Beverly Arevalo: Sanctuary in Trump’s America

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The USA Today newspaper article published on February 22nd, 2017 is referencing the late January executive order issued by the Trump administration, which has now been rescinded due to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals deeming the order unconstitutional. The role of religion (Christianity – non-denominational or otherwise) in this newspaper article reports on certain faith communities giving sanctuary to those that are fearful of being deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers (ICE) for being undocumented. Religion is being used in a socio-political fashion as a form of resistance to the executive order issued by Trump. As discussed in class, Émile Durkheim, theorist and author of The Rules of Sociological Method defines a “social fact” as “-every way of acting which is general throughout a given society, while at the same time existing in its own right independent of its individual manifestations.” The ‘faith communities’ have been involved in various forms of sanctuary for centuries, and its leaders in this circumstance are reportedly acting in regard to either their moral conscience, or their interpretation of their faith. The ‘social fact’ of congregations offering sanctuary is not a new notion, but its existence is socio-political resistance from a religious standpoint.


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