Tuesday, March 21, 2017

For Life to have Meaning, it Must have Hope

   I lost all my poetry a number of years ago. This poem, though, I still remember. I must must have been in my 20s or 30s when I wrote it.

    I hate to be a disappointment
But, friends, I think I am
   Where is the hope. the strength, the drive
To break me through this jam

   The goals for self
I set them high, upon eternity
   But practice has me way below
Below sufficiency

   Now, some don't try
And some don't care
   But me, it's all or none
If I can't have celestial worlds
   Life isn't worth the run

   There's my old poem, then. It expresses the thought that, for life to have purpose, it must have hope.

Ours Might be a Great Moral Imperative to Speak out on Abortion

   We can discuss political matters because we enjoy them. We can do so as a matter of civic responsibility, wanting to be involved. We can have ideas we think will benefit others. But, of of all the reasons for discussing issues, how many of them do we discuss because we feel an obligation to do so in order to protect someone's life?
   Actually, not just one person's life, but millions of people's lives.
   Our obligation to speak out on abortion perhaps exceeds the moral imperative we have to speak out on most any other matter.
   As I think to stop my post with what I have just said, I find myself reconsidering. What I have just said stands on the basis of what I know about abortion, and about life, itself. But, what if there are things I understand incorrectly? What if the opportunity to live is not lost when you are aborted? What if you are allowed to take another body? I do not know all. Maybe some of the things I assume are wrong. If a spirit leaves an aborted body and then comes to earth in another body, that completely changes the severity of depriving it of life.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Outwitted by Edwin Markham

 "He drew a circle that shut me out --
"Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
 "But love and I had the wit to win;
"We drew a circle and took him in!
 
I think of this poem, in relation to immigration. I wonder but what it applies. We draw a line that shuts them out. We call them criminals. But, perhaps there are others of us who have the will to win. We'll draw a circle to take them in.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

These Days, Standing up for Freedom to Immigrate is Eternal Vigilance

   When it comes to freedom, vigilance is always in order. Forgive me for how I am going to apply this, for it might not fit with the way you are accustomed to thinking.
   For I speak of freedom of immigration -- specifically, immigration as practiced by so-called "illegals."
   Freedom of immigration has eroded over the last century and a half. If we are to be vigilant in protecting all our freedoms, this, too, is one we should be wary of losing. In fact, we should perhaps turn our vigilance more toward this than any other freedom -- at this time, anyway -- for it is a freedom that is being lost.
   Has been lost.
   I have studied this issue. I have learned that the loss of freedom of immigration was one of the reasons our fathers went to war in the American Revolution. At least, in the list of causes for taking up arms against England, the Declaration of Independence mentions restrictions on coming to America as one of the injuries prompting our forefathers to go to war.
   I believe in freedom of immigration. If it is one of the causes for our revolution, it perhaps should be considered one of the founding freedoms of our nation.
   I notice how the first laws on naturalization gave no restrictions on coming here. Rather, they specified that having been here a certain number of years was the basic threshold for being granted naturalization. In 1790, citizenship was granted when you had lived here one year.
   Can you imagine what it would mean if we applied that principle today? All those "illegal" immigrants who have been here a year, instead of being deported, would be granted citizenship. I'm just saying . . . I'm just saying that if we applied the same rules as we had back then, all these "illegals" would be legal.
   Freedom to immigrate is not a new thing. It is an old thing. Once was the day, maybe 150 years ago, when, by and large, you could pretty much pick what country you wanted to move to, and just pack up and move there -- no port of customs to account to and no one waiting at the border to ask you for paperwork.
   It is the loss of this freedom to immigrate that is a new thing. These days, most every nation, if not every single one, has restrictions on people coming. If we believe in protecting our freedoms, this is one we should protect. If we see a picture of of someone in the past carrying a banner reading, "Vigilance Forever," we should consider that in our day, such vigilance for freedom may well be in standing up for the right to move freely from one country to another.

Truth isn't Treason

This Argument for Immigration sits in the Constitution, Patiently Waiting

   Here's a pitch for the 'illegal' immigrant that might someday receive attention, maybe even making them legal.
   This argument sits there in the Constitution, patiently waiting.
   Pick up that venerable document, if you will, and go down to the 14th Amendment, which was enacted following the Civil War.
   Doesn't that last part of Section 1 of the amendment say no state shall deprive any person in its jurisdiction of equal protection under the laws? That means any person living in that state. Any. All you need to qualify, is to live there. It doesn't break it down into those who have been invited and those who haven't.
   It says, "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
   Strictly reading the words, for what they say and what they're worth, doesn't that give undocumented residents the right to remain? Doesn't it legalize them? "No state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law."  Deporting folks is (surely), depriving them of liberty. Depriving them of simply existing on American soil is depriving them of life -- life here, anyway. 
  If you disagree, you are going to have to point out that the Fourteenth Amendment says life, liberty and property can be deprived through due process. I disagree with using that Due Process Clause to deport them. The Due Process Clause is for those accused of having done harm to society. Simply living and breathing on American soil is not a harmful thing. Existing on American soil is not a harm. If you are to use the Due Process Clause to deprive immigrants of their right to be here, you could also use it to deprive those who were born here of their right to be here. You could as well say, we will pass a law that we can deport any of our choice, even though they were born here -- and as long as you gave them due process, the law would be legal.
  My closer today, in this argument that the Fourth Amendment frees our undocumented residents, is to again point to the part of the amendment that says, "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
   Any person living within the jurisdiction of a state, then, is entitled to the protection of that state. And, to what protection do we refer? The protection of rights and liberties, surely. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Would We of such a Religious City Not Heed Matthew 25?

    And, a call is out to find a new home for the homeless in the Salt Lake Valley. Which community will take them in? Now, I do wonder, that in such a Christian, God-fearing society as exists here, not a single community, so far, has stepped forth to accept them.
   What of the scripture that asks (if this is not word perfect, the very essence of it is), When saw I thee homeless, and took thee not in?
   If we had charity, we would take them in. We might not feel comfortable taking them into our very homes, but at least into our communities. Alas, even though this is the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ, still it is that in community after community, there are protests and, instead of taking them in, we are turning them away.
   One wonders if at the day of judgement, Christ will say, Was I not hungry and thirsty and a stranger and ye took me not in? Inasmuch as ye have not done it unto the least of these people living on the streets of my city, ye have not done it unto me.