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The Moral Bishop Tobin Preaches To The American Oysters
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September 03, 2008, 05:00 AM
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Since so many of us, including me, were on vacation last month, I bet most Americans missed a news story that reminded me of the Lewis Carroll poem, from his famous Alice book, Through the looking glass and what Alice found there (1872), "The Walrus and The Carpenter".

No, not the most famous verse

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings."

Rather I found the final verse pertinent to the remarks made on August 20 by Rhode Island Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin.

I`ll remind you of that verse shortly. But first let me tell you the lead-in to the news story and Bishop Tobin`s comments.

Seems that US Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) has been enforcing the law more vigorously lately. Whether this is a politically-motivated attempt to wedge-issue the Open Border stance of (alas!) my own Democratic Party (I hasten to note that McCain is no better) remains moot. But, most conspicuously in recent raids on a meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, at a factory with defense contracts in Massachusetts, and at Howard Industries in Mississippi, there have been since the beginning of the year more than 5,000 illegal aliens arrested in work site immigration enforcement raids. More than 1,000 of these face criminal charges.

This is certainly good news for American workers and I applaud ICE.

However, Bishop Tobin in a letter to ICE condemned the raids, saying they were "unjust, unnecessary and counterproductive". He then urged the ICE agents to consider the morality of their actions. [RI bishop wants US to halt mass immigration raids, By Ray Henry, Associated Press, August 21, 2008

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has also often spoken out against those raids.

I guess this is where Lewis Carroll`s verse about the Walrus and Carpenter struck me as apt. After opining on their relations with a large group of oysters they had collected on the beach and cajoled with sweet talk, these worthies, akin to the USCCB—is that the Walrus?—and Bishop Tobin–is he the Carpenter?—enjoy their repast.

As the final verse reads:

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You`ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?`
But answer came there none—
And this was scarcely odd, because
They`d eaten every one.

In short, so many American Catholic citizens, like the oysters, have been told by the USCCB and its Bishops countrywide that there is no problem with mass immigration. So, these leaders have said in effect:

"Just line up and listen to the Catholic connection on morality. Don`t worry about the laws of the government which were ordained by democratic actions. We of the hierarchy know best. Of course, dear Oysters, putting more under-educated, under-paid, over-worked illegal immigrants out of work would be too too depressing."

So these worthies would rather see American citizens and their national patrimony—their jobs, educational facilities, etc—continue to be eaten like the oysters until it will be too late to know what happened.

Speaking of morality, on which Tobin has opined so vigorously as it related to our civil laws on immigration, it is perhaps worth mentioning that the AP has just reported:

"The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence will pay $1.3 million to four people who said they were abused by priests." [August 30,2008]

That same AP story stated:

"Bishop Thomas Tobin and the Providence diocese did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the agreement."

The AP also noted:

"In 2002, the diocese reached a $14.25 million settlement with 37 alleged victims of sexual abuse in Rhode Island who filed lawsuits. The cases involved allegations against 11 priests and a nun."

Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.