Sunday, April 28, 2013

Still Coming to America

Spiritual and political ambulance chasers oozed out the woodwork after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Over the last two weeks I've seen 'prophecies' about the Marathon attack, and drearily familiar warnings that America must 'keep those foreigners out.'

Objections to foreigners being allowed into America are almost funny, since they usually come from folks who are as blatantly European-American as I am.

'Prophecy"R"Us' Long-Term Prospects: Bleak

Wannabe 'prophets' may be sincere, but I know better than to either believe them or try that racket myself. I think it's fairly safe to see Jeremiah 28:15-17 as a strong indication that waiting until God says 'go' is prudent. Then there's Acts 13:5-11.

As for divination and other efforts to make deals with spiritual agents: that isn't prophecy, it's a really bad idea. The spirits and powers we'd contact aren't working for God, and are not safe to be around. What the Church says about that sort of thing is, basically, 'don't.' (Catechism, 2115-2117)

America, Land of People Like Me?

I'm related by marriage to folks in the Lakota nation. Even without that personal connection, I'd have been very relieved when America's national government started paying attention to a long backlog of broken treaties: and that's almost another topic.

By now only about 1.15 percent of the 316,000,000 or so folks we call "Americans" are 'ethnic Americans.'1 The rest of us are descendants of immigrants from just about everywhere: with more coming each month. I like it that way, and would be very concerned if folks stopped coming to America.

My ancestors are mostly Norwegian and Irish, so I 'look Anglo.' Being melanin-deficient helped us fit in, although some of my more recent ancestors were appalled when a young Irishman married their daughter. (November 13, 2008)

Family history and growing up in the '60s helped me embrace Catholic teachings about neighbors. Enlightened self-interest helped, too. (December 8, 2010; Another War-on-Terror Blog (December 11, 2009))

Prosperity and Obligations

Even when we're not enjoying economic good times, Americans have it pretty good. I'm not upset about that, but prosperity comes with obligations:
"The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

"Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2241)
Welcoming 'the foreigner' can't, or shouldn't, involve giving newcomers enough to keep them alive, but keeping them out of the social and economic mainstream of a nation.
"Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants.219 For its part society should, according to circumstances, help citizens find work and employment.220"
(Catechism, 2433)
Psalms 146:9, Proverbs 3:5, and Matthew 25:35 Make it fairly obvious that treating strangers right is a good idea.

Expectations and Reality

As a 'religious person,' I've been pegged as a conservative, and sometimes as intolerant. That's understandable. Folks who scream hate and Bible verses, or seem to assume that God follows their political beliefs, have made a regrettable impression.

I'm a Catholic, a convert, and take my faith very seriously. Among other things, that means that I must not expect everyone to be just like me. I'm not allowed to merge into the crowd, either: and that's another topic.

Related posts:

1 "United States," World Factbook, CIA (page last updated April 18, 2013)

1 comment:

JohnL said...

Well said Brian

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.