In the Midst of the Border Crisis

We believe… that it is our responsibility to care for the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged, and to use our talents for the betterment of mankind through education, opportunity and freedom.

Stewardship Foundation Credo #6

The Stewardship Foundation was founded on six defining principles that remain today our guiding tenets. There are currently 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants residing in the United States (Pew Research Center, 12 June 2019), and the number grows by hundreds of thousands as those who feel compelled to come with the promise of employment stream over the border. Our reaction is a mix of compassion, confusion, and too often political rhetoric. But if we believe in our Principle #6 (above), can we deny these people the education, opportunity and freedom that we hope for all mankind?

On one hand, we are alarmed at the risks that they take from dangerous smugglers looking to exploit these mostly low-skilled workers and their families during their trek north. On the other hand, our immigration policy exists to maintain an orderly and rational means for people to immigrate here, for the betterment of all (the common good).

The Church teaches that good government has two duties: welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the human person, and to secure one’s border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good. 

The U.S. Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter of 2003 “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope” notes that all people have the right to economic freedom—the right to work for a living and support their families. In 2003, they could not have foreseen the murder, crime, violence and corruption that would befall Honduras, or that schools would grow so expensive there that families would flee to the U.S. simply to educate their children so they can have a better life. 

Even on the heels of 9/11 and the real threats of terrorism, the Bishops perhaps could not foretell the depth of the drug crisis and its ever-greater impact on both Mexicans and Americans as more and more drugs are illegally funneled across the border.

While we struggle to reconcile these things, our hope lies in more targeted, humane, and proportional enforcement measures; cooperation of the countries of Latin America; and the courage to stand by our treasured U.S. Constitution, our laws and leaders while we collectively figure this out.

Modernism and Moral Liberation

Modernism is defined as character or quality of thought, expression, or technique, or a style or movement in the arts that breaks with classical and traditional forms. In the Church, it’s considered a movement toward modifying traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs in alignment with modern ideas.

What modern ideas? News headlines, movies, novels, classrooms and contemporary society in general bombard us daily with more than a few basic concepts of modernism.

It’s modern to commit adultery if both spouses give consent or if the adulterous spouse simply conceals it so that the other spouse’s “feelings” are not hurt.

It’s modern to condone homosexual behaviors because everyone is entitled to love whomever they choose.

It’s modern to celebrate assisted suicide if the person ending their life is making what they believe is a rational, conscientious choice.

It’s modern to enjoy sexual freedom outside marriage as long as the couple loves one another because even Jesus taught that love is the most important thing.

It’s modern to make a choice to be a woman or a man because individualism and feeling good about one’s self is important.

It’s modern to ignore certain religious convictions in the name of compassion, especially for pregnant women who don’t feel like having the child they conceived.

Modernism has given way to moral liberalism, a political philosophy or worldview founded on the ideas of liberty and equality. Moral liberalism agrees that if men can cheat on their wives, so can wives equally cheat on their husbands. If men and women can marry and have children, so can two men or two women marry and enjoy child-raising as well. If a woman becomes pregnant but doesn’t want to give birth it’s okay to procedurally end the pregnancy. The problem is the destruction of virtue.

In society’s quest for tolerance and equality in the name of love and freedom of choice, the things that build character—self-denial and moral courage—are sacrificed. We live in an age when our leaders become role models for compassion as they “modernize” our Constitution and ways of thinking. They convince us that we are being moral without the trials and sacrifices that go along with actually being moral and good. We risk exchanging moral conviction for tribal mentality and exchanging doing what is right for doing what feels good.

At the Stewardship Foundation, we promise never to exchange our original credo of working for the common good and being good stewards of God’s abundance for the temptations of modernism and moral liberalism. We believe that feelings are a poor replacement for decency and common sense. If you agree, we hope you will work with us and share our vision with your friends, family, and colleagues.