Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bats In The Belfry

I’m going to complain about two things at once in this article, seemingly independent but related on fundamental ground. So bear with me ☺

People oftentimes ask me what I think about “illegal immigrants” coming to the United States, wrecking our system of labor, increasing the burden on our tax paying citizens, and causing all-around chaos and havoc. “We are losing our language,” I hear. “We are losing our culture.” “These Mexicans need to learn English.” The list goes on and on. Well, hatemongers, here is my answer to you.

First of all, since I live in a free society that respects a person’s right to choose his or her destiny, to own property, and to follow his or her own path to happiness, I don’t think that ANY immigration is illegal. I think it is the burden of the society to deal with increased immigration, without closing its borders, much like your local movie theater will have more employees on hand during a holiday or UPS or FedEx hires more employees during the winter months to handle demand. The immigration exists as a symptom reflecting the very state of the country that conservatives hold with reverence – that this country is great and mighty, and is the most desirable place on earth to live, where one can find opportunity and freedom.

How ironic it is that a nation so self-absorbed in the concept of freedom would close its doors to those most desperately seeking it.

I never wanted the job of serving you at Denny’s, cleaning your toilets at the hotel, or picking your soybeans and tobacco anyway. So much for taking jobs of Americans.

And since so many people out there believe the United States of America is a Christian nation founded on Christian principles, I have one thing to say to you:

From the New International Version of the Holy Bible, Gospel of Luke, Chapter 10, verses 25 – 37, from (

25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[c]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]"
28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.
35The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

If we were a Christian nation we wouldn’t leave immigrants outside our borders to die, but would give the shirts off our backs to help them get on their feet and make a better life for themselves.

Another thought comes to mind concerning the fear that many Americans have concerning “losing our country to the immigrants.” Again, from the Holy Bible NIV, Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 26, verses 51-52:

51With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
52"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

We reap what we sow. Mexicans and other immigrants flocking to our country, bringing to themselves a better life, bringing their language, their culture, their own system of supply and demand, and soon their currency and way of life, is not a new concept. After all, this is precisely what Europeans and Americans did to the Native Americans.

But I see something else at work here. This is the Theory of Evolution at its best. Our country is evolving at much the same way as a human would do, in a macroscopic sense. Don’t know what macroscopic means? Try reading a book instead of burning it.

After our country found its independence, we were a new life, with bright shining eyes, a smile of innocence, and a resolve to explore, to find good in the world, and do what is right.

As we aged we became the schoolyard bully, pushing and hitting the weaker kids around, making our own mark, declaring our own place during phys-ed or recess. "Mess with the the best, die like the rest." During this time, we hurt other kids, and we know it. We hurt the ones that stood up against us even more.

And now our country is a teenager. We are realizing the pain and suffering in the world, and we want to do good but an overwhelming sense of dissonance and angst distract us from what is sensible and right. We fear everything we do not understand, and feel since we are in charge of our own destinies, we are the only ones who know what is best for us. Since it is best for us, we know beyond doubt it is best for other people.

But guess what ladies and gentlemen, the evolution will continue. Soon, our country will be an adult, and after that, a wise elder. I hope I live to see these times, for when this happens, the force of will known as American Determination will support true freedom for everyone on this planet, whether or not he or she lives within our borders, supports our policies, or agrees with our general outlook. These are the times of acceptance and tolerance that will truly lead us to a more peaceful and safer world, and I pray to God every day that it comes to pass. And soon.

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