This morning's Washington Post reports that opponents of the Maryland DREAM ACT, which allows the children of undocumented workers to attend state schools at in-state tuition rates (seeing as they do, in fact, live here), have secured enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot as a referendum.
I read this news just after posting about Bishop Tobin and civil unions in Rhode Island so the relationship of the Church with the culture is already on my mind.
Here is a test for the Catholic hierarchy in Maryland. Can they - and will they - fight as strongly for the DREAM Act as other hierarchs have fought gay marriage proposals?
I think this is especially important because even though the Catholic Church may teach that gay marriage is wrong, it is not difficult for anyone to see how those who advocate for gay marriage, see their struggle as part of a long-line of civil rights achievements. You may think they are wrong, but you can see how even if mistaken, gay marriage advocates think themselves to be acting in the finest traditions of American politics.
On the other hand, this anti-immigrant xenophobia speaks to what is worst in American history, the ugliest part of our national character, and no one should know that as well as catholics who have so often born the brunt of that xenophobia. This is nativism, pure and simple, and it is not only mistaken, it comes from a dark part of the human soul.
Here is a culture war we should fight.