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The ITT List

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006, 8:57 am

Sunday school

By Brian Zick

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Last Thursday, the NY Times quoted Hillary Clinton criticizing the GOP's anti-immigrant legislation. She said, "It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scripture because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself."

Think Progress (with link to vid clip) reports this morning that Tom Tancredo, in response, told George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s This Week that "I’m not really surprised that Hillary Clinton doesn’t know the first thing about the Bible. Her impression — her analysis, her interpretation of both the law and the Bible are certainly wrong to say the least. This has nothing to do — the bill we passed out of the House has nothing to do with criminalizing Good Samaritans."

Tancredo's evaluation, however, happens to be rather at odds with the judgment of prominent Catholic theologian Roger Mahoney, Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles. On March 22, the NY Times published an op/ed by Cardinal Mahoney, in which he said:

"Part of the mission of the Roman Catholic Church is to help people in need. It is our Gospel mandate, in which Christ instructs us to clothe the naked, feed the poor and welcome the stranger. Indeed, the Catholic Church, through Catholic Charities agencies around the country, is one of the largest nonprofit providers of social services in the nation, serving both citizens and immigrants.

Providing humanitarian assistance to those in need should not be made a crime, as the House bill decrees. As written, the proposed law is so broad that it would criminalize even minor acts of mercy like offering a meal or administering first aid.

Current law does not require social service agencies to obtain evidence of legal status before rendering aid, nor should it. Denying aid to a fellow human being violates a law with a higher authority than Congress — the law of God."
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