August 5, 2020

Open Mic: Two Big Votes in Washington

By Chaplain Mike

Yesterday, the U.S. Congress held well-publicized votes on two controversial pieces of legislation:

  • the “DREAM Act” that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.

Though I normally don’t care to talk much about political matters here on Internet Monk, I find these two cases interesting for the light they may shine on the church in America.

  • One of them is about an issue (homosexuality) that has been a primary focus of public discussion and political action for the Christian Right because of its moral implications.
  • The other (immigration reform) has been considered a primary issue of social justice in our country by the Christian Left.

The fact that these two matters, important to Christians on both ends of the political spectrum, came to a vote on the very same day provides a curious conjunction which begs for an Open Mic conversation here on IM. So here we are.

I invite you to join in and let us know what you think these two votes say about where the church in America finds itself at the present with respect to political positions and action in the U.S.

What have you heard and read about DADT and the DREAM Act from a Christian perspective? Is anyone talking about these votes in your church or among your Christian acquaintances? Have you developed strong opinions on these issues? How has your faith informed those opinions? Do you feel comfortable discussing them with other Christians?

The mic is open. Civil discourse, please.

Comments

  1. I”ll go first.

    Several things.

    I’ll start with the Dream Act. It seems it would have sped up the process of immigration to our country. The obligation we have as Christians to seek to ease the suffering of others goes without saying. However, I would side with Pat Buchanan here, why should we have any immigration with an unemployment rate over 10 percent. And I don’t think having a Christian ethic requires a people to sureender their country and not enforce its borders.

    DADT- I’m expecting the military will survive b/c DADT is not that old anyway. It’s repeal doesn’t mean that open homosexual acts will be tolerated. There were already ways to address that issue before DADT. Let me be very up front. I have neve been in the service. I hear two things. One guy I know, who is ex military is happy it is repealed b/c he is tired of guys suddenly “becoming gay” when it is time to deploy. He swears it happens often and this guy used to be pretty high up so he should know. My other best friend is younger, and served in very advanced recon close quarter type combat unit in Iraq and Afghanistan. He insist it is going to be disaster. I’ll spare you the sordid details, but the closeness of the living quarters he describes in these situations is not conducive to their being open homosexuals in the military. Personally, I think it just doesn’t make sense. The miliatary is there to blow stuff up and kill people. That is its job. Sure it does that in a “just” way as possible but the military is not a petri dish for social experiments.

    As to church today- a very intersting situation. At the church I attend, and Anglican church, not a word was said about it. We had more important things to tend to with the whole “getting ready for the coming of the Lord” advent thing:) We meet early. We were able to travel to another church to see my in-laws Christmas cantata, baptist church, the associate minister found time to go on for about 8 minutes before it started about it all. Now, I don’t disagree with him at all, but you know what. As much as I don’t like it, I’m not going to let it intrude on worship.

    • I have a hard time understanding why anyone would be opposed to the dream act.

      • my understanding is that it would allow those who “particiapte” in the program to fast track their families, i’m not being ugly, but i find it hard to beleive that anyone would want any (or if not very limited and selective) immigration legal or otherwise when we have plus 10 unemployment

        if we would withdraw from our empire, leave Europe and let the rest of the world defend themselves we would not need the size of military we have now,

      • Try this, Brandon:
        1) Increased expense of college, etc. Estimates of $6 billion cost
        2) Partial amnesties increase illegal immigration by raising hope of new amnesties.
        3) Act covered people up to 30 who came here up to age 15. These are in many cases people whose identity (and loyalty) was formed already in another country. They are foreigners inside and will remain so. Why do they get preference over others?
        4) “Chain migration” means that for every one we legalize, another dozen or more get a visa.

    • Richard Hershberger says

      “The obligation we have as Christians to seek to ease the suffering of others goes without saying. However, …”

      A splendid illustration of why our Christian obligation to others should not go without saying, after all. That makes it too easy to promptly dismiss.

  2. Neither was mentioned in my church community, but my online Christian communities are full of Christmas cheer about the repeal of DADT, and sorrow over the DREAM act. But I’m the kind who can have internetmonk.com open in one tab, johnshore.com in a 2nd tab, and friendlyatheist.com open in a third, so you can guess where along the various political and religious spectra I lie.

    To quote one blogging ex-evangelical (http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2010/12/one-win-one-loss.html)–
    At the end of the day, what this means is that if you want to serve your country and put your life on the line to defend the freedoms enjoyed by Republican U.S. senators, those senators will begrudgingly and belatedly allow you to do so, if you are gay or lesbian. But if you want to serve your country and put your life on the line to defend the freedoms enjoyed by Republican U.S. senators and you’re also brown-skinned and weren’t born here, then most of those senators would sooner see you deported than to allow you to express your patriotism for a nation they don’t want to acknowledge you’re a part of.

    or from Anglicanfuture.blogspot.com –“We were promised an end to DADT and an end to military engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq. Stay the course, keep the promise.”

    Do I have strong opinions on these matters? Oh yes.
    Do I feel comfortable discussing them with other Christians? I am lucky to have found numerous likeminded Christians both online and in real life with whom I can discuss it. I am also lucky to have deep relationships with Christians who disagree with me vehemently on these matters, with whom I can express strongly how I feel, and we still know in the end we are part of the same Christian family.

    How has my faith informed my opinions on these matters?? it’s been a long, slow, incarnate process. It’s due to people and their actions; existence proofs, if you will. Long discussions about the nature of the sacraments, marriage in particular, as one of my uncles was trying to get his (20-year long, two kids and a divorce) marriage annulled so he could marry a Catholic woman, and watching other friends go through divorces and looking for those “outward signs of invisible grace” and that means in the real world; watching people change faiths, denominations, and overall points of view with time; getting to know Christians of various stripes around the world and along the social/political/economic spectrum, and equally devout (or otherwise) followers of other faiths (or not). Seeing how God works in a variety of ways and experiences and conditions across the breadth of humanity, and coming to believe that we will always err; so let us err on the side of compassion.

    That’s just me, though.

  3. As a small note, I find it meaningful that, in both cases, the group you describe as “focused” on the particular issue “lost.” Conservatives didn’t want to repeal DADT; liberals wanted the DREAM Act to pass.

    Whether those are losses for Christ, losses for partisanship, or not losses at all I’ll leave unexplored.

  4. First, on the DREAM act, I consider it a common sense human compassion issue. I recently read of 101 year old woman who came to U.S. when she was 1 year old with her parents and has lived here all her life. I consider her more American than anyone I know.

    On DADT, my view has changed over the years. I now tend to separate things into natural law and super-natural law. Our society has already made the decision that sexual preference does not violate natural law. Since society has accepted it, I believe it is time for the military to accept it. But I am not ready to believe super-natural law has changed. I believe the day has come that in a society with separation of church and state that the civil government must accept sexual preference, but that the church does not have to necessarily accept it.

  5. As a Christian pacifist, both of these were pretty non-personal for me. If homosexuals want to serve in the military, I believe they should be able to openly, one way or another, and my experience with military types tells me this bill is as good as any. I want illegal immigrants to have a path to citizenship, but I would rather it not require military service, but again, any path would have been better than none/ineffective ones.

    The more interesting question to me is the final one you asked. At least in my area of the south, the amount of vitriol towards homosexuals is embarrassing (here we still can’t accept Catholics as brothers, let alone gays), and so I feel awkward enough expressing more liberal views, but add to that the nationalistic sentiments that we southerners mix with our religion, and I get unabashed insults thrown my way for suggesting Christ compels me to not be a soldier.

    So yes, I do feel uncomfortable discussing my views in my community. but thankfully I have outlets like Internet Monk, places where I am comfortable.

    • Jonathanblake says

      Kevin, I’m in exactly the same boat as you. Until recently moving to Springfield, MO for college I lived in Mobile, AL. The move turned out to not change too much in this respect so I understand exactly what you mean. Yesterday I was harassed by a coworker for going to and identifying with Eastern Orthodoxy (it doesn’t matter that what he said was a major mixup with Oriental Orthodox churches). I get the unabashed insults hurled my way for my peace convictions and my relatively more liberal views. Thank God for venues to find some relief from the divisiveness even if it is only virtual.

  6. As a matter of fact, I mentioned them both in my sermon this morning, though with the gospel talking about Joseph listening to a dream, I talked more about the DREAM act. I said that my sense of the legislation was that senators were afraid that the DREAM act would send the message that illegal behavior would be rewarded, which was understandable, but asked wasn’t this was the message that Joseph undoubtedly got from his society–that marrying a woman pregnant was rewarding immoral behavior? To me it seems that there is a deeper morality at work here.

    I also made it clear that this question about making choices that don’t quite fit well within the rules is one that we all face. I didn’t want to preach a political sermon; I think that let’s us off the hook too easily. It was more to use this legislation as an illustration of how faith is more than just a behavioral checklist.

    I have been very touched by the words of these young people–I’m not even sure they should be called “immigrants”–at their website unitedwedream.org. Their blog is full of Biblical language. Lots of pictures of them praying together. They used “March of Jericho” as the theme for their lobbying trip to Washington this past week. Really some amazing stories. I’m not sure that my faith has informed my thinking about this legislation so much as these students and their stories have informed both my thinking and my faith.

    • “And a stranger shalt thou not wrong,
      neither shalt thou oppress him;
      for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. ”

      from the Hebrew-English Bible (Exodus 22)

  7. I am pleased about DADT being repealed.
    I think it was a ‘temporary’, not very well thought out, policy at best. And perhaps even a ‘transition’ policy. But it was demeaning of the dignity of our soldiers, ALL of them.
    DADT was just a way to avoid ‘the issue’. Its time is over now, and our country can move on, and try to work out gender-issue problems in a more open and honest, and fair way.

    No doubt, ANY person who serves our country and who is willing to give up life for our defense, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. If a Christian person has a problem treating ANY person with dignity and respect, then they own that problem themselves.

    • Christine,

      How is suggesting that it might be damaging to military readiness in combat situations to throw one more thing to stress the already stressful situation into the mix demeaning to any one, it just seems like common sense from here

      • It’s demeaning because there are many gay troops in combat situations right now. It’s the assumption that they don’t exist, that they don’t matter or that their own comfort is secondary to the few bigoted straight people who may happen to be serving alongside of them. I don’t know how you could argue that it isn’t stressful for them to hide who they are or that it doesn’t hinder group cohesion for them to be forced to lie.

        And really, I don’t know how you can argue against this repeal on the basis of military readiness when over 14,000 troops have been kicked out of the military because they are gay.

      • David Cornwell says

        I really do not understand how this policy can damage military readiness. Too much lust going around in the trenches? The military in other modern countries have not had this problem, for example Israel, the Republic of China, and Germany.

      • Richard Hershberger says

        This is, of course, exactly the argument made half a century ago against the racial integration of the military.

      • Don’t you think that DADT stressed out a lot of people who were told NOT to be truthful, as though they were ‘lesser’ human beings?
        I’m glad for the end to the hypocrisy.

  8. I’m unsure what I think of the Dream Act. I need to research it. On the repeal of DADT I’m thrilled that common sense is becoming law. What I find interesting is how quiet many evangelicals are about the matter. Nothing from Focus on the Family, Liberty, or Pat Robertson. Unless I missed it I didn’t see anything from Chuck Colson either who tends to attack these kind of issues.

    What it means as I see it…is that the right wing has lost its influence in a lot of ways. People will not take them seriously on a whole host of issues because of how they attached themself to this one. My prediction is that years from now people will look at this and wonder…”what was the big deal?”

    One of my friends is gay, and I’ve talked to him about this…gays are targeted with sterotypes. Its sad…but the way some people talk about gays molesting kids is no different than how some would say that blacks would rape white girls. Uncalled for…I’m grateful we are moving on, and as an agnostic it gives me a little bit of hope to see some Christians work toward bettering society through repeal of this absurd law.

    • Eagle,

      This may sound absurd but here it is.

      Scenario,

      You are in extemely close quarters. You basically shower, shave, and *&*& right next to each other at all times. Modesty is something you left at home. How does putting the strain open homosexuals into this environment make sense militarily? You might argue that folks can control themselves. Ok. Then can we just put everyone male and female together, same showers, same toilets, same sleeping quarters? Why not?

      • Austin, I’ve learned from other US-based blogs that what I have to say likely won’t be given much credence, but I’ll give it a shot anyway. I’m in the Canadian military, with almost 34 years of service under my belt, and am currently working in a large headquarters in the US. The Canadian military crossed this bridge almost 20 years ago – without an “interim” DADT policy. I remember many of the same arguments that I’ve heard in the US in the last couple of years. None of them came true – and our soldiers have been in as close quarters in Afghanistan as have US troops. I know there are differences between our two societies, but I think the military readiness argument is greatly overblown. Also, as a heterosexual male, your scenario doesn’t bother me at all. When I get back to work after the Christmas holidays, I doubt that many (if any) of my US military colleagues will show much concern about the change.

        • Warren,

          Kudos to you on and Canada on your great social progress and liberation. I’m glad that if you were in very close quarters and having to shower and do all of life’s neccisities with completely zero privacy that it wouldn’t bother you if the guy next to you was considering in his mind if you were his type or not and now he could have the freedom to ask you if you felt the same without fear of getting in trouble.

          Bully for you Warren. Would it make as much sense to just throw the women in the shower room with the guys too. Hey we could cut back on water, and if we are going to say that homosexual males are “disciplined” enough to not let their sexuality affect them in that environment shoudln’t we give the same benefit of the doubt to heterosexual males as well, that they coudl handle showering and living with women with no issues developing, are am I missing the point that homesexuals are some how more controlled in their affections.

          O Canada!

          • Austin, yes, I do think you are missing the point, and are comparing apples and oranges (although I admit that I would have been much more sympathetic to your argument 20 years ago). Frankly, I don’t care what’s going through the mind of the guy next to me in the shower (if he finds me attractive, he’s got bigger problems than homosexuality). If someone acts inappropriately based on their impulses, regardless of whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, that’s a different matter. Both the Canadian and US militaries have plenty of regulations to deal with that – harshly if need be. Since 1992, when homoxexuals were allowed to served openly in the Canadian military, I have not heard of one case of such conduct. (I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but it obviously is not a big problem).

            By the way, I believe that, under God’s Word, homosexuality is a sin – but that is not what is being discussed here. The laws of your country have already changed, and, on that basis, I believe your government correctly repealed DADT. I also believe that time will reveal that the arguments used to defend the continuation of DADT, such as a detrimental affect on military effectiveness, recruiting, etc., were greatly overstated.

          • Austin,

            Your disrespect is revolting. Canada has lost many good men in Afghanistan, with one being from my (small, 1100 people) hometown. I’m particularly referring to the snarkiness of your comment esp the “O Canada” comment at the end. You come across in an adolesscent manner.

          • Eddie Scizzard says

            Austin: was that snark really necessary?

            Your question was answered, well and fully. Snark just makes you look small.

          • No one has addressed Austin’s point about men and women. Where’s the difference, people?

      • Austin….

        Well I spent some time living and working in interesting conditions in Afghanistan. I wasn’t concerned.

        If you want to look at something really interesting….look at how the US Army (USA) was in the process of implementing Truman’s military desegration order when the Korean War broke out in the summer of 1950. When the North Koreans cornered the US, ROK, and Brits in Pusan the USA scrapped their intergration policy and just started sending blacks and whites to fight the North Koreans together. And in the midst of the conflict the military become desegregated 😀

        I love history…

        And people say they are worried about implementing such changes during a war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        • And there it is.

          Took longer than I expected.

          The old gay is black, black is gay card.

          If iI was a black person I would be madder than hell that everytime some aberrant social behavoir was wanting more acceptance by society that my race was implicated.

          Folks , being black is not a choice. Sexual ACTS, not orientation perhaps but even that I’m not convinced on, are a choice.

          • Richard Hershberger says

            “And there it is.
            Took longer than I expected.
            The old gay is black, black is gay card. ”

            This is, of course, a mis-characterization of the actual argument. The actual point is that the arguments used against gays, whether in military or civil life, are exactly the same as the arguments used half a century ago against blacks. Most modern people recognize the fallacy of the arguments in relation to race, or at least aren’t willing to admit otherwise. A false argument is a false argument, whether you insert “black” or “gay” into it.

          • Eddie Scizzard says

            ” not orientation perhaps but even that I’m not convinced on, are a choice.”

            well should we all wait to act, then, until Austin is convinced?

          • Austin-

            Do you know anyone who is gay? Do you have a friend or co-worker who’s dealt with it? What influenced me on this issue is knowing someone who is gay. You will learn quickly that you believed many sterotypes.

          • Austin…..what a little bitty brain you are displaying, and an even smaller heart. You are displaying some very disgusting traits right now. WWJD? Does it even matter to you? Homophobia kills dude. You should address that with your savior, as soon as possible.

      • I hate to break it to you Austin but those gay soldiers are already showering and shaving right next to all the straight soldiers and have been all this time. Surprisingly, the world hasn’t ended yet.

        • yea, i know they have but now their sexuality can be open, not conducive to troop morale and the sense of brotherhood that develops

          i’m very surprised how quickly we all are in this country for the last 60 years to destroy instituttions that have been the underpinning of our culture just in the name of current sypmathies on social justice

          • DreamingWings says

            Its because we’re finally advocating Jesus’ response to institutions and traditions. Last I checked it involved public contempt, condemnation of their treatment of of those in need, and certain money changers driven out of the temple with a whip.

      • DreamingWings says

        It would, and will be, no different than it is for the numerous theatre people I’ve known. You’re in a small space and everyone has to use it for costume changes, makeup, etc. It becomes just plain irrelevant. Only a person completely and mindlessly controlled by their nether regions would have difficulty not acting on their ‘impulses’. And such a person is likely suffering from some sort of mental disorder and, gay or straight, should be a civilian under psychiatric care rather than with his or her finger on a trigger.

  9. On DADT, let me first say that I believe nonviolence is clearly taught by Jesus and Paul. So, IMO, followers of Christ shouldn’t be closely associated with the military in the first place. However, that is (obviously) not the view of many American Evangelicals, who see military service as a calling of God.

    I heard about a conversation that took place today in a church that I’m associated with. The members of this church definitely hold to the view of the majority of American Evangelicals regarding military service. Anyway, one of the youth, who is a senior in high school, was planning on joining the military after graduation. Now, due to the repeal of DADT, joining the military is not even an option for him (due, largely, to the feelings of his family on the issue). I just find that sentiment completely incomprehensible. Nonviolence was so clearly taught by Jesus, Paul, and the early church, yet that can be ignored. Serving with gays, however, makes military service sinful. ARGH.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MajnOezQDRQ&feature=related

      My niece, a USN nurse, served aboard the USHS Comfort when they went to Haiti.
      The help given to injured people aboard that ship was needed badly, and our military responded to that need.

      Our Coast Guard saves lives. My son is a member of the USCG and has actively been involved in saving lives at sea.

      My nephew is a Navy physician.

      There are many chaplains who serve in our military. They do the work of God and, they too, have given their lives for others:

      http://www.immortalchaplains.org/Video/video.htm

      I won’t try to change your mind, of course, but I hope you think about your judgment of others and reconsider it, when and if, you are able to do that.

      • Christiane, I was in no way passing judgment on those in the military. I realize that my believers disagree with my views on nonviolence. My point was that there are more compelling reasons for Christians to avoid military service than fear of gays.

  10. Neither on the radar at my present church. I would guess that my previous more-Evangelical church would oppose the DADT as further proof that American is going to hell. Glad I’m not there anymore.

    Of all the options (regarding gays in the military) I think DADT was the worse possible position.I could understand a scientific study to see of having open gays in the military effects its ability to do what it does. I seriously doubt it does. I do think it is part of the more grand scheme of bigotry. “Allowing gays” in the military doesn’t create more gays. But to have a huge program of lying is much worse. This seemed like the biggest cop-out possible. And I was shocked that so many of my Christians friends supported this position. Isn’t lying sin? Why on earth would the Church support a culture of lying?

    I wish I knew more about the Dream Act. I only heard about it on the Sunday morning talk shows. My view is that all humans are the same, in God’s image. I feel no different towards a Mexican child than an white, blued eyed, natural born US citizen child (btw whose great, great grand parents came on a boat from Norway). They each have the same right to justice and opportunity.

    • J.,

      Sorry, i’m a little on a tear here tonight, so excuse me. But your comments seem to suggest that if I’m not wiling to just give away the future of my children so that the masses of the world can come here and explode our budget and our social problems (and if you think they dont’ then you should teach school for a bit) instead of helping them find success in their own lands then I must be some sort of Neo-Know Nothing radical.

      Do any of you folks have children? Do you not understand that when a people stop having a shared history, shared language, shared folk heroes, shared religion, and shared values that they are no longer a people or nation? That is not racism that is basic social geography and political science. We are headed towards Balkanization.

      Are some of you here so filled with self guilt and some sort of collective guilt placed on you by somethign or someone that you do not want your children to see and experience the same America you did?

      Geez.

      • I have five children. I hope some of then end up living the rest of their lives in small villages in the developing world where they can share the love we’ve tried to give them. I guess after spending a few years working in the slum outside of Cairo, I’ve lost a lot of my sense of national identity.

        I have deep respect for those who have sacrificed to make this country such a great and easy place to live in. People like my dad that gave up a big part of his life on the beaches of Normandy. I really do mean that I do respect those who have given up so much for me. But, at the same time, I can’t use my good fortune to say that some how I deserve it better than the kid in the garbage dump in Cairo or the slum of Mexico City. But by the grace of God, I’m warm, my stomach is full and my life is fulfilled.

        • J,

          Not to be cold, you have noble goals for your children, I just don’t want my children to end up living in slums right down the street b/c our culture and economy collapse.

          • Riley Allen says

            austin,

            No one has directly replied to this post and I haven’t read the rest of the thread so my comments my be simply echoes of others. I find myself wondering what in the world you are doing on this site arguing with Christians since by your own words you show that you are in no way a follower of Christ, the one who sacrificed all that we might be reconciled to our Father. What J spoke of is not a noble goal, it is nothing more than our “reasonable service”. What you speak of is nothing more than the selfishness of an unregenerate and worldly mind.

          • Thank you Riley.

      • Do you not understand that when a people stop having a shared history, shared language, shared folk heroes, shared religion, and shared values that they are no longer a people or nation? That is not racism that is basic social geography and political science. We are headed towards Balkanization.

        That sounds nice, but is it true? We’ve said this kind of thing for the last 170 years or so amid wave after wave of culturally dissimilar immigrants and our nation hasn’t collapsed yet. Even when it has threatened to, it’s been over things like fully realizing what freedom and equal rights under the law mean, not an influx of foreign ideas. I’m not sure why people think this group of immigrants will be any different, even though it is pretty clear that their children are assimilating.

        • As far as this ‘shared culture’ thing goes, I think it is important to point out that Santa Fe was founded the same year as Jamestown. There have been Spanish speaking peoples in the United States as long as we have existed. We have a long history with Latin America and there are citizens of Hispanic descent who can trace their ancestors back as far as anyone with European ancestors.

          It is infuriating that these immigrants are treated like alien outsiders when they have had such an influence on our lives. I mean my wife and I realized that 60% or more the the dinners we make at home have some kind of Mexican influence. If you want to realize how much this culture has influence us, try to find a decent burrito in Berlin 😉

          • Your view of culture is shallow. Everybody wants a good burrito. Culture means “machismo”, attitudes toward education, attitudes toward the government. Culture is the reason you don’t emigrate to Mexico. If immigration is low, we can assimilate immigrants to our way of thinking about important things. If it is high, and especially if we grant certain immigrants special rights, they never truly assimilate, and they may bring their political and social culture to bear on us.
            Recall how many single black moms fled Chicago for Milwaukee and Minneapolis because of the awful conditions. Those same conditions appeared in the other cities, because, despite the moms’ best intentions, their own culture was responsible for the conditions.

          • Yay racism!

            Wow Cunnudda, the sad thing is, I have little trouble believing that it was those in the church that have allowed, and maybe even encouraged beliefs like these to go on for so long.

        • Why is this group of immigrants different?
          1) Previous waves were truly “diverse”, i.e. no group predominated. Current immigration is over 70% Spanish-speaking, and preexisting differences, e.g. Puerto Rican-Mexican, tend to evaporate in the US.
          2) The sheer numbers are almost unprecedented, putting a huge strain on what assimilation apparatus remains.
          3) Mexico is much closer than Europe, enabling people’s ties to the homeland to remain strong. Add in modern technology (telephone, Skype, e-mail, Facebook) and the wide availability of Spanish-language media, and the cord to the old country just never gets cut.
          4) Your notion of assimilation is too superficial. Sure, they learn English, but they often remain quite segregated, and their overwhelming numbers, e.g. 65% Hispanic in San Antonio, effectively prevent true cultural assimilation.
          5) Relatedly, I agree with the late Prof. Huntington’s division of the world into civilizational zones, and the current immigrants are overwhelmingly from another zone.
          6) Even in succeeding generations, the assimilation is actually being reversed. So-called “dual language” programs (effectively Spanish immersion), often using textbooks of foreign origin with foreign flags in the room, are turning English-speaking US native children into patriots of Aztlan.

          • This is ridiculous. Do you know any Hispanic immigrants? I do and yes I was perhaps being a bit tongue in cheek, but it was mostly to show just how assimilated Hispanic culture is in our country. I mean what do you mean by ‘assimilated’ anyway? Does this mean that all Hispanic immigrants assimilate into blond, blue-eyed protestants? Who eat meat and potatoes for dinner?

            To be honest every one of your complaints where made about Irish immigrants 130 or so years ago. at the time the KKK was against those Irish papists and the ‘know-nothing’ party was partly based on anti-Irish,anti-German, anti-catholic sentiment.

            All these fears are ridiculous. I live in a majority Hispanic immigrant community “Rose Park” in SLC, and I can tell you my neighbors have jobs, watch football (both kinds) basketball, have birthday parties go to their kids baseball games just like everyone else. I find this kind of thinking just uninformed. Seriously.

          • 1) you’re misinterpreting Huntington’s main point

            2) In any case, Huntington was kind of a racist

          • DreamingWings says

            1 and 2 are completely wrong. The numbers of Irish and Chinese immigrants who came to this country were huge and seemingly never ending as well. And the same arguments were used against them. Such arguments are ancient and moth eaten rags which are dragged out of vile smelling old storage bins every time people want to label a new immigrant group a dangerous ‘other’.

          • @Topher – I know scads of immigrants. I know plenty who have been here >20 years and don’t speak any English. You have no way of judging if I’m uninformed. I speak Spanish and live in an area with huge numbers of Hispanics from various immigrations.
            I don’t care about football, or meat and potatoes, or baseball games. I care about attitudes toward government, toward women, and toward the US. I see huge demonstrations of Mexicans with Mexican flags. References to past immigrations are irrelevant – see point 3 above.
            @ Marie – you’re amusing. You simply define opposition to your view of things as racist. I reject that condition of the debate. Have a nice multi-culti day.
            @ Dreaminwings – thanks for the insults masquerading as argumentation. As a percentage of population, immigration is at an all-time high. Only the turn of the 19th-20th centuries comes close. And all previous waves of immigration were much more diverse than now. For example, the irish and Chinese were coming at the same time, along with Germans (see Topher)

      • American culture is strongly influenced by Hispanic culture. If you subtract that out, this is no longer America. Your attempt to outline a pure American culture that is somehow self-contained and free of external influences is to disregard the sweep of history and move toward a place in which we only value people who are just like us.

        Our

  11. When my ship is out at sea, I share living quarters with about 130 other enlisted women. Of them, probably seven or eight are lesbian (at least).

    I don’t like this, and nor do the majority of the guys who have to share living quarters with gay men, but we all know they’re there. Most of them are pretty open about their orientation.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s not supposed to be any sex on the boat at all, and yeah, sometimes there is, people being people. They just have to not get caught. Personally, I just don’t want to have to know about it at all. What people do in their apartments, or in a hotel, or in a fan room, is none of my business (although hearing about the couple that did it on the stacks of plastic-wrapped Wonderbread in the bakery storeroom did put me off bread for a while). I don’t think that DADT being repealed means we’re going to have mass orgies on the mess decks, no.

    What does concern me about the whole thing is the moral devolution of our society and the effect on our reputation around the world. I’m not going to be politically correct here – what will other countries think of us when they find out that not only do we tolerate perversion (and it is regarded as perversion by most countries), but we have enshrined it in law as a “fundamental human right?” Are traditional, moral-based societies ever going to be attracted to our “rights” and “freedoms” if we define rights and freedoms as indiscriminate sexual libertarianism? I’m not saying we ought to make our own laws based on what other people will think – far from it. But I regret the way we are undermining the cause of American democracy by tying it to issues that are repellent not only to many societies abroad, but to many millions at home, too.

    • Kate,

      Better said and with more insigt (since I never served) than any of my grumpy rantings tonight.

      Well said.

      • “Do you not understand that when a people stop having a shared history, shared language, shared folk heroes, shared religion, and shared values that they are no longer a people or nation? That is not racism that is basic social geography and political science. We are headed towards Balkanization. ”

        Don’t be too hard on yourself, Austin. I think you stated some important issues very, very clearly.

    • “what will other countries think of us when they find out that not only do we tolerate perversion (and it is regarded as perversion by most countries)”

      Actually, most other countries have been allowing gay people to openly serve for years. On the list that don’t? Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan…yeah, not exactly the world’s role models in terms of human rights.

      And if you’re making your argument based on being against “indiscriminate sexual libertarianism”, then you should really go all the way and advocate for making homosexuality itself illegal, just like they’re trying to do in Uganda right now. Seriously, allowing John the Marine to tell you that his boyfriend called him last night is not even in the same category as allowing his buddy Jack the Marine telling you about the stripper Treasure he slept with last night. Up until today, only one of those was allowed, and I don’t think that sexual libertarianism has been really changed all that much by this repeal.

      • Riley Allen says

        Marie

        You replied more eloquently than I ever could to Kate but I would like to reemphasize the point you made that so often is missed. As opposed to her impassioned plea for us to be an example to the rest of the world, the reality is that in our disenfranchisement of a portion of our citizens in order to meet our religious needs we are in reality lining ourselves up with many of the very worst nations of the world. You would think that would give us pause for thought regarding unforeseen consequences, but apparently not. It’s sad.

        • It depends on whether you consider the expectation for gay people to hide their sexuality to be oppression or not. As was well phrased in earlier comments, sexual acts are a choice. Admittedly no one has full control over their desires, but they do have control over how they choose to pursue them.

          Heterosexual Christians must hold themselves to a very high standard of self-discipline. I think the exact same standard would apply to Christians with homosexual desires. No one can have everything they want, but we have to trust God that maybe what we want is not what’s best for us. So much for the moral aspect of homosexuality.

          For the social aspect, I wasn’t thinking as much about disenfranchisement as of the necessary expectations and limits of a family-structured society. Accepting a homosexual lifestyle (notice, I’m not saying homosexuals themselves) does firmly drive the last nail into the coffin of sex as part of marriage. If it’s okay for any two consenting adults to do whatever they like, there’s no obligation or responsibility in sex, and we see what that leads to on a daily basis: people whose lives are tragically screwed up, and they don’t even know why. Admittedly, I’m an idealistic fool for expecting people to agree that a family-oriented society would even be a good thing anymore, and I’m kind of lumping gay marriage in with DADT, but I’m pretty sure it all comes in a bundle.

          Those are just a few thoughts generated by your post. One question: when you referred to the very worst nations of the world, were you comparing American Christianity to the theocracies in the Middle East?

          • well, I wouldn’t necessarily call them the worst nations of the world, but I do think they have some of the worst human rights records in the world and provide an extremely oppressive environment for their citizens. And though I didn’t only name Middle East theocracies, I don’t really think we should be aiming to follow their lead.

            And it is a big mistake to lump DADT in with gay marriage or the state of the family in general. They really have nothing to do with one another, again, unless you are arguing that homosexuality itself should be illegal. If so, maybe you’d be happier in Uganda.

            It seems you are forgetting that not everybody in the military is a Christian, and that this is not a Christian nation. I do not want people to be forced to live by my sexual ethics if they do not share my faith. If it is consensual, it isn’t my business.

            You argue that homosexuality is a choice. Fine, it’s your right to believe that. Even if it is, that really has nothing to do with this debate unless you are also arguing that the military should kick people out for committing other sins as well. I mean, if we’re going to be idealistic fools here, why only go halfway? Visit a prostitute? You’re out. Father a child out of wedlock? You’re out. Look at porn? You’re out. Even if we just limited it to sexual sins, we would no longer have a military.

            And really, the law of the land has nothing to do with my sexual ethic. That choice is between me and God and my faith community. What the government does and does not condone has nothing to do with it, nor should it.

      • I’ve heard plenty of Treasure-the-stripper stories, ranging from the merely R-rated to the puke-inducingly filthy. I don’t like those either, and I haven’t looked at some of those people the same way since. I certainly wouldn’t say Jack the straight but sexually profligate Marine was better than John the well-behaved but gay Marine.

        According to Department of Defense policy, telling dirty stories or making explicit comments can be construed and prosecuted as sexual harassment. So can any kind of unwelcome physical or verbal behavior in the workplace, even if it’s not necessarily directed at you (i.e. a centerfold calendar on your co-worker’s desk). Techincally, we’re not supposed to date each other at all, and there’s supposed to be no room for your sex life on duty. I can’t date officers, senior enlisted personnel, or anyone I work with. Everyone has restrictions, and we all agreed to them when we signed up.

        • Sorry – the above post was in response to Marie. Don’t know why it fell all the way down here . . .

        • and the repeal of DADT leaves all of that intact. Neither gay nor straight is (supposedly) allowed to tell dirty, explicit stories in unwanted settings. That hasn’t changed. What HAS changed is that now when you’re telling a story about how your boyfriend always tries to hog the remote, John can now join in and say that his boyfriend does the exact same thing…and he won’t lose his job.

          And you may not be explicitly arguing that Jack was better behaved than John, but if you maintain that DADT is a fair policy, then that’s exactly what you’re arguing. You’re saying that talking about your boyfriend should get you kicked out of the military, while talking about your sexcapades with the stripper should just lose you some respect. It’s a double standard that speaks volumes.

          • Thank you Marie for all the replies to Kate. Had it been left to me, I wouldn’t have made it past moderator rules. Kate the morality cop has me completely fuming right now!!!
            And, back to the happy place….

    • Well, most of the western world thinks you are strangely behind the times, but are slowly catching up with the rest of us. We think you are to be commended on your attempts towards equal rights.

  12. Hello I am Joyce,

    I discovered this blog by accident. I live in Washington, DC and I have to say the DADT policy passed by congress has dealt one more devasting blow to Christianity. I truly believe this country has officially walked away from God. I am not a religous fanatic, it’s not the issue of gays in the military, everyone knows that being gay is not new in any society. For the Christian it speaks to the greater issue of what do you believe? Either you believe homosexuality is a sin or you don’t. And I am sorry you do not get to pick what is a sin and what is not. That is in the province of God. And I love Romans: Chapter 1-18-20: I will paraphase basically what that scripture is saying. That even if you remove the Bible from the world, what is known about God-God has made manifest from the beginning for since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen. Being understood by the things that are made. Even his eternal power and Godhead so that man is without excuse. Man instead worshipped the creation instead of the creator. Meaning without any written world God is present in nature. If you transgress the immutable laws of nature their will be blood. The church by being silent has given a silent nod of approval. This is just a pathway to the normalization of homosexuality, same-sex marriage and everything else. People want to be free to practice whatever they want without what they perceive to be the oppresive tyranny of Christianity standing over them. For example is I am cheating on my husband or stealing from my employer or employees why should I look down on the homosexual sitting next to me. Or if I am sleeping with my child and I actually love my child. I don’t have to worry about going to Hell. Who am I to judge live and let live. Absolution for all!

    The Dream Act did not pass for one reason only the college portion. You see, as an African American we have always made up a large portion of the armed services. However, with this new generation who does not seem to care about anything but pleasure. They are not going into the military nor do they want to work. So enter the mexicans just as we have imported their labor to replace a large portion of hospitality, trades and manufacturing labor that was chiefly done by african americans and whites of a lower economic status. Now that the manufacturing base has dried up and gone offshore never to return, the only thing we have now is an aging military industrial complex. Which needs a steady supply of young strong bodies. The only place those bodies can come from is south of the border. Mexico.

    I suspect, this bill will come back next year and some form of it will pass. The real objective from both democrats and republicans is the cheap labor, they will remove the college portion. Maybe the average Joe will be more willing to accept Mexican illegals in the military as long as the benefits are limited.

    My take on it the dream act — I am against it. The dream act is nothing more than an illusion for forced labor in the new 21st century global econmy. The mass forced economic bondage of the many in the service to global kings of the earth. Thank you for the opportunity. Love the blog!

    • I am not familiar enough with the Dream Act to comment, but I agree with your comments on DADT, Joyce.

      God’s blessings…

    • So, if something is a sin, then practitioners of that sin should not be allowed in the military? Is that your position?

      Because that will get rid of Hindus, Jews, remarried divorcees..

      • I know, right? The arguments are mind-numbing, to say the least. This is not the Jesus I know, the one they base this argument upon. It’s time to get back to the basics. Turn off the Fox News and open the Bibles, please!

        • With all due respect, yours are the mind-numbing comments. You may disagree with the comments represented–or even find them offensive–but you are not even involving yourself in the discussion except to appeal to some mysterious standard that you are the keeper of.

          I really could care less about Fox News, but the mere mentioning of it does not constitute an argument. Why even mention it? And if you feel the need to mention it, please give examples of how that specifically is the the source or perpetuator of the problems you see.

          What in the Bible is convincing? What are the basics?

          Please, I’d like to know.

          • then just keep moving Mark if you the find the remarks below your standards. I can say I have read the bible and I can’t agree with the arguments that would keep gays relegated as the bastard children of God. Instead I find truths that tell me He loves me as He loves all His children, and I am perfectly made by Him. He alone searches my heart and keeps me close to Him, and mankind cannot harm me or separate me from that love.
            peace to you Mark. Merry Christmas!

      • I think your question is for Joyce, but I’ll tell you why I agree with her.

        I watched sadly another vote at the highest levels of our government, made by those who represent the residents of this once great country, that takes no consideration of Biblical principles.

        I was not surprised by the outcome. When millions of Christians belong to churches that allow homosexuals to lead their “flocks,” why should anyone be startled by this decision by those whom we chose to lead us?

        I do not hate homosexuals. I don’t even dislike homosexuals. The Bible tells me to love my neighbor, and more and more of my neighbors are homosexuals.

        The trouble is that the same Bible that tells me to love my neighbor tells me that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Like everyone else, they have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

        Love does not mean that I am to accept sin.

        A familiar passage:

        35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him,

        36″Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

        37And He said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’

        38″This is the great and foremost commandment.

        39″The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

        40″On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

        Jesus also said, ” If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

        I will choose God’s Word over man’s every time.

        The difference between a homosexual and a Christian is that the Christian has turned away from sin.

        Homosexuality is a lifestyle. It is similar to a lifestyle of idolatry, thievery, and drunkenness.

        These lifestyles are unrighteous.

        These are not my words. These are the words of God. One only need to read the 6th chapter of 1 Corinthians.

        It is another sad event that has occurred within my lifetime, and I have seen it with my own eyes, and as our representatives milled about on the floor of the Senate like it was another day in America, I couldn’t help but think of a number of things.

        I thought of how God allowed His people to be fleeced by the Assyrians and others when they turned their backs on Him. I thought of how God allowed His people to be taken into captivity when they turned their backs on Him. I thought of how God allowed His peoples’ places of worship to be destroyed when they turned their backs on Him.

        We have turned our backs on God and His word. Why should the results be any different?

        I am very disturbed by the continual lack of respect for God’s Word. I am very concerned about the future of the United States.

        At the same time, I have a peace that God will be with those who turn to Him. I am not worried about my future. There are too many verses in the Bible that tell me not to worry.

        To those verses I cling.

        About the Hindus, Jews, remarried divorcees question.

        We have always had Jews in our military and they have served well.

        The increase of other religious groups and remarried divorcees in the military, and in society, only makes my point more valid.

        We have gotten away from Biblical principles and we will reap what we have sown.

        As always, God holds out his arms, welcoming all who will come: the Jew, the Hindu, and the divorcee.

        “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross…so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

        “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

        History shows us what happens when we refuse to turn from sin.

        This DADT vote didn’t happen because attitudes changed overnight. For years, there has been silence from many pulpits on simple truths from God’s Word.

        IMO, this is the main reason we see a lack of concern over issues like this one.

        God’s blessings…

        • So, if someone is engaged in a sinful lifestyle, it is the role of the state to punish them? You must DETEST the First Ammendment. The very first addition to the US constitution allowed people to worship any false god that they liked. It stated that if they worship that false god, then they can occupy any of the positions of government. To allow such a flagrant turning away from Biblical Principles must make you so very very angry that you can hardly stand it.

          • You pretend to be able to see into my mind. You have made at least two incorrect assumptions.

            The first is that I detest the first amendment. I think you know the environment in which it was written as well as I. The issues of homosexuality and the worship of false gods weren’t even “on the map” when it was written.

            Would you specify where the Constitution mentions worshiping false gods?

            Your last sentence means that you don’t understand me.

            I am not angry. I fact, the tone of your comments make you appear to be the angry one. Please correct me if I am wrong.

            I am sad. I was not kidding when I explained why I am sad in the comment above.

            I am sad that the majority of American citizens have turned away from simple principles in God’s Word.

            I have seen the results of turning away from God in my own life. They haven’t been pleasant.

            Praise be for God’s wonderful mercy.

            I will repeat two verses I have quoted above that assure me that I have been forgiven:

            “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross…so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

            “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

            In order to confess a sin, we must know what sin is. The Bible is clear on the issue of homosexuality.

            Instead of confessing our sins, a gradual acceptance of sin has been occurring for some time in our country and in the world.

            I am not angry. I am very sad.

            God’s blessings…

          • I have to reply here, since I cant click a reply on your post.
            The first ammendment says that freedom of religion shall not be infringed. That counts for Hindus as well as Christians. Hindus who worship “false gods”. That is the very first ammendment. It allows people to do something so evil, that it is number one on God’s Big List Of No. How sad are you that people are legally allowed to do something that terrible, and yet remain in the US military?

          • Yes, I would take the 1st amendment to mean the same thing that you do.

            Originally, I don’t think the scenario you are discussing was an issue.

            It is an issue now and, yes, I am sad that anyone would chose a belief system that has no single founder over Jesus.

            Ultimately, what I think isn’t worth the “ink” on this page.

            It’s what God thinks that matters.

            God’s blessings…

          • It was very much an issue when the Bill of Rights was proposed. Indeed, many Christians were aghast at the idea that it would be legal for a Muslim or a Hindu to hold office in the USA. But the question is not about wether you are sad that people CHOOSE to be a Hindu.. I am asking you if you are sad that it is LEGAL for them to be a Hindu.

          • Your question is an excellent one.

            It brings up the issue of the fallen state of man.

            I can only be satisfied by answering in two ways. Since your question is open-ended, I am forced into this.

            There is a way in which I am not sad that it is legal for anyone to be a Hindu.

            Can I put myself in the place of God?

            He is the one who placed the tree in the garden.

            He is the one who allowed man a choice.

            Who am I to question God’s decision to allow man to make a choice to serve or reject Him?

            I am not sad that God gave man a choice.

            About governments…

            A Theocracy has been impossible since the fall of man.

            In commenting about a subject like homosexuality, my motives have nothing to do with thinking there is any chance at a man-made Theocracy.

            I am only aware of what God’s Word says on the matter. I think God’s Word will have the final say and must have the highest consideration.

            So, we have a problem. Every government since the fall has been flawed in some way, shape, or form.

            I was not aware that many Christians were aghast at the idea that it would be legal for a Muslim or a Hindu to hold office in the USA. I was not aware that it was very much an issue when the Bill of Rights was proposed.

            Could you provide some documentation to back this comment?

            I will assume your statement to be true. It only points to the reverence that our founders had towards God’s Word. Yes, I know that some were deists, but even they spoke highly of the Bible.

            We have been blessed to be part of one of the greatest governments of all time. The reason we have been so blessed is because God’s Word was held in highest esteem. Sadly, man’s word is now more important than God’s Word in the eyes of the majority. This is why we are facing so many problems.

            I have explained how, in accepting God’s decision to allow man a choice, I need accept that the Hindu has a choice. This is the way in which I am not sad that it is legal for anyone to be a Hindu. How can I be sad at a decision that God has made?

            However, man’s choices are not always good ones. That is what is sad.

            Our government was founded on Biblical principles. The Ten Commandments were once found in every court room. I think the only court room where they can still be found is the Supreme Court.

            It is not sad that it is legal to be Hindu. It is sad that people choose to be Hindu. Is not their eternal situation at stake? Is this not why we try and share the Good News with them when possible?

            A Theocracy is coming. When that day comes, it will not be legal to be a Hindu.

            “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

            “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

            “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more,

            “As you see the day drawing near.

            “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

            “But a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.

            “Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

            “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under food the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”

            One has to read about the new covenant described in Hebrews 8-12 to get the full reason behind the last verse I’ve quoted.

            The founders of our nation knew these words so much better than today’s Americans.

            I believe that the Theocracy that God, NOT MAN, will set up is coming soon. The freedoms that Hindus have in America came from men who revered the Bible.

            We need to spend the short time we have, before He comes, telling them about the unconditional love of our Savior.

            God’s blessings…

          • The “no religious test” clause was perceived by many to be the gravest defect of the Constitution. Colonel Jones, a Massachusetts delegate, told the state’s ratifying convention that American political leaders had to believe in God and Jesus Christ. Amos Singletary, another delegate to the Massachusetts ratification convention, was upset at the Constitution’s not requiring men in power to be religious “and though he hoped to see Christians [in office], yet by the Constitution, a papist, or an infidel was as eligible as they.” In New Hampshire the fear was of “a papist, a Mohomatan, a deist, yea an atheist at the helm of government.” Henry Abbot, a delegate to the North Carolina convention, warned that “the exclusion of religious tests” was “dangerous and impolitic” and that “pagans, deists, and Mahometans might obtain offices among us.” If there is no religious test, he asked, “to whom will they [officeholders] swear support — the ancient pagan gods of Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, or Pluto?”

            The Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness.

  13. I’m with the Derb on this one. DREAM is an acronym that really stands for Democratic REinforcements Arriving from Mexico. It’s hard to believe the easy votes play no part in it. I’m all for helping the poor. But it should never be compulsory.

    • honestly, if you don’t make helping the poor compulsory, it will never be done. You overestimate the generosity of the average human being.

      And as someone who feels like advocating for the plight of the immigrant is one of the most integral parts of what it means to live out her faith, I kind of resent that you would reduce this to being about votes for Democrats. I promise you, many of us care deeply about this, enough to call and write our senators about it, and it has nothing to do with voting for a particular party.

      • How exactly, do you make helping the poor compulsory? If anything, trusting the federal government to help the poor simply creates an atmosphere in which more and more people will feel less compelled to help the poor individually because they assume that someone else is doing it.

        I’m not necessarily against the idea behind the DREAM act, but I am against the idea that pervades much of our discussion about federal policy today. That being that the right policy from Washington someday will end social ills, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. I simply think that history shows that governments are only benevolent for so long, and eventually a powerful federal government with so much vested power will eventually use that power to oppress the citizenry rather than empower it.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          How exactly, do you make helping the poor compulsory?

          Wasn’t that the whole idea behind classic Communism?

          • Yes. We’re becoming a welfare state, wherein all the normal things of life – employment, extended family, even parenting – are unnecessary because you can just get it from the government.

            (No criticism meant of those who are looking for work and really hard up. My feeling is that not as many people would be on welfare if the government didn’t make it easy for corporations to send all the jobs overseas, but that’s a whole ‘nother bucket of worms.)

          • sigh…really?

        • Phil,

          I think your comment is excellent.

          Jesus never said that it was any government’s job to take care of the poor.

          I do recall a few of His words instructing his followers to care for them, however.

          I think the reason the U.S. has been the most benevolent country in the world is because it has also been the most Christian.

          Our Christian days are fading and, not surprisingly, the ability for our government to help other nations is fading as God pulls His blessings from us.

          God’s blessings…

      • 1) “plight of the immigrant”? Like getting the chance to make lots more money than you could possibly make at home, getting a good, free education for your kids, and living in a society where the police actually do their job? Sounds horrific.
        2) Are you positive that the New Testament advocates making helping the poor compulsory? I thought Jesus was concerned with affairs of the heart. What righteousness is there in forcing someone to do something? Perhaps YOU feel more righteous having taken control of other people’s money for your (holy) purpose, but I can’t imagine that I get credit with God when you tell me to help the poor or else. Most of Europe does what you demand, and the result is a stunning lack of generosity among Europeans, because they already gave at the office. Sorry, I don’t buy that that’s what we are called to do.
        Moreover, a lot of times the “help” we give is harmful. Free food, for example, harms local farmers by depressing the price of grain.
        3) The massive immigration you seem to love has in fact created more poverty in the US. So, exactly whom are you helping?

        • I know it is true that there are ways we do charity that are not helpful, either for givers or receivers. But do you have any statistical or factual evidence to support your third point? This is a genuine question.

          • 1) Operation Wetback, a big enforcement action during the Eisenhower administration, caused a big increase in the wages of native-born Hispanics.
            2) Meat-packing wages in the Midwest average around $19 in the early 80’s. Now it’s $9 due to the use of illegal alien labor.
            3) More generally, illegals are responsible for most of the decline in the wages of men with a high-school education, because they compete for the same jobs.

        • If we’re so generous, why do we kill thousands of children each year for lack of health care? An uninsured child is twice as likely to die from a given condition as one with insurance. Sorry, but I do not include giving to the church for the new family-life center as either charity or generousity. I would say this is not a generous country but a greedy one… Greed and the thirst for money is at the core of our DNA, not love of neighbor.

          • 1) We’re not killing anybody.
            2) Your stat about uninsured children dying proves correlation, not causation. We used to shriek about lack of prenatal care, but giving it for free didn’t lower infant mortality among the target population, because their behaviors were a bigger determinant.
            3) You’re entitled to your opinion about the family-life center, and your hatred of your country.

          • I guess in conservative-land, lack of health care is only correlated to deaths from lack of health care, and not a cause.

            Either way, children, men and women die, and supporting our current system is akin to supporting involuntary abortion based on income. A national sin, black in the eyes of God.

      • This is absolutely wrong. I don’t deny that if you do not make it compulsory little will happen, but just because something is right to do doesn’t mean we should force people to do it. It’s pretty much the sharia equivalent of mercy. You will be generous or else! This is hardly a Christian ethic, which advocates helping your brother from your heart. Because of love, not law. For Christ’s sake, not the government. There are plenty of christian organizations doing a lot to help those in need without legal incentive. So say that it would never happen without government requirement is an insult to those who freely and generously pour their lives out for such noble causes as a reflection of how Christ did the same for them.

        • the sharia equivalent of mercy? Seriously?

          We are getting into another conversation entirely here, but let me quickly say that if you think the government has no role in taking care of those in need, let me suggest that you move to Haiti. It sounds like it’s you’re dream world there. There we see the perfect example of what happens when only churches and non-profits are involved in getting things done. It’s chaotic, inefficient and money gets wasted (I know you’re used to hearing that it’s the government that is inneficient and wastes money. It is and it does. But scattered private efforts are actually much worse when it comes to large-scale projects). It’s the perfect example of why a well-functioning, well-funded government is necessary to provide basic services.

          Right now we “force” people to pay to provide education to the poor, to provide roads for the poor, and to provide fire and police protection to the poor. Maybe you’re an extreme libertarian who actually argues that we should privatize all of this so if you don’t pay for it, you don’t get it, but I think most of us would argue that that is a recipe for chaos.

          A nation where only the wealthy get fire protection, education, healthcare, police protection, roads, food, and housing is not God’s ideal. It’s just not.

          • I admit you make some good points there and I have already stretched my neck out to far speaking about more than I know in the area of politics. I really know very little about it in general. Yes, I agree it is wrong to say the government should never help the poor. However, I just don’t think the government has the same job description as a charity. It is good to help the poor, but is is the responsibility of the US government to help all the poor in all the world? What about other governments? If we insist on picking up their slack all the time, doesn’t this to some extent enable corruption?

            The US government is first and foremost responsible for the god of the American people. This means citizens. I’m not saying we should never help non-citizens, but there has to be some system of priorities. I am not brilliant enough to determine exactly what those priorities should look like, but I’m sure our constitution has at least something to say in that regard.

            It’s not about providing healthcare and police for the rich. It should be about providing it for all citizens. Where the rich get preferential treatment this is a corruption that should be fought and remedied, but the same does not apply to non-citizens. It is not the job of the US government to provide healthcare for the whole world.

            I’ll admit our government is not too well functioning, but they are certainly well funded. For those who do not know, taxes are high. On a global and historical level.
            I did not realize that scattered private efforts were actually more inefficient and wasteful than government programs. But I do believe you, at least about many of them. And there are a lot of con artists in the charity biz.

          • I’ve yet to meet a libertarian who actually is against the government being involved in things like the local fire department, police department, road maintenance or other service. There are probably some out there, but I would not say they represent the mainstream of libertarian thought. Those services, provided through state and local governments, though, are quite different than services rendered at the federal level. That’s where I have issues. I just don’t see that a federal program is the best way to take care of the poor in any way, shape or form.

            I grew up in a community where it wasn’t hard to find people who were on perpetual welfare. Occasionally, the people receiving this aid were proactive and tried to find better work through going back to school or job training, but to be honest, it seemed a lot of them were content just receiving a monthly check and food stamps without having to do anything. I’m sure some would say I’m demonizing the poor, but that’s not my intention. I just think that every program that exists has unintended consequences, and it’s set up incentives that may actually work against its stated goals. That’s not necessarily a government problem – it’s a human problem. I just don’t see that the problem is an underfunded federal government at all. If anything a bigger problem in the US right now is an under-educated workforce that’s becoming less able to step into the types of jobs that need filled.

          • My taxes are as low as they have ever been in my 40 years of working lifetime. They are definitely not “high” on a national, global or historical level.

            I would love to see taxes return to Clinton-era levels, for that seemed to work the best by far.

            There are also false economies at work. When the health insurance companies take 30% of our premiums off the top for their purposes and return 70% for care, that is a “tax” that I am forced to pay by our government to a private corporation — a true redistribution of wealth. I would far rather pay 10% off the top, as with Canada’s single-payer system, but we’re too libertarian to be fiscally responsible.

    • A couple of things about this comment confuse me:

      First, I don’t understand why the DREAM act is conflated with “helping the poor.” The people affected by it may be poor, but as I understand it, there’s nothing in it tied to income level. It is about providing a path to citizenship to people who were brought to the U.S. when they were children. They are here illegally, but they did not do anything wrong. To me, one Biblical justification for this is Ezekiel 18.

      Second, I don’t understand why the Republican party doesn’t support this. These are folks who have worked very hard, who are required as a condition of citizenship to get an education or join the military, who are not in any way looking for a handout. Aside from the compassion aspect, I don’t see the cost–except the political cost to Republicans if and when it does pass and they weren’t supportive.

      These folks aren’t people arriving from Mexico; they’ve been here for most of their lives and consider themselves Americans. What benefit is there to us in deporting educated and energetic people? I don’t see it.

      I’m cutting and pasting some of the biographical sketches from the United We Dream website:

      Rosa Alvarez, Wisconsin
      • Grew up in Wisconsin
      • Came to the U.S. at the age of 9
      • Graduated from college in 2009 with a BS in elementary education and was a Chancellor’s Award recipient
      • First undocumented student to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

      Karla Resendiz, Texas
      • Came to the U.S. at the age of 12
      • Grew up in Dallas
      • Graduated with honors from UT Austin with a Doctorate in Pharmacy and is a published researcher
      • Dreams of becoming a neonatology pharmacist (for babies)

      Julieta Garibay, Texas
      • Came to the U.S. at the age of 12
      • Grew up in Austin
      • Graduated with honors from UT Austin with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Nursing.
      • Dreams of becoming a military nurse.

      Cesar Vargas, New York
      • Grew up in Brooklyn, graduated high school and college
      • “My dream is to serve in the military as a JAG officer or on the front line as an intelligence officer to lead Marines. I want to earn my place next to the great heroes of our nation that have and are fighting to defend our Constitution.”
      • Now in third year of law school.
      • Has spoken before Members of Congress, has appeared on national television
      • Video: http://www.letusserve2010.org/home

      Gaby Pacheco, Florida
      • In the US since the age of 7
      • Dreamed of serving in the Air Force
      • Highest ranked Junior ROTC student in her high school and high scorer on the military vocational aptitude test.
      • Two associates degrees and a BA in special education. President of student government, statewide Junior Community College Student Government Association.
      • In 2006, immigration agents raided her family home, and they have been fighting deportation since.
      • Has appeared on national television and radio

      Ivan Rosales, California
      • Recorded radio ad that is airing right now in 5 states
      • In the US since the age of 1
      • Wants to be a military doctor and eventually do cancer research. Learned value of military service from his brother and brother in law who’ve served in the air force, national guard and on deployment in Afghanistan.
      • 3.9 GPA in high school, top 1% of all students in county
      • Now a fourth year biology major in college
      • Has appeared on television and radio

      Alina Cortes, Texas
      • Grew up in San Antonio, Texas.
      • “My goal as an American patriot is to serve the country that has served me all these years and become an officer in the United States Marine Corps”
      • “As a Republican, I urge my leaders to stand up and support the DREAM Act to allow young patriots like myself to give back to this great nation.”
      • Has appeared on national television and radio

      • One thing we can all agree on: Those people are shaweet. Don’t they are stereotypical, however, and for good reason. I for anything that will encourage more people to excel in like manner. The more creative ways we can find to encourage those kind of accomplishments the better. Oh, but don’t forget about citizens. They have dreams, potential, and possibility as well, and are already giving back to this great nation.

      • Sounds like they’ll make fine citizens of their home countries.

  14. I did notice that the National Association of Evangelicals came out in support of the DREAM Act, which would probably go against the grain in some of the discussion.

    As for the DREAM Act, I saw a bit of a split with the Christians I heard from — a few of the more conservative politically-driven ones were opposed, while those who didn’t pay as much attention to politics were a bit more in favor. Unfortunately, the more conservative political ones thought it was just a cynical push by Democrats. However, I noticed the common response by more liberal Christians was to imply racism would be the only reason to defeat the bill — also a rather unfair and immature response.

    As for DADT, I remember way back when Clinton signed it into law, conservative Christians were not happy. It’s kind of amusing how much 15+ years changes things. That said, I didn’t hear a lot from Christian groups about DADT, except from Focus on the Family’s “Citizenlink” group and maybe Chuck Colson. I think people may have been worn out on the discussion after decades, and ultimately agree with the saying “As long as they can shoot straight.”

  15. I have heard absolutely nothing about either of these two bills from any of my more evangelical friends…not even an article link on facebook. I care very much about both of them though and have been following them for a while now.

    I am very disappointed about the DREAM Act (I think the way we treat immigrants is one of the most important moral issues for Christians in America today) and relieved about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

    I think DADT is one of the most glaring examples of Christian hypocricy. Admitting to being gay isn’t okay, but lying about it is not only encouraged, but REQUIRED. It’s mind-blowing actually.

    I think Christians will look back on this and be embarrassed about this policy. It has nothing to do with whether or not you think homosexuality is a sin. It’s like banning someone from the military because they are divorced or cheating, or engaging in premarital sex. If we did that, we would no longer have a military. It’s so much easier to just pick on the gays.

    Where else in America could a workplace that isn’t religious-based be allowed to prevent their employees from openly admitting to being gay? Then couple that with the fact that the only workplace where they can’t be honest about it is one that asks them to put their life on the line.

    And I’m a pacifist. I’m not anti-soldier by any means, but I’ll never be in the whole “the military is the most honorable profession” category. But really, it was unfair, bigoted, and absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention just flat out bad policy. Kicking out one of the few members of your forces who can speak Arabic during the early stages of the Iraq war just because you find out he’s gay? Now that’s just stupid.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I think DADT is one of the most glaring examples of Christian hypocricy. Admitting to being gay isn’t okay, but lying about it is not only encouraged, but REQUIRED. It’s mind-blowing actually.

      o/~ “Cause it’s a Great Big Stupid World…” o/~

    • lying is not required

      the govt. is required not to ask and you are required not to tell, you are not required to lie

      that it encourages lying is not true

    • Ha . . . the Uniform Code of Military Justice technically DOES prohibit infidelity, employing prostitutes, engaging in sexual behavior with anyone under sixteen, possession of pornography, and all forms of sex other than intercourse . . .

      As for “the fact that the only workplace where they can’t be honest about it is one that asks them to put their life on the line,” they all knew fully what restrictions would be placed on them when they enlisted. I can speak from experience that it is MANDATORY to brief ALL prospective recruits on DADT (or at least it used to be), and if they didn’t know that they might be asked to put their lives on the line, I’m sorry for them.

  16. Purple Nurple says

    I think the DREAM act, or something similar, will eventually pass as our culture continues to evolve, and bigotry of all kinds withers away. Many forms of Christianity probably belong more to the old world than the new…

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Though I DO like the one about the acronym standing for “Democratic REinforcements Arriving from Mexico.”

      In this case, the Dems are following their party’s 19th Century tradition of favoring unrestricted immigration while high-pressuring the new immigrants into becoming straight-ticket loyal Dem voters. This was what kept Tammany Hall (and most other East Coast urban political machines) going strong until LaGuardia finally cleaned them out in the 1930s, first with the Irish, then with the Italians and Slavs — all recent immigrant groups rejected by the mainstream WASP culture.

      However, this pattern also ended up with the immigrants staying poor, living in slums, and voting Democrat while Tammany (the party machine) kept lining their own pockets.

      • precisely, HUG. That’s why Mexican pols in the US are so vociferously against assimilation: less opportunity for ethnic politics.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          And a lot of those “Latino (TM)” ethnic politics out here are better described as “Mexican Supremacist”. (Note: “Raza” does NOT mean “people”…)

          Last election for Mayor of Los Angeles, the campaigns were entirely about “?QUE ES MAS MEXICANO?”

          Ever since then, when Mayor Villaragosa gets on the news (which is a lot; the guy’s as much of a publicity hound as Judge Ito), I’ve called him “Mayor Viva-La-Raza”.

      • DreamingWings says

        You think Democrats and the Dream Act is doing this? The act which ensures that many well educated young people will use said education for our nation’s benefit? The law that would ensure greater numbers for our military who would in turn serve for decades or at least leave service ready for other gainful employment? Usually you’re one of the voices of reason and intelligence (and fact checking) on this site. Someone quite worthy of respect. This line of thinking is beneath you.

      • From a historical perspective (especially in New York) this has been the case. But we can look at the immigration isue from several facets.

        First – people are always scared of wholesale change. They were scared when the Irish came over in droves because of the Potato famine (too much popery). There were concerns about all the eastern europeans changing the dynamic of our country in the late nineteenth century and early 20th century (again – too much popery since the majority were Catholic). And yet we survived it and became stronger. Now we have this “threat” from Mexico (too much popery?).

        From a different angle their has been a disturbing trend in Europe regarding immigrants. Mostly this has to do with non-assimilation, as is happening in England and France with the Muslim populations. Germany has its own issue with making Turkish Immigrants (mostly short-timers and transient workers) second class citizen status. There has been much rioting across ethnic lines and we need to pay attention and learn from this (and no… I don’t believe the answer is to stop immigration). For the average immigrant they are here looking for a better life, and are willing to work towards this. Is there an issue with lower wage jobs going to immigrants – well sure, if american workers were pushed out of their own jobs. But for the majority these jobs are the least desirable ones. Is it posible that these immmigrants will climb the food chain and displace American workers? Yes – but then that is the American Dream – to better oneself – not to feel entitled to have a job because you are an American.

  17. What makes discussing many public policy dilemmas among evangelicals difficult, and often unpleasant, is the tendency to reduce them quickly to black-and-white issues that short-circuits any further debate.

    Does conceding the repeal of DADT mean you condone homosexual behavior? I don’t think so, but for many people the two are more or less the same. Personally, I’ll be surprised if there are any significant repercussions now that this has taken place.

    Does it announce to the world a further erosion of values in “Christian America”? What about the number of divorces among heterosexuals? What about American materialism, or Wall Street greed and crony capitalism where politicians help out their rich friends in trouble? Against this backdrop, I don’t see how even the symbolism of a DADT repeal is all that significant.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      But don’t you know the Evangelical Pyramid of Sins? Homosexuality is the capstone at the top, The Unpardonable Sin in comparison to which all those other sins are OK. As long as you’re not one of THEM, You’re Right With God, start polishing your halo. That’s one of the dynamics of the Evangelical obsession with homosexuality, and why it’s not going to go away, Bible verses or no.

      Because it’s always convenient to point to the Leper to make yourself look good in comparison.

      Whether that Leper is Those Homos, Those Furries, or Those Xians.

    • Yes, repealing DADT does signal condoning homosexual behavior. That’s certainly how homosexuals see it.

      • They’ve told you this?

        • Yes, all none of them that they know. Ridiculous! I will tell you how “we” see it. Finally, we are one step closer to Taxation WITH representation. One step closer to getting the church out of our bedrooms. One step closer to bringing an end to this ongoing insanity that says judging is ok as long as you judge those homos as sinners, but dont’ forget to love them. I wonder, has anyone read Romans 2, or does all the real info stop at the end of the first chapter?

          • So, you’re agreeing with me.

          • Not even a little bit. Condoning is not in you as far as I can tell. No one will ask it of you. Just get out of the way of progress and complain in your own corner about the state of the world today. You certainly can talk it up all you want to whomever will listen so that all know you are not condoning this behavior. That is not required of anyone to give people the rights they inherited just by virtue of being born in the USA. It’s time to get over the lameass arguments that have kept ALL citizens from having the same rights. It’s time for the church to get out of the sex business. They suck at it, in my opinion.

          • I’m still waiting to hear about the gays who said that being allowed to die for our country without having to hide their identity was “condoning” them.

  18. I actually haven’t heard anything in my christian community about either issue.

    DADT – I’m glad it was repealed. I never really saw the sense in it and I really don’t think it’s a moral issue for Christians like gay marriage is. I would hope (and assume) that gays who do serve in the military are sensitive to others around them and don’t treat the men they shower with like a centerfold. And if they do, I would hope that complaints/concerns are welcome so the problem can be dealt with.

    DREAM – I honestly don’t know a whole lot about this act, but I tend to err on the side of “no thanks”. More because our country is already in debt and we keep borrowing more and it’s getting ridiculous. While I do sympathize with children who have been brought to America and raised here, but aren’t citizens…I do think they should take the steps to become citizens before they start demanding our country to support them. If they believe in our country so greatly, than why do they not want to become citizens? If the process is too difficult or costly, than America needs to work on simplifying that process for these children specifically. But I also think this goes hand in hand with making sure that less immigrants live here illegally. I have no problem with people of all other nationalities coming here to live, but they should be following AMERICA’S rules and be committed to learning our language and contributing in a legal way. If we were to move to their country we would be required to do the same. I don’t know why everyone expects America to lower all of their standards because we are a melting pot and reach out to others.

    • It is in fact nearly impossible for an immigrant without both a college degree in an in-demand field and a job offer from a company willing to do massive paperwork to become a citizen (Although being a millionaire will do the trick as well). Here is a great flowchart explaining all the “options” for legal immigration:

      http://reason.com/assets/db/07cf533ddb1d06350cf1ddb5942ef5ad.jpg

      It’s also a fallacy that allowing them to become citizens will somehow contribute to the debt. Immigrants are a huge net gain to the economy, especially once they hit the second generation when they tend to be highly motivated and greatly value education. However, they can be a drain on some border communities and it’s true that in the current economy they might be something of a drain on resources since they can’t find jobs, but this bill isn’t about right now, it’s about 20+ years from now.

      • All that’s sweet ken, but I’m worried about raising kids in this 20 years not down the future, and visit parts of California and for that matter my own GA county where public services are being overan by folks not paying for them

        sorry, i’m not buying it

        • I would have to agree with Ken on this one. There must be some statistics to support or refute this. But in my experience, my (legal) immigrant patient population tends to be very hard working, for low paying jobs, extremely grateful for being in American and the opportunities and justice here.

          Most of my, live off the system, refuse to do any work, expect hand outs, or those . . . .many generations old Americans.

          Since I’ve posted, I do go back and read the DREAM act. No financial support, just simply opportunities for those who did not come here illegally of their own choice.

          I think when God uses Google Maps, He doesn’t see the world through the the “political map” lens, but just people, whom He created and loves.

        • There are definitely some localized problems in border areas, and it would be nice to be addressed.

          You have raised another fallacy though – “folks not paying for them”. Illegal immigrants frequently pay more in taxes than the rest of us. They obviously have to pay sales tax and they indirectly pay property taxes through rent wherever they live. Many of them also pay income taxes either through bogus SSN numbers or through special identification numbers that the IRS created in 1996 for them to file taxes with. Consider though that while paying Medicare and Social Security taxes that they cannot benefit from either of those programs and they generally cannot file for a tax refund at all, but if they could they would probably get it all back since their income level would generally not be taxed at all.

          According to the article below 2/3rds of illegals pay income taxes in one of these ways. It’s a great example of taxation without representation.

          http://reason.org/news/show/122411.html

          There are some very informative (and less biased) articles on wikipedia as well:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_impact_of_illegal_immigrants_in_the_United_States (Very informative. It puts the % of illegals who pay income taxes at 50%-75%)
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_immigration_to_the_United_States
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States

        • Then clearly the answer is not to provide a path toward higher education and higher paying jobs that generate more government revenues.

      • The current crop of immigrants is predominantly low-skilled. In the first generation they are low-paid and a drain (medical care, schooling, etc.). In the second generation, their culture does not in fact value education, and they enter the underclass in huge numbers via low education and unwed motherhood.
        sooooo, 20 years from now there will just be more underclass.

        • Matthäus says

          In the second generation, their culture does not in fact value education

          Which is why they are getting college educations? I’m slightly confused.

        • This is NOT true!!!!!! Seriously, the front office manager at the hotel I worked his way up from bellhop. He took night classes and classes at a local church to improve his English and get a degree in hospitality management. I know this is anecdotal but I know many first and second generation Hispanic immigrants in the hospitality industries whose story is just like his. This statement is downright false. Many immigrants work hard to get into college to learn the skills to improve their lives. Seriously do you know any Hispanic Immigrants?

    • “While I do sympathize with children who have been brought to America and raised here, but aren’t citizens…I do think they should take the steps to become citizens before they start demanding our country to support them.”

      Alexia, have you even read what the DREAM Act is? It has nothing to do with supporting them and it has everything to do with providing a path to citizenship. It is for those immigrant children who DO want to become citizens. It says if they go to college or join the military then they can get permanent residency and become closer to citizens.

      I will never understand the conservative argument to this. First they say, people should follow the law and come here legally, if the law is unfair, then change the law. Then when someone attempts to change the law, they cry amnesty, or like you have here, they conflate it with government support, which has nothing to do with it!

  19. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Today on morning drive-time radio, there was something about “Christian chaplains” (no denomination given) threatening to resign from the military en masse. No further details; since no denomination was mentioned, I presume these were Fundagelicals; they seem to have reserved “Christian” without any denominational qualifers solely for themselves.

  20. It is hilarious: Virtually every argument against Hispanic/Latino immigration bears much in common with the arguments against Irish immigration a century or so ago.
    Different values? Check. Non-assimilation? Check. Taking jobs….

    I also note that many of the anti-illegal immigration advocates on blogs make the change from anti-illegal immigration to anti-immigration almost seamlessly – and from there on towards racial steroptyping etc.. Very, very telling.

    Recently, Stephen Colbert volunteered to go for a day to work in the Californian fruit-picking industry. At the same time, an agency offered anybody, from anywhere in the US (legal person, though), a fruit picking job, guaranteed. You know how many people applied? A grand total of 3. Yes, less than one in a million. What can a person take away from that? That the illegals are needed to do things the legals/citizens won’t, but that they need to be illegal so as to make them cheap and expendable. A nefarious plot, indeed.

    • Good point… If these were white, english-speaking immigrants from Canada, the UK or Australia, I doubt we’d see this level of hysteria. We wouldn’t be able to do enough for them. Standing in the way of educating their kids would get you boiled alive for days on Fox.

      • Actually Fish, when I, a white, English speaking person from SA was contemplating immigrating, the most friendly of the English speaking countries was Australia, followed by Canada, NZ,

        • Sorry – that comment posted too soon.

          …. the UK, Ireland and than lastly by the US. It is difficult any for a person with rare skills and a degree to move to the US, compared to the others on that list. A friend of mine, in a senior position with an IT company, moved to the US about 2 years before I came to Canada. This month I qualify for Canadian citizenship. He doesn’t even have a green card yet, having to renew a work permit every 2 years…

        • I was just picking examples off the top of my head but you make a very good point.

          I have looked into immigrating to Canada — I would already be there if not for my family — and i was surprised at how easy it looked to be. I qualified pretty easily according to their points system. Comparing that with the “process” we have here in the US is like comparing day and night. We seem to be scared of any outsider.

          I just returned from Europe and the most invasive and stupid security overkill was when trying to get back to the states, by far. They patted down my teenage daughter — after she went through the metal detector without setting it off — simply because she was wearing a baggy sweatshirt. It was disgusting. Dumb. Perverted.

          I thought, this is the country in which I chose to live? One in which we have surrendered so much liberty that patting down teenagers for wearing sweatshirts is not only tolerated but welcomed?

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            They patted down my teenage daughter — after she went through the metal detector without setting it off — simply because she was wearing a baggy sweatshirt.

            She should have worn a burqa. Then she’d be exempt.

    • Don’t forget that they’re dirty and contribute to the moral decay of our nation.

      I do find it facinating however, that these immigrants are simultaneously taking our jobs AND expecting us to support them on welfare while they don’t work. It’s amazing how they’ve figured out how to do both at the same time!

      Sigh…

    • If the illegals weren’t available, the industry would have automated long ago.

    • I have no issues with legal immigration – in fact this country has grown in its greatness because of it. I believe it is dangerous to take an isolationist view here. I have seen this in my own town of Pittsburgh, a town founded by Irish and German immigrants, then later eastern European and Italian. Yet today, after a couple of gernerations of assimilation Pittsburgh can tend to be a closed community (forgetting their roots I guess).

      Where my concern lies on this issue is in the lack of assimilation – meaning the government accomidates to try to maintain the culture of the immigrant. In my humble opinion that is for the immigrant to do while at the same time assimilating (or their next generation assimilates) into our culture and not try to create a country within a country. For the majority of immigrants this is not the case. For those who make noise – there is too much coddling by the government..

      There was a story of a community of hard working Germans in Brooklyn in the late 1800s who, in spite of their hard work did not become successful within the community. Part of the issue was that they refused to assimilate. Once they changed this point of view their hard work began to pay off.

      In a nutshell for me (and I know I will get flack for this) is that I welcome immigration, but I do not welcome signs in multiple languages accomidating the immmigrant – allow them to assimilate or one day we may have issues with groups looking to create their own independent nitch within our borders. Again – this has nothing to do with a person maintiaining their own culture, but government and other entities expected to maintain it as well.

      My thoughts….

      • Radagast,

        As an immigrant myself, I know what you are talking about. I would vote against a special school that would cater to folks from my specific ethnicity, for instance. As a family, we took the decision that we will assimilate from the word go. That has made things easier, for sure.

        But the fact remains that I will always be different. The moment I open my mouth, to anybody other than a close friend etc., there will always be the element of “outsider”. It is a normal human reaction, to first stick to your own clan, your own kind. There is nothing particularly discriminatory about that.

        But for the clanless person, this yields a lot of difficulty, a sense of perpetual loneliness. Fortunately, one finds comfort in the arms of the Faithful, if you are fortunate enough to find such a Church family (as we have). But, I should add, many don’t. The rhetoric displayed by some on this comment thread who complain about “those immigrants” perpetuate, no, fuels the problem. And that is not what one would expect from those of the House of God.

        • Very well said.

          And I think you’ve put your finger on the root of the problem of the conservative church’s response to the immigration debate. Instead of being a community that surprises the world with our ability to take in those of all cultures and love one another while still remaining different from one another, we become angry advocates of a particular culture…conflating it with Christianity. Showing to the world that, just like them, we have no ability to love and do life with those who are different from us. That Jesus really makes no difference whatsoever.

  21. What is it about these two topics that brings out the best and worst in people? The SPLC did a great comparison of the anti integration sentiments and arguments of 1948 to today’s anti gay arguments. What’s interesting to me is how the 1948 arguments for keeping the races separate were based on morality, just like today’s arguments. In 1948 being non-white was equivalent to being morally degenerate, with blacks being the worst of course. Now we look back to that era incredulously and wonder how anyone could even think that way. But of course people do still think that way, whether about gays, blacks, Jews, Catholics, immigrants (especially if they don’t “look” like us).

    I think both of these current issues, DADT and the DREAM Act, reflect a deeper impulse regarding how we deal with “the other.” As human beings we constantly struggle with the xenophobic impulse, and yet, if we’re Christians, we’re actually called to be xenophilic within the the Body of Christ. The only dividing line that exists between humans is the cross; either you are in Christ or you are outside of Christ. All other dividing lines have been relativized into practical meaninglessness. Now has Christ’s work of tearing down that dividing wall of hostility become reality in the church? Sadly, obviously no. But we are still called to that end. It’s not an option, it’s a clear commandment.

    • I don’t understand how you can make a comment like this when there are verses like 1 Cor. 6:9 in God’s Word.

      How do you square this verse with your comment?