Immigration

Crossing the Border Into Gomorrah

It is not just social liberals who want leniency for illegal aliens. Consider the stance taken by Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles. Not only does the cardinal sympathize with illegal aliens, he also insists on extending assistance to needy illegal aliens in defiance of the law.

In referring to the immigration reform bill that was passed in December by the U.S. House of Representatives — a bill that would make giving assistance to (i.e., aiding and abetting) illegal aliens an imprisonable crime — the cardinal recently said, “I would say to all priests, deacons and members of the church that we are not going to observe this law.”

Such priestly precepts are part of a growing campaign by churches, especially the Catholic Church, to promote the acceptance of illegal aliens. But such campaigns will only exacerbate the alienation that already exists between many Americans and the Catholic Church.

Despite the cardinal’s overreaction, the target of the House bill is not humanitarian priests, but smugglers and others who aid and abet illegal aliens for monetary or other gain. But if a priest knowingly aids and abets aliens who violate the law, why should he (or she) not be charged? After all, the priest sexual abuse cases have shown that it is rather naïve to assume that priests are immune from ungodly sins.

As a Third-World immigrant who went to a great deal of trouble to come here legally, I cannot respect illegal aliens. And as a naturalized American and a conservative, I believe illegal immigration poses a serious threat to America’s culture and traditions. I have always considered the Catholic Church to be the only incorruptible authority of morality in the West. But the sexual abuse cases and now the cardinal’s call to defy immigration law make it very hard to respect the church.

Religious leaders are expected to hold enlightened views. But insisting on church support for illegal aliens is a benighted view. It insults every immigrant who took the trouble to come here legally. It sends the message that following the rules does not matter. Is that the message that churches want to send in this age of mass moral confusion?

The Catholic Church’s defiant support for illegal aliens is particularly hypocritical when you consider that this is the same church that refuses to marry American citizens if they have been previously divorced, yet it somehow thinks it has a duty to aid and abet people who have no right to be in the country in the first place. Yes, that is who illegal aliens are — people who have no right to be here at all.

Since illegal aliens have no right to be here, by being here they are engaged in illegal behavior. Therefore, to assist them is to encourage illegal behavior, since such assistance usually makes them stay here even longer. And any church that encourages illegal behavior is wholly undeserving of any moral respect. After all, if a church cannot distinguish between right and wrong at a basic level, as is indicated by its encouraging of illegal immigration, then why should anybody think it has the perspicacity to provide moral guidance to more complex questions of modern life?

Of course, the usual argument made by sympathizing priests is that illegal aliens are children of God too. But that is a specious argument that could justify all types of lawless behavior. After all, murderers, pedophiles, and even terrorists are children of God, but you would not want them in your church, would you? To accept such behavior is to degrade your own morals. It would be preposterous to think that God would ask decent people to degrade their morals down to the level of irresponsible and lawless people.

There is apparently a political calculus in the Catholic Church’s attempt to ingratiate with illegal aliens. Most illegal aliens from south of the border are Catholics. So catering to them and lobbying for their legalization, at a time when church attendance is falling among Americans, is an attempt to ensure a future flock. Apparently the church does not care that it is inviting law-breakers to fill the pews — it only cares that the pews be filled by somebody.

One is compelled to wonder if the Catholic Church, given its obviously patriarchal system, is finding common ground with illegal aliens due to the aggressively patriarchal (and sometimes openly misogynist) cultures south of the border. After all, people from such cultures are far more likely to perpetuate the church’s patriarchal system than are Americans.

If religious leaders think that helping illegal aliens is just the humanitarian thing to do, then they have misunderstood humanitarianism. Is it really humanitarian to aid and abet people who have no regard for law and order? Is it really humanitarian to aid and abet people who, by flooding the country with cheap labor, are sinking the wages of millions of poor unskilled Americans who have a hard enough time keeping their head above the ungodly tough economic waters?

Conservatives have long noted that our society is slouching towards Gomorrah. By promising to support illegal aliens in open defiance of the law, some churches are leading the march toward Gomorrah.

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