From I Have a Dream to the DREAM Act
by Andrew Castanuela on December 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM
There was a man who wanted a better life and believed there had to be a better way. He was not educated but he had a very strong work ethic and could catch on pretty quickly. He came from a big family and his father taught him to be a hard worker, support your family, give thanks and praise to God, be a man of your word, and do not accept anything for free. You see, this man was raised in a Christian home and at a very young age, he was embedded in the principles and laws of the 10 Commandments. His salvation would not be judged by how much money he acquired but how honestly he followed God’s law. As I look now at the principles of how men were raised back then and now, it would be fair to say a lot has changed. We do not follow the 10 Commandments anymore nor do we give thanks to God for giving us life. We are more possessed with who has what, who does not, and how do we make it fair to everyone. It is as though we have poised ourselves to be judge, jury, and prosecutor and regardless of what is God’s law, we have chosen to make our own laws to benefit our own prejudices. Whoever challenges our views is not worthy of respect or mercy which brings us to the issue of illegal immigration and the more emotionally contested subject; the DREAM Act.
If I was to poll the multiple social networks regarding their opinion on this issue, I would receive very strong comments with livid passions demanding how come we should or should not pass this legislation. But what is more concerning about the perceived responses is that it would more than likely lack the truth. You see, the prejudice (prejudgment) is driven by what each side considers to be just or unjust and the common response is to refer to the rule of law. Of course which rule of law are we referring to? Is it the rule of law created by man or the one created by God? Are the current congressional laws that govern the naturalization of U.S. citizens just or unjust? For my reaction, I will defer to Dr. Martin Luther King who stated in his Letter from Birmingham Jail “A just law is a man-made code that squares with moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.” Unfortunately we are like lawyers; each side will define what is moral, just, and unjust. Webster’s Dictionary defines moral as is in the teaching of what is right or wrong. But who does the teaching? The answers most commonly would be that teaching starts at home with our parents, or in this day in age, our grandparents. The patriarchal symbols of defining our moral character are the foundation of what we believe and practice until we choose a different path. In regards to what constitutes just and unjust, Webster’s defines just as right, fair, or lawful and unjust would to be the opposite.
So where does this leave us and our legislators who are receiving constant amplification of our opinions of what is fair and unfair? For me, my recommendation is to go back to the basic teachings of our parents who would say regardless of who we are; we are always responsible for our actions. The true answer in my opinion goes back to the 10 Commandments. If we are to live in a society of civil order, do we need to obey the rules just like we had to obey our parent’s rules? Someone can always make a case of how unfair or unjust someone or something is, but I do not ever recall Christ saying that it would be fair to carry his cross. The course of our actions should not be to judge those who are in the crossfire of this issue but to let their actions judge themselves. Have the people who are in the crossfire violated the 9th Commandment of bearing false witness which is to deceive or lie? Have they coveted thy neighbor’s goods? Only those who are in center of this debate can honestly answer these questions and their salvation is in their hands and not in the hands of laws created by man.
I believe that we divinely know what is morally right or wrong and for me it starts with the rules that were established by my parents who received them from their parents and so on until the source is traced back to the 10 Commandments. If we cannot learn to live by the rules as a community or society then we should not have created rules. If the rules need to be changed then let us change them but hopefully not for the sake of rationalizing our immoral choices.
If I am to live my life according the values of my ancestors, then I would need to be a person of my word, work hard, be honest, expect nothing for free, and play by the rules. The Sins of My father may have been passed on to me but my salvation is in my hands, and I will choose to be moral or immoral by practicing my values and obeying God’s law. May the Peace of the Lord be with you and our country during these times of uncertainty!