The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


On Arizona: “We are witnessing the early stages of ethnic cleansing”

posted by jmcgee

Is it hyperbole?

A Unitarian minister, Rev. Peter Morales, describes his arrest for protesting Arizona’s new immigration law, and concludes:

I was a journalist before entering seminary to become a Unitarian Universalist minister. I like to think of myself as less naïve than many of my colleagues. I have lived in Peru and in Spain under Fascism. Yet I found the situation in Arizona appalling and deeply disturbing in ways I did not anticipate.

I am honestly surprised that such systematic denial of basic civil rights (the beating, the arrest for no cause, the denial of use of toilet facilities, the targeting of Latinos) can go on openly in a major American city. This is not a nutty sheriff and a handful of deputies in a small town. This is a law enforcement body in a major urban area.

And I wonder at the absence of forces that are supposed to defend the rights of the helpless. Why in the world has our federal Justice Department not taken action? How much evidence do they need? Where, for that matter, are the usual champions of civil liberties like the ACLU?

Other states are considering copycat legislation based on Arizona’s SB 1070. Republicans are advocating a constitutional change that would deny citizenship to children born in the U. S. if their parents are not citizens.

We are witnessing the early stages of ethnic cleansing. Todos somos Arizona.

To see why he feels that way, read the rest.



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Jim

posted August 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm


This is a very good law – not sure why you are protesting it and using scare tactics. Don’t you think enough Americans are out of work – why should illegals cut in line to get Amnesty above everybody else getting the chance who does so legally?? The FEDERAL LAW is being broken by coming to this country without papers and staying. “– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?
— If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.
— Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).
— Law enforcement officials at all levels — by national mandate — must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations.”



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Joe

posted August 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm


If you like Peru so much, go back and stay there



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RomCath

posted August 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm


“Where, for that matter, are the usual champions of civil liberties like the ACLU? ”
Are you serious? The usual champions of whatever is PC at the moment.
A Unitarian Universalist???????????



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Chuck

posted August 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm


Wow. This article takes my breath away. Ethnic cleansing? Yeah, it’s right up there with Sudan. I’m not sure you can call a situation ethnic cleansing if the victims are still rushing to get there.



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Agent of Chaos

posted August 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm


Rev. Peter Morales better re-read his bible and keep his nose out of politics.
Romans 13:
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
[Agent…That’s a compelling argument. Though the circumstances are different, might you have given the same advice to a resident of Germany in the 1930s? Or to a black resident of the American south in the 1960s? Dcn. G.]



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ds0490

posted August 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm


[Agent…That’s a compelling argument. Though the circumstances are different, might you have given the same advice to a resident of Germany in the 1930s? Or to a black resident of the American south in the 1960s? Dcn. G.]
Or to a Catholic Priest protesting in Washington DC on the anniversary of the Roe decision?



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TomKumar

posted August 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm


The first comments, by Jim— say all that needs to be said. Our response to illegals is so tame and limited. We pale in comparison to the Mexican government. It is time we caught up! Our people are suffering— these illegals are taking jobs from unemployed Americans.



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pagansister

posted August 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm


Deacon, my thoughts exactly. This situation reminds me also of the south in the 1960s, as I lived in the south (Alabama) in the 1960s. I was born at the end of WWII, but what is happening now in AZ does sound horribly like Hitler’s Germany.
My nephew is moving to Phoenix this month, as an FBI agent. I don’t envy him or his family living there right now.



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Panthera

posted August 8, 2010 at 10:39 pm


Deacon Kandra,
The hatred, the sheer hatred pouring forth here from people who call themselves Christian, who even cite the Bible is absolutely appalling.
I thank you for continuing to discuss this horrible situation.
All that the Nazis needed was for good people to do nothing.
What we have here is an active drive by many Christians to do evil.
pagansister – this is beyond belief. Increasingly, I believe there is an axis of evil using the Christian church to justify their hatred.



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Kev

posted August 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm


Seriously disturbing garbage spewing from a so-called minister. He basically says it’s OK to break federal laws. No one is saying that people are from Mexico are not allowed to be in the United States. They need to follow protocol to be here. If they show up uninvited, they are breaking a federal law and should be targeted, arrested, and deported. The ethnic cleansing comment is disgusting and is offensive to all of those who have been victims of this crime around the world. Shame on the minister for his hatred for law and order in America.



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Barton

posted August 8, 2010 at 11:25 pm


The question is how to deal with a human migration which does not seem to being dealt with by the American Federal government over the past two decades. The social and economic condition seem to be the driving force behind this movement.
Any act to stem this movement will be injust to some point IT only remains how much injustice you are prepared to live with. The other option is to allow a free and unfettered movement across the American southern border. As a Canadian I see this as a difficult question with no good solution. If Mexico and Canada are allowed free movement under the North American Freetrade Area ther would remain the pressure of movement from Central and South Amerca. This will be especially true after the social paradises of Venezaula and company come apart at the seams.
One of the defining aspects of a nation-state is control of its borders. This prolem will have to be dealt with by both the United States and the various parts European Union. This seems to be futherly exacerbated in the Unitede States by the fact that immigration is supposed to be acted on by the federal level of government whilst the state and local governments are responsible for health, education and welfare. In these days of deficits any increase in these fields are rather hard to manage. This to me seems to be driving force of those who want migration and the issue of illegal aliens controlled. It would be easy for me as a Canadian to be self rightous; however if I was living on the southern tier of American states my default position might just be that of those “Patriot” border patrols.
If I am wrong in any of the above thoughts could any of the Americans on this list please correct me.



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Deacon Necessary

posted August 9, 2010 at 12:19 am


[Agent…That’s a compelling argument. Though the circumstances are different, might you have given the same advice to a resident of Germany in the 1930s? Or to a black resident of the American south in the 1960s? Dcn. G.]
And for the benefit of Agent of Chaos and others, I would like to add:
The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”48 “We must obey God rather than men”:49 (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2242)



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Gerard Nadal

posted August 9, 2010 at 12:47 am


Deacon Kandra,
With seven years under my belt at Covenant House in Times Square in the ’80’s, I’m certainly no stranger to the plight of the poor and the least among us. However, the positions being staked out by the clergy on this ILLEGAL immigration keep dodging the issue. So I’ll put it to you straight.
I’m making you President for a day. Design a package of immigration reform and take it to Congress in your State of the Union address. Will you seal the borders or won’t you? If yes, when. What will you do with the illegals who stream over the borders after you’ve sealed them? Will you send them home? If yes, why them and not those here now? Do you think it practicable to seal the borders? To throw them wide open?
The clergy are long on social justice precepts regarding those who come here illegally, but short on specifics for governance. What of social justice for American citizens whose families are broken up when they are sent to prison for breaking the law in attempts at remediating THEIR poverty? Why wail when illegals are punished for violating a spate of federal laws meant to control our economy, our public health and our national security?



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Phil Bronner

posted August 9, 2010 at 1:28 am


Well…guess it’s tough being a nation of laws…ya know…if someone is here illegally…that means they are breaking the law…they need to be sent home…period…end of story…you illegally enter their country and pull some of the crap they’ve pulled here and see how far you’ll get.



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Mary

posted August 9, 2010 at 2:25 am


Arizona law is fascist in nature. Fascism seeks a scapegoat. We are at the scapegoat stage in our slide toward fascism.



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Larry Keegan

posted August 9, 2010 at 7:02 am


I like the mexican people and I like Mexico,but never in my life would I dream of sneaking into a country illegally.I understand desperate people very well. They will do almost anything to get what they need. On the other hand I understand people seeking a safe, secure environment. It’s all about management, control, and accountability,and,I might add, fairness. Every day,Nationals from all over the planet apply for admission into the United States, but because of necessary quotas only a relative few are granted entry legally.The rest must wait for an opening. Many Mexicans choose to ignore these necessary rules and force their way into the United States without regard for anyone else. There are health, social, economic, and accountability issues to consider. If illegal immigration continues unchecked we as a nation will become vulnerable to any and all things we can not account for or control. The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. Wake up!



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Deacon Norb

posted August 9, 2010 at 7:03 am


The dialogue between “Agent” and “Deacon Greg” highlights the basic issues of this conversation. But the topic is far more complicated than it first appears:
–There is a distinct difference between Secular Ethics; Religious Morality and Civil/Criminal Law. Think of them as overlapping circles (like the old Ballentine Ale trademark). There are areas of common interest (both civil law and religious morality condemn indiscriminate murder) but there areas that each of them hold as distinct (neither civil law nor secular ethics are interested in religious fasting rules).
–Civil/criminal law is absolutely human-created and one could argue that secular ethics is that as well. Religious morality is a different issue. Most religious folks insist that morality is “God-given” and not secular human-given.
–I have personally visited both Flossenburg (where Dietrich Bonhoffer was executed) and Auschwicz (where Father/Saint Maximilian Kolbe — whose feast day we celebrate this coming Saturday August 14– was executed). I find the comparison between that situation of the 1940’s and ours compelling but not in the way you might think. To the Third Reich, “God was dead” but a lot of Twenty-First Century Americans claim that our culture rules in the name of God.
–I was also alive in the 1960’s living a few short miles from “Western College of Women” where the Freedom Summer marchers were trained in civil disobedience. You might remember that many clergy folk participated in those experiences and three civil rights workers were assassinated for their efforts. This created the fascinating situation where two separate “Divine Commands” went into direct conflict with each other — Roman Catholic priests and nuns marching to bring about moral change and Protestant evangelical/fundamentalist Christianity (supporting by secular law of that era) blocking them at every turn.
Having the churches in our country challenge the federal/state governments and claim that certain products of our legislative process are inherently immoral and against Divine law is nothing new. Civil law can and does change — and concerned and devout Catholics are obliged to work for that change when those laws are inherently unjust.



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Rudy

posted August 9, 2010 at 11:01 am


I was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. 30 years ago when I was 19. I am grateful for the opportunities this country has given me, for the freedom to worship, for the freedom to rise a family and provide for them, for the freedom of expression, for the freedom to live in safety and peace, for the freedom to progress materially, for the freedom to vote, for the freedom to be who I am.
I do not think the Arizona law is the beginning of “ethnic cleansing”. If you want to see what “cleansing” looks like then you need to look in Mexico, where close to 30,000 people have been “cleansed” not for ethnic reasons, but for material reasons, or rather non-reasons, since the violence in my native country no has no logic.
Yet we also need to be careful what we wish for. All of these laws, including the Patriot Act can and probably will be used in the future against the American people by its own government. Though I have no sympathy for those who want unrestricted immigration and want an open border, I also mistrust the capacity of the government to use laws that are passed in times of “crisis” to be later used to stifle and even suppress the hard won freedoms of the American people.
I came from Mexico, and I do not want America to become like my native country. I enjoy the freedom, the material prosperity, the rights and obligations of my adopted country (I am an American Citizen. But I also would like to see more charity towards the alien and care not to give the government more power than it needs to carry out its obligations.



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Barton

posted August 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm


Mary do you know the meaning of fascism? What Arizona is attempting to do may be unethical but it is certainly not fascist.



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Panthera

posted August 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm


Barton,
Do you know the meaning of ‘fascism’? I’m German, so grew up with a firm command of the its various forms.
One of the most common is to limit personal freedoms while quietly permitting otherwise illegal activities to promote the interests of big business.
That pretty well sums up the Arizona approach, when you actually sit down and read the language.
I’d say Mary is right, here.
Frankly, the support of ‘good Christians’ for this reminds me of everything my older relations told me about Germany in the late 1920’s and 30’s.



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ThatGuy

posted August 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm


We are indeed witnessing the early stages of ethnic cleansing. Despite the author’s leftist political agenda, it is the Caucasian and the African-American that will be cleansed from American society within three generations. No other nation surrenders its borders to illegal activity like the United States.



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Mike

posted August 10, 2010 at 9:20 am


it is the Caucasian and the African-American that will be cleansed from American society within three generations.
Nice racist paranoia.



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romancrusader

posted August 10, 2010 at 10:06 am


Let make a few observations here as far as the Arizona ruling goes:
1. I believe our current immigration system is broken and that the federal government has a responsibility to fix it.
2. I believe the majority of immigrants are industrious individuals who strengthen our economy and country.
3. I believe there should be a reasonable path to citizenship established for the estimated twelve million people who are in this country illegally. Mass deportation is simply unfeasible, and won’t do any good.
4. I believe law enforcement has every right to check the citizenship status and even deport those who, having broken the law coming into this country illegally, commit a serious crime in our country subsequently.



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Panthera

posted August 10, 2010 at 1:58 pm


Goodness, how fascinating. The Bible and 2,000 years of Church teaching go right out the window when it comes to the immigrant situation for quite a few Christians.



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RomCath

posted August 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm


“2,000 years of Church teaching go out the window”
Strange for people to invoke Church teaching when convenient. What Church has been around for 2000 years except one.
Had the Federal Govt enforced the laws, AZ would not have had to step in..Secure the borders and design a reasonable way for those who are here to become legal. Nothing against church teaching there.



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pagansister

posted August 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm


Is there any advantage to having been around for 2,000 years RomCath? Practicing an older faith, I wondered.
The situation in AZ is not an easy one to handle. I personally feel more sympathy for the children of the illegals’ than for the adults. They didn’t ask to be born in this country or brought over the border as young children. Born here makes them citizens of this country, but they’d have to go back to Mexico with their parents until they were of age I would guess (18?) to move back here, and if born below the border and brought over here as young children, then they can’t return legally, unless they apply like other immigrants from the past….Irish, Italian, German etc. Complicated business. We can really hope that the police in AZ just don’t start on a “witch hunt” by stopping all those that look like a Mexican etc. Aren’t they supposed to get citizenship status only if a person is stopped for a legitimate cause?



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RomCath

posted August 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm


The only way the police can ask for papers under the AZ law is if the person is stopped for some infraction of the law. They can’t just go up to anyone and ask for papers because they look like Hispanic or whatever.
Of course, the media does not present it that way.
If the police don’t follow that procedure then they can be and should be sued.



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pagansister

posted August 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm


I agree, RomCath, if the police don’t follow procedure then they can and should be sued. Let’s hope that the majority of the police officers do follow proper procedure!



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My Name

posted August 18, 2010 at 5:39 am


Good. In the end, Serbia did lose Kosovo.



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Mary

posted August 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm


This is nothing more than fear mongering! He doesn’t understand what ethnic cleansing is but may someday be a victim of real ethnic cleansing if we do not get a handle on border control!
As for his complaints about being arrested and not being treated differently because he is a “portly” older man, he should have thought about that before HE CHOSE to BREAK THE LAW. We have mollycoddled the left for too long and they have continued to push the envelope of “any means to an end”. Can you imagine if pro-lifers held hands and blocked the entrance to an abortion clinic? Oh, wait, there is now a law against that, but it is okay for these protesters to block the way into the jail where our men and women in blue must have access for our safety and welfare!



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