Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rachel Maddow: Romney fails to lead Republicans on immigration -- Opportunism , Racism and Xenophobia

Surprisingly Mitt Romney appears to be more conservative on his views about illegal immigrants than the official policy of his church which is The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aka LDS or Mormon Church.

What those concerned about Mitt Romney and his public policies have been concerned about is that mitt Romney might be overly influenced by the official leaders and the doctrines of LDS Church. In this regard the critics were or are concerned over Romney as president endorses policies held by his church which may not fit in with what average Americans might believe or pushing policies which go against the principles of the founding fathers of America as stated in the US Constitution and Bill Of Rights.

One wonders if Romney is just playing politics especially on the issue of immigration that is trying to figure out which policy on this issue would garner him the most support from within the GOP and in material support ie donations or which policy would get him the most votes in the November election.

A little digression if you will: Up until fairly recently The Church of Christ of latter Day Saints has had a controversial to say the least policy and attitudes about various groups including Native Americans (Amerindians) and blacks and other people of colour.

The Book of Mormon states that these people of darker skin colour were cursed by God and as a mark of this curse their skin was made black or brown making them distinct from God's favourites among the peoples or Nations who are the white people.

There are several myths or stories appealed to by Mormons as being the justification for treating these darker skinned people as somewhat inferior who are idle and lazy and dishonest etc.
These include the story in Genesis of Cain who had a mark placed upon him for killing his brother Abel and there's the story of the lost tribe of Ham and the story of the original native Americans who were the blessed of God who degenerated and no longer obeyed the word of God and so were punished by having their white skinned turned darker.
Another story has been used to explain the accursedness of darker skin people by appealing to the story of the great battle in Heaven among the Angels of God versus Lucifer in which those who took the side of Lucifer or the anti-God or Anti-Christ were considered evil and were punished by giving them darker skin once they are born human while those on God's /or Jesus side are given white skin . So in this case the crime the darker skinned people inherited was a curse upon them for disobedience to the God or Gods prior their human incarnation.

In the case of illegal immigrants the Mormon Church believes that in considering immigration the letter of the law must represent the spirit of America's ideals . So all immigrants should be welcome in America and those who are considered illegal immigrants must be treated with sympathy and fairness and justly. Since Jesus taught all Christians the principle of brotherly love and compassion for others as for instance in the case of the Good Samaritan and as listed in the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount.

So forcibly rounding up all six million or more illegal immigrants in America is not a solution to this issue but would merely cause a host of unintended repercussions.
To do such a massive sweep arresting millions might create a great deal of chaos and disorder along with untold suffering including killing of undocumented workers or their families and one can imagine numerous gun battles in the streets.
And as we have seen over the years and more recently with the Occupy Movement American police forces have a tendency to abuse their positions of authority by using excessive force believing they have been given that right .

So in this case the Mormon officials statement about illegal immigrants is that it must be a balanced approach of using common sense and acting with compassion rather than turning whole states into battle grounds between those in authority with otherwise law abiding individuals and groups.

Rachel Maddow: Romney fails to lead Republicans on immigration

On the issue of illegal immigrants Mitt Romney surprisingly appears more conservative than the leading officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints(aka Mormon Church or LDS).

Immigration Divides Romney And His Church Hispanic Mormons are torn. “Romney should listen to his church,” says Salt Lake City's McKay Coppins at Buzz Feed Politics, June 22, 2012

There's a saying among some Hispanic Mormons when it comes to Mitt Romney: "On Sundays he's our brother, but Monday to Saturday he's trying to deport us."

"As a Mormon, of course I would like to see a Mormon president eventually," said Salt Lake City immigrant advocate Tony Yapias, Utah's loudest voice in defense of illegal immigrants, who invoked the aphorism. "But Romney's not the one. Latino Mormons remember what he said publicly during the primary debates, and he can't change that now."

Yapias is hardly alone among Latter-day Saints in his distaste for Romney's immigration position, a fact highlighted in recent weeks as the ever-churning debate on the issue has come front and center in the presidential election. While Romney tried to add a layer of moderating nuance to his perviously hard-line rhetoric in a Thursday speech at NALEO, for many Mormons — Latino and not — the damage is already done.

On this issue, say his LDS critics, there's no escaping the fact that there's significant daylight between Romney's enforcement-first proposals, and the principles of the candidate's increasingly immigrant-friendly church.

Politically neutral on most issues, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has dived headfirst into the immigration debate in recent years, carving out a firmly pro-immigrant stance. Last year, for example, the church offered a rare, full-throated endorsement of "the Utah Compact," a legislative resolution that discouraged deporting otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants, and offering a path to residency for families that would be split up by deportation.

The church hasn't specifically commented on any national policy proposals, said church spokesman Lyman Kirkland, but it "has published broad, foundational principles regarding this topic."

Among those principles, published in a statement last summer, is a call to "follow Jesus Christ by loving our neighbors. The savior taught that the meaning of 'neighbor' includes all of God's children, in all places, at all times."

The sentiment isn't contained to official press releases. The church-owned Deseret News has run a series of editorials calling for humane immigration reform, including a front-page editorial in 2010 accompanied by a photo of the Statue of Liberty and the inscription at its base: "Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Immigration: The Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints Issues New Statement by, June 10,2012

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today issued the following official statement on immigration:

Around the world, debate on the immigration question has become intense. That is especially so in the United States. Most Americans agree that the federal government of the United States should secure its borders and sharply reduce or eliminate the flow of undocumented immigrants. Unchecked and unregulated, such a flow may destabilize society and ultimately become unsustainable.

As a matter of policy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discourages its members from entering any country without legal documentation, and from deliberately overstaying legal travel visas.

What to do with the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants now residing in various states within the United States is the biggest challenge in the immigration debate. The bedrock moral issue for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how we treat each other as children of God.

The history of mass expulsion or mistreatment of individuals or families is cause for concern especially where race, culture, or religion are involved. This should give pause to any policy that contemplates targeting any one group, particularly if that group comes mostly from one heritage.

As those on all sides of the immigration debate in the United States have noted, this issue is one that must ultimately be resolved by the federal government.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned that any state legislation that only contains enforcement provisions is likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God.

The Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship.

In furtherance of needed immigration reform in the United States, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports a balanced and civil approach to a challenging problem, fully consistent with its tradition of compassion, its reverence for family, and its commitment to law.

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