Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Farmers Branch and Toys for Tots

Two of the most holier-than-thou groups took actions today that exemplify the things that make me grumpy. In Farmers Branch, Texas, a town with a majority (legal) Latino population decided to ban illegal immigrants:


I wish some of these folks would read Tamara Jacoby's article in the new Foreign Affairs (hardly a liberal journal), "Immigration Nation," in which she points out vital stats on the critical roles played by both legal and illegal immigrants. Sure, let's have arguments about bracero programs, status of amnesty, border control, but let's not penalize a whole subpopulation! Local Colorado politicians like Tom Tancredo are famous for doing this, but many folks calling themselves liberal are doing it too. When The Nation magazine had a special issue on the immigrant debate, scores of letter-writers castigated The Nation by saying one could be liberal and still love Lou Dobbs. Sorry, Dobbs is a right-wing nutcase. On this subject, even George W. has a more nuanced position than half the Democrats.

The other topic had to do with Marine Reserves rejecting talking-Jesus dolls for Toys for Tots:


What really sets me off here is the comment by Michael LaRoe, business development manager for one2believe and Teddy Bear Corp., that anyone can benefit from Biblical quotations. When the character is Jesus and the sound bytes are New Testament quotes directly from the main man, I question that - and I consider myself Christian. Too many evangelicals assume that the faith-based truths from the New Testament are universal, even for Jews or Muslims. Now, it's one thing to evangelize or prosyletize, but when you do so, use a little humility in assuming that the view you bring to people may not be what they consider truth. Too many Christian evangelical groups cannot define the various layers of "truth" and their relative universality. The Marines made the right call on this one.

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