Jerry's conservative credentials, for those of you who don't know, are solid. Go ahead and google him (I'm sure he won't mind). No weak-kneed mamby-pamby liberal there!
Anyway, he wrote an interesting pair of columns one for each end of Pennsylvania - in this Sunday's P-G, and Monday's Philadelphia Daily News. I'm not sure why they're different yet so overlapping. Maybe some day Jerry will explain it.
He begins (at the Philly paper) with this:
I'VE BEEN interviewing Rick Santorum for almost two decades now. One thing that always struck me about Rick was his willingness to speak openly about his belief in Christianity.Some of us wonder if Rick's ever read the Bible at all (Matthew, 7:1-5 and all that), but that's another column for another day. He begins the Pittsburgh piece like this:
That's why I was surprised when the senator recently sent an e-mail to me in which he bragged about his tough position on immigration and slammed Bob Casey for his soft one.
As I read the e-mail, I thought, "Has Rick ever read what the Bible actually says about immigrants?"
President Bush has proposed an immigration reform plan. It toughens border enforcement, but also creates incentives for illegal immigrants to come forward, pay a fine and apply for legal citizenship. Hard-line conservatives call this approach amnesty and oppose it. Among them is Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is attacking Senate candidate Bob Casey for taking an approach that seems pretty much spot on with the president's.Inner Pat Buchanan - haha! But take a look at something the Santorum ad doesn't have the guts to say. Casey's taking an approach (right or wrong) that "seems pretty much spot on with the president's." So when Lil Ricky is ranting about Casey - he's also ranting about our AWOL president. When will someone on the right other than Jerry Bowyer be pointing that out?
As certain elements of my party struggle to get in touch with their inner Pat Buchanan, I've spent a lot of time reflecting on what the Bible says about immigrants.
Now the two pieces converge.
The biblical case against abortion is inferential. The Bible doesn't speak directly to the topic. It lays out some principles -- sacredness of life, humanity of the unborn -- that lead to the conclusion that abortion is not permitted. It's the same with stem cells, child tax credits, faith-based social service provisions, etc.I didn't realize that The Bible had anything to say about faith-based social services, but that's just me.
Immigration is different: The Bible is explicit. In the Torah, Moses commanded, "Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt." The Bible is unabashedly pro-immigrant.
Let me say that I'm definitely NOT a fan of having The Bible or any book deemed sacred by any faith as the arbiter of secular law. We're not a Christian Nation but a secular one - if you have any doubts, just read (perhaps for the first time) the 1st Amendment. But when an openly religious candidate is so obviously at odds with his own scripture, that's an interesting story.
Jerry makes a point later in both pieces:
I understand that on the surface, the current argument is not about immigration per se, but about illegal immigration. I also understand, from nearly a decade of hosting talk radio, that almost every time I run into someone who wants to take a tough approach on illegal immigrants, they also turn out to dislike legal ones as well.Remember, this is Jerry Bowyer talking - not me. Then there's this:
The president wants to create a program in which illegals can come forward, pay a fine and apply for legitimate citizenship. What do the hard-liners want? My hard-line talk radio callers want deportation. I have two words that I'd like for them to contemplate for a moment: "concentration camp." There is no way that you move 10 to 20 million people from one nation to another, against their will, without concentrating them."No amnesty"= deportation = "concentration camp." Are we comfortable with that?
When he was on the air at PTT, I think I agreed with Jerry about 3% of the time. On the other hand, he was unique among local conservatives in the sheer amount of stuff crammed into his brain. Everyone else in town is either a kook (Jim Quinn, Jack Kelly) or needs to do their homework (Ruth Ann, Fred Honsberger).
It's raining in Pittsburgh today. Surprise, surprise!