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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

This Ain't Your Daddy's Catholocism

I did a bit on what was shoved in my face this past Sunday in my church about its position on illegal immigration; and the word illegal never came out of the priest's mouth. And there has been some really good discussion on that post which is the whole point of this blogging thing, right? (I am apologetically Roman Catholic - which, for the uneducated means I don't agree with much of anything in the American Catholic Church. As I have stated numerous times in this blog, the US and the world would be a lot better if we went back to the days of cavorting Druids, death by stoning and the extension of slavery to anyone who does not have a Knighthood - then we could start all over and get it right!)

Then I got to thinking about the comments from some of the responders. So I did a little digging and found some illuminating stuff that makes me even more of a supporter of strict Roman Catholic catechism and pedagogy and not the bilge coming from the apostates of the USCCB and Liberation Theologians.

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network is a political lobby for illegal entry into the US camouflaged under the thin veil of Christianity. Here I have lifted just one section from their menu 'Advocacy Topics' titled: 'Border Enforcement and Immigrant Deaths.' Read this gem of enlightened spiritual thought (my comments are embedded in RED):

In an attempt to reduce undocumented migration (illegal entry) along the U.S.-Mexico border, in the mid-1990's, the Border Patrol began increasing its forces and implemented a new enforcement strategy that established blockades at traditionally heavy crossing points along the border. (known illegal entry points - as we have the right to do as a sovereign nation) The strategy (policy) has shifted migrant traffic (illegal) to more remote and dangerous areas, where the number of border crossing deaths has increased. 1 (kinda makes you think that trying to scale a cliff without shoes ain't such a hot idea)

Currently, under the principle of "prevention through deterrence", more than 9,500 border patrol agents operate along traditional (illegal) crossing paths used by undocumented migrants (illegals) attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico Border. (illegally) By increasing the number of agents along these routes (illegal entry points), the Border Patrol hoped to raise the risk of apprehension to the point that it became so difficult and so costly to enter the United States illegally that fewer individuals would make such attempts.(and this is a bad idea, how?)

The Border Patrol's strategy was premised on the faulty belief that increased enforcement would lead potential crossers (illegals) to abandon their attempts to enter illegally, or alternatively, would drive migrants (illegals) into more remote areas where they could be more easily apprehended.(faulty belief - who's faulty belief? - the Pope's, our Government's?) The increased Border Patrol presence has shifted undocumented (illegal) crossings from urban, traditionally safer routes (known illegal entry pooints), to more remote, treacherous areas.(boo-hoo)

As a result, the number of crossing deaths has increased.(boo-hoo II) A study conducted by researchers at the University of Houston documents more than 1,600 possible migrant (illegals) deaths along the U.S./Mexican border between 1993 and 1997. (So what) During FY 1998 (the first year that government began to systematically collect migrant (illegal) crossing deaths) the U.S. Border Patrol recorded 261 deaths on the southwest border. (boo-hoo III) In FY 2002, the U.S. Border Patrol recorded 320 migrant (illegal) deaths. These statistics do not cover deaths in Mexico (how many people do you think are trying to break into Mexico, Padre? - oh, you mean the deaths of Mexican nationals who die on their side of the border before they become illegal entrants into another country - and how is the US's concern?).

The current enforcement strategy fails to recognize the many powerful reasons that drive migrants (illegals) to the United States. (no it doesn't - this is a national security issue, not a human rights campaign) Migrants (illegals) come to the United States (illegally) to escape poverty and to search for work that will allow them to provide for their families.(what about the hundreds of thousands that come here legally and safely? And what about the poor in Mexico who are able to provide for their families/ they seem to be doing just fine) Some come to escape political persecution or violence in their home country. (and the majority do that legally - the political persecution issue raised is a post-hoc fallacious load of doo-doo) Others come to join family legally (uh oh - not the ones who are here illegally - they are herre legally and are waiting for everyone they know to cross illegally) residing (living here illegally) in the United States because our nation's strict immigration laws do not provide them with a mechanism for reuniting with them through legal channels in a timely manner. (absolutely untrue) The U.S. economy is heavily reliant on immigrant (legal immigrant workers) workers, including an estimated 5.3 million undocumented (illegal) workers. (and they need to be identified, cataloged, reviewed, processed legally or sent packing)
2 It is difficult to argue that increased enforcement could prevent migration fueled by such strong factors. (it's really very easy to argue that increased enforcement could deter illegal entry - it's called a fence, it's a national security issue, and it's more humane to have people not get killed entering the US illegally, don't you think, Padre?)

Solutions (a fence, more border patrols, National Guard, and orders to shoot to kill when fired on or assaulted as such incidents are on the rise - ever hear of a Rock Molotov? this is a new weapon illegals use to pelt our border patrol to avoid apprehension - a rock wrapped with a cloth soaked in gas to light and throw at our border patrol - nice!) The current border blockade strategy has proven flawed and should be revisited. (I agree - our current strategy is flawed since our Border Patrol is under-funded and under-manned - we need more guards, more towers, more fences) However, a broader discussion that includes modifications to our nation's immigration laws and policies must accompany changes in enforcement. (a classic leftist post-hoc fallacy) This dialogue (code word for instant recognition of illegals already here and those that our border patrol can't stop in the future along with changing laws that will allow the flow of illegals to continue with impunity) should include the enactment of an earned legalization program, a carefully crafted program that would address the present and future needs of the U.S. economy. 3

An earned legalization program should (meaning you've been here so long, you should be granted recognition if not outright citizenship) accord lawful permanent resident status to undocumented (illegals) workers already residing and paying taxes in the United States. (are you kidding me - paying taxes - you've contradicted yourselves, fellas, since I bet that the very jobs you advocate can't be filled with anyone except illegals are ever on the books that require someone to actually pay flippin taxes) The program should provide work visas, legal protections, and ultimately lawful permanent residence to future flows of low-skilled immigrant workers. Sufficient immigrant visa numbers should be made available under the law to clear the immigrant visa backlog currently faced by approved beneficiaries of family-based immigrant petitions. (you just contradicted yourselves again - above you said that no such process exists to join illegals already here with those that enter illegally) In addition, the repeal of the anti-family provisions of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IRRIRA) should also accompany a legalization program. Legalization and regularized migrant labor flows would significantly reduce the number of migrants who risk their lives while attempting to cross into the United States in order to work.(so you're advocating workers to be legalized so they can walk across the border and walk back home each night since you think we can't find people to perform those jobs?) Repeal of our nation's anti-family immigration laws would prevent border crossers (illegals) from taking perilous risks to reunite with U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents already residing in the United States. (would they be taking perilous risks if they decided to come here legally?) 4

In the aftermath of September 11th, many policymakers have called for increased enforcement along our nation's borders (Amen to that). The Catholic Church recognizes that heightened national security concerns present great challenges to our nation's treatment of newcomers (illegals), but it objects to the human costs of our current enforcement strategy.(how many people who decide to come to the US die when they are processed legally?) Catholic tradition recognizes the right and responsibility of a sovereign state to secure its national borders and to manage immigration in furtherance of the "common good", but it also recognizes that such rights do not take precedence over human dignity. (says who? Scripture Please! And thanks for allowing the United States to defend itself from illegal entry by people who get into the US to sell drugs, commit crimes or worse. And isn't it more dignified to allow people to come to the United States legally without the threat of death they pose to themselves and the danger they impose on our Border Patrols and US citizens who live in proximity to our borders? You forgot about them, didn't you?)

As Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated, "Our elected officials must steer away from a one-dimensional approach toward our border and examine all aspects of national immigration policy, including the legal immigration system, asylum and due process protection laws, and the current treatment of undocumented (illegal) migrants who enter our country. Ultimately, the nation must thoroughly examine the root causes of undocumented migration and seek long-term solutions, especially in developing the economies of our southern neighbors." (says who? Not the Pope! Not most clergy whom I have spoken to - total crap!) 6

By intentionally channeling border crossers (illegals) into dangerous terrain and remote areas (which is a really good idea), our current enforcement policy devalues human life and reflects poorly on our nation's commitment to human rights. (JHC - how many times does it have to be said - give us your poor, your huddled masses, but do it legally!) The needless loss of life that has accompanied the enhanced enforcement strategy cries out for changes in Border Patrol policy, as well as a comprehensive review of U.S. policies and laws that drive border crossers (illegals) to take life-threatening risks to enter the United States. (Needless! tell the US citizens along our southern border whose homes are broken into, whose cattle are killed for food that more border guards are needless Tell the hospitals, urgent care workers, and police that illegals who can't speak English are not a burden to our support infrastructure. Tell the prison workers in CA where the majority of many jails house illegals who commit capital crimes in the US) Anything less diminishes our standing as a nation that has long been recognized as a leader in the field of human rights and compromises human dignity.(No it doesn't - strengthening our borders for the very reasons you proclaim, post 9/11 heightened national security, strain on all who are victims of or are connected to corralling illegals are the very reasons to keep our borders closed - Where is Oliver Cromwell when you need him?)

There is so much wrong with this stand in the name of Catholicism. It makes me ashamed to tell anyone I'm Catholic. Then again, I tell anyone who asks; I am Roman Catholic - those who know the difference get it! You can link to this site to look at their footnotes. It's not happy reading!

wowza..I applaud your courage in speaking your mind for starters and for not maintaining the usual apologetic posture regarding our National security.
Let them holla at u..they have that priviledge all safe n sound in the greatest Country in the world..so heck ..let them tire themselves out..heh.
You're going straight to H.E. double hockey sticks. LOL.

Here, here for speaking your mind....it's dead on. I share in your faith but sometimes have real concerns over some "official stances" of the church. I guess if you're gonna be a sinner, the church is as good a target as anything else. hehe.

Then again, I've met many a priests that buck the system too. They're the ones who apply common sense.
So, if by being Roman Catholic, are you saying your down with what the pope teaches moreso than what the US Catholic Churches teach?

Do you agree, then with Pope John Paul's and Pope Benedict's opposition to this Iraq War or would that be an area where you're disagree with the Roman Catholic Church as well as their American counterparts? How about the Popes on the Environment?
Wow. Where to start? I think we can all agree that Catholicism is deeply rooted in intellectual traditions as they relate to political issues. From the Bible (Old and New Testaments) to Saint Augustine, medieval apologetics to the Renaissance and neo-Thomism, this universal tradition offers an intellectual framework for evaluating topics such as foreign policy that links individual believers like me with the larger political and moral community, particularly on matters of human rights, poverty, and war.

However, over the last thirty years, this tradition has been hijacked by the Marxist and Leninist theology of one Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez – an avowed Marxist who came out with anathemaic approach to twist God’s word called Liberation Theology. Simply put, Liberation Theology takes traditional moral pedagogy and injects Marxist, anti-western revolutionary ideals as in the case of supporting groups like the FMLN, Sandanistas, Cuba and the former Soviet Union and all of her Frankenstein satellites. Further, Liberation Theology has been adopted as policy by most of the clergy in the American Catholic Church.

Jus Ad Bellum (Jut War Theory) is the issue you asked about. This is an important Catholic contribution to a lay person’s understanding the use of military force. At its heart, it’s the right to wage war, defend our nation and our principles, and our right to exist without the specter of being annihilated by a group or groups that seek to do this nation or our allies harm. To be fair, it must be noted that jus ad bellum has to have a moral basis, but can be different from international law as was the case with Kuwait, Grenada, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, and Iraq – certainly morally justified to remove bad men and a last resort absent of diplomatic solutions.

There is a strong pacifist underpinning of current Catholic pedagogy which is reinforced and advanced by the pernicious and dangerous tenants of Liberation Theology. So the answer to your question is, no. I do not agree with the church’s stand on jus ad bellum. As far as the environment is concerned, here again the ugliness of Liberation Theology is evident in that these theories attack the very foundations of this nation’s ability to exist. There is nothing that Liberation Theologians see as a ‘good thing’ – nuclear power, fuel efficient cars, etc. And since the US is the most environment regulated nation on the planet, the cries of these Marxist Priests is even more vacuous.
One more note - up until the Iraq war, even the NCCB has supported jus ad bellum in the case of Kuwait, Gulf War I and Afghanistan. But in the case of Iraq, its position seems contra-positive to the greater moral war we are waging against islamo-fascism since as we all know is so concerend with the human rights of its own people. It's not suprising to me that the American Catholic Church in general and the RCC has been silent on this war. If it supported Gulf War I, Kuwait and Afghanistan, then why not Iraq? You can't have it both ways. And since we fight for the rights of those whom the church puports to defend, then the liberation of 54 million people from the talons of a criminal like SH is exactly what my church should support. Further, not supporting this effort denies the historic imperative of brining freedom to a part of the world that has never tasted the sweet fruit of democracy and self determienation.
Ooops - USCCB.
The RCC has been silent on Iraq? I haven't been following closely what the Popes have said (not being a Catholic, after all), but I do recall both the current and previous pope either questioning or condemning this war. Am I wrong?

Ratzinger is quoted on the war here:


And John Paul here:


And am I wrong in remembering Ratzinger was pretty opposed to Liberation Theology?

Myself, I've visited Nicaragua and was quite impressed with the Liberation Theologians I met there and the beautiful faith of the people at the Bartahola (sp?) Community. I have some troubles with some aspects of LT, but for the most part I find it quite sound biblically.

No surprise to you, I imagine.
Thanls for proving my point. LT is at its heart Marxist theory in the guise of religion. I will close this debate with the words of Fidel Castro, who ten years ago said, "I believe the teachings of Christ are highly revolutionary and coincide completely with the objectives of a Socialist or of a Marxist-Leninist. The raw material of a religious martyr is just the same as that of a revolutionary."

The Beard goes on to add, "Nowonder imperialism, its governments, its spokesmen and its theoreticians have begun a bitter struggle against Liberation Theology... a theory that includes the best in the history of Christianity and which is in absolute contradiction to the values of imperialism. I would define Liberation Theology as an encounter of Christianity with its roots, and all Latin America's left should consider this one of the most important events of modern times."

This debate is over. Marxism has no place in the Cathlic Church. You can have it, my Young Pioneer friend. As for me, I'll stick with PJII condemnation of LT and anyone who supports it.
It's not so much that Marxism is creeping in to some faith traditions as it is that Jesus teachings have been embraced by some Marxist believers. Jesus and biblical teachings came first.

Another thing is that just because one is, for biblical and faith reasons, opposed to consumerism, commercialism, imperialism and aspects of capitalism does not make them a Marxist.

(And out of curiosity, how did what I say prove your point that LT is Marxist theory in the guise of religion? Just the fact that I find aspects of LT interesting? But I'm no Marxist...except for Groucho.)
I know more about the Catholic church than anyone would want, and they need to keep out of politics. They have a historically bad habit of mixing politics with religion. they need to stick to moral issues, not to government policy.

They opened their mouth and stuck their foot in it. Every country has the right to defend its borders, and decide who to let into their country. Unfortunately, Catholic church politics are more along the lines of one world socialism.

Good job CR!
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