From Under The Rubble
The Wanderer, P. 3
June 11, 2009
In January 1973, my car broke down after dark about an hour north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The temperature was 30 below, I was in the middle of nowhere, and the only building within a mile was a farmhouse set far back from the highway. No one was home, but the door was open. I went in, called the police, and waited for a tow truck.
Two hours later, I saw the flashing lights out on the highway. As I went out, a car came up the driveway. It was the farmer and his family and the biggest dog I have ever seen, barking at me from the back seat. "My car broke down -- that's my tow truck," I explained. "I've been in your house for the last two hours.” The farmer just laughed and said, "Well, that's great!" I didn't think to tell him how grateful I was that he had taken his dog with him.
The tow truck driver had my car up by the time I got there. When I climbed in, he let fly. "I own this company. None of my drivers wanted to work on a Friday night. So I came out to get you myself. (Pause)... one of these days, us old folks are going to stop pulling this gravy train, and you kids are going to have to get out and push."
My generation is not the greatest. I was born two weeks after George Bush and three weeks before Bill Clinton -- certainly nothing to brag about. So I thought of my tow truck driver when I read the address by Indiana's governor, Mitch Daniels, to the graduating class of Butler University in Indianapolis, delivered at about the same time that Obama was speaking at Notre Dame. Here's what Daniels said about us “children of the baby boom":
“As a group, we have been self-centered, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and all too often just plain selfish. Our current Baby Boomer President has written two eloquent, erudite books, both about -- himself…. We have spent more and saved less than any previous Americans…. we ran up deficits that have multiplied the debt you and your children will be paying off your entire working lives…. We voted ourselves increasing levels of Social Security pensions and Medicare health care benefits, but never summoned the political maturity to put those programs on anything resembling a sound actuarial footing.
“In sum, our parents scrimped and saved to provide us a better living standard than theirs; we borrowed and splurged and will leave you a staggering pile of bills to pay. It's been a blast; good luck cleaning up after us.”
Illegals: The Next Generation
Meanwhile, in the name of “Welcoming the Stranger,” our bishops are advocating amnesty for illegal aliens. They also support giving them generous government benefits like universal health care and exemption from immigration law enforcement. So I was surprised, for a moment, to read that the bishops have recognized some limits to this taxpayer largesse. While they support “unlimited” visas allowing extended family members of illegals to enter the U.S., they oppose visas for homosexual “partners.” Apart from that, apparently, anything goes.
Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, puts it this way: “It is extremely important that barriers that keep the nuclear family—husband, wife, and child—divided are removed as soon as possible. The legislation achieves this goal while preserving the ability of other close family members, including siblings of United States citizens, to reunite with their loved ones and without eroding the institution of marriage and family.”
Of course, the “barrier” that prohibits such reunions on U.S. soil is the law. Nothing prohibits aliens from reuniting with their extended families in their home country. Why doesn’t Bishop Wester advocate that? Sure, millions of illegals now have “anchor babies” – children born in the U.S. to an illegal mother – but why don’t they reunite back home, where they are all legal? Somewhere between twelve and twenty million aliens already reside illegally in the United States. Bishop Wester’s proposal would double, and perhaps triple, that number. Coming from corrupt countries, wouldn’t these immigrants tend to vote for “corruptos” like the ones they knew back home? Is that what Bishop Wester wants?
Alas, the good bishop fails to tell all. I volunteer as a translator for law enforcement. Most of the people we interview are in the U.S. illegally. Virtually every one of them leaves family in his home country. Now, each illegal must not only pay thousands of dollars to a “coyote” to get smuggled into the U.S., but he must continue paying bribes long after he arrives. Not only does he send money home to his wife, but he must also bribe his hometown police chief, the local gang leader, and the mayor – or his house will be ransacked and his family assaulted. Virtually all illegals come from corrupt countries where survival requires breaking the law and paying bribes. That is not their fault, but it is the only culture they know. Their habits will not magically change merely because they are legal in America.
Studies indicate that forty percent of those who actually attend Mass in the U.S. are Hispanic. Sadly, in recent decades, huge numbers of Latin American Catholics have left the Church to become evangelicals – apparently, they do not like liberation theology. Moreover, the Pew Foundation reports that ten percent of American evangelicals are former Catholics. Do our bishops fear alienating Hispanics and losing them to the evangelicals if Catholics don’t support amnesty? If so, shouldn’t our bishops tell us, in this “age of the laity”?
A local clergyman asked me this winter to translate for a Salvadoran who showed up at the rectory. He had no job, no friends, and no plans, but wanted money to stay in town. “Why don’t you go home,” I asked him. “I would,” he replied, “but my wife wants the kids to go to school here.”
Free school, free health care, free food stamps, and a host of other “free” taxpayer-funded benefits – no wonder Mexicans call it the “Piñata.” It’s great for them – but what about us? Why doesn’t Bishop Wester tell the people in the pews that virtually every decent home in the countries these “strangers” come from is surrounded by a wall, with barbed wire and shards of glass on top? That many homes require round-the-clock guards? Why do you think that is, Your Excellency? Because otherwise the house would be trashed within hours. And what about rampant kidnapping? It’s a way of life south of the border – not only with the hundreds of thousands of well-armed members of the criminal drug gangs in Mexico, but with countless common criminals throughout the hemisphere who just want to make some easy money.
You don’t have to read Spanish -- the Los Angeles Times reports regularly how Mexican, Salvadoran, and Honduran drug gangs have spread their tentacles throughout the United States – with kidnappings, decapitations, and, of course, bribes. When our local sheriff is called to deal with Hispanics, the single most common phrase I have to translate is, “get your hands out of your pockets.” The deputy is afraid they are reaching for a gun. I know they are getting out their wallets -- to pay a bribe.
Before committing the Church to this radical agenda, doesn’t Bishop Wester owe the faithful an explanation?