17 May 2006

Decadent? Well, tu quoque

Here, read this.  It’s fairly brief.  I found this quote worthy of comment:

"This plan to send soldiers is one more sign of the decadence of the American empire."

Those words were spoken by a Dominican monk named Carlos Amado Luarca, who works in a migrant shelter in Ciudad Juarez.

1.  Isn’t it a sign of decadence, Fra. Carlos, when people cannot exercise self-control?  Someone, somewhere in central and south America is having more babies then he can afford; so much so that there are, apparently, more people than there are jobs.  How has this come about?  It has come about because people who clearly, given economic realities in central and south America, who cannot afford to have families, are having them anyway.  Isn’t being that sexually out of control also a sign of decadence?  And if you want to say that we Americans are also sexually out of control but we just kill our babies rather than having them I will just say two things:  (1) you are already convinced of our decadence by the fact that we want to put troops on our borders; (2) having babies in countries which cannot support them cannot be very much superior to our not having them.  So, Fra. Carlos, we are decadent.  Fine.  But so are you, just differently so.  (For the record: I do just happen to believe that my country’s easy sexuality and abortion-on-demand is a sign of our decadence.  But I deny that it is illegitimate for a nation to demand respect for its borders.  Certainly it is not a sign of decadence that it do so.)

2.  Now, Fra. Carlos let’s talk about the Mexican Constitution—yet again.  You think it a sign of our decadence that we are sending troops to protect our border.  You must be unaware of this provision of Mexico’s constitution:

Foreigners are those who do not possess the qualifications set forth in Article 30. They are entitled to the guarantees granted by Chapter I, Title I, of the present Constitution; but the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action.  (Constitution of the United Mexican States, Title I, Chapter 3, article 33, bold, italics and underlining mine.)

Do not waste your breath, Fra. Carlos, trying to tell me that Vicente Fox would not do the same thing to illegal immigrants from the US, persuant to this provision of his constitution, if the present situation were reversed.  Yes, this provision refers specifically to removing people, not keeping them out.  But if the Mexican government determined that any North American’s being in Mexico was “inexpedient” then, logically, the next move would be to keep Americans from coming into the country in the first place.  And if the Mexican president had to enforce that determination by military means he would certainly do so.

3.  I happen to think it a sign of decadence when people enter a nation illegally and then demand from that nation’s government rights which their own governments would not grant to others in the same circumstances.


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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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