Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christians Of Convenience

We all know how Sykes, McBride, McIlheran and the rest like to consider themselves as a great bastion of defenders of Christianity. We also are aware that their defense of Christianity is only when they find it convenient. (No we won't get into the adultery stuff, so stop thinking about it. Besides, we've done that already.)

This time we are talking about their stance about illegal immigration. Other Side Of My Mouth has found an interesting post regarding the Christian right and immigration, among other things. Other Side has already highlighted some of the key points, so make sure to read his post, but here are some excerpts that we agree are important:

But it's on their policies concerning immigrants where Republicans -- candidates and voters alike -- really run afoul of biblical writ. Not on immigration as such but on the treatment of immigrants who are already here. Consider: Christmas, after all, celebrates not just Jesus's birth but his family's flight from Herod's wrath into Egypt, a journey obviously undertaken without benefit of legal documentation. The Bible isn't big on immigrant documentation. "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger nor oppress him," Exodus says the Lord told Moses on Mount Sinai, "for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

We've seen this kind of Christianity before in America. It's more tribal than religious, and it surges at those times when our country is growing more diverse and economic opportunity is not abounding. At its height in the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was chiefly the political expression of nativist Protestants upset by the growing ranks of Catholics in their midst.

It's difficult today to imagine KKKers thinking of their mission as Christian, but millions of them did.

Today's Republican values voters don't really conflate their rage with their faith. Lou Dobbs is a purely secular figure. But nativist bigotry is strongest in the Old Time Religion precincts of the Republican Party, and woe betide the Republican candidate who doesn't embrace it, as John McCain, to his credit and his political misfortune, can attest.

SIDENOTE TO OTHER SIDE: Have you seen Tim Rock? I'm trying to find him.

1 comment:

  1. Pride is a sin, too. I've asked this before: Is she in compliance with canon law? May she receive the Sacrament?