Friday, May 5, 2006

Deserving of Ridicule

I caught the end of O'Reilly's radio show a few nights ago, in which Andrew Napolitano appeared as a guest discussing illegal immigration, possible solutions, and the current administration's policy. O'Reilly exhibited surprise toward the statements of certain politicians, regarding how those who make it across our borders--legally or otherwise--deserve to become American citizens. He disagreed, but after batting the idea around with Napolitano, it was obvious that the latter shared this sentiment.

I think Napolitano has gotten too big for his britches; he once was a judge, so this qualifies him as a constitutional scholar and an expert on social problems on a national scale. Needless to say, I vehemently disagree. He believes the Constitution applies to everyone equally in this country--citizen, legal resident, or illegal alien--which I'm assuming leads him to his ridiculous attitude on "deserving" citizenship.

Consider Washington and Jefferson, Franklin and Henry, Hamilton and John Adams. Did they strut around waxing eloquent on how they deserved their place in U.S. society? Did each believe he was entitled to American largesse and all that it entailed? Not at all. These men and others humbly attributed their successes and the formation of this country to almighty God. They believed that without Him, all their efforts would have come to naught, however valiant. They recognized and acknowledged the outpouring of blessings upon what was at that time a fledgeling nation; they were certain that the grace of His hand molded this republic out of a gaggle of seemingly insignificant colonies. They saw what God had wrought, and it left them astounded at His influence in their lives. Thankfulness, praise, relief, appreciation--these vied for the foremost places in their minds. Entitlement never entered the picture.

Now consider me. I was born in this country, to parents native born. In turn, their parents were Americans by birth. Both sides of my family have thick, strong roots deeply entrenched in this nation's foundation, going back well over a century, if not two centuries. I even have Cherokee Indian blood flowing in my veins (that's Native-American, for those who believe we find unity in hyphenation). And yet with all this familial history on U.S. soil, I find the idea repugnant that I deserve American citizenship. I thank God for allowing me to live my life in the greatest country on earth. I just as easily could have come kicking from the womb in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or name-your-dystopia. Never has any country allowed and even encouraged so much freedom and opportunity, and I'm delighted that I call the United States of America home. I undertstand that these precious freedoms we all cherish are under assault, even as I type these words. But warts and all, I'd rather live here than anywhere else on this fallen planet.

I sometimes think of those who have given the last full measure for this country; those who have died defending the liberties we take for granted. I admire and honor their sacrifices. Words can't convey the meaning of their actions.

So when I hear about illegal aliens "deserving" citizenship, it leaves a sour pill in the pit of my stomach. It's an affront that deserves stomping at every opportunity.

I think this notion is a product of the entitlement mentality that has grown up in this nation like a rank weed since the days of Roosevelt's Raw Deal. After all, if we're entitled to our fellow citizens' income, unearned and certainly undeserved, it's not too much of a stretch suggesting that those who successfully swim the Rio Grande should have a stamp of approval on their foreheads.

If our Founders felt blessed at God's divine providence in the forging of this nation, if average American citizens thank Him in humble adoration for birthing them in the land of opportunity, then the idea that illegal invaders "deserve" citizenship is not only preposterous, but insulting, as well.

No comments: