Earlier today, CBS released a snippet of its upcoming Charlie Rose interview with former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, in which the white nationalist launched a strange attack on the Catholic Church. He stated that the Church is only interested in protecting DACA recipients because they need undocumented immigrants to fill up their congregations. The full interview airs on Sunday.
Steve Bannon tells CBS Catholic Bishops are opposed to what's happening on DACA because "they need illegal aliens to fill the churches." pic.twitter.com/WYSyXQYUhJ
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 7, 2017
The coded, bigoted language may surprise some because Bannon himself claims to be Catholic. Clearly, he’s pandering to the historical, virulent strain of Anti-Catholic conspiracy theorizing that has long plagued the United States. Since his sudden departure from the White House, he’s returned to run the alt-right website Breitbart News and has jumped right back into peddling hysterical, xenophobic propaganda.
Soon after the video was released, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, appeared on The Catholic Channel radio station to issue a harsh response to Bannon’s comments. Justin Miller of The Daily Beast provided the transcript:
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) September 7, 2017
Dolan’s defense of the DREAMers is admirable, and his point that standing up for immigrants is prescribed in the Bible is a valuable insight. Republicans love to drape themselves in Christian piety, but too often their actions betray their real values. They rely on Evangelicals to win the elections but display zero interest in employing the teachings of Jesus in their governance.
In the case of DACA, Trump and his Republican enablers have betrayed 800,000 immigrants who arrived in this country as children. They have no homes to return to, and they deserve to stay. Stripping their deportation protections accomplishes nothing but riling up the worst elements of Trump’s hateful white supporters.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.