Liliana Hernandez on “Trump and the Ban”

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During an interview with CBN, President Donald Trump affirmed his plan of prioritizing Christians applying for refugee status over Muslim refugees, shortly after signing an executive order banning Syrian refugees indefinitely. Trump argued that Christian refugees were being “horribly treated” and claimed that Muslim refugees were being given precedence over Christians looking for refugee status. Although numbers provided by the Pew Center displayed otherwise, Trump defended his decision and denied that his executive order was not a ban aimed at Muslim people, despite banning visitors from seven primarily Muslim countries. President Trump ended the rest of his interview with a statement on his own faith and his reliance on God to make decisions. He also commented on whom he would pick as Supreme Court justice stating, “I think evangelicals, Christians will love my pick and will be represented very fairly”(Michallon).

The first thing that came to mind after reading this article was Durkheim and his analysis on structural functionalism. Trump has made it clear that he is of Christian faith, and states in his interview with CBN that his priority is to give precedence to Christians looking for refugee status. This is an example of how parts of society, in this case government, function to preserve a particular religious structure, as well as marginalizing specific religions or people such as Muslims by implementing bans. This also reminded me of Durkheim’s analysis on the totemic principle where Durkheim explains that it is not necessarily the totem that is being worshipped, but the belief that the community attributes to the totem. In this case, Donald Trump’s “Christianity “and it’s followers is the community, and the totem would be the ban, which “conveys permanence of social communities” and “provides systems of order and classification, connecting persons to clans and dividing clans from each other”(Pals, 101). To me, what is meant by Donald Trump’s “Christianity” is that president Trump’s actions are in the name of Christianity. In fact, many Christian leaders and Christian people have spoken against the ban, as it ostracizes people who are in need of help. President Trump’s ban is meant to preserve Donald Trump’s version of Christianity, his community, and his vision of what America should be.


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