Saturday, January 6, 2018

Immigration: Right Way and Wrong Way.

Oz has been as much a 'melting pot' as America when it comes to taking in and integrating diverse populations and cultures. It has made a better job of it too, and far and away better than most nations in the west. Immigrants 'made' Oz, from the ground up. OK, most of those were of Anglo stock and Christian prior to WW2, and since then many from all over the world have flocked here to the point that half of our 25 Million (nearly) population was either born overseas or their parents were. 

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 Doctrine
Catholic 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. 
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.
Of course, part of the problem lies in giving citizenship out as though it were a cheap gift in a corn-flakes packet. 

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? 
Does his opinion offer some insights to the burning issues now shaking the nation and blurring the national borders?
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. 
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.
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).”
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. 
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.
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.”
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 !
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. 
Such a policy could lead to the destruction of the nation.
Hello. Paying attention? 

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. 
Some hostile peoples were not to be admitted at all into full fellowship due to their enmity toward the Jewish people.
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. 
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.... 
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.
In Oz too.
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. 
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.
 Something to be going on with, I guess.

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.



  1. And whose well-being are we talking about? The citizens of the state.

    But if you go back to the beginnings of Christianity the state was the Roman Empire. Not the same sort of state as modern nation states.

    If you look at medieval Christianity, well there were no modern nation states at that time. There was Christendom, which was kind of a Christian version of the Roman Empire.

    Christianity is a religion that pre-dates any concept of a nation state as we know it today.

    I'm sceptical that Catholicism can be made compatible with nationalism. The rise of the nation state coincided with the beginnings of the decline of Christianity.

    Christianity is definitely compatible with kingship, and with loyalty to a king (I'm talking about real kings not the absurd constitutional monarchies of recent times). But kingship is quite different from a modern nation state.

    I'm also sceptical that Christianity can be made compatible with democracy. I'm not familiar with the passages in Scripture in which Jesus tells his disciples that they should decide what to do next by having a vote on it. And did he tell them to have an election to choose the leader of the Church after he was gone? I really don't think Jesus was much of a democrat.

    1. And the points regarding immigration?

    2. And the points regarding immigration?

      The idea that a nation state should exist for the benefit of its own citizens is fine but I don't see it as Christian. I don't see nation states as a Christian concept. More of an anti-Christian concept. Modern nation states took the place of the concept of Christendom, and that was perhaps a bad thing.

      I think it's fine to argue that immigration is bad (I think immigration is bad) but I think it's tricky to advance it as a Christian principle. Universalism is pretty much baked into the cake with Christianity.

      And the concepts of national sovereignty and the rights of nation states are fairly central to a debate on immigration. If nation states are anti-Christian that raises a difficulty.

  2. I always understood that Church and State are separate.
    The Greek born Constantine may have been thinking of his forefathers'S democratic ways of thinking, therefore he proclaimed Christianity a State religion: his first mistake. Christianity is a way of life,not a religion in the strict sense of the word, but in fairness to him Christianity became the conscience behind European/Western civilization in spite of human nature's many weaknesses. If forced to choose a way if life, I know which one I would pick.

    1. The 'seperation' issue is a secular one. It was never a Christian edict. I agree with it, mind you, and Christ Himself recognised Caesar having a role. But God, His Revelations and His Commands should 'inform' the decisions and management of the State.

      In terms of the positions taken by Aquinas, above, it is clear that he is looking at this 'informing' from a practical point of view.

      Personally, I see his distinctions as realistic as well as Christian.

    2. I always understood that Church and State are separate.

      If Church and State are separate they will come into conflict and experience suggests the State will win. The State does not permit the survival of rivals for power. So I think an argument could be made that separating Church and State is a mistake.

      The doctrine of separation of Church and State has been used by the enemies of the Church to inflate the power of the State and diminish the role of the Church. In fact that was the intention behind it. It's one of those fundamentally anti-Christian Enlightenment principles that we take for granted because secularism has been winning the Culture War for the past two hundred years.

    3. I cannot argue against that and thank you for your insights.

  3. Recent crime waves and atrocities here have been laid at the door of just two sorts: Muslim and African

    Is that a fact ;) Sources, please? :)

    Perhaps living in Oz, limited in information about the US, you are not aware of the opiate drug epidemic we have in the US and the murders and deaths as the result of it - or that these people are predominantly white.

    Or that the "OxyContin Superhighway" depicted in TV shows like "Justified" is accurate in that Eastern Kentucky is the headquarters for the "pillhead" highway, as well as their propensity to settle disputes with guns and a corrupt local government and law enforcement.

    (This finds its roots in the coal wars and being forced of their lands by bribed local law enforcement and government officials by coal companies - everyone from Granny on down had a shotgun to meet "the lawman" with, who came to force them off their land.)

    My dad is from Harlan. It is 95% white. It's is 96% Republican. There are few, if any, non-Christians.

    Additionally, it has the largest region of welfare recipients in the state because of lack of jobs there and nearly all claim to be Christian.

    Oh and with mention of Trump in this post and the one below about the stock market gains (that never, ever trickle down on the average American from a corporate level, it's local or small business) - still wondering when his promise of bringing coal back, along with those jobs, is going to happen (*snicker* - not at you, but with Trump stating as fact that coal was making a comeback).

    So is it possible that it is NOT fact that crime is about race or religion, and instead tend to happen in areas that lack economic opportunity?

    Because it does seem that Harlan and the opiate epidemic and violence at least provides a variable in that race/religion hypothesis.

    Additionally, the mass shooters in the Congressional, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, and Aurora were white, Christian US Citizens. And serial killers are stastistically white. As are the declarers of war.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying white christians are worse, I'm just saying perhaps equating violence and crime with race may be a flawed theory.

    Now, back to Christianity and law, here's a question - what should be more valued, the words of Christ or church doctrine?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I take it you are a fan of Old Testament Law (just judging from your stance on LGBTQ), yes?

    Because on the subject of immigration, the same Levitican law that prohibits homosexuality (among other things we now do every day), say this (Leviticus 19:33)

    33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

    Note that there's one OT church law Jesus didn't tamper with - in fact he made it one of 2 of his only commandments - "Love thy neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).

    In fact, he said that all commandment and man-made law hung on the prophets, and he changed any OT/manmade laws that did not, i.e., healing on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1-6), as well as removing entirely from OT/church law, "An eye for an eye" (Matthew 5:38-48).

    Not only did these man-made laws not hang on "loving thy neighbor as thyself," but "An eye for an eye" was engraved law on Hammurabi's Code Stone in Babylonia, the captive culture of the Israelites at the time, who didn't believe in an afterlife; therefore, all punishment was swift and harsh.

    Hammurabi's code stone predates Moses and both the Torah and Talmud - and that is a fact, not belief :)

    Thus, much of OT law - and Sharia law - were laws both religions actually incorporated from the Babylonians, who didn't even believe in our God or an afterlife, so Jesus specifically repudiated that verse because of it.

    Once again, it is possible that belief may "trump" IQ :)

    1. You want sauce? HP is always on the table in the restaurant.

    2. So is it possible that it is NOT fact that crime is about race or religion, and instead tend to happen in areas that lack economic opportunity?

      There are other factors that seem to be very very significant when it comes to crime. The destruction of the family is a biggie. This increases crime in many ways, direct and indirect. The absence of strong father figures is probably the most crucial.

      One of the greatest tragedies of modern times was the destruction of the black family in the US. In just a few short decades blacks went from being people with a strong commitment to family life to being people living in communities with virtually no family life at all. And the state cannot replace family life - when it tries top do so the results are disastrous.

      The American black family was destroyed by a combination of factors. The collapse of Christianity, the easy availability of contraception that allowed consequence-free sex, the ready availability of abortion, easy divorce, the removal of the stigma on illegitimacy, the tidal wave of degeneracy in the entertainment industry, consumerism, the rise of the drug culture. These things affected all races but there was an extra factor as far as blacks were concerned - the deliberate creation of a culture of racial grievance.

      Being poor doesn't lead to criminality. But being poor and having no family life certainly does lead to criminality. American blacks really have been victimised but not in the way they (and liberals) think. They've been victimised by policies engineered by liberals.

      As for Muslims, problems with criminality are likely caused by the collision of totally incompatible cultures, and by a perception on the part of some Muslims that western culture is degenerate (and they're not wrong about that).

      I agree with you that it's dubious to assume simplistic links between race and religion and crime, and I agree that many self-described conservatives (who aren't conservatives at all) do push that line. And these self-described conservatives have often contributed to the problems by pushing a materialistic worldview that reduces us all to consumers or cheap labour. Such links between race and religion and crime may exist but the situation is much more complicated.

      The lesson of the past half century is that social engineering always turns out badly.

    3. Dfor D - well, I'm not sure what happened to the PS I provided earlier with links to sources (not previously putting those in myself!), but they can be seen on my blog.

      Check out the link on Harlan - 91% white, 23% of families below the poverty level, 32% total population below the poverty line, and 41% of the general population are married (the US national average is roughly slightly higher than that, ranging from 41% to 55% depending upon sources).

      And I can tell you as an absolute fact they are engaging in crime and violence because there are no jobs and the area is economically deprived - and are viewed as"unhireable" elsewhere because of lack of education and the "hillbilly" and violent reputation.

      (Which lends credence to the theory that any time we label a group "unhireable" because we think they are _____, then they are indeed economically oppressed.)

      Interestingly, and semi-related to your point, they also have more arrests than the rest of the state for domestic violence, but for that link, I'd have to dig a bit because it's been a while since I've seen it.

      However, I will agree that it is perhaps multifactorial, with economic hardship being the best indicator, as well as regional and cultural values also playing a role.

      And though I agree that having both parents for a child for guidance, I'm not sure how or why not having a father (or mother) in the home would lead to crime, but I'd be interested in your sources for that cause-effect theory?

      But let's suppose that your theory is correct - unfortunately, up until reconstruction after The Civil War, state and federal government did not allow African-Americans to marry, and ripped children from their parents and brothers and sisters, and slaveowners often considered female slaves property and had "unofficial" offspring with them (a fact which DNA has only recently been able to verify, using "Y" genes and mitochondrial DNA to trace back to exact fathers) - so we didn't help to encourage their marriage ourselves (or often respect our own marriages) ;)

      As for legal marriage, I personally do not believe the government should define our marriages one way or the other, straight or gay. It's really none of their business and a religious issue, IMO.

  4. PS - I neglected to mention my sources myself. As I mentioned under a post below, my best friend is in public health for the CDC - neonatal care (which is of course affected by both drug usage and crime/violence).

    Kentucky is "unofficially" the "OxyContin" capital; thus why TV shows like "Justified" focused on the opioid epidemic in Harlan, Kentucky (also known as "Bloody Harlan" due to the amount of murders during the Coal Wars) and the associated gun violence.

    Regardless, the CDC's research thus far on the top 5 states in the nation leading the opioid epidemic...

    Their statistics proving that the majority of Americans overdosing on opioids are white...

    That although doctors are more likely to prescribe opioids to white patients...

    ... only 40% of those opioids are obtained from legal means...

    This is why President Trump declared an "opioid epidemic," but without funding it. In fact, there have been freezes and cuts to the CDC's funding already, with more proposed.

    As for statistics on Harlan itself, I have not viewed the data in a year or so, but apparently it is now 91% white and the median income is $17K, 23% being below the poverty line.,_Kentucky#Demographics

    As for the statistics on the percentage of Republicans in that region, being of Christian faith, and the largest percentage of welfare recipients in the state, I have seen these statistics before but it may take me a bit to find them, if you'd like them?

    Or you can take my word for it on this one :) (As I said, my father is from there and my best friend works for the CDC.)

    1. My apologies. This comment attached itself to another poster/commenter. Corrected now.

    2. No worries, I just thought I either didn't post it correctly or a glitch, lost in cyberspace - thank you! :)


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..