Posts

The Contributions of the DACAmented

Since 2012 the United States has become a safe-haven for a narrow group of young people who migrated here either alone or following their older relatives. Multiple presidents, congressmen/congresswomen, and civilians have agreed for many decades that lack of proper legislation has created a system in which the Federal government seeks to remove from our neighborhoods individuals who contribute deeply to the very fabric of who we are as a people. President Reagan, President George H.W. Bush, and President Obama have all seen this failure of congress to fix the issue and have passed executive orders to defer deportation orders for limited groups of people.

The present often overshadows and therefore garnishes all attention from the past, keeping us from seeing our reality in the greater context of history. Recent narrative has proclaimed that the spirit of America demands adherence to the law as the primary pillar of our Republic. Although observance of the law is vital to any successfu…

Defining the Borders of Human Rights

Two days ago I was laying in bed, about to fall asleep, when I heard a noise. We have one of the loudest refrigerators in the world, so this happens pretty often - nothing to think twice about. But then my one year old Miniature Dachshund jumped up and started freaking out. This was more rare. Not the barking - she does that fairly often - - but when she is asleep, it takes quite a lot to get her up. So then I'm faced with the decision of whether I ignore the noise, attributing it to some "normal" house noise, or do I get up out of the comfortable bed and do a perimeter check.

The obvious next stop on the mind journey is, "what happens if I find someone out there?". I'm pretty confident that most thieves would flee when confronted - but still, if my house is vandalized, things stolen, damage done - that becomes a headache of tasks to accomplish very quickly. (And yes, this whole mind-conversation is happening while still laying in bed).

So after I either co…

Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?

Those who follow me on social media, and/or read the things I write, could easily get the impression that the most important thing to me is helping the immigrant community. I daily read, write, comment, share, talk about the injustice that is rampant in our country and how we can (need to) fix it. While this is true and deeply touches my heart - it is important to step back and realize that this isn't the only important thing.
My desire to see those displaced from their homeland treated in a just way, with love and compassion, stems from my personal faith. I don't think that you have to have this faith to see the value in a just world - and many of the people whom I've met through my activism abhor the idea of love motivated by faith - but for me, it was seeing the heart of God for the vulnerable that pricked my heart and moved me into action.

All through college I had a desire to help people. I was learning how to engage people from cultures different than my own and I s…

The Immigrant and Welfare

In an age with more access to information at the very tips of our fingers (literally) than any other time in the history of humanity - it is baffling how often we still get it wrong. Society has lost the art of fact checking, peer reviews, and perhaps most importantly - correctly inferring meaning from data.

This dilemma isn't limited to the backwoods high-school drop outs. We see this on every side of the isle and in every socio-economic breakdown across the country. Once a scientific people, we have drifted into the land of relativity - where perception and sound bites are infinitely more valuable than truth and reality. But I digress.

Yesterday I jumped into my '05 Ford Ranger and squeaked (yes, squeaked - it's time for new ball joints) down the road to a local diner to join about 65 other constituents for a town hall with US Congressman Tom Rice. Overall, the event was very encouraging - almost everyone in attendance was vocally supportive of DREAMers and they demanded…

Enchained Migration: Loosening the Bonds on the American Family

Once upon a time the family was the backbone of American culture. Thinking back to the era of "Leave it to Beaver" and "The Andy Griffith Show" - we remember that the place of the family unit is a traditional aspect of what it means to be "American". For generations, young people look forward to the day they say their vows before their families, get their first mortgage, and have children. This elicits pictures of 4th of July barbecues, family reunions at the lake, and even the occasional sharing of tears around a casket. We were created to experience a myriad of emotions and events alongside a select group of people we call family. In many ways, the fairly new culture of this country capitalized on strength and resolve generated by these connections - establishing a society weaved intimately with the thread of family relationships.

When my great-grandfather came through Ellis Island in 1901 from Sicily, the process was quite simple - as it was for everyo…

A Bill of Love?

On 9 January, President Trump gathered a coalition of bipartisan congresspeople together to discuss the necessity of passing immigration reform – primarily regarding DACA, secondarily regarding “comprehensive reform”. The table was full; each participant coming with their own ideas and desires regarding both how to handle DACA, and how they define “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” For 55 minutes the only clear conclusion agreed on by everyone in the room was that we need to protect DACA recipients from loosing protected status and that we need a strong border. That was it. No additional comment, no additional details – pure, cut and dry consensus. Yet what do we see not even 24 hours after that meeting? The president’s party is speaking as though DACA is a request from the Democrats, and in order to give them what they want he will have to get border security (including a wall), Visa lottery removal, “chain migration” removal, and merit-based immigration implementation. No longer i…

Our Christian Duty - Luke 4

In John Calvin's "Institutes," he says the following,
Now it is very clear what our duty is: Thus, if the Lord has committed to us the protection of our life, our duty is to protect it; if he offers helps to us, to use them; if he forewarns us of dangers, not to plunge headlong; if he makes remedies available, not to neglect them. But no danger will hurt us, say they, unless it is fatal, and in this case it is beyond remedies. But what if the dangers are not fatal, because the Lord has provided you with remedies for repulsing and overcoming them? (John Calvin, Institutes, 1:216 (1.17.4). But what is the duty the Lord has committed to us? For the believer, the answer to this question should guide how we organize our lives, expend our resources, and fill our prayers. For each of us this question can be answered in two ways: one being the generic answer that is the same for all of us, the other being the specific calling given by the Lord to the individual. I will focus on …