Controversies: May 2006 Archives

Slowly, slowly...

| No Comments

As of December 2005 (when Dom cited it), the pro-gay, pro-abortion group "Human Rights Watch" listed Fr. Bryan Hehir, the President of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston, on its Board of Directors.

Now, it doesn't.

It's good to be Big Media. You don't even have to conceal your biases anymore.

Senate Passes Immigration Bill Overhaul By DAVID ESPO
WASHINGTON (AP) - Legislation to secure U.S. borders and offer millions of illegal immigrants access to the American dream cleared the Senate on Thursday, a rare election-year reach across party lines and a triumph for President Bush.

The issue at hand was, apparently, "access to the American dream." What kind of horrid monster would be against access to the American dream?

You'd never know it from the article, but would-be immigrants can apply for access to the American dream at over 260 U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the world. Trouble is, they might refuse you for trifing reasons, such as no demonstrated ability to support yourself, or maybe you stabbed somebody in an argument and went to jail for six years. The other option, sneaking into the U.S., will then become more attractive.

Therefore, the Senate wants to grant amnesty -- sorry, access to the American dream -- to people whose first act on American soil was to commit a crime. In this debate, we have lost sight of that simple fact: It is already a crime to enter the United States and take up permanent residence without a visa. The Senate bill pretends to "secure the borders" by building some new fences and hiring some new Border Patrol agents. This is what they mean by a "compromise bill" -- the Republicans get to pretend to their constituents that they are "serious" about defending our borders, and the Democrats get to spend more tax money, while knowing that the enforcement will never materialize.

Those in the country unlawfully for five years or more would be permitted to remain, continue working and eventually apply for citizenship. They would be required to pay at least $3,250 in fines and fees, settle any back taxes and learn English.

These sound great, but they won't happen. What does "required to pay" mean, anyway? Who will track them down and make them pay? Immigration and Customs Enforcement? Federal courts? The IRS? These are illegal residents who have managed to dodge the law for a half-decade and more: you think they won't dodge the tax man?

And the requirement to learn English is an utter joke. Again, how will that be enforced? You only have to take a literacy test if you apply for citizenship. Permanent residents don't need to know English. (The guidelines for applying for permanent residency are here.) If learning English wasn't a problem for five or more years, it probably won't be a problem at all.

In other words, this is like a common-law marriage -- you shack up long enough, you're de facto married. You live in America long enough, you get to be a permanent resident, and maybe even a citizen with full civil rights, including the right to vote.

American citizenship used to mean something. The Founding Fathers risked their lives to establish it. Multitudes have died to keep it. And the United States Senate wants to give it away for $3,250 in fines and fees, plus back taxes. What gutless, loathsome, contemptible bastards.

The Da Vinci anticlimax



Code misses mark for Cannes critics

Audience grew restless and tittered over some of the film’s melodrama

Update: For more delightful Schadenfreude, get over to Barb Nicolosi's blog.

When Tom Hanks' neck-length hairstyle became a matter of press comment, the sharks began to circle the movie. Apparently he adopted that somewhat old-fashioned academic image in order to fit his idea of a Harvard prof. Silly Tom: why didn't he just ask me or any other Harvard alumnus? Glasses are essential, hair should be on the short side, and for the classic look, a bow tie helps. If the character looks a little like a twit, that's just right. Or for that matter, look at some pictures of faculty.

Better luck next time!

(Hat tip to ol' pal JJG)

Richard notes that Rod Dreher, religion correspondent for the Dallas Morning News and a convert, is considering leaving the Church.

This isn't very surprising. A while ago, many people chastised Rob for his increasingly unhinged writing about the gay sex scandals. Catholic Light had commentary such as this and this, where Rod himself left a drive-by comment.

There is a strong element of narcissism in Rod's public conduct: Me, me, me. What I think, what I experience, what I believe. Playing out one's most intimate internal struggles for public consumption, in a manner that calls attention to one's own virtue, is not the approach of a serious man. It is the hallmark of the adolescent.

Sounds harsh? Maybe so, but it's the root of the problem. Rod is not having an intellectual difficulty. He believes that he has the right -- no, the duty -- to stand in judgment over the Church and her clergy. Read this 2004 column, where Rod "outs" his parish priest who was accused -- not arrested, much less convicted -- of molesting a male minor. Google isn't telling me what the resolution was.

I spent the next several days trying to find whatever information I could about Father Clay's situation. It was true: Father Clay had been banned from active ministry.

What to do with this information? I wasn't worried about Father Clay. I was worried about Father Allan Hawkins, the parish's very fine pastor, and the good people of the congregation.

I thought: Can't this be handled quietly, so Father Hawkins and the parish aren't embarrassed?

And then I thought: If I go that route, I am no better than the bishops and others I have criticized. They kept it in-house for the sake of the church and led us all off the cliff. Public exposure is the only sure way to handle Father Clay.

Father Clay might have been an innocent man unjustly accused, swept up in the frenzied reaction to the scandal. But Judge Rod will not be deterred by considerations of prudence, avoiding scandal, or protecting the reputation of others. Father Clay was accused, and so he must pay!

God is allowing Mr. Dreher's faith to be tested. Will he be a man and contend for it? Or will he allow his own personal disappointments to divert him into rejecting the head of the Church? I pray it is the former.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Controversies category from May 2006.

Controversies: April 2006 is the previous archive.

Controversies: June 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.