Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I love the product.....

I was gonna write a thought provoking post this morning about Oberweis and the 14th district special congressional election in Illinois. I was. really. A post about how I couldn't reconcile buying his milk that I want to buy because of this:

Our Farmers' Pledge

Our pledge is signed by all the farmers who produce and supply milk exclusively for Oberweis Dairy.

We, the families who care for cows that produce milk for Oberweis Dairy, are proud to pledge that we will:

  • Never use artificial growth hormones.
  • Only provide milk that is free of antibiotics. If a cow gets sick, we will treat her back to health using the best available medicines but not use her milk again until it is free of antibiotics.
  • Treat our cows humanely.
  • Do nothing different than if our children and families were drinking all of the milk we produce.

We pledge all of this so that your family can drink Oberweis milk with confidence. We understand that if we fail to meet these obligations, we will no longer have the privilege of providing milk to Oberweis Dairy.

and this:

We treat our cows humanely.

The family farmers who care for our cows are proud to pledge to treat their cows well. For example, our cows have time to graze in pastures versus spending all their time confined in a barn, and our farmers do their best to keep our cows warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Oberweis cows are treated more like pets than farm animals.

....with his immigration policy. I gave up.

Here's the question....if I support his business, aren't I in fact supporting his beliefs? I have a headache. I couldn't work it out no matter how hard I tried. Who said this way of living like Christ was easy? It's not. Social Justice is hard. Loving people is hard. Bucking the trend is hard. Paying more for products in order to support fair trade and practices is hard. Walking a mile in another's shoes is hard. Realizing God doesn't love and bless the USA exclusively is hard. It's just hard.
So, I gave up on the post. I don't have my thoughts well defined enough in my mind to even begin to sound coherent.
If you're interested in Oberweis's stance on immigration - you can find it here.

What do you think?


Mike Clawson said...

I think it's easy enough to find organic milk from other suppliers. I don't need to give my money to rich, xenophobic assholes.

Pardon my language. ;)

DanaMc said...

Well, I can't afford Oberweis anyway, so that makes my decision easy.

But, reading his views, the only thing I have a significant issue with is his stance on amnesty. I can let the rest of it go. For me, it's a matter of choosing battles. I can't fight them all, so I have to choose where to draw the line for me. If I could afford it, I would buy Oberweis. (But, that doesn't mean I would stop looking for other options.)

Amy Godoy Guerra said...

Thank you for this post. Finally, the perspective I wish all Christians had...

Amy Godoy Guerra said...

sorry, having posting problems.

Anyway, I wish more Christians were stopping to contemplate the realities before spreading rhetoric and voting for candidates based on flat statements.

Immigration, and especially illegal immigration, is a very complicated issue.

What bothers me most is that people like Oberweiss are making it so the American public gets more adamant in its uninformed views about immigration. They don't realize that for almost anyone in the world, it's impossible to immigrate to the US unless they marry a US citizen or get a rare job with a very generous US corporation that will sponsor the visa process. They don't realize that there are people waiting 8 years to get a visa through family-based immigration. They don't realize that there are hundreds of families right now living in separate countries while a husband or wife tries to legalize his or her status (which in most cases can only be done from the home country). They don't realize that having a baby in the US does NOT guarantee a person a chance of ever gaining legal status, nor even the chance to remain in the country (unlike what Oberweiss alleges about not breaking up families). They don't realize that illegal immigrants are in most cases having taxes deducted from their paychecks even though they can't file to get a refund. Most importantly, they don't realize that it's virtually impossible for these people to become legal. That for the lucky few who do have a chance to become legal, it's a nearly 2-year process involving a long legal fight, hundreds of pages of documentation to write and collect, thousands of dollars in fees and travel expenses (more if you hire a lawyer to improve your chance of success).

So when people like Oberweiss start talking as if they have the knowledge to tell illegal immigrants, many of whom have spent their entire lives in the US, to leave and come back legally, my heart aches for the ignorance and callousness being spread through the American public.

Is it really our calling as Christians to call for laws that will make it even harder for our poorest neighbors to improve their lives and their situations? Or should we be searching for a solution to make it a more just system for all, citizens and immigrants?

All I know is Oberweiss has not found that solution.