John McCain's 'Judeo-Christian' Shamnesty
John McCain is one of the more manipulative amnesty advocates.
During recent town hall meetings, his angry constituents made political, legal, and economic objections to amnesty. There stood McCain, backpedaling, hemming and hawing, and sputtering this kernel of inanity in response to those criticisms: "We are a Judeo-Christian nation."
It would have been equally persuasive to recite the price of tea in China.
What place does our Judeo-Christian culture have in the immigration debate? Evidently, McCain hasn't been listening to the man who beat him in 2008. Obama said we are "a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers." McCain says we are Judeo-Christian, but he lost. So our culture is a contested fact.
Amnesty isn't proof of Judeo-Christian values, and there's no good reason to think that amnesty would enhance the Judeo-Christian culture remaining here today.
Could McCain be suggesting that illegal immigrants would contribute to the renewal of our Judeo-Christian culture? California would seem to indicate otherwise, followed by that model mosaic, Chicago.
There is no reason to think that immigrants Latin America are coming here for a Christian religious heritage; they have that in Latin America. But McCain wants to hold that religious heritage over our heads to shame us into supporting amnesty.
Our Judeo-Christian culture can have no possible relevance to immigration, unless one assumes that we have a religious duty to undermine immigration laws. One could just as easily stand by a religious obligation to uphold immigration laws. Charity, in that view, is a self-indulgent farce.
Judeo-Christian beliefs can be pro-amnesty or anti-amnesty. In fact, some Judeo-Christian people were yelling at John McCain during the town hall, telling him that amnesty was a betrayal of their values.
As for the Judeo- part of our Judeo-Christian culture, Israel is actually demonstrating how a nation preserves its culture. Israel successfully conducted mass deportations of Sudanese illegal migrants, after the Israeli government decided that the Sudanese were not enriching their communities. As the BBC reported, "African migrants have become the target of violent attacks by people in Israel, who blame them for a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour."
The invocation of our Judeo-Christian culture is either futile or manipulative. McCain's suggestion is obvious: It's a Judeo-Christian obligation to amnesty illegal aliens, thus those who favor enforcement must be somehow immoral or uncaring. Yet, the same could be said of people who would legalize massive numbers of low-skilled, poorly educated people, many of whom don't speak English. Where is the compassion for our fellow citizens, and what role should faith have in standing for them?
McCain has shown us which cultural battlegrounds he will fight on, and in the process revealed whose interests he really serves: his own, and ineptly at that. He'll imply that people lack Judeo-Christian understanding if they don't go along with his amnesty proposal, yet he doesn't seem to recognize what mass migration does to a nation's shared culture.
On top of his warped priorities and manipulative cultural rhetoric, McCain is evidently strategically incompetent as well. He makes the baseless assumption that Latinos will credit Republicans for amnesty instead of Democrats. Have pro-amnesty Republicans forgotten that Democrats are supporting amnesty as well, and that they will promise more and better amnesty?
McCain then makes the even sillier assumption that Democrats won't demand a yearly amnesty for all of the stragglers and assorted others who decided for whatever reason to remain in the shadows during the first round of amnesty.
John T. Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences '07; J.D., Emory University School of Law '12) is a former Army officer with tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti. His writing has appeared in Townhall.com, World Net Daily, and the Chicago Tribune, among others. Follow me on twitter