I’ll say it again, creating a theocratic state is the ultimate goal of a majority of conservative Republicans in government.
The party of Lincoln is no longer a legitimate political entity. It’s a Faith-based organization with a Faith-based agenda. The underlying classicism of form is the age-old (dating back to classical Greece, at least) schism between Faith and Reason, not politics.
The Republicans themselves have spelled it out repeatedly. Their candidates are open about stating they want to remove the separation between church and state. They feel obligated to use any means necessary (including, apparently, a hand from Uncle Vlad) to keep Democrats from controlling the White House, Congress, or the Senate. Why else would they brand House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi–diamonds, pearls and all–as the tool of a Latin-American street gang?
It’s right there in their list of so-called “Republican Values”: they want to impose Christian “values” on the United States.
It makes me wonder about the local GOPers who studiously avoid public pronouncements or make weak excuses for their national leadership’s actions/philosophy. How do these people remain silent?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday used a Bible verse to defend his department’s policy of prosecuting everyone who crosses the border from Mexico, suggesting that God supports the government in separating immigrant parents from their children.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions said during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”
There are four significant instances in history of Jefferson Sessions’ favorite biblical quote being used by authorities.
- During the American Revolution, it was invoked by loyalists to the British crown who opposed the American Revolution.
- During the 1840s and 1850s to ward off abolitionists who believed that slavery is wrong by Southern slaveholders.
- Hitler used Romans 13:1 against the resistance movements in the German church, prompted by the disarming of the populace, the campaigns against non-Aryans, and prison camps. Nazi leaders argued that since Hitler was duly elected, opposing him was opposing God’s instituted authority.
- The passage was also invoked by Afrikaner Calvinists who believed that God ordained their racism–and that God had ordained Apartheid.
AG Jeff Sessions on immigration policy: Illegal entry into the US is a crime; “I would cite you to the apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.” https://t.co/xzhcZxtd4t pic.twitter.com/8hrUdwSi3O
— CNN (@CNN) June 14, 2018
I’m not going to get into citing scripture back at these modern-day wannabe Theocrats. That’s arguing this matter on their terms.
I will continue to protest, to loudly dissent from their orthodoxy, and to make arguments against administration policy on a moral basis. I caution readers against falling into the trap of thinking any single event, be it a demonstration, election, or criminal prosecution will make this horrible reality go away. It will take dedication, persistence, and clear thinking. One day at a time.
This isn’t television. This is history.
So get active. Let’s frame the fall’s conversations in such a manner as to make progressive electoral victories possible.
Get your event listed: I try to list the next 10 days or so of mostly non-commercial events I think our readers might find of interest. I source my material from social media listings and press releases. Club meetings will be listed IF there are speakers and they are open to the public.
Democratic Candidates: I will list all non-fundraising events open to the general public. A listing does not imply endorsement. Events that are listed on Facebook as ‘private’ or sold-out are not listed. In cases where there are competing but similar events or campaigns of the progressive persuasion, I do my best to list everything.
In response to the call to action during #sayhername week, we will be having a small, informal, and intimate vigil/gathering honoring those Black womxn/girls/femme/transwomen who have either lost their lives, lost loved ones or have been impacted by state and patriarchal violence. For more information on the organization BYP 100’s sponsored #sayhername week of action, please visit the website below.
We will gather at sunset (around 8pm). Please bring blankets, chairs, candles, signs, or words of affirmation if you would like and dress for cooler weather since we will be close to water.
Stand Up for Lolita- San Diego
Saturday, June 16, 10am
Mission Beach at Belmont Park
For More Information
Please join the Until Lolita is Home campaign in raising awareness about Lolita the orcas’ cruel life in captivity. Education is the key to ending the demand for keeping cetaceans in captivity. 16 simultaneous rallies will be held worldwide in June 2018 to share Lolita’s story.
We are happy to announce we will have the talented author Debbie Bailey joining us with her ORCAsome anti-captivity children’s books and to recite her ORCAsome poem for Lolita. There is also the possibility that the ORCAsome Marty of OrcaBall may join us and an exciting tentative from the very talented Jeffrey Bloom and Sandra Herrera, of Blossom & Bloom, to attend and play live music from his CD “Spirit of the Islands” from Blue Dolphin Alliance, original recording is Liquid Space on Blackfish Records. As well as the epic Peggy Oki with her ‘Letters For Lolita’ campaign. :)
Meet us at the south end of the Belmont Park Boardwalk, on the grass area, for some ORCAsome Advocacy for Lolita and all captives!!
Pop Up at Poinsettia Park!
Saturday, June 16, 10am
6600 Hidden Valley Road (Carlsbad)
For More Information
Hosted by Cori Schumacher Carlsbad Councilmember, Candidate for Mayor
Stop by Poinsettia Park between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. THIS Saturday, June 16, to say hello to Cori!
Rally to Oppose New SDG&E Pipeline!
The pipeline would run from Rainbow to Mira Mesa, possibly right through Mission Trails, and would cost ratepayers $600M. The pipeline is unnecessary, unsafe, and would commit us to new fossil fuel infrastructure when we should be investing in clean energy and renewable energy jobs.
We’ll have great speakers (including Steve Houlihan, Santee Councilmember and Tara Kelly, Sullivan Solar), a participatory skit, and anti-pipeline chants. It is Father’s Day – but what better way for dads and families to turn out to protect the planet for their kids?
WOSD Free Film Night
Rebel Without a Pause
Tuesday, June 19, 7pm
California Women’s Museum
2730 Historic Decatur Road (Liberty Station)
Hosted by Women Occupy San Diego
Noam Chomsky is one of the most important social critics of our time. In this DVD, the filmmaker captures candid Chomsky at his best. “Rebel Without A Pause” is a must-see DVD that shines a spotlight on the cause & effects of 9-11 and how the media is manipulated by government and corporate entities. Find out what drives Chomsky, what inspires him, and why he is one of the most censored voices in America today.
SD Democrats for Environmental Action Meeting
Please join us for our packed SDCDEA June General Meeting. David Lamfrom, Director of the National Parks Conservation Association’s California Deserts and National Wildlife programs, is flying down from Sacramento to talk with us about the struggle against the Cadiz, Inc.’s plan to draw down the aquifer below the Mojave desert and pipe the water to Orange County.
Nadine Scott will present on Oceanside’s SOAR Initiative, which will put General Plan amendments affecting Open Space and Agricultural zones to a vote of the people. Michael Torti, Chair of Surfrider San Diego, will speak on the City of San Diego’s proposed polystyrene ban. SDCDEA candidate Nathan Fletcher will swing by, fresh from his recent victory in the District 4 Supervisorial race, to discuss ways club members can help to defeat Bonnie Dumanis in November and restore transparency and accountability to the Board of Supervisors.
Finally, we will consider endorsements of Dr. Jen Campbell for San Diego City Council District 2 and Michelle Cassel Gomez for San Diego County Supervisor District 5, both of whom have qualified to face Republican opponents in November. We look forward to sharing an informative and thought-provoking evening with you!
Volunteer Organizing Meeting – Michelle Gomez for Supervisor
Wednesday, June 20, 6pm
243 North Citrus Avenue (Vista)
https://www.facebook.com/events/246952739396089/For More Information
Hosted by Michelle Gomez for SD County Supervisor, District 5
With most of the votes in, it is now time to begin to look toward November! It will take a huge grassroots push to flip District 5 for the first time in 25 years, but with the help of a few committed activists, anything is possible. Please join us as we plot our course to victory!
Parking will be available at the corner of Washington St. & Michigan St. Light refreshments served.
Democrats for Equality
June Club Meeting & Endorsements
Thursday, June 21, 7pm
Joyce Beers Community Center
3900 Vermont Street
For More Information
Hosted by San Diego Democrats for Equality
It will be our first club meeting since this month’s Primary Election, so we hope to have a robust overview of the results, and whether November is shaping up to be a big, blue wave, or a pitiful, blue crush. Our panelists will be:
– Eva Posner (Principal at Evinco Strategies),
– Jennifer Sosa (Western Regional Field Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee), and
– Ryan Trabuco (our club’s Vice President for Resource Development, and California Young Democrats Southern Section Whip).We will hear a presentation from Andrea St. James, an attorney at law and involved with Women Occupy San Diego. Also, we will consider three endorsements: Governor, Attorney General, and Carlsbad Mayor.
Keep Families Together Nurse-In
Friday, June 22, 3pm
Edward J Schwartz Federal Court House
For More Information
A peaceful nurse-in protest.
We condemn our government’s inhumane policy of tearing children from their parents as they seek asylum.
We condemn the brutal separation of a mother from her 4-month-old infant as she nursed.
We stand in solidarity with migrant parents who have risked everything to flee violence and give their children the hope of a brighter future.
We demand the passage of Senator Feinstein’s bill S.3036 and an end to family separation.
Families Belong Together March San Diego
Families Belong Together opposes the cruel, inhumane and unjustified separation of children from their parents along the U.S. border with Mexico and at other ports of entry into the U.S. We protest the conditions in which these children are kept. We protest the irreversible trauma that has already been perpetrated on these children and their parents for the crime of seeking a better life.
To separate immigrant families, victims of violence, hunger, and poverty, is to re-violate them. Children as young as 18 months are torn from their mother’s arms by the U.S. government. This is violent abuse. These families are victimized again by the government to which they turn for help. Families Belong Together opposes the inhumane policies of the Trump Administration, Border Patrol, and I.C.E. and calls for immediate reform.
Community Unity Forum
SOBC will host a community forum on gentrification, what it is and how it affects people in working-class neighborhoods. Topics include, what gentrifications is, how it affects our health, how it destabilizes the neighborhood, most importantly- what we can do about it, together!
Community Teach-In & Resource Fair
Think Dignity and Pillars of the Community are excited to announce a collaborative Community Teach-In and Resource Fair, a day-long event of learning about your legal rights while connecting to social services.
Everyone is welcome to attend one session or the entire day! There will be community leaders and lawyers present to answer questions and provide training on legal issues.
The day’s events will include information on the following topics:
~ 11am-12pm: What to Expect at Court After an Arrest
~ 12pm-1pm: Know Your Rights with Police
~ 1pm-2pm: Know Your Rights with Immigration
~ 2pm-2:30pm: Caught Riding Dirty? Tickets Explained
~ 2:30pm-3pm: Clean Your Record with an Expungement & Prop 47
~ 3pm-4pm: Questions with Attorneys
Curing Exceptionalism and Ending War – World Beyond War
David Swanson has a plan to build peace – he looks at American Exceptionalism and its interference in building an international Peace. His plan : Cure Exceptionalism. End War.
6:30 pm – social mixer with light refreshments. David will also have his latest books for sale and signing.
7 pm – discussion with Q&A.
David’s bio can be found at http://davidswanson.org/about
Sponsors include: Peace Resource Center of San Diego, San Diego Chapter, Veterans For Peace, Franciscan Peace Connection, American Friends Service Committee, and Church of the Brethren.
This event is free and part of the PRC series War Is A Lie based on David’s work.
Donations to support the ongoing work of the PRC are always gratefully accepted.
Planning Meeting for July Week of Action!
Help us plan protests in July to demand the halt to ticketing homeless people in RVs and other vehicles! An important hearing in a Federal Court case challenging the ticketing is scheduled for July 26th and we want to be ready. Meeting Room is actually on Upas just west of Park next to alley.
Save the Date
Day of Action – #StandWithMuslims in San Diego (On-Call)
Edward J Schwartz Federal Court House (Downtown)
In mid-late June, the Supreme Court will issue its decision in Trump v. Hawai’i—deciding the fate of Trump’s Muslim Ban.
No matter what the Supreme Court decides, it’s crucial that we have a visible, strong presence across the country of people who care about Muslim and refugee communities and oppose Trump’s White Nationalist agenda. The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign is calling for a national day of action whenever the decision is announced.
This is an ON-CALL protest as we await the decision expected in mid-to-late June. Invite your friends and stay tuned to this page for more details!
Call to Action if Trump Fires Mueller
March for Truth—an organization that is working with dozens of advocacy groups to organize rapid response protests has partnered with MoveOn.org, Public Citizen, Indivisible and many others to prepare emergency ‘Nobody is Above the Law‘ rallies that will happen directly following the firing of the special counsel should it occur. There are already events in 800+ cities and communities scheduled across the country—more than 300,000 people are prepared to take to the streets.
By firing Mueller or Rosenstein, the president would trigger a full-fledged constitutional crisis by asserting that he is above the law. The hours following the firing will determine whether he is proved right.
Local Rallies Starting Today at 5pm & Continuing Daily Thereafter
Bring Pots and Pans – Make Noise
Call to Action if Trump Fires Mueller
US District Court Southern District of California
330 West Broadway (Downtown)
Nobody is Above the Law Rally
Westfield North County Mall (Escondido)
Nobody is Above the Law Rally
Collier Park (Ramona)
Nobody is Above the Law Rally
Carlsbad Premium Outlet Mall
Other Stuff to Do
Join the ACLU’s People Power: People Power is, at its core, a grassroots member-mobilization project. Through People Power, the ACLU will engage volunteers across the country to take action when Trump or his administration attempt to enact unconstitutional policies or trample on people’s constitutional rights. By mobilizing in defense of our civil liberties, volunteers will build local communities that affirm our American values of respect, equality, and solidarity.
Sign Up for Indivisible. All the cool kids are doing it. (Really!)
San Diego Democratic Party Calendar Includes business meetings, chartered club meetings, voter registration events, election information, holidays, and other events of interest to Democrats.
Get Out the Vote is a Political Action Committee already working to educate voters about all three of these candidates as part of the Vote for Justice Campaign. They’re looking for volunteers to help with phone banking.
SUBSCRIBE! IT’S FREE!
Looking for some action? The Weekly Progressive Calendar is published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
You can now get the Weekly Progressive Calendar delivered to your inbox every Friday. And it’s Free! Subscribe and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out