Quote by Thomas Jefferson
This may come as a shock to absolutely no one who knows me, but I’m pretty opinionated. And that, my friends, is a dirty word in the millenial infested waters of our modern society. Opinions cause problems. They make people uncomfortable. They imply that there is a right and a wrong. They are a product of free speech, which is currently being rebranded as “hate speech” as soon as it does not match the popular narrative. As you can imagine then, having opinions will not encourage general popularity. In a bit of good news, I’ve never been a huge proponent of my own popularity, so this does not affect me in a terribly negative manner.
I recently watched an interview in which random people on the street who identified themselves as Democrats were asked if they would be friends with someone of the opposite political party. Across the board, the answer was absolutely not. They know NOTHING else about these potential friends, simply that they are Republican. At this point, I’m not even sure how something can floor me because of the ridiculous things our generation has ushered in, but still, somehow I was floored. Sidenote: This is NOT a shot at Democrats, that just happened to be the focus of the interview. This is also not an assumption that any and all Democrats would refuse to be friends with someone from a different viewpoint. Here’s what it is. An illustration of how pathetic and ridiculous the general public is currently.
Aristotle defined friendship as having three different types. First, friendships of utility...someone who is useful to us in some way. Second, friendships of pleasure...spending time in someone’s company who you enjoy. Third, friendships of the good, which are based on mutual respect and admiration. I tend to think that Aristotle was pretty on top of things, and his assessment makes sense to me when I think about friendships in my own life. If he’s right, basing a refusal of friendship on having a differing political viewpoint doesn’t hold much water. Believe it or not, it is possible to respect someone with whom you disagree. I mean, some people prefer KFC to Chick Fil A. And while Chick Fil A being the best restaurant on earth is a deeply held personal belief, I’ve yet to kick anyone out of my inner circle just because they prefer the colonel.
So, please, have opinions. And in the end, I don’t actually care if you agree with me...but I do care if you know WHY you hold that opinion. I care about whether your response makes sense, or is simply emotional. I can disagree with every single thing you believe, but if you have done your research, and you have a reason for why you think a certain way. I can respect that.
The Government Shutdown
If you’ve made it this far, well lucky you my friends, because here you will be receiving a sneak peek into one of my very own opinions! Unless you just don’t have any technology, you’ve heard that the government is in a shutdown currently. First fun fact, it is only about 25% shut down. Here’s what is shut down. National Parks, the IRS (and all the people say AMEN,) Museums, State Dept services, Environmental and Food inspections. I’ll be honest, the only thing that concerns me there is the whole food inspection thing. It is very unfortunate that the workers are going without pay, but they will receive back pay as soon as it reopens...and so far they have missed only one paycheck.
It’s no secret, we all know the reason the government is shut down, is to try and force the Dems hand on building the wall. I’ve seen a lot of rhetoric recently, especially in the Catholic women’s community, about loving our neighbor, welcoming all at our table, etc. Honestly, it’s a nice thought. It’s one I want to get on board with. A lot of really great people are on that train. But I just can’t get there. And here’s why. America has always been a place of asylum. America is built on immigrants, yes including my own family, the kind that came here legally and followed the legal process. But here are a few thoughts on why we don’t just let the back log of 800,000 immigrants into our country.
Build a Wall?
First of all, what are they seeking asylum from? Do you think they are leaving their country because it is a paradise? I have a feeling it might have more to do with the fact that it is dangerous, riddled with drugs, violence and all manner of lawlessness. They want to come here because, no matter it’s problems, America still means prosperity and opportunity. That opportunity does not solely attract good people, seeking a safer and better life. According to the Washington Times, which, for the record is not a conservative source, 89% of border agents support the wall as a necessary addition. Let’s take into consideration the people who deal with this every single day.
Secondly, have you ever heard that quote about locking the doors not because you hate the world, but because you love what’s inside? Y’all, we have a responsibility to protect those we love. We have a responsibility to protect our country. Hypothetically, someone asks you to house a stranger. Do you say yes with no questions asked? Personally, I’d like to know if they had recently kidnapped, raped or shot anyone, illegal immigrant, fellow American, doesn’t matter, I want to know. Look, this is NOT a matter of loving our neighbor, it just isn’t. On a spiritual level I can love and pray for a serial killer, but I’m sure as hell not asking them into my home.
Third, is this a complicated issue? For sure. I see the children suffering. I see the families in need. I am not heartless, I get it, and I hate that it has come to this. But I know one thing with 100% certainty. The way to fix it is not to have a free for all invite to the entire world. The very thing that makes a country a country is having borders. I don’t know when the thought of having American pride became such a horrible thing, but I can tell you this. This country has allowed me to live out my faith. It has allowed for debate and democracy and freedom...bought with the priceless sacrifice of the blood of our not so far removed relatives. And I am so beyond grateful to those who continue to give that kind of sacrifice. It’s a country worth protecting, and a place worth fighting for.
Forget Trump, like him or not. Forget politics. The American people, and life as we know it are at stake. In fact, Obama asked for this very same wall years ago, so politics should be a non issue. This is about vetting the people we let into our home. This is about freedom…and that requires eternal vigilance.
PS: If you still aren’t sure how you feel...go check out The Remembrance Project. I promise that you won’t be able to forget the words of the Angel families.