Christian xenophilia
0 comment Friday, August 15, 2014 |
Who could have thought that Jesus was an illegal alien?
At Faith and Heritage, 'Nil Desperandum' writes a very good response to a blog post by a Baptist scholar defending open borders. I encourage you to read Nil Desperandum's article, as he makes some effective points.
However the Baptist article to which he is responding prompts me to take issue with some of the arguments the writer makes.
First, and most egregious, is the statement that Jesus was ''an illegal alien'' and that the throne of God is occupied by an illegal alien. This is disingenous, to put it as charitably as I can. It is, in fact, exactly the same kind of sophistry and twisting of facts employed by Jesse Jackson some years ago:
''We hear a lot of talk about family values, even as we spurn the homeless on the street. Remember, Jesus was born to a homeless couple, outdoors in a stable, in the winter. He was the child of a single mother. When Mary said Joseph was not the father, she was abused. If she had aborted the baby, she would have been called immoral. If she had the baby, she would have been called unfit, without family values. But Mary had family values. It was Herod�the [Dan] Quayle of his day�who put no value on the family."
There was also the time when Jackson said that Jesus didn't speak English, so this country should not be English-only.
This is what we expect from liberals, this twisting of words and contexts. We shouldn't expect it from a Christian scholar or teacher, except for those under the influence of political correctness.
Was Jesus an illegal alien because his parents took him to Egypt when he was a baby? It's silly to even address such a claim, I suppose, but we have no reason to believe that Joseph and Mary were the kind of people who would enter Egypt (which was under Roman rule, like Palestine, then) illicitly. So the argument is disingenuous, putting it nicely.
Liberals like to quote the Biblical passages on strangers and sojourners as arguments against enforcing immigration laws. Rev. Edwin Childress writes
''[T]he Bible in a great many places uses "sojourner" to refer to those who are in a location which is not their original homeland. However, it is clear that while a sojourner shares some characteristics with an immigrant, the two are in very different pursuits. Using the term sojourner as a kind of proof-text for political statements about immigration clouds the issue because many people of faith find it hard to "argue against the Bible." Paul W. Lewis, an author on Christian engagement of social issues and a former missionary, admits "I have been greatly bothered by the way some people have used the term 'sojourner' to back up their own idea about immigrants. It was a totally different situation back then. We could also use the word "traveler' today.
Professor John B. Cobb, Jr. for 32 years the Ingraham Professor of Theology at the Claremont School of Theology concurs: "The Biblical term 'sojourner' implies someone who is residing in a land which is not his or hers by birth. Almost always it conveys a sense of temporary residence."
The terms immigrant and immigration do not appear in the Bible. The Oxford American Dictionary and Language Guide defines immigration, "to come as a permanent resident to a country other than one's native land." (p. 489)
Why does it matter? Isn't this just a small, semantic detail? It is a small detail indicative of a very large issue, and among communities citing the authority of scripture for belief and action, small details mean a great deal. Sojourners, while their future plans were not clear, were not intent on permanent settlement. To use sojourner and immigrant interchangeably in today's world is to obscure their distinction. While sojourners in the Bible were forced by necessity to move away from their homes, their intention was to return."
The Baptist scholar who wrote the blog piece under discussion is either not well-informed or he is disingenuous to argue about the term 'stranger' or 'sojourner' as being analogous to our illegal aliens or immigrants in general. Nowhere does the Bible teach that those who arrive in huge numbers, uninvited, to your country must be given the run of the country, or allowed to disobey laws, or to try to overturn existing traditions or the social order.
Condemning Christians who object to the out-of-control mass immigration in our country, labeling them as being disobedient Christians or immoral people, ignores the offenses of the aliens. We have just as much justification to decry or rebuke the wrongs done by immigrants; they are guilty of covetousness, envy, and wantonly disregarding the laws of the land. To say that they want ''a better life'' generally refers, by most immigrants' admission, to economic betterment. They see that we have a higher standard of living and they envy it, covet it. Some feel that we ''stole'' the Southwest from them, and they insist it is theirs. Do we need a better definition of covetousness or greed than that?
In response, the do-gooder liberals insist that the poor downtrodden immigrants ''just want to feed their children.'' Of course nobody wants to be found denying hungry children sustenance, or hungry adults either. But I occasionally challenge those who say the immigrants are hungry with the question: have you ever seen a gaunt-looking illegal? Even a lean one? No, they all look well-nourished, to put it mildly. All of them. Most of them here seem to be buying luxury items, (flat-screen TVs, flashy jewelry, fancy new vehicles), which does not spell 'poverty' to me. I remember a time when there were truly poor people in this country, and by that standard, everyone today is relatively wealthy.
However, even with our relative wealth (at least in terms of comforts and liveable communities) our country is in dire straits economically. Work is hard to find for many people, and each immigrant is likely occupying a job that would otherwise be taken by an American. And trust me, there are many Americans who are desperate for jobs now, and who have real needs. Some clerics and academics live in a little bubble in which they see only people like themselves, who are comfortable. There is real need; we cannot be the social service agency of the world and still take care of our own.
And then I ask the people who tak about hungry immigrants: is there a famine in Mexico? (Or Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras?) I haven't heard of any starvation conditions there. Nobody has anything to say in response to that question. But they will go on about how those poor folk in Latin America earn practically nothing. Or they try to say that the illegals 'have no jobs in their home country.' However, there have been studies indicating that the immigrants generally had jobs in their home country, and they were not living homeless on the streets or begging in rags. The following is from the Washington Post, hardly a conservative or 'xenophobic' source.
A majority of Mexican nationals who crossed into the United States illegally in the past two years left behind paying jobs that, in some cases, are similar to the agriculture, construction and manufacturing work they find north of the border, according to a study of Mexican immigrants released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center.
The study seemed to explode widely held beliefs that Mexicans risk deadly trips across the Rio Grande and through broiling Arizona and New Mexico deserts solely to find work.
None of the illegals I see in the pictures of them crossing the border look ill-clad or hungry. And then there's the matter of them paying thousands of dollars to coyotes to smuggle them in to our country. So much for their destitution.
And even if they earned little money in their home countries, they can also live there for very little; costs of living are minimal compared with the cost of living here. One does not need American-scale earnings to live comfortably in Latin America. That's why some Americans retire in such places. So we need not cry over the immigrants' low wages at home.
The Baptist writer of the blog piece indicates that these illegals are fleeing for their lives. By and large there are no conditions in Mexico requiring these people to come here to avoid death -- unless, of course, they are gang members involved in drug-running or other crimes, which of course does fit a certain number of these illegals. Among all those sainted poor people sneaking into our country, there are a number of drug cartel members, even drug kingpins, who then set up shop on this side of the border. Along with them comes various other kinds of crime, including kidnappings, beheadings, abductions, prostitution, and odious occult religious practices: voodoo-like cults with which the drug dealers think they can protect themselves from the law and from their competitors.
The good religious folk who think they are outdoing God in virtue with their non-judging attitude should stop and think about welcoming people who bring bizarre cult practices (like the cult of 'Saint Death') which then spread in this country. The Bible indicates that this kind of bloodthirsty 'religion' pollutes the land once it is established. Do these xenophiles even believe their Bibles? It seems they ignore many things which don't fit with their liberal views, and which clash with their determination to see only good in certain groups of people, particularly any minority, non-White group. What is happening to the Christian faith, under the influence of liberalism/Cultural Marxism/multiculturalism, is no less than a kind of veneration of non-White peoples.
It is as though these peoples must never be criticized, because they really can do no wrong. They must not be held accountable. They must not be expected to comply with the same rules, laws, and standards as the rest of us. They are considered childlike and innocent, always sinned against and never sinning. This is wrong. Biblically, we are all less than righteous; we are all equal in our proclivity to sin. But apparently minority groups are blameless, always. They are always given a pass. When any dispute arises between Whites and minorities, who is always presumed guilty?
This is not Biblical, this putting up on a pedestal a whole class of people. It is, in the Biblical phrase, being a 'respecter of persons.' Many Christians wrongly think that when we are enjoined not to be respecters of persons, that the phrase refers to giving excess deference to the wealthy and the popular, to treat them better just because of their personal power or attractiveness or wealth. Well, it can and does mean that, but neither are we to simply invert that attitude and place poor or supposedly oppressed people above others, just because they are seen as victims. Not all poor people or ''oppressed'' people are innocent victims. Some are victims only of their own bad choices and fecklessness.
Post-Christian ''Christianity'' is becoming a cult which makes idols of the ''wretched of the earth'', and I see this as a distortion or a corruption of the idea of ''seeing Christ'' in others. It seems that it's been perverted to mean seeing Christ only in the most ''other'' we can find. It is the idea of ''conspicuous compassion'', showing off how very virtuous we are, because we can empathize with death-row rapists/killers, terrorists, etc. This is where you will find liberal Christians devoting most of their ministering. I don't object to people doing that quietly if that is what they feel called to do, but to exalt such people above others is misguided, to put it in the most charitable terms. And it is sheer blindness to be able to dismiss or tolerate evil in the name of 'compassion.'
And where, I wonder, are the Christian do-gooders when it comes to their fellow White Christians in South Africa and Rhodesia (I mean ''Zimbabwe")? When I tell my fellow Christians about them and their dire straits, they register little emotion, but just bring up those poor Africans who need wells dug again, and they are moved and full of pity. I might say this betrays a condescending, paternalistic attitude; some will even admit that we will have to 'take care' of the Africans forever because maybe they can't take care of themselves. God wants us to tend to their needs.
Am I painting illegals as being the same as death-row criminals? No, but the fact is they are knowingly breaking our laws, not just by crossing the border but by their daily actions once in this country, when they defraud and game the system with multiple (forged) IDs and false statements when applying for aid or entering their children in school. Many of them are also active in other crimes while here: drug dealing, vice of various kinds, drunk driving, vehicular homicide, sex offenses. These things are far from isolated and rare. What has the liberal Christian to say about that? Where is your charity for your own people, who end up being prey to these immigrants? Is your virtue to be bought at the expense of your neighbors and kin?
Meanwhile, these illegals and other immigrants and refugees elicit the same paternalistic helpfulness, the messianic fervor. We are doomed to self-sacrifice in the service of these poor folk who can't do for themselves.
On the one hand, the liberal Christian thinks we are to sacrifice ourselves, taking Christ's place on the cross -- yet on the other hand, they seem to think that minorities are our redeemers in a sense; we have to atone to them, beg their forgiveness for the wrongs ''we'' did them over the centuries. Only minorities can save us, so they think.
Am I hard-hearted, condemning Christian charity? No. By all means, go to Mexico or Africa or wherever you feel called to go, and spend your substance there, if you choose. Send missionaries there, if you think it is of any use. It doesn't seem to have made much change over the last several centuries, though, from all the evidence. When you subtract the ''rice Christians'', I don't think there are many left.
But the notion that we have to pack this country with all the world's needy and helpless is just madness. It is not an idea that was held by the vast majority of Christians down the ages; it is, suspiciously, something that developed only since the advent of Marxist ideas in our Western countries. It is a product of the world's thinking, not of Biblical teaching.
In fact, it's Babel all over again; why do they not see that obvious fact?
Do the Super-Christians ever consider that in condemning fellow Christians today as xenophobes and haters, that they are in fact condemning previous generations of Christians (including their own parents or grandparents) as the same? Former generations agreed more with today's ''xenophobes'' than with today's Christian xenophiles. I suspect it will be very empty in heaven if the liberal Christians are right; our forefathers, as well as many of us today, will not make the cut, if they are right.
Where is the compassion for our own people? Our people are suffering though increased crime, fewer jobs for native-born citizens, loss of our way of life, and many other problems which are sure to be exacerbated with more and more immigration. Who is speaking up for our own people? Where is our voice? Our first duty is to our own. That is the way our fathers believed and that is the way a healthy, normal person, a person not infected with the liberal cancer, believes.
God never called us to give away our countries and our birthright and the future of our children in the name of 'compassion' or anything else. He set the boundaries of the nations, and he has never abolished them.

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