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Clerical slumming

April 30, 2013

You know what slumming is. It’s where rich kids pretend to be poor and do poor for a spell, knowing it’s all fake for them, of course, and that, when they’re done slumming, they can go home and get a hot shower and have a yummy snack and sleep in a clean bed, unlike their slum-buds for whom the poor life is very real and for whom daddy’s dollars aren’t a phone call away and able to make everything alright if they get into trouble.

Well, apparently, there’s a priest who decided to try something similar and pretend that he was an alien trying to get to America. I first heard the story on Univision yesterday but attributed my confusion over it to gaps in my knowledge of Spanish. Now I’m thinking my Spanish was maybe okay; it was the stunt itself that I could not fathom.

Not making this up.

An American priest decided to experience what it’s like to cross the US-Mexico border illegally, you know, so he can talk intelligently about border issues. He lifts $ 3,000 from the parish till (excuse me?), goes to Mexico, and pays the three grand to coyotajes to lead him to the border (forgetting, I guess that, the North Star points—guess which way?—north, and that one can look at it for free). Anyway, the priest gets to the border, sits down and stares at the iron fence for a couple hours, and then climbs it. No one sees him. After a day of no one noticing a US citizen being in America, the priest turns himself in, provokes a stunning lack of interest in US authorities who release him (I guess American citizens climbing the fence into America must not be a high priority concern for them), and he tells his story to the media. Who treat it as a news story, instead of as a joke.

Per the Chicago Tribune, “The pastor said he believes he is the first Chicago priest to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by climbing a wall.” Well, thank God for that, at least. I mean, how many well-fed, able-bodied American-citizen priests with too-easy access to cash do we need who can pretend to break into their own country, yet can’t get arrested over it for love or money, and who obviously wouldn’t face deportation even if they were arrested, in order to prove that this kind of stunt is pointless?

I would hope, not more than one.

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