Treat immigrants with dignity
The story of Christmas reminds us that there was “no room in the inn” because others had arrived in Bethlehem before Joseph and Mary. The only place left open was in a stable for Mary to give birth to her son. Herod, hearing of a newborn king, ordered all male babies 2 years of age and younger killed so that no others would challenge his rights as king. The consequence of such action caused Joseph and Mary to flee with Jesus into Egypt. Joseph used his carpenter skills to feed his family in that foreign land.
If we track back a few generations, most of us will discover ancestors who came to this country seeking better outcomes for their families.
Today there are men, women and children who have come, maybe climbing fences or crossing the desert, to find a better life for themselves and their families. They bring a rich culture, strong religious and family ties, and a willingness to work hard at even menial tasks and for reduced pay.
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What should be our reaction to these people? Should we not demand that they be treated with dignity?
A possible solution would be to offer a path to citizenship for those who have lived here for years. Perhaps visas could be offered to those who want to come to work here. Whatever is done must preserve the bonds of immediate family. Are we willing to seek laws like this, or will we continue to say in our day that there is “no room for them in the inn”?
Have to amend
Predictably, since the Connecticut tragedy, the letters and opinions for or against stricter gun-control laws have started to flow. Proposed laws will be debated in and out of Congress, and a stricter law eventually may be passed and signed by the president. Then the appeals will start and an appeals court judge may rule it constitutional. If so, it probably will end up with the U.S. Supreme Court, and unless the president has succeeded by nominations to change the balance of the court, the law probably will be ruled unconstitutional.
Those willing and able to devote much time and effort to modify or eliminate the Second Amendment should do so by the method provided by Article 5 of the Constitution itself. Any amendment thus initiated and ratified is not likely to be found to be unconstitutional if review by the Supreme Court is required.
The Second Amendment as now written has been defined by the Supreme Court. If those desiring to modify that amendment by defining the term “arms” have the majority support that they claim to have, they should be able to accomplish this. If they fail in that effort, it will be made clear that the Second Amendment should remain as written.
In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the nation is clamoring for change. Sadly, it seems the “change” now being discussed is centered primarily on gun-control issues.
Many lawmakers are proposing reinstatement of the 1994 assault-weapons ban. For those not aware, the law (which expired in 2004) did not ban “assault weapons.” It only banned certain features on firearms. Furthermore, it did not stop two teenage boys from killing 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999.
It would be a shame if the major preventive measure acted upon is another weapons ban. There are many issues needing consideration, discussion and debate, such as the permeation of violence in media and television, access to mental health care and the negative connotations associated with it.
The deaths of 20 children and six adults are horrific, but it would be an even greater tragedy if this massacre led only to new gun-control legislation that will do little to prevent a similar event from happening again.
War kills children
As we mourn the tragedy in Connecticut, we wonder who could do such a thing. Yet we kill men, women and children with Predator drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan regularly. The Iraq War took more than 100,000 civilian lives. Let us begin to care for others’ children as well as our own.
Didn’t blame God
“God still in schools, loves us” (Dec. 19 Letters to the Editor) misrepresented recent statements by talk-show host Mike Huckabee regarding the murders in Newtown, Conn. It said Huckabee had said that God was “ordered” out of our schools, and that Huckabee implied that God somehow abandoned the children and other victims of the Newtown tragedy.
In fact, Huckabee said the shootings could not be blamed on God, because we have “systematically marginalized God out of our culture by removing Him from all aspects of the public square.” In a subsequent statement, Huckabee went on to enumerate the many ways in which natural law and moral absolutes have been eliminated from our culture. Huckabee then stated that we as a nation should not be surprised when children who grow up in such a moral vacuum act out their lack of morality through acts of violence or other immoral behavior.
The letter writer made much of the notion that God could not be “ordered” out of any place. As a theologically conservative Christian, Huckabee believes in the omnipresence of God, and that this was a figure of speech. Also, Huckabee didn’t blame the killings on the U.S. Supreme Court ban on school-led prayer. In fact, Huckabee stated that it would be ludicrous to claim that the removal of prayer and Bible reading from the schools was the sole cause of such a tragedy.
PHILLIP A. BOSTIAN