In 1994, I visited a friend in Oslo, in the dead of winter. I was a new Catholic then, and determined to get to Sunday mass no matter what. My friend warned me not to expect much. Nobody goes to church anymore in Norway, she said. It’s true: church attendance in Norway is among the lowest in the world. My friend said that I should expect to be the only young person in the entire church.

It was hard for me, a Louisiana boy, to walk on the ice, so I arrived at Oslo’s Catholic cathedral, St. Olav’s, late for mass. When I opened the door, I could barely squeeze in. The cathedral was filled beyond capacity with Catholic worshippers! Seriously, there was barely any room to stand. Only a small minority of us were white. Most everybody else was either black African, Filipino, or Vietnamese.

I love Norway and Norwegians. I really do. But the white people of Norway were not at Sunday services in the Lutheran churches, to which the overwhelming majority of Norwegians belong. The immigrants were.

I wonder how Jerry Falwell Jr., Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham and other Evangelicals who have been big public Trump backers feel about the president designating countries where huge numbers of faith Christians live as “shitholes,” and saying he would prefer that America take in immigrants from godless Scandinavian countries.

To be clear, I think there’s nothing wrong with any country deciding what kind of immigrants it wants to let in. It’s perfectly reasonable to have that discussion.That’s not what this controversy is about. It’s about our vulgar president’s contempt for entire nations full of poor, non-white human beings.

From two days ago:

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Other nations of the world — nations where you can find lots of people who pray to the same God as Messrs. Falwell, Jeffress, and Graham, and where lots of churches have supported missionary efforts for decades — are, to our authentic, successful, down-to-earth president, nothing but shitholes that produce the kind of garbage people we don’t want in America.

The thing speaks for itself…

UPDATE: Here’s what I think. If Trump had said, “We need to consider the kinds of immigrants we allow into this country, and make sure we are favoring those with skills America needs” — nobody would have said a critical word. But he used a vulgarism, and by contrasting it with “Norway” — which, as someone pointed out, is not a skill — left himself wide-open to plausible accusations of racism.

UPDATE.2: Well, there you go:

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