The following article was featured in the OC Register on October 14, 2007:
Everyone points a finger at illegal immigration, and we should. Some say more than 12 million immigrants have entered illegally and disregarded our laws. America was built on the Rule of Law. As a republic we elect representatives to make our laws, and we must insist that the laws are obeyed. And those who break the laws need to be punished, for once we accept lawlessness we will cease to be the nation we once were. Yet, as we point one finger, three fingers are pointing back at us. We cannot resolve illegal immigration if we do not first address some of its causes.
During the 1960s America lost its way. The first “finger pointing back at us” is America’s welfare system, established under President Lyndon Johnson. Our “War on Poverty” rather than alleviating the plight of the poor, institutionalized poverty. With this new entitlement, people could get a regular paycheck without leaving home. For some there was no need to do hard, menial work such as cleaning offices, cutting lawns or washing cars, resulting in “jobs that some Americans would not do.” Our neighbors to the south looked over the wall and said, “We will do those jobs.” And they did.
“He who does not work, should not eat” is a biblical principle credited for saving our early American colonies. Disregarding this important American value of hard work, we created an out-of-control welfare system. Our welfare rolls have expanded due to generational cycles where children see a government paycheck as a way of life. Society as a whole has grown up with this welfare entitlement mentality.
In addition to those on welfare, we have added the immigrant poor, who work very hard, yet struggle to support large families on subsistent wages, working at entry-level jobs that were never meant to support a family.
The “second finger pointing back at us” is the 1960s sexual revolution, which ushered in abortion. Since “free love” was in, the unintended products of our lasciviousness were now in danger. Incredibly, since 1973 we have killed 45 million of our own children. Approximately 12 million or even more of these missing offspring would be in the workforce today. Ironically, this is just about the same number as illegal immigrants in our country. Additionally with the aging baby boomers leaving the job market, we have many more jobs opening up. But where are the Americans to fill them?
Without the Americans needed to do these jobs, we have had to hire others to do the work. Basically, America now has stepchildren, and blending families is not easy. Particularly difficult is the reality that these stepchildren have come with different values and cultural traditions. Sadly, our historical Judeo-Christian values have not been taught in our public schools.
Our third mistake is that during the ’60s, we also kicked God out of the public schools. First, in 1963 we took prayer out of our public schools and later in 1980 we took the Ten Commandments out as well. And God said, “OK, you educate them!” So we did.
The schools fell into confusion, bringing in failed bilingual education methods and asking kids to guess rather than read with “whole language” reading programs. And for a while we threw out the basics like adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing in exchange for the fuzzy, new “new math.” After years of declining test scores, and a public rebellion, we are slowly changing our methods, bringing in English instruction and phonics reading.
But just when we thought we were getting back on the right track, “whole writing programs” popped up. These programs ask young elementary students to use (teacher-modeled), time-consuming graphic organizers when children have not yet learned to write words, sentences and paragraphs. Left to ourselves, we are always looking for a short cut.
Today the business community is asking, “Where are the scientists and the engineers?” We have none. The children have struggled to read, and without mastering basic math it is impossible to go on to higher levels. Meanwhile the growing economy continues to demand these high-paying jobs, thus creating “jobs that Americans wish they could do, but are not trained to do.”
The business community looks to China, to India and other nations for our scientists and engineers. Not only do we have many low-wage immigrants, but we also have high-wage foreigners in our workforce.
Yes, let us as a nation point a finger at illegal immigration, but let us also acknowledge that our out-of-control welfare system, abortion on demand and “godless” education have brought us to this place.
If we take the logs out of our own eyes, we will see clearly to take the speck out of our neighbor’s eye. Until then, God will continue to have us in a headlock.