Religious breakdown of the vote on S.2611
VFR reader James R. has put together some fascinating information on how senators voted for the immigration bill by religious affiliation. He writes:
I did a search to find out if Larry Craig is a Mormon, as southern Idaho is essentially an extension of open borders-friendly Mormon Utah. As I learned at Wikipedia, he’s not. Harry Reid is a Mormon, and Senate Mormons voted 3-2 in favor of the bill. However, by cross referencing the Wikipedia list of senators by religious affiliation with the Senate vote tally you posted at VFR, I found that Catholics voted 19-4 yes, with Bunning, Santorum, Sununu and Vitter voting no (Salazar did not vote). Jews voted 11-0 yes. The combined Catholic-Jewish vote was 30-4 in favor. Subtracting those 30 yes votes and 4 no votes from the 62-36 vote of the entire Senate leaves the remaining Senators voting 32-32.To sum up James’s findings, it was the Catholic and Jewish contingents that made the vote lopsided in favor of this bill. At the same time, the Protestants (and the Mormons—I had no idea there were five Mormons in the U.S. Senate) are not off the hook either, as half of them voted for S.2611 as well. Still, the message is striking. Senate Jews (unanimously) and Senate Catholics (overwhelmingly) are pro-open borders and turn the Senate from what would otherwise be an evenly divided body into a heavily open-borders body.
All of which leads to the question: Can immigration restrictionists make any headway against the open-borders ideology without addressing the ethno-religious components of the support for that ideology? For example, let’s say we find ourselves, as I found myself recently, in a meeting where the immigration of Muslims or Mexicans is being discussed, and it turns out that the people at the table who vociferously object to any immigration restrictions, who indeed say that the very idea of excluding any group is immoral and illiberal, are all Catholics and Jews. Could one civilly point this fact out? Could one say that the Catholics and Jews in that discussion are pro-open borders because they think they are religiously obligated to support open borders, or because they still identify too much with their families’ immigration background, or because Catholics want to bring in lots of Catholic Hispanics? Could one legitimately say that this shows that they are thinking too much in terms of their own group and not of the well-being of the society as whole?
I think the answer is yes. If Catholics and Jews are resting on their Catholicism or Jewishness to support policies ruinous to our society, while using highly emotional and moralistic arguments to silence disagreement, then that ought to be discussed.
This is not a call for ad hominem or bigoted arguments. If an entire group is lopsidedly on one side of an issue, then clearly the opinions of the individual members of that group are not determined solely by a rational concern for the common good leading to logical conclusions individually arrived at (since, if they were so arrived at, the distribution of opinions in that group would be similar to that of the general population); they are determined by something about the group itself. So the group’s history, beliefs, and motives become a legitimate part of the debate. If we can publicly discuss why liberals as a group or agribusiness interests as a group are in favor of open borders, we should be able to discuss why Catholics as a group or Jews as a group are in favor of open borders.
Imagine the clamor from the liberal elite, separation-of-church-and-state supporters of this “No Mexican Left Behind” bill if Baptists and Methodists voted 30-4 in favor of restricting or abolishing a woman’s “right” to an abortion.RJ Stove writes from Australia:
I am a Catholic. For what it’s worth, I shall always be a Catholic, and would rather die than cease to be a Catholic, thanks to reasons not worth going into here. Seems to me that one factor motivating so many Catholics, above all American Catholics, to vote for catastrophic immigration policies hasn’t been mentioned at all …Jeremy, who is Jewish, writes:
I think it was unfair to lump Catholics together with Jews. [LA note: meaning it was unfair to the Catholics.]LA replies:
Jeremy, I disagree with you on this. The breakdown is stunning, it involves both groups, it’s a significant story. I do not get much into the details, but the overall picture. If I did get more into the details, I could say the Catholic numbers are more significant because Catholics are both Democrats and Republicans, yet Catholic Republicans are still open borders; while Jews as everyone knows are liberal, so voting open borders is seen as merely consistent with that and therefore less significant.Jeremy replies:
I think the breakdown is significant in that it may illuminate a method for counteracting white Catholic support for amnesty (and the importance of doing so given their strong support for amnesty), namely by convincing them that although Hispanics are fellow Catholics, they are uneducated, have low skills, have low IQs, etc and so they will continue to be poor, commit relatively more crimes, will generally vote for the Democracts in order to get welfare, affirmative action, etc and will thus increasingly empower the left. I have heard Jared Taylor speak about (and also read on VDARE) Hispanic illegitimacy rates, teen age pregnacy, reconquista and hatred for America, etc all of which all help diminish this open fantasizing among white Catholics (I didn’t realize until your blog today that those fantasizing about the pure and moral Hispanics were probably white Catholics). Any white Catholic hope for a moral resurgence or increased Catholic influence due to Hispanics is a pipe dream and this should be made clear again and again because it may be their perception that the Hispanic influx will improve the country and that they would make good allies against liberals that is driving them to support amnesty. Remember that a substantial portion of Republicans openly fantasize about Hispanics being won over by Bush’s Hispanic friendly policies…Igor points out that almost all the Jewish senators who voted for open borders are Democrats anyway, while the majority of the Catholic who are Republican voted for the bill:
I wonder if David Duke and his philo-anti-Semite fellow travellers at AR and MR [?] will raise a big stink about this Catholic betrayal (83% of Catholic senators voted for this) and attribute it to a Papal conspiracy or some evolutionary group strategy. Will they accuse them of a dual loyalty or internationalism? Will they accuse them of trying to weaken the Protestant character of America or being anti-Protestant?(Here are further data on the vote breakdown of Episcopalian senators.)