On Saturday May 1, tens of thousands of demonstrators lined the streets of downtown Los Angeles to voice their opposition to Arizona’s law that cracks down on illegal immigration within the state. The Los Angeles Times reports the law approved by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer allows police to check the legal status of anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant.
Among the rally’s attendees was LA’s Cardinal Roger Mahoney who used the opportunity to voice his “righteous anger” towards the Grand Canyon State.
According to the Ventura County Star the Cardinal led the crowds in chanting the words “Yes, we can” in Spanish. Mahoney was joined on the speaker’s platform by several other Los Angeles dignitaries who called Arizona’s law racist and motivated by hatred.
Other faith communities throughout the country are adding their voices to Mahoney’s outcry. Progressive Christian leader Jim Wallis maintains that Arizona’s law is equivalent to “social and racial sin.”
To bolster their protest of the Arizona law, the New Evangelicals for the Common Good cites the biblical principle in which God commands His people to show kindness and hospitality to the foreigner and the stranger (Leviticus 19:33-34).
In addition to Mahoney’s public comments at the rally, the Cardinal wrote on his blog, “I can’t imagine Arizonans now reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation.”
Mahoney’s comparison of Arizona’s techniques in questioning suspected illegal aliens to Nazi and communist procedures is historically inaccurate and irresponsible. The Nazis were hunting for Jews residing in their midst in order to exterminate them. The Russian communists were executing individuals whom the state viewed as their political enemies. Neither the Nazis nor the communists were concerned about the legality of someone’s citizenship.
Arizona’s law states the police are only to ask for proper ID from anyone breaking a law. Law enforcement officials have every right to ask for proper ID regardless of a person’s skin color or ethnicity.
Ironically, Cardinal Mahoney and evangelical leaders are ignoring the fact foreigners living and working in the United States illegally are breaking the law.
Is Mahoney speaking for the Catholic Church when he encourages his parish to believe bad behavior can be rewarded? Anyone at Saturday’s rally could interpret the Cardinal’s “Yes, We Can” chant as “Yes, we can break U.S. federal laws and get away with it.”
Speakers at the May 1 Los Angeles rally also failed to address Arizona’s economic hardship caused by the presence of non-tax paying illegals.
Why aren’t Los Angeles religious leaders and evangelicals speaking out against illegals who bring drugs across Arizona’s borders, contribute to the state’s rising crime rate and then expect Arizona’s taxpayers to financially support them while they serve their prison sentences?
The Bible does command God’s people to treat aliens and strangers with kindness. However, religious leaders in Los Angeles know better than to suggest the Scriptures give license to foreigners to break a nation’s laws and then expect legalized immunity.