[Recently by Peter Gadiel: Jobs Americans Won't Do? An Open Letter To President George W. Bush]
Danbury, Connecticut has an official population of about 77,000. And, according to Mayor Mark Boughton, an illegal alien population of 10,000—15,000.
This invasion of lawbreaking illegals has brought with it the usual problems of crime, one-family homes occupied by dozens of illegals, etc.
Nevertheless, for those residents of Danbury whose entire lifetime accumulations of emotional and financial assets are invested in their homes, the transformation of nearby residences into flophouses is a disaster of the worst sort. Past experience shows that, unless immediately stopped, one flophouse will soon become many—quickly followed by the rapid decline of surrounding neighborhoods. For people whose homes represent their cushion against old age and infirmity, that is a catastrophe.
For Danburyites who are already near the bottom of the economic scale, or who are looking for that first job after high school or for summertime work, the invasion of illegals is also a disaster. Entry-level jobs in the construction trades are now nearly monopolized by illegals; ditto at virtually all the McDonalds, Burger Kings, landscape firms, janitorial services, etc., etc.
Not surprisingly, people in Danbury are unhappy. They have expressed their unhappiness in legal ways: meetings, internet websites and Letters to the Editor.
Needless to say, the usual crowd of Treason Lobbyists, including the illegals themselves, radical leftist college students and the ACLU, have raised the usual bogus claims of "racism" and "anti-immigrant hatred" etc. etc.
Arrogantly sauntering into this mix is Laura Westby (email her), the newly-hired Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Danbury, Connecticut.
In a July 31 letter to the Danbury News-Times, Rev. Westby proclaimed that people who oppose illegal immigration should not be allowed access to the press.
She wrote to object to the newspaper's publication of another letter from a member of the Danbury citizens group that has been protesting the damage illegal immigration has inflicted on Danbury, on Connecticut and our country as a whole.
In the opening paragraph of her letter, Westby says: "One of the freedoms our Constitution protects is the right of free speech. I am proud to be a citizen of a nation that highly values such an open exchange of ideas."
That's awful nice. But then Westby reveals her real interpretation of the First Amendment:
"The exercise of that right is conditioned, however, by the responsibility to use it for the common good. It is deeply disappointing to me that The News-Times would publish letters like that from Midge Short (letter, July 25, 'Illegal immigrants should go home, pay archive.'). Letters like this one increase the divisiveness in our community by shutting down dialogue and demonizing a group of people. I would urge the editorial page staff of The News-Times to be more careful in the selection of letters they publish." Wrong to publish divisive letters [Pay archive]
So Ms. Westby is proud that Americans have the right to free speech—so long as the thoughts they express are the same as her own.
Her views, after all, promote the "common good." Those who disagree clearly undermine the "common good." They should not be permitted to express their views in public.
It's interesting that Ms. Westby is a minister in the Congregational Church—now a part of the United Church of Christ. [VDare.com note: Ms. Westby has signed the NATIONAL WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN for DIALOGUE, an open letter which calls for "a Thoughtful, Constructive, and Respectful Debate on Immigration Reform."]
New England Congregationalism is the direct successor to the church of the Puritans, the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. You may remember that the Puritans' church was the one which in 1692 decided that certain people in Salem were causing "divisiveness" and undermining "the common good" by practicing witchcraft.
Well, we all know how Ms Westby's church handled that problem, don't we?
It's clear to any reader of Westby's letter that there's little difference between her and Rev. Samuel Parris, the minister who instigated the mass hysteria that led to the executions of Salem's witches.
Good thing Ms. Westby's church doesn't hold the same power it had back in 1692.
The rest of Ms. Westby's letter is devoted to the usual claptrap we hear from mouthpieces of the Open Borders movement and is not worth commenting upon—except to note that her distortions of fact are truly of a piece with the methods of John Hathorne, chief judge of the Salem Witch Trials.
On the front of the First Congregational Church of Danbury hangs a large banner that says: "God is still speaking."
Evidently, Ms Westby believes God is speaking through her.
The rest of us must be silenced…for the common good of course.
(Email First Congregational Church)
(Email Danbury News Times).