Last Crusade 26: Thomism and Immigration

Prior columns have discussed the proper Christian teaching on the question of enemies, sojourners, trespassers, and refugees. All these are guests in our nation whose stay is not meant to be permanent.

Often confused with these are immigrants, that is, strangers who come not merely to save life and limb or escape oppression, but who come to join us, learn our language, adopt our ways and customs, and be baptized into Christian fellowship.

The starting point and the central pole star of any Christian discussion of these topics is found in St. Thomas’ Summa Theologiae: (

Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation, the Law contained suitable precepts: … First, when foreigners passed through [the Holy] land as travelers. Second, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is written (Exodus 22:21): “Thou shalt not molest a stranger”; and again (Exodus 22:9): “Thou shalt not molest a sojourner.” Third, when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship.

With regard to these, a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1).

The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.

Hence it was that the Law prescribed in respect of certain nations that had close relations with the Jews (viz., the Egyptians among whom they were born and educated, and the Idumeans, the children of Esau, Jacob’s brother), that they should be admitted to the fellowship of the people after the third generation; whereas others (with whom their relations had been hostile, such as the Ammonites and Moabites) were never to be admitted to citizenship; while the Amalekites, who were yet more hostile to them, and had no fellowship of kindred with them, were to be held as foes in perpetuity: for it is written (Exodus 17:16): “The war of the Lord shall be against Amalec from generation to generation” (Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 105, Art. 3).

Christian teaching calls us to compassion, but not to folly.

Allow me to repeat the crucial passage to emphasize it: if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.

No nation is required by God’s law to allow citizenship to any strangers not yet having the common good firmly at heart.

If divine law allows Mosiac law to forbid Ammonites and Moabite and other known enemies from being welcomed into fellowship, that is, citizenship, likewise the laws of a Christian nation can forbid Mohammedans from dwelling among them.

If divine law allowed Mosiac law to forbid friendly foreigners from being welcomed before the third generation, likewise the laws of a Christian nation can forbid the Christians who speak of different tongue, Mexicans and the like, from being granting the franchise to vote until their grandchildren have been born and raised here. Since this is roughly the amount of time it takes a group eager to acclimate and amalgamate into our customs and language to leave behind their Chinatowns and Little Italies and become true Americans, I see no evil in following the Thomist wisdom in that matter.

However, no matter how many generations pass, sad history has shown that children of Mohammedans born and raised in Western nations are too often still loyal to Sharia Law, to the brutal and vulgar practices of this alien and satanic religion, and too often are easily led to commit atrocities no votaries of civilized religions are wont to do.

The loyalty and the degree of Westernization by the first generation of Mohammedan immigrants has been proved by the harsh lesson of history to be immaterial.

Even if the grandfather is willing to be a citizen of a Western republic, or a subject of a Christian king, his grandchildren, upon reading the Alcoran and hearing the voice crying from the minaret, are subject to a strong temptations to forswear their civilian loyalties which, as history testifies, are simply not present in other faiths. It would be imprudent to assume that this temptation, which has operated often enough in times past to be noticeable, will sullenly and for no cause no longer influence future generations.

Mohammedanism is not a race. It is not carried in the bloodline. It is a spirit, and a set of ideas, and a worldview. That worldview calls for warfare of the most savage and bloody sort against all Christians, Jews, and Pagans, and calls for misogynistic and elitist theocratic despotism known as Sharia Law. That worldview cannot coexist with peace with any other faith, nor, if history is a just witness, can the factions of Mohammedanism coexist with each other.

Under the current world situation, where there is no famine in Mexico or South America, merely lawless governments and despots, Christian teaching might allow us to welcome those fleeing poverty to our shores if it were prudent, but does not require it. The conditions which make those nations squalid cannot be corrected if all the hard working and ambitious young men come here.

Under the current world situation, the sole group who has a claim to our compassion are Christians from the Middle East, suffering unimaginable cruelty at the hands of their Muslim oppressors and tormentors. This is the one group never mentioned in the debates on this issue by any party.

While a strict nativist might wish for there to be no immigration to the United States whatsoever, nonetheless a policy welcoming Christian refugees escaping Muslim beasts would be akin to the Mosaic Law welcoming an Egyptian or Idumaean. Three generations should prove sufficient to acclimate them to our language and customs, if the numbers are manageable.