Sunday, May 18, 2008

Border fence fiasco

"We in the church stand with the unborn and the undocumented, the poor and the vulnerable, the hungry and the homeless in defense of human rights and human life," Bishop Keeler said in his opening remarks to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is meeting here this week. "Our advocacy does not fit ideological or partisan categories, for our witness is not politically correct, but unfailingly consistent."
Bishops' Leader Warns Against 'Punitive' Welfare Cuts

'The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 19:34.

The Christian church has had a strong tradition of welcoming the stranger, specifically including the immigrant. Some Catholic leaders have gone so far as to tie this ethic to "the undocumented." Indeed, if one takes Matthew 25 seriously, one ought think that what we do to the stranger is what we to do Jesus. If you start invoking taxpayer resentment in response to those fleeing economic or political violence, I say, in light of Matthew 25, you are really "trying to keep Jesus out of the public schools."

In this context, the words of Chuck Norris, in a recent blog posting, should be a bit chilling to those who have supported the church's position on immigrant people.

Chuck Norris writes:

It is not a matter of if but when America will be attacked again from terrorists who despise our country and us.
(How is it that we can militarily overthrow a government like Iraq, yet we can't militarily keep illegalities from crossing our borders?)
Do people really believe ceasing a war in Iraq will quench our enemies' vindictive fire and revulsion to destroy our country?

If these solutions don't stop the tides of illegal flow in and out of our borders, a friend of mine has a Texas-tough alternative and answer to replace the government's virtual fence failure. In fact, he says, we don't need a security fence at all. All we need to do is to post signs and position manned trucks at key points, just like our government does at Area 51, the top secret military airfield in remote central Nevada, around which there are no fences or walls. There is never a breach or unwanted border crossing there, at least that we hear about! And why? Because the boundary sign reads and is never questioned, "Warning: Use of deadly force authorized."

I respond:

1) Those who flew the planes on 9/11 entered legally. To tie a fear of another 9/11 to the waves of people wanting to come mow our lawns is mere hatred.

2) Immediately getting out of Iraq will not fix the hatreds that were created by our unjust invasion of a country unrelated to 9/11. Staying indefinitely may make it worse.

3) As I read Chuck Norris' post, it looks like he's advocating the threatening of violence for unauthorized crossing of the border. How would such use of force fit into the Just War Criteria? Is not this mere hate? I pray for the conversion of Chuck, and of us all. God save us.

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