Operation Pedro Pan

president dwight eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower (Wikipedia)

U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower approved the implementation of a secret, multifaceted plan by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on March 17, 1960, to covertly remove Cuban leader Fidel Castro from power. Castro had assumed power in early 1959 after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, and he was determined to do whatever it took to end Cuba’s neocolonial relationship with the U.S. His subsequent agrarian reforms, nationalizations of American-owned businesses in Cuba, and economic agreements with the Soviet Union had convinced Eisenhower that he was a communist.

The Eisenhower administration’s decision to treat Castro as a Cold War adversary resulted in a steady deterioration in the relationship between Cuba and the U.S. during the remainder of 1960. Things came to a head on October 19 when the U.S. imposed a trade embargo against Cuba, and the next day the U.S. Ambassador to Cuba, Philip Bonsal, was recalled.

About a week later Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh, the director of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Miami, got a call from the State Department asking him to go to Washington, D.C. There he was asked to participate in a clandestine operation to smuggle Cuban children into the U.S. He agreed and was eventually given unprecedented authority to issue “visa waivers” which were smuggled into Cuba and allowed any unaccompanied Cuban child between the ages of 6 to 16 to ostensibly study in the U.S. The U.S. government did not, however, create a special visa program for the children’s parents.

Continue reading “Operation Pedro Pan”

The Road to Irrelevance

dead republican elephantSeveral Republican presidential candidates attended the Road to Majority conference being sponsored by the conservative Faith & Freedom Coalition and the Concerned Women for American in Washington D.C. this week.

The Faith & Freedom Coalition described the conference as, “an important training and equipping weekend to fight the radical Obama agenda, advance conservative legislation at the state and federal level, and prepare for the 2016 elections.”

All of the Republican candidates spoke about the topics most dear to the conference attendees – outlawing abortions and the stopping the spread of gay rights.

On Wednesday night a young white man named Dylann Roof  shot nine black people to death during a Bible study session at the historical Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. When he was captured by police he said he did it to try and start a race war.

On Thursday Pope Francis issued a papal encyclical letter wherein he declared global warming to be a manmade problem that the world’s politicians have a moral responsibility to help solve immediately.

Racial violence in America and the injustices caused by climate change weren’t addressed at the Road to Majority conference.

Cherry Picking the Bible

Mike Pence
Mike Pence (Wikipedia)

The Bible has been in the news this Holy Week because social conservatives are promoting state laws to protect “religious freedom.”

Indiana’s Republican Gov. Mike Pence recently signed a bill, called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics said would have allowed businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples.  The criticism was so intense that this week the Republican-controlled Indiana legislature quickly passed and Pence immediately signed a revised version of the law that he claimed would prevent discrimination.

Arkansas’s  Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson refused to sign a bill this week, also called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, in response to intense criticism that it would also allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.  He then signed the bill after it was revised to be less controversial.

Florida’s Republican legislators are promoting HB 7111, called the Conscience Protection for Actions of Private Child-Placing Agencies, that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to help same-sex couples to adopt based upon religious grounds.

These laws aren’t the first of their kind. Last year Arizona’s Republican-controlled legislature passed HB 1062, which critics said would have allowed businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples. The criticism was so intense that Republican Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed it.

These new “religious freedom” laws result from the realization by social conservatives that the legalization of same-sex marriage across the entire U.S. is very likely, and probably inevitable. They believe homosexuality is a sin because it says so in the Bible, so people should be allowed to treat homosexuals differently – as unrepentant sinners. (They conveniently ignore, however, that the Bible also approves of a lot of things that are considered immoral today.)

These religious zealots are often the same type of people that find no problem with listening to a charismatic preacher or a slick TV evangelist focus on a single sentence, phrase, or word from the Bible to interpret its “true” meaning – even though they say they believe the Bible is the literal word of God.

This cherry picking from the Bible is so popular that I decided to try it too, but without any interpretations. The excerpts I’ve listed below are from the small portions of the Bible that pertain directly to Jesus:

  • “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
  • “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”
Updates

On June 7, 2018, an Arizona appeals court upheld a Phoenix anti-discrimination law that makes it illegal for businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples because they believe that homosexuality is a sin. The Alliance Defending Freedom, which was identified as an anti-gay hate group in 2017 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court.

Page 1 of 6
1 2 3 6