scratch-mark

Amen

Hooray for the Catholic Church, the courage of Roger Mahony, and any other such organizations–religious or otherwise–that figuratively tell the government to F off.

"It is none of the government’s business who
and how religious people serve," says the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy,
president of Interfaith Alliance. "Would the U.S. Congress have told
the Good Samaritan not to help a stranger in the ditch?"

Cardinal Roger Mahony in Los Angeles, who leads the largest
Roman Catholic archdiocese in the nation, created a stir recently when
he said he would order priests under his supervision to defy any
federal legislation that requires churches or other social organization
to press immigrants for legal papers before giving them help. The
rhetoric over immigration reform has become inflamed of late. A
coalition of religious leaders has said the legislation the House
approved in December reflects "hysterical" anti-immigrant sentiment.

I’d just like to see one hell of a lot more of it, on hundreds of levels.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

27 Comments

  1. blue turtle on March 16, 2006 at 03:49

    You know the issue with immigrants is driving me insane because of the lens that it is seen. No one is pointing out that our trade agreements are directly a function of the increase in illegal immigration.

  2. Katrix on March 16, 2006 at 08:58

    yeah, the funny thing is immigration "reform" is happening in all the wrong areas.

  3. Blue Gal on March 16, 2006 at 14:14

    Amen to that. Keep the faith and keep up the good work.

  4. Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2006 at 09:23

    "So it's OK for churches to break the law?"

    It's the wrong question. The question is: by what right have governments, or anyone for that matter, to impose their will upon the church, or anyone for that matter, when they're not doing harm to anyone?

    These "laws" are based upon politics, and all politicized law, top to bottom, is invalid and immoral. Only law based upon the fundamental principle of non-initiation of force are valid and just.

    "You need to read your NT a little bit closer. It says that the governments are ordained by God so you should follow the laws of your government.

    Yea, tell that to the Germans, circa 1939, the Russians, circa 1917, the eastern Europeans, circa 1944, the Chinese, circa 1949, et cetera, et cetera, you fucking moron.

  5. Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2006 at 10:16

    Wow, is this the morning for moron commenters, or what?

    "The government has as much right to tell churches how to serve as churches have in telling the goverment to pray and whom to pray to"

    I mean, is anyone with even a half of a brain confused about the distinction, here?

  6. Michael on March 17, 2006 at 04:59

    The next step would be priests and ambulancemen that act as tax inspectors!

  7. Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2006 at 13:24

    "…whom are by the way ILLEGAL…"

    What does that mean? Please be excruciatingly explicit. What–exactly and precisely–does it mean?

  8. Futybop on March 17, 2006 at 07:39

    So it's OK for churches to break the law? You need to read your NT a little bit closer. It says that the governments are ordained by God so you should follow the laws of your government. But, then again, when has anything that the bible says been a reason for christians to not be hypocritical?

  9. kristinaQ on March 17, 2006 at 13:14

    hmm well I understand the whole debate of separation between church and state, and I do agree that there should be a good thick solid line there. However being a LEGAL immigrant myself, I believe that 99% of the time, illegal immigrants, whom are by the way ILLEGAL, just shouldn't be here, and the government should be able to regulate this area for the most part as they please.

    Nice blog by the way~ I'm blogmarking it! 🙂

  10. tjames on March 17, 2006 at 10:12

    The government has as much right to tell churches how to serve as churches have in telling the goverment to pray and whom to pray to….seem that separation of church and state is pretty damn one-sided.

  11. Joe (free thinking citizen) on March 18, 2006 at 02:18

    Absolutely, they are very courageous in there religious zeal (HATE)…

    If they have the right to say no to gay adoptions.
    I have the right to say "NO" to governement funding of religion.

    I love you fundys more and more every day..(not)

  12. Richard Nikoley on March 18, 2006 at 14:13

    "I think kristinaQ was merely emphasizing the fact that illegal immigrants are ILLEGAL"

    Which means what, exactly?

    "What are the extended ramifications…?"

    And because there may be "ramifications," this gives you the right to preempt their peaceful activities how?

    "are they contributing to the impoverishment of others through diminished wages and increased strain on entitlement programs?"

    I don't know, are they? Assuming they are, so what? Is it their moral obligation to not help one person in need according to their own standards because that person might outcompete some other needy soul (a "legal" soul) by your standards? Why do your standards trump theirs, and from where does their obligation eminate?

    What is an "entitlement program?" Not politically, but morally. In what way is someone "entitled" and in what way does such "entitlement" trump my entitlement to be the master of all of my own affairs?

    Are you saying that those who impose the "entitlements" of some people upon others have a greater moral authority than does the Catholic Church, for example, when deciding who is entitled to its own charitable efforts?

  13. Jack Jones on March 18, 2006 at 10:45

    I think kristinaQ was merely emphasizing the fact that illegal immigrants are ILLEGAL.

    Anyway, I think there is a bigger picture.

    What are the extended ramifications of helping/encouraging illegal immigrants?

    Obviously, in the short term the Church is assisting poor people who have immediate need of assistance.

    But by doing this, are they contributing to the impoverishment of others through diminished wages and increased strain on entitlement programs?

    For example we are told that a number of hospitals have been forced to close their doors due to overuse by illegals. In what way–however small–does the Church's largess contribute to those closures by encouraging illegal immigration?

    You can easily make the argument that The Church is helping some while hurting others at the same time.

    What to do?

  14. Kyle Bennett on March 18, 2006 at 19:10

    Jack,

    But by doing this, are they contributing to the impoverishment of others through diminished wages …

    Lowered wages cannot lead to impoverishment. The only thing that can lead to impoverishment is trading a greater value for a lesser one. If someone's wages are reduced, there are two possibilities. One is that the new wage is less than the value of what he trades for it – his time and work. In that case, he can easily avoid a lessening of his wealth by quitting. If it is not, then by continuing to work, he is not becoming impoverished, he is just accumulating wealth at a slower rate.

    … and increased strain on entitlement programs?. For example we are told that a number of hospitals have been forced to close their doors due to overuse by illegals.

    Government entitlement programs are by their nature impoverishing. By definition, all government entitlements are a trade of greater value for lesser value. That is why people have to be forced to fund them. I trade money, something I value, for… nothing. Or even less. The impoverishment caused by entitlements is already baked in before the money is ever distributed.

    So, reduced market rates for wages cannot cause impoverishment (reduce wealth), nor can strain on entitlement programs – unless that leads to an increase in the total level of entitlements. And even then it is not the immigration that causes impoverishment, but the choice to engage in forcibly funded entitlements. Your argument falls completely apart at its premises.

    All voluntary transactions increase wealth. Both sides get more value than what they gave up. The effect of immigration without involuntary transactions can only be neutral (the immigrants engage in no transactions whatsoever) or a net increase in wealth. Since the former is unlikely to the point of near impossibility, it then follows that immigration in and of itself can only increase wealth – and the more so the more immigration there is.

    Immigrants can't possibly hurt anyone simply by immigrating and engaging in voluntary trade, therefore the Church can't possibly hurt anyone by their policy.

  15. Kyle Bennett on March 18, 2006 at 20:52

    Careful with the IQ comparisons, Jack. You're out of your element. Everything from your definition of "hurt" to your identification of the causes of the problems you see, to your idiotic idea that any voluntary transaction or trade practice can ever be "unfair", to your lack of ability to hold any context beyond the superficial reveals, at best, a lack of any real thought about what is fundamentally involved here.

    You sound like the mythical mathemeatical example of "flatlanders", beings who live entirely in two dimensions and can't even conceive of the concept of "up".

    You're completely unaware of the fundamental principles and full context of what you are arguing about, as well as some basic facts of economics. Whether that ingorance (in the strict, non-value-judgment sense of the word) is due to an IQ shortfall, willful blindness, or just lack of sufficient thought and integration of experience, I'll leave up to you to decide.

    I'll give you a hint: the "hurt" you say is caused by immigration is not caused by it, it is merely revealed by it. Until you can at least grasp enough of that concept to realize that it is a concept, you have nothing useful to add.

  16. Kyle Bennett on March 18, 2006 at 20:57

    Here's another hint, Jack. What exactly did employee "c" lose in your example? Please think carefully about what the nature of a job is, and try to come up with something that was his that is no longer his.

    There is nothing.

  17. Jack Jones on March 18, 2006 at 20:29

    "Immigrants can't possibly hurt anyone simply by immigrating and engaging in voluntary trade, therefore the Church can't possibly hurt anyone by their policy."

    I'm sorry Kyle but that is provabley a load of nonsense.

    If employer a. hires illegal immigrant b. (who is engaging in voluntary trade) while at the same time firing employee c. exclusively because illegal immigrant b. is able to work for a. much lower wage, then employee c. can accurately be said to have been injured ("hurt")by the actions of illegal immigrant b. and would be justified in being pissed of at said immigrant. Especially since illegal immigrant b. can utilize certain unfair trade practices unavailable to employee c., precisely because he is an ILLEGAL immigrant. Add to that the fact that employee c. (now unemployed empoyee c.) is likely subsidizing illegal immigrant b. by paying for his family's health care and much of the food they eat as well as their housing, and you can see where employee c. might be a little ticked. Basically employee c. has paid to have himself fired.

    You can debate the morality of the immigration issue all you want, but to state–as you apparently have–that no one gets hurt by illegal immigration is ridiculous.

    Are you for real? Nobody with an IQ higher than their shoe size would buy into what you just wrote.

  18. Jack Jones on March 18, 2006 at 23:04

    Kyle, I have no intention of discussing the definition of the words "hurt" or "unfair" And I'm not going to argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin either.

    I've got you pegged as the type of person who will argue endlessly that two plus two equals five in order to avoid admitting that you're wrong. It's been proven to my satisfaction–and to the satisfaction of many others who have IQs on par with your own I'm sure– that America and Americans would be far better off if our current immigration policies were changed drastically.

    It's simply a fact that real human beings are "hurt" every day by the real effects of illegal immigration.

    If you choose to live your life in the world of theory, that's your business.

    Incidently, for those of us who live in the real world, the correct answer to your question is the obvious one. Those of you living in an alternate universe can make one up as you see fit.

  19. Jack Jones on March 18, 2006 at 23:15

    I'm just curious. If your life depended on it, would you be able to change a flat tire on a car?

  20. Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2006 at 06:26

    "…that America and Americans would be far better off if our current immigration policies were changed drastically."

    Well, there it is right there, Jack. Your standard of value, which dictates your beliefs and actions.

    Whatever someone can convince you of in terms of "the greatest good for the greatest number," that's where you'll be.

    By this standard, any act of evil can be justified.

    It was exactly the same standard employed by the Nazis to justify the extermination of the Jews.

    As Kyle correctly revealed in his blog, the only difference between you and a commie on the left is that the commie is "honest" enough to embrace his own "principles." You employ his exact same principles and are apparently not aware enough to see it. That's why many of us who are "conservative" in many, many ways could never dance with the Republicans, whom we often refer to as "the Stupid Party."

    This is also revealed in the fact that you neglected to answer a single one of the questions posed in my comments to you. Why? Well, Kyle was willing to go a round with you on the economic ramifications of immigration. That fits right into your game, right? You're wrong about whether immigration delivers a net benefit or a net harm, but no matter. It's all based on the evil idea that the lives of some are yours to dispose of because it will make others better off.

    If I want to hire someone who just came over from Guadalajara last night, that's his business and my business. It's none of your business, nor is it the business of another single soul in the world. It is my job to give to whomever I want and I could give a fuck about what 'c', you, or any or you other fucks think about it.

  21. Kyle Bennett on March 19, 2006 at 06:47

    Kyle, I have no intention of discussing the definition of the words "hurt" or "unfair"

    Which indicates that you haven't given them much thought. You've simply accepted the definitions you've received by osmosis.

    This is all theoretical, to us. We have no power to make the kinds of decisions we are arguing about. The only power we do have is to propogate ideas, some of which may eventually bubble up to those who do have the power to make a change.

    When I have a flat tire, I get my hands dirty and fix it. When I have no power but some limited ability to influence ideas, I work within that context. It seems that you are the one who is neither willing nor able to do the kind of work that the situation demands. Yet you delude yourself into believing that you are being practical. You'd best stay out of it, and let those who can, or who are at least willing to try, do.

  22. Kyle Bennett on March 19, 2006 at 07:21

    Jack,

    I know that you sincerely believe what you are writing. That everything you know makes your conclusions so obviously apparent that the only explanation you can find for someone not seeing it is stupidity, or that they are living in an alternate universe.

    But then something like this issue comes out of the woodwork and presents an irreconcilable contradiction, leaving you only to helplessly plead "what to do?".

    It's because some key part of everything you know is fundamentally, tragically wrong. If you're not willing to challenge everything you know, if you're not willing to even entertain the idea of giving up that intellectual security blanket, then you will find "what to do?" becoming a more and more common feature of your conversations.

    And yes, sometimes 2 + 2 does equal 5:

    http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog/?itemid=20

    You can write that off as my stupidity – and stay safely within your comfort zone – or you can at least accept that if an intelligent person makes this argument that it is at least worth thinking seriously about, that maybe there's something in there that you hadn't thought of.

  23. Kyle Bennett on March 19, 2006 at 08:59

    OK, Jack, you stick with simple. It's your top speed. Keep asking "what to do?" and then stopping there. I'll stick with reality, as simple or complex as it actually is.

    Oh, and this isn't my blog, it's Richard's.

  24. Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2006 at 10:37

    "Your right, my standard is dictated by what's good for our country."

    According to you, of course, and you're willing to steal whatever it takes to do your "good."

    "But I'm guessing you'll be looking to third parties–me–to dig you out of the mess you've created for yourself and others."

    On the contrary. That's your evil game, not mine, and this illustrates your dire lack of real, principled thought in this debate. It is you who are arguing for stomping on the lives of some in order to "dig [others] out of the 'mess.'"

    Your argument boils down to nothing more than an appeal that your brute force is "better for us" than the brute force of the commies on the left.

    No thanks. To any of you useless, evil bastards.

  25. Jack Jones on March 19, 2006 at 08:31

    I think I'll choose option one.

    Your blog is appropriately named Kyle. Sense truly is uncommon 'round these parts.

    I'll admit I don't understand your reflexive need to go to such comical lengths to complicate relatively simple issues. I do know that it's nothing uncommon and it usually results in someone like me coming in to fix everything.

    I promise, if I ever need to an explanation as to why the moon really could be made out of green cheese, you'll be the first person I look up.

    So how many weeks does it usually take you to change that flat tire?

    PS. Sorry richard, didn't mean to ignore you. Your right, my standard is dictated by what's good for our country. No apologies. And you're absolutely right on your last point as well. It's your right to give employment to anyone you choose, no matter who you hurt in the process. But I'm guessing you'll be looking to third parties–me–to dig you out of the mess you've created for yourself and others. That's what we're trying to avoid.

  26. Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2006 at 15:46

    "It would seem to me that government decides what determines legality in immigration…"

    Well, they assert such authority, backed by force. "Legality" is merely what this force-backed brute of a government defines as permissible.

    Nobody–at least not I–is arguing that certain forms of immigration across government-defined, force-backer borders is not "illegal," i.e., impermissible as defined by the State.

    The debate is about morality. People don't seem to have a problem understanding that governments can and do commit immoral acts which they have nonetheless defined as "legal." So, we're not really covering any new ground here, though the application may be new to some.

  27. Michael on March 19, 2006 at 13:29

    I think the debate has drifted away from the core issue. It would seem to me that government decides what determines legality in immigration, and acts accordingly. The Church decides what determines charity and acts accordingly. No big issue there, I think, as long as by so doing the chruch does not break any laws. However, I would be disappointed in a church that makes a distinction between poor people – it's just not its role. So no, I don't think the church or other charitable bodies shoud be asking for people's ID in soup kitchens or whatever. Leave that to the cops.

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