Immigration and the American Theocracy
We don’t think of Immigration as a Queer issue, unless we are talking about binational couples, where one partner can’t get citizenship, and they would have no problems if they were a straight married couple, but I wanted to highlight this story for another reason. This story illustrates wonderfully what I mean, when I write about an American Theocracy:
Right Wing Bigots Claim Immigration Reform Path to Citizenship Violates the Bible
Religious bigots have a difficult time understanding that the United States is not Israel; that the law of the land is not Leviticus or the Ten Commandments or even the Bible, but the United States Constitution, which prohibits the establishment of a state religion; that their God, their Bible.
I admit the tone is especially bashing towards the Right Wing types, but the main point is valid even if the rhetoric is ratcheted back a bit. Reed is quoted here (bolded emphasis is mine):
In Scripture, the obligation to care for the alien carries a corollary responsibility for the immigrant to obey the law and respect national customs. In the Old Testament, immigrants who followed the law shared in the inheritance of Israel. Amnesty violates this principle. Those who have come to the U.S. illegally must reform: Pay fines and back taxes, undergo a criminal check, learn English and wait before they can apply for a green card. Those who entered the country illegally should not be guaranteed a path to citizenship.
Reed anchors, what is an attack on Obama’s immigration reform ideas, in the Hebrew Scriptures- what Christians call, the Old Testament. The Christianist’s lens is always focused here, and operates on the questionable idea that these are God’s Laws and therefore, the most important. Within these same Hebrew Scriptures, is where the Christianists find their attacks on gays and lesbians! For me, the most amazing part of this can be found in the flawed theology. Christ, the supposed-base of Christianity, came, died, and was resurrected, and altered the entire relationship between God and the people of Israel. Theological justifications can be made for completely ignoring the Hebrew Scriptures!
But in Reed’s use of scripture is a darker motivation, the destruction of a Constitutionally based legal system in the US. Our legal system grows from the English legal system, and connected to the earlier Roman legal system. It isn’t connected at all to a Hebrew-religious set of laws. But Christianists would change that if they could.
I bolded a second phrase in Reed’s quote:
Pay fines and back taxes, undergo a criminal check, learn English and wait before they can apply for a green card
The “learn English” is especially humorous if we are to use the Hebrew Scriptures as our guide, as well as the specifics of a “green card.” In reality, the Christianist agenda is not a return to Biblical law, but rather, they use a fallacious justification for their own dominance with a false appeal to a higher authority.
Reed and Christianists have a second agenda: to propagate a victim’s mindset, and perpetuate fear of those who are not like us. The base ideas is this:
- we belong here, and this is all ours
- if you want to be here, you must obey us and conform in whatever way we demand
Note the similarities to the way Christianists treat gays and lesbians. We must recognize this effort to enforce a misguided, unjustified, and cherry-picked set of Scriptures as the enemy to Equality for the LGBTQ community, as well as for anyone who is treated as the stranger or the Other.
Note: on the graphic used here and found at http://hardons-blog.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html. Note the site is fairly racist and white-supremacy inspired. This parallels the
use abuse of Hebrew Scripture too. Aliens are those, not like us, and protecting the propagation of “those exactly like us” is all that matters, even if who we are would not have been accepted or welcomed in the time the Scriptures were written and enforced.
Note: Here is an interesting exploration of Hebrew Scripture as it related to aliens and being “the stranger”
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