The Refugee Executive Order (Part 4)

Why should we object to blanket bans on refugees?

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Paragraph 1930 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says,

Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy. If it does not respect them, authority can rely only on force or violence to obtain obedience from its subjects.

A government undermines its authority and moral legitimacy insofar as it deprives human beings of their rights. Authority and moral legitimacy are necessary properties of all governments that obligate its citizens to obedience. A government destroys itself when it enacts policies and act in ways that diminish its authority and moral legitimacy. A government is irrational insofar as it destroys itself. This irrational state of affairs is what is meant by self-cancellation; the government is effectively canceling itself out of existence.

Reflexive and Equitable Moral Reasoning

Paragraph 1931 of the CCC says , “Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that “everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as ‘another self,’ above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity.””

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What would you do if your country was engaged in a brutal war? You would leave your land and search for the necessities of life where you can find them. Suppose a potential host country gave you the opportunity to plead your case for admittance, which position would you take? Would you advocate EV or CEV? Which of the aforementioned views would you advocate if you, your wife and children were destitute?

We must treat others the way we want to be treated based on our equality of being. The CCC once again:

1934 Created in the image of the one God and equally endowed with rational souls, all men have the same nature and the same origin. Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, all are called to participate in the same divine beatitude: all therefore enjoy an equal dignity.
1935 The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it…

This passage from the CCC need not be couched in theological terms. The passage can be recast on secular terms: Sameness of being requires equality in treatment.

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