The Senate, aided by economists and Christian thinkers, progresses toward the inconceivably insane

Last week, Robert Rector wrote an article at the Heritage Foundation website detailing the vast numbers of new immigrants—100 million—that would be admitted to the U.S. over the next 20 years under the “temporary worker” provision of S.2611. (And that was just the mid-range projection; the upper range projection was 193 million new immigrants.) This information set off such an uproar that the Senate promptly passed an amendment, proposed by Sen. Bingamon, that lowered the annual number of “temporary” guest workers in the bill from 325,000 to 200,000 and also eliminated the insane escalator clause which would increase the number of “temporary” workers each year by as much as 20 percent. Rector has a follow-up op-ed in the New York Post dealing with the new numbers under the amended bill. Instead of 100 million immigrants in all categories over a period of 20 years, the amended S.2611 would allow in 66 million immigrants: the 19 million that would come under the current rate of 950,000 per years, plus an additional 47 million.

This is progress, folks! We’ve gone from the beyond beyond beyond insane, to the merely beyond beyond insane.

And by the way, if you think this number is merely the inadvertent result of senators still not thinking about what they’re doing (just as they apparently were not thinking about what they were doing when they voted for the earlier 325,000 annual figure), Lawrence Kudlow this week in the New York Sun (“Why the fuss?” May 19-21, 2006) positively endorsed the scale of immigration growth Rector is describing. Kudlow said that the country needs 57.5 million new immigrants over the next 20 years, to pay taxes for our aging population. And—echoing William Kristol’s complacent remark that he has no problem with illegal immigration—Kudlow indifferently added, “What’s all the fuss about?” Right. He proposes an unimaginable alteration of our society, far beyond the scale of any previous immigration, then asks what all the fuss is about.

We have to face the reality that this drive to open our borders is nothing less than demonic, and that this demonic drive stems from our society’s rejection of God and the transcendent. This statement (which I explain further below) is not contradicted by the fact that Kudlow is a convert to the Catholic Church, and that many other believing Christian conservatives, such as Mary Ann Glendon writing in the current First Things, are in favor of continuing mass Third-World immigration into the West. The bottom line is that the God these “Christian conservatives” believe in is the God of liberalism, that new God declared by Vatican II, who is, as both Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II made crystal clear, man himself. As I wrote in my article, “How Liberal Christianity Promotes Open Borders and One-Worldism”:

This momentous event was announced by Pope Paul VI in his closing speech at the Second Vatican Council, in December 1965. The Council, the Pope declared, had not been content to reflect on the relations that unite her to God.

[The Church] was also much concerned with man, with man as he really is today, with living man, with man totally taken up with himself, with man who not only makes himself the center of his own interests, but who dares to claim that he is the principle and [the] final cause of all reality. Man in his phenomenal totality … presented himself, as it were, before the assembly of the Council Fathers…. The religion of God made man has come up against the religion—for there is such a one—of man who makes himself God. [Emphasis added.]

And how did the Council respond to this heretical specter of godless, secular man, of “man who makes himself God”? Far from condemning this monstrous falsehood and asserting the superior claims of the Christian faith, the Council, said the Pope,

was filled only with an endless sympathy. The discovery of human needs—and these are so much greater now that the son of the earth has made himself greater—absorbed the attention of the Synod…. [W]e also, we more than anyone else, have the cult of man…

A current of affection and admiration overflowed from the Council over the modern world of man … [The Catholic religion] proclaims itself to be entirely in the service of man’s well-being. The Catholic religion and life itself thus reaffirm their alliance, their convergence on a single human reality: the Catholic faith exists for humanity … [Emphasis added.]

Thus, alongside God, the Church seemed to have added a second Lord, man, with everything ultimately focusing on man instead of God. In so doing, the Church adopted the very heresy of modernism that Pope Pius X had warned against sixty years earlier.

All of which brings us back to the question: what is the demonic? It is an impulse without limits, uncontrolled by anything outside itself. The demonic comes about when the natural, social, and divine order, which, as Plato says, keeps the different functions of society and the different parts of man’s being doing their proper work, in balance with other parts—when this order breaks down and impulses are released without restraint and without regard for any larger world. The demonic doesn’t have to be a matter of Nazi- or al Qaeda-type evil. It can be something that seems oh-so-sweet and oh-so-reasonable. When Christian authorities declare—as the American and Mexican bishops declare, approvingly quoted by Mary Ann Glendon—that the wealthier nations must have a generous and accommodating attitude toward migrants from poorer nations, that statement, so simple, so moral-sounding, so reasonable-sounding, is in fact demonic. It is demonic because these Christians have taken one part of Christianity, the rule of compassion, removed it from its biblical and personal context (the Good Samaritan helped one person who was in need of help, he didn’t self-righteously tell his society to open its borders to tens of millions of unassimilable foreigners), and turned it into a political principle ruling all other principles, the One Ring to Rule Them All, unleashing chaos and ruin on the world. Or, to use a different metaphor, Glendon has taken the tender protective feelings of a mother toward a small child and made it into the formula for the relationship between the “strong” West and the “weak” non-Western immigrants. In its proper sphere, which is the relationship between mother and child, motherly love serves its proper function. Placed artificially into a sphere where it doesn’t belong, the relations between entire nations and peoples,—and then, moreover, made the ruling principle of that sphere—motherly love becomes demonic.

True, in the last four paragraphs of the article, Glendon, summarizing and expanding on the bishops’ “principles,” throws lots of qualifying phrases into the mix (nations have the right to control their immigration, poor migrants must also be morally responsible even as they are being welcomed into and coddled by the host country), so as to make the bishops’ manifesto sound deeply considered and not crazy, but it’s just window dressing. The thrust of the statement is plain to see: an unending imperative laid on the Western nations to allow themselves to be flooded by non-Western peoples, who, moreover, just happen to be mainly Catholic peoples. These liberal Catholic spokesmen have put aside everything else, everything we know about human limits, everything we know about the need for nations to maintain manageable and cohesive societies, everything about being beware of sins, including the sinful tendencies of other people on whom we bestow our unconditional and inappropriate favors—which (human nature being what it is) inevitably feeds their greed and aggression against us. This liberal Christian project means forgetting all that, and treating all the nonwhite peoples of the world as though they were that wounded man lying on the side of the road to Jerusalem and we were the good Samaritan. Except, as I’ve said, the Samaritan personally helped that man and took responsibility for what he was doing. He didn’t, like Mary Ann Glendon, sit in a comfortable aerie at Harvard University, calmly and oh-so sweetly and thoughtfully telling his society to commit suicide.

(Here is a further analysis I wrote of Glendon’s article when it was republished at Opinion Journal.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 20, 2006 07:15 PM | Send

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