August 14, 2005

My new column

"The Open Borders Crowd at the WSJ Gets Religion" -- An excerpt:

The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Page has long been notorious for making a religion of Open Borders. Now it has tried to enlist religion on the side of its obsession.

On Aug. 12th, the WSJ's free website,, ran an essay by the deputy editor of its "Taste" page, Naomi Schaefer Riley, called "Welcoming the Stranger: Faith-based groups say it's time to reform immigration." (In WSJ-speak, "reform" means "more of the hair of the dog that bit us.").

Ms. Schaefer Riley writes:

"Jihad Turk, the director of religious affairs at the Islamic Center of Southern California, believes that Muslims, 'as people of conscience and faith, have to protect those in need of protection.' And his religious community is practicing what it preaches, most recently helping several families of Bosnian refugees to resettle here."

Isn't it wonderful that Mr. Jihad Turk is importing more people like himself into America? In fact, I think the U.S. should try extra hard to attract from the Muslim world more gentlemen just like Mr. Turk, men whose parents chose as their monikers, out of all the possible first names in the world, "Jihad."

"'Family reunification should be the cornerstone of immigration policy,' says Mark Franken, executive director of migration and refugee services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops."

Uh, if family unity was so important to these immigrants, why did they abandon their families and move to America in the first place? And couldn't they now reunify their families by going home? If living near relatives is so important, perhaps family reunification should be the cornerstone of deportation policy.

"'Atithi devo bhava: Look upon the guest as God.' That's the Hindu principle that should guide our policies toward immigrants in this country, says Suhag Shukla, legal counsel for the Hindu American Foundation."

Nonetheless, if we are going to adopt Hinduism as our guide, we should show it the dignity of not tendentiously distorting its meaning for political benefit the way this Wall Street Journal employee does. An immigrant is not a guest because the defining feature of a guest is that, eventually, he goes home.

Ms. Schaefer Riley continues to misrepresent the meaning of "guest" and "hospitality" throughout her essay:

"The Episcopal Migration Ministries works with the U.S. government to resettle between 2,500 and 3,000 refugees a year. 'No story in the New Testament fully expresses the belief in hospitality as well as the story of the good Samaritan,' says C. Richard Parkins, the organization's director. He cites other biblical injunctions as well, like Hebrews 13:2: 'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.'

"What does that "entertaining" consist of?"

Good question...

According to the authoritative Vine's Concise Dictionary of Bible Words (1939), however, the ancient Hebrew hospitality described in the Bible, while generous, was distinctly circumscribed in duration:

"In oriental lands, and still in some countries of belated civilization, it was and is felt to be a sacred duty to receive, feed, lodge, and protect any traveler who might stop at the door… The present practice of the Arabs is the nearest approach to the ancient Hebrew hospitality. A traveler may sit at the door of a perfect stranger and smoke his pipe until the master welcomes him with an evening meal, and may tarry a limited number of days without inquiry as to his purposes, and depart with a simple " God be with you" as his only compensation." [Emphasis mine.] [More]


My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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