Not-So-Strange Bedfellows

I’m a lifelong Democrat who is now badly disillusioned with the Democratic Party. Why? Because the party has become America’s anti-Christian party, a party that is dominated not just by atheists and agnostics (the agnostics being of that species whose skepticism is the virtual equivalent of atheism), but by atheists and agnostics having an anti-religion attitude and, above all, an anti-Christianity attitude — in other words, a party dominated by secularists.

Whenever I say this, somebody reminds me that people like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are not atheists or agnostics. No, but they do the bidding of the secularists who, usually outside of elective office, dominate the party. Secularists are relatively small in numbers, but they provide vastly disproportionate amounts of the labor, money, and publicity/propaganda that Democratic politicians need to get elected and re-elected.

More importantly, they are the “mind” of the party; they provide the Democratic Party with almost all its new and up-to-date ideas. Aristotle said that the mind, though small in bulk, is the most important part of a human being; so it is with secularists and the Democratic Party. For ballot-box “muscle,” the party depends on blacks, Hispanics, labor unions, and traditional Democratic families. But just as the mind directs the body, so secularists direct the rest of the Democratic coalition. Most parts of that coalition (the African-American community, Hispanics, etc.) have very little in common with secularists, making their alliance a very striking example of the rule that “politics makes for strange bedfellows.” In this case, very strange bedfellows indeed: a weird alliance between church-going minorities and enthusiasts who wish to destroy the churches altogether.

But there is one part of the Democratic coalition that has a great spiritual and philosophical affinity with secularism, so much so that it may be called quasi-secularist. I refer to so-called “liberal” or “progressive” Christians. Mostly these are liberal Protestants, but nowadays a great many of them are Catholics. Protestants got into the liberal Christianity business long before Catholics. The former began turning liberal more than 200 years ago, with the emergence of Unitarianism in Boston and other parts of eastern Massachusetts. Catholics didn’t start moving in this direction in significant numbers until the 1960s, during and after the Second Vatican Council.

 

A “liberal Christian,” as I define the term (and as John Henry Cardinal Newman defined it, for it is from Newman that I borrow the idea), is a person who professes to be Christian yet rejects the dogmatic principle in religion. The liberal rejects Christian religious authority, whether it be the authority of popes and bishops, the Bible, or traditional creeds. The liberal “thinks for himself” when it comes to religion, accepting those portions of traditional Christianity that appeal to his/her personal judgment and rejecting those that do not appeal.

Further, liberals often “improve” Christianity by adding to it beliefs and values that older Christians — Paul, Augustine, the first seven councils, all the popes, plus Luther and Calvin — failed to include in the Christian system. However, liberals always contend that Jesus agreed with them. Therefore, their “innovations” are not really innovations; they are simply rediscoveries of something Jesus intended to say 2,000 years ago. And thus, as every liberal Christian knows (well, not every single one, but at least all the up-to-date ones), Jesus was in favor of same-sex marriage, not to mention the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Liberal Christians vary in the degree of their rejection of traditional Christian doctrine. Some, who are new to the game, reject only a few things — all miracles, for example, including the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. Somewhat more advanced liberals reject the Trinity and the Divinity of Christ. Those who are more advanced still reject the idea of life after death. Very advanced liberals reject the existence of God.

You might wonder why a person who rejects the existence of God would bother to call himself a Christian, but some people manage to pull this off. Some even write books proving that you don’t have to believe in God to be a Christian. Usually, their rationale for this hilarious inconsistency has something to do with their great admiration for the historical person, Jesus of Nazareth — about whom, rather oddly, they claim that we know almost nothing.

 

Now, rejectionism is the very essence of liberal Christianity. But if you have rejected all, or at least almost all, of the dogmatic content of old-fashioned Christianity, where do you go next?  You can reject the moral content of old-fashioned Christianity, beginning with sexual morality. You get rid of the taboos on premarital sex, unmarried cohabitation, abortion, homosexuality, and so on. You “discover” that Jesus, being the most compassionate man who ever lived, was in favor of fornication, abortion, and homosexuality whenever refraining from these things would be a “hardship.” Jesus the Compassionate was a great foe of suffering. Even though He Himself willingly suffered death on the cross (if we are to believe those very dubious historical records, the four canonical Gospels), He doesn’t want others to undergo suffering — say, the suffering that comes from carrying to term an unwanted pregnancy, or the suffering that comes from having to abstain from homosexual acts.

When it comes to controversial questions of morality, there is close to total agreement between secularists and these liberal Christians; that’s why the latter can fairly be called quasi-secularists. And no wonder there is this agreement: for liberal Christians (who are so un-self-aware that they don’t know where their ideas come from) derive their ideas relative to sexual morality not from Jesus or the Bible or the traditions of Christianity, but from anti-Christian secularism.

We should think of today’s Democratic Party, then, as being made up of a double coalition. At the level of “mind,” there is the coalition between outright secularists and their quasi-secularist fellow travelers. And then there is the coalition between this mind of the party and its “body” — blacks, Hispanics, labor unions, etc. When the body comes to realize — as it eventually will — where the mind is leading it, the party will disintegrate.

By

David R. Carlin Jr. is a politician and sociologist who served as a Democratic majority leader of the Rhode Island Senate. His books include "Can a Catholic Be a Democrat?: How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion" and "The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America." Carlin is a current professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island at Newport.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    I believe the author should take a second look at his understanding of his categories. Repeatedly he seems to imply that Hispanics and blacks are mindless. (But if that were so, of course, then we wouldn’t have been made in the image of God like other human beings and unlike lower forms of life.)

    Imagine someone arguing that “…for ballot-box ‘muscle’, the party depends on non-Hispanic Whites. But just as the mind directs the body, so those with a mind that can think direct the rest of the non-Hispanic White coalition.”

  • Jon

    In the author’s defense, I think he is using those terms in their political demographic senses, rather than the strictly racial sense.

  • A. Vasquez

    Why not actually use welcoming rhetoric and refrain from introducing policies that are alienating towards African-Americans and Latinos rather than complaining about how “mindless” their votes are? I am not one to say that the Democratic Party treats those communities any better in the long run, but at the very least they say that they want their votes and participation. The GOP just seems to give off vibes of only mentioning them when they want someone to blame to strengthen their ever-aging and whitening base.

    And really, a “self-hating life long Democrat?” I think on the left this is known as being an agent provocateur. Way to score some cheap rhetorical points.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    We are called to be one as Catholics, mystical disciples of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, not gentiles, Jews, Blacks, Asians, Whites, Non-Hispanic Whites and Hispanics or Latinos. Christ should be our mind, none else. That’s what I wish this essay would have affirmed and encouraged.

    “For the scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him.” – Romans 10: 11-12

    “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.” – Galatians 3:28-29

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    “…I think he is using those terms in their political demographic senses, rather than the strictly racial sense.”

    Jon — Are you suggesting that Hispanics and blacks are “mindless” in the “demographic sense”. Please help this Catholic (Hispanic) understand what you mean.

  • Laurie

    I know we are all different kinds of Catholics, but we should all look at the truth about our faith and our responsibilities as Catholics. If all Catholics believed 100% that abortion is wrong and voted accordingly, would our country be responsible for the deaths of 50 million babies and counting? I don’t think this atrocity would be around for 40 plus years without the lack of all Catholics following their faith. I understand the compassionate nature of a Catholic on the Democratic side, but let’s face it, more evil has been justified on behalf of our unborn, our morality as a whole when we vote democrat. I don’t think anyone can honestly deny that. For any good the democrat party can do, it does not seem to outweigh the enormous evil it continues to perpetuate.

  • Michael

    What took you so long? My father was badly disillusioned in 1979 and has never looked back. Thank God I followed.

  • Gabriel

    It’s not fair to draw a parallel between African-Americans and Latinos. African American’s are definitely in a bad position politically: everyone knows that they will only vote Democrat, so both the Democrats and Republicans feel free to ignore them.

    Why should the Republicans court a vote they won’t get, and why should the Democrats court a vote they won’t lose? If you don’t believe me, ask yourself, “When was the last time the federal government enacted major civil rights legislation, like the Civil Rights Act?” Renewals don’t count.

    Latino’s are still on the fence, though. They tend to lean Democratic, but the Republicans still vie for their vote. I hope that they have enough political wisdom to make the parties compete for their votes, and not wind up in the same trap as African Americans, whose only form of political protest against the Democrats is not showing up at the polls in the first place.

    BTW, I can’t speak for the author, but I’m pretty sure that by “mindless” he meant that despite their votes, they didn’t have much political pull in the Democratic party. For African-Americans that is definitely the case!

  • A. Vasquez

    “Latino’s are still on the fence, though. They tend to lean Democratic, but the Republicans still vie for their vote.”

    If that is the case, the GOP is definitely in the Farm Leagues on that one. If anything, this whole to-do about birth-right citizenship will drive the nail into the coffin of any significant attempt to recruit Latino voters. Even the few Latino Republicans that there are are embarrassed by the spectacle. One step forward, two steps back.

    Seriously, are minorities just supposed to fall on their swords just to a party that wishes that they would shut up or that they just weren’t there in the first place? There is some talk on the right of “minorities share our values”, but little action concerning valuing the concerns of minority voters.

  • Ann

    Maybe if the Republican party could manage to care even an inkling about people who make less than $250,000 dollars a year, they would be able to get back some of those votes from the “body.”

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    “BTW, I can’t speak for the author, but I’m pretty sure that by “mindless” he meant that despite their votes, they didn’t have much political pull in the Democratic party.”

    Then he should have said just that. The reason for little if any Hispanic political influence is not because they are “mindless”. There are other more plausible explanations. Stop making excuses for a disparaging racist slur masquerading as Catholicism.

    “For African-Americans that is definitely the case!”

    Obama, a black man, is President of the United States.

  • Laurie

    Instead of reading the whole article in its entirety, there is a concentration on one sentence. How sad. Political correctness overtakes the whole meaning of the author’s intention. The point is whether you are black, white, hispanic, or any other race, the democrat party is not interested in the Catholic faith and its teachings. What can the political party do for me is more important than what God wants. Is the promises of an entitlement more important than the life of God’s intended child? The question that needs to be asked is are you more concerned what a politcal party can do for you or do the right thing for ALL of God’s children. The Republican party with all its flaws does not disregard life. There is an article today that says over 40% of all pregnancies in New York end in abortion. New York is owned by the Democratic party. How does anyone with love for God want to be associated with a party like this?

  • RB2

    The enemy of my religion is the Democratic Party.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    “How does anyone with love for God want to be associated with a party like this?”

    I suppose we could also ask how anyone could say nothing about the persecution of Hispanics by Republicans, while belonging to their party, and yet claim to love God?

    In fairness, Hispanics and blacks have the highest abortion rates in the country but how can anyone expect these Hispanics to be drawn to Christ’s true Church and be changed, while some inside are so disrespectful, belittling, indifferent and/or hostile to Hispanics (and blacks). Some non-Hispanic-white Catholics do not seem to adequately understand the gravity of the sin of driving some Hispanics and blacks away.

    All Catholics should reach out to all minorities, including all Hispanics and blacks (and vice versa) not only to enable a united stand against abortion and all practices condemned by the Church’s Magisterium but because of their own value and dignity as human beings created in God’s image; because Jesus Christ visited and was crucified to redeem Hispanics and blacks (and Asians and Native Americans) as much as Non Hispanic Whites and everyone else.

    Some are indeed confused and don’t quite understand that it is wrong to not care whether Hispanics are or remain Catholic and are redeemed; that what matters is that they are or become Republican or Democrat or whatever.

  • RB2

    I)”Can a Catholic Be a Democrat: or How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion.”
    written by David Carlin in 2005, former Democrat majority leader of the Rhode Island Senate.

    I’d recommend this book for those who dont get it and have the possibility of understanding that Catholicism is incompatible with the philosophies and agenda of the Democrat party. For those already in the know its just a ‘quick read’ and preaches to the choir. Great gift book for that special friend or relative with scales over their eyes.

    II) “The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America”, 2003 written by David Carlin who is also a college sociologist.

    I’ve read about 5 books about the time during Vatican II trying to get a fix on what happened and why. Specifically why me and my family and relatives were washed out of the church and into the culture. This book was ‘the best’ of a select bunch , highly recommended. No other book came as completely close to explaining the cultural. social and philosophical dynamics that led to the downfall of the Church laity and clergy.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic , January 07, 2011

    RB2 – Please. Stop the propaganda.

    How many dead Iraqis in Iraq? Who decided to invade? Was it not a grave sin?

    Take the beam out of your eye.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    A Republican president…decided to invade Iraq because he accused them, with inadequate evidence, of having weapons of mass destruction which were never found. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives. The Catholic Church opposed the invasion. Remember?

  • RB2

    Your rude and confrontational.

  • ddent

    Here’s an idea – why don’t the “catholic” democrats quite supporting a pro-death party and come over and straighten out the republicans? The “Bush done it” excuse for staying Democrat is wearing thin, even to you. You then could insist on union wages and union benefits for illegals working in this country, end NAFTA and help Mexico rebuilt their economy, and provide valid social security numbers for them instead of being party to the liberal travesty of “working for our immigrant brothers.” But you won’t do that because you are so busy seducing them for votes and preening in front of your ’60’s mirrors.

  • Laurie

    To Catholic Hispanic,

    What is it you want the Republican party to do for you? Is it entitlements? Is some kind of freebee from our secular government worth the stain of blood on your hands of the unborn child sacrificed at the altar of the Democratic party? That is a huge price to pay for welfare, union benefits, free education, free medical, you name it.
    My religion is not the Republican party. I do not make over 50,000 a year let alone have union benfits. My compass is the Catholic Church’s teachings first, party affiliation somewhere down the line. Following the Church’s views on abortion and homosexuality, and other moral issue dictate my vote first. That is the part I just don’t understand, how anything comes close to justifying the sacrifice of 50 million lives. The Church teaches subsidarity helping others with the least government involvement as possible. It is so sad to see how far we have strayed from the true teaching of the Church.

  • Tim

    I am a pro-immigration, pro-life, pro-marriage, anti-war, ant-big government, economic libertarian who holds my nose and votes Republican because Democrats are wrong on life, marriage and economics. You have to weigh each of these. Life is number one. Economics is number two. Democrats pay for their votes by leading blacks and hispanics into the dependency trap. Democrats are absolutely clueless how the economy works. They policies hurt the poor. They talk the good talk. I don’t even doubt their intentions. I want to help the poor and the best way to do that is giving the poor good jobs not handouts.

  • Jim

    Wait a minute. You claim to be a life long Democrat, but are bothered by their positions on abortion, sexual morals, etc. They have had these positions for decades. Why have you kept putting Democrats in office?

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    At least in this forum, many don’t get it. Non-Hispanic white Republican Catholics are persecuting Hispanics and driving them out of the Church and the country. That is a grave sin.

    That this essay insulted Hispanics (and blacks) by referring to us as ‘mindless’ and that seemingly only Hispanics protested is evidence of this, at least in this forum.

    To stop abortion we need Hispanics and blacks inside the church for they have the highest abortion rates by far. Within the Church they can receive Christ’s sacramental graces and be influenced. But many want them out and insult them, perhaps to get them out. That is not motivated by Jesus Christ but by Satan.

    Twenty per cent of Hispanics live below the poverty line and thirteen per cent are unemployed. Count me among both of those. Yet no Catholics in my primarily English speaking church has ever inquired about those who are unemployed or below the poverty line, Hispanic or not. Like all Hispanics I know, I am most willing to work and am quite capable of it. Yet, in this forum some presumed Catholics add injury to insult by insinuating that Hispanics want his/her uncharitable handouts. How is it that some are not ashamed to call themselves Christians and (presumably) to sacramentally commune with Jesus while treating the poor and Hispanics like this is beyond me.

    I did not vote democrat but that is not the point.

  • Brian English

    ” Republican president…decided to invade Iraq because he accused them, with inadequate evidence, of having weapons of mass destruction which were never found.

    There were several other reasons, including violating about 20 U.N. Resolutions.

    “Hundreds of thousands lost their lives.”

    How many Iraqis would have died if we hadn’t invaded? Do you think Dick Cheney fabricated all those mass graves? What about the Shias and Kurds? Or do they not count?

    “The Catholic Church opposed the invasion. Remember?”

    JPII and then-Cardinal Ratzinger both believed the Just War criteria had not been satisfied. However, Cardinal Ratzinger expressly stated Catholics could disagree with them and still be in good standing with the Church, in contrast to the issues of abortion and euthanasia, where Catholics are not free to disagree with the Church. Consequently, you cannot excuse Catholics voting for the Party of Death because of the Iraq War.

  • Laurie

    I am sorry for your circumstance. I do not believe anyone is trying to be un-Christian with their comments here. Quite frankly I am tired of the argument that government can be or should be our saviour of all our difficulties. I am sorry that you feel that way about the church where you are at. I live in a relatively small town and we manage to have a Spanish mass once a month to make most Hispanics feel welcome. Make that happen at your church. Your voice is important. Our economy is in pretty bad shape right now and it probably will not get better any time soon. The biggest problem is entitlements- welfare, pensions, social security, medicare. We simply do not have enough money to pay for all these free things. None of us have put enough money in the system that we are now demanding out of it. It is unsustainable.
    I have three family members struggling to stay afloat. They do not have regular work. I understand your frustration. I do know that they would not take any freebees from the government in exchange for their vote to continue the death march on the unborn.
    When governments, people, even priests fail us, we always have God to lean on and direct
    us. It has and always will be that way. Maybe you should be the voice that stands up for your race, instead of blasting others for not doing enough. I know I will be praying for you and for all my fellow Christians. Jesus’s truth is the real truth. I am not waiting for some party or person to solve my problems. I rely on God for that. I help those in need when monetarily I can and more than often when I can’t I get down on my knees in front of the Holy Eucharist and pray for them unceasingly. God Bless you.

  • Bob

    My favorite book in the whole world is Dante’s Divine Comedy. In the Seventh Canto of The Inferno, Dante beholds the souls of the damned in Hell’s Fourth Circle, the circle of blind partisanship. There he see the 14th Century’s equivalents of Democrats and Republicans endlessly battling it out to no purpose. They have so surrendered their wills to “the party”, that Virgil cautions Dante against trying to recognize any individuals among the lost souls.
    “Your wish to make them out is hopeless,” he says. “These were so lacking in individual thought in life, that it is now impossible to tell them apart.”

    Good Catholics can be both Democrats and Republicans. Blind partisanship and demonizing of “the other side” can kill our souls.

  • Brian English

    “At least in this forum, many don’t get it. Non-Hispanic white Republican Catholics are persecuting Hispanics and driving them out of the Church and the country. That is a grave sin.”

    How are Hispanics being persecuted? Because people disagree with certain proposed immigration laws?

    “Within the Church they can receive Christ’s sacramental graces and be influenced. But many want them out and insult them, perhaps to get them out. That is not motivated by Jesus Christ but by Satan.”

    The USCCB has never seen an amnesty bill it didn’t like, so claiming the Church is driving Hispanics out because of its positions on immigration is disingenuous.

    What you are trying do is excuse Hispanics voting for a political party that opposes the Church on every Life Issue. Hispanics have to ask themselves, is it more important to be Hispanic, or to be Catholic?

    “Twenty per cent of Hispanics live below the poverty line and thirteen per cent are unemployed. Count me among both of those. Yet no Catholics in my primarily English speaking church has ever inquired about those who are unemployed or below the poverty line, Hispanic or not.”

    You know for a fact none of these White Catholics contribute to charity? This English-speaking Church doesn’t help the poor with money from collections?

    “Like all Hispanics I know, I am most willing to work and am quite capable of it. Yet, in this forum some presumed Catholics add injury to insult by insinuating that Hispanics want his/her uncharitable handouts.”

    I have no doubts about that. Specifically, exploitation of hard-working illegal immigrants is one of the primary reasons this situation has been allowed to develop. However, it is unfortunate that some Hispanic political leaders seem more interested in developing a culture of dependancy than in bringing people into the mainstream of society.

  • Cord Hamrick

    I think David Carlin’s phrasing is entirely innocent here.

    If you want to be angry about bigoted thinking, you ought to direct it towards the Democratic leadership.

    It is merely stating the facts to observe that the Democratic Party’s “mind” (that is to say, the persons who have power to make decisions and whose opinions provide the directing ethos) consists thoroughly of liberal white Protestants (some of whom are Protestant Protestants, some of whom are Catholic Protestants, and some of whom are Secular Protestants).

    And it is merely stating the facts to observe that the Democratic Party’s “body” (that is to say, the persons who provide votes but who have no power to exert significant influence over the direction of the party) consists of a more mixed-ethnicity crowd, of which the leadership is generally not reflective.

    Why is this the case?

    Easy. It’s the “soft bigotry of low expectations” and the philosophy of “white man’s burden,” still lingering in the hearts of the Democratic leadership, and of progressives in general.

    Granted, progressives no longer vocally advocate for birth-control programs directed specifically at minority populations. That’s been hushed up since the 1940’s.

    But the Pelosis and Kerrys and McAuliffes, et alia, who have actual power in the Democratic leadership, do not want Sheila Jackson Lee and Linda Sanchez and the like exerting power over the direction of the party because, in the opinion of the Democratic leadership, such folks are, bless their little hearts, suitable for being Indians but not for being Chiefs.

    This is exactly why, all those many years ago when Jesse Jackson ran for president on the Democratic ticket, the Democrats were perfectly willing to let him run — the fact that a black man could do so made them look good — but when he said outrageously stupid things they showed no embarrassment over it. One is only embarrassed when a person one identifies as truly “one of you” says something untoward. Among Democratic leaders, “people of color” were never that.

    And this is why Hillary Clinton was the heir presumptive for the Democratic ticket until the Obama movement — a movement originating well outside party headquarters — caught them all off their guard. Their usual instinct was to let “the well-spoken polite-sounding black man” make them look good by his presence among their candidates…but the notion of him being the nominee? Sacre-bleu! (as Mr. Kerry might say). No, no, no. Hillary is our sort of folk, they reasoned: Let Barak be her VP, perhaps.

    Now, to their credit, they were able to reverse that attitude rather adroitly once they were forced to it. Whatever their prejudices, they aren’t raving bigots.

    They caught on to the fact that a solid fifth of the Republicans firmly hated their nominee (McCain won back a few of those when he selected Palin, but lost others in the process), and a similar number of Republicans would be willing to vote for a black man for President no matter what his policies, just to be able to see the First Black President and thereby have a “Get Out Of Being Called A Racist” card for the rest of their lives. (“Me, harbor latent racism? I voted for Barak Obama back in ’08, for Pete’s sake!”)

    In short, Obama wasn’t their (the Democratic leadership’s) idea, but on further examination, he turned out to be that most unexpected of gifts: A sure thing. And they were surprised to find that even if he didn’t look like them, he sounded like them: Like a white college professor. (Remember Joe Biden happily commenting on how “articulate” candidate Obama was?)

    So the Democrats set the pick-n-roll, pivoted, passed the ball to their unusually well-tanned power forward, and scored a layup. (Yes, I am consciously depicting them thinking of it as a basketball metaphor: I assure you that some of them did.)

    But don’t expect the values and priorities which dominate in black and Hispanic communities to shoot to predominance in Democratic leadership circles as a result. (School vouchers? Not a chance. And the black community’s resentment of gay activists’ co-opting of civil-rights-movement terminology will never, I guarantee you, become visible on the national Democratic level.)

    No. The Democratic leadership have staked out their property quite nicely, thank you, and don’t care to have those they view as “the little people” intruding on their discussions of how things should be run.

    Indeed, in thinking about the Democratic party as it stands today, one strains not to use the plantation analogy. But that would be in execrable taste. Forget I even mentioned it.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    Para empezar, la mayor

  • Laurie

    What is the purpose of writing in Spanish? I think this is a matter of pride to try and turn this forum into something it isn’t. From what you wrote it is obvious you do not believe that illegal immigration is legimate. Unfortnately that is not what the Catholic Church says. The Catechism says we must obey the laws of the country we live in. A person must enter our country legally, just like every other country demands. I don’t think I could sneak into Mexico and demand free health care, medicine, a job, whatever. That is a form of stealing. Although I have great compassion for someone trying to seek out a better life, following the respective country’s laws would not be asking much.
    The hispanic population in my town is probably less than 1% so saying a
    Spanish mass once a month seems to be a nice gestured. And for your information quite a few white people are there celebrating along with their fellow Hispanic Catholics. Charity comes in all forms, writing in Spanish when most on this forum speak and understand English might be considered a polite and Christian thing to do. P.S.- my best friend throughout high school and college was from Cuba. God Bless.

  • Paul C

    Beautifully written and thought out!

  • Cord Hamrick

    My Spanish is rusty, but the following is a pretty good translation of the post by “Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic.” In some spots, I’m trying to convey the sense rather than a literal word-for-word translation.

    – – – – –
    To begin with, the majority of the masses ought to be in Spanish in those parishes where more than 50% of parishoners are Hispanic, and so on; generally the language of the Masses and that of the parishoners ought to be kept in proportion. (Or, they could be all in Latin if it is translated in some part to the other languages.)

    Second, the faithful of the Church should not belong to a political party or promote things associated with the party (such as a candidate) if the party/candidate violates the Church’s teachings on abortion, the death penalty, sexual morality, etc. (like the Democrats do).

    Third, it is the obligation of all Catholics help the poor in their respective communities according to the need of the poor, not merely according to one’s own convenience. Christian love is an act of will with requirements. (“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” — Matthew 25:44)

    Fourth, when we judge others, Jesus taught us we should judge ourselves according to the same standard. It is strange that anyone should pursue [as criminals] Hispanics for being here “illegally” when his own ancestors were Mexican and Central American (I myself am not from of those countries; but am an exiled Cuban).

    Doing this is particularly hypocritical for those who know quite well that their own ancestors came here and [invaded] lands where people were already living, often pushing them out of the way by killing them or putting them on reservations. However, now they intend to make laws giving them the right to expel many of the initial occupants? That law cannot have divine authority. The United States should recognize that a significant part of their citizens are Hispanic and that there is a moral obligation, and a Christian obligation, to deal with the related problems without expelling Hispanics or pursuing them like criminals, and to do everything possible so that everyone can live in peace.

    May the peace of Christ be with you.
    – – – – –

    Since some points worthy of consideration or response were made in that post, I thought it worth our time to make the effort of translating. (Please note that in general, that cannot be expected; don’t anyone go posting all his combox comments in Hindi and expect me to be a translation service!)

  • dave carlin

    At some point in the above discussion, it became taken for granted, not only by my attackers but by at least one of my defenders, that I had insulted blacks and Hispanics by saying that they are “mindless.” I did not say this. True enough, I don’t believe that they are the “mind” of the Democratic Party; atheists are the mind of the party. But this is a far cry — a very far cry — from saying that blacks and Hispanics are mindless. I don’t mind being attacked for things that I DID say, but I don’t like to be attacked for mythical comments attributed to me.

  • Emmet

    “Good Catholics can be both Democrats and Republicans. Blind partisanship and demonizing of “the other side” can kill our souls.”

    Bob, this is really just an unsupported statement except by a work of fiction
    and also very untrue. But I guess it makes on feel good to make statements like this and pretend to be above the fray. Some would call this lukewarm and we know what Jesus would like to do to lukewarm Christians. “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Rev 3:16
    I dont like throwing scripture at people except this time I think it warranted.

    The political parties in their current configurations do lead to clear
    differences without deviation in this period of time. That may not be true 10-20 years from now if the issues get shifted or tossed around between the parties. But abortion is the #1 issue and mostly because it is an intrinsic evil that accounts for some 1 million deaths a year in the U.S. No other issue or combination of issues(pick and choose any!) adds up to this amount of absolute carnage.

  • Chaarr

    It is an inherent part of the political process, that the vast majority of us cannot devote the time and energy necessary to be aware of all positions on all issues, because the reality of having to work for a living – that is, having a specialized division of labor society – makes this impossible.

    Trust then becomes important, as it becomes necessary to trust in one’s leaders.

    I don’t think it’s at all inaccurate to use the word “mindless” to describe demographic groups who continue to trust – and follow – leaders who lead them bad places. The fact that the particular demographic groups happen to be protected minorities should not change anything: truth hurts.

    If the Democratic party were truly a friend to the Hispanic, they’d be working to make legal immigration practical and possible, not working to reinforce a status quot that exploits Hispanics and sets poor undocumented workers against poor documented workers in a competition that benefits only the rich employers.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    The Spanish text I submitted was mistranslated. For example, it didn’t even mention the term “Republicano”.

    Following is the correct translation by its author, namely me:

    JUSTICE AND PEACE

    To begin with, the majority of masses should be in Spanish in those parishes where more than 50% of parishioners are Hispanic, and in any case, proportionally. Or they could all be in Latin so long as it is translated somewhere to the other languages.

    Secondly, the Church faithful should not affiliate themselves with a political party that persecutes a portion of them (like the Republican) or that violates the teachings of the Church with respect to abortion, capital punishment, sexuality, etc. (like the Democrat).

    Third, All catholics are obligated to help the poorest in their respective communities according to their needs, and not just according to what they may feel like. Christian love is an act of will with requirements. “Lord, when did I see you without a roof, or unemployed, or hungry

  • Cord Hamrick

    To “Catholic pro Magisterium, Hispanic”:

    I apologize for the error in skipping the phrase in which you stated that the Republicans persecute some of the faithful. I got confused about the meaning of that phrase because I thought the word “republicano” in that context was referring to a representative of the public; i.e., a candidate. This confused me about what you meant — and I haven’t spoken Spanish on a regular basis in over a decade, so I’m very “rusty.” Now that I see what you really meant, I’m astonished I made such an obvious error. I botched it; I should have known better.

    Apart from that, I also made an error translating the word “persiga” as “pursue [as in, to pursue a criminal]” when you actually meant persecute. In this case, I knew the word could mean both meanings, but I assumed you were accusing immigration enforcement officials of treating illegal immigrants like criminals rather than accusing immigration enforcement officials of putting them to the rack, feeding them to the lions, crucifying them, and the like. In short, I opted for “pursue” over “persecute” because I did not realize you were engaging in hyperbole. (Tone-of-voice is difficult to convey in all written communication, and in this case my rusty Spanish skills made it worse!)

    Again, I’m sorry for the errors. I intended no deceit; I just wanted to help those with no Spanish skills at all have some idea what you were saying.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    Cord Hamrick — Thanks for your good faith and clarification but I wrote: “…the Church faithful should not affiliate themselves with a political party that persecutes a portion of them…”

    Not immigration, not just so called “illegal” immigrants and not hyperbole.

  • Dust

    It is clear to me at least, that you, CpMH, have an issue with self-awareness with regard to your emnity towards people of a certain color and ethnicity. Posting your comment in Spanish was an “in your face” gesture. Mr. Vasquez has posted in this site several times, also has a chip on his sholder the size of Rhode Island. I would invite him to be similarly introspective. If your “idee fix” blinds you to the possibility that there may be other legitimate variables bearing on the issues, you are part of the problem.

  • Cord Hamrick

    “Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic”:

    CLARIFICATION COMPLETE
    Very well: It is the Republican Party (not merely immigration enforcement officers executing U.S. immigration policy), personally, and distinctively as a party, which you accuse of persecuting (not merely treating as criminals, but persecuting: that is, treating on par with Nero’s treatment of Christians) illegal immigrants.

    TWO QUESTIONS
    Now that we have mutually clarified very specifically what you mean in your post, I have two questions for you:

    Question 1:
    What was your intent in originally posting in Spanish?

    English is not only obviously the language of this particular forum, but something of a lingua franca in international communication, occupying for pilots, ships’ navigators, technology industries, and international media much the same role that French once occupied in diplomatic usage. (Of course, Spanish is also a very widespread language: A native Spanish speaker is wise to select English as a second language; a native English speaker is wise to select Spanish. Chinese should probably be in the mix in many cases, also.) When one posts in a Farsi-only forum, but it is rare to find a mixed-language forum where English is not used. (Indeed in such forums it will usually be the most-used language.)

    So even if InsideCatholic had been a mixed-language forum, there would have been a good argument for posting in English. And yet it is not mixed-language. There could be no possible misunderstanding about the language of the forum and its participants: There is the home page (entirely in English) and the article (entirely in English) and the comments thread (entirely in English). Yet you risked widespread inability to understand the specifics of your note by posting it in Spanish. Why?

    You are obviously quite fluent in English; indeed, so fluent that I can’t tell for certain whether English, or Spanish, is your “first” language from your written communications. So you weren’t forced to use Spanish out of a lack of fluency in English.

    They say “the medium is the message.” You clearly intended to communicate something by communicating in Spanish. What was it?

    Dust and Laurie have seen in your choice of Spanish an “in your face” attitude; a giving in to self-conceit, an intentional ethnic exclusivity, a defining of oneself according to one’s ethnicity rather than one’s intrinsic human dignity, and the like. I admit I see how all of these are very plausible guesses at your motive in posting in Spanish…but they are only guesses, and as they don’t reflect well on you, I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    So: What were you thinking?

    Question 2:
    I have a second question, but I wish to put that question in context with an analogy:

    THE ANALOGY
    One of the errors one can easily make in debating persons with whom one is personally unfamiliar is this: Since one does not share their views, and since one does not know them well enough to have first-hand evidence of their good nature and good intent, one slips easily into attributing their different views to evil intent.

    For example, American political conservatives hold that the wealth transfer programs which characterize the welfare state are (a.) extremely bad for the poor, (b.) politically-corruptive vote-buying schemes, and (c.) unconstitutional and thus illegal under the laws of the United States. They thus oppose these programs. But American political leftists do not acknowledge (a.) as true, think problem (b.) is overstated, and do not consider (c.) to be a particularly important issue. They thus see no reason why anyone would oppose the welfare state. They also don’t know political conservatives well enough to have evidence of their good intent, and thus conclude that since (1.) conservatives are against the welfare state and (2.) there’s no good reason to oppose the welfare state, if follows that (3.) conservatives’ reasons for opposing the welfare state are evil ones; namely, that conservatives all hate the poor.

    It then comes as a bewildering shock to these political leftists when they hear that, throughout American society, political conservatives give twice as much alms and volunteer time to assist the poor as political leftists do. This is confusing to them, since it contradicts (3.) and they don’t know conservatives well enough to have any other explanation for their policy positions.

    THE QUESTION
    CpMH, I strongly suspect that you have fallen into this same error (the error the leftists make) about the motives of those who oppose illegal immigration in the United States.

    BUT, I don’t know you. It is quite possible that I have misunderstood your perspective on this.

    So I ask you: When you say that the Republican party “persecutes” illegal immigrants,

    (a.) What do you believe the motives of Republicans are?
    (b.) What would you consider examples of “persecution”?
    (c.) What would you consider to be an immigration policy which does not “persecute”? …and can you give examples of other countries (Spanish-speaking countries in particular) which implement a policy such as you recommend?

    I suppose that’s actually three questions, but they’re all related, so consider them Question 2a, Question 2b, and Question 2c, if you will.

    Thanks.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    Dust — I’m sorry you feel like that but you are absolutely wrong about me. I published in Spanish because I wanted non Spanish speakers (some of who seem so comfortable with things as they are) to see how an immigrant might experience being excluded. For Hispanics it’s worse, as you should know. Even though many had their ancestors born here before, during and after the European settlement, and are roughly half of all US Catholics, some want them to toss them out of the country (and exclude them from the Church) while still claiming to be Catholics.

    Surely you would you not like to be tossed out of this country by a fellow Catholic. If you were to object to that, surely you would wonder why anyone would accuse you of having a chip on your shoulder. Surely you understand that persecuting and tossing your brothers and sisters out is not what Jesus Christ had in mind when He commanded us to love one another as He has loved us.

    We need to close the sinful gap that separates us.

    ___________________________________________________________

    In addition, I amend my request on the celebration of the mass as follows: “…the majority of masses should be in Spanish in those parishes where more than 50% of parishioners are Hispanic, and in any case, proportionately. Or they could all be in Latin provided it is translated somewhere to the other languages. However, wherever there are two or more people of other languages in a parish, every effort should be made to celebrate one weekly mass in their language or in Latin.

    This is consistent with the need for all Catholics to comply with the weekly mass obligation.

  • Mrs. F

    CpMH, I am not Hispanic, but my husband is. He grew up as a migrant farm worker, speaking only Spanish. I don’t know what is going on in your parish or diocese, but to accuse all non-Hispanic Catholics of persecuting and tossing out Hispanic Catholics is insulting.

    You claim that none of the people in your parish offer to help those who are poor-including yourself. What you do not explain is how parish members are supposed to know if a fellow Catholic is living below the poverty line. When my husband and I lived below that line ourselves for the first few years of our marriage, no one knew. We didn’t exactly advertise it when the choice was between paying the elec. bill or buying groceries that week. Are your fellow parishoners supposed to know you need help just by looking at you? What steps have you taken within the parish community to find help?

    While I agree that predominantly Spanish-speaking parishes need to have Spanish Masses, bear in mind that thyour once-a-week requirement if even one person is Spanish speaking is not possible for many small parishes–and in my diocese, for the many small towns whose parishes are missions already. Also, a few members of my church are Korean. Their English is not fluent (I know one pretty well, as she is my sister-in-law’s step-mother). Are we also to offer one mass a week in Korean for them? We also need to count the two Laotian families in the parish. The older members of the parish are not fluent in English, so we better have a Laotian mass too. As far as I know, these are the only languages, in addition to English and Spanish, spoken in our parish, but in the larger parish I used to belong to, in another state, there were many more. Not just Spanish, but Korean, Laotian, Swahili, Nigerian, Russian, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese . . . can you see where insisting on this as a policy can become insurmountable for certain parishes whose immagrant population is not all Latino? This, of course, assumes a priest who can say mass in all these languages, or who has the Latin translation of them avaliable (though the translation would be much easier to obtain than someone who is multi-lingual.

    People who want to see a stop to illegal immigration do not neccessarily want a stop to immigration at all. People who want border security are not looking to throw legal citizens of any color out of the country or out of their parishes. That includes me, and that includes my husband. I do think people need to look at exactly what the process for legally immigrating is, and make sure it is attainable for anyone who is willing to be patient and hardworking. Right now, I feel that many Mexican immigrants are at a disadvantage because Mexico provides poor education, and it is easier to navigate the route to legal citizenship if one is well educated. At the same time, the US needs to secure the border against the drugs, violence and gangs that come across. These negative influences have a much worse impact on the poor, including poor Hispanics, than any other group.

  • Bob

    Dear Emmet: After the horrible events in Tucson, I hope to God you are now sorry for your comments made above on January 8th. I repeat now with sorrow the words I wrote before: Partisanship lands us in Hell! The shootings in Arizona (my home state) are the infernal result of demonizing people who disagree with us politically. We are Catholics! NOT Republican Catholics or Democratic Catholics, and it is insanity to tear asunder the Body of Christ for petty political squabbles. Honest people of good will can with good conscience be suporters of either party.

  • Laurie

    I can not believe how this article and comments have turned out. The author tries to explain how the Democratic party no longer is welcoming to the teachings of the Catholic faith and it turns into discrimination against Hispanics. Now we are blaming the horrible shooting in Arizona to political demonizing of one party over the other.
    Where is the truth in either assertion? The author of the article even comes back and explains his writing. He never intended his words to say hispanics are mindless-that is not good enough. The shootings in Arizona doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with discrimination or name calling, it has everything to do with a very sick indiividual who seemed to want to harm this woman for sometime now. Why can’t we be honest? Why do we change the truth so it justifies our point of view. Maybe it is pride. Do we have to believe that our political point of view is right even when the truth is staring us in the face? I know pride is my worst enemy, I recognize that it keeps me farther away from God. God loves Democrats just as much as he loves Republicans. As I said in a earlier post. Any good the Democrat party does can not outweigh the bad it does in regards to life and Catholic teachings. If I am wrong please explain to me how. I honestly am willing to listen.

  • Laurie

    I am sorry for wharever I did to make this post so long.

  • Cord Hamrick

    CpMH:

    Of my two questions, consider Question 1 answered.

    You said, in reply to “Dust”:

    I published in Spanish because I wanted non Spanish speakers (some of who seem so comfortable with things as they are) to see how an immigrant might experience being excluded.

    This seems unnecessary to me, and seems to ascribe fault or guilt where none exists.

    Do Spanish-speakers “experience being excluded” in a non-Spanish speaking country? I suppose so, though it’s hardly an intentional kind of exclusion. Non-Spanish speakers “experience being excluded” whenever they visit a Spanish-speaking country, for precisely the same reason. But that’s equally unintentional on the part of their hosts, and I don’t notice non-Spanish speakers resenting the experience. Why should they?

    If one visits another country, yet doesn’t speak the language, should one not expect to feel “outside” most conversations as a result of the language barrier? When visiting Spain and Mexico I felt “outside” in this fashion. But I didn’t resent the experience. I did not at all ascribe a nefarious motive to those who spoke the local language in my presence. Why should I ascribe any kind of guilt to them, merely because of my lack of language-preparedness? (Indeed, I was grateful to them when they graciously slowed down and allowed me to practice my halting Spanish in conversation with them. But I didn’t expect them to always speak at the crawlingly slow pace which would permit me to comprehend them.)

    And that was my attitude, during a legal visit. If some extreme circumstances were to justify my visiting a Spanish-speaking country illegally, I would try to have the same attitude. Indeed, were I there illegally, having any other attitude would be particularly presumptuous, don’t you think?

    Indeed it seems to me that businesses and government in the United States go rather far out of their way to accommodate Spanish-speaking persons. There is no particular right to the vast number of products and services which are offered with bilingual signage and instructions, but they are offered for Spanish speakers to a degree which (a.) vastly outnumbers the comparable accommodations for other language-groups (is there any signage in Farsi? Urdu? Ukranian?); and (b.) vastly outnumbers the effort made in Spanish-speaking countries to offer signage and instructions in English.

    All in all, I see no guilt, but in fact a great degree of generosity, in the high degree to which Spanish speakers are accommodated in the United States. If despite this some of them feel excluded because some conversations remain solely in English, I can only say that (1.) I’m sorry they feel that way; and, (2.) my visits to other countries allow me to commiserate…but, (3.) I don’t see that anyone is at fault.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    Mrs. F. — What follow is my response to your comments:
    CpMH, I am not Hispanic, but my husband is.

    Since you are not Hispanic you are not threatened as other Hispanics.

    “I don’t know what is going on in your parish or diocese, but to accuse all non-Hispanic Catholics of persecuting and tossing out Hispanic Catholics is insulting.”

    I did not claim what you accuse me of but rather that the Republican party is persecuting Hispanics. That is their agenda with the laws they are promoting. I wrote that Catholics should not affiliate themselves to it or to the Democratic party.

    You claim that none of the people in your parish offer to help those who are Are your fellow parishoners supposed to know you need help just by looking at you?

    No, but Catholics should ask if anyone in the parish is in need of economic assistance or shelter. Surely you don’t expect someone like me to stand up and advertise that they are unemployed. That would make them even more unemployable! Everyone sees the US economy. Why then don’t they ask if anyone is looking for additional work. How many Catholic parishes offer assistance like the Good Samaritan, without pushing anyone to beg? How many instead call the police if someone expresses need?

    Additionally, please understand that some like me are employed but that does not mean we are earning income. St. Thomas explained that work is all activity directed towards the good. So I work to produce good, like I’m doing here, I hope. But I need income to live in a modern world.

    “While I agree that predominantly Spanish-speaking parishes need to have Spanish Masses…”

    I’m glad we agree on something but not all catholics agree even on this. I used to belong to a parish where 90-95% were Hispanic and yet there was only one mass out of 15-17 per week in Spanish.

    “…bear in mind that thyour once-a-week requirement if even one person is Spanish speaking is not possible for many small parishes–and in my diocese, for the many small towns whose parishes are missions already.”

    Why should missions be excepted? That they are a mission with Hispanics makes it all the more critical to have masses in Spanish for them. Who are these missionaries who don’t even speak the language of those being catechized?

    “Also, a few members of my church are Korean…Are we also to offer one mass a week in Korean for them? …Not just Spanish, but Korean, Laotian. . . can you see where insisting on this as a policy can become insurmountable for certain parishes whose immagrant population is not all Latino?”

    I anticipated this question in my previous posts. Please read them again. Offer the masses in Latin with written translations into each language somewhere.

    “This, of course, assumes a priest who can say mass in all these languages,”

    No it does not. Just Latin.

    “or who has the Latin translation of them avaliable (though the translation would be much easier to obtain than someone who is multi-lingual.”

    If the parish priest can’t figure out how to obtain a Latin and multilingual translation of the mass, perhaps the bishop should step in.

    “People who want to see a stop to illegal immigration do not neccessarily want a stop to immigration at all. People who want border security are not looking to throw legal citizens of any color out of the country or out of their parishes.”

    No, they just want to be able stop Hispanics in the street and detain them if they don’t have “their papers” or speak English, even if they are U.S. citizens.

    “That includes me, and that includes my husband. I do think people need to look at exactly what the process for legally immigrating is, and make sure it is attainable for anyone who is willing to be patient and hardworking.”

    The people of Mexico and CA were immigrating to this land before the United States existed. The US should not treat them like other immigrants. Criminals however should be treated according to any just laws and treaties that may exist. Their immigration status in the case of Mexicans and Central Americans should be irrelevant.

    “Right now, I feel that many Mexican immigrants are at a disadvantage because Mexico provides poor education, …”

    My experience is exactly the opposite. Students who studied through 8th grade in Mexico are far more prepared than Mexicans who went to public US schools from the start. The latter were sabotaged by the U.S. public education system and many can’t even read or wrote. Unfortunately Catholic schools can’t economically handle so many Catholic Hispanics. That would be ideal. Long ago, I was partly educated at a superb parochial Catholic school where my parents paid $2 per month for each of their children. God bless those Catholic nuns, teachers and administrators infinitely.

    “…and it is easier to navigate the route to legal citizenship if one is well educated.”

    It should not be. That is unfair and Catholics should help and defend the vulnerable. That’s the Church’s position.

    “At the same time, the US needs to secure the border against the drugs, violence and gangs that come across. These negative influences have a much worse impact on the poor, including poor Hispanics, than any other group.”

    In many cases, gangs are created in the US by Hispanics who have internalized the low opinion and hatred which they perceive that the American mainstream has of them. Additionally, in many cases, gang members have parents have been imprisoned for a minor or simply an immigration offense (unheard of in much of Latin America). So a gang is in a very real sense a self defense measure: ‘let’s unite and survive’. Eventually the gangs are exported, or self export, to their native lands and wreck havoc there, for they have been raised outside of culture, almost like feral children. That’s sort of what I think happens.

    It’s disingenuous to claim that Mexico is the sole or main cause of the US “drug” problem.

  • Cord Hamrick

    Truly, the Tuscon shooting is not relevant to a discussion of the distinctions between the two major political parties in the United States.

    Here’s what we know about Jared Lee Loughner, the person arrested in the shooting:

    1. He does not, so far as anyone can tell, have political views which can be aligned with either the Republican party or the Democratic party. Early reports gave the impression that he was not a right-winger but rather hard-left instead…but, what we know about now him suggests he has no ideological consistency whatsoever. He apparently was equally fond of the Communist Manifesto (which would put him left-of-center) and Ayn Rand (which would put him quasi-right-of-center in a libertarian kind of way), with Mien Kampf (equally disqualifying for both left and right) thrown in for good measure. He once compared a woman to a terrorist for having an abortion (which sounds right-of-center) but was an outspoken atheist (which sounds left-of-center). Apparently he was obsessed with American currency being devalued (“even a blind sow…”), and also with calling people illiterate when they used bad grammar. (No idea where that fits on the ideological spectrum.)

    In short, one can’t call this a Republican vs. Democrat attack. It is just as likely a Democrat vs. Democrat attack. More likely than either is that it was a Way-Out-Of-Mainstream-Person vs. Basically-Normal-Person attack. Which brings me to point 2…

    2. He is nuts. And nuts is pretty indiscriminate about targets.

    So this is not indicative of a particularly high level of vitriol in American politics. (Indeed the level of vitriol in American politics is probably at a low ebb just now, historically speaking.) It’s just one of those random bad events that happens from time to time even in a genteel political climate. In short, had this fellow lived in Canada, he’d have done the same thing to some poor Canadian politician and those around her.

  • Dust

    CpMH,
    The discussion in this thread has gone all over the map and I do not have the time nor am I feeling well enough to write a long comment tonight. I accept your goodwill and your response in regarding your attitude towards whites as on of being a non-racist. I doubt that anything I would add here would change your opinion about your thoughts on the Republican party. Personally, I find it irritating that political affiliation always seems to get dragged into discussions on moral issues and Church teaching. With regards your post in Spanish, you might want to keep from offending your audience if you want them to hear what you have to say, otherwise they just stop reading everything you post from here on out.

    AS for my moniker, Dust, I took it from Ash Wednesday, and the admonition that we hear from the priest. My family background on both sides is from a culture that came across a border to fill a void in the labor market but has since been assimilated. Yes, there was discrimination. My mother didn’t speak English until she was in First Grade and English wasn’t spoken in her home and isn’t to this day with her remaining siblings. Our current parish was founded and built in the 19th Century by these immigrants and is a beautiful traditional place to worship, quite unlike the butt-ugly auditoriums of recent construction that pass for Catholic Churches. You could describe me as a CpMFC.

    As for language issues, try going to Confession in eastern Europe to a Spanish Army Chaplain who didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Spanish but we both spoke a little German and the people in the parish there spoke Serbo-Croatian. I think the absolution I received was still valid, N’est pas?

  • Cord Hamrick

    As Dust says, the discussion in this thread is “all over the map.”

    Question: Of all the people still participating in this thread, does anyone wish to debate the original article?

    David Carlin’s point, narrowly construed, was that:

    (a.) The Democratic party has a leadership which is secular in policy because it is made up of secularists and liberal-Christian fellow-travelers.

    (b.) The bulk of Democratic votes come from folks who don’t share this secular worldview and are thus not represented by that leadership.

    Does anyone still participating in this thread dispute that?

    If so, then perhaps we should return to the original topic and try to stay within its confines.

    But if not, I don’t suppose it hurts anything to branch out to other topics. I myself find the notion that the Republican party persecutes Hispanics laughably silly and nearly as indefensible as the old blood-libel things folks said about Jews. So that’s a point I’d like to see addressed (hence my Question 2 to CpMH).

    But that’s off the original topic. So if anyone remains interested in the original topic, we should stick with it.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    Dust — It’s amazing how you know my race without ever having seen me. I can’t begin to imagine how you’ve gone about evaluating everything else written here. You have zero credibility with me.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    Cord Hamrick – The Hispanics I have been referring are not visitors to the United States. They are 15% of its population. Inhabitants. Some of their ancestors were here before any of yours.

    Don’t compare them to yourself as a tourist in Acapulco or wherever.

  • Dust

    You said you are hispanic, I can only take you at your word. I really don’t care about your race or ethnicity. I made a feeble attempt at humor. I throw up my hands at this point.I wish you nothing but the best, CpMH.

  • Cord Hamrick

    CpMH:

    You seem angry that I made a comparison between a Hispanic person who has been in the U.S. for a short period of time (and who, as a consequence, doesn’t know the language) and myself as a short-term missionary or tourist in another country. To me, they seem roughly comparable.

    But then you say that I am unjustly comparing myself to people whose ancestors have been in the United States for hundreds of years. That is false. I made no such comparison, and it is illogical for you to suggest that I did.

    Hispanics are not homogeneous: There are subsets within the larger set. You are accusing me of comparing myself to one of those subsets (the one least comparable to my short-term visits in other countries) when in reality the context makes it clear that I was actually comparing myself to a totally different subset (the one most comparable).

    To clarify this further, let’s look at those subsets:

    Some Hispanics in the United States were born here or have been in country for many decades. They may have been born to parents who came here fifty years ago or so; or, they may have ancestry here which pre-dates the United States. That’s one group.

    In another group, some Hispanics have been here a much shorter period of time: Perhaps months, perhaps a few years. Some of these are here illegally; some are legally present with work visas; some are naturalized citizens.

    Now when you speak of Hispanics who don’t understand English and feel left out (the motive for your post in Spanish) you can’t possibly be talking about folks who were born in the U.S. to parents who were born in the U.S. to parents who were born in the U.S., et cetera. For of course those folks are all citizens by birth, and 99.9% of those folks speak fluent English. They are no more “left out” of an English conversation than I am. Indeed, it is unlikely that you are referring to any adult who has been here for more than half their life-span: They too will generally have learned English well enough to function in an English-speaking society.

    When you speak of folks who don’t understand English (and might thus feel left out) I very logically concluded you had in mind folk who had been within the United States (as legal visitors, as illegal visitors, or as naturalized citizens) for a comparatively short period of time — too short to easily learn the English language. (Otherwise how could they experience enough of a language barrier to “feel left out?”)

    It was to these folk I compared my short visits in Spanish speaking countries…and of course that comparison is far more valid than the sort of straw-man you suggested I made.

    To put it more succinctly: In general, the longer one lives in-country, the more likely one is to know the language. Thus, the longer one lives in-country, the less likely one is to feel “left out” of conversations on account of a language barrier. The comparison I made involved my short-term presence in-country and my lack of knowing the language; therefore, it makes perfect sense when drawn between myself and Hispanics whose short-term presence in the United States prevents them from having learned the language.

    But I would not draw such a comparison with Hispanics whose great-grandfathers came here and who stayed here ever since. I would not draw such a comparison, not only because I would not find the situations comparable, but also because those folk uniformly speak English and have no language barrier — our whole conversation is inapplicable to them.

    That is why your complaint about my comparison…

    Cord Hamrick – The Hispanics I have been referring are not visitors to the United States. They are 15% of its population. Inhabitants. Some of their ancestors were here before any of yours. Don’t compare them to yourself as a tourist in Acapulco or wherever.

    …is not a logical complaint.

    So I am puzzled as to why you would make such a complaint. Are you angry about something? Do you bear a grudge against me (or people like me) that I don’t know about? I can tell a little bit about you from your style of writing: You are an educated adult: A very intelligent person with full command of two languages. So I don’t understand why a person like that would jump to unreasonable conclusions in this way. I’m doing my best to construe your posts as charitably as possible…but give me some help in doing so!

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    Cord Hamrick – On January 10 you wrote: “Do Spanish-speakers “experience being excluded” in a non-Spanish speaking country?”

    “Spanish-speakers” is not the same as “a Hispanic person who has been in the U.S. for a short period of time”, which is what you now write. Yet, when I challenged your comparison by writing that “The Hispanics I have been referring are not visitors to the United States” you try to characterize me as illogical. It would have been illogical had you written what you now wish to claim you wrote, and had I referred to that. But you did not initially write that and therefore I could not have referred to it. Therefore, I am not illogical. But in order to make me (a Hispanic) appear illogical you have had to throw dust in everyone’s eyes by suggesting you had written something you did not initially write, and only wrote after I published my statement.

    This is not the first time you do something like this in this forum. At an earlier point you mistranslated my Spanish text (by not including the term “Republican”, which was critical to understanding it) and when I called attention to that fact you responded by adding your spin to change the meaning what I had indeed written.

    In your latest post, perhaps frustrated in trying to refute what I wrote, and 2 days after a horrible massacre in Arizona, you ask me: “Are you angry about something? Do you bear a grudge against me (or people like me) that I don’t know about?”

    So there you go again with your spin. At this point, I believe it’s highly probable that you will continue to try to twist whatever I write to advance your spurious arguments and malicious insinuations. Therefore I will no longer continue to communicate with you.

    “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?

    “You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)

  • Cord Hamrick

    My attempts to be diplomatic keep falling flat.

    I did not intentionally mistranslate you; my Spanish is just that shaky that I thought of “republicano” as “representative/candidate” instead of “Republican.” Stupid in hindsight (because I should have realized why you capitalized the word), but not intentional.

    The comparison which you criticized was a direct response to your point about Spanish speakers feeling excluded because of a language barrier, which you said was the reason for your post in Spanish. In that context, “Spanish speakers in the U.S.” is essentially identical to “Hispanic persons in the U.S. for a short time” because, as I stated previously, those who grew up here are not only Spanish speakers, but bilingual persons like yourself.

    It feels to me that you are going to every possible effort to construe my words in the worst and guiltiest possible way, rather than in a reasonable face-value manner. (It feels that way. But I now give you the benefit of the doubt and assume otherwise.) You seem to feel I am doing the same to you. (I am not, so I hope you will give me the benefit of the doubt as well.)

    I am forced to conclude, on the basis of these difficulties, that you and I do not have enough common ground between us to constructively communicate with one another.

    That’s a shame, but it sometimes happens that way.

    All the best — and the peace of Christ — to you. And may we in the future be able to dialogue more constructively.

  • Catholic, pro Magisterium, Hispanic

    Cord Harrick, We don’t agree even on the reasons for the communications breakdown. May God help the Catholic Church down this difficult road and may Christ’s peace and redemptive grace also be with you, and with all.

MENU