The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Immigration insights

with 2 comments

Michael and Katerina at Evangelical Catholicism have a useful roundup of Catholic views on immigration, as well as some others (generously, including one of mine), for a May 1 observation. They write:

Katerina and MichaelOn this day, May 1st, which is Labor Day for most Latin American countries, many in this country will flock to the streets to demand a humane and comprehensive immigration reform from Congress. Let us condemn deportation and other actions that violate human dignity. Let us pray for a humanization of the people behind the numbers and the statistics, for people to understand the difference between the violation of a civil law and a criminal law, and for a consistent ethic of human life.

I find this very right-on, and reflective of the nature of Jesus: Caring for people is more important than minding the rules. The words at EC take the debate to a nobler level. I think you’ll be inspired by what you read there.


Related Posts: Christ in the Migrant , Reclaiming America from illegal immigrants [cartoon], We want you to feel like you belong [news], “Christian” values, Jesus’ preference for the poor [sermon], We Are Citizens of Another Nation [sermon]
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Written by Monte

May 3, 2007 at 10:14 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Steve: thanks for your thoughts. Politics and religion are a very tricky mix, that’s for sure.

    Caring for “the foreigner” who is found in one’s own land is one of the Bible’s larger themes, though, and care for the poor generally may well be the Bible’s most-mentioned issue.

    So how could you see a positive way for the church to be faithful to those themes?

    Monte

    May 28, 2007 at 12:44 pm

  2. During the 1980s my Catholic Church became very political. Unlike some dominations traditionally Catholic churches were not very political (except on the issue of abortion) but during the 1980s left wing politics inserted itself unfortunately into the local Catholic church through the very liberal Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen . Things would turn up regularly in the church bulletin such as notices about anti-nuclear protests at Bangor Navy Base or protests against Reagan’s Central American policy, or other left wing causes. It got pretty bad at times and it was one of the reasons I personally left the church.

    Well, while I left the church, many in my family didn’t and I have had the opportunity to frequently look at the church bulletin, and during the 1990s and the early part of this decade, the inappropriate notices in the bulletin slowed down and then for the most part stopped. The bulletin became the non-political forum for church information that it was always supposed to be. But still what went on in the 1980s left a bad taste in my mouth (and of course the Priests scandals which our church was in the center of long, long before it became a big issue nationally). But, again, after the turmoil of the Hunthausen days, things had really improved and the weekly bulletin hasn’t in recent years been used as the tool of the Left Wing radicals as it once was.

    But it seems that this is not the case again. This Sunday in the weekly bulletin in my church was a yellow piece of paper promoting the radical leftist agenda on immigration. It was by a group that has the following webpage: http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org.

    The yellow insert states that Catholics must pray the following:

    The Justice Prayer

    Come, O Holy Spirit!

    Come, open us to the wonder, beauty and dignity of the diversity found in each culture,

    in each face, and in each experience we have of the other among us.

    Come, fill us with generosity

    as we are challenged to let go and allow others to share with us

    the goods and beauty of earth.

    Come, heal the divisions

    That keep us from seeing the face of Christ in all men, women, and children.

    Come, free us to stand with and for those

    who must leave their own lands in order to find work, security, and welcome in a new land,
    one that has enough to share.

    Come, bring us understanding, inspiration, wisdom, and

    the courage needed to embrace change and stay on the journey.

    Come, O Holy Spirit,

    show us the way.

    Well, what you need to understand about Catholics is that most of them don’t go to church for political reasons. The Parish they choose, most often they choose merely because it’s the parish closest to them. For them religion is a matter of tradition; it’s not a matter of politics. They go to church to form a spiritual community, not to promote a political agenda.

    I know Catholics and I know that like the general community most of them are totally against the radical agenda of the political left. But given the social and spiritual importance Catholicism is to them, they are intimidated (most of them) from speaking out for fear of the social repercussions. It is easier for them to remain silent and just look the other way to what is going on in their name, in their midst. Most people (liberals excluded) strive to live a life as much as possible without conflict and in most cases tend to remain silent and not make waves and rock the boat.

    Liberals on the other hand live for conflict and due to that they seem to have an advantage when it comes to promoting their agenda. They are obviously using the Church in an inappropriate way, but they are not being called on it.

    But those of Catholic persuasion need to speak out against the renewed radicalization of the local Church. Modern day catholic teaching doesn’t say that the Church is infallible on such issues, and when the church is being used by a radical few (yeah many of them in high places) to do something that will harm America, they practically have a duty to speak out despite the friction and division that would cause. After all they weren’t the ones who started the friction, they weren’t the ones who inappropriately hijacked the church to be used as a tool to promote a political agenda.

    On this issue the Catholic Church has become a destructive force. Let’s hope that average Catholics get beyond being timid and take the church back from the radicals. They finally wrestled it away from the Leftists who had such a hold of it in the 1980s. It is critical that they do so now.

    Steve

    May 27, 2007 at 6:41 pm


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