“Love the alien as yourself”

This Catholic’s View By Thomas J. Reese, S.J. Octavio Gonzalez, a graduate of Georgetown University, would be picking corn and … Continued

This Catholic’s View

By Thomas J. Reese, S.J.

Octavio Gonzalez, a graduate of Georgetown University, would be picking corn and raising a few cattle in El Teul de Gonzalez, Mexico, if his father had not illegally trekked across the hills at the U.S.-Mexico border near San Ysidro, California, in 1969.

Mr. Gonzalez never planned to stay permanently in the U.S., but he wanted something better for his children after he married a woman who had also crossed into the U.S. illegally after being turned back by a border guard who refused to let her cross even though she had a valid visa.

“As much as they both wanted to stay with their families in Mexico, it was becoming clear to them that their aspirations for their children would not be possible living in Mexico,” Octavio explained to a forum sponsored by the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University on Tuesday. “If they stayed to raise a family in Mexico, their children, like them, would go to school six months out of the year and work the fields on the ranch. We would certainly never get the opportunity to study through college.”

The forum was moderated by Jill Marie Gerschutz, who with Donald M. Kerwin, Jr., edited And You Welcomed Me: Migration and Catholic Social Teaching (Lexington Press, 2009).

The Gonzalez family story exemplifies that “A migrant is a person possessed by a dream, just like you and me,” as Bishop Gerald Kicanas, vice president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, told a Georgetown audience last month. “They’re trying to improve their lives, live their lives with some dignity, with some semblance of value and meaning.”

Speaking at the same forum as Octavio Gonzalez, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick explained why the Catholic Church supports comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship. The church’s teaching on immigration is based on the fact that “We are all brothers and sisters in God’s one family,” he said. Or as Pope Benedict XVI said in his latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate: “Every migrant is a human person who, as such, possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance.”

The retired archbishop of Washington reminded the audience that the people of Israel were immigrants and God had told them in Leviticus (19:33-34): “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were once aliens in the land of Egypt.”

With Christmas less than two months away, the cardinal recalled that Jesus and the Holy Family were also refugees in Egypt when they fled from Herod.

“Christ lived as a migrant and a refugee for a reason,” he asserted, “in order to live with his people in solidarity, to provide example to all generations, even to this day, and to give witness to the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus made this explicit in his teaching when he said that to attain the Kingdom of Heaven, we must welcome the stranger. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…. Just as you did this to the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

Like the late John Paul II, McCarrick saw in the parable of the Good Samaritan a message about immigration. He quoted John Paul, who said: “For her part, the church, like the good Samaritan, feels it her duty to be close to the illegal immigrant and refugee, contemporary icons of the despoiled traveler, beaten and abandoned on the side of the road to Jericho.”

Pope Benedict has continued this solidarity with immigrants by encouraging the U.S. bishops “to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrow and trials, and to help them flourish in their new home.”

McCarrick decried “the broken immigration system and a toxic political atmosphere which has prevented humane reform of this system.” The Catholic community witnesses “families being separated, migrant workers being exploited, and families mourning the death of loved ones who die on their journey to the United States.”

“We must change our laws so as to bring the undocumented out of the shadows, provide safe passage to those who want to come to work or join their families in our country, and address the economic inequities which compel persons to leave their homes in search of employment,” he said.

Octavio’s parents did legalize their status in 1986 under the Immigration Reform and Control Act. His parents now could become active in their community and church and buy a home and car. Their five sons were already American citizens having been born here, so Octavio, a hard working student, had no problem going to college. He is now a legal assistant at the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School.

But Octavio told of another exceptional high school graduate, Jessica, whose dream of college is at risk. Although only three years old when brought across the border by her parents, she has no path to citizenship available and could be sent back to a country she does not even remember despite the fact that all of her teachers and peers consider her an exemplary person.

Perhaps the immigration debate says as much about us as a country as it does about the immigrants. Who do we want to be? As the Catholic bishops of Mexico and the United States stated in their joint pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer, “We judge ourselves as a community of faith by the way we treat the most vulnerable among us.”

Thomas J. Reese, S.J., is Senior Fellow at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

By Thomas J. Reese | 
November 4, 2009; 11:52 AM ET

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  • ccnl1

    The key word is ILLEGAL. We as a country can no longer afford to pay for upgrading the life of ILLEGAL immigrants from any country. With respect to Leviticus (19: 33-34), god did not say these words. Said passages are the words of the very inventive Jewish scribes who followed the lead of the Greek mythologists. With respect to Luke 10: 25-28: Mark 12 28-34, Matt 22: 34-40: (Love thy neighbor)”David Flusser”Samuel Tobias Lachs Lachs [Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament, 280f] notes that the form cited in Mark begins with the traditional opening phrase of the Shema (“Hear, O Israel …”). This may reflect the influence of Jewish devotional practices, since none of the other versions have that form. He comments further as follows: The combination of Deut. 6.4 and Lev. 19.18 is already found in the Test. of Iss. 5.2 and in the Test. of Dan. 5.3. It is reasonable to assume that this combination was commonplace in rabbinic teachings, since it combines the love of God with the love of man.”continued below:

  • coloradodog

    the homophobic bigot ccnl1 pontificates:”With respect to Leviticus (19: 33-34), god did not say these words. Said passages are the words of the very inventive Jewish scribes who followed the lead of the Greek mythologists.”Does that mean that with respect to Leviticus 18:22, god did not say these words either or do you get to pick and chose what god said?

  • usapdx

    TO ALL OF THE NEW CITIZENS WHO HAVE CAME TO THE U.S.A. CORRECTLY BY U.S.A. LAW, I SAY TO YOU WELCOME AND ENJOY YOUR NEW LIFE IN YOUR NEW COUNTRY. TO ALL OF YOU THAT ARE IN THE U.S.A. ILLEGALLY, YOU ARE NOT WELCOME AND LEAVE. THE ROOT OF THIS PROBLEMOF PLUS 12,000,000 ILLEGALS IS THEIR EMPLOYEER WHO HAS BROKE THE LAW BY EMPLOYEING THE ILLEGALS. THE U.S.A. HAS 13 WORK PROGRAMS FOR PEOPLE TO COME TO THE U.S.A. UNDER THESE BY GOVERMENT CONTROL. THE GROUPS THAT FILE TAX EXAMPT WHEN THEY SPEAK OUT ON A POLITCAL ISSUE OR CADIDATE ARE REQUIRED TO PAY TAX BY THE 1913 I.R.S. RULE 501 (C) (3). THE 14TH AMENDMENT WAS NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF A PERSON BEING IN OUR COUNTRY BY THEIR OWN FREE WILL ILLEGALLY AND HAVEING A CHILD TO BE A CITIZEN. CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY ON THE DRED SCOTT CASE OF 1857 DEALT WITH SLAVES. IT IS TIME THAT A CASE OF THE ILLEGAL’S CHILD GOES TO THE SUPREME COURT VRS THE 14TH AMENDMENT. ALL NATIONS (STATES) HAVE BORDERS AND LAWS, EVEN THE VATICAN.

  • ccnl1

    ”When I grew up in Brooklyn, congregants were not sophisticated about anything,” said Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of ”When Bad Things Happen to Good People” and a co-editor of the new book. ”Today, they are very sophisticated and well read about psychology, literature and history, but they are locked in a childish version of the Bible.” ”Etz Hayim,” compiled by David Lieber of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, seeks to change that. It offers the standard Hebrew text, a parallel English translation (edited by Chaim Potok, best known as the author of ”The Chosen”), a page-by-page exegesis, periodic commentaries on Jewish practice and, at the end, 41 essays by prominent rabbis and scholars on topics ranging from the Torah scroll and dietary laws to ecology and eschatology. These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology,” by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh. continued below:

  • coloradodog

    The demonization of immigrants, legal or illegal, truly reflects what’s in the hearts of Donahue Catholics and Palin evangelicals. They sucked up and spit out another one of Rove’s wedge issues hook, line, and sinker.On the other hand, the US has failed to control illegal immigration through political corruption in looking the other way at companies who illegally entice, employ and exploit illegal immigrants. Until this ends, demonizing the workers won’t solve the problem other than giving these “Christians” more of their fellow human beings to judge and condemn even though Jesus taught them not to.The US needs to initiate Real ID and E-Verify and enforce employment laws for both employers and employees.I am a guest worker in Mexico. In Chiapas, the poorest state, my visa and driver’s licence is verified by digital photos, electronic fingerprints, physical description including scars and moles, holograms and a memory chip and is valid for only one year at which time I must update the whole process. Under the Mexican Constitution, any Mexican citizen can arrest and detain me if I am here illegally. The penalty is a huge fine and four weeks in prison until the US Embassy can bail me out for immediate deportation. Companies hiring me illegally face huge fines, imprisonment of the owner and possible loss of their business. American can adopt and enforce the same laws for illegal Mexicans but won’t because cheap labor is convenient for landscaping Mitt Romney’s mansion among other exploitations. If the Catholic Church is doing something to help these miserable human beings who prefer not to come to the land of the glocks and the home of the Hukabees, God bless them for this effort.In the meantime, I’ll continue to teach Mexicans English and encourage them to legally go to Canada to work where the white people have enough sense to realize they need a young work force to pay taxes and social security to support a graying white baby boomer population.The US is blinded by prejudice, corruption and stupidity by not allowing more work visas.

  • ccnl1

    Who are these “Donahue Catholics”??And somehow illegal aliens don’t know they are breaking the law by crossing our borders without visas?? Must be the their teachers.

  • ccnl1

    Who are these “Donahue Catholics”??And somehow illegal aliens don’t know they are breaking the law by crossing our borders without visas?? Must be their teachers.

  • Judy-in-TX

    Father Reese:

  • Judy-in-TX

    ccnl1:

  • coloradodog

    ccnl1 wrote:”Who are these “Donahue Catholics”??”With your narrow focus on only harping about abortion, your homophobia and your weak apologies for pedophile priests, you qualify.

  • ccnl1

    “Donohue publishes The Catalyst, the Catholic League journal. He serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Scholars. He serves on the board of advisers of the Washington Legal Foundation, the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, Society of Catholic Social Scientists, Catholics United for the Faith, Ave Maria Institute, the Christian Film & Television Commission and Catholic War Veterans. He has received several awards from the Catholic community and was voted one of the top 100 Catholics of the 20th century in a survey of Catholics conducted by the internet site, Daily Catholic. He received the 2005 St. Thomas More Award for Catholic Citizenship from Catholic Citizens of Illinois.The Catholic League is registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. In 2006, according to its Form 990, its revenue was $16,590,333, and Donohue’s salary and benefits amounted to $343,420.[3]ActivitiesDonohue has made a name for himself fighting what he perceives as discrimination against and defamation of Catholics and Catholicism. In doing so he has gone after a diverse array of public figures, from individuals such as Christopher Hitchens, and even businesses such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Miller Brewing Company, to institutions such as Bob Jones University.”To say the least, Bill Donohue is making too much money defending a religion on its way to the myth pile!!!!We have no idea what Bill Donahue’s salary is.

  • ccnl1

    Hmmm, some commentators note things about some person named Bill Donahue and his merry band of Catholics. Again who is this Bill Donahue fellow???There is however another fellow named Bill DonOhue, the president of the Catholic League. But how could anyone get these two persons confused????????Added info from http://www.answers.com (might want to sign up for future use):”William A. Donohue (born July 18, 1947) is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993. He is known for his public statements on matters that the Catholic League believes relate to the defamation of and the civil rights of Catholics in particular and Christians in general.Donohue was born in Manhattan, New York. He began his teaching career in the 1970s working at St. Lucy’s School in Spanish Harlem. In 1977, he took a position as a college professor teaching at La Roche College in McCandless, Pennsylvania. In 1980 he received a doctorate in Sociology from New York University (NYU).[1] Donohue is divorced, with two adult children from his first marriage.[2]His first book was The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union and he became associated with the conservative Heritage Foundation where he is an adjunct scholar. His books on the American Civil Liberties Union have made him one of the group’s most prominent critics.While Donohue was in college in New York, Virgil C. Blum, a Jesuit at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, founded the Catholic League to counter Anti-Catholicism in American culture. Blum died in 1990; in 1993, Dr. Donohue became the director of the organization. Under his direction, the organization has become far more prominent and vocal.continued below:

  • Aprogressiveindependent

    This country should be based upon greater compassion and social justice, which should include universal health care based upon a single payer system for all persons legally in this country, a higher minimum wage, increased taxes upon the wealthy, equal rights for all people regardless of gender, ethnic background or sexual orientation and fairer policies allowing persons from other countries, particularly non-white, to visit relatives in the United States. However, this country also should be based upon laws, which many on the left and right seem to increasingly disparage.

  • wmpowellfan

    And it’s not un-Christian to break laws? Illegal aliens are breaking the law. And if we are called upon to “address economic inequities,” does that mean that taxpayers have to pay even more for illegal aliens, especially those who have their anchor babies at taxpayer expense?

  • dmlpearl

    All very nice, Father, if not very helpful. Yes, we should love everyone, even our enemies, for that is what Jesus tells us. How we get from there to a reasonable immigration policy is seemingly beyond your ability to comment. I can’t tell if you advocate free immigration for all or if your compassion is limited to Latin and South America. And what happens after the next time we grant amnesty – we do it all over again twenty years down the road? But you’ve made us all think, so you’ve served your purpose. Sheesh.

  • hipshot

    Well, again, a repeat of many previous postings.I wrote letters to my representatives supporting the amnesty in 1986 because we were promised in exchange:(1) enforcementand from Hispanics: We will cost you nothing. We will only contribute.Our politicians (Clinton, Bush, Obama, Kennedy) ignored enforcement, thereby promoting illegal immigration. They are the ones who invited these people here, yet we are accused of bigotry and racism if we argue against amnesty. Lets assume that the illegal children here have attended our schools and taken advantage of the education opportunities afforded them. When they return, they should be able to make marvelous contributions to their countries.If you take a critical look, you realize that immigration and citizenship are becoming entitlement programs for Hispanics. Don’t believe me? Just ask them.It would be a happy world if we could find room for every needy person in America. Common sense dictates otherwise, as we see from the results of the 1986 amnesty.I like America the way it is, not the big overpopulated balkanized mess you would create.

  • Utahreb

    Since the inception of our country, citizens have worked hard to make and keep it a republic. They fought for independence, fought a civil war and made this country better in so many ways.Since the situation in Mexico and other countries is so bad, why aren’t the people in those countries working to make their own situations better? They are cowards – running from the work it would take to improve conditions for the country and its people.Our ancestors did the hard work – why can’t they? Instead they sneak across our borders, bringing their language, their culture, diseases, crime – and expect us to accept them. They do not wish to assimilate – they want us to cater to them by making our country bilingual, giving them the services they did not work for or deserve.I have much more respect for the people of Iran who march against their dictatorship, who vote in the elections, who are willing to die to make their country better. They are not cowards – the illegal aliens are!

  • Georgetowner1

    I think they should change the law so that if a pregant woman is in the country illegally, her child does not automatically become a citizen of the United States. We are in a sinking economic boat and there has to be a point where we stop people from climbing on, at least until we can bale the boat.

  • NYPocho

    I see all the good Christians commenters are suggesting that being generous to others is a bunch of hooey and it is better to hate than to love. The next line of defense is — they are all “illegal.” The people proposing this flimsy line are simply forgetting the fact that for the most part entering this country in the 19th and early part of the 20th century simply mean you were checked for diseases — once you passed that test you were let in and made LEGAL. The xenophobia found in this thread is a sad reminder of what Thoreau must have envisioned when he spent his night in jail. But then again — being for the poor, weak and the sick violates the capitalist covenant as Herr Lüdemann reminds us. As for me, Frankl was right — you chose decency or the dark side — and that happens on a daily basis. After all — I cannot smell anything coming from that concentration camp.

  • american1

    Meantime, with 15 million Americans without jobs & millions more underemployed the invasion continues, no Liberal Politician will address the 500 pound gorilla in the room, and millions of invading, plundering, welfare loving, prolific breeding, Illegal Aliens taking millions of jobs that should be American jobs and 100,s billions of dollars in social services that should be for American citizens! One cannot be political correct and admit that Illegal Aliens are an large part of the problems in this Nation. Their negative impact extends to every area from Sub-par loans & defaults, Underground economy, Massive document fraud, Lower standard of living, Crime, Overflowing prisons , Bankrupted hospitals, Failing schools, Property Taxes, Insurance costs, Environment, Culture, Welfare costs, Welfare fraud, SS fraud, Voter fraud, Disrespect for our laws & country, our Constitution against invasion and even Balance of payments occurring from oil and other imports to support the 20 to 30 million illegal aliens in this country! One has to only look at Calif. which is basically mostly an Spanish speaking, Bankrupt state that cannot afford to provide Welfare, Schooling, Medical, Prison cells etc. for millions of MS-13 Gang bangers, Drug dealers, Rapist and other assorted Criminals and uneducated, Prolific breeding, third world rejects from Mexico! In a very few years it will be impossible to see where Mexico ends and Calif. begins as both will be an third world cesspool!Failure to secure our borders and reward the Invading horde for their invasion and their relatives in an never ending chain with American Citizenship is nothing less than committing National Suicide & will assure our future is an over populated Spanish speaking third world Nation that is an Cesspool of Corruption, Crime, Poverty and Misery modeled on Mexico!

  • hipshot

    ….and when the amnesty comes, if the people get out of hand, they will be arrested. After all, we are a nation of laws.

  • Hernova

    Many of the problems facing this country right now can be contributed to “illegals”.1) Overcrowded emergency rooms where they go to receive free care because they know they will not be turned away.We don’t need Amnesty, what we need is a MAJOR ICE SWEEP! Pick them all up and deport them. This would solve the problem.By the way, this is for all the bleeding hearts who say they do jobs Americans won’t do. Hear this. These jobs were done by Americans before. Teenagers had part time jobs at fast food places, and you could understand them when they waited on you! Houses got built, bricked and painted by Americans and with a bit more quality work I might add. Hotels and finer restaurants functioned quite well, so I could care less about a “day without a Mexican”.What Congress needs to do is approve all the funding ICE needs to get the job done.Now health care reform, which we need to get the greedy insurance companies in line, will likely go down because the President and Congress refuse to make it unavailable to illegal aliens. The Hispanic Caucus wants the illegals to receive this benefit, again at taxpayers expense.Mark my words. Obama will give these illegals an amnesty, all to court the Hispanic vote. After that they will bring their extended families here; they’ll all flock here to get for free what their own country won’t provide. SECURE OUR BORDER NOW! ARM THE BORDER PAROL AGENTS AND LET THEM SHOOT! DON’T LET THESE PEOPLE TURN OUR COUNTRY INTO A THIRD WORLD NATION.

  • richard36

    While the story provided is nice, it’s extremely incomplete. The impact of illegal’s has been negative as a whole. The fact remains, a law has been made and everyone is expected to obey it. There are many others, who obey. What makes this individual special. The answer is that the law was broken. Is that fair to those that chose to obey. No. Sorry, but the argument doesn’t hold water.

  • hipshot

    We not only have chain migration in America, we have chain amnesties. One legalized and with citizenship, the previous illegals can start working on the next amnesty.This article plus accusations of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia, all put together with a lot of dishonesty are all part of the equipment to implement the plan.

  • legitbrownie

    This one issue has totally turned me away from the Catholic Church. If there are 20 million Muslim Palestinians illegally in the US, would the Catholic Church maintain the same position? Those people are aliens in their own country and what has the Catholic Church done? Did Jesus not allegedly say Do unto Caesar, meaning obey the laws of the land? I say, ship all the illegal Mexicans to the Vatican. They can clean for the Pope and tend to his lawn.

  • rusty3

    Can you be a good American and a Roman Catholic? I don’t use the word un-American very much, but the word fits the Church.

  • mhoust

    First of all, we need to change the definition of citizenship to exclude people born here who’s parents are not U.S. citizens. One of your parents must be a citizen, or out you go with the rest of the illegal trash. This means Mr Octavio Gonzalez, and his parents, should have been deported and made to stand in line with everyone else to LEGALLY immigrate here. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 rewarded immigration criminals by bumping them to the head of the line for citizenship status; precisely the WRONG message to send people seeking to enter this country. It encourages people who break rules to come here, which breeds more disrespect for the rule of law.Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Pope Benedict, et al are fools. They talk of welcoming the stranger, which is fine; but these strangers have broken into your house in the middle of the night, which is NOT what Jesus was talking about. Which means the Catholic Church is distorting the words of Jesus to satisfy their own, man-made agenda.Illegal entry into the United States is rude behavior. Like the late Robert Heinlein opined in his stories, rude behavior ought to be subject to capital punishment. Instead of forgiving illegals, maybe we should be executing them. Afterall, they are invading our country against the will of the supermajority of the citizens.

  • coloradodog

    utahreb wrote:”Instead they sneak across our borders, bringing their language, their culture, diseases, crime – and expect us to accept them”No racism here, noosirreee! Don’t play that tattered old race card with this old lady Huckabee. utahreb, hernova and their ilk are quick to demonize and scapegoat their fellow human beings who come here but never mention ILLEGAL AMERICAN EMPLOYERS who entice them to come here and exploit them. When you whining is equally as shrill for enforcing employment laws as well, your sentiments may appear as something other than shallow racism.On the other hand, I agree with hernova’s point about throwing trash. Mexicans are pigs when it comes to throwing trash everywhere. Here in Mexico, streets, lakes, rivers and the countryside are strewn with trash and even the State Police throws out soda cans and potato chip bags in the highway that goes through the small village where I live. I spend about a half hour a week picking up trash, including dirty paper diapers, in front of my house because the people here are too lazy and inconsiderate to throw it away at home. Mexico, which offers no help with the US illegal immigrant problem, should at least educate their people headed for the US that people in other countries do not live in the litter that they seem accustomed to.

  • Jumpy66

    The Catholic Church is seemingly the only Christian church to recently demonstrate Christian values, especially during the health care debate. Many of the comments here from so-called Christians seem to come from people who haven’t looked at their Bibles in decades if ever. Read your Bibles people and follow the word of God. And if your denomination isn’t teaching it, maybe it’s time to take a good hard lookin the mirror. Thank you U.S. Catholic Bishops for demonstrating character that has invigorated my faith and brought me back to the church!

  • rcubedkc

    Every religious organization, catholic, protestant, jewish, muslim etc., should lose their tax exempt status. The fact is they are nothing more than a business and a scam. If the believers want to support them that’s fine with me but through tax exemptions, I and others that do not believe or agree with any religion wind up partially footing the bill for this nonsense.It will be a far better world when all religions are finally thrown onto the ash heap of history.

  • fixitj

    Bank robbers also just want a better future for themselves and their kids, so should we sympathize with every crook that broke the law to make a better life for himself?Sorry, ILLEGAL aliens are criminal invaders seeking to make things better for themselves at the expense of others, just like bank robbers.

  • bruce18

    Reese wrote – Perhaps the immigration debate says as much about us as a country as it does about the immigrants. Who do we want to be?There is no perhaps about it. The current policy makes our contry small minded, mean, and selfish. We are all migrants and I believe it is our God given right to pick the 3 square feet of the plant we choose to occupy at any time.

  • member8

    The Church reminds us to ‘welcome’ the stranger, which in principle is only right. But in practice, how much giving of ourselves does “welcome” require and is the number of strangers infinite? At what point are there too many? One wonders…if 50,000 Romanians (already Catholic) snuck into Vatican City, would the Vatican welcome the strangers and provide for them? I doubt it.Anyway, once here they proclaim their numbers and demand political power. It’s a mess and neither mass amnesty nor mass deportation is the answer. What might work is to establish a formula to accept some and deport the others, plus a guest worker formula that *ensures* they go home after X number of years and explicitly excludes them from citizens’ rights while they are here, especially anchor babies. It should also protect them from exploitation.On a sidenote, there wouldn’t be so many strangers if Catholicism allowed birth control. In part, the reason this is happening is that poor countries (not just Mexico) with too many people let or even encourage their castoffs eat at the US trough.

  • alance

    In 1829 one of the worst but least known Anti-Catholic Irish eruption on record exploded in Boston and continued for three days in which Irish homes and Catholic churches were stoned and set afire. Badly out numbered the Irish were pushed from the city. The riots started again in December, when a mob of 500 chased the Irish and their priests out to the edge of town while the fully armed Militia stood by and observed.There is nothing new about anti-immigrant hysteria. Irish Catholics were hated and despised in Boston and other cities. In 1847, during the Mexican War – a group of Irish switched sides and were later executed. This war was a pretext to steal the northern half of Mexico.

  • ccnl1

    In case you missed the first installment:The key word is ILLEGAL. We as a country can no longer afford to pay for upgrading the life of ILLEGAL immigrants from any country. With respect to Leviticus (19: 33-34), god did not say these words. Said passages are the words of the very inventive Jewish scribes who followed the lead of the Greek mythologists.”David FlusserJesus’ saying about the double commandment of love was clearly coined before his time. … both verses from the Bible (Deut. 6:5 and Lev, 19:18) begin with the same word. It was typical of rabbinic scholarship to see similarly phrased passages from the Bible as connected in content also. The first great commandment of Jesus—love of God—was thus in harmony with the spirit of contemporary Pharisaism. … the double commandment of love existed in ancient Judaism before, and alongside, Jesus. The fact that it does not appear in the rabbinical documents that have come down to us is probably accidental. Mark (12:28-34) and Luke (10:25-28) show that on the question of “the great commandment” Jesus and the scribes were in agreement. [Jesus, 89f] “Samuel Tobias Lachs Lachs [Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament, 280f] notes that the form cited in Mark begins with the traditional opening phrase of the Shema (“Hear, O Israel …”). This may reflect the influence of Jewish devotional practices, since none of the other versions have that form. He comments further as follows: continued below:

  • Jumpy66

    ccnl1:Your creative reinterpretations of the Bible makes for amusing reading on a Friday afternoon!

  • ccnl1

    Jumpy66, Said conclusions are from OT, NT and historic Jesus exegetes many of whom are On Faith panelists (e.g. Rabbi Wolpe and Professors JD Crossan, Marcus Borg and Paula Fredriksen). Each has a webpage if you would like to discuss said conclusions with them.

  • CalSailor

    I love it. CCNL and the other haters here have tried to paint undocumented aliens in our population with a tar brush. CCNL argues that Jesus never went to Egypt, that the Jews were never in Egypt, etc., etc, and he knows which verses are undisputably later additions…but he still knows that gays are freely chosen evil-doers.CCNL:The nation-state as an entity most likely arises in the 19th century. Prior to this, peoples all over the world migrated back and forth. No one had visas, no one had passports, they went where there was hope of food, and other means to stay alive. The undocumented aliens from Mexico are doing the same thing peoples have done throughout history. The human need for survival has existed long before the later additions of passports, visas and the other paper requirements.Somehow, as a nation, we need to take into account the human needs of workers, most who are the cream of their home societies, the ones with enough willingness to risk huge odds to provide for their families, and who do the job that our soft Americans won’t do. They work incredibly hard, and they are often abused by employers who knowingly hire them, then turn them in just before payday so as to avoid paying them. Until you have lived by the same standards as these immigrants, who are you to talk? Have you ever worked in agriculture? Do you have any idea how indispensable they are to our own economy? Do you want to pay $5.00 a head for lettuce, or $14.00 per pound for chicken…if you could even get Americans to work for minimum wage, because they cannot maintain a reasonable standard of living for themselves and their families.Instead of ranting and raving, and your absolutely hilariously stupid “biblical expert” posts, CCNL, then all of you, lets have some meaningful proposals for reform.We used to have a card system in California that allowed Mexican workers to come and go as the jobs were here, and many were able to participate. But those workers could command a better wage than “undocumented workers” who can be arrested at the drop of a dime (sorry, quarter, in today’s prices). Who do you think was behind ending the program years ago. Read employers, who knew they could get cheaper workers.The biblical mandate is a heck of a lot closer to what Fr Reese stated than what several of you posted. You should be ashamed. Or better, you should try and live as if every person was your neighbor, because borders are no limit to the answer to that question. Pr Chris

  • ccnl1

    Obviously, CalSailor suffers from the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Chrisitianity. And he should note that it is not I but 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis who have concluded that there was no Jewish exodus from Egypt. And if CalSailor bothered to read the extensive reviews of the many contemporary historic Jesus exegetes (e.g. Professors Crossan, Bor and Fredriksen), he will also conclude that Jesus, Mary and Joseph also were never in Egypt. e.g. See With respect to our homosexual brothers and sisters:Once again-The NT says nothing about gay sex? Au Contraire!!! Thou shalt Not Commit Adultery and Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Wife/Husband/Partner with the corollary of Thou Shalt Not Fornicate pertain not only to heterosexual couples but also homosexual couples. This probably is no concern to non-Christians or non-Jews but it should be a major concern to those religious types that believe in the teachings of the OT, NT, the Commandments and all of its corollaries. So we have a Christian God who supposedly created all of us to include homosexuals. Said God is therefore responsible for the defective gene/mind-set that causes homosexuality? One might conclude from this that the Christian God would therefore approve same-sex unions since that is the only sin-free state where any type of couple-sex can be performed.With respect to illegal aliens, ILLEGAL says it all!!!!!

  • coloradodog

    Concerned Christian Nazi Lover 1:What if you die and find out the bible is just all BS? Will your head explode? Will you make me a video, please?

  • coloradodog

    Comes now the Muslim hating FARNAZ calling other people names again

  • coloradodog

    ooooghaaah booghaa Farnaz, such venom for a peace loving personMentioning my Christian and Lutheran past clearly demonstrates your bigotry against both of these.

  • coloradodog

    Farnaz wrote:”Your inheritance from your white, racist, classist, sexist forebear Luther shimmers forth.”No racism, sexism and religious bigotry from Farnaz.

  • coloradodog

    Farnaz has decided all about me. Let’s play true or false:1. White: not entirely. Cherokee from my mothers side of the family. If you are such an expert on my posts, Farnaz, you know I denounce white racism.2. Racist: of course, we all are racist to some extent and Farnaz, you pretending you are not will not make your racism go away.3. Classist: I’m a poor English teacher teaching some of the poorest indigenous and mixed race people in the World in poorest state of Mexico. If I were classist, I sure wouldn’t be here.4. Sexist: Since your such an expert on my posts, lady, show me the sexism or you are a liar.5. Lutheran forebearers: My parents joined the Lutheran church in Utah after WWII in Utah. I was raised in this religion without a choice and none of my fore-bearers were Lutheran. Since you are such an expert on my posts, you know I renounced this church in college when the Missouri Synod denied me communion.6. Christian: Since you’re such an expert on my posts, Farnaz, you know I denounce Huckabee “Christianity” among all the punitive, judgmental Abrahamic religions including yours which are obviously, from your attacks on me, quick to judge and condemn others without knowing much about them.You are a Jewish equivalent of a Christian Huckabee like ccnl1.

  • ccnl1

    God Bless America during this week of honoring our veterans i.e. our gals and guys and their global victories over the Nazis and Communists and the containment of fanatical Islamic crazies. Freedom of religion is a basic human right, right up there with freedom of the press, to vote, and to live and die in peace. It is not imposed. It comes with being human. Koranic” Muslims, other religious fanatics, Communists, Nazis, Aryan Nationalists, and “KKKers” would like us to be less than human.

  • coloradodog

    Farnaz wrote:”I’ve dealt with antisemitic violence up close and personal”Oh really Farnaz, violence in a comment blog?Playing the victim of violence card again are you? How typical.No violence “up close and personal” in taking about my “…sick, child molested soul” You need a mirror, too, Faranz and not just a magic, fairy tell one that tells you you are the fairest of them all.

  • coloradodog

    My apologies to Father Reese and the other readers for my replies to Farnaz. One can not let this kind of bigotry go unchallenged even if she is a poor helpless victim of antisemitic violence.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Farnaz wrote:”I’ve dealt with antisemitic violence up close and personal”Oh really Farnaz, violence in a comment blog?Playing the victim of violence card again are you? How typical.No violence “up close and personal” in taking about my “…sick, child molested soul” You need a mirror, too, Faranz and not just a magic, fairy tell one that tells you you are the fairest of them all.When I was a girl, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard killed our family friend Ismael while “placing him under arrest.” When my soon-to-be-ten-year-old girl was seven, a bunch of Catholic parochial schoolgirl thugs knocked her front teeth out, while calling her a “Christ killing, b*ch. Although we are not religious, on that afternoon, she was wearing a star of David that her aunt had given her. She was only three quarters of a block away from home, had ID, but for some reason, no one called me. The next time I saw her was at the hospital.I would classify those incidents as antisemitic violence.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    My apologies to Fr. Reese and to other bloggers on this thread.Coloradodog has switched from being an anti-Catholic bigot to being an antisemite. One cannot let this kind of prejudice go unchallenged. We are sorry for this poor, victimized moral martyr.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Coloradodog:No racism, sexism and religious bigotry from Farnaz.Oh, and Dog, I forgot to mention. Ismael was slaughtered in front of me. HIs blood spattered on my clothes. From this, I derived the impression that violence was involved.

  • coloradodog

    Farnaz, I am sorry for your loss but don’t transfer your hated from it to me as you have accused me of transferring my hatred to others.

  • coloradodog

    OK Farnaz, let’s stop this. We’ve both had terrible things happen to us in the name of religion – yours worse, because it involved a family member, than mine when I saw a Mormon friend blow his brains out when his loving family and Church refused to accept the fact he was gay. His blood splattered on me, too. I still reserve my right of free speech to denounce the hypocrisy, intolerance and exclusion of Abrahamic religions because I think they caused both of these situations. Attacking each other here will not changed what happened to us. Your hatred for Muslims because of what happened to you and my hatred for Catholics for being molested and Mormons for their homophobia are both obvious. The difference is I admit mine and ask my personal concept of god to help me cleanse myself from it. I apologized for an comment I made in Hershfield’s Obama bashing column you said was antisemetic, my agenda is not antisemitism and I don’t appreciate being accused of that for disagreeing with $1.5 billion US annual support for Israel where all citizens have health insurance while many don’t in the US.Please, let’s just stop this and agree to disagree and stop publically embarrassing ourselves over our prejudices. We are obviously not going to change each others minds or attitudes. Cease fire? – not like the phony ones between Israel and Palestine?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Coloradodog:Farnaz, I am sorry for your loss but don’t transfer your hated from it to me as you have accused me of transferring my hatred to others.My daughter is also, at least, “ethnically” Jewish. That is why some Catholic girls knocked out her teeth.I have not transferred hatred to anyone. I did not, as you did, accuse R. Hirschfield of racism attack “his people,” because he thought Obama should not have been awarded the NObel.I did not, as you did, ignore Kessler, who not only said the same but added that Obama should have had his name removed from the list of candidates.You never accused Kessler of racism, never said it was the cause of dislike of “his people.” Why not?Further, unlike you, I did not then apologize later on while almost simultaneously posting bigoted remarks on Hirschfield’s thread.During the African American Civil Rights Movement, and even now, some African Americans engage the strategy of anti-White rhetoric. I guess that makes them “racists” in your book.I’ve yet to see a single Muslim engage you on this blog, and I”ve been blogging here for quite awhile. I, on the other hand, have been engaged by all of them. And, though we occasionally disagree, inevitably, it all ends up as it has with Yasser, which doesn’t mean we won’t disagree again.You cannot win this because your are falsely accusing. It’s quite simple, you know. People are neither blind nor stupid. They read Patel’s thread if you don’t. They read your posts.You can hate Jews all you want, but that won’t stop me from calling you on it. I’ve also called bloggers on other racisms as you know, and on homophobia. Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist speech is violence, Dog. And, yes, it can kill.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Coloradodog:my agenda is not antisemitism and I don’t appreciate being accused of that for disagreeing with $1.5 billion US annual support for Israel where all citizens have health insurance while many don’t in the US.As far as I know, the US currently “gives” 2.7 billion to Israel, a fraction, as you should know, of its GDP. Believe me, they could easily do without it and Israelis would strongly prefer that the US get out of their face. I’m referring to the people not the government.The US currently gives 2 billion dollars to Egypt. This money, which should be used to help feed a nation in which many are starving, is pocketed by the universally despised Mubarak, given to his cronies. If I thought like you, I would hold the panelist Feisal responsible for this, but I’m not insane.The US interest in Israel has ever been strategic and, now, many more Israelis know this. They don’t appreciate two-faced us. They don’t like seeing Muabarak’s soldiers shooting Sudanese who try to cross Egypt to get to Israel. They don’t appreciate being force to sell weapons to Egypt so that they can sell them to Palestinian militants who then kill Israeli Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, et al. Israel is a plural society. Most of all, they don’t like being used to gather intelligence, which has always caused problems for them in the region and which has caused the deaths of hundreds of Israelis.In Israel, if people try to demonstate against the United States, they are arrested, brutally. If you have been to Israel as I have, you have probably seen this.The US needs to leave Israel alone. Israel doesn’t need our money. Americans pay high taxes and we have a developed security apparatus. Let them take care of the intelligence gathering problem All By Themselves.

  • coloradodog

    To Farnaz,OK, I held out an olive branch and you slapped my face with it which clearly displays the uncompromising nature of your forebearers. I’m evil, rotten, hateful and all those other judgmental stereotypes that make you feel so smug and self righteous in judging me. You got the last word, princess. You win.

  • ccnl1

    Once again, God Bless America during this week of honoring our veterans i.e. our gals and guys and their global victories over the Nazis and Communists and the containment of fanatical Islamic crazies. Koranic” Muslims, other religious fanatics, Communists, Nazis, Aryan Nationalists, and “KKKers” would like us to be less than human.