Keep in mind the Vortex episode from Wed July 6 as I expound upon the following two matters:
1) On the same day, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Relief Services weighed in on the budget situation in Congress. They are commenting on the Foreign Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2012. I'm sure you can guess. They are warning against budget cuts for various programs for poor people in the world. While I certainly don't doubt that there is real suffering out there, I do doubt the USCCB's and CRS's grasp of economic realities. The simple truth is this: we don't have the money. We are printing funny-money and borrowing to the whazoo, threatening the well-being of our own progeny. Do the USCCB and CRS care about that? Such doesn't even make one appearance in their whinings. What does make its startling appearance in their statements is this claim, and I quote, "poverty and hopelessness can provide a fertile ground for the growth of terrorism." Now consider the reality of that statement - or lack thereof, I should say. No one doubts that terrorism requires money, and lots of it. Why, the terrorists have to be trained, have to be given weapons, perhaps transported to their targets. That doesn't even touch upon the research, planning, etc that is probably done to plan a strike. So these indigent people have no money to procure basic necessities for themselves and their families, but they'll have money to go shooting up people, blowing themselves up, etc? Such are the fuzzy pipe-dreams that pass for thinking inside these "professional catholyc" enclaves such as the USCCB and the CRS.
2) In today's Catholic Standard, we read the announcement of a "task force" to "educate" local Catholics on the Church's position in immigration. This is being done in the wake of MD's DREAM Act being petitioned to referendum, to urge Catholics to support the DREAM Act. Right here we have a little problem of logic. The local hierarchy is treating "immigration" and "DREAM Act" as though they were synonymous. They aren't, and to suggest that care for immigrants mandates support of the DREAM Act is simply disingenuous. There are areas of public life in which good people can disagree, because both of their positions have equal validity. While we as Catholics agree that we must uphold the dignity of all, we can disagree as to the means in which to do so.
Many of us understand that the legitimate needs of all people can be best served when we, as a country, remember that our system of government is by rule of law, not rule of men. The DREAM Act, whether intended or not by its authors, subverts that rule of law by rewarding the crimes of illegal immigrants by granting to them special status at the expense of law-abiding people, including those immigrants who have acted in conformity of law.
Sadly, some on this task force seem bent on impugning the motives of those of us who look askance upon the DREAM Act. Says Msgr Mark Brennan, pastor of St Martin of Tours in Gaithersburg, "Some people just don't like immigrants. Catholics were in these same crosshairs at one point. My Irish ancestors were looked down upon, denied admission to some schools, country clubs and work opportunities." Please bear with me, as I will pick this apart, piece by piece.
Let's look at Msgr's first sentence. Right away we see a not-too-subtle attempt to demonize good people who oppose the DREAM act. How dare he insinuate that DREAM Act opponents "just don't like immigrants"? Frankly, I think such a snide comment is unbecoming a priest, and that he owes one and all an apology! Second, no one is saying that anyone should be "denied admission". We want all to play on the same level playing ground. The DREAM Act would give privileged status to illegals at the expense of other deserving students. To that we object - and we are well within our rights as Catholic citizens to do so. Msgr talks of "crosshairs"; the only "crosshairs" I see in this piece are those taking shape against DREAM Act opponents, to paint us as heartless xenophobes.
I said it before, and I'll say it again. The local chanceries and the Maryland Catholic Conference should be ashamed of themselves for wasting valuable resources when nearly 100 babies every day are aborted in Maryland and the specter of "gay marriage" is drawing near. Focus your attention and efforts on these - not on the politically-correct straw man known as the DREAM Act.