‘In God we trust’
Re: Behar’s ridicule of Pence
When a host of ABC’s television program “The View,” Joy Behar, ridiculed Vice President Mike Pence for being a man of God, who not only speaks to God, but hears from him, she convicted herself of ignorance and disparaged a man whose faith belies his character. Behar equated Pence’s practice of worshipping God through prayer to mental illness, specifically people suffering from paranoia, who hear voices. As I heard the audience laugh, I felt sadness for her and others who exploit decent people and criticize life-enriching behaviors.
To my knowledge, Behar is neither an expert on the Christian faith nor on psychiatry and mental illness; to make fun of believers or people suffering with a mental disorder shows a lack of understanding, compassion and tolerance. I invite her to spend sincere, concentrated time reading the Bible, to confess her shortcomings before God and to listen to how he might respond. Believers do hear from God not only through his word, but in various ways God chooses to make us aware of his presence. As a result, we intentionally become attentive and grow in our understanding of his will, his ways and his work for our good.
I believe Behar supports marchers and protesters who scream for “tolerance” as part of their individual causes; it seems then that she, too, should demonstrate tolerance for the millions of people of faith who, like our forefathers who sought religious freedom, gladly claim, “In God we trust.”
Before I started listening to and hearing from God, most of my choices were based on selfish interests. However, when our sovereign God became real to me, I realized that his ways are far higher than my ways will ever be on my own. I love to read God’s word, to embrace Jesus’ command to love one another and to try to choose words which edify, not tear down people around me.
For many years, I have heard Christians verbally attacked and have said nothing, except to family or friends. Today, however, I choose to stand with and thank God for persons who, like Pence, aren’t afraid to say their Christianity is the most important thing to them. Christians don’t pretend to live perfect lives, but we know where to turn for forgiveness. We trust the whispers of God’s Spirit to help us grow and to guide us in following a path which honors God with integrity and love.
Dr. Anita Schamber
Can immigration be fixed?
Re: A 129-year-old question
“The Need of Revision of the Existing Law. Some Changes Suggested. The Importance of Restricting the Use of this Country as a Dumping Ground.”
Since my grandparents were immigrants, I take a bit of conditional exception to this header from the Los Angeles Daily Herald on Feb. 14, 1889, but I will continue the quote as follows:
“Representative Oates of Alabama, from the Committee on Judiciary, today reported favorably the House bill to amend the naturalization laws of the United States. The report accompanying the bill treats the existing naturalization laws in a critical spirit, and calls attention to abuses which have grown up under them. It says: ‘An alien may be a notorious thief. Murderer, outlaw, anarchist, polygamist, a leper, or a hardened criminal, and yet our law enables him, by making an affidavit of intention before the clerk of court, to get all the benefits of citizenship within the United States. So deficient is the present law, and so careless is the practice of the judges, with but few exceptions, that is has become a matter of public notoriety that they perform their duty in such a perfunctory manner, that any alien, however bad his character, or beastly ignorant he may be, can become a citizen of the United States.’”
My grandfather arrived in the middle of that tide in 1892. The U.S. needed a lot of manpower since American industry and production of just about everything you can imagine blossomed after the effects of the Civil War wore off and the Midwest needed machinery to turn prairie into farm land.
The big difference between then and now is the immigrants of more than a hundred years ago got off the boats in broad daylight, signed their names as best they could, picked up their suitcases, and with families trailing behind, went off to become legal and productive citizens never expecting, and most times never getting any help but what their own labor could produce.
Another difference was the brutal treatment many endured. A landslide in a railroad cut killed 40 some Irishmen in the southeast. The railroad dumped them in a hole, never recorded their names and went on. Years later they were discovered by some construction. Thirty-four Chinese gold miners were slaughtered on a gravel bar in the Snake River Canyon, their bodies thrown in the river and the killers, all known by the community, were never prosecuted. Outrages could fill pages.
Our history is marred by acts committed by a few, but placed on a scale with the good things Americans have done, I’d have to say the good heartedness of most Americans outweighs the bad by far — ask the people liberated from Nazi rule. It is that reputation that brings me to my conclusion for this piece. More people want to get in than get out. But those who want in need to go through the process as flawed as some seem to think it is, as Representative Oates of Alabama said back in 1889. He was right, you know, and little has changed since the same can be said of immigration, naturalization and citizenship in the present day. We couldn’t or wouldn’t fix it then, maybe it can be fixed now. Let’s hope.
Editor’s note: The word limit has been waived for this letter.