I LOVE comments. Please leave some even if they are brief half-formed ideas
that you aren't even sure you really believe. I just love comments.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I support the President's Immigration Policy

You can read it here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/immigration/

Now, it has the standard obnoxious stuff about putting "securing the border" first on the list. So silly. There is a limit on how effective this can be. In fact, as permability approaches zero, the number of undocumented immigrants approaches 50% of the current level because that is how many are here by over staying legal visas.

But the President's plan is a good one because it is comprehensive, and it recognizes that those who come here are not evil. Surely, President Bush and I would ultimately differ on what kind of wage is acceptable, and how many visas that could lead to citizenship versus visas that are only temporary are needed. But, I am happy to support this plan.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ultra Cool Event

I will not be able to attend this, but it is certainly pretty germane to what I like to talk about here. It sounds super cool.

Saturday, May 5th, 6:00 pm

Hexalogue, moderated by Laura O'Neil

Representatives of six (hexa) faith communities will converse (logue) about "Who is Jesus?"

Panelists


Deedra Abboud, Muslim

David Felten, United Methodist
Jan Flaaten, AZ Ecumenical Council
Larry Gerber, United Methodist
Gen Kelsang Lingpur, New Light Buddhist Center

Vernon Mayer, AZ Center for Theological Studies

Grayhawk Boys and Girls Club, Scottsdale
20199 N. 78th Place, (Hayden/Thompson Peak)
$40 includes dinner catered by Outback Steakhouse
Co-sponsored by Via de Cristo and

Desert Mission United Methodist Church

Reservations: 480-515-4490, 480-595-1814

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Immigration and the Gospel

At the end of the sermon of the mount, Jesus uses a parable that involves hell. That parable can be found at Mathew 25:31-46.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2025:31-46;&version=31;

Jesus says that the eternal judge will decide whether you go to hell based on whether you fed the least of these when they were hungry; gave water to them when they were thirsty; gave clothes to them when they were naked. (If you follow the biblegateway passage you can link to a commentary that says Jesus was not talking about the poor in general, but how people treated his messengers. Whatever lets you sleep at night, buddy.)

Our immigration policy is broken because it is exploiting people. These people, the least of these to use the phrase attributed to Jesus, work for less than the minimum wage, die in the hundreds in the Arizona desert, and are subject to the wrath of the people who benefit from their service.

When people are allowed to work in the United States without documentation they become victims; and we who enjoy the fruit of this low wage work force are culpable.

The greatest effort to address this problem has been to make life more difficult for the exploited workers. Maybe they'll stop coming if we treat them bad enough seems to be the logic. That is as evil as it is stupid. If people are literally risking their lives to come here and be underpaid, do you think they'll stop coming because they cannot be released on bail? because if they're hurt an ambulance wont respond? because they can't attend junior college?

Here's my suggestion: Make it possible for employers to verifying status (National ID, National database, if it really is hard now); Prosecute employers who employ undocumented personnel; Issue sufficient work visas to accommodate work force need.

People here legally will be able to stand up for themselves, they will be less of a drag on wages. If they are in the tiny, tiny percentage that makes enough money to pay income tax they can. (Although, obviously most people working these low wage jobs, even if paid a minimum wage, will not make enough to pay income taxes.) We will take money out of the hands of they coyotes. We will end the horrific environmental tragedy created first by humans trampling the desert and next by the construction of walls and fences. People living on the border will no longer fear constant trespass. Human beings will stop dying by the hundreds.

I believe it is a moral imperative and a mandate from Jesus Christ to end the exploitation these people.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fear


I have no place else to put this, so pardon the non sequitur.

I was born in 1970, my son was born 24 years later (which means we have the same animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac) in 1994. So, I was twelve years old in 1982-83, and he's twelve now. Which one of us should be allowed to ride his bike around the neighborhood all from after school until dinner?


From http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/vage.htm

Monday, April 23, 2007

Jesus: The Son of God

What do we mean when we say that Jesus is the Son of God? Here are some choices:

God the Father and His wife gave birth to Jesus as a spirit baby. Then Jesus came down to Earth through Mary his earthly Mother. He had no earthly father.

Jesus Christ, like God & the Holy Spirit, existed for all time. Mary was the vessel through which Jesus Christ was made flesh.

The Mary, the mother of Jesus, was born of a Virgin. Thus, the material make up of Mary is pure. God then impregnated Mary, who gave birth to Jesus, who was thus completely pure.

Jesus' birth was ordinary, but at his Baptism, he received the spirit of God as was transformed into the Son of God.

Jesus was a man who so fully understood the truth, that he transformed everyone around him. His spirit was unlike any others. His connection to God was profound, as if he were God's Son.

Jesus was a Great Prophet. He was labeled by his followers as Son of Humans, and later, Son of God.

Jesus, like all of us, is the Son of the Creator from which we all come.