Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Time to Mourn?

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: ... a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance ..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 NIV)

Is it time for mourning? The battle is not yet lost. Not quite anyway. But the way things are shaping up, it appears as though the sun is beginning to set on this once great nation of ours.

I am referring specifically to the vote this week in the U.S. Senate, the approval of S. 2611, the Immigration Reform Bill. Why does this mark a time to mourn? Read what Dana Rohrbacher, a California Republican and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, has to say in his article in the Washington Times on Thursday titled The 'shamnesty' legislation. Look what this bill proposes to do!

  • "In-state tuition for illegal aliens. Your kid has to pay full freight if they cross state lines, but the illegal alien who broke into the country doesn't.
  • All temporary guest workers have to be paid the prevailing wage. American citizens do not have to be paid prevailing wage.
  • All agricultural guest workers under this bill cannot be fired by their employers except for what the bill calls "just cause." However, American agricultural workers can be fired for any reason.
  • Illegal aliens are made eligible for Social Security. Not only will they receive retirement benefits, but their children will receive survivor benefits should the parents pass away. This is at a time when we are trying to keep Social Security solvent for the next generation.
  • Expands the visa lottery program, which is itself a questionable way to make visa distribution decisions.
  • Employers of illegal aliens get amnesty, too. Employers would be exempt from civil and criminal tax and criminal liability under immigration law. God forbid we hold employers accountable for helping illegal aliens break the law and being the magnet that has drawn them here for years.
  • Taxpayer dollars to radical immigrant-rights groups so they can help illegal aliens adjust their status. Millions of your tax dollars will go to the same groups that organized those rallies where people who came here illegally waved foreign flags and thumbed their noses at our laws."

The reason it is getting close to mourning time is not specifically because our Senate wants more immigrants. After all, we are a nation of immigrants. No, it is the stamp of approval on the illegal part that is so reprehensible. Their obvious, self-serving motives behind this bill present us with the cause for mourning. That, and the "sleight-of-hand" that they are attempting.

What has become of integrity, honor, duty, and love of country? What has become of the high ethical standard that America once represented? I suggest that in our Senate, at least for 62 of our Senators, those values mean nothing. They have been trampled upon solely for the purpose of gaining future votes. Their actions this past week respresent an attempt to possess power and control in elections to come.

Power-seeking in itself of course, is nothing new. We have been struggling to hold in check that vice almost since our nation came into being. It is the magnitude of this attempt at a wholesale giveaway that is so deeply grevious. The high and noble ideals our Founding Fathers stood for, risked their fortunes for, and even sacrificed their lives for, have been thrown out with the trash by these pitiful excuses for American leaders.

Harsh words? Disrespectful?


Perhaps some of my brothers and sisters in Christ will call me on my strong language. So be it. But before you fire off your rebukes, let me remind you that these elitist Senators have disrespected us Americans, those of us who work hard, obey the law, pay our taxes, and complain very little because we know how blessed we are to live in America.

But wait a minute! How did these rogues get to have so much power?

Well, we put them there of course. We voted them in. Perhaps you have read this famous quotation from Scottish history professor, Alexander Tytler.

"A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse (generous gifts) from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury ..."

Tytler penned these thoughts in 1787, just as the Founders were wrapping up work on our present Constitution. Quite an insightful man I would say. He nailed it pretty well. From two-hundred years past, he foresaw what was coming. He predicted the selfishness that would ultimately come to rule this nation, a land now filled with a majority of people who care more about themselves than they do about their country.

And that is, perhaps, an even greater cause for mourning than those at the Capitol using their offices to perpetuate their hold on power.

My heart grieves at the state of our nation. My heart is broken over the decline in civility, the decay of morals, the dwindling understanding of why America is what she is.

Not only are those who steal into our country illegally largely ignorant of the underlying causes for America's historical success, but so are a large chunk of native-born Americans. We throw out words like equality and freedom but we have little understanding of the principles behind them. Our naïveté is broad, and our understanding, shallow.

And yet our nation continues forward, carried upon the brilliance, vision, and wisdom of those who founded her. We are living in a house built by our great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, but we haven't a clue about the foundation, the materials of construction, the selection of the lot, or the reason the house was built in the first place. We are just living here, putting on a coat of paint every now and then, but not tending to what's beneath the surface.

But hope remains. Along our Southern border, Americans calling themselves Minutemen have begun to erect, at their own cost and on private property, a fence to block the path of illegals. They are doing this because our own government fails to fulfill their duty. This to me, is one of the things that make America great. Private citizens, tired of waiting for our so-called leaders to take action, are taking matters into their own hands. It is heartening.

Sadly, our president, a man for whom I voted twice, once called these brave Americans vigilantes. They are not. Vigilantes are those who take the law into their own hands. These patriots are standing as lookouts, watching and reporting to the authorities, when illegals are spotted. They are not arresting, blocking, or shooting at the perpetrators. They are merely helping to find and report. For our president to use such a label is disappointing, dare I say disrespectful?

The Minutemen name of course comes from the patriots of old, those civilian volunteers who stood up in 1775 to defend themselves, their families, their community, and their property, when no regular army could be found. Americans such as these renew my hope that perhaps we still have a chance to keep America from sliding into the abyss of history.

Yes, I am a Christian first. My primary allegiance is to Christ and His kingdom. Ultimately, His is the only kingdom that truly counts, the only regime that will still be standing when history draws to a close.

But I am also an American, born here and raised here. Tomorrow we will take the day off to remember those from the Armed Forces who have given up their lives in defense of America. Many others have survived armed struggle but have returned home with life changing wounds of battle. Others have returned whole in body, but will forever bear the psychological scars of conflict. We are grateful for them all, and we must never forget their sacrifices.

I am proud to be an American. This is my country, and the country of my children and grandchildren. I want for them the same honest joys and pleasures that have encompassed me. But I fear those joys and pleasures are at great risk.

I am hoping and praying for the best. But I am also preparing to mourn.

This is why I write.

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