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Archive for April, 2010

Illegal Immigration: Justice vs Compassion

April 30th, 2010 No comments

…with liberty and justice for all.

So ends the American Pledge of Allegiance. The concept of justice is deeply ingrained within the American mindset. We have always been, or aspired to be, a nation of just and fair law. Our Constitution guarantees equal treatment under the law and we strive, though imperfectly at times, to live up to that ideal. So important is this principle that it is enshrined in the form of Lady Justice—blind to the individual—at countless courthouses throughout the nation, including the very Supreme Court itself.

We are also, however, a deeply religious people. While the principle of justice can certainly be found in our Judaeo-Christian heritage and philosophy, there are other important ideals to be found therein as well. One in particular is at odds with justice: compassion. Christians in particular often struggle with this apparent dichotomy. Christ embodied compassion—feeding the hungry, healing the sick, forgiving sins. His was an example we must emulate. Too often forgotten, or simply ignored, is the fact that He also personally meted out punishment—most famously when He violently drove swindlers out of the temple. How can we then, as a society, reconcile compassion and justice?

This debate rages fiercely today in the arena of illegal immigration. Many argue that the majority of illegal immigrants are simply desparately poor people who see no hope in their homelands and are attracted to America by the prospect of a better life—and are willing to work hard for it. Personally, I believe this to be true. Despite its flaws, America is still the greatest land of opportunity on the planet—a refuge from tyranny, persecution, poverty, and hopelessness. The argument concludes that, because of their plight, we should show compassion and allow them to stay. This, unfortunately, is a fallacious understanding of compassion.

Consider the bigger picture—the larger consequences of such “compassion.” In this instance, to show compassion—as it is depicted—is to necessarily introduce injustice and incompassion. The massive influx of illegal immigrants across our borders places an increasing and unfair burden on taxpayers—our law-abiding residents—in the form of social services, medical care, and educational expenses. At some point this burden becomes too great, and we see its effects most clearly in overloaded school systems and the growing number of county and municipal hospitals which are closing emergency rooms or declaring bankruptcy. More importantly, allowing illegals to stay creates injustice toward two very important groups: those who have immigrated legally, and those who are waiting—in increasingly long lines—their turn to do so. Why should illegal immigrants be granted the same, or even similar, priviliges as those who follow the law? This is inherently both unjust and incompassionate toward the latter.

Compassion certainly has a valuable place in our society, but it must not come at the expense of justice—of fairness. Our hearts cannot be blind to the individual, but the law must be or it has no meaning. Compassion should justly be shown to the law-abiding rather than the law-breaking.

Categories: Domestic Tags: ,

Arizona’s Immigration Law (SB1070)

April 28th, 2010 No comments

National media have been in a complete tizzy regarding Arizona’s new illegal immigration law, formally known as SB1070. You can see more about the debate elsewhere. What’s truly relevant is what this law actually does and does not do. (Take the time to read it. Please!)

This law does *not* give state or local police any new legal authority. Local police are already authorized to enforce federal law. If that were not the case, our police forces would not be able to use RICO to go after organized crime. But that happens all the time and noone protests—except people whose last names end in Bonanno. (Yes, they eventually involve the FBI and federal prosecutors, but that’s often only after local actions have already been taken. Oddly, noone is complaining that state laws often overlap federal laws re mob activity, drug trafficking, child pornography, etc.) Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been exercising this authority for years, and keeps getting reelected and reelected and…by healthy margins.

This law *does* make enforcement of existing federal law mandatory for local LEOs, whereas until now it was optional. The requirement for foreign nationals to carry documentary identification on their persons is *federal* law. Already there. Gotta have it. When I lived in Germany it was no different. I had to carry ID that showed I was there legally. Those evil, racist Germans. Oh, wait. That might be a legitimate complaint. Never mind. But the left loves France. We had to carry ID to enter France. So there.

This law *does* establish state penalties for both illegal aliens and employers thereof. Why? Federal authorities aren’t enforcing the laws already on the books, and the results are frightening. (Google “Chandler Rapist.” He operated in my neighborhood, attacking girls aged 12-15, and raped three young girls from Andersen Junior High…less than a mile from my home. I have a 12-year-old daughter. Do the math.) If they were, these sections would not be necessary. The entire statute wouldn’t be necessary. It should be noted, however, that the law also provides clear defenses for entrapment in order to protect employers from cooked-up stings. Please read it, Sheriff Joe, and make sure you follow it.

The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. Jan Brewer has tasked the AZ Peace Officers Standards and Training Board with drafting a training curriculum which will teach officers how to implement the law without violating civil rights. What they come up with in the next 90 days will tell us a lot about how serious we are about enforcing this law. Race is obviously out. But “Mexican” isn’t a race. In case you haven’t noticed, Mexicans come in all shades of color (due primarily to the uneven influx of Spanish, Austrian and French DNA; thank you, colonialism). But someone who, when stopped for speeding, can’t produce a driver’s license and has, say, a funny accent? That’s a choice based on nationality, not race, and would likely stand up in court if argued logically. It remains to be seen whether AZPOST will deliver.

Want to protest? How about protesting a federal government that is more interested in pandering to La Raza than in keeping its own citizens safe?

Categories: Domestic Tags:

Chicago Dems ask Governor for Troops

April 25th, 2010 No comments

Two Democratic Representatives from Chicago have asked Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to send in the Illinois National Guard to help fight violent crime in the city. Yep. That handgun ban is working really well, ain’t it?

Disarm the populace then send in the troops. The left’s recipe for “freedom.”

Categories: Domestic, Gun Rights Tags: ,

Capitalism vs Socialism: A Christian Perspective

April 15th, 2010 No comments

A friend recently posed an interesting question. What would Jesus be considered most, by His life and teachings: a Capitalist or a Socialist? After pondering the issue a bit, I don’t think He’d have fallen into either camp entirely.

Capitalism is driven strictly by the profit motive. Christ spoke rather often about the problems brought about by the love of money. Not wealth itself—God consistently blessed people throughout the Bible with wealth—but the worship of it. Money cannot be our ultimate goal.

Socialism is driven by government control of economic behavior. Altruism becomes involuntary, as the productive are forced to help their neighbors through taxation. Jesus made it clear that God isn’t interested in enforced obedience, e.g., with His frequent criticism of the legalistic Pharisees. God is after the heart.

So neither system aligns well with Jesus’ teaching. More likely He would want us to embrace the best of each and reject the worst. Let’s briefly examine the good and bad in each system.

Capitalism: Consider the parable of the wicked servant. Given a sum of money, he does nothing with it for fear of losing it, and is condemned, while the servants who increase their money are praised. God wants us to make the most of our talents. That would include, for those with the ability, creation of wealth provided said wealth is not the end—as in capitalism—but is used for good purposes.

Socialism: The desire to help those in need is not only admirable but requisite per Jesus’ teaching. Parables such as the good Samaritan and the sheep and goats speak directly to the subject. Yet virtually every time Christ came in contact with the Pharisees, who were caught up in strict rule-following, He denounced them because though their actions may have appeared right, their motives were wrong. They exerted severe control over their fellow Jews through an intricate system of laws. Socialism regulates “generous” behavior through force of law, but Christ came to free us from the burden of law.

Embrace the good in each system; reject the bad. Be a productive member of society including, where possible, generating wealth. But don’t let wealth become your god. Use what you have—be it time, talents, or money—to help those around you who are less fortunate. Bless others with whatever it is with which God has blessed you, and do it with love and a spirit of generosity rather than out of obligation.

Categories: Religion Tags: ,

DC to Denver Flight Disrupted

April 8th, 2010 No comments

A flight from Washington, D.C. to Denver was disrupted last night when a passenger lit a cigarette onboard, creating a disturbance that resulted in an F-16 escort and the attention of the TSA, BATFE, and FBI.

Quiz time. The man’s name was:

  1. William
  2. James
  3. Mohammed

Turns out the perp is a diplomat from Qatar and so can’t be charged with anything. Shamefully, the current White House has not insisted that the man be escorted permanently outside our borders. Diplomatic immunity is not intended to protect this type of criminal activity—it is to prevent the summary execution of diplomats caught in the act of espionage. We should be insisting that the Qatar embassy either wave his immunity or close its doors and leave the U.S.

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