Congress must step up

By blocking entry to the United States for refugees and others from select Muslim countries, President Trump and his advisers have turned their backs on our proud history of inclusion ("Judge blocks ban," Sunday). Instead, they have increased the antipathy and contempt that the rest of the world feels toward us. Consequently, we are all now less secure, both at home and abroad.

No one person or branch of our government can rule this country. The beauty of our democracy and extraordinary constitutional framework is that our strength derives from power divided between honored and respected institutions. Congress and our federal courts are meant to counterbalance, and the system is set up to prevent government by machete, as we are witnessing from the new administration.

For this system to work, we need Congress to take action with courage, conviction, and foresight. This is not a partisan endeavor; it is an American imperative. Thankfully, we are seeing shades of the pushback we so desperately need.

It is up to every citizen to demand that our representatives in the U.S. House and Senate take a stand against the desecration of our American values. The continued strength of our government depends on it. Their jobs depend on it, too.

|Elaine Paul Schaefer, president, Radnor Township Board of Commissioners, Newtown Square,

Not a Muslim ban

It is irresponsible of the Inquirer and the mainstream media to report this travel ban as a Muslim ban. It is not. And furthermore, Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all imposed travel bans. The hypocrisy of the left is twisted and never-ending. President Trump's priority is to keep all citizens safe, and everyone should be applauding that. If you want chaos and terror like Germany, then go live there.

|Eileen Haggerty, Phoenixville

Abandoning religious freedom

With a few strokes of the pen, President Trump abandoned what had been sacrosanct since our birth as a nation: religious freedom and liberty. The Founding Fathers were agnostic in the matter of religion. Personal choice to pray, join, or not believe at all was the mantra. No religion held sway over any other faith, and, most importantly, the federal government could not control religion in any way.

Trump has pushed Christians in select countries to the front of the line while throwing Muslims off the list altogether. Ironically, this unconstitutional policy was promulgated on Holocaust Remembrance Day, which recalls the genocide of the Nazi regime against the Jewish people. Now, you have a country that has always been a beacon of liberty shutting its doors to people fleeing war. One-and-a-half-billion people practice Islam, and they have been tarred as our enemy. The growth of more terrorism is the only outcome of such a policy. Radicalized Muslims will now grow like weeds to avenge this discriminatory policy, which will feed the self-fulfilling prophecy of Muslim terrorists. You reap what you sow, and Trump is setting the stage for more attacks on our homeland.

|Saul Lichtine, Voorhees

A history of bigotry

Many descriptions of President Trump's appalling immigration order describe it as un-American. Sadly, that description is inapt. Americans rightly pride ourselves on the inspiring words of our founders. But, we must occasionally be reminded that we have not always lived up to them. Remember slavery, the Native American Holocaust, the suppression of women, the internment of the Japanese, Irish need not apply, and the scourge of racism.

Let this latest example of the underside of our national character serve as the impetus to finally recognize and correct our flaws.

|Guy S. Michael, Cherry Hill,

ACLU fights for rights

I've supported the American Civil Liberties Union over the years, but I never realized how important that was until Saturday, when ACLU lawyers went to court and got a stay on the unspeakable executive order that could change the face of America. So, on Sunday morning, I made an additional contribution. I hope you do the same.

|Stanley Isenberg, Merion Station,