Everyone agrees that Ligaya Lagman is a Gold Star mother, part of the long line of mournful women whose sons or daughters gave their lives for their country. Her 27-year-old son, Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Lagman, was killed last year in Afghanistan, but American Gold Star Mothers Inc., has rejected Lagman, a Filipino, for membership because — though a permanent resident and a taxpayer — she is not a U.S. citizen.There's nothing we can do because that's what our organization says: You have to be an American citizen," national President Ann Herd said Thursday. "We can't go changing the rules every time the wind blows."
I cannot know what is in the hearts of those who would deny this mother a measure of gratitude and honor for the sacrifice of her son. But, in the heiarchy of temple worship, there were those who were worthy of approaching the throne of God, and those who were not:
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to Aaron and say: No one of your offspring throughout their generation who has a blemish shall draw near, one who is blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or one who has a broken foot or a broken hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man with a blemish in his eyes or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No descendant of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord's offering by fire, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God. He may eat the food of his God, of the most holy as well as of the holy. But he shall not come near the curtain or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries; for I am the Lord; I sanctify them. Lev. 21: 16-23.
I guess alien status is the new blemish in the sanctuary. The Lagmans may eat of the food, but they better stay out of the sanctuary, because they are not worthy.
For the Lagman family...
1. Give ear to my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my supplication.
2. Attend to me, and answer me; I am troubled in my complaint. I am distraught
3. by the noise of the enemy, because of the clamor of the wicked. For they bring trouble upon me, and in anger they cherish emnity against me.
4. My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
6. And I say, "O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
7. truly, I would flee far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
8. I would hurry to find a shelter for myself from the raging wind and the tempest."
9. Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech; for I see violence and strife in the city.
10. Day and night they go around it on its walls, and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11. ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace.
12. It is not enemies who taunt me-I could bear that; it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me-I could hide from them.
13. But it is you, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend,
14. with whom I kept pleasant company; we walked in the house of God with the throng.
15. Let death come upon them; let them go down alive to Sheol; for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.
16. But I call upon God, and the Lord will save me.
17. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice.
18. He will redeem me unharmed from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.
19. God who is enthroned from of old, will hear, and will humble them-because they do not change, and do not fear God.
20. My companion laid hands on a friend and violated a covenant with me
21. with speech smoother than butter, but with a heart set on war; with words that were softer than oil, but in fact were drawn swords.
22. Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
23. But you, O God, will cast them down into the lowest pit; the bloodthirsty and treacherous shall not live out half their days. But I will trust in you.