Friday, May 14, 2010

Elevating the Discourse on Illegal Immigration

Yesterday's "Letters to the Editor" in the St. Joseph News Press illustrates a lot about our community and I think about my church's place in it.
One of our members, Keith Evans (who regularly writes thoughtful letters to the paper), has a letter protesting the efforts of our congressman Sam Graves to deny citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants. Not only is his letter straight to the point, well-written and informative regarding why this would be unconstitutional, I believe it also stands up for a community of people being scapegoated this election season--illegal immigrants and their children.

Unfortunately, Keith's letter is sandwiched between one letter condemning illegal immigrants and another one declaring we are in the "end times" and our crime rate is due to "false religions" (alas the latter letter is all too common in our newspaper). The other two letters are illustrative of what passes for political and religious discourse in our community--the comments on the newspaper web site are pretty terrible too. I think Keith raises things to a better level and I think our church tries to do the same.

I realize that issues surrounding immigration are multi-faceted and complex--the same goes for crime rates and general morality in our culture and world--but I long for and indeed work for an exchange of ideas that takes into account the damage done by demonizing others different from the author/speaker and by scapegoating minority groups of any kind.

Grace and Peace,

Chase

3 comments:

lneely said...

i think you'll get a good laugh from this, if it isn't too depressing: http://teapartyjesus.tumblr.com/

there are some real gems there, especially on the second page.

revpeep said...

Tea Party Jesus is great. I laughed and then I cried, not only because these statements came out of the mouths of Christians but also because so many of them came out of the mouths of politicians who are making decisions that affect all of us. Ugh.

lneely said...

must be the fluoride in the water.