In anticipation of a Congressional House vote, Catholic bishops and priests will preach a coordinated message on Sept 8, 2013 backing immigration
policy. I have no intention of focusing on their rationale. Manipulating quotes from the good book(s) are akin to a scientist taking two data points and stating it’s a trend. History is filled with examples of twisting words and/or statistics to justify actions such as the inquisition and slavery along with good deeds. I strongly believe in keeping the government free of religion, all of them- equally including the Evangelicals who also express their support. Early on in the forming of the United States it was understood there should be freedom and diversity in worship. Steps were taken to not favor any one religious establishment. After all, the government has to deal with the ramifications of any bills passed; the budget, enforcement and any unforeseen consequences. If things don’t work out they can’t convene congress and pray for a solution. In theory, they have to answer to the people with concrete results.
History is filled with attempts to insert faith in many aspects of government responsibilities. If the government tried to respect all religions, then health insurance wouldn’t consider vaccinations, blood transfusions, and of course birth control. Also, in recent news is the attempt to influence science textbooks in Texas. The State Board of Education will decide high school biology textbooks which may reside in classrooms for nearly a decade. The reviewers now include creationists which are causing concern for some. Wasn’t the Galileo Affair sufficient reason to understand that faith doesn’t belong in science either? What if engineers working on the braking system in your car relied on “intelligent design”, faith, prayer or some other unseen force? Engineers and scientist must rely on the best data of the time, argue for change based on data and proactively seek new data where it’s lacking. I don’t need faith to believe in math, semiconductor physics, or my programming language of choice. Simply saying ‘it’s not understood, but it’s intelligent therefore it’s a higher power’ doesn’t cut it.
If religion was fact based then you wouldn’t need faith. Religious institutions should have faith in their own faith and not try to force personal beliefs in science and politics. So, agree or disagree with the need for immigration reform, it’s not for religious institutes to decide. We have enough historical examples of what happens when church and state mix; where would the intermingling end in a country so diverse?