Author: Beth Haile

Getting Informed on Immigration

I’ve spoken to a few people recently who have been wondering what they, as Catholics, should have to say about immigration in light of President-elect Donald Trump’s potentially hard-line stance on border security and deportation. Here are a few places to begin. First, you should read this book: The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea This is an older book (2005) but it still deserves our attention, especially as immigration debates come to a head under our new president-elect’s administration. Urrea tells the story of 26 men who attempted to cross the border in 2001 through a brutal area of the Arizona desert known as the Devil’s Highway. Only 12 survived, the rest perishing miserably from severe dehydration and heat exposure in the relentless 110+ degree desert days. Urrea weaves the story of the so-called “Yuma 14” into a sensitive and balanced discussion of the failure of border policies in both the US and Mexico, policies that both encourage illegal immigration and also contribute to the dangerous conditions that lead to so many deaths of those who attempt to cross. Urrea’s story is, above all, a human story. He humanizes the immigrants, the coyotes, the border patrol. He even mentions his biggest surprise in doing the research for the book: his newfound respect and admiration for the border patrol. As a human story, Urrea keeps us from adopting any...

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Christ the King

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe Lectionary: 162 2 Sam 5:1-3 PS 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5 COL 1:12-20 LK 23:35-43 The feast of Christ the King comes at a good time, as this nation is still reeling after the surprise election of Donald Trump. Christ the King is a recent feast, entering the calendar in 1925 in response to rise of secular autocrats in Europe. The goal of the feast is to remind the faithful that Christ, not the State or any other worldly authority, ought to reign sovereign in our “hearts, minds, wills, and...

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Making Sense of the Numbers

We have been talking all week about healing and unity and reconciliation after a very surprising election. But I want to take a moment while our feelings are still raw to look at the numbers. Exit polls showed a strong showing among Evangelicals (81% voting for Trump). Some pollsters wondered if Trump, whose moral character is obviously completely at odds with the worldview of the so-called “moral majority,” would show a strong support on election day. They did, with a slightly higher percentage voting for Trump than did for Romney in 2012. Catholics too showed a slight increase in...

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Where Do We Go From Here?

It is 10:00 p.m. Central Time, and I am up waiting and watching as the results come in. Surprising results so far, but the night is young. Regardless of the results tomorrow, Catholics have work to do. I watched with not a little sadness as exit polls showed Evangelicals solidly supporting Trump. I posted on this issue last week, but I also like the way Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry puts it: Politics is about power. It is about brinkmanship. For pro-lifers to succeed politically, they need to scare the Republican Party. And for the Republican Party to be scared, it must...

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Thoughts on Whether the Religious Right Is a Lost Cause

If you haven’t listened to this year’s Erasmus Lecture over at First Things, you need to. Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention asks Can the Religious Right be Saved? His basic claim is that the Religious Right has embraced a hypocritical stance at odds with its own values because of its allegiance to the Republican party, a Republican Party that illustrates its moral impoverishment in the nomination of Donald Trump. Here he is at his most biting: The crisis before us now is that of a national Religious Right...

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