In Post-Modern American Politics, Every Correct Child is a Gift

In Post-Modern American Politics, Every Correct Child is a Gift September 18, 2014

The Faith tells us every child is a gift and we can find a way to make room for them at the table of life, if we are willing.  No qualifications on that whatsoever.

The Thing that Used to be Liberalism says every *wanted* child is a gift and every unwanted child is a burden that should be killed.

The Thing that Used to be Conservatism seems to say different, but then cries “We must hurl back the invading army of disease-bearing terrorist children or we will be swamped and our economy destroyed!” It is one of the more curious disconnects of the anti-abortion-but-not-prolife wing of conservatism.

How good and pleasant it is when the Things that Used to be Liberalism and Conservatism Dwell Together in Unity.

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  • Doyle

    Is this an accurate or charitable representation? “We must hurl back the invading army of disease-bearing terrorist children or we will be swamped and our economy destroyed!”” People of good will can oppose this administration’s chaotic politically charged handling of immigration. Good fences make good neighbors is hardly wanting to sacrifice children to the Aztec gods. The government could easily do this and provide resources to manage this important issue but they are not. Ask yourself why. That would be more productive than demonizing Catholics who share your concern but also want a just application of the law and competent and prudent governmental oversight of this difficult issue (but not difficult to solve at all if politics were removed and leadership added) .

    • Andy
      • Joseph

        Gohmert Pile is an idiot. Please don’t say something as stupid as “there seems to be a disconnect in using Texas”. I grew up in particular west Texas town of… this guy is a moron, leave this link you’re trying to make with Texas out of it. Bush Jr. and his family are from the NE. He went to Yale. Get over it.
        One of my friends from high school is a prominent lawyer doing what I consider to be God’s work by helping illegals get legal status and protection in Texas. Texans are not *paranoid* of people from Central and South America. Texans are mostly people from Central and South America.

        • Andy

          I will not deny that Gohmert is an idiot – I was using him as point of reference – I know people from Texas who are fine folks – however, the face of Texas right now is Louie Gohmert. That is the problem. The loudest and most bizarre voices get the press – that is why there seems to be a disconnect. By the way it is not stupid to point out that what the elected leaders of a place say would represent what people might think. The logic I used is the same logic that people use when they say Pelosi is the face of all democrats.

      • Ronald King

        I just watched the video and I know for a fact that someone who suffers from paranoia also has an extremely well fortified narcissistic defense which makes prognosis for a successful treatment outcome questionable at best.

      • Doyle

        Thank you. I’ll check those out later. I was not referencing the links and that was an error. I wanted to speak to the issue in general since Mark generalizes in his post to “the Things that Used to be Liberalism and Conservatism Dwell Together in Unity”

    • chezami

      It’s always amazing the self-pity the right evinces when you call it out on its inhuman rhetoric and policies.

      • Joseph

        I don’t think the idea of terrorist babies entered his mind. Even if there were babies being smuggled into to the US to incubate while steadily plotting the destruction of the country like Pinky and the Brain, to believe that these babies are *destined* to carry out this function is called *determinism*, which is incongruent with Catholic teaching in itself.
        You are correct. The *terror baby* screams of paranoia are actually a rather hilarious contradiction to the idea that every child is innocent and sacred and is wrong on so many levels. Never has it entered this politician’s thought that, if these terror babies even exist, it’s possible that they can be *turned from the darkside* as they grow up alongside the fellow humans they are destined to kill.
        Regardless, the US has less to fear from extreme Islam than Europe does… forget it… the more I type the more I expose just how ridiculous this guy actually is!

        • Doyle

          Maybe I am misunderstanding your post. The point of my post was to DENY that the characterization of “disease-bearing terrorist children” was an accurate depiction of many people who oppose the current administration’s handling of the issue.

          Why must Joe, Chezami and you read my post through a republican/democrat lens? I am a Catholic first and that means using-yes-prudential judgement with charity uppermost in the decision making. How you get what you get out of my post is beyond me. The truth is, Mark is demonizing people who respect the rule of law. That is not the same thing as saying people should not be welcomed and cared for to the best of our ability.

          With leadership, America could do both. That, I believe, is the most puzzling thing about this issue. It is not cancer or poverty. This is a soluble issue in our own time if resources were applied prudentially without political gamesmanship and demonization.

          I came to this site because I was impressed with Mark’s book detailing his conversion story. It is surprising to find his posters and his writing so polemical.

          My Catholic identity should trump all other identities. If we disagree, then let the division be one in Catholic teaching. Show me where I am wrong in thinking that the rule of law could be applied alongside a welcoming immigration policy. How would a disciplined wall, which encourages lawful entry be in itself opposed to lawful immigration.

          Or is obedience to the law not a teaching of the Church?

          • Andy

            I applaud your desire to be a Catholic first – it is something I try to do and most often fail – I think though that some of the issues that divide people have become so politically charged that few can discern a Catholic response. It is also my belief that the term conservative, just as the term liberal has become so laden down with baggage by people claiming to be one of the other that we may caricature their true beginnings.
            Immigration has become a lightening rod for the the type of reactions that you are decrying. Politicians of both stripes have to be further and further away from the “mainstream” or the true beliefs of people in order to get air time.
            If I misunderstood your post that it was my fault, please for give me or at least know that it was right before the 8:00 class I teach and I had not had my coffee yet.

            • Doyle

              Very generous response. Thank you very much. Means a lot to me. You nailed the way I feel precisely.

              • Andy

                You are most welcome.

          • Joseph

            But abortion is legal too. Does that make it right?

            • Doyle

              I agree. That’s a real issue and really grave when the law runs afoul of serving God, we serve God. I think all the immigration stuff is a mess; I just don’t think either political party has an answer and that is frustrating because there is an answer. This is not insoluble. An effort could be made to process immigrants and welcome them in charity and the beginnings of citizenship and opportunity as well as enforce borders and prosecute violent offenders. This is not building the Great Wall of China. Technology, funding and leadership can completely fix this issue. It’s not endemic like poverty. If anything, the fact the government cannot mobilize on this, points out a lack of subsidiarity that could be applied to ease the issue.

              • Joseph

                So, God isn’t cool with killing pre-born children and He considers the law that allows it a man-made law which is contrary to His law and, therefore, it is justifiable to spurn it.
                In the case of terrorised children who have no place else to go (that is safe) coming across the border, surely God would want to ensure their safety and welfare. The only thing that could possibly prevent the safety and welfare of these children and their family members are the immigration laws. If the laws prevent the safety and welfare of innocent children who are in distress, then don’t those laws reside in the same bucket as the abortion-on-demand law?
                Of course, I’m speaking specifically of the children here

          • chezami

            Because the reality is that conservatives–not all conservatives, but *only* conservatives–*have* shrieked about terrified children at the border as disease-bearing terrorists. It is they, not I, who have demonized people.

    • Joe Blough

      Yep — “prudential judgement” right on cue. +1 for Mark Shea…

      • I do find it strange that “prudential judgement” is referred to only when dissenting from church teaching.

    • Cypressclimber

      No, according to our host, you aren’t prolife if you believe in anything less than let-in-everyone.

      Oh? Is that an unfair characterization? Well, pot, meet kettle.

      • chezami

        False.

  • Peggy

    Our nation has a right to screen people BEFORE they enter our nation. These are not all “children.” They are mostly older teens and young women with young children. It is not an influx of “unaccompanied minors.” The country needs to identify and keep out criminals and gang members as well as possible terrorists. It is about protecting the border as a general matter. Are you really opposed to that? It is about lawfulness in general. As far as the “children” are concerned there are legitimate concerns of language, cultural assimilation, public health and burdens on public resources including schools and medical care.

    This is all too uncontrolled and unregulated, creating the potential for great dangers.

    I highly doubt that the coyotes and smugglers are very pro-life.

    • IRVCath

      But under the law as it stands, the ones at issue recently are potentially eligible for legal immigration.

      • Peggy

        We shall see. But you see, it’s been set up rather well. Many illegal aliens have been dispersed across the nation on poor unprepared towns. The “children” will be assimilated into the schools and communities by the time any hearing comes up…if they show up…and, gosh, we can’t send them away now that they’re here and have made a life…bla, bla, bla.

        It is not pro-life to expect people to follow the laws. It is not pro-life to benefit lawbreakers while others who’ve patiently waited lawfully still wait.

        The better thing is to push for reforms in Latin American nations.

        • Peggy

          Correction: too many negatives…

          “It is not in opposition to a pro-life position to expect…”

          awkward sentence. Sorry.

  • ivan_the_mad

    A lot of the diocesan branches of Catholic Charities are working with DHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide foster care and (as the name suggests) resettlement for families, or to be united with family already in the country. Our parish has hosted our diocesan branch to inform us regarding what we can do to help now, to solicit volunteers for foster care and resettlement and others to support their efforts (cook meals, provide clothing), to solicit employment opportunities, etc. The diocese is given to understand from the government that people will be settled here from the border detention centers later this year or early next year.

    The Church, in many areas, is already doing a lot of work for these people. I encourage people to contact their diocesan branch of Catholic Charities to see how they can help.

  • Blobee

    Doesn’t it occur to you to question why Mexico isn’t “absorbing” these “children” and helping them before they even reach the U.S. border? If you expect compassion for them from our country, why not from their own, or from the country they are traveling through? Please don’t cite our “wealth” of our country and the poverty of other countries as to why these others would be absolved of the burden of charity and love. After all, these are children in need. Isn’t that tantamount?
    If someone can abuse our immigration laws, and then get a pass, doesn’t it mean our laws are paper tigers, and meaningless?
    Is there a reason U.S. citizens can’t just cross the border and live in Mexico without papers, taking advantage of their social services? I think Mexico is very severe in its deportation policies.

  • IRVCath

    Cynical me thinks all this hullabaloo would cease if it could be determined these children would be reliable Republican voters. No-one makes too much noise about the Filipinos and the Vietnamese, after all, these days.

    • Blobee

      Well, Vietnam and the Philippines don’t have a contiguous border with the U.S. so for them coming here is a little different than crossing the border on foot. You’re right. You are cynical.

      • IRVCath

        OTOH, in the Fil-Am community, the term “tago ng tago” (figuratively, “illegal immigrant”) is, actually a thing. Yet no-one complains about us.