I have a new article up at NewEvangelizers.com.
There has been a lot of talk in the news and online about immigration to the United States, particularly illegal immigration along the southern border. Images of detention facilities from the previous and current presidential administrations have stirred up passions in the people. Many Catholic bishops, such as Bishop Robert Barron, have weighed in strenuously on the topic. This is especially the case where families are separated at the border.
There are some who are comparing the detention of illegal immigrant families to concentration camps and that those who are in favor of it are like the Nazis. There are those who say that separating children in the womb from their mothers through abortion is much more worthy of our political outrage. These opinions may be on the extreme, but I am having more and more difficulty finding the non-extreme.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that the solution must be found in the middle ground (though it very well could be). What I am observing is that on both sides there seems to be a moral certitude in how we should act. Among Catholics this conviction is rooted in faith.
So how is a Catholic to respond?
Before anything else, we must remember to proceed with caution. We are now beginning to mix politics and faith. It is not that these two things shouldn’t overlap. Hopefully your religious convictions inform your political positions. But if these two areas are brought together incorrectly, the results can be volatile.
I am a man of very strong political convictions. But I do my best to never confuse them with my religious principles. By God’s grace I would lay down my life in defense of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. I would not go to the cross over what I believe to be a fair federal income tax rate.
This is even more confusing because there are some areas where politics and religion must overlap. Catholics are forbidden from voting for something that would intentionally make it easier to murder children in the womb or euthanize the disabled.
Regarding the hot button issue of immigration, we are walking into a gray area.