Praying Against Arizona

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Human rights traditionally have argued against nations forcibly preventing their population from leaving, a la the Berlin Wall.  But do human rights compel all nations automatically to grant quick entrance to all comers?  The moral distinction is similar to the difference between holding a visitor in your home against his or her will, which the law typically regards as abduction or enslavement, versus requiring you to open your home to all potential uninvited guests, no matter their behavior or length of stay or attitude towards you as the owner.  And as to the distinction between free trade and unlimited immigration, wheat and electronics and automobiles are perishables whose purchase and sales are regulated by the open market.  Humans obviously have vastly more moral importance, require far more attention and services, exert a much larger economic and cultural impact, and, unlike televisions or cell phones, have families with their own complicated requirements.

Of course, there are extreme libertarians who would treat immigrants as commodities simply meeting economic needs.  But presumably religious groups should not share that perspective.  Nations are morally empowered to control immigration precisely because both potential immigrants and citizens have enormous moral importance and merit protection from avoidable upheaval and disruption.  But the Isaiah prayer and fast coalition disapproves of regulated borders, complaining that immigration law enforcement results in families “ripped apart” and “racial profiling.”

Unsurprisingly, The Episcopal Church stands with the Isaiah fast and prayer coalition.   Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori recently blamed the U.S. for encouraging illegal immigration because we have a “broken system  that encourages people to come here to work or to study– and then to stay [by creating legal, social, and economic ties] — without adequate opportunity to do so in a legal way.”  In other words, persons in the U.S. on temporary work or student visas have an automatic right to remain indefinitely?  Schori wants churches to  “challenge the legal realities of this country when they’re unjust.”  But she seems to think any legal restrictions on immigration are manifestly “unjust.”

Darkly, Bishop Schori linked America’s supposed injustice against illegal immigrants to other American outrages:

Once we’ve done it in one segment of our legal system, it’s easy to translate that into other segments of our legal system: the way we’ve treated prisoners in Guantanamo, the way we’ve treated prisoners—apparent prisoners of war—in other parts of the world is not unrelated.

Here is how the Religious Left often sees America:  a malevolent prison keeper.

Every year, America invites in one million more legal immigrants, and naturalizes another one million who are already here.  Probably, the U.S. is unequaled in the world in its liberality towards immigrants. But the prayers and fasters of the Religious Left’s “Isaiah 58 Solidarity Vigil and Fast for Arizona” coalition prefer not to admit America’s generosity, preferring their notion of America as global villain. It’s amazing that so many in the world still want to come to America, despite its supposed nastiness.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    The Islamic Immigration Center's participation in this coalition is instructive. We all know Middle Easterners have been reported coming across the southern border illegally. We also know that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is playing host to hundreds of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Lebanese Hezbollah…teaching them Spanish among other things.

    If we are wise, we should assume there are literally hundreds of Iranian-Hezbollah operatives already here in the States. Throw in the probability of dozens of Al Qaeda pursuing their own ends, and there is quite a witch's brew being cooked up here at home. They are all in deep cover, establishing themselves and awaiting activation from Tehran (or in the case of Al Qaeda, from northwest Pakistan).

    Of course Obama – like Bush and Clinton before him – is uninterested in sealing the southern border. All his efforts in that regard have been window dressing used to mollify public opinion.

    IF the United States or even Israel attacks Iran's nuclear program (an improbability I concede, given Obama's proclivity for appeasement), some of these operatives will indeed be activated…and after the carnage they sow, you can bet the American Left will attribute the violence not to the orchestrated, state-sponsored terrorism that it is, but to spontaneous expressions of Muslim "rage".

    Rest assured folks, our enemies are in it for the long haul. If there is no attack on Iran, these operatives will bide their time and build lives. But come the moment, they're here, living among us. And for as long as we neglect our border security, they will continue to be augmented by others.

  • BS77

    Religious Left…now there's a top oxymoron…kind of like medical marijuana or
    objective journalism.

    • Brenda

      Or Congressional ethics [committee]

  • Jim Johnson

    Strange they think they are leftists. Wasn't the left supposed to stand up for the working class?
    But these people intend to crush the working people of America under the burden of importing
    even more destitute people.
    The listed organizations are not only willing to create even more poverty in the US but they are also undemocratic as they fight against the will of most of the American people.

    IN fact rather than champions of the poor they are siding with powerful political and economic forces whose major goals are either to establish a perpetual political base or to wring profits out of the American worker by driving wages down to poverty levels.

    Such organizations are more like hirelings paid by the wealthy and powerful to fight the democratic will. They have no feeling for those whose lives they are destroying.

    Milton Friedman condemned the very practice of peonage created by drowning America in workers for the sole purpose of profit.

    If these organizations want to help the poor of Mexico and other countries they should be fighting the one sided treaties which victimize those countries and ours also.

    They are a mockery of Christian charity and probably a whole lot of other religious charities.

  • RBoy

    The article says, "the faith community" does something. Are all Christians (or others) who don't agree with that group, therefore, not part of "the faith community"?
    In my oppinion the left wing group that call themselves "Christians" are surely not in the majority within Christianity, and they are losing what influence that they did have.

    • old white guy

      Christians , can't follow the left. it would be un Christian. Christ is freedom not slavery.

    • teq

      The expression "Faith Community'" is a code phrase for liberal pseudo-religion. They re-write the Bible to make it conform with Marx and then transform Christ into a social worker. I am NOT part of the "faith community". I am a Bible believing Christian.

      • Mark

        Well said.

      • Mo_

        Well done! I will have to remember this.

        What has been horrifying to me is that this Leftist version of Christianity is becoming more and more popular, at least among rank and file Christians who might not even know what they are supporting!

        I was horrified to see so many people I know, from my strong Bible believing church who not only voted for Obama, but are still supporting him and are in support of things like this anti-AZ thing going on right now.

        The sad part is that many of them are sincere. They are so ignorant of Scripture that they actually think it teaches that we are to support criminals such as those who cross the border, government theft by "redistribution of wealth" and all the rest. They think it's biblical!

        This is something that NEVER entered my mind and so when I began seeing it, it knocked the wind right out of me. I was completely blindsided.

  • kleicester

    Excellent article, and interesting as well.

    I'm not objective, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. These people who twist scripture for their own ends are predicted in the bible. They are evil, and false, and will lead many astray. All we can do, regardless of our relationship with God, is to hold to the truth. And the truth is America is a sovereign nation, with borders that must be upheld.

    • Peachey

      Another sign of the "emergent church" and the False prophet that will lead it.

  • USMCSniper

    They are just following the gospel accord to Marx with their liberation theology so anything goes.

  • Guest

    Seems like the Religious Left has forgotten about "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's; render unto God that which is God's."

  • Stephen D.

    Wolves in sheeps clothing. I would challenge their claim to care for the people. The only real compunction they share is their hatred for the USA and Capitalism. If it isn't immigration it would be the supposed problems in Gaza or their fained concern for health care. Boil it all down and you find Socialists wanting to destroy western civilization, period.

  • Steve Chavez

    What word is next to "MARX" in the dictionary? The father of Communism next to "MARY" the mother of Jesus Christ! Nicolae Ceausescu shot on CHRISTMAS DAY. 1992: Mikhail Gorbachev dissolves Soviet Union in a nationally televised, HERE IN THE U.S., at 4:00pm eastern time ON CHRISTMAS DAY! JESUS DEFEATS MARX!


  • AL__

    Those false prophets spread confusion in the name of God, shame on them.….

  • Anthony

    Obviously the "religious left" is grossly missunderstanding the Natural Laws principles applied to sovereign nations. Principles contained in the Bible. These people are ignoramuses, and useful idiots by the Internationalists Socialists, who operate on the basis of Marxist ideology, not the Natural Laws well expressed in the "Law of Nations" by Vattel. The Bible commands to honor and respect the laws of sovereign nations, and the "indocumentados" are doing nothing but violating the soverignty of U.S.A. They are welcome to come here "to work", but do it legally, not by circunventing our laws and excusing it with all sorts of sentimentalism and false notions of charity and human solidarity. Obama is failing to address the issue appropriately because he is also an Internationalist Socialist, from his own statement, "In the 21st century, caountries are not to be defined by borders, but by 'common bonds'" As the Spaniards say, "Echale gindas al pavo."

  • Dean from Ohio

    The "Isaiah 58 Prayer and Fast Coalition" would do better to read obey Isaiah 57 and 59. Here's what I mean:

    It's easy to celebrate how obedient you are to what you want to do, such as helping immigrants and workers per Isaiah chapter 58, especially when it fits into your political agenda and requires no real personal sacrifice.

    It's not so easy to obey what you DON'T want to do, such as the commands to remain sexually celibate outside a marriage between 1 man and 1 woman; stop killing little (unborn) children for your own personal gain; refuse to welcome every sort of religious idea without discrimination based on God's truth; stop consuming pornography.

    All these commands are set forth in Isaiah 57 and 59, and I'll bet you would have a hard time getting these folks to submit even to one of them.

    Jesus said, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and don't do what I say?" and "He who has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." Pick and choose obedience is no obedience at all, and spirituality put "on display" for a political cause does not impress God in the least.