Bashing Arizona Immigration Law Supporters

Bashing Arizona Immigration Law Supporters

Posted By Mark D. Tooley On May 3, 2010 @ 12:04 am In FrontPage | No Comments

The Religious Left has discerned that Christianity and Judaism demand virtually open borders by the United States, if not by other nations.  So naturally, many liberal church elites have quickly and angrily lashed out at Arizona’s new immigration law, ascribing to its backers the contempt that much of the Religious Left seems itself to have for many average Americans.

Arizona’s Episcopal Bishop Kirk Smith huffily declared:  “Today is a sad day in the struggle to see all God’s people treated in a humane and compassionate manner.”  And he tut-tutted:  “It seems that for now the advocates of fear and hatred have won over those of charity and love. Arizona claims to be a Golden Rule State. We have not lived up to that claim.”

It’s doubtful that the Episcopal Church in Arizona has been very successful in broadening it’s WASPy flock to include many immigrants.  Still, Bishop Kirk presumes to be their spokesman and moral leader on behalf of the Golden Rule:  “We will continue to work as hard as we can to defeat this law and to work toward just and fair laws that protect the rights of all human beings. We all know that our immigration system is broken, but it cannot be fixed by scape-goating the most vulnerable of those among us.”

Not content to defer to the local bishop, the Episcopal Church’s lobby office in Washington, D.C. also irritably chimed in against the Arizona law, bemoaning that the “lack of fair and humane immigration reform opens the door to misguided and divisive state and local attempts to address immigration enforcement.”  Of course, the Episcopal lobbyists want a national amnesty that would override state attempts at immigration enforcement:   “We urge Congress to provide a solution to a broken immigration system that separates families, spreads fear and keeps millions living in the shadows. Every day, members of our congregations see the unacceptable consequences of our broken immigration system.  We urge the Senate and House to enact bipartisan immigration reform that reunites families, protects the rights of all workers, and provides an opportunity for undocumented immigrants to earn legal status.”

Of course, like the rest of the Religious Left, the Episcopal lobbyists simplistically portray their open borders policy as “Christians…[who] are called to embrace the stranger and to find Christ in all who come to us in need.”  And like the Religious Left, they assume that solutions to vast social problems can be solved by sweeping legislation.  “With strong leadership in Congress, we are confident we can solve the broken immigration system.  We encourage members of Congress to join faith leaders to stand up for immigration policies that renew the dignity and human rights of everyone.”

But what if the open borders and amnesty that the Religious Left typically advocates in fact do not “renew the dignity and human rights of everyone” and instead only create more social disruption whose chief victims are ultimately low income native born and immigrants who lack the economic privileges of most Religious Left elites, especially Episcopalians?  In typical fashion, the Religious Left does not ponder unintended consequences and instead assumes that good intentions and political correctness are sufficient.

Evangelical Left Sojourners chief Jim Wallis wants evangelicals to follow the old Religious Left in distilling the Gospel down to the Left’s latest political demands and prejudices. “The law … is a social and racial sin, and should be denounced as such by people of faith and conscience across the nation,” Wallis intoned. “It is not just about Arizona, but about all of us, and about what kind of country we want to be. It is not only mean-spirited — it will be ineffective and will only serve to further divide communities in Arizona, making everyone more fearful and less safe.”

Arizona’s new crack down on illegal immigration may or may not have faults, but will it make lawful Arizonans “less safe?  Security and effective law enforcement are not typical strong emphases for Wallis or the Religious Left generally.  Instead, they often prefer name calling and charges of bigotry. “This legislation feels reactionary and hateful,” claims Church World Service chief John McCullough, who heads the National Council of Churches’ relief arm.  “It is a clear representation of the politics of division and exclusion.”

Even more hyperbolic was National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference chief Samuel Rodriguez, who has also successfully pressed the National Association of Evangelicals to adopt a liberalized immigration agenda.  “Today, Arizona stands as the state with the most xenophobic and nativist laws in the country,” he pronounced, almost as a curse.  “We need a multi-ethnic firewall against the extremists in our nation who desire to separate us rather than bring us together. Shame on you Arizona Republicans and shame on you Senator John McCain for endorsing the legislation.”

Rodriguez claims to represent virtually all Hispanic evangelicals, and naïve Anglo evangelical churchmen obligingly accept his claims, not considering that many Hispanic and other legal immigrants also have concerns about law enforcement, security, and open borders’ impact on their own ability to advance economically.  Instead, the Religious and Evangelical Left idealize immigration as merely a bumper sticker social justice issue dividing forces of light from bigoted forces of darkness.   Contrary to their claims, the Almighty has not directly revealed His preferences for U.S. immigration policy.  But traditional Christian and Jewish moral teachings about human nature and statecraft offer better guidance than the slapdash pseudo-thinking of the Arizona law’s seething religious critics.

Max Baucus on Obamacare’s hidden agenda – redistribution of wealth

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 5:08 PM

Max Baucus is the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and the Democrat most responsible fo Obamacare’s final shape other than Nancy Pelosi.

In an unusual speech on the Senate floor moments ago, Max Baucus declares that the “healthcare bill” to be  “an income shift, it is a shift, a leveling to help lower income middle income Americans.”  Baucus continued, “[t]oo often, much of late, the last couple three years the mal-distribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind.  Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America.  This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.”

Max Baucus on Obamacare’s hidden agenda – redistribution of wealth

Baucus’ candor is appreciated, though the fact that he waited until the bill passed to announce the real agenda behind the massive tax hikes isn’t a profile in courage.  And the seniors on fixed income who are about to lose Medicare Advantage would laugh at Baucus’ pseudo-populism.

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The Fourth of July: A Day of Mourning?

The Fourth of July: A Day of Mourning?

By Mark D. Tooley | 7/3/2008

Should Christians mourn on July 4, given what a disaster the United States has been for the world? Much of the Religious Left thinks so!

Undoubtedly speaking for many left-wing seminary faculty and clergy, Ted Smith of Vanderbilt University penned an editorial for this month’s Christian Century magazine called: “The Fourth of July: How Does a Christian Celebrate?”

The answer from Smith is: very carefully, if at all. He recalls the early misgivings he had about Independence Day when he was a young staffer at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs in 1989. The horror of it all smacked him like a hot skillet.

“We were training death squads to terrorize people in El Salvador, selling weapons to Iran to fund a revolution against the democratically elected government of Nicaragua, trading freely with an apartheid-dominated South Africa, and propping up a vicious dictator in Iraq named Saddam Hussein. And that was just our foreign policy.”

Smith’s memories are darkly stained by his far left ideology. His recollection of “death squads” refers to successful U.S. support for the elected, Christian Democratic regime in El Salvador, which was attempting to survive against a Soviet-supported Marxist insurgency. His recollection of U.S. weapons sales to Iran was a misbegotten attempt to bolster Iranian “moderates” and free U.S. hostages in Lebanon. His citation of the “democratically elected” regime in Nicaragua refers to the Marxist Sandinistas, who seized and retained power at the point of a gun. His memory of U.S. trade with Apartheid era South Africa does not include the partial U.S. sanctions imposed n 1986, nor the fact that by 1989, under newly elected President Frederik De Klerk, Apartheid was already crumbling. By “propping up” Saddam Hussein, he means that the U.S., along with other Western and Arab countries, tilted towards Iraq against the Ayatollah’s Iran, whose war with Iraq had ended in 1988, thanks partly to the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

Note that Smith, in his historical review, omits any mention of the most historically significant event of 1989: the collapse of the Soviet Union’s occupation of Eastern Europe after 44 years, thanks partly to U.S. perseverance during the Cold War.

Smith goes on to describe the nightmares at home in America: “We had millions—millions!—of people with unlivable housing or no housing at all. Some of them came to the patio of the bar [where Smith had a part time job during his State Department stint] and asked for food. A crack epidemic raged. The president had won the election in large part by playing on white Americans’ fears of African-American men and promising to get tough. It is tempting to blame one party or one politician for these failings. But the years since that summer have made clear just how deeply and widely they are woven into the life of our nation.”

In fact, while Smith remembers only homelessness, a favorite media preoccupation during the Reagan years, by 1989, the U.S. had had 6 years of robust economic growth, falling unemployment and reduced poverty. His recall of a supposedly racist election refers presumably to television ads about the furloughing of killer/rapist Willie Horton that an independent agency ran to benefit the campaign of George H.W. Bush against Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

“This was not the nation I had marched for as a child,” Smith somberly remembers. “Instead of shining like a city on a hill, we were acting in ways that could not survive disclosure. Forgetting our faith that all people are created equal, we were undertaking policies that sought to widen and legitimate inequalities of many kinds.” By 1996, convinced that the founding ideals of the U.S. intrinsically perpetuated “inequality,” Smith stoically refused to celebrate Independence Day altogether: “I celebrated the Fourth like a Puritan of the old school celebrated Christmas: I went about my business as conspicuously as I could. I prayed for the country and then did my daily work as pastor. I questioned not just whether the U.S. was living up to its ideals, but whether those ideals were worth living up to at all. I still do.”

Smith recounts, later in 2003, when asked by Emory University to advise on whether or how the 4th of July might be celebrated, he realized that “we cannot invent new lives that are completely outside of or apart from this nation.” He told the Emory students that he would “love my country like I love my family—as that which has been given to me to nurture, chastise, wrestle with, care for, raise up, suffer beside, celebrate with, and love.” That year, Smith “tried to celebrate the Fourth as a chastened, realist, radical, democratic Christian.”

Thank goodness Smith gave the go ahead for Emory students to honor Independence Day! Today, he “would not want to renounce any of these celebrations of the Fourth,” or “other faithful attempts to mark this day.” What are these other “attempts”? He does not explain but suggests that “our separate stumblings through the Fourth” are a beautiful constellation that is “complex” and “plural.” Who knew that July 4th could be such a byzantine labyrinth of emotions and anxieties?

At least Smith has abandoned his full throttle boycott of American Independence Day, despite his dreadful memories of America’s crimes during the 1980’s. No doubt other, less temperate, seminary professors will grimly acknowledge the 4th of July only as a sad day of mourning for all of America’s genocides and thefts. But the vast majority of America’s Christians, unencumbered by far-left seminary indoctrinations, will robustly celebrate God’s blessing upon their nation.

Mark D. Tooley directs the United Methodist committee at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.