Recently, the Anti Defamation League delivered a strong repudiation of the current toxic atmosphere regarding illegal immigration. Here is a link to the full press release written by ADL.

For those who decry, “those anti people, they are the haters”, I wonder, how are we seen as haters, when in fact, seven major civil rights organizations ALL side with our concern over the scapegoating and extreme rhetoric directed at Hispanics. ANY day, I would rather be publicly seen as aligning myself with civil rights organizations than a group led by a man that talks about human beings as dog food.

It is time to start recognizing that a reasonable and humane resolution will come with this administration, and people need to ask themselves, in ten years, how do I want to remember my words and deeds. I believe, this quote by Michael Lieberman, encompasses everything antibvbl stand for, not only as it relates to solutions for immigration, but also our need to remember we are all a part of the human race.

Words have consequences. And we must use our words, our power of persuasion, our political clout, to condemn scapegoating, bias crimes, racism, and anti-Semitism and to press for fair and workable immigration reform.

For those who accuse Alanna and I of infiltrating and influencing ADL, ask yourselves, do you believe we are so powerful that we can also determine the agendas of six other national civil rights organizations?

Here is part of the press release:

Washington, DC, November 24, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today joined with a coalition of seven national civil rights organizations to denounce the recent wave of hate crimes against Hispanics and other minorities, including the brutal murder of Marcelo Lucero, a Suffolk County, Long Island man of Ecuadoran descent.

“There is a direct connection between the tenor of the political debate and the daily lives of immigrants in our communities. It is no accident that as the immigration debate has demonized immigrants as “invaders” who poison our communities with disease and criminality, haters have taken matters into their own hands and hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise for the fourth consecutive year,” said Michael Lieberman, ADL Washington Counsel.

Michael Lieberman also said in his press release:

Reasonable people can and will disagree about the parameters of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

But make no mistake. There is a direct connection between the tenor of this political debate and the daily lives of immigrants in our communities.

It is no accident that, as some voices in the immigration debate have demonized immigrants as “invaders” who poison our communities with disease and criminality, haters have taken matters into their own hands.

ADL has documented a growing atmosphere of bigotry and xenophobia and a disturbing increase in the number of violent assaults against Hispanics, legal, and undocumented immigrants – and those perceived to be immigrants. Across the nation, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis have exploited the immigration issue to advance their own agenda.

But we at ADL have also become increasingly concerned about the virulent anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric employed by a handful of groups and coalitions that have positioned themselves as legitimate, mainstream advocates against illegal immigration in America.

As previously mentioned, the FBI has documented that reported hate crimes against Latinos increased in 2007 for the fourth consecutive year.

The demonization of immigrants has led to an increased sense of fear in communities around the country and created a toxic environment in which hateful rhetoric targeting immigrants has become routine.

146 thoughts on ““Coalition of Civil Rights Groups Condemn Rash of Hate Crimes “

  1. michael

    MH, I hear you, understand and agree, in fact the only thing I think you and I most disagree on is how soon and under what terms to allow “illegal” people to become “legal”. My reasons are the consequences on our future wealth and prosperity of overpopulation and out of control population. I think the time and quotas need to match that reality, not how many people want family members into the US TOMORROW. I also think people need to go home until they are granted permission to enter, just like everyone else, because their are already too many people here, until those conditions are met in the best interest of our entire society, not just individuals and “select” family members.

  2. It’s always the case in the “immigration” discussion that crime is brought up, as if all unauthorized residents in America are committing measurably harmful acts upon others (such as robbery, theft, assault, etc.,).

    Yet while crime is a legitimate issue to discuss, we must acknowledge that people who commit such crimes do not represent the majority of unauthorized residents, most of whom are hard-working and peaceable people who want nothing more than to create better and more sustainable lives for themselves and their families.

    In other words, and as I mentioned recently on my own blog (here), the discussion misses the point. This isn’t about law. This is about people. It’s about lives. Human lives. And not just the human lives of our American and “legal” neighbors.

    As to answering the immigration issue, I prefer a course of grace rather than a course of intolerance; risky compassion to safe legalism.

    We have to start seeing beyond the black-and-white of our law codes and beyond the competitiveness of our debating.

  3. Alanna

    michael,
    did your wife go home before being able to re-enter legally?

  4. Alanna

    Honestly, I can’t think of a single government agency that’s doing a great job. Somebody help me out here. Department of Transportation – traffic stinks. Federal Aviation Administration can’t get planes to depart on a timely basis. Department of Labor – seen unemployment rates lately? Health & Human Services – how’s your health insurance premiums looking?

    All I’m saying, is this immigration mess is of our own making. I know it’s not an enforcement only problem. How do we take responsibility? We have finite resources, and there are some hard choices and compromises that need to be made.

  5. michael

    Robb, I define crime by those who break law, you obviously do not. For you some “lawbreakers” are criminals and others are not. I think you will see in the federal statutes that “illegal” ilimmigration and harboring of “illegal” immigrants is a crime and has both federal and civil penanties for even being in the country “illegally”… I’ve read the statute, because my wife was commiting crimes under that statue and I checked with INS on what the penalty was both for her illegality and my harboring. We were not married at the time, but the consequence of her being caught was enourmous. We were in love, so I followed the law, I legally informed law enforcement of her illegal status and the INS, AND I got married to the person I loved as soon as possible, all following legal immigration law.

    There was a period while we waited for the legal process to work, where if she had been detained by police she would have been deported and forced to go home until our marrigage approval under the law issued a valid green card. Her card is still not permanent and can be revoked if she commits a crime. Again I will simply follow the one I love wherever necessary and live legally rather than illegally. If I can do it anyone can, so I’m not living in some glass house and expecting others to do what I won’t do. I expect the law to be followed in a democracy and enforced in a democracy or we won’t have a democracy, only a society of criminals and lawbreakers like countries have had so many times in history.

    Though it would have been hard on us, it would have been an inconvenience not the end of the world if she was sent home until her green card was issued. I would have simply followed her, and obtained a work visa for her country.
    ANY PERSON in the US here “illegally” can do the same, just like I did. THE issue is following the law is legal, and not following the law is illegal and has punishible consequences, and accepting/fearing the punishment when you are caught is a deterrant to breaking law.

  6. michael

    Robb though I respect your ideology, I believe it will end in increased lawlessness, and increased overpopulation, decreased well being of our society and loss of ethics in our community. These issues and realities are already witnessed by many, many people in our community, who believe your naivity (my perception of your naive belief and understanding of human behavior) will do far more harm than good for our community and our country.

  7. michael

    Alanna, don’t you realize ALL of those problems are caused by an excessive explosion in population growth in the US, in large part fueled by “illegal immigration”?

  8. michael

    Do you not realize we have grown by some 50 million people in our US urban centers, in large part by “currently illegal” and once “illegal” people in the past 25 years? Gripe ALL you want but until the population decreases and “illegal immigration is stopped and people already here in these overpopulated centers sent home where they can legally be sent home, ALL of those departmental problems will get far worse than better over the next 25 years, until we run out of oil in 2035 and then mother nature will do the thinning for us.

  9. WHWN,

    Now, there will always be Hate Groups, and there will always be Extremist Groups, but what was unique to Prince William County was that they had members inside the government. With John Stirrup and Corey Stewart in their pockets, FAIR and Help Save Manassas were able to plot a surprise attack that superseded the other Board Members, the Police Department, the County Attorney’s office, and the County Executive’s office.

    I disagree here. It’s convenient to blame the SS (Stirrup and Stewart) but it’s also missing the point.They would not have been able to accomplish what they did without the support of the voting white electorate. That’s where the real problem lies. So long as white people continue to live in denial about the racism that’s all around them, it will continue.

    The resolution may be controversial, and so it received media attention. But the whole War on Drugs is just as racist. It is a modern day version of Jim Crow. What about the millions of cases of housing discrimination? What about the huge disparity in access to higher learning? What about the fact that people with black sounding names are half as likely to receive a call for a job interview as those with white sounding names?

    All of these things possible because white people all across the country live in denial about the systematic racism in our society. They live in denial because it’s more comfortable that way.

  10. Elena,

    I do support 287G, however, this program does NOT address the underlying issues and reasons behind the impacts of a broken immigration system. Furthermore, the idea of “soccer moms” sitting in jail is not what I imagine the purpose of 287g. I would hope that felony offenders are the ones being detained, not the stories that Lucky Duck has shared about “soccer moms” being detained.

    Your hope is a false hope, born and sustained by denial.

  11. Michael, you clearly believe law is an end unto itself. It is not.

    I am reminded of something Jesus of Nazareth is reported to have said:

    “[Y]ou have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”

    Law is not, and never should be, an absolute. Its purpose is to serve, not to be served. And when absolutism of law creates injustice, then justice needs to prevail in its place by the deeds of men and women of conscience. And if bringing about that justice itself necessitates a violation of some code, so be it.

    Some would live for law. I choose to live for life. And life is more than law.

  12. Rick Bentley

    “Justice” would be protecting the rights of ordinary Americans and upholding the laws our leaders are sworn to uphold. Not eroding them to enable cheap labor in America at any cost.

  13. Rick Bentley

    “Law is not, and never should be, an absolute. Its purpose is to serve, not to be served. And when absolutism of law creates injustice, then justice needs to prevail in its place by the deeds of men and women of conscience. And if bringing about that justice itself necessitates a violation of some code, so be it.”

    Is that a quote from the Unibomber’s manifesto?

  14. Rick Bentley

    But you’re building a better world, right Robb? That’s why Food Stamp use is up 17% in the last year -http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE4B28CB20081203?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews

  15. NotGregLetiecq

    I think we’re going to have to face reality at some point. National economic woes are due to Bush policies. The fact that we are worse off in PWC than any other county in Virginia or the DC Metro area, well, that has to do with Corey Stewart policies.

    If we had known what sort of economic trends were around the corner, I seriously doubt we’d have shot ourselves in both feet with this immigration insanity.

    Immigration insanity hurts the economy. It has hurt the national economy, as Bush has proven, probably on purpose, with these random ICE raids all over the country.

    Immigration insanity hurts local economies too, as Corey Stewart has proven with his “crackdown” that has destroyed local business communities and murdered our property values. Just compare our county to our neighboring counties and it is undeniable. The immigration “crackdown” of 2007 was economic suicide.

  16. michael

    Robb, though I agree with your perspective that the law is not absolute in terms of Christian ideology (and Muslim for that matter), and that Jesus himself repeatedly broke jewish law as did his disciples, and the fact that no mosaic or levitican law brooken by any Christian will ever prevent anyone from getting into heaven,

    To counter your argument there is one immutable law, that will always be enforced no matter what, this law is and forever will be absolute, and that is the law that you will not get into heaven if you are an unbeliever. Christ himself said he came not to change not one of the mosaic laws, but that he himself was the law of the second covenant.

    Since I understand you are not a Christian, but you use Christian ideology to support your argument, you should know the fact that there are indeed immutable absolute laws, that are never repealed in Christianity. That is a scriptural fact, go read it.

    In secular law, your Christian analogy does not apply, as all laws until changed by congressional action are immutable, absolute and binding on the legal system, judges and people. Judges only determine what the punishment is. Only elected officials can change the law, and until they do ALL of those laws are by law immutable and absolute. Only the punishment has discretion. So again your analogy is not applicable, until the law is changed.

    It is highly unlikely the current immigration law is going to be changed to remove any concept of “illegal” immigrant. There will likely always be a condition where an immigration act will be ruled to be “illegal” because it will break existing law.

    There is no room there for waffling or Christian ideology to change the law, except through our elected officials.

    Justice, mercy and faithfullness only applies to how God tells men to treat each other under Christian law (scripture), it is not absolute, except for the law of non-belief, and will be determined on your death, by God and you the “individual”. Secular law on the other hand is justice in itself, showing mercy and compassion, by the structure of the law created under a democratic process to benefit and defend the rights of the “majority” who are the greatest harmed. It is an assessment by an elected official who proposes the law, what “individuals” are most harmed by other individuals or groups, and what “law” should be passed to protect those most harmed.

    I am simply telling you, that you are dead wrong if you think that “illegals” are the most harmed by the breaking of immigration law. That law was made to protect the majority of “individuals” harmed by “illegal” immigration and always will be, and those individuals are the victims (millions and millions of them) protected by that law, and made vistims of the breaking of that law by the perpetrators who are “individual” illegal aliens.

    Justice, mercy and faithfullness are to the ones most harmed by the breaking of that law, and that is not the “illegal” alien.

    Your attempt to use Christian principal to identify the “most harmed” is flawed, as is your logic for your use of the Christian argument of mercy. Only God will know who is the most harmed, at our death. Until then we must proitect the innocent victims harmed by “illegal” immigrants acts of lawbreaking.

    Your morality is in the wrong place.

  17. michael

    I am morally protecting the general welfare, rights, victims, injustice done to the vast majority, and social, financial and security needs of 296 million people more affected by “illegal” immigration than the “illegal” immigrants are. You are only immorally, and with misplaced justice and morality” protecting 12 million “illegal” immigrants who broke the law, creating millions of “real” and suffering “victims” affected in a multitude of ways by the breaking of individual protective laws.

  18. michael

    294 million, but who’s counting, there are far more victims than perpetrators.

  19. michael

    The real logic flaw in your argument and the reason you mis-apply Christian ideology Is the fact that Christ NEVER harmed ANYONE when he broke Jewish Mosaic and Levitican law. (perhaps because you claim to not be a Christian, you do not understand the implications of what you are saying when you quote scripture, and do not realize it takes most Christians 10 years of hard study or more to understand the following)

    There is only one unforgivable law, that has no discretion in punishment (or loss of status) with the father, at the time of your death, and that is the sin of unbelief. Everything else is forgiven, and you will not be denied entry into heaven if you break any mosaic or levitican law. What will happen is on a CASE BY CASE BASIS GOD will decide what is the status in heaven (who he is most pleased by), by the acts of each individual as that individual interprets and understands his own relationship with God. For is a correct act for some, and in the general welfare of some, is not the correct act and in the general welfare of others.

    Christ believed in looking at the “greatest harmed” when interpreting law. On a case by case basis in his acts he made a decision regarding the “greatest harmed” when interpreting the law. This is why he received tax collectors, beggars, prostitutes and individuals harmed the greatest by jewish law, as they were the most in need of mercy and salvation. In this concept, Christ says I and the Father are the law, and the punishment of breaking mosaic law or scriptural law is your relative staus in heaven, judged by the harm it does to the greatest harmed individual by a perpetrator. This included stoning harm. For example, if an individual is harmed greater by abortion law (deciding for both the mother and the baby what is best for each on judgment day) and until that time as “general guidance” for the “individuals” protected by abortion law, then Christ in every scriptural case I have read, protected the greatest harmed.

    Robb you have not in my opinion properly assessed the greatest harmed. I get my answer through prayer, how do you get yours?

  20. michael

    This is why I protect and defend “legal” immigrants, they do no harm. It is also why I do not protect “illegal” immigrants and “illegal” immigrant criminals prosecuted under the 287G program as they do a greater harm to innocent victims of their illegal actions and far greater harm than the immigration law does to them.

  21. michael

    This is also the “guidance” for why killing a person who is going to kill or seriously harm you and your family, or killing a criminal, soldier, person or even “stem or egg cell” who is the greatest harmed, such as you and your family as innocent victims of the oppression of nations and oppressive leaders. Your actions taken in breaking mosaic and levitican law, must be understood in terms of the strength of your personal relationship with God, your individual understanding of what decisions he expects you to make for your general welfare and the welfare of others, and what actions you take create the greatest harm, when God decides whether he is pleased with others more than he is pleased with you. Regardless of your action and decision made, He will not deny you entry into heaven if you have NOT broken the one un-forgivable law and sin of un-belief.

  22. michael

    Turning the other “cheek” by the way means in Greek and Aramaic, “now treat me as your equal by striking the other (more honorable) side of my face as you struck the less honorable humiliating side of my face. It does not mean “give in to violence, lawlessness, and cruelty that harms the greatest harmed.”

  23. Michael:

    Ultimately — and as I have mentioned many times — our common humanity is paramount above all, and certainly above any notions of common nationality, common race, common politics, common culture, or common legal system.

    And so to some of the things you mentioned . . .

    (1) I repeat: you clearly believe law is an end unto itself. It is not.

    (2) Christian notions of theology and/or theocracy as they relate to law are of no concern to me. I quote Jesus of Nazareth, not for religious or spiritual purposes, but for the ethical content of his words. Nothing more.

    (3) My position on “law” is not based in Christian ideology, or any other religious or secular ideology. My position on law is based upon the fundamentals of Natural Law (e.g., as discussed in the Declaration of Independence), which is discerned through reason and rational inquiry. Natural Law ideology, by the way, predates Jesus of Nazareth by several hundred years (via the Stoics).

    (4) Notions of afterlife (heaven, hell, reincarnation, etc., etc.) are completely irrelevant.

    (5) My position on justice is less interested in notions of greater or lesser “harm” (whatever that means), but on establishing relief for all who struggle and/or suffer as a result of conditions of inequality. The difference is you see justice merely as a legal function to serve a “majority”, where I see it as a human right of all.

    And it is the protection of human rights — or natural rights — which is the main function of government, and hence the laws it creates. Just as the Declaration of Independence states:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.

  24. Elena

    Robb,
    That was incredibly well written, thank you. You know I get all weak in the knees when you talk about “natural law” and the Declaration of Independence 🙂

  25. Rick Bentley

    Makes me want to throw up. Open-borders anarchy.

  26. Elena:

    Thank you. In spite of its writer and signers, the Declaration is the most superb witness and manifesto to the universal supremacy of natural law.

  27. Rick Bentley:

    I am not calling for anarchy.

    Two days ago you mentioned 4 points about what centrally bothers you about “illegal immigration”. Two of your points (A and C) focused on your distaste of elites and the disparity created by the wealthy. Point B focused on how you feel “lawless behavior” is being rewarded and the rules being made a joke. Point D discussed your resentment of how your neighborhood changed into a less safe and less desirable place by certain people moving in.

    To points A and C: what do you propose as a solution to the disparity?

    To point B: No reasonable person wants to reward “lawless behavior”, inasmuch as “lawless behavior” is overtly destructive (e.g., robbery, assault, vandalism, etc.). But where immigration is concerned, we can no longer ignore the reality of the real problems in Mexico and other nations south which compel many to come to the United States, with or without authorization. Any reform of immigration law must take those national conditions into account, so as to allow grace and compassion to dictate not only immigration law but also how it is applied to our southern neighbors.

    Furthermore, I would posit that if the United States can set itself up as the western hemisphere’s “big brother” via the Monroe Doctrine, and if U.S. policy still retains the right to enforce that doctrine (which it does), then we are bound to extend our influence beyond the political and render due assistance and aid to people’s south. And particularly as it now relates to immigration. This is not to say that assistance and aid should be disorderly or unregulated, but it is to say that we have a “righteous burden” to extend compassion to “the least of these”.

    To point D: “illegal immigration” is not what caused the problems in your neighborhood. Recall that your county’s BOCS made the error of that assumption and passed a resolution whose enforcement has revealed that the “illegal immigration problem” in PWC was not, in fact, the big problem it was overhyped to be.

  28. Rick Bentley

    To A and C, the solution is simply for the American people to flex their muscle and insist on accountability from their elected officials. And not to swallow the hogwash they try to placate people with.

    And the Zogby poll showing public opinion on this matter is very heatening in this regard. There is no mandate for an Amnesty, or Moon-Howler’s “Amnesty for a Stipend”. And I don’t think that anyone will be able to pretend that there is.

    On B, the best thing we can do for Mexican and other Central/South American nations is to teach their people to stand up and demand the use of their country, demand that they stop letting the elitists who run their country hoard. The solution is not to degrade our way of life, to degrade wages here. At least not in an uncontrolled naive way that will increase the effect.

    You’re wrong on D. My neighbors know it, every realtor I speak to knows it, and my ex-neighbors who ran screaming know it. My life is much better now.

  29. michael

    Obviously Robb you ignore the “natural law” interaction between two human beings if you don’t understand the concept “greater harm”.

    Here is your logic flaw (based on cynic ideas and origins to your obviously stoic convictions that drive your indifference statements in (1), (2), (3) and (4) above, when you state after such indifference claims that your belief system is “stoic” from the pagan roots of the 310 B.C. greek philosophers.

    “My position on justice is less interested in notions of greater or lesser “harm” (whatever that means), but on establishing relief for all who struggle and/or suffer as a result of conditions of inequality. The difference is you see justice merely as a legal function to serve a “majority”, where I see it as a human right of all.”

    If man lived in isolation of the actions of other men then “individual” natural rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are powerful and just concepts, indeed our nation is founded on such natural law ideas, but it is also founded on “seperate & equal status” and natural laws endowed by God (you leave out the rest of the declaration’s concepts).

    But man does not live in isolatation to the actions of other men, and that is where your logic error exists in interpretation of “natural law”. You think only in terms of one human being and that one person’s “individual right”. Thomas Jefferson as the framer of the Declaration, and contributor to the Constitution, understood that natural law applied to basic human rights, especially with regard to how one human was treated by an institution or government, but in that same line of reasoning he was a spiritual person when he made his references to the law of God and the guidance or morality between humans in terms of Justice and morality.

    From the same Declaration you quote from, but leave out:
    “and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…and

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    Since these powers are derived from the “consent of the governed” is that one person’s consent or the consent of the majority?

    See its this thing called “seperate but equal station” that leads to the need for law, and justice. When two humans who each have seperate, but equal station, and those two humans consent to be governed, they must have a system of morality and justice to resolve what to do when one of them harms another. And that justice system (called law) must deal with a concept called a greater good (that extends natural law, into divine law, or moral law upon which our modern legal system is based (you still think in terms of 310 B.C.). When one person does greater harm to another than is being done to them, then “morality” of the behavior of one toward another is not “equal” and the harm done by one to another is not “equal”. The decision for justice when one is harmed more than another must be given to one and taken from another, when a dispute exists to determine “which individual” hurt the other more, which individual deserves justice and which individual must have their “individual freedoms, life liberty and pursuit of happiness taken away to prevent them from doing furthur harm to another.

    I am simply telling you “follow where reason leads”, that if an “illegal” immigrant person harms another more than he is being harmed, then justice belongs to the person harmed the most. Your “stoic” and “cynic” logic is flawed because you assume that “illegal” immigrants live in isolation, harm no-one else and only the state harms them.

    That is not reality, for “illegal” immigrants harm millions and millions of innocent people who have done nothing to them. The justice and prevention of this harm upon the innocents lies with the innocents, not the “illegal” immigrant perpetrators of those “illegal” actions which harm others with “greater harm”.

    Just because you want to “establish relief for all who struggle and/or suffer as a result of conditions of inequality.” which by itself is good moral guidance, that does not mean that “those who harm others” as they struggle for relief/or suffer, can cause greater suffering, greater harm, and greater struggling on others affected by their actions.

    “equality” is not a magic 50/50 or equal numbers, or equal pay, or equal lifestyle, or equal brains or equal beauty. “equality” is about “equal opportunity”, but cannot be used to allow one person to harm, dominate or oppress others “equal rights” to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    “illegal” immigrants by their very “illegal actions” suppress the “equal rights” to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of 294 million people in this country.

  30. michael

    It’s that pursuit of happiness thing you don’t understand that is an equal right for all, until one person harms another and creates a greater harm, then it is not an equal right. Interestingly it is the “cynics” from which stoicism is derived that believed the “pursuit of happiness” should rein over all emotions, and led to a prime natural law to “follow your reasoning” Dr. Spock.

  31. michael

    I understand “Paganism” but I choose not to follow it. I choose to follow the Divine Law, that proclaims “entry into heaven is determined by belief in Christ”, and brotherly love is secondary to that, but next in importance. Brotherly love or “agape” however is not a command to “love lawlessness and evil” which is what the Pagan belief system is derived from, as well as parts of the cynic and stoic philosophies to “eliminate emotion” as “evil”.
    Human beings have emotions and pursuit of happiness as an equal right to all is one of those emotions that is an inalienable right from God, as long as that pursuit of happiness does not lead to harmful evil done to others and the unforgivable sin of “unbelief”. Sadly Robb, your pagan and stoic beliefs have led you to ultimate death.
    If the universe dies a cold and slow death, then it will not likely matter to you that you die that way also. I on the other hand will have warmth and love for eternity, though the natural law of the universe will die a slow and cold death.

  32. michael

    This is why almost all of you do not undersrtand why I am supportive of the concept that only “individuals” and individual rights rather that group rights are a divine right from God, giving preference to no gender, no religion (doctrine), no race and no ethnic group, but to use only “law”, morality and “justice” to cleave “illegal” immigrant from “legal” immigrant, “good person from bad person”, a loving human being from a hateful human being, right from wrong, harm from benefit, and to determine with “brotherly love” who deserves the most compassion in the same manner that Christ would. Christ defended the “greater good”, from those “individuals” doing the “greatest harm” to others, regardless of the jewish law be was born under.

    Legal immigrants do no harm, “illegal” immigrants do greater harm to innocent millions of people far more deserving of your sympathies, emotions, and “justice”, and “illegals” base this right to harm others on their percieved “equality” numerical numbers balancing or quota based rights to give preference to specific gender, racial, religious and ethnic groups claiming “priviliged” rights not equally available to all.

  33. Rick Bentley:

    I’ll focus on B for the moment. In regards to nations south you state that we should “teach their people to stand up and demand the use of their country, demand that they stop letting the elitists who run their country hoard.” It’s actually an encouraging answer since you at least acknowledge a neighborly responsibility on our part to “teach” them how to stand up for themselves and develop self-sufficiency.

    That then begs two questions: (1) how do we teach them? and (2) how do we practically assist them in alleviating certain conditions of inequality which, for so many, are life-threatening?

  34. Rick Bentley

    I don’t think we have a responsibility to teach them that. But at any rate I would think they’ll learn it themselves if forced to stay in their homeland instead of running here like cowards.

    As to the problem of druglord corruption, my solution for that is to seal the border tight and shoot those who attempt to come through illegally. It will stop the flow of illegals AND of drugs. And put Johnnie Sutton in jail rather than Ramos and Compeon.

  35. Michael:

    You stated:

    Sadly Robb, your pagan and stoic beliefs have led you to ultimate death. If the universe dies a cold and slow death, then it will not likely matter to you that you die that way also. I on the other hand will have warmth and love for eternity.

    You, warmth and love for eternity. Me, ultimate death, and all because of how you feel about my beliefs.

    What a sad and disgusting display of divisive “us-them-ness”, judgmentalism, and intolerance, the very same which has historically caused so much division in this world.

    And it is very familiar:

    “Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
    The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
    But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
    I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Luke 18:9-14

    Ponder on that a while and see what the mirror reveals to you: a Pharisee, or a tax collector.

    At this stage, having respectfully shared with you what I feel is sufficient, and now realizing the strange malevolence you possess toward those who do not believe as you do, I’m content to “shake the dust from my feet” and let you be. All the while keeping in mind Jesus’ words:

    Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

    Matthew 7:6

  36. Rick Bentley:

    Cowards. Druglords. Interesting you should mention both terms in the same sentence.

    What would you say of the destitute and powerless Mexican family that escapes Mexico and into the U.S. in order to flee the murderous druglords in their home-states? Would you call them cowards?

    It’s not a theoretical scenario. Countless who escape Mexico and into the U.S. face that very reality. A number of home-states in Mexico (such as the northern states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Nuevo Leon) are controlled by druglords who hold sway over local law enforcement, even murdering them.

    Many people who live in those regions face dire life-and-death circumstances which are not immediately resolved by legalities that you and I are able to take for granted (and able to afford). What many Americans perceive as the relative simplicity of our immigration system is not so simple for such people.

    If a government cannot or will not protect the powerless among its people, let’s not blame the powerless, nor demean them by broadly characterizing them all as “cowards”.

  37. Elena

    Robb,
    Not to worry, according to Michael, I’ll be right there with you, no heaven for me either I guess 🙂

    I thought your comments to Michael were very insightful. It reminds me of the words of the prophet Hillel. I have quoted him a time or two. He was around duing the common era, and proposed that G-d’s most important law was ” do not unto thy neighbor what you would not want done unto you” if you did not learn this most important law in the Torah, then you would miss the greatest lesson of all, for all other laws within the Torah are secondary to that belief. Clearly, the golden rule was borne out of this tenent.

    Your humanity is what guides you and your beliefs, there is nothing more important than that I believe. It is what keeps us all remembering that we are all a part of the human race. Did you watch the special on CNN with Christian Anampour? It’s called “They screamed bloody murder” or something very close to that. It was riveting to watch.

  38. Elena

    Rick,
    I guess my ancestors fled like “cowards” from Russia if I were to believe your logic. They should have stayed during the Progroms and “fought” the government. I wonder, what is the history of your family tree that you are so willing to judge others?

  39. michael

    Sadly Robb you twist scripture. I feel not hatred toward you but compassion and sorrow that you will never know Christ, just like the Lord felt toward those who will only hear parables, and never hear or heed his words. It is you my friend who are the stubborn, un-informed one. You miss the entire message of Christ trying to save your soul from death, and twist his very words to sooth your own ego.

    One day I hope you will re-read more closely and understand the message correctly with your eyes and heart open rather than closed. I can say no more to have you self-reflect on what you are doing to yourself, the correct belief must come from within and your own intellect and understanding of the parables you are so fond of quoting out of context. Christ warns often that “evil” not you Robb but the force within you that drives your blindness to the ultimate message will use every device it can to twist scripture and turn innocents away from the Lord.
    The vistory you think you feel in your ego, is an empty one with no true understanding of what I’ve even been trying to tell you.

  40. michael

    Elena neither you nor Robb have apparently read the scripture enough to clearly discern why you are so against it. It is a very simple message, believe in Christ or face eternal death. There is no hatred or malice in that message, except the twisted concepts you want to believe instead of a simple, uncomplicated message.
    Granted the scripture is complex and can lead many down the wrong path without hard and long study of it’s entirely, and within its entire context. Immature readers make this mistake many, many times. Most of us are afraid of scripture because we feel it will deny us pleasures, and make us into mindless idiots. It does neither, when you understand that the relationship requested is like a parent to a child, only one thing is required of you and every other behavior you fear will be taken away is only viewed the same way any parent would feel for a child that does not understand. Both of you are kind, good hearted people, I can tell, that, but you are missing an essential understanding of life, and goodness over things that harm.

    I too was where both of you are now, I certainly resented people telling me what I’m telling you now, full of ego and confidance that your understanding of life, science and belief is the correct understanding.

    Let me put it a simpler way.

    There are two possible outcomes to life, death and eternal death in which the universe slowly cools, black holes condense and eventually explode only to eventually lose all energy, heat and warmth (no more photons). If there is no mechanism of higher intelligence, all of us will simply cool into dust and dust into dispersed fundamental particles that are cold and held at absolute zero forever.

    If this is true then your belief is correct and we will all die in this way, no matter what I say or believe, or the massage I am giving you.

    The second possibility (there is a third where the universe simply repeats itself forever and has been forever), is that the total energy of the universe expands and dissasociates into fundamental particles, but in this distribution there is a pattern of particle structure that has intellectual organization, communication, heat, warmth (photons), and will last forever. If you believe that that higher intelligence is God, and that he has the ability to interact with the natural laws, claiming and capturing the essence of your soul when you die, then he has state there is only one rule that will allow Him to co-exist with you and you with Him, and that is belief. If you cannot do this he must outcast you to the cold (some say “evil”).

    Now if you believe in reason, ask your self which of these two scenarios whould you rather end your life with? One has a cost, the other does not, but that cost is nothing compared to the eternal time of warmth and love promised (as a father protects a child).

    If you can see it from this point of view, then re-read the message of the scripture. Your behaviors other than this sin of unbelief belief, can be anything you want them to be. You will not be denied entry into heaven, only your Father will be less pleased with you if you harm yourself or others. By your very nature as a human, your own compassion and love you already have you will be able to love your Father. He will demand nothing more of your other than to attempt to guide you as your understand grows, that love is stronger than hate, and “agape” is compassion, but harmful behavior is self-destructive, especially when it is toward others.

    It a simple choice, eternal death or eternal life.

    I will get off of my “soapbox”, or “please don’t shoot the messager, plea” so you can ponder this. It is not my role to “make you do anything”, but I hope you understand my motive and especialy the message. The parables and scripture out of context will not help you. You are both smart intelligent people, simply think about it.

  41. michael

    Also know this, there are Christians who hate. They are are almost as devoid of understanding. I am not one of those who hate, I simply seek truth as best I can and use a compass stronger than one I could build on my own.

  42. Red Dawn

    Michael and Robb,

    You both have me going back and forth with a good debate.

    Michael,

    John 3:16 (King James Version)

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    and

    Mark 16:15 (King James Version)

    “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”

    You have done that and just like a child in your analogy above to Robb and Elena, they HEAR it. They will as everyone else, have to accept it or not.

    But this is where Robb is right too:

    “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Luke 18:9-14

    “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

    Matthew 7:6

    BOTH of you are hitting the PIVOT point/core in thatedebate ( in my honest opinion)

  43. michael

    You are so right Red Dawn, all of these have a context critical to the understanding of their meaning. As usual your insight and wisdom is timely.

  44. Red Dawn

    Michael,

    I give credit where credit is due:) It’s not my timing 🙂

  45. Elena:

    Well then at least we can keep each other company, wherever it is some think we’ll be going (or not). (For the record, I do not concern myself over what may or may not happen after death. I am content to accept it as a mystery, while I move forward with more relevant and pressing concerns in the here-and-now.)

    Yes, actually, I caught the first 45 minutes of Amanpour’s special, but then a phone call kept me from the rest of it. But from what I saw of it it was tremendously moving. What people do to one another because of differing religious or political beliefs is astounding.

    And then this from Michael a couple posts up:

    Also know this, there are Christians who hate. They are are almost as devoid of understanding. I am not one of those who hate.

    “No, not me. I’m not a hater. Not like those other people who hate and are devoid of understanding.”

    And that deserves a repeat of a portion of Jesus’ words which I quoted just recently above:

    “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector.'”

    Like a carbon copy. Very saddening.

    But . . . forward we go.

  46. Rick Bentley

    My family tree emigrated from Europe. Probably for economic reasons. They had to take ships and so they didn’t come millions at a time.

    Fairness and equality of purpose aside, I think it’s obvious that we can’t keep encouraging the underclass of every Central and South American country to come here as janitors and gardeners and fast food salespeople. And rather than just saying “go home and starve” I am saying “go home and fight for what’s yours, as American working-class people once did. Your country has wealth and resources so work towards equality rather than just praying and lighting those candles”.

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