Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Utah's Conservatives Are Religious Liberals On Immigration

Up until 1976 there was a law on the books in Missouri that said all Mormons should be driven out of that state of or killed. It was the LAW. Do you think Missouri's police should have enforced it?

My point is that stupid laws need to be changed and if they are offensive enough there isn't anything wrong with ignoring them or not enforcing them (like the extermination order).

Utah's Republican leaders have been arguing that we need to punish illegal immigrants because "respect for the law" compels us. What nonsense. It would make more sense for them to lobby Congress for a change in federal immigration policy rather than punishing those who are just here to make better lives for themselves and their families.

The LDS church seems to have the right idea in its recent calls for more compassion from lawmakers towards immigrants in Utah. Our mostly LDS legislature should be as attentive to calls from church leaders for compassion towards immigrants as they are to the church's moral arguments against alcohol or alternate lifestyles. This issue affects a lot more people in our state than those lesser issues and in a much more personal way. Why is it so easy for most Mormons to support the brethren when we agree with them...not so much when we don't?

It is interesting to see the LDS legislators who pride themselves on their political conservatism embrace extreme religious liberalism when it comes to the immigration issue. The popularity that comes from punishing our state's minority immigrant populations must give them a better buzz than doing what their church leaders say is right.


Jeremy said...

Thank you Rob for inviting me to post here!

David said...

Right on. This is absolutely the best take on the immigration issue that I have read. I especially liked the reference to the old Missouri law against Mormons - that really puts things in perspective.

derekstaff said...

Jeremy, I'm a bit under the weather today, so perhaps I'm being a bit dense...I don't see how these anti-immigrant legislators' efforts qualify as religious liberalism. Can you elaborate, please?

Jeremy said...

Thanks Derek, I should have been clearer.

The link to Rep. Craig's site goes to a post where he is attempting to argue that the church's official word says nothing about compassion for illegal immigrants and that recent statements to the contrary are only the opinion of a couple general authorities (who are Democrats) urging legislators to be compassionate.

Usually liberal Mormons are the ones trying to argue that church positions are the personal interpretations of leaders and not authoritative. Thanks for helping me clarify a bit.