August 22, 2008

The Reverend Pastor Keith Mlyniec: Immigration Exegesis

Engaged Citizen

[In light of Bishop Thomas Tobin's call yesterday for ICE to halt "mass" arrests of illegal immigrants, Pastor Mlyniec's Engaged Citizen post of April has been moved to the top of the blog.]

Dear Governor Carcieri,

It seems the media has chosen to portray all the clergy in our state as standing together with one voice against your recent executive order. Hence, the April 03 Providence Journal’s opening line of their lead story, “In an extraordinary show of unity, leaders of Rhode Island’s religious community yesterday called on Governor Carcieri to reconsider…” I would like to take this opportunity to share with you that not all the clergy of Rhode Island are opposed to your executive order pertaining to illegal immigrants.

As a pastor in South County, I support your leadership decision to boldly deal with such a complex issue. While I am in full agreement with other clergy in the need to be concerned for the care, rights, and dignity of each human being residing in our great state, I do not see any legitimate biblical justification to stand opposed to you. In fact, it is my opinion that there is ample biblical evidence to support your decision.

I recently heard a bishop justify his position by quoting Jesus, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Best that I can tell, your executive order is not aimed at strangers, but illegal immigrants. Jesus never said, “I broke your laws and you harbored me as a fugitive.” Yes, we are to love our neighbors, but we are also to uphold and obey the local laws of the land as taught by the Apostle Paul when he said, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1).”

Next, I heard a rabbi quote from the Old Testament, “…for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” What he didn’t mention was that the Israelites were officially invited to Egypt at the request of the Pharaoh, that they were publicly welcomed, and that they were given the best of the land (Genesis 47). They did not slip into Egypt under the cover of darkness and attempt to live there illegally. While I applaud the rabbi for his generous show of hospitality and concern for human rights, I must respectfully disagree with his biblical argument which implies that those who have intentionally chosen to break the laws of the land should be considered strangers and therefore taken in and treated as the native in the land (Leviticus 19:34). We must keep in mind that in those days, both the natives and strangers willingly obeyed the laws of the land (Ruth 1:16).

And of course, like many others, I then heard a reverend declare, “In God’s kingdom, there are no second-class citizens.” Now, I am a firm believer in the equality and rights of each and every human being. However, I must respectfully point out to the reverend, that the State of Rhode Island may indeed be the “Ocean State” but it is certainly not the kingdom of God on earth. I also call to his attention that there are two distinct divisions of people in our state, those who are here legally and those who are not. I do not deny that we should consider those who are here illegally as first-class people, friends and employees. However, as hard as this sounds, the reality is that they are not citizens of the United States of America and therefore there is no citizen “class” in which to put them.

I affirm and support the efforts of my well-intentioned and passionate clergy brothers as they take a stand to calm the fears and anxieties resulting from your executive order. I also commend them for standing to be shepherds and peacemakers for their flocks. They have encouraged all of us to display a greater love for our neighbors and their well-being. I will be in prayer during this wave of unrest and division that God would grant peace and understanding to all involved. As we dwell in a season of difficult days, may God continue to grant you humility, wisdom, and the strength to continue to make decisions filled with justice for all.

With great respect,

The Reverend Pastor Keith Mlyniec
West Kingston Baptist Church

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.


Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at April 8, 2008 1:16 PM

Excellent commentary. Kudos to Pastor Mlyniec. Encourage all Catholics Protestants and Jews highly offended by the religious dog and pony show we saw last week to send your weekly church contribution to the West Kingston Baptist church. Let's face it we know if the many illegals here were Muslim that dog and pony show last week the one calling on us to love our brothers and sisters never would have taken place. Don't show them the money. Send it to West Kingston.

Posted by: Tim at April 8, 2008 6:04 PM

I am sending Pastor Keith,a copy of my Bible,his must have, more than a few pages missing, or he is using the westboro BAPTIST church edition by his fellow conservative BAPTIST pastor Fred Phelps.

Posted by: Kevin at April 8, 2008 10:33 PM


From the Bible, what do you see that the Reverend has said that would contradict it? The basic gist of his message was that the three clergy folks we've primarily heard from in the media don't speak for him, or for many other Christians. If anything, he seems to have a much better understanding of what the Bible actually says, without having to bend Scripture to fit a secular viewpoint.

PS Good job recycling a very worn-out line. I think Pat or Matt used it yesterday.

Posted by: Will at April 9, 2008 1:28 AM

Nice job Pastor.

I'm glad someone said it.

Posted by: donroach at April 9, 2008 5:24 AM

The interpretation of Romans 13:1-7 is highly disputed among biblical scholars precisely due to the misconception that it implies that government is inherently correct (insert your own fairly obvious historical references here of governments that were not worthy of submission and consider the paradox.) Consider when Paul wrote the letter, the historical context, and, when examining the next few passages, ponder exactly what higher authority Paul was actually suggesting deserved obedience. Also consider that most accounts suggest that Paul was beheaded in Rome, and whether Nero (or local prefects) really thought that he was suggesting the people submit to Roman rule or not.

Want the analogy of a modern day interpretation puzzle? - which Patricia Martinez statement do you believe - the one given to the press in a personal interview on Monday, or the one presumably written for her to release after her meeting with the Governor yesterday? Or did yesterday's statement simply allow Ms. Martinez to "travel to Rome" to continue her work for the greater good, and hopefully avoid an eventual employment beheading from our own latter day Nero?

Posted by: Bob Walsh at April 9, 2008 8:03 AM

Dear Bob,

Thomas Jefferson, as great a man as he was, had one very bad habit. Apparently, he liked to run with scissors. At one point, he sat down and decided to make his own translation of the New Testament. To begin the process, he decided to take a pair of scissors and cut out all the verses in the New Testament that had anything to do with the divinity of Christ or made reference to any of His miracles. Why? It was because he had decided beforehand that these were not and could not be true. Simply put, he didn’t like them. Instead of disputing them he literally cut them out and let them drift to the floor. Makes me wonder if we are having a spiritual scissor epidemic in Rhode Island.

Don’t like those who are doing something illegal feeling fearful or anxious? Grab a scissor and cut out “But if you do wrong, be afraid (Rom 13:4). Better take a firm grip, because that basic truth starts in Genesis and ends in the book of Revelation. Are you concerned that the conscience of an illegal immigrant will convict him and make him feel bad? Start cutting at Acts 24:16, “In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.” Want to feel better about people not paying their taxes? No problem. Start snipping at, “If you owe taxes, pay taxes (Rom 13:7). Oh yes, don’t forget to cut out the passage where Jesus paid his taxes (Matt 22:15-22).

The saddest part of the scissor epidemic is that the Bible turns into your own paper doll. It begins to take on your own shape, thoughts, and beliefs rather than reveal the will and intention of its true Author.

As a caution, I would only suggest that you not rely on Nero as your goto Bible interpreter. You really don't want him watching your back. After all, he could have a pair of scissors.

Posted by: The Reverend Pastor Keith Mlyniec at April 9, 2008 11:10 AM

People like Bob Walsh disingenuously refuse to distinguish between LEGAL immigration and ILLEGAL immigration.

We know the reasons why ...Mr. Walsh makes his living "representing" and collecting dues from those that need cover and support from the big bad world.

Motives aside, it is most ironic that Mr. Walsh cites Bible passages in defense of his support for breaking the laws associated with immigration.

Like it or not, we ARE a nation of laws (as is the Bible ...Ten Commandments) and our immigration laws are NOT unreasonable or oppressive.

Flouting the laws, indeed encouraging people to break them, is not something one can easily defend.

But in Mr. Walsh’s case, it comes easy and natural.

For example, he’s been flouting God’s #10 law (i.e. the Tenth Commandment) for years.

The 10th Commandment states: “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”

Bob’s been coveting his neighbor’s wealth for redistribution to his flock for years.

In fact, a good case could be made that Bob has been breaking the 8th Commandment (“You shall not steal”) as well, when one considers the Taxes and Dues that are “collected”.

Posted by: George Elbow at August 23, 2008 9:35 AM

It was a great response. I attend the Grace United Methodist Church in Westerly but not a formal member. I will be the greeter for the service tomorrow.
The Catholic Church is a powerful institution worldwide and needs to expect better representation from their Church officials in this issue.
It has been my understanding the Church hierarchy has often sided with the wealthy and upper classes at least generally speaking against the interests the poor in Latin America where a number of our illegal immigrants come from. Certainly not all illegal immigrants come from Latin America.Latin America for the most part tends to be heavily Catholic, at least nominally so. I am interested what the Church is doing to addressing the problems in that part of the world with the powerful against the vunerable that causes illegal immigration. What Bishop Tobin seems to miss is the factors that encourage this behavior in countries in the many countries his Church is the overwhelming majority.
The United States needs to get tough including jail time for employers who hire illegal immigrants and use diplomatic and other ways to force foreign sources to repect labor more in their countries and the humanity of their citizens.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at August 23, 2008 9:50 AM

OK, so how about we do this: see if we can get Bishop Tobin to preside over a few Masses.

Then, when it is time to get in line to receive the Host, we all start cutting one another in line, creating an unruly mess.

When Bishop Tobin impolores us to settle down and get back in line, we simply refer him to his letter and tell him we are doing the illegal immigrant thing, "cutting the line".

While we are at it, we should help ourselves to the collection basket, again referring Bishop Tobin to his letter.

Surely, he'll understand that we are simply helping ourselves in our hour of need and that he has no justification to protest our actions.

By the way, I just picked up a couple of hitch-hikers who are here illegally from El Salvador. They are a bit on the rough side, with gang tatoos. But they ARE God's children.

So I'm on my way over to Bob Walsh's house to drop them off. I told them Bob would welcome them with open arms and that he'd gladly share with them that which is his.

The hitch-hikers informed me that they are very thankful for people like Bob Walsh and that once they settle in at Bob's house, they will be inviting their friends and extended family to join them.

Posted by: George Elbow at August 23, 2008 10:25 AM

What a fabulous,well thought out, inspired letter by Rev. Mlyniec .Thank you for telling it like it is .Please pay no mind to the likes of Bob Walsh from the Nat'l Ed.( SPIN) Assoc.In John 10:1 Jesus is the Good Sheperd ,Jesus said:I tell you the truth,anyone who SNEAKS over the wall of the sheepfold rather than coming through the gate must surely be a THIEF and a ROBBER.
What should we do with them ?

Posted by: leprechaun at August 23, 2008 11:40 AM

America for the most part tends to be heavily Catholic, at least nominally so.

Although here in New England we are heavily Catholic, the rest of America is not. Perhaps you meant that America is heavily Christian. Catholics account for approximately 24% of the population. Otherwise great comment.

Posted by: bobc at August 23, 2008 12:05 PM

Sorry, my post should have been addressed to Scott Bill Hurst. Forgive me Scott but I seem to have a mental block when it comes to your first name. Again My apologies.

Posted by: bobc514 at August 23, 2008 12:09 PM

If AR is serious about editing the anonymous George Elbow's off-topic, rude and/or threatening comments, please see above. His obsession has gone beyond any reasonable bounds, and needs to be addressed.

By this post, I am asking that from this point forward, any and all references to me by George Elbow, or any other alias he chooses to use, be immediately deleted.

Posted by: Bob Walsh at August 23, 2008 6:19 PM

Gee whiz Bob, what rude and / or threatening comments are you referring to?

Would it the one where you referred to someone (perhaps the Gov.) as a "modern day Nero" who was going to perform an "eventual employment beheading"?

Posted by: George Elbow at August 23, 2008 7:30 PM

Come on George, you know what rude/ or threatening comments you made. You rudely threatened to drop off ILLEGAL aliens at Bob's house. You didn't really believe his BS that he gives a damn about the ILLEGALS (unless of course they want to join a union).

Posted by: bobc at August 23, 2008 9:06 PM

That ain't going to happen, Mr. Walsh. Your sensitivity (and penchant for finding excuses for censorship in your own too-literal readings) is not the gauge by which we judge commenters.

We will continue to edit and delete comments according to our own standards, and read correctly, George's comment is well within bounds.

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 23, 2008 11:03 PM

Reverend Mlyniec said,

And of course, like many others, I then heard a reverend declare, “In God’s kingdom, there are no second-class citizens.” Now, I am a firm believer in the equality and rights of each and every human being. However, I must respectfully point out to the reverend, that the State of Rhode Island may indeed be the “Ocean State” but it is certainly not the kingdom of God on earth.

One of the reasons that it certainly is not the kingdom of god is because of people like the Rev. Mlyniec who undoubtedly would have turned a blind eye on that foreign Samaritan.

To quote Luke, "And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side."

Rev. Mlyniec might do well to consider the parable and ask him self who his neighbor is.

The Reverend also said:

I also call ... attention that there are two distinct divisions of people in our state, those who are here legally and those who are not.

The priest in the parable probably justified his indifference by saying the same thing.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at August 23, 2008 11:44 PM


Read correctly? Then your other posts about civil discourse are just a sham. The anonymous Mr. Elbow publicly suggested that he would:

" . . . they are a bit on the rough side, with gang tatoos. But they ARE God's children.
So I'm on my way over to Bob Walsh's house to drop them off."

You, Mr. Katz, have no sense of decency or morality. How would your family feel about such a publicly posted threat from an unknown, anonymous person who has displayed considerable hostility to you in the past?

Let the record reflect that I politely asked the editors of AR to delete any and all future references to me by this anonymous and possibly dangerous individual. You have allowed this nuisance to continue. I believe that the continued posts by this individual represent harassment and a potential threat, and you have been so informed, and have refused to deal with the situation.

Posted by: Bob Walsh at August 24, 2008 11:02 AM

If you are that unable to recognize rhetorical fiction, Bob, you're becoming difficult to take seriously.

Personally, I think your repeated attempts to control and censor the conversation in these comment sections — replete with implicit threats of litigation and emailed hints about interference with commenters' places of business — constitute harassment. Unfortunately, I don't have public-union-paid lawyers to draft the paperwork that you're probably itching to file.

I'm not going to bow to you, Bob. Go ahead and show your colors to the world. Trust me that the story will be noted broadly.

Justin Katz
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 24, 2008 11:18 AM

Nice try, but it was the neighbor that was on the side of the road, not the Samaritan. And what does the bible say about neighbors. That you should treat them as yourself. Do you think that those who come here illegally are treating their neighbors as themselves. Hardly. It also goes on to state that "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." OTL, being a neighbor is a two way street. So if I am not considered a neighbor by someone, is he mine?
BTW. There may not be second class citizens in the Kingdom of God, but there will be those who are let in and those who are not.

Posted by: bobc at August 24, 2008 12:52 PM

Dearest Bob Walsh,

Get hold of yourself.

I assure you that my comments, (past, present & future) are NOT threats. They are merely rhetorical.

I know Common Sense is not your strong suit, but try to apply some here.

Let’s see:

I am banging away on a keyboard at 10:30 a.m. regarding ILLEGAL immigration issues, while simultaneously picking up hitch-hikers that are ILLEGAL immigrants? Talk about a multi-tasking feat!

Then, you respond at 6:19pm about “threats” made at 10:30 am? I don’t know, nor do I care, where you live, but do you think 8 hours would be enough time to arrive?

To throw around a word that has been used lately, you are approaching the “absurd” on this one, Bob.

But I do find it interesting that you’d feel threatened to have ILLEGAL immigrants stopping by your house. Heretofore, I thought you were a supporter of ILLEGAL immigrants. It’s good to get clarification on your position. Or perhaps I am still confused, as maybe you support ILLEGAL immigration, as long as they are NOT in YOUR backyard.

BTW, perhaps if you spent as much time responding to the questions & observations that have been raised around the issues discussed on AR as you do trying to control the message and get people banned, you’d feel a lot better. I know I would.

Lastly, for someone who is as Public as yourself (remind us again of all the Public boards and commissions you serve on …e.g. the Pension Review Commission, the Gov’s Tax structure committee), you appear to have pretty thin skin. I’ll take that into account going forward.

Posted by: George Elbow at August 24, 2008 3:04 PM

This whole thing makes me think of Steve Alves trying to sue everyone who criticizes him.

As much as I find no value in the personal attacks that sometime occur on AR, it is difficult to construe George Elbow's obvious satire as a "threat".

And there is this piece of paper called the Constitution that allows a good deal of latitude in the area of political discourse.....

Posted by: Anthony at August 24, 2008 3:52 PM

Mr. Walsh,

Take a pill.

Where's the "threat".

Even if one played your silly game of literal interpretation, the last time I checked, there are no laws against picking up hitchhikers.

Nor is there any law against dropping them off at or by someone's house.

Certainly there were no "threats", implicit or explicit, of harm. In fact, Mr. Elbow described a rather pleasant and communal afair in which you'd be "sharing ..that which is yours", which is in keeping with your Union / Collectivist bent.

Indeed, if you felt "threatened" due to YOUR apparent (and previously unrevealed) phobias and biases toward ILLEGAL aliens, that is noone's problem but your own.

Perhaps the "gang tatoos" rattled you? Well "gang tatoos" really are nothing more than something akin to a "Union card", which you should have an appreciation for.

Yes Mr. Walsh, it's time to take a pill, as you seem to have become a bit desperate due to meeting your match, so to speak. Be happy you control the dialog around teacher contracts, but don't think you can be master of the world and control ALL dialog.

Old-FOGE (Old Fan of George Elbow)

Posted by: Old-FOGE at August 24, 2008 5:04 PM

So Bob, is your latest negotiating tactic to call the person with whom you you would like to negotiate a labor contract "Nero" who would like to "behead" an employee?

You are such a hypocrite. If the Governor made a comment even remotely similar to that, you would be shocked and offended. But I suppose it's all fair game when you decide to do it.

By the way, how are relations with the membership base going these days? You negotiate a contract for months, then can't get even a piddling little NEA local to adopt it, never mind Council 94. Tough times for Bob. Maybe you should complain to Governor Fogarty ... oh, right.

Posted by: Pragmatist at August 24, 2008 6:22 PM

I came in for this huffing and puffing from Rhody for suggesting that commie activist Shana Kurland should someday encounter a real terrorist in response to her comments about ICE agents being terrorists.Rhody immediately began the same line as Walsh did-insuinating that if Shana Kurland were attacked,I would be a suspect-what crap!As if I would risk a criminal record in my 60's over a piece of trash like her.My point was simple-don't call people doing their job terrorists.Terrorists kill and maim people for no reason-she pissed me off with that kind of talk-which in itself could lead to terroristic attacks on agents.It happens all the time on the border.
I'll tell you people what a threat is:in 1985 a man I arrested on a warrant-he was a legal resident with a serious criminal history-described my house and wife to a detention officer in Boston and told him if he were deported my wife would be killed.
At about the same time neighbors told my wife there were some hoodlum types watching our house from a car-they didn't get the plates,but we knew who they were-the FBI got involved as well as the police and INS-we had to move my family out of state(at my expense)for about three weeks.WE TOOK CARE OF THE PROBLEM.Legally,but not gently.Never got bothered again.Unless that has happened to you Bob,relax please.We're all just debating here.
PS:My wife answered the door with a loaded firearm in arm's reach if she didn't recognize the person for quite a while afterward-seeing as how she grew up in Harlem and the Bronx,she doesn't panic easily :).

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 24, 2008 7:30 PM

Dear OldTimeLefty,

In answer to your question, “who is my neighbor?” I can only respond that YOU are my neighbor. Following the example of Jesus and the advice of the Apostle Peter, I express my love to you by choosing to cover over (1 Pet 4:8) your personal and unwarranted attack on me. If you actually knew me or read my entire letter, you would know that I would never, in your words, “turn a blind eye to that Samaritan.” You would also not falsely accuse and judge me (Matt 7:1) of any indifference to the plight of my neighbors. The church that I pastor comes to the aid of the homeless, the poor, and the disadvantaged on a regular basis.

If you would like to actually take the time to hear and understand the full and balanced biblical view on a topic like illegal immigration rather than appeal to or take refuge in random verses or misquoted and misapplied parables, I would be more than happy to buy you a cup of coffee and have a chat.

Posted by: Rev. Keith Mlyniec at August 24, 2008 10:31 PM

Reverend Mlyniec
You mentioned submitting to authority (Romans 13:1). May I remind you of the story of Judith who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for being unwilling to engage their foreign conquerors. She goes with her loyal maid to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, to whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him information on the Israelites. Gaining his trust, she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. She decapitates him, then takes his head back to her fearful countrymen. How does this square with Romans 13:1? Judith beheads the governing authority and is considered a hero by her people. Let’s go a step or two further and look at the next two verses. Here is Romans 13: 1-3

1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.
How do you square this with Hitler (a governing authority) and the massacre of Jews living under his jurisdiction? I don’t think that turning away and saying that you bow to a governing authority excuses complicity in crimes committed in the name of the state. So, I reject your simplistic interpretation of Romans 13. There is another point to be addressed here and that is the interpretation of who is doing right and wrong, and how and who defines them?

You didn’t go far enough with 1 Peter 4:8. Here’s 1 Peter 4:9
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
I’d say calling in police authorities represents some very serious grumbling.

You cited Matthew 7:1. Go another step in Matthew 7:1:2

1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Look at Leviticus 19:9
9 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.
Those poor people are picking at the edges of our fields after they have picked our harvest for us and you greet them with the back of your hand.

I’d be happy to discuss these issues with you over a cup of tea. I don’t usually drink coffee, but it’s okay by me if that happens to be your predilection.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at August 25, 2008 11:02 AM

Hi OldTimeLefty,

First, let me say that it pleases me to see that you are attempting to reason from the Scriptures. It is my firm conviction that if we appeal to the very Word of God for our counsel on important matters of the day that God will be pleased and we will be led into the truth.

Second, let’s take a look at the facts: Do I justify my reasoning on this subject by appealing to the behavior of Judith in an apocryphal book rejected as canon by the Protestant Church? No. Do I toss out the passage in Romans 13 because of the deplorable actions of Hitler? No. Do I agree that a possible definition of “grumbling” is the police carrying out their sworn duties? Absolutely not. By daring to reason from all that the Bible has to say on this subject am I giving illegal aliens “the back of my hand?” I certainly hope not.

Third, I do believe that we both have concern for the state of the illegal immigrants in our state. It is that very love that becomes our common ground. Like you, I am living in the tension of expressing to them the love, grace, mercy and compassion of Jesus while at the very same time helping them to understand that, according to our government, they are living here illegally. That is where we, the Governor, and our nation need great discernment and wisdom. My perspective is that to live on either side of that fulcrum while ignoring the need for balance is non-biblical. It was never my intent when I was writing my letter to lean to one side or the other, but to simply point out that the Scriptures speak to both sides of the issue. It caused me great concern to see a bishop, a rabbi, and a pastor speaking out for the entire religious community and consequently justifying their proposed actions by citing limited and select verses and thereby, ignoring the full counsel of the Scriptures.

Finally, whether it’s coffee, tea, or if we wait long enough, hot chocolate, I would enjoy a Scripture-based and reasoned chat together. I’m not quite sure how to contact you, but if you go to our church website you can find my contact information.

Posted by: Rev.Keith Mlyniec at August 25, 2008 12:32 PM

"It caused me great concern to see a bishop, a rabbi, and a pastor speaking out for the entire religious community and consequently justifying their proposed actions by citing limited and select verses and thereby, ignoring the full counsel of the Scriptures."


Nor do the above bishop, rabbi and pastor speak for all members of their own congregations. In fact, many of those members are concerned and alarmed that scripture is being used to attempt to deflect very reasonable efforts to maintain our borders and our sovereignty.

Posted by: Monique at August 25, 2008 1:23 PM

Joe, I was going to leave this thread alone, but now that you've dragged me into this brawl...
You're a little bit old for this macho chest-pounding garbage, aren't you? If I indulge in that kind of behavior when I hit my 60s, you (or your heirs) have my permission to take me out with an automatic weapon.
Back to the topic...
I love how the right has gotten so depenent on the clergy (not just Catholic, either) as an ideological enforcement agency. And I love how the right gets outraged when the clergy depart from their script.
Tobin becomes a real pain in the arse when he departs the safe seas of gays and abortion, I guess. But then again, Obama's made inroads among evangelicals because the flock is getting tired of its leaders' obsession over those two subjects.

Posted by: rhody at August 26, 2008 4:14 PM

Rhody-what the hell are you talking about?That was a bad experience which I hope you never have.If you think I would make up something like that,mentioning my family in the process,you are mentally deranged.
Don't judge me if you haven't been in my shoes.
I don't need to engage in any macho chest pounding because I actually had enough real encounters to last a lifetime.Such as participating in executing over 900 search warrants.And serving in Vietnam.
What exactly do you do for a living ?I am sure you think it's no one's business.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 26, 2008 5:59 PM

Joe, you dragged me into this thread. Don't complain about the consequences.
And if I told you what I did for a living...let's just say it's something that might drive you deeper into conniption.

Posted by: rhody at August 27, 2008 4:35 PM

I hate to tell you this,Rhody,but I don't get conniptions from anybody on this or any other blog-I like to break balls-I kind of expect it in return-but I couln't be bothered to make things up-I'm not running for office,after all.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 27, 2008 6:19 PM

Hey, we're just trying to bring a little levity to this discussion. There are probably readers who enjoy our witty repartee.
Joe is Sean Hannity. I'm Alan Colmes (albeit less of a dweeb).

Posted by: rhody at August 28, 2008 12:31 AM

Alan Colmes?Are you also into self-flagellation?Colmes is more of a dweeb than anyone I have ever seen.Let's say you're Bill Press-he's liberal but fairly normal.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 28, 2008 10:58 AM
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