Saturday, June 30, 2007

Outrage Checklist!!!

The picture above is taken from:

He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing" (Deut. 10:18).

Personally, I only have the time to be outraged by a few things. And even when I am outraged by something, I’m usually too apathetic to do anything substantial about it. Therefore I believe it is important to prioritize the things that really make my blood boil with righteous indignation.

Which is why I was surprised to hear about the incredible outpouring of anger over the recent immigration bill. Consider Alan Ogushoff’s fury. According to the Saturday edition of the Atlantic Journal-Constitution, Ogushoff has never been much of a political activist. But this immigration bill so incensed him that he wrote his senators, faxed them, and called them three times a day.

Ogushoff was not alone. On Thursday the US Senate phone system was shut down because of the enormous amount of phone calls pouring in. Most calls expressed a negative opinion about the bill and were particularly concerned about the “amnesty” provided by the bill.

The primary opponents of the part of the bill that made provisions for illegal aliens to become legal citizens were conservatives, including social conservatives. The strange thing about this outpouring of concern to me is that social conservatives have been so eerily silent lately. Why are they so upset all of a sudden? Why this bill? Why now?

Quite frankly, it has been troubling the amount of passion social conservatives have on this issue and how passive they have been on other issues. In their tirades against illegal immigrants, there has been little constructive put forth about how to deal with the individuals who are already here. Most of their intellectual effort just goes into finding new synonyms for "criminal." It would be nice if their anger was directed at the root causes that bring these twelve million poor souls into our country and at finding ways to help these people and keep our country safe. There are so many much more fun things to be furious about.

So…by way of a public service, I would like to offer just a few—related— things that I believe should rouse the indignation of at least Evangelical Christian social conservatives more than the fact that there are twelve million felonious, larcenous, unlawful, illegal, lawless, law-breaking, delinquent, nefarious, bad, notorious individuals who came here illegally. These are things I plan on getting upset about before I really jump on the anti-illegal immigration bandwagon

1. Abortion. Between 1973 and 2002 over forty million abortions have taken place in the United States ( Social conservatives don’t even have to write their congressman about this one. If you look at the presidential primaries of both parties, there is not a true social conservative running in the top tier. What happened to the might of the religious right? It turns out that the religious right is far more "right" than "religious". If Evangelicals could just be outraged enough to consider supporting a “middle” or “bottom” tier candidate so that they could get a little exposure I could maybe get as excited as I normally am at this point in the election cycle. But no…the leading candidate among evangelicals is…Rudy Giuliani (!?!?!? Now there’ s something to be outraged by! Here’s a choice quote: “Rudy is a very good friend of mine. I think he'd make a good president. I like him a lot, although he doesn't share all of my particular points of view on social issues. He's a very dedicated Catholic and he's a great guy. McCain I would vote against under any circumstance” (Pat Robertson speaking of Rudy Giuliani).

2. Orphans. There are over 100 million orphans worldwide. The forces that are causing children to be orphaned and the things that are being done to many orphans are too terrible to even mention here. The Evangelical church is slowly waking up to how she can help meet the needs of these precious ones.

3. Child Labor. We live in a culture of rampant materialism. We would rather purchase cheap goods made by children than pay extra for that t-shirt at Wal-Mart. You could start your crusade against child labor by not purchasing products from China promoting the 2008 Olympics…it seems as if many of these were made by children.

4. Racism/Lack of compassion (?). I wonder if at least some of the furor over the latest immigration bill stems from either outright or implicit racism. The tone of the conversation concerns me more than the fact that there are people here illegally. Quite frankly, if I lived in Mexico and needed to provide for my family, I would be coming here illegally. I sometimes wonder why that passion directed at illegal immigrants isn’t applied towards pressuring our government to force changes within other countries.

I’m not for breaking the law. There should certainly be laws that our official enforce. I’m just wondering about the tone of the debate and the furor of people whose voices are silent on so many other important things.

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