But it has been a haphazard affair which of late has gone awry. What to do? Our 'post-christian' or severely watered-down christianity is so lacsidaisical as to be negligent of our civilisation's basis, especially in regard to immigration. We need a better means and better, more sensible rules.
Recent crime waves and atrocities here have been laid at the door of just two sorts: Muslim and African: Cultures and religious ideologies that do not 'fit' despite the most liberal multicultural policies one could find anywhere. Christians have barely been heard, and when one or two have spoken up, the socialist-marxist-feminist-green hordes have combined to shout them down.
We have far too much talk of Zozcshial Juztitz and not enough of sense or well thought out civil social structures and strictures. This old Catholic Knight looks to the Magisterium: that large and well developed philosophy provided by very astute people over two millennia.
These matters have engaged the conversations in the bars recently and I am sometimes dismayed at the 'knee-jerk' responses of some folk and the lack of deep thought by some others. The baying within the walls occasionally get mistaken for that from the other side of the Tavern's hedges. But one can understand the frustrations.
Being old and of a very long tradition of deep thought on just this matter, even I get frustrated by supposedly like-minded folk, often in leadership positions, who abandon reason. So I was pleased that two reasonable chaps stood up to say a few words, albeit in the US context. To me it is all too similar to Oz.
Rob Koons was the first to point out that Catholic Bishops seem to have lost the plot in the USA, regarding 'illegals', 'refugees', and immigrants. Here too. They seem all too often to have the leftist NGO approach to Nationalism.
Trump’s Nationalism Is Consistent With Catholic Social DoctrineCatholic voters know better than their bishops, it would seem.Leading American bishops have complained about the “harshness” of Trump’s campaign rhetoric and called for an end to deportation of aliens until the “broken” system can be fixed. Yet, despite this opposition from the Church’s hierarchy, Trump won 52% of the Catholic vote (to Hillary’s 45%), a historic margin for a Republican. How to explain this contradiction?Real simple. The laity get it better than the bishops.
Trump’s nationalism is fully consistent with Catholic social doctrine as it has developed in the last 126 years. It is the leaders of the Church who have disregarded key features of that doctrine in order to sign on to American progressivism, including an unqualified hostility to immigration law enforcement.Under Catholic doctrine, the leaders of each state have the sacred responsibility to promote the common good, which can be defined as providing the conditions necessary for a people to live together justly and prosperously. And whose well-being are we talking about? The citizens of the state.
That’s what Pope Leo XIII said in Rerum Novarum and Pope John XXIII in Pacem in Terris.
The great theologian of the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas, explained that our duties are positional and depend for their intensity on the person to whom they’re owed. In Summa Theologiae, in Part II-II, Question 26, article 6, Aquinas teaches that we “ought to love one neighbor more than another.” It is right and proper that we should love our family members more than unrelated people, and fellow-citizens of our country more than aliens (Question 31, article 3).The Church has long recognized that this implies the state’s right to regulate immigration for the sake of national security. Civic authority “should ensure by morally acceptable means the security of society and its members.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1909.) “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…” (Paragraph 2241)
Trump’s executive order, focused on seven countries recognized as stateless regions without adequate safeguards against the movement of terrorists, falls well within these bounds.The Church also teaches that the state has a special responsibility, as Pope Leo put it, “to promote to the utmost the interest of the poor.” Unskilled, working-class citizens are vulnerable to the loss of income and dignity from unbridled competition provided by unauthorized immigrants.
In Quadragesimo Anno(1931), Pope Pius XI insisted that, “the right ordering of immigration is essential if we are to promote job opportunities for citizens that pay a living wage under conditions of dignity, and if we are to sustain a generous welfare system".Finally, a nation has the right to protect its own civic institutions. As Aquinas recognized in De Regno, “Intercourse with foreigners, according to Aristotle’s Politics, is particularly harmful to civic custom. For it is inevitable that strangers, brought up under other laws and customs, will in many cases act as the citizens are not wont to act and thus, since the citizens are drawn by their example to act likewise, their own civic life is upset.”
For Aquinas, it is political habits that matter, not merely approval of abstract principles. Unbridled immigration threatens the continuity of political habits that is essential to the survival of a nation.Catholic thought recognizes the responsibility of rich countries to be compassionate toward refugees and toward those without access to sufficient natural resources.
Of course, part of the problem lies in giving citizenship out as though it were a cheap gift in a corn-flakes packet.And the United States has indeed been generous, accepting 10 million refugees in the last thirty years, and tens of millions of additional legal immigrants. But this responsibility has limits. Pope John XXIII noted that the duty of the state to admit needy immigrants should be limited “as the good of their own community, rightly considered, permits.”All sides in the current debate recognize the same principles — that we have obligations to be generous to refugees and others in desperate straits, and that these obligations are limited by leaders’ responsibility to give primary weight to the well-being of their own citizens. And the lay Catholics who voted for Trump seem to understand their Church’s teaching better than their bishops.
Aquinas was a smart fellow. He would have been in Mensa had it been around back then. I doubt though that modern Mensa, riven as it is by sundry atheists, feminists and marxists, with a small rump of Catholics as flavour, would let him post anything to a mensa facebook page. But his views are worth considering in a bit more depth.
And as we have already heard a little of what Aquinas said, here is where John Horvat 11 stepped up, sat down and answered more questions about St Tom's views. He not only left us some points to ponder, but spoke up for us and you to hear.
What Does Saint Thomas Say About Immigration?“These are some of the thoughts of Saint Thomas Aquinas on the matter of immigration”In looking at the debate over immigration, it is almost automatically assumed that the Church’s position is one of unconditional charity toward those who enter the nation, legally or illegally.
However, is this the case?
What does the Bible say about immigration? What do Church doctors and theologians say? Above all, what does the greatest of doctors, Saint Thomas Aquinas, say about immigration?
I shall let you be the judge of that, but recommend you do not rush to judgement but rather listen and ponder at least to an inch or two's depth first.Does his opinion offer some insights to the burning issues now shaking the nation and blurring the national borders?
Immigration is a modern problem and so some might think that the medieval Saint Thomas would have no opinion about the problem. And yet, he does. One has only to look in his masterpiece, the Summa Theologica, in the first part of the second part, question 105, article 3 (I-II, Q. 105, Art. 3). There one finds his analysis based on biblical insights that can add to the national debate. They are entirely applicable to the present.
Saint Thomas: “Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts.”Commentary: In making this affirmation, Saint Thomas affirms that not all immigrants are equal. Every nation has the right to decide which immigrants are beneficial, that is, “peaceful,” to the common good. As a matter of self-defense, the State can reject those criminal elements, traitors, enemies and others who it deems harmful or “hostile” to its citizens.The second thing he affirms is that the manner of dealing with immigration is determined by law in the cases of both beneficial and “hostile” immigration.
The State has the right and duty to apply its law.Saint Thomas: “For the Jews were offered three opportunities of peaceful relations with foreigners. First, when foreigners passed through their land as travelers. Secondly, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is written (Exodus 22:21): ’Thou shalt not molest a stranger [advenam]’; and again (Exodus 22:9): ’Thou shalt not molest a stranger [peregrino].’”Commentary: Here Saint Thomas acknowledges the fact that others will want to come to visit or even stay in the land for some time. Such foreigners deserved to be treated with charity, respect and courtesy, which is due to any human of good will. In these cases, the law can and should protect foreigners from being badly treated or molested.
This, to my mind, is a good starting point in any consideration of citizenship. Our practice of giving it out after two years or so of living off the benefits provided by taxpayers, so the 'new 'australians' can continue living off the taxpayes for the next ten years has to stop.Saint Thomas: “Thirdly, when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1).”
Commentary: Saint Thomas recognizes that there will be those who will want to stay and become citizens of the lands they visit. However, he sets as the first condition for acceptance a desire to integrate fully into what would today be considered the culture and life of the nation.A second condition is that the granting of citizenship would not be immediate. The integration process takes time. People need to adapt themselves to the nation. He quotes the philosopher Aristotle as saying this process was once deemed to take two or three generations. Saint Thomas himself does not give a time frame for this integration, but he does admit that it can take a long time.
Our modern experience in Oz, as in the USA bears this out ferociously. We have Muslim MPs in our Parliaments who swear on the Koran and profess to want the overthrow of our government and laws and way of life. Ane we have let them !Saint Thomas: “The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.”
Commentary: The common sense of Saint Thomas is certainly not politically correct but it is logical.
The theologian notes that living in a nation is a complex thing. It takes time to know the issues affecting the nation. Those familiar with the long history of their nation are in the best position to make the long-term decisions about its future.
It is harmful and unjust to put the future of a place in the hands of those recently arrived, who, although through no fault of their own, have little idea of what is happening or has happened in the nation.
Hello. Paying attention?Such a policy could lead to the destruction of the nation.
As an illustration of this point, Saint Thomas later notes that the Jewish people did not treat all nations equally since those nations closer to them were more quickly integrated into the population than those who were not as close.
Muslims here have demonstrated and shouted their emnity. We have not taken due notice. Well, the people have even if the politicians have adamantly refused to, burying their heads in the sand and passing denial winds from their rear ends.Some hostile peoples were not to be admitted at all into full fellowship due to their enmity toward the Jewish people.
Saint Thomas: “Nevertheless it was possible by dispensation for a man to be admitted to citizenship on account of some act of virtue: thus it is related (Judith 14:6) that Achior, the captain of the children of Ammon, ‘was joined to the people of Israel, with all the succession of his kindred.’”Commentary: That is to say, the rules were not rigid. There were exceptions that were granted based on the circumstances. However, such exceptions were not arbitrary but always had in mind the common good. The example of Achior describes the citizenship bestowed upon the captain and his children for the good services rendered to the nation.These are some of the thoughts of Saint Thomas Aquinas on the matter of immigration based on biblical principles. It is clear that immigration must have two things in mind:
the first is the nation’s unity; and the second is the common good.Immigration should have as its goal integration, not disintegration or segregation.
Multiculturalism as a matter of policy as well as practice has been severly at odds with those precepts. It has encouraged and even financed (at taxpayer's expense) the maintenance of seperate cultures, often at loggerheads with one another. Assimilation and integrations are dirty words thse days.
The immigrant should not only desire to assume the benefits but the responsibilities of joining into the full fellowship of the nation. By becoming a citizen, a person becomes part of a broad family over the long term and....
In Oz too.not a shareholder in a joint stock company seeking only short-term self-interest.Secondly, Saint Thomas teaches that immigration must have in mind the common good; it cannot destroy or overwhelm a nation.This explains why so many Americans experience uneasiness caused by massive and disproportional immigration.
Such policy artificially introduces a situation that destroys common points of unity and overwhelms the ability of a society to absorb new elements organically into a unified culture. The common good is no longer considered.
A proportional immigration has always been a healthy development in a society since it injects new life and qualities into a social body. But when it loses that proportion and undermines the purpose of the State, it threatens the well-being of the nation.When this happens, the nation would do well to follow the advice of Saint Thomas Aquinas and biblical principles.
Something to be going on with, I guess.The nation must practice justice and charity towards all, including foreigners, but it must above all safeguard the common good and its unity, without which no country can long endure.
Disclosure: I speak as an Immigrant m'self, of course. So before anyone goes off half-cocked I recognise that most immigrants make and have made great efforts to integrate. Their efforts are trodden on by those that came and simply took, spat on our civil society and work for its overthrow,
Criminal immigrants should get very short shrift. Deport.
I shall drink to them being sorted out in a much more satisfactory manner, but will not hold my breath.