Spain before 1492 had an extreme problem with certain Moslem leaders following their natural inclination to want to control everyone on earth. And so they, like Donald Trump, decided they had to take really unusual measures, reluctantly, simply in order to survive. Are there any lessons we could learn?
Well, here is an extreme measure ... half a joke, but is it really?... inspired by what Luda and I saw when we toured through Andalusia a couple of times in recent years.
Trump suggested somehow adding a kind of rough loyalty declaration. But the only people who might have troubles with faking that would be honest people, and those aren't the problem.
And it might seem mean.
And so: perhaps any adult entering the US ... in certain visa categories.. could be directed to a friendly place, where they are greeted warmly and offered a choice of two free snacks:
(1) a mug of good dark beer, and a tasty quality pork hot dog;
(2) a glass of cognac, and pork liver pate.
But anyone refusing to finish either would be sent back home at their own expense.
Yes, that's an extreme measure, but if it is well publicized to those flying to the US in those visa categories, flybacks could be minimized. It would keep out many other fundamentalists besides just
Islamic ones, but that's the definition of an extreme measure. It may be that some Trump supporters would want to exclude anyone as unAmerican who rejects hot dogs and beer, but the experience of Spain reminds us that there are ways to soften this a little. A curious measure of basic American values, but not as crazy as it may seem at first.
Actually, we saw a story in Spain of a woman who was killed in classic Inquisition style because she refused to eat a particular piece of ugly fatty pork thrust in her face, as part of a nation-wide test for everyone (not just immigrants). She said she was simply unable to bring herself to eat something so ugly and unhealthy, and was not again pork as such. So for her, a little pork pate would have solved the problem. In any case, this measure would be a whole lot weaker than what Spain felt it had to fall into.
But if Trump himself were a German citizen, could he pass this test? His aversion to alcohol is very, very rational... but if it is rational rather than fundamentalist or ideological, he could recognize the very strict limited nature of this one-time event. (Yet I have to admit... what if it were coca leaves
entering Peru? Would that keep me out of there? Certainly coca leaf products would.)
The most extreme jihadis follow orders saying they can do anything at all (kill innocents, cavort with prostitutes the night before the grand event, unlimited drugs of any kind)... and this would not affect people at that stage... but lying on a written declaration certainly wouldn't either! The test would reduce the probability of entry of people vulnerable to certain kinds of insane propaganda or to efforts to undermine our Constitution in other ways.
Of course, I see clearly that any true Christian or Moslem (without a rare genetic disorder
on alcohol metabolism which can be verified by DNA testing) would have no troubles with this test.
It reminds me of an entertaining experience I had in Singapore years ago:
The fancy hotel insisted I sit at breakfast next to a rich retired businessman who came in by cruise..
on a cruise tour to "teach the word." "That is the one commandment Jesus had for every one of us, to spread the Word." Verbus paulus replied: "Well, I read that book myself, and that isn't exactly what I remember. Didn't he and Paul say that the first thing was to open your eyes and your ears? (OK, Kerry is also right that the two great commandments came in there, another slice into the same pie.)
If all you do is talk and do not open your eyes, Yeshua himself could come right up to you,
in sandals fresh from the Sinai, look deep into your eyes and your soul, and you would just turn away
and really miss something."
The funny thing is that a few hours later, I walked into the area in front of that restaurant, and there was Yeshua (of the same family and tradition as his illustrious uncle) in sandals, admittedly a few years since the Sinai, and he said he wanted to talk about some things. As we entered, that same old preacher man was leaving, and it happened EXACTLY as I had warned! But when we entered, he led me and a couple of other folks to the well-lit open bar area. The old Greek guy with him ordered wine, and I ordered Guinness. When Yeshua ordered water I felt a moment of anxiety: "Oh, does consuming alcohol bother you?" And I will never forget his smile: "Hey, no problem, no worry, I only ORDERED water. There are a few things you need to learn about water..." I would guess he would pick the cognac and pate. Or at least porto and pate, if cognac is too expensive. (For American values, Madeira would be even better, as that's what they drank when writing the Constitution in a local Irish bar my mother's family kept the bar bills from, donated to Philadelphia historical society
when I was young.)