Crisis Magazine's Hahn Should Be Deported

Over at Crisis Magazine, which one would want to describe as an intellectual mouthpiece for RC neo-cons but hesitates to do so while it persists in publishing intellectual drivel, has an article up by Nicholas G. Hahn III in which Mr. Hahn attacks the bishops for their "immigration obsession." His nose is out of joint because the USCCB has a special part of its website educating Catholics on the justice of the DREAM Act and the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Hahn believes that, having failed to evangelize our own, the bishops are trying to "replace" US Catholics with immigrant Catholics. He urges them to abandon the cause.

There is too much bile in Hahn's article to refute, but I will only call attention to his most absurd, and central, claim. He writes:

The bishops’ obsession with undocumented immigrants is selfish. It is a sign of their failure of evangelization. Indeed, the scores of undocumented immigrants come from countries with strong Catholic cultures. So, instead of rolling out a serious effort to convert Americans, the bishops want to replace them. They think this is a winning strategy, but it looks more like desperation.

Advocating for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrant Catholic populations is the easy solution — an attempt to change American culture from without. The real solution is to change the culture from within.

It is unclear to me why Hahn sees changing the culture from within as mutually exclusive of welcoming immigrants. Indeed, immigration is one of the principal ways America has always changed from within. More importantly, one of the ways you change a culture from within is by calling it to justice. One of the ways Catholics can change our U.S. culture from within is by standing up for the proposition that parents should not be separated from their families, nor husbands from their wives, as happens far too frequently when our current immigration laws are enforced. What is "selfish" about standing up for justice and the traditional family?

I must say that Hahn's snarling piece is one of the worst pieces I have ever read at Crisis magazine, and that is saying a lot. Me? I hope the bishops stay plenty "obsessed" about immigration.

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here