Sunday, January 01, 2006

An atheist's regret

One of my few genuine regrets about being an atheist is that it robs me of the satisfaction of knowing that George Bush and his gang of brutal and selfish thugs are going to roast in Hell. Too bad. Because if anyone deserved it, they do. Instead they are the ones who might send people like me to jail, at least if current legislative proposals pass (which it appears they won't, but something like them, might).

Notorious winger nutcase Republican James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin (what's the matter with you folks; don't you know he needs medication?) want to make it a crime for anyone to assist or shield illegal immigrants. Like doctors or nurses, if we treated them in the ER. Authorities could also seize our assets (maybe you'll take some of my debts while your at it?). It's not just atheists like me who hate this bill. Even the Church hates it:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has written to members of Congress and called on President Bush to oppose the measure publicly. In Manhattan, scores of immigrants demonstrated against the bill last week. Here in the Washington area, a coalition of immigrant-services groups is planning rallies, visits to members of Congress and a letter-writing campaign to try to prevent the immigration bill from becoming law.


Speaking for the Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino, Calif., said the measure threatened church workers and doctors as well as ordinary citizens who provided urgent or life-saving assistance to illegal immigrants.

"Current legislation does not require humanitarian groups to ascertain the legal status of an individual prior to providing assistance," Bishop Barnes wrote this month in a letter to Congress. "The legislation would place parish, diocesan and social service program staff at risk of criminal prosecution simply for performing their jobs."(New York Times)
It's about "the rule of law" according to Sensenbrenner. Errr . . . like wiretapping US citizens? Instead of opposing it, as the Church hopes, George Bush is solidly onboard--the rule of law, you know:
"America is a nation built on the rule of law, and this bill will help us protect our borders and crack down on illegal entry into the United States," Mr. Bush said after the House passed the measure. "Securing our borders is essential to securing the homeland."

In his statement, Mr. Bush did not comment on the provision that is causing such a furor among churches and nonprofit groups. A White House spokesman referred questions about Mr. Bush's position on the matter to the Justice Department.
Not just hypocritical, but cowardly. As usual.
But advocates for immigration said they were still deeply disheartened that Mr. Bush and members of Congress had not spoken out against the House measure.

"It's mind-boggling," said Julie Dinnerstein, deputy director for immigration policy at the New York Immigration Coalition, which sponsored last week's rally in New York.

"I think our courts should be focused on people who are doing terrible things," Ms. Dinnerstein said. "Do we need to send a bunch of priests or ministers or nurses to jail?"
What is there to say?