Friday, May 30, 2008

Exortations on Hospitality; Drug Abuse & "Illegal Aliens" [Undocumented Migrant Workers]

The most ancient of laws governing human behavior is the Hospitality Code. There is no more sacred right under the Shadow of His Wings -- the wings of the Great Shaddai -- than that which extends His refuge to those "widows, strangers and orphans" among us and to wayfarers in need of shelter. Therefore, under my roof and in my house, I will honor whom I please and my neighbors are bound by this sacred and most ancient of codes to respect the sovereignty of my home.

Respect for this code and the recognition of what it represents -- that all of humankind are brothers and sisters under the sun who share common bonds, irrespective of citizenship or nationality, driven by the existential need of Providence -- characterized Abraham as "chosen," distinguished Lot from his decadent neighbors, and set apart even the prostitute Rahab from the cold hearted behind the closed city gates of Jericho.

The Sheep and the Goats

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, '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?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

How can we then think so much of the myth of nationalism and the illusions of this world that we would deny the dharma-gospel of The Kingdom of Heaven? Indeed, "many are invited but few are 'chosen."

The Great American Depression was a hard lesson in economics leading to Populism and Progressive Era solutions. Yet, another lesson is upon us, brought to us via corporatist and imperialist adventurism in the Middle East and the Neoconservative War in Iraq. Let us pray we don't require by our hatred, or incur as members of a society that hates, the hard karma-lessons of ridicule and anger due to our disregard of the ancient hospitality code:

Following this theme - Refuge -- how is it that we can so coldly as a nation abandon our children, our widows, the stranger and orphans among us, the homeless and wayfarer, the migrant worker, to a refuge in illusion and desperation, illusions that only lead to suffering in the streets of Jericho? Rahab the Prostitute welcomes you:

The theme of hospitality continues
in this allusion to the Bethlehem birth narrative written and performed by Bob Dylan's former backup group, The Band:

Now recognized as a statement of imposing social value, here is presented a lamentation to those desperate illusions of refuge found in the streets of Jericho, a song written in memory of her friend, Kurt Cobain, who died of a heroin overdose:

Yet, from within the shadow of his wings...

05-29-08 Breaking News:
"We have previously reported on the anti-immigrant laws passed in Farmers Branch (a Dallas suburb), Texas. Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas (ACLU) and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) succeeded in invalidating Ordinance 2903, an anti-immigrant ordinance enacted by the Farmers Branch City Council in January 2007. The federal court decision forbids the City from ever enforcing the Ordinance.

"In a lengthy opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Sam A. Lindsay determined that Ordinance 2903 was preempted by federal law and violated Plaintiffs’ right to due process. In a separate order, Judge Lindsay also denied the City's request for a declaration that the City's latest version of the law, Ordinance 2952, is constitutional. The new ordinance does not go into effect until next month, but the federal court indicated that it too was problematic."

Read the rest here

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Life Used to Be So Simple....and Brutal

The Jersey Lilly; Judge Roy Bean; The Law West of the Pecos

Photo by Kit Hammond taken in Langtree, Texas, using a Nikon D80

This may not be Lilly Langtree but you get the picture.

Maria Galvany - G.Verdi - La Traviata - Sempre libera - 1911

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, May 19, 2008

Think Progress » As Pope Calls For Treating Immigrants With ‘Dignity,’ Bush Administration Carries Out Raids In Five States

 popebushP ope Benedict XVI has been a vocal supporter of U.S. immigrants, regardless of their legal status. On his flight between Rome and Washington yesterday, the pope made clear that discussing the treatment of Latino immigrants would be a priority during his meeting with President Bush. AFP reports:

The United States must do “everything possible to fight…all forms of violence so that immigrants may lead dignified lives,” the pope said when asked if he would address the issue of Latin American immigrants with the US leader.

The White House viewed the pope’s visit as very important. In a rare gesture, the President and his family even traveled to Andrews Air Force Base to greet the pope as his plane arrived.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration also chose today to carry out immigration raids, arresting more than 280 undocumented workers employed at Pilgrim’s Pride plants in five states. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), several — but not all — of the immigrants were suspected of identity theft or document fraud. According to a Justice Department press release:

For those arrested solely on immigration violations, that information will assist ICE in making decisions about whether to detain the individual or permit a conditional humanitarian release. Similarly, the information will be provided to the relevant U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and state social services agencies so they are fully informed about humanitarian-related issues that may arise in the individual cases being handled through the criminal justice system. Those being prosecuted on criminal charges will be remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and housed at various facilities near the arrest sites.

It’s no wonder that the pope is concerned about the treatment of immigrants. At a recent House hearing, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) noted that children at immigrant detention facilities have reportedly been “put in cells alone for hours, awakened in the middle of the night with flashlights in their faces and threatened with being permanently separated from their parents.”

Under the Bush administration, deportations have increased sharply. In the last fiscal year ending Sept. 30, ICE deported 280,000 people, a 44 percent jump from the previous year. The Bush administration has also come under intense fire from lawmakers and immigration activists for carrying out politically motivated raids against immigrants who criticize the White House’s policies.

Think Progress » As Pope Calls For Treating Immigrants With ‘Dignity,’ Bush Administration Carries Out Raids In Five States