A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC IN DECLINE

preamble to the constitutionDo I hate the US Catholic Bishops? No. Do I think they are especially bad people? No.  Nevertheless, I think their stance on immigration is stupidly immoral. What is their stance? See for yourself: Catholic Church’s Position on Immigration Reform.

How did I come across the statement the US Catholic Bishops made on immigration. A commenter (here) cited them as some kind of authority and posted a link. I replied (here). Here is the gist of what I said.

The Democratic Party advocates open borders; it just calls it something else. You pointed to a naive front group like the US Catholic Bishops. At the same time those bishops are suppose to be fighting against the killing of babies, abortion, they are working to guarantee Democrat victories at the polls. I don’t have to mock the authority of those men. They do it themselves.

What the US Catholic Bishops want is effectively a second immigration amnesty. SECOND immigration amnesty. We need a second one because the last one worked so well? For whom?

We have always had controlled immigration into this country. Now it is far more difficult. What is different now? People can travel more easily, of course, but what is crucial is our health, education, and welfare programs. Need I say the obvious? Democrats are eager to use these programs to buy the votes of gullible immigrants. (from here)

The US Catholic Bishops have a similar stance with respect to refugees. That is, they disliked President Trump’s Executive Order halting immigration from seven nations that are currently ungovernable. The US Catholic Bishops’ statement on the executive order is available at this post: US Catholic Bishops Publicly Shame President Trump Today At Church by Silence of Mind.

Disgusted, I commented that too. Here is the gist of what I said in my first comment.

What do we call people who substitute weeping emotion for rational thought? Helen Thomas, a White House reporter, ironically invented the expression when she told us how much her heart bleeds.

It is an unfortunate fact of life, but lots of clerics are bleeding hearts. Europe is being overrun by people who do not have any use for democracy. Once their government collapses, where are the Europeans supposed to go? Here? Why would want more brainless fools? Don’t we have enough already?

Seriously, when you play chess, to win you have to think 4 – 5 moves ahead. If we accept millions of refugees, I agree that solves the immediate problem. We have already put who even knows how many such people on welfare, and we are still not bankrupt. Just the same, if we keep accepting refugees and putting them on welfare, the consequences are readily predictable. The refugees will vote Democrat. That’s why the Democrats want them.

In addition, because our taxes are already out of sight because of expensive heath, education, and welfare programs, absorbing endless refugees will just cause our economy will fold up and close shop. We will also become a multilingual nation, a tower of Babel (That’s why the European Union never had a chance.). The collapse will be complete when our government becomes tyrannical. That is the only way it will be able to maintain order. If you have any doubts about the tyrannical part, consider all the disruptions the Democrats are causing Trump. The jackasses are deliberately trying to make the country ungovernable, and they think that is a smart move. The Nazis did the same sort of thing to the Weimar Republic.
🙄 (from here)

The US Catholic Bishops are ignoring the teachings of the Bible.  What is our basic problem? We don’t love each other enough, right? Does putting on a big show that supposedly shows how much we care solve that problem? No. Does overloading our health, education, and welfare systems solve that problem? No. Does electing a bunch of Democrats solve that problem? No. Does creating a situation that is guaranteed to foment immense social strife solve that problem? No.

Here is the other comment I left behind.

Hypocrites, people who only pretend to be highly and even perfectly moral, cannot make a constitutional republic work. The reason is simple enough. They won’t truly abide by the constitution. They will only make the pretense that that is what they are doing. Meanwhile, they will accuse their opponents of every damned thing they can imagine.

Still, the proof of their duplicity comes from their own lips. It is they, to excuse their lies, who call the Constitution a “living document”. With those two words they render the Constitution meaningless, and they think themselves clever. Yet with those two words they also expose the proof of all their own lies. (from here)

The modern Democratic Party and many in the Republican Party engage in legalism.  Like the Pharisees of old, they supposedly uphold a complex legalistic code. This code they tell us is quite honorable, but unlike the nonsense the Pharisees taught their lie can be easily seen. Their code is living; it conforms to the politics of the moment.  As they say, IT IS ALIVE! It is in truth a dishonorable monstrosity.

Should we help refugees from war zones? Of course, we should, but destroying our own culture and almost deliberately sowing social strife into our society will not help anyone. It just spreads the problems the refugees are trying to flee. Don’t we already have enough trouble getting along with each other? Isn’t adding bunches and bunches of poorly educated refugees, many accustomed to violence, like adding fuel to a fire?

Here is the order President Donald Trump issued: EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES. As you read it, consider what the Constitution says in Article I, Section 8. It explicitly authorizes Congress to control immigration policy. Effectively, the Federal Government (unless a Republican is in office) has plenary power over immigration policy.

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States; (from here)

Therefore, the only question before a court should be whether Congress has authorized the president to deny restrict travel to our nation from nations that are deemed threats. In fact, since the president’s primary job is commander-in-chief, doesn’t he have that responsibility already?

So what did the Ninth Circuit Court decide when the Trump administration appealed to it and asked it to stay District Court Judge James L. Robart’s order which had ruled Trump’s unconstitutional and effectively revoked it.  The Ninth Circuit Court let Robart’s order stand.  See Motion for Stay of an Order of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington James L. Robart, District Judge, Presiding. Why? Here are a couple of examples of the ridiculous logic.

  • Foreigners have 5th Amendment rights. Effectively, using such logic, foreigners have the right to enter the United States any time they want to do so. We may as well call them citizens.
  • Foreigners have 1st Amendment rights. Does that mean foreigners have freedom of assembly in the United States. Why don’t we just lay out the welcome mat for foreign armies? Congress has in the past favored immigration from certain nations over others. Why? We shared a similar cultural heritage, including religious heritage. Commonsense, now seemingly in short supply, dictates that immigration from such nations would be less disruptive.

So, do foreigners, foreigners who are not even in our country, have rights under our Constitution? Well, the Framers made it explicitly clear whose rights they wrote OUR Constitution to protect.  See the Preamble at the beginning of this post.

This is not just bad law. It is insane. Those judges need to be removed from the bench. This decision is legal malpractice. If the judges on the Supreme Court don’t have enough good sense to overturn such blatant BS, God help us.  Hopefully, our new Attorney General will take the case over and devise a successful strategy.

Other Views

WHAT QUALIFIES AS CHARITY AND WHO IS WORTHY OF OUR CHARITY?

The Parable of the Good Samaritan by Jan Wijnants (1670) shows the Good Samaritan tending the injured man. (from here)
The Parable of the Good Samaritan by Jan Wijnants (1670) shows the Good Samaritan tending the injured man. (from here)

The Parable

In WHO IS MORE INCONVENIENCED, THE DETAINED OR THE DEAD?, some of the commenters in the discussion that followed insisted that Jesus would insist that our Christian beliefs obligate us to let refugees of all sorts into the United States. One even cited The Parable of the Good Samaritan to support his argument. Let’s examine what Jesus expected.

When we think of being charitable to our neighbor, most Christians do in fact think of The Parable of the Good Samaritan. What is important is that when we read this parable we suddenly realize that everyone is our neighbor. There is no one God does not expect us to love.

Luke 10:25-37 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’

28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Why a good Samaritan? The Jews and the Samaritans were notorious for detesting each other. The Jews still attempted keep the law, but the Samaritans had fallen away and intermarried with non-Jews. Thus, Jesus contrasted the behavior of a couple of Jews who knew the law and disobeyed with a Samaritan whose conscience guided him to obey the law.

The Lesson

So what is the lesson of the parable? When we look around the world, we see seeming endless numbers of people suffering. What does this parable tell us to do about that? Well, if we draw the wrong conclusion from The Parable of the Good Samaritan, we can become hopeless. What can we do? How are we suppose to love all the people in the world as we love our self? That’s not possible. Which of us can solve all of our own problems? How are we suppose to relieve the entire world of all its suffering? We cannot.

With dreams of Utopia and out of guilt, many of us call upon government to end human suffering.  These think of the immense power of large numbers of people working together. They think that if we can just get everyone to work together we can solve all the world’s problems. That is, for the sake of fulfilling a dream they deify (or make an idol of) the government. That misses the point of the parable. With this parable, Jesus calls upon each of us, not bureaucrats in some government, to care about each other. When the good Samaritan came across someone in trouble, he gave from his own resources what help he could. Does anyone actually think God will admit us into heaven just because we paid our taxes?

So it is the early church organized charities. Here are some examples.

  • Act 6:1-7 describes the organization of the first charity to help widows.
  • 2 Corinthians 8-9 speaks of a collection for needy Christians in Jerusalem and exhorts the brethren to be cheerful givers.
  • 1 Timothy 5:3-16 provides the guidance the Apostle Paul gave a protegé, Timothy, as to how a church should support needy widows.

Consider again the lawyer’s question. “Who is my neighbor?” Does it make a difference that the man the good Samaritan helped was a stranger? Yes. So long as we remain in this life Jesus does not expect us to treat our husbands, our wives, our children, our relatives, our friends, and members of our community the same way we treat complete and total strangers. That was the amazing thing about the good Samaritan. He actually helped a stranger.

What We Owe The Stranger

Consider that good Samaritan. He had other business to attend to.  So he did not stay with the injured man.  Instead, he gave the innkeeper two denarii and left the stranger he had helped in someone else’s care. The good Samaritan had other obligations that had a higher priority than the personal care of a stranger. Still, he did what he could.

Because we are all the image bearers of our Creator in one sense we are all neighbors. Nevertheless, we each have greater obligations to family, friends, and the people in our community than we do to strangers. Since the word stranger occurs over a 100 times in the NKJV, we can safely say the Bible makes a clear distinction.

Leviticus 19:33-34 New King James Version (NKJV)

33 ‘And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. 34 The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

That’s why the Bible calls upon us to allow the stranger who dwells among us to become one of us. Moreover, the Bible reminds us with some irony, to take care of our own.

Leviticus 25:35-38 New King James Version (NKJV)

35 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.

Note, however, that when a stranger lived among the Jews, the Jews expected that stranger to conform to their customs. So over time that stranger became Jewish or he had to leave.

Strangers might receive sympathy, but they were not trusted.

Proverbs 11:15 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 He who is surety for a stranger will suffer,
But one who hates being surety is secure.

The Jews knew in fact that strangers could be especially dangerous.

Isaiah 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

Your country is desolate,
Your cities are burned with fire;
Strangers devour your land in your presence;
And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

Nevertheless, Jesus calls upon us to help even the stranger.

Matthew 25:37-40 New King James Version (NKJV)

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

How much should we sacrifice to help others? That’s a personal choice.

  • We have no right to sacrifice what belongs to others. We don’t starve our own to feed the hungry.  We don’t take the clothes off our children to clothe others. When we nurse the sick, we strive to avoid getting sick. When visit prisoners, we don’t stage jailbreaks. When we take in strangers, we don’t give up our own culture and beliefs or risk invasion and conquest.
  • Because we each belong to God, we have no business carelessly sacrificing our self. We must take care of our self so that we might serve as long as we can.

Other Views On The Parable of the Good Samaritan

  • The Good Samaritan (settledinheaven.wordpress.com): This post is a traditional verse-by-verse exegesis.  If you really want to dig into the parable, this is a great place to start.
  • What is the meaning of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (altruistico.wordpress.com): As its title suggest, this post seeks the meaning of the parable.  The focus here is on the concepts Jesus wants us to learn from the parable.
  • Go and do likewise (lifereference.wordpress.com): Here the author examines the last two verses from the parable, calling these lines the most fundamental of all of the teachings of Christ. Effectively, this is the minimum we must get out of the parable.
  • Love According to God-Part 1  (thei535project.wordpress.com): This post uses the The Parable of the Good Samaritan to emphasize God expects us to love everyone. This post fits the parable into the overall concept of Christian love.
  • Who Crosses Your Path? (secretplacesofelelyon.wordpress.com): This post explains how some can twist the parable into a guilt trip.
  • Syrian refugees and Christian values? (insanitybytes2.wordpress.com): This post deals most directly with the refugee issue. It also has the least to say about the parable, but it says more than enough to justify including it here.

SAFE AT LAST: THE LATEST INNOVATION IN HOME SECURITY

burglarI got the following from a friend in an email.

cannot-buy-rebel-flagSince chain emails (particularly those that are tongue in cheek) cannot be trusted, I did some research.

  • I tried to track down both a rebel flag and an ISIS flag on EBAY. As of now, EBAY seems to exclude both.
  • Not sure what ADT charges, but it cannot beat free.
  • The reference to burkas? Since that obviously refers to profiling….

So would it work? Well, if Hillary Clinton gets elected, I suppose this is what I might have to do after I retire. Got save money on a fixed income, but I will have to run the idea of wearing his and her burkas by my wife.

 

 

IS IMMIGRATION A NATURAL RIGHT?

border.pngAt A REPLY TO NOVADEMOCRAT, I got a very worthwhile comment from plainandsimplecatholicism. I hope you will agree that it warrants your consideration. I believe ‘s comment provides an excellent springboard for a debate on immigration. Hence I have included my reply to comment and invite others, pro and con, to add their own thoughts to the comment thread.

plainandsimplecatholicism

I really don’t think it is appropriate to recreate my entire blog on this one post. It is a public blog and you are encouraged to read it.

The immigration issue is not one being properly addressed by either party. One side wishes to violate national sovereignty and the other wises to violate natural rights.

The key is to balance both interests without immense prejudice on one or the other. The boarder needs security. But even a militarized boarder–as East Germany and North Korea prove–are not a deterrent to the desperate. It requires a look at the root causes for the migrations. The root causes are a lack of authentic human development in impoverished nations south of us. The solutions thus far presented are to throw money at the problem and hope it goes away. (Or you support “fair and free elections” in El Salvador which gives legitimacy to the military dictator oppressing everyone. http://www.latinorebels.com/2016/02/11/why-hillary-clinton-doesnt-deserve-the-latino-vote2/)

You may ask why should we care about the banana republics and their problems. The answer is simple: Solidarity. Like it or not, we are all connected by our humanity. It was never the design of the creator that we be divided. Though we may not be united now in common worship of the Almighty due to our various misconceptions of the same, we can perceive our common humanity and the inherent dignity therein. It was Jefferson who immortalized in American philosophy the founding principle that ALL men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. When any human is denied these rights, we as humans have a duty to them inherent in the rights we share as humans.

August 8, 2016 at 9:56 am

Citizen Tom

@plainandsimplecatholicism

You sort of explained what you think is wrong with both of the political party’s positions on immigration, but I wonder if you clearly explain your own. I believe you think that immigration is some sort of natural right, that it is unstoppable. I believe neither of those assertions is true. Moreover, The Declaration of Independence does not support a natural right to immigrate. If we are willing to do so, we have the capacity to control our borders. We just have to elect people who will do it.

Should we defer to the opinions of our Creator? Yes. Should we recognize each others natural rights? Yes. Should we recognize the natural rights of other Peoples? Yes.

Nevertheless, borders have significance. Without borders OUR GOVERNMENT cannot protect OUR natural rights. Why? Every country tends to have a distinct culture and its own ways. Our belief that we have God-given rights is part of OUR culture. It is not part of the culture of other Peoples.

The United States the home of the People of the United States. We, The People of the United States, have a distinct identity. For the sake of our children, we have a duty, an obligation, to protect that identity. We have a duty keep our country, our home, safe for OUR distinct culture, to preserve the blessings of our beliefs as a gift to our children. To maintain our own culture and to protect the security of our home, we have an obligation to properly control who enters our home.

So what about our solidarity with the Peoples of other nations? What about our common humanity? We love as individuals, not as nations. Individuals care, not governments. As individuals we can work to assist the poor in other nations through private charities.

Does our government have a role? Yes, but government rarely works well. Government is designed to exert force, not to persuade. Therefore, when we resort to government, we should do so in desperation. Otherwise, we are more likely to create bigger problems.

Because it exists to either make people do things they do not want to do or to keep people from doing things they want to do, government is powerful. However, government is organized as a committee of committees. So government is terribly awkward. Imagine trying to drive home a thumbtack with a huge sledge hammer. Doable but usually far more abusive than helpful.

August 8, 2016 at 8:47 pm

Why have I focused so much on this issue? Trump launched his candidacy with the attention he brought to the issue. Consider the angry nature of the debate. Consider that this issue could decide the election.

We can debate what Khizer Khan said at the Democratic Party’s National Convention until Dooms Day, but that won’t resolve the immigration debate. To intelligently resolve immigration debate, we have to talk about the ethics of immigration. Instead, we have one side beating the other over the head as bigots. At the same time, the so-called bigots are calling the name callers “politically correct”. Such a discussion is unlikely to produce good results.

What has done is calmly addressed the ethics of the matter, and I hope that strikes everyone as much more constructive place to start the discussion.