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Letter: Trump has no idea how much damage he’s done

Trump has no idea how much damage he’s done

Of all of the principles upon which America was founded, the right to religious freedom is the most precious. It is also the most intrinsically American. From the time of the sailing of the Mayflower, oppressed practitioners of minority faiths have immigrated here in the pursuit of free expression. Religious freedom is baked into America’s DNA.

Freedom of conscience is the foundation upon which all other inalienable human rights flow. We take for granted the certainty that our religious affiliation and beliefs will in no way affect our rights to equal treatment under the law, in every respect of the law.

On Jan. 27, President Trump diminished America. Worse, he gave cover to intolerant societies the world over, bolstering their practices of religious discrimination. By introducing a religious test for asylum, Trump drags America not back to the 20th century, but back to the 19th.

No longer can America credibly preach to the world that all human beings deserve equal treatment under the law, regardless of religious belief. His shameful and blatantly un-American proclamation recklessly squanders extraordinary political capital. America has lost luster.

Trump should be ashamed of himself, of course, but won’t be. He has no comprehension of the damage his reprehensible action does to the credibility of the republic.

Robert F. Biniszkiewicz

Buffalo

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