Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 7, 2006
By: Amy Sullivan

CHRISTIAN CHARITY....This story hasn't gotten a ton of attention, but on Ash Wednesday last week, LA's Cardinal Mahoney declared that if Congress passes legislation to criminalize the act of offering support to an illegal immigrant, he will instruct his priests and Catholic parishioners to ignore the law.

The Republican sponsors of the bill say that they're just targeting those who smuggle immigrants, and yet they've written such a broad definition of "alien smuggling" that it could potentially include things like baby-sitting for a neighbor or working at a soup kitchen. The legislation has already passed the House and is being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

Jesus didn't instruct his followers to inspect the citizenship papers of the sick, the poor, the old, and the hungry. Even so, Mahoney's statement is an unusual--if welcome--call for civil disobedience. All eyes should be on the Senate this week, and on other Catholic leaders to see if they follow Mahoney's lead or shrink from the fight.

Amy Sullivan 5:27 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (96)

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I'm as opposed to the tolerance of illegal immigration as anyone, but this has got to be the dumbest law ever dreamed up.

While we're at it, does the bill still make being in the country illegally a felony?

Posted by: alex on March 7, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

If the republicans in congress were serious about illegal immigration, they would criminalize(with strict enforcement) profiting from the labor of illegal immigrants.

If you make it less expensive to pay a decent wage and hire legal workers than it is to hire illegal workers, you get rid of the labor demand which is what causes immigrants to come illegally in the first place.

To go after people who provide humanitarian assistance or charity is inhumane. However, the country does have a right to enforce its borders.

Posted by: exhuming mccarthy on March 7, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever happened to rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesars'...? If you pro-illegal alien types are so enthusiastic about this example of civil disobedience, what happens when Mahoney says Catholics should stop paying taxes for Medicade abortions. The church should not go down this route, unless they are willing to pay the penalties. As my favorite right wing songwriter once wrote, to live outside the law one must be honest. If Bishop Mahoney feels it's worth going to jail to increase the number of trespassing Catholics on the public dole in this country, then I'll have some respect for him.

Posted by: wks on March 7, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'd suggest we make sure that Cardinal Mahoney's letter is mailed to every newspaper of every Republican house member who voted for the law as well as every major newspaper every state with a Republican Senator up for reelection. I suspect the out cry from the Catholics and other Christians would give even the most hardened Republican congresscritter heartburn.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 7, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

WKS: read Matthew 19:6, and watch the debate.

Posted by: theAmericanist on March 7, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever happened to rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesars'...?

Nothing, just as nothing happened to rendering unto God what is God's. And, as Christ told us, as you do unto the least, you do unto God.

The charity owed to the most disadvantaged and despised is, therefore, owed to God; it is not Caesar's to deny. George W. Caesar, if he wishes, may, of course, tax good Christians so they lack the means to provide that charity, or persecute and make martyrs of them from doing the good their faith demands.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well, jeez. First it's the president decidin' not to obey the law. Then its the Roman Catholic Bishopry. Next thing you know, it'll be the Congresscritters. Oops, oh yeah. Well, then I guess the only ones left who have to obey the law are you and me. And I'm not so sure about me. WTF kind of society are we livin' in, anyway?

Posted by: Baldrick on March 7, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

I should just be clear that I think that we have an obligation to disobey laws that are morally wrong and that this is one such law. Nonetheless, the sheer irony of the whole thing is remarkable. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Baldrick on March 7, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

If Mahoney is willing to pay the price for his civil disobedience, I said I would support the letter. My strong inclination, though, is that this is more feckless posturing and wasn't thought though. For what its' worth, I think our immigration laws are a travesty. There are a lot of other laws/policies I think are a travesty of a mockery of a sham. But the fact is we live in a democratic republic, and the way to voice our displeasure is not to pick and choose what laws we will obey, unless we're willing to openly suffer the consequenses.

Posted by: wks on March 7, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

I am not kidding when I suggest we use this in a campaign to discredit Republicans. If you look at the way the news is moving, Rove believes he can resurrect the Roe v. Wade debate to rally the Republican base. He knows the South Dakota law will fall before the Supreme Court. It will probably fall 5/4. I am sure the Republicans will want to expedite the process to make sure the South Dakota law is on the minds of pro-life voters just before the next election.

Catholics makeup a big part of the pro-life base. This immigration law is an issue where progressives and Catholics have common cause. It is hard to work up too much enthusiasm for a Republican who is in favor of putting father or mother superior in jail for running a soup kitchen.

The way the Democratic "leadership" is letting this election drift makes me wonder if they are even capable of organizing a 2 car parade. We have the Republicans on the ropes, don't let them rally by defining the election themes.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 7, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK
If Mahoney is willing to pay the price for his civil disobedience, I said I would support the letter.

Well, he's publicly announced that he will instruct others under him to ignore the law; that certainly makes it very likely that if any of his subordinates is suspected of breaking the law, even if otherwise there would be no reason to suspect this, the possibility that he solicited, or was an accessory before or after the fact will be investigated, and the mere fact of his statement now will be evidence that will make any questionable action more likely to be interpreted as solicitation, counsel, or assistance in the offense.

He has, by making a statement which makes him more vulnerable should anyone under him break the law if it passes, demonstrated that he is willing to, at least, risk paying the price for disobedience.


But the fact is we live in a democratic republic, and the way to voice our displeasure is not to pick and choose what laws we will obey, unless we're willing to openly suffer the consequenses.

I would phrase that differently; I would say to risk the consequences honestly. Your phrasing suggests one must be willing simply to accept punishment, but that is not, IMO, the right interpretation (though its one I've frequently heard.)

There is nothing wrong with accepting responsibility for your actions while challenging the consequences that would be imposed as immoral, or even, if you believe they are, as illegal (say, for violating a superceding civil law.) What is (morally) wrong is to take a stand of supposed civil disobedience, and then attempt to wriggle out of it by denying responsibility.

But, I would argue, ultimately, democratic republic or no, every human of decent moral character must draw a line -- "this far and no farther". A democratic republic is a form of government, it is not a license for a tyrannical or unjust mode of government. As with any government, the ultimate guarantee against descent into depravity and injustice lies not in its own structure, but in the will of the people to simply not cooperate with it where it attempts depravity and injustice.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK
Nonetheless, the sheer irony of the whole thing is remarkable.

What irony?

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

just like I planned, if you pay attention to this, you'll quit worrying about all the other dirty little secrets we have.

Posted by: cardinal mahoney on March 7, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

One reason for limited comments on this is that there was no surprise where Mahony, or most of the Catholic bishops in this country, stand on this issue. Mahony started his career as a priest in Fresno in the 1960's working with migrant laborers and later taught social work at Fresno State. He was the first chairman of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board in 1975, and the growers were not happy when he was named. He has been bishop in three dioceses and in each one he increased ministry and services to Spanish speaking Catholics. His statement last week was perfectly consistent with Catholic social teachings and his own history.

Mahony has his issues -- the record of the Archdiocese of LA on dealing with sexual misconduct or abuse by priests is not good at all (it's the biggest diocese in the US) and while the new cathedral downtown is pretty good on the inside, from the plaza it looks more like a multistory bunker with a cross shaped window. Both liberals and conservatives in the Church get heartburn when his name comes up. But in terms of immigration policy, there was no surprise here. And don't think he won't follow through on the promise -- and most of his priests will follow him on this.

Posted by: Claude Muncey on March 7, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and by the way, "Cardinal", if you are going to parody him, at least be competent enough to read the original post and spell his name correctly. This blog has a higher standard than that for trolls

Posted by: Claude Muncey on March 7, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

The bill should be re-titled the "Support Illegal Immigration Act". Forget useful measures like workplace enforcement, and go after priests feeding hungry people. It will create such a backlash that nothing will be done about illegal immigration for twenty years (you know, just like the last twenty years).

If I was just a little bit more conspiracy minded, I'd believe that was its purpose.

Posted by: alex on March 7, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Jesus didn't instruct his followers to inspect the citizenship papers of the sick, the poor, the old, and the hungry."

You know, it's kinda funny if you think about it, but Jesus never *ASKED* how they became sick, poor, old, or hungry either. He also never lectured them on how to reverse their current social status, either.
He just took care of them.
Funny the Republicans have a problem with this being that they fancy themselves "Christian" and all.
Mayhaps, they're not as Christian as they would like us to believe.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on March 7, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well, They can Rape young boys,So this is a pretty small issue,I would fall in favor of banning abortion if they would imprison these bastards for rape.

Posted by: Ahmadd Bacrad on March 7, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Funny how he's all for disobeying the law, whether immigration law or the one against protecting child rapists. Maybe he's trying to atone.

Posted by: Garbo on March 7, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

amy, you rock

Posted by: muddy lee on March 7, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

OK listen up all you Catholic Priests out there and you know who you are, Tturn yourselves in Child Rape is going to be illegal now.HEY where did all the Priests go?

Posted by: Ahmadd Bacrad on March 7, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus didn't instruct his followers to inspect the citizenship papers of the sick, the poor, the old, and the hungry

-----------------

I think in terms of providing food & water, it would be hard to stop the religous obligation. But protecting them from justice is a grey area.

I think the Church should follow this act of civil disobedience by surrounding abortion clinics and acts of euthanasia.

Any chance of overturning your government for in an act of Marcos style 'people power?'

Posted by: McA on March 7, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Mahoney believes that the law is worded so vague that it would criminalize giving Communion to illegal immigrants. He said so on LA NPR on March 1st. I think that's his primary objection.

Posted by: dk on March 7, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney Why would sheeakahn ask ? Given the new laws on border control - not that they're as bad as, say, Gitmo - lack of charitable impulse isn't hard to infer.

Posted by: opit on March 7, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

"P.S. sheerahkhan - perhaps Jesus did not ask, because he already knew - are you omniscient?"

Or, you know, maybe, just maybe he didn't think it was all that important to bring it up in the first place. Now wouldn't that be a novel thought for you to entertain!

Posted by: sheerahkahn on March 7, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing, just as nothing happened to rendering unto God what is God's. And, as Christ told us, as you do unto the least, you do unto God. Posted by: cmdicely

Actually, as there is no god, he's never been on record as saying or even suggesting anything via human relay or flammable shrubbery. However, if he did exist, you think he'd talk to the likes of man?

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Put them Papist peedophiles and illegal alien lovers in jail where they belong. Likely they just want a whole bunch of new Catholics here now that they can smell the Pope taking over the Supreme Court of the United States.

Posted by: Myron on March 7, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Mind you, Terrie Shiavo was dehydrated to death.
Where was the Cardinal then?

I think the Cardinal should lead the Catholic Church in full-fledged confrontation to the liberal state of California.

The spectacle of liberal California jailing Catholics en masse, should do wonders in terms of letting everyone know that the secular state is now a false God.

Plus you'd lose the Hispanic vote forever.

Posted by: Mca on March 7, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

"However, if he did exist, you think he'd talk to the likes of man?"

Well, I can agree with the "likes of man" part because we are the dumbest creatures on the planet. But then on the otherhand, if you think about it...it also proves that there is a G-d because if there wasn't, the natural forces of evolution on this planet would've deselected us like a happy-ending in a Hemingway novel millions of years ago.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on March 7, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

the natural forces of evolution on this planet would've deselected us like a happy-ending in a Hemingway novel millions of years ago. Posted by: sheerahkahn

Patience. Patience.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

The spectacle of liberal California jailing Catholics en masse, should do wonders in terms of letting everyone know that the secular state is now a false God.

You're fucking insane. In one breath you oppose theocracy the Middle East, in the next you imply a religious state is the solution for the U.S.

Yes, it would be interesting to see people jailed under this Republican law. Expose them as purveyors of false values for sure.

Posted by: trex on March 7, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Mind you, Terrie Shiavo was dehydrated to death. Where was the Cardinal then? Posted by: Mca

Minding his own business? unlike Frist, DeLay and Shrub.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Minding his own business? unlike Frist, DeLay and Shrub.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

So how come he's not minding his own business now?
When illegal migrants are in dire straits but they aren't under the threat of certain death.

Posted by: McA on March 7, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans need to be careful not to alienate their Ned Flanders followers. I don't think jailing priests and confiscating church property for giving food to foreigners named Jesus is exactly what Christians imagined the GOP Faith Based Initiatives would be like. A little too Henry VIII for my taste (looks like Laura and Condi better get cracking on a male heir, or else... chop chop!)

A humorous take on the subject from a few days ago: Sieg Hell!

Posted by: Augustus on March 7, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans need to be careful not to alienate their Ned Flanders followers. I don't think jailing priests and confiscating church property for giving food to foreigners named Jesus is exactly what Christians imagined the GOP Faith Based Initiatives would be like. Posted by: Augustus

Maybe not. But, as a rule, the fundis hate Papists as they, like the illegals, are really filthy foreigners, too.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK
Mind you, Terrie Shiavo was dehydrated to death. Where was the Cardinal then?

Presumably, praying that all involved would be guided to make the right decisions; I don't think there was much chance, whatever state intervention occurred, that Roger Cardinal Mahoney or any person answerable to him would be directed by law to do anything they would otherwise not do, or not do anything they would otherwise do, in regard to Schiavo.

I think the Cardinal should lead the Catholic Church in full-fledged confrontation to the liberal state of California.

Well, yes, I am sure anything that results in anyone being in conflict with anything you perceive as "liberal" probably gets you all excited, what with your tribal conservatism.

The spectacle of liberal California jailing Catholics en masse, should do wonders in terms of letting everyone know that the secular state is now a false God.

Well, too bad for your masturbatory fantasies about a liberal jihad against Catholicism that its a conservative policy proposal that has him riled.

Plus you'd lose the Hispanic vote forever.

Yeah, because Hispanics -- Mexicans particularly -- are nothing if not slavish followers of the Catholic heirarchy in the political realm.

Is there any subject on which your smugness isn't matched by your complete ignorance?

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

that its a conservative policy proposal that has him riled.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

If it passes in California, its a voted for by Democrats.

Posted by: McA on March 7, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK
So how come he's not minding his own business now?

Um, he is; the policy here would directly affect his, and his subordinates, ability to comply with their duties within the Church, and affect the people for whose spiritual care he is responsible. His business, given the heirarchical constitution of the Church, is both to prepared and direct his subordinates as to how to deal with the law should it be passed, and, further, to work to avoid laws which would be harmful being passed.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

McA: If it passes in California, its a voted for by Democrats.

You're such an ass - this is federal law.

Posted by: alex on March 7, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Without a good portion of the Catholics as fellow travellers the fundamentalists and the Republcians lose this election.

How the bill passed the house is beyond me. Who ever wrote it should be drummed out of the Republican lobby firm where he works. Maybe the incompetent drafter was one of the fundi followers who hates Papists.

Oh, as far as Mahoney being prepared to go to jail over this issue, I have never known a Catholic Cardinal to make such a statement without being willing to pay the price. When it comest to a matter of principle Catholic Bishops and Cardinals might not always be right, but they always act like it. In fact, I suspect Mahoney would welcome the opportunity to display a little civil disobedience in this setting. Imagine the press.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 7, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK
If it passes in California, its a voted for by Democrats.

Moron, its a proposal in the US Congress, which has already passed the House and his now being considered by the Senate. Both houses of the US Congress have Republican majorities, and while some people have made noise about a Bush veto, well, Bush makes lots of veto noises, but even when bills that aren't what he said he would accept get passed, vetoes don't seem to materialize. It doesn't need Democratic votes for passage to become law.

Once again, is there anything on which you are not stunningly and shamefully ignorant?

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK
But, as a rule, the fundis hate Papists as they, like the illegals, are really filthy foreigners, too.

Yeah, but the political fundamentalists try to hide it, because they are trying really hard to reach out to Catholics, especially as the political hard right keeps losing everyone that isn't voting purely based on religious identity politics.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

So how come he's not minding his own business now?

Um, he is; the policy here would directly affect his, and his subordinates, ability to comply with their duties within the Church, and affect the people for whose spiritual care he is responsible. Posted by: cmdicely

Only if you accept the premise that the church trumps the state. Maybe in Poland or Italy. But, ostensibly, not here.

Furthermore, if he were able to consult directly with "the Rat," I think the most Holy Father of Scorched Earth, Pope Ludicrous I, might have a different take on his actions. He was, after all, the prime enforcer of the church's ban on "liberation theology."

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II, This isn't about liberation theology. This is about providing comfort to the poor and needy. Nearly all of the illegals are hispanic and Catholic. The Pope wouldn't get in his way.

Do I need to point out to you that the current Administration hasn't done much to win us friends in the rest of the world, especially Latin America. Those people will be watching. The Church has to come out as Mahoney has announced. It doesn't have an alternative.

The bill is major league tin ear, just what you would expect from the incompetents in charge.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 7, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK
Only if you accept the premise that the church trumps the state.

Whether or not you think its right, in the context of his job, the issue here, the supremacy and autonomy of the Church is a given.

Furthermore, if he were able to consult directly with "the Rat," I think the most Holy Father of Scorched Earth, Pope Ludicrous I, might have a different take on his actions. He was, after all, the prime enforcer of the church's ban on "liberation theology."

Well, he was the prime enforcer of whatever John Paul II decided to ban ("liberation theology", per se, however was not banned; certain elements, practices, and teaching of some parts of the movement were banned, others were adopted as the doctrine of the Church). That was his job as Grand Inquisitor. (Yes, yes, yes, I know, that's not the title any more. Whatever.)

Of course, the parts of "liberation theology" that drew the ire of the Vatican were the adoption of Marxist dialectic and, particularly, the treatment of central substantive doctrines of the Church as symbolic and instrumental within the materialist frame of Marxism; that hardly seems relevant to the immediate issue.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II, This isn't about liberation theology. This is about providing comfort to the poor and needy. Nearly all of the illegals are hispanic and Catholic. The Pope wouldn't get in his way.Posted by: Ron Byers

You have a poor grasp of church history and politics if you don't think this isn't potentially analogous to the actions of those priests in Latin American that came to be seen as renegade for standing up to dictators and oligarchs. "The Rat" is no friend of the poor and down trodden.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

I do not know or care if the Cardinal was acting out of political necessity or with genuine concren for the people who are migrating to the US form Latin Am. Calling people illegal is immoral and it is nice to see the church acting for humanity once in a while. We should open up the borders to everone just as if they came from one of the US states.

Why are the libertarians not pushing for open borders?

Posted by: Hostile on March 7, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK
You have a poor grasp of church history and politics if you don't think this isn't potentially analogous to the actions of those priests in Latin American that came to be seen as renegade for standing up to dictators and oligarchs.

I'd argue that you have a poor grasp of church (and world) history and politics if you think there was much analogy, especially with regard to what provoked the Vatican into responding to "liberation theology", as well as the global environment in which that response occurred.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Calling people illegal is immoral and it is nice to see the church acting for humanity once in a while. We should open up the borders to everone just as if they came from one of the US states.
Posted by: Hostile

Fine, simpleton, they can camp in your backyard and cmdicely's.

America is overpopulated already. We don't need anyone from anywhere right now. However, if we are going to import people, they'd better bring suitcases full of money and skills. Otherwise, we should close the borders for a couple decades.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicele,

Back after a couple of hours and glad to see you still contributing --- I'd like you to expand on when you think it's justified to encourage civil disobedience, especially if you are in a position of authority like Mahoney. When MLK, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy marched they would clasp thier hands, kneel in prayer, then offer their clasped hands to the police to put handcuffs on. I do not foresee Mahoney willing to be that dramatic in his opposition to this law. Like I said before, there are a lot of laws I disagree with, but I do not advocate civil disobedience unless the law is so far outside morality that a decent person can't abide it. We live in a system of nation states, which implies enforcable border restrictions. I do not see that as immoral. If the Catholic Church wanted to really do something for these immigrants they should agitate for fundemental reforms in the corrupt, dysfunctional govt's of Latin America, starting with Mexico.

Posted by: wks on March 7, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

If the Catholic Church wanted to really do something for these immigrants they should agitate for fundemental reforms in the corrupt, dysfunctional govt's of Latin America, starting with Mexico. Posted by: wks

Amen! brother. The church is and always has been a major problem in Latin America (as with just about everywhere else).

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Sorry for the typo's especially in your name on the last posting.

Posted by: wks on March 7, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II

I might not have the firm grasp of Church history and politics you claim but I do know the difference between this situation and liberation theology. I will not repeat cmdicely's recent posts on the subject. He has it right. The church was opposed to the Marxist dialectic.

In the current setting, however, the church is reaching out directly to its base constituents. It cannot appear to deny basic comfort to its members in need regardless of whether they have violated the law or not.

It is odd that someone so obviously in tune with the Catholic Church would fail to realize that Protestants have been making major gains in Mexico and other Latin American countries. They would love nothing better than to say to prospective converts, "look at the fat and contented Catholic priests, they won't even help their own flock when in need." Like I said Mahoney doesn't have a choice in this issue. He has to embrace non-violent civil disobedance if the government tries to come between him and his need to deliver food and comfort and holy communion to illegal aliens.

Actually, I don't even have to go so far as Mexico. Many Catholics in Southern California are Hispanic or Latino. The legals are often related to the illegals. Those legal Hispanics and Latinos lay large change in the collection plates every Sunday. Mohoney doesn't want to jeopardize that source of money.

Finally, without looking at the matter in a completely jaundiced way, it is entirely possible and probably likely that Mahoney is doing what he thinks is morally right. As I said before a Catholic Cardinal might not always be right, but he will always appear right. He does in this case from his and the Christian perspective.

All in all don't depend on intervention from the Pope. You will most likely be disappointed.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 7, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

wks,

I agree the Catholic Church should be doing all it can to encourage fundamental reform Mexico and other Latin American countries. They haven't done much for about 500 years, so I don't expect much now. The only hope I have for Mexico is that the Protestants will continue their gains. Nothing like competition to shake up an entrenched elite.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 7, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

I will not repeat cmdicely's recent posts on the subject. He has it right.

Really? Proove it.

The church was opposed to the Marxist dialectic. Posted by: Ron Byers

First of all, you can't be "opposed to the Marxist dialectic." It's merely a way of describing a socio-economic condition. And even if the church was against Marxist doctrine (which is pretty fucking silly as the teachings of Christ were pretty much Marxist), it certainly wasn't then nor ever has been particularly supportive of the poor in Latin America who, again, were between (at that time especially) a rock and a hard place with leftist guerillas and death squad wieldings juntas.

The Rat is a ruthless SOB. If he thinks Mahoney is rocking the boat, he'll slap him down.

Now, if he was just a paedophile . . .

Posted by: Jeff II on March 7, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus didn't instruct his followers to inspect the citizenship papers of the sick, the poor, the old, and the hungry.

I have no doubt that Jesus' IQ was dozens of points higher than Amy Sullivan's, since this post shows she's a complete idiot who is unable to think things through.

I wrote Bishops urge: show false, idiotic compassion to illegal aliens about another bishop, but it applies to Mahoney as well.

Religious leaders who support illegal immigration do more harm than good. Their position is fundamentally immoral, and Amy Sullivan is a complete idiot.

Posted by: TLB on March 7, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

(which is pretty fucking silly as the teachings of Christ were pretty much Marxist)

Don't let Cheney see you writing stuff like that!

Posted by: Poot Smootley on March 7, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK
Back after a couple of hours and glad to see you still contributing --- I'd like you to expand on when you think it's justified to encourage civil disobedience, especially if you are in a position of authority like Mahoney.

For a person in authority, there is often no choice in between encouraging civil disobedience and active cooperation in an unjust law.

When MLK, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy marched they would clasp thier hands, kneel in prayer, then offer their clasped hands to the police to put handcuffs on. I do not foresee Mahoney willing to be that dramatic in his opposition to this law.

Well, no, its not a law you protest by marching, its a law you protest by continuing to serve the poor without asking, "Papers, please".

So it doesn't have the same kind of drama. Nevertheless, by publicly urging defiance of the law, Mahoney is no less putting himself on the front line of legal jeopardy than someone leading a "illegal" march would be.

Like I said before, there are a lot of laws I disagree with, but I do not advocate civil disobedience unless the law is so far outside morality that a decent person can't abide it.

A decent person cannot abide by a law that directs them to refuse private charity to any person who does not have the right identity documents.

We live in a system of nation states, which implies enforcable border restrictions.

An argument can be made that "a system of nation states" is, in an of itself, fundamentally an inevitably unjust. But, even ignoring whether or not such a system is fundamentally moral, the need for border enforcement does not license anything done in its name, without bound.

If the Catholic Church wanted to really do something for these immigrants they should agitate for fundemental reforms in the corrupt, dysfunctional govt's of Latin America, starting with Mexico.

Unlike the US, at least Mexico's government is generally heading in the right direction over the last several years.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

2 Thessalonians 3:6-16 has a "warning against idleness". The socialist communities of believers had issues with taking help when work was an option.

You have to decide for yourselves whether 'unemployment benefits' and 'universal healthcare' qualify as idleness when illegal migrants from Mexico are crossing deserts to find unskilled work.

2 Thessalonians 3: 10-12

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.

Posted by: McA on March 7, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for responding. If all the Church is doing is feeding people at a soup kitchen I have no objection. I have a suspicion that their assistance goes beyond that to aiding and abetting the immigrant's avoidance of law enforcement on a continuing basis. That goes beyond what Jesus would ask, if you want my spiritual evaluation.

Posted by: wks on March 7, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Amy's post, alas, is short on facts, and most of the comments here are very long on ignorance and simple-minded reaction.

See my short essay at http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2006/3/3/224138/4018
for a more informed view of an extremely important issue.

I think the bill is going to pass, and there will be very big controversies over civil disobedience. The Catholics are all going to refuse to obey, and many others will follow them. This is the biggest call to civil disobedience in U.S. history.

Posted by: Arminius on March 7, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

First of all, you can't be "opposed to the Marxist dialectic."

Yes, you can.

It's merely a way of describing a socio-economic condition.

Actually, its a way of describing reality which centers interpretation of everything in the universe around material socio-economic class struggle (hence, "dialectical materialism").

And its quite easy to oppose that way of interpreting and casting reality. Which is demonstrated by the fact that Church and a large number of others did so, and do so.

And even if the church was against Marxist doctrine (which is pretty fucking silly as the teachings of Christ were pretty much Marxist)

Er, no, they weren't. Certainly in many cases there are parallels, but there are also stark differences. Which is why, of course, much drawn from liberation theology was embraced by the Church, while very narrow elements were reject. See, for instance the Instruction on Certain Aspects of the "Theology of Liberation" issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for the most definitive single response by the Vatican describing the elements embraced and rejected from the various elements of the movement.

You will note that an extensive discussion is made of the errors seen in the movement tied directly to Marxism, not only its particular doctrines, but the dialectic or mode of analysis applied, and the alterations of Catholic doctrine adopted through that analysis by some members of the "liberation theology" movement.

it certainly wasn't then nor ever has been particularly supportive of the poor in Latin America who, again, were between (at that time especially) a rock and a hard place with leftist guerillas and death squad wieldings juntas.

I'd say that the Catholic Church was a lot better in this respect than most other major world institutions. Then, and now. Not that, particularly at the pinnacle of the heirarchy, I wouldn't prefer to see and have seen more and more effective action.

The Rat is a ruthless SOB. If he thinks Mahoney is rocking the boat, he'll slap him down.

Benedict XVI was and is clearly a centralizer, both before and since his elevation to the Throne of St. Peter, but I don't think Mahoney's assertion of the independence and prerogative of the Church in the face of secular power is something he is likely to see as rocking the boat.

Indeed, it seems to fit quite well within his view of the Church; he is, if anything, more of an activist than his predecessor in this regard.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Cardinal Mahoney's file at the bureau is being updated even as I type this...

Posted by: E. Nonee Moose on March 7, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm... Maybe I should go write a piece on this for my on-again, off-again blog so I can drop a note in here saying Amy's an idiot, all the other commenters here are idiots, but I'm much more informed, intelligent, and thoughtful, and, here, go look at my blog posting on this...

I mean, it seems to be the thing to do in this thread.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

The Catholics are all going to refuse to obey

I can't take anyone seriously who comes in here, accuses every one else of ignorance, simple-minded reaction, and thoughtlessness, and then posts, in all apparent seriousness, a prediction that "[t]he Catholics are all going to..." do anything.

Its not like there aren't (unfortunate though I think it is) plenty of Catholics in this country who are just as much nativists as anyone else can be.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 7, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

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gubiowsky.blogspot.com

Posted by: gubi on March 8, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, You are a law student, right? Do you think I really care if you take me seriously? I'm really annoyed at the anti-Christian and anti-Catholic slurs that always pop up in posts like this, and I'm also annoyed at the abject ignorance of immigration law. If I were a better person, I would consistently write from a more benign attitude, but that's not me.

And since you're so pure, you'd better learn to be more precise. I didn't accuse everyone of ignorance. I said "most" posts, which is abundantly clear and nearly always is on this lukewarm blog. I do definitely think your posts qualify as "simple-minded reaction."

And I stand by my predictions. I think the law will pass. I think the majority of Catholics will oppose it. That's a big deal.

Don't you have some studying to do or something? Twerp.

Posted by: Arminius on March 8, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Let me say more. I had ignored them, but in the face of this insolent assault from young man cmdicely, who is evidently drunk or high, I went back and read his posts. I must say, in all my years on the Internet, rarely have I run across a line of posts that are more consistently shallow, pompous, mean, and wrong.

Posted by: Arminius on March 8, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

The Conference of American Bishops issued this same teaching on immigration some time ago. I think Mahoney is doing what's morally right in the context of the Church's teaching AND he's taking care of his customers. I wouldn't expect the Pope to get involved in this, unless it's to express his support.

Posted by: Roxanne on March 8, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK
cmdicely, You are a law student, right?

Yup, in between other things.

Do you think I really care if you take me seriously?

Not really, I was more pointing and laughing than challenging you.

I'm really annoyed at the anti-Christian and anti-Catholic slurs that always pop up in posts like this, and I'm also annoyed at the abject ignorance of immigration law.

Yeah, so?

If I were a better person, I would consistently write from a more benign attitude, but that's not me.

Well, then, you should understand that a malign attitude has natural consequences.

And since you're so pure, you'd better learn to be more precise.

I don't recall claiming to be pure.

I said "most" posts, which is abundantly clear and nearly always is on this lukewarm blog.

If you don't like it here, you're quite welcome to leave. No one's paying you to read or post here (or so I presume.)

Not that your sentence even begins to make sense.

I do definitely think your posts qualify as "simple-minded reaction."

I think we've already established that I don't take your opinion seriously.

And I stand by my predictions. I think the law will pass. I think the majority of Catholics will oppose it. That's a big deal.

Except for the presentation, I wasn't disagreeing with, or even commenting on, your prediction. I was commenting on your "this place sucks, read my blog" self-promotion.

Don't you have some studying to do or something?

Yeah, probably.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 8, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, You are a law student, right?

Yup, in between other things.

Christ! That explains everything.

Posted by: JeffII on March 8, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, I'm taking the time to post here, because this is a fairly prominent blog, and it's a really important issue. All your comments above were just reactions to posts, without any real reflection at all on the actual issue. You probably need to take a long break from blogging. To correct the record, I didn't say this place sucks. Stop putting words in my mouth. If you try to do that as a lawyer, you'll get your ass handed to you every day. I said I was unhappy about some aspects of the comments in this one thread. There's a big difference. Also, I did not say "read my blog." You twerp. I don't have a blog. I gave a link to a post on somebody else's blog, which covers this issue a lot more intelligently than this thread. If you have a problem with that, you don't have a clue about the Internet.

Posted by: Arminius on March 8, 2006 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

Who cares what the Cardinal thinks over this issue. He's wrong about so many issues that it's like saying that since Hitler was right that the Rhineland was a full part of Germany in 1936 that we can forgive him of any transgressions beyond that.

Amy, when people are 90% hostile towards your beliefs and politics, then there's very little common ground for compromise. To pretend otherwise, or to somehow suggest that since the other side seems so resolute and rock-solid in their beliefs that we simply must cave, is foolhardy.

Amy, either you don't know many middle America fundies, or you've completely failed to understand in your conversations with them what their end goal is here. They're not interested compromising with people like you -- they want to own you. Particularly your uterus. But there are many other things they'd like you to do as well.

Amy, sure wish you'd post on the multitude of things the Cardinal's wrong about, instead on concentrating on things you think he's right about. I'd say I admire your effort to link in some fashion the hard-core religious to a liberal-left blog, but, given your past record, I really don't.

Besides that, you damn well know that the Cardinal's not where the main body of his flock is anyway. I don't see Pat Buchanan rushing out to embrace him. Most pew sitters are surely not in agreement with him are they?

Posted by: Tony Shifflett on March 8, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

Tony Shifflett, I take it you don't actually know any Catholics very well.

Posted by: Arminius on March 8, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Here is the provision, in Sec 501:
In paragraph (3)(B) by striking "brought into" and inserting "transported, harbored, sheltered or encouraged or induced to enter or reside in . .
Could this be applied to giving communion or running a soup kitchen? No way in hell. Could it be applied to running a homeless shelter where 20% of the occupants are illegal aliens? Doubt it. Could it be applied to a homeless shelter where all of the occupants are illegal aliens? Maybe, but the prosecution would have to prove that the priest knew they were illegals.
If there is a problem here, it would be easy to fix. I don't recall anyone suggesting that this would be an issue while the house was debating the bill, but I guess that's one good thing about the bicameral system. Bills get a lot of airing.

Posted by: sf on March 8, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Benedict XVI was and is clearly a centralizer,

So, that's what "Church" calls Nazi sympathizers these days.

but I don't think Mahoney's assertion of the independence and prerogative of the Church in the face of secular power is something he is likely to see as rocking the boat.Posted by: cmdicely

No. Just as long as it doesn't jam up any of Neil Bush and the Rat's business ventures.

You seem to have an almost naive, shall we say, faith, that the Rat is some sort of religious figure rather than the pope.

Posted by: JeffII on March 8, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

sf, You are totally wrong. Read the post I linked to above. The law will make it a felony, punishable by a huge fine and many years in jail plus forfeiture of all assets, to "assist" any person who is not in lawful status. Period. That's what it says. And the knotheads ignore the fact that many tens of thousands of people who were lawfully admitted, are not criminals, have American families, and so forth, go out of status due to government errors and delays in adjudicating lawful petitions or applications for change or extension of status. This new law makes it an "aggravated felony" (which used to mean rape or murder) to go out of status for a single day, even if it is not your fault.

Yeah, that's real justice and law and order.

Your off the cuff conclusions about the effect of the law are, unfortunately, completely worthless.

I speak as a senior immigration lawyer with more than 25 years of experience in U.S. immigration law.

Posted by: Arminius on March 8, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney, yes indeed. Under the plain language of the law, immigration lawyers will be felons for helping undocumented or out of status persons. Indeed, even congressmen and congressional staff who speak to such people about their problems will be felons. Landlords. Spouses. Grocery clerks who sell them food. People who hire them to cut their grass. Anybody who "assists" them to live while in the United States will be FELONS.

Insane, you say? Yes, it certainly is. It clearly violates at least the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

However, it says what it says. There will be some grandstanding prosecutors who will indeed go after priests and lawyers and doctors and others who are duty bound to help those who need help.

My wife and I, and our employees, have decided to practice active, open civil disobedience if this law passes. And I think it probably will pass.

What a lot of jokesters on threads like this don't realize is that the law will criminalize the ordinary, decent behavior of most of them and their friends and family members. And those who flat out deny that the law could be applied that way just don't know recent history, such as the history of the expansion of asset forfeiture laws in the last 20 years. We are living in an evil empire.

Posted by: Arminius on March 8, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

You seem to have an almost naive, shall we say, faith, that the Rat is some sort of religious figure rather than the pope.

The two are not exclusive, but most of what I am writing is based on his personal long history of demonstrated institutional preferences, not the attribution of those tendencies to substantive theology as opposed to simple institutional power-seeking, since in this case both his interests in institutional power and his overt religiosity both tend in the same direction, its a question that need not be addressed.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 8, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK
Besides that, you damn well know that the Cardinal's not where the main body of his flock is anyway. I don't see Pat Buchanan rushing out to embrace him.

Um, so? WTF does Pat Buchanan have to do with the Cardinal's flock?

Most pew sitters are surely not in agreement with him are they?

I would bet that most Catholics in the archdiocese of Los Angeles are more in agreement with Roger Cardinal Mahoney than Pat Buchanan.

On this particular issue and in general.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 8, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Im reading this post and trying to discern whether anyone has brought up sanctuary.
Its something the Catholic church is obliged to offer.
Remember the Palestinian fighters who holed up in that Catholic Church in Nazareth a few years back? (the monks bringing them food & water)
Or more prominently, General Manuel Noriega sought sanctuary on Church property during our Invasion of Panamas operation just cause in the 80s.
The U.S. Military had the place surrounded, but did not enter the compound.

Same principle

Posted by: Fitz on March 8, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

America is overpopulated already.

If you truly believe that and you truly love America, then help with overpopulation and leave.

All Americans of European descent are in this continent illegally by today's standards.

Posted by: Hostile on March 8, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

They [the Catholic Church] haven't done much for about 500 years

Father Hidalgo's head disagrees with this statement.

Posted by: Hostile on March 8, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

If you truly believe that and you truly love America, then help with overpopulation and leave.

All Americans of European descent are in this continent illegally by today's standards.
Posted by: Hostile

And which "tribe" of aboriginal Americans is your family connected to? Mine is Pawnee.

Ass clown.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 8, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

I am of the human race. All people are part of my family, and I welcome them to my home, as my forefathers were welcomed.

Perhaps the Pawnee did not practice potlatch.

Posted by: Hostile on March 8, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

I am of the human race. All people are part of my family, and I welcome them to my home, as my forefathers were welcomed.

What a drip. The Garden of Eden was turned into a strip mall and subdivision long ago. We ain't got no more room.

Perhaps the Pawnee did not practice potlatch.
Posted by: Hostile

Nah. They would have scalped potlach holding, cedar bark wearing pussies, and torched their long houses, if they weren't roughly 1,000 miles to the SW of them.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 8, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

I understand your hostility. The Pawnee were pushed off of their land by other Native Americans who were pushed off of their land by invading Europeans and now more Native Americans want to naturally migrate to better hunting grounds.

My state has been overrun by members of the modern California tribes, yet there is no arbitrary line drawn in the sand with which I can demean their humanity and call them illegals. I think we should make the arbitrary line between the US and Mexico the same as the line between California and other US states and stop dehumanizing people and welcome them as fellow humans. As the offspring of a dehumanized member of the Pawnee, it may be difficult for you to understand the Native Americans from the South are not Aztecs wanting to capture and sacrifice you to their god Quetzlcoatl.

Posted by: Hostile on March 8, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

I understand your hostility. The Pawnee were pushed off of their land by other Native Americans who were pushed off of their land by invading Europeans

Yes. Probably my European ancestors who got here sometime around 250 year ago.

and . . . want to naturally migrate to better hunting grounds. Posted by: Hostile

Yeah. What's your address and what does your wife look like?

Posted by: Jeff II on March 8, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

I think you mean your illegal immigrant European ancestors.

My wife migrated here from Asia, just like your Native American ancestors did.

Posted by: Hostile on March 8, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

My wife migrated here from Asia, Posted by: Hostile

Hey! So did mine. I bet she's prettier, and I didn't have to find her on the Internet(s).

Posted by: Jeff II on March 8, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Your wife migrated to the US but you want to keep other migrants out. You are a product of Native Americans and Europeans and you want to keep other Native Americans out of the part of North America you call your nation. You are a descendant of a branch of Native Americans and take pride in your ethnic history of scalping other Native Americans. You think the Eden story to be true, that it existed in North America and that it has since been turned into a strip mall, eliminating all other land that other Native Americans might migrate to. You insult those who disagree with you. You are Jeff II.

Posted by: Hostile on March 8, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Your wife migrated to the US but you want to keep other migrants out.

She didn't migrate. I had to drug her and ship her in a 24' high cube via Yokohama.

You are a product of Native Americans and Europeans and you want to keep other Native Americans out of the part of North America you call your nation.

Yes. Because they're icky. They all smell of cilantro and jalapenos.

You are a descendant of a branch of Native Americans and take pride in your ethnic history of scalping other Native Americans. You think the Eden story to be true, that it existed in North America and that it has since been turned into a strip mall, eliminating all other land that other Native Americans might migrate to.

You aren't "hostile." You're gullible.

You insult those who disagree with you. Posted by: Hostile

Now that's true. Idiot. Please keep posting your simple-minded and literal drivel. You provide wonderful sport.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 8, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Well since everyone agrees Native Americans migrated in from Asia, how about you take 500 million Chinese, since we are talking about dismantling borders. That way the population density of the two countries would be equal.

No offence, but 'all men are equal' and 'no border control' are two separate things...
Mexico maintains borders with other South American, why is the US obliged not to maintain borders with it all of the sudden?

If that government elected by vote can have a border policy, why is the United States obliged to behave differently?

Other than as compensation for history and if everyone has to pay for the crimes of their ancestors, Native Americans would be paying reparations to Native Americans for all eternity.

I do agree JeffII is icky. Since he's only half Native American, can we dismember and deport half?

Posted by: McA on March 8, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

TLB: what is "false compassion"? Somebody else having nice feelings toward somebody you don't like?

Arminius: you're scaring me, but I think it's unlikely the gubmint will actually prosecute hundreds of thousands of people for being polite to Hispanics. It's much more likely that they'll prosecute selectively pour encourager les autres, get some convictions that shock and horrify people, solidify the anti-brown-people base, and get reversed on appeal, by which time the anti-b-p base will have forgotten all about the convictions but will have voted for more stupid anti-b-p lawmakers.

Posted by: Temperance on March 8, 2006 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

No offence, but 'all men are equal' and 'no border control' are two separate things...
Mexico maintains borders with other South American,

Mexico maintains no borders with any South American anything. Buy a map. Or, heck, Google one up, you obviously have access to the Internet.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 8, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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