Alabama Republican Gov. Robert Bentley signed on June 9 the nation’s harshest anti-immigration law, surpassing Arizona, while the state’s Christian denominations sat on the sidelines.
“We have a real problem with illegal immigration in this country,” said Bentley, after he signed the bill that passed by a significant margin in both state houses.
A member of First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa, Bentley said, “I campaigned for the toughest immigration laws and I’m proud of the legislature for working tirelessly to create the strongest immigration bill in the country.”
… House Bill 56 passed in the House of Representatives by a 67-29 vote and was overwhelmingly passed on a 25-7 vote in the Senate.
“A person without valid federal alien registration or other proof of legal presence in the United States would, just for being in Alabama, be guilty of a crime, under a bill passed … by the Legislature,” reported the Birmingham News. “The crime, ‘willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document,’ would be punishable by a $100 fine and 30 days in jail.”
… One of the chief bill sponsors, state Sen. Scott Beason (R-Gardendale), a member of First Baptist Church of Gardendale, told a breakfast gathering in Cullman County earlier this year that Republicans needed to “empty the clip” on the immigration issue, according to the Cullman Times.
“The reality is that if you allow illegal immigration to continue in your area, you will destroy yourself eventually,” said the senator.*
That’s from the sane Baptist site Ethics Daily, which helpfully supplies that information about church membership.
Say you’re a Baptist traveling through or relocating to Gardendale or Tuscaloosa. You might have considered attending the First Baptist Church in one of those cities. You might have thought it was some kind of gathering of Jesus’ followers.
But now you’ve been warned that it isn’t anything like that at all. Now you realize that there is something horribly wrong going on in those congregations — something soul-killing, toxic and twisted beyond all recognition.
But at least now Christians have been helpfully warned to stay far, far away from those houses of horror.
Useful public service, keeping readers abreast of information like that.
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Republican state Rep. Ryan Fattman one-ups Beason’s “empty the clip” imagery by declaring open season on Sooners. If you weren’t born in this country, Fattman says, and you can’t produce the proper paperwork condoning your presence, then you have no rights and may be raped or detained or raped with impunity.
I know I said “raped” twice, but that’s because Rep. Fattman is creepily eager to make the case that he and other citizens shouldn’t have to worry about punishment if he or other citizens were to rape Sooners.
Mr. Fattman dismissed concerns of some law enforcement officials — cited by the governor — who said using local police to enforce immigration laws could discourage reporting of crime by victims who are illegal immigrants.
Asked if he would be concerned that a woman without legal immigration status was raped and beaten as she walked down the street might be afraid to report the crime to police, Mr. Fattman said he was not worried about those implications.
“My thought is that if someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward,” Mr. Fattman said.
The article goes on to demonstrate that Fattman himself would not be able to pass the citizenship test, which includes several questions about the Bill of Rights:
Mr. Fattman acknowledged that people could be deported after an arrest even if they are not convicted of a crime, under the program in use in more than 30 states.
While citizens have the right to be viewed as innocent until found guilty in court, he said, “I don’t think that principle extends to illegal immigrants.”
He’s wrong about that, of course. The presumption of innocence necessarily applies to all defendants. Their citizenship status is irrelevant. Fattman’s response?
“My philosophy is a little different,” Mr. Fattman said.
His philosophy says that Sooners do not enjoy basic rights. They are presumed guilty. They should be afraid to report crimes against them. And citizens — legal citizens such as, for instance, Ryan Fattman — ought to be allowed to rape them without fear of punishment.
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* Note to the people of Alabama: When politicians are working this hard to demonize some group, when they’re this desperately intent on distracting you with fear, it always, always, always means they’re up to something else they hope to distract you from.
Don’t fall for that. Don’t look at the flashing fingers held high in the air sprinkling glitter-dust. Watch what the other hand is doing. It’s probably after your wallet.