Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wait, But I Thought the Tennessee Eagle Forum Was Opposed to Lawbreakers?

Posted by on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 9:30 AM

The Romeike Family
  • The Romeike Family
Normally, the Tennessee Eagle Forum is worried about lawbreakers immigrating to the United States. In an article called "Who is the Stranger?" they explain the dangers of illegal immigration:

Amnesty proponents want to wildly expand the Judeo-Christian duty to be charitable while severely contracting the obligation of aliens to obey the law. If being kind means that we ignore violations of our immigration laws, then being kind is little more than enabling lawbreakers. Enabling illegal aliens is exactly the reason that the immigration problem has mushroomed over the last several decades.

Got that? The Tennessee Eagle Forum is opposed to enabling the lawbreaking of immigrants. Usually.

And usually, they're kind of iffy on refugees. You may recall that they worked hard to help pass the Refugee Absorptive Capacity Act, that made sure Tennessee wasn't overburdening communities with refugees.

So, you'd think that, if the Tennessee Eagle Forum got wind of there being people here in Tennessee trying to claim refugee status after breaking laws in their home country, the Tennessee Eagle Forum would be first in line to throw those folks out of the country.

But you'd be wrong.

Apparently, there are some kinds of scofflaw immigrants who deserve the Tennessee Eagle Forum's support. An email the Tennessee Eagle Forum sent out on Tuesday contained an article telling us of the "harrowing" experience of the Romeike family, who came to Tennessee as refugees because they want to homeschool their kids and that's illegal in their home country of Germany:

The Romeike family fled to the United States in 2008 after German authorities demanded that they stop homeschooling in violation of national law.

Homeschooling was made illegal in the country in 1938 under the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler, and the law has never been repealed, but rather strengthened. In 2007, the German Supreme Court ruled that the country’s mandate that children be sent to public school is necessary to “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”

Okay, Hitler didn't make homeschooling illegal in 1938. It's dramatic to link the travails of homeschooling to 1938 in Germany since that was, in fact, a very bad year for people Hitler decided were a problem in German society. But it's not true. School had been compulsory in Germany since shortly after World War 1 and was widely compulsory in the various nation-states that would become present-day Germany long before that. In fact, Martin Luther was an early advocate for compulsory schooling.

So, yes, the Romeike family has fled Germany because they think they're facing religious persecution for homeschooling their children even though the very person who started their religion was like "Make it the law that these kids have to go to school." History is funny like that.

But my point is this — if this shoe were on ANY OTHER FOOT, the Tennessee Eagle Forum would be advocating to run this family out of the country as quickly as possible. Just try to imagine this under any other circumstances. Say there's a Muslim family who lived in a secular country who had their children taken away because they wouldn't abide by that country's laws who then came to the U.S., found an isolated pocket to live in, and then continued to do the thing that brought them to the attention of their home country's authorities. Is the Tennessee Eagle Forum arguing that family should be allowed to stay here as religious refugees? I think we can safely say, "No."

So, what makes the Romeike family so special? Why do they deserve the Tennessee Eagle Forum's support and compassion when they treat other refugees with such suspicion? Why is their lawbreaking overlookable but the lawbreaking of other immigrants not?

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