I haven't weighed in on the illegal immigration reform bill, except to complement the Bishop of Charleston for staying out of it, and not confusing his flock by blurring the distinction between prudential and moral/doctrinal issues. I am perhaps more interested (in a morbid way) in what our bishops have to say on the subject than in the issue itself. Leave it to me to go off on a tangent!
Well, on the primary issue itself, I remain non-committal. Part of me supports the idea that a nation, in general (even France), should be able to control its borders (i.e., who comes in--not who or what goes out--I'm a big supporter of free emigration, except from France); another part of me has such utter contempt for and fear of the federal leviathan that anything proposed in Washington, short of dissolution and disunion (which of course isn't proposed in Washington, to our misfortune) is presumptively contemptible to me.
Part of me fears the economic chaos that will ensue if the hard-working portion of the alien population is expelled or driven underground and there's nobody left who's willing to do the things that our fat, lazy, soft-porn and entitlement-addicted citizenry is unwilling to do (a note on that in a later post--I know that something less than 100% of the alien population is hard-working), and yet another part of me (and this is perhaps the strongest part) recognizes this as another instrument by which the talons of the federal carrion-bird will sink themselves deeper into the carcass of our morally dead civil society and add more bureaucracy and further unnecessary limitations on our liberty. Particularly problematic is the proposal (if in fact it has been fairly reported) that would criminalize charitable acts to undocumented alients.
Anyways, back to my point . . . but what was my point?
Oh yeah, that last statement was my point: adding further limitations on our liberty, expanding the reach of federal law enforcement, and criminalizing acts of charity. Ultimately, it's not about controlling illegals. It's about controlling YOU. Just like in Kansas, where they had proposed to change the seat-belt law so that a cop could pull somebody solely because such cop "suspects" or "thinks" that somebody in the car might not be wearing a seatbelt (currently, a seat belt violation is an "add-on" to another violation--not an excuse for a cop to hassle and torment motorists). Ron Olin, the chief of police in Lawrence, Kansas, who was trained by the folks who brought us National Socialism, almost let the cat out of the bag when that proposal was floating, indicating in the local paper (if I recall correctly) that such a law would be a useful tool to his boys in what were in essence (although not so labelled) random stops and searches. Ja Vohl!
Or was that my point? I forget. Moving on...
This immigration thought from Archbishop Gomez in the San Antonio paper:
OK, so Gomez is saying that proposals for border control (in the abstract--recall my ambivalence above) are contrary to a non-negotiable principle of faith, i.e., restrictions on free immigration are inherently immoral acts, rather than prudential ones. Not like a Catholic healt care worker who writes, dispenses, or facilitates scripts for the Pill or Plan B, or a Catholic scientist who's doing embryonic stem cell and fetal tissue research, or a Catholic businessman who raises money for one of the many organizations that funds such research like the ALS Foundation or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or the Catholic clerk or janitor who knowingly works for an organization like the Stowers Institute whose primary purpose is to kill and experiment on embryonic human beings, or a Catholic politician who votes to permit immoral research and fund it, or fights against restrictions on abortion, and coerces Catholic hospitals health care workers to commit and facilitate mortal sins, right?
Gomez, who long has cast immigration as a moral issue, joined the current debate first in a carefully worded editorial commentary in the San Antonio Express-News last week and then in a speech during Monday's immigration rally at Milam Park, where he said the church "cannot endorse a law that makes criminals of an estimated 11 to 12 million people," referring to undocumented immigrants.
The archbishop, himself an immigrant from Monterrey, Mexico, told the Express-News Tuesday that "if they push us to that point, we'll have to choose (between faith and the law). It's a non-negotiable principle of our faith that we must welcome the immigrant and practice charity."
What has Gomez said about those things? Where's his strong, non-negotiable stand? Where has he denounced--specifically--the many politically-active pro-abort liberal members of the immigrant community in south-central Texas who still call themselves Catholic and pimp the Latino-Catholic vote at every parish Cinco-de-Mayo celebration they can?
In the future, when Canadian and European style "hate speech" legislation comes down the pike, and it's criminal to denounce homosexual acts and homosexual culture and as immoral, can we count on the Archbishop to say the following?
"If they tell me I can't practice my religion, I'll break the law," he said.
Note that in this post I'm ignoring the "stronger" immigration statements Arch-Community Songster of Los Angeles, Cardinal Raj, who (though we cannot judge the state of his soul) seems to have manifested his intention to participate in a diabolical highway project someday--remember that the roads of hell are paved with the skulls of bishops?