'Does God love the illegals?'

by Marnie McAllister

Catholic News Service

Astrid Mendoza, a native of El Salvador and a trafficking survivor, reacts as she receives a green card, obtained with the help of Catholic Charities' Immigration Legal Services in Portland, Ore., Oct. 2, 2019. Astrid Mendoza, a native of El Salvador and a trafficking survivor, reacts as she receives a green card, obtained with the help of Catholic Charities' Immigration Legal Services in Portland, Ore., Oct. 2, 2019.
Astrid Mendoza, a native of El Salvador and a trafficking survivor, reacts as she receives a green card, obtained with the help of Catholic Charities' Immigration Legal Services in Portland, Ore., Oct. 2, 2019. In her lap is her 1-year-old grandson, Matteo, and her daughter Sophia, 5. Immigrant parents' legal vulnerability, detention and deportation can have emotional, developmental and physical repercussions for children, say mental health workers. (CNS photo/courtesy Oregon Catholic Charities)


EDITOR'S NOTE: Responding to editors' requests for a regular sampling of current commentary from around the Catholic press, here is an editorial titled: "Does God love the illegals?" published online Aug. 7 by The Record, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky. It was written by Marnie McAllister, editor.

A reader called The Record a couple of weeks ago to ask this question: "Does God love the illegals?"

By "illegals," the caller was referring to our brothers and sisters who have crossed the southern border in search of life and hope. The term dehumanizes our brethren, making it easier to dismiss their suffering.

The answer is simple: God, our creator, loves all people.

Last week, three others contacted The Record to register their displeasure with our coverage of immigration. Their complaints centered on the notion that by calling for humane treatment of immigrants, the church is siding with "pro-abortion Democrats."

Given the ongoing incidents of domestic terror linked to hateful rhetoric, it's obviously past time to clear the air.

The Catholic Church consistently calls for all people -- born and unborn; black, brown, white; gay or straight; Republican and Democrat; Catholic or not; even criminals -- to be treated with dignity.

Because life is sacred.

Life at all its stages is sacred.

There is no political party in the United States that seems to understand this. But Catholics should.

To ignore the suffering of immigrants because some of their advocates fail to respect life in the womb runs contrary to logic and our faith.

To minimize or politicize one life is to denigrate all life.

To subjugate the lives of an entire group -- born or unborn -- to the views of a political party is a sin.

Last Sunday's readings reminded the faithful what's most important in the life of a Christian. Not what we store up for our preservation or our egos.

To love one another is our directive. All else flows from this command that rises above all others.

When we let politics limit who we love, we lose sight of God and our purpose on this earth.

And for what? A better economic forecast? A greater sense of security?

The Sunday Gospel reading from Luke for Aug. 4 asks us to consider:

"But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?' Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God."

 

A reader called The Record a couple of weeks ago to ask this question: "Does God love the illegals?" By "illegals," the caller was referring to our brothers and sisters who have crossed the southern border in search of life and hope. The term dehumanizes our brethren, making it easier to dismiss their suffering.

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