New Harmony: Separating our politics from spirituality

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    Oct. 5, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    There are quite a few people who came to the US illegally, but who are a benefit to our society, our economy, and our communities. We need to provide a way for them to square themselves with the law and legitimize their presence here. The State Organizing Convention of the Republican Party had the opportunity this year to pass a resolution calling for precisely this, but the hard-liners in attendance stripped that language from the resolution. As a Republican delegate, that was disappointing to me, and gives me doubts about whether the caucus-convention system is better than a simple primary.

    Apparently crossing a border illegally or overstaying one's visa is the one civil infraction for which there is no statute of limitations, no remedy, and no mercy. I'm glad traffic violations aren't treated the same way, because hardly anybody would still have a driver's license.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 4:06 p.m.

    Jerry, I have read your work for years in "on-faith" section of the Deseret News. Your instinct for what is right is always "spot-on." Your articles are always compassionate, gentle, accurate and humble. You have done a lot of good. If you feel you should write... write.

    Write well. Write with feeling, depth and soul. Find the common thread. Drape our lives against theirs. Perhaps a few hard hearts will soften.

    If not, PRAY those people object, throw stones and picket Deseret Book. Controversy will sell many, many more books. And more hearts will soften.

    It is a long road. But these stories really do need telling.

  • Brown Honeyvale, CA
    Oct. 3, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    Interesting comments…How many of you have lived in the slums of So Calif? or Arizona? I served a state-side Spanish speaking mission and yes, there are wonderful people who have had to overcome horrible things. We should celebrate them, however, there are many, many evil and horrible people who are here illegally who inflict horror and abuse and pain on many. (I saw much of that.) The law is the law to weed out the evil and help the struggling. We should enforce it. We should also pressure the Mexican and Central/South American governments to take care of their people and make their lands ones of opportunity. Righteous judgement was practiced by the Savior, anyone who leads with the "we shouldn't judge" mantra is uneducated or just trying to sell you something.

  • Skeezx Sacramento, CA
    Oct. 3, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    Yeah, tell all the Christian Evangelical dominionists that. It is the air they breathe! Evangelical and all right-wing Christian sects tie politics into the "second coming" and they ain't gonna change because it is what the truly believe, even tho it is WRONG. For being "christian" they sure don't believe what Jesus preached! I think they are ALL hypocrits.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon tells of groups of people who came to the church with great faith; many having been ousted from their societies because of their circumstances in life. Let us all hope that we do not have to be brought low before we focus more attention on our spiritual status.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 3, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    Hermounts: See mote / beam conversation above.

    I also served a mission in Latin America, love the people, and regularly travel to and from Latin America for my current job.

    I am for immigration reform, and for enforcing the laws that are on the books until reformed.
    However, is it my job to enforce them? No, it is that of the Federal Government and, in the presence of their reticence to do so, the job of the Sovereign States.

    My job, as a disciple of Christ is to love all men, forgive others their trespasses, and invite all to come unto Christ. I have committed far worse sins than crossing a border illegally....

    Am I conflicted? Sure.

    Am I encouraging a better system of immigration? Yes, in every letter and email to my congressmen. Am I still volunteering in the community, serving some whom I know full well are here illegally? Yes, I am.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Oct. 2, 2013 6:43 p.m.

    None of the things that have happened to these people are any excuse for breaking the law!

  • BostonLDS Salt lake City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    Definitely please write your book. Any book on faith is a blessing, and as I am a convert to the LDS faith, I love reading other conversion stories. We are all brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of Heavenly Father, no matter where we come from or how we got here!

  • Scott H Ogden, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 12:38 p.m.

    My wonderful wife and I do not agree with each other on the politics of immigration. Although it might seem odd, the one of us that didn't serve a mission in Central America is more flexible on immigration. We also vary on other political views. But this does not stop us from loving each other and looking forward to an eternity together.

    Perhaps attitudes might change should one of our children someday bring home a fiancee whose presence in the U.S. is less than fully acceptable under our nation's Byzantine and arguably immoral immigration laws.

    I agree with Casey See. When it comes to dealing with the technical legal status of immigrants, we should consider what Jesus would do. Seriously. Each should study the scriptures, pray, and find the answer to this question themselves.

    Write your book. It may change hearts and minds.

  • CA Granny PETALUMA, CA
    Oct. 2, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    Please, definitely, write the book. Our experience with Latinos started with my husband's mission to Mexico in 1955 and our mission as a senior couple in Guatemala in 1997. Back home in northern California, he has been president of a Spanish speaking branch and high council advisor to another branch. We love those wonderful humble people and can easily understand why most of them make the hazardous journey to what they hope is a better life in the USA. The struggle isn't over when they arrive, but we can make it easier for them by showing love and compassion and giving them any help that is within our power.

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Oct. 2, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    Two comments:

    First, Write the book.

    Second. Victor Hugo's book, Les Miserables should be applied to many laws including immagration. While I agree that we should obey the laws, including immigration laws, I also ask why do individuals rish so much to come here. For many it is so that they can provide for their families i.e. "steel a loaf of bread to feed their hungry child or nephew". For others it is more sinister reasons.

    We need to look at this issue as the Saviour would on a case by case basis. Very difficult and expensive and look at what we can do to help alleviate the suffering these immigrants and their families experience forcing them to believe their only hope is to try and sneak into the USA. Perhaps it is migrant work visas or manual work visas. It is also micro-loans and investments in their countries that can provide work as well as services that others will want and us that will allow them to stay home and care for their families.

    What would you do to provide for your family if they were starving and there was no walfare?

  • ? SLC, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Please write your book.

  • ALH Enumclaw, WA
    Oct. 2, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    I've never encountered such direct, uncluttered, implicit faith as I saw in humble people on my mission in South America and working with the Spanish-speaking Saints in an Illinois branch. It should humble all of us.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Oct. 2, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    A quick junket on I-15 should be enough to convince just about anyone that each and every one of us has a beam in our own eye when it comes to obeying the law. I know that not everyone speeds all the time and I know that there are a few people out there that never speed (I hope to be one of those someday). Yet I suspect that (paraphrasing here) we all break the law and fall short of the 12th Article of Faith.
    Don't get me wrong, I think that everyone should advocate for obeying both immigration laws and traffic laws. I just think everyone should pause before getting too worked up about the mote in their brother's eye.

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    I think that there are those of us who would be very inspired by the challenges that our neighbors have faced and overcome, no matter where they are from. While I feel that we should uphold the laws of the land, I also realize that some of the laws are not family friendly. Why did we close our borders in the first place? It hasn't stopped the drug runners or terrorists from getting over it.

  • Philosopher Goose Creek, SC
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    In regards to the immigration legality issue: The twelfth and thirteenth Articles of Faith sum it up very well: we believe in obeying the law (12); however, we also believe in doing good to ALL (emphasis added) men (13). So, here is a question: if a person has done something amiss, is it my job to go on the offensive and condemn him or be defensive and worry about myself and whether or not I am keeping the law? Another good scripture, which defines my personal view is Mark 2: 16-17.