Thursday, May 19, 2011

Maryland Catholic Conference Rants Against DREAM Act Opponents

As many Marylanders know, Governor O'Malley signed into law SB167, dubbed the "DREAM Act", which allows immigrants of any status to apply to Maryland colleges and pay "in-state" tuition rates.  When a resident of any state applies to a public college in which he/she resides, he/she pays lower rates predicated on the assumptions that 1) their tax dollars help subsidize the college and 2) that they are law-abiding citizens or properly-recognzied aliens.

In today's issue of the Catholic Standard, the Maryland Catholic Conference issued this statement congratulating O'Malley for signing the bill into law.  While the issue of tuition assistance may be a matter on which good people can disagree, I find much fault with the MCC's statement.  It doesn't state forthrightly the case that the DREAM act's opponents put forth.  Indeed, the MCC glosses over the distinction between immigrants who are here legally, and those who are here illegally. 

Here is one such problematic sentence: "We do not condone breaking the law, and fully recognize the legitimate concerns our state and country faces regarding illegal immigration. These problems cannot be solved, however, by harshly denying the needs of those who live and work among us here and now, especially the young. The in-state tuition bill is a balanced measure that benefits immigrant children mostly brought here through no fault of their own, and who are making the right choices in order to lead productive lives."  Let's unpack this mess, piece by piece

First, notice that word "harshly".  MCC, that's called "demonizing your opposition", and I'm calling you on it!  Good people, with valid reasons, oppose this bill, and you call that "harsh"?  Who do you think you are??  Second, while you claim that you don't condone breaking the law, your act of rewarding the illegal behavior does precisely that.  Third, about this "balanced measure" claim.  It will cost the Maryland taxpayers about $3-4 million by the year 2016.  Quite a few of these taxpayers are having trouble affording tuition for themselves or their children - and this is a "balanced measure"?  Fourth, as far as "making the right choice", no they aren't, when it comes to essentially unseating other eligible young people.  Moreover, when the MCC calls such actions "making the right choices", what does that teach these young people about rule of law, of pulling your own weight, not depending on handouts, etc.

Next set of fallacies from the MCC!  "We are therefore strongly opposed to efforts to close the door on this opportunity by petitioning the bill to a statewide referendum. A statewide referendum on the issue of immigration will have a needlessly divisive impact on our state, and we urge Catholics and all Marylanders to refrain from signing on to this petition effort."   Notice how the MCC is afraid of a vote.  Dear MCC!  Remember what I said about this being an issue on which good people can disagree?  This is it.  I've got more shocking news for you.  We live in a consitutional republic, and that constitution provides for redress for the people.  You are in effect asking people to swallow more taxes in silence - but that ain't happenin'!!  As far as the "needlessly divisvie impact", do you really mean "opposition to your opinion"?  That's all it can mean.  I have more news for you; this division already exists - and that's not a bad thing (see the post on "division" from Tuesday).  Whether you like it or not, the citizens of the state of Maryland deserve the chance to vote on this measure - even Catholics! 

This Catholic is signing the petition and I'm urging my fellow Catholics to sign it, too - the politically-correct, progressive proclivities of the Maryland Catholic Conference notwithstanding!


  1. I signed this petition too. What the article no doubt doesnt' say is that:

    -Hispanics/Latinos(as) compose more than 35% of all Catholics in the United States.

    -Hispanics/Latinos(as) have contributed 71% of the growth of the Catholic Church in the United States since 1960.

    -More than 50% of all Catholics in the United States under age 25 are of Hispanic/Latino(a) descent.

    -More than two-thirds (68%) of all Hispanics/Latinos(as) in the United States consider themselves to be Roman Catholics.

    -The estimated Hispanic/Latino(a) population of the United States as of July 2007 is 45.5 million. It is projected that Hispanics/Latinos(as) will surpass the 102.6 million mark by the year 2050.

    Nor does it say:

    10.1% of the adult population in the United States now consists of people who have left the Catholic Church for another religion or for no religion. To put it another way, one out of every 10 people in the United States (or 22,725,000) is an ex-Catholic.

    Further, if one excludes immigrants and converts from the calculations, the Catholic Church has lost to other religions or to no religion at all, 35.4% or more than one-third of the 64,131,750 of its native born members to other religions or to no religion. This amounts to almost 7 out of every 20 adults who were baptised as Catholics.

    Or that once they've been here awhile the Spanish leave the Church in droves too:

    "The biggest loser from all the conversions is the Catholic Church, while evangelical Protestant churches are the beneficiaries. Thirteen percent of all Hispanics in the United States were once Catholic and left the church. Of Hispanic evangelical Protestants, half are converts — mostly former Catholics. Hispanics born in the United States are more likely to convert than are foreign-born immigrants."

    I wish there would be a referendum to tax the Church and that priests & religious would support themselves (like St. Paul) instead of siphoning off charitable contributions (or government "social" programs) to live high on the hog (trips to France, $2 million to educate one priest, paying off student loans to get "vocations"). This would eliminate a good deal of the non-religious vocations and much of the "social" justice advocacy for taxing us to death for "charitable" measures that have the end result of paying Sr. Carol Keehan $1 million (and she's only the head of an entire industry) while impoverishing the rest of us and our children (as well as the nation).

    P.S. I have it straight from the horse's mouth that MCC's agenda is set by "the bishops" of D.C. & Baltimore.

  2. At my church (Sacred Heart of Mary in Dundalk) last week, they read this announcement about not joining in the petition and referendum effort as THE POSITION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH! I felt like standing up and hollering, "No it isn't! It's the position of the archbishop and the Md. Catholic Conference, and men of good will can disagree on this issue! I am signing the petition, of course.

  3. Maybe these bishops would like to pay my student loans? Where can I send the bill?

  4. Anonymous of Dec 12th, you might try sending it to the Maryland Catholic Conference, as they seem to be the ones behind this subversion of the rights of citizens. They're in Annapolis and you can google them for the address. Send it certified mail (return receipt) or else it will get lost. I'd love to hear their reply!

    Check out my Dec 12th post, as I do have some related news - good news at that.


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