The problem with a weekly newspaper is that interesting stories can break as the paper is going to press and there is no time to get it into that week’s paper. In this new age of cyberspace, however, we can post those stories on our web and Facebook pages to keep our readers up-to-date.
One such story broke last week as we were going to press on Tuesday. Monday had been the national call-in day when the U.S. bishops urged Catholics to let their representatives in Washington know that they support the so-called Dreamers, people illegally in the U.S. who were brought here at a young age by their parents.
The argument is that for many of these folks this is the only home they have ever known and if they are law-abiding there is no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to stay here.
This has caused a lot of hot debate since the country has been trying to deal with an out-of-control immigration problem for years. Everyone agrees that the immigration policy of the country needs reform – Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has been arguing for this for years – but our politicians have not been able to agree on how to do it. Years of political stalemate have led to disgust and dissension and some say may have helped to elect President Donald Trump.
Predictably, the story on Tuesday that did not make it into last week’s edition but did appear in our social media involved Tuesday’s protest by Catholics including priests and nuns in the Capitol building. Notable Jesuit journalist Father Tom Reese and several women religious were arrested, handcuffed and taken away when they refused to disperse as ordered.
Visitors to The Tablet sites responded with some support but mostly harsh words of rebuke.
Marguerite Karam Colantoni wrote, “Good for them. They are standing up to what is right.”
Tom Tomas said, “This so-called president has got to go.”
But Samuel J. Howard responded by saying, “Whether you favor immigration reform or not, this form of protest is immoral. Civil disobedience allows us to disobey unjust laws (like those mandating segregation). It doesn’t allow us to disobey laws that are not unjust, like those prohibiting holding protests inside a
senate office building. The desire to get publicity is not sufficient reason to break the law.”
Jesse Chan commented, “They should protest at Planned Parenthood.”
Charles Cardone said, “The Church can’t have it both ways. They instill in us the most important issue is pro-life and then they go against the pro-life president.”
No one wants to see priests and nuns put into handcuffs and taken away in a police van. But at the same time, they face
consequences for their actions. Seems like a tremendous waste of peace keepers’ time, to say nothing about the cost to the public to arrest these folks and march them through the justice system.
The answer to the old question about whether we all can just get along seems to be negative. Until some politicians are brave enough to stand up and negotiate an honest and just solution to our immigration problems, it seems like we all will continue to squabble and cause dissent. Then again, maybe this is the way a democracy is supposed to work.