Thursday, June 3, 2010

Christianity and Immigration

Does Arizona’s new immigration law stand up to God’s law? Yes!

Romans 13:1-7, tells us that we are to submit to the governing authorities and that the government is to protect its citizens. God has delegated this authority to civil government for that specific purpose. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” (Romans 13:3-4).

Many who support giving amnesty to illegal immigrants misquote Leviticus as their source. Sadly, they do not understand the facts. Leviticus 19:33-34 says that aliens (temporary visitors) are not to be mistreated. They are referred to as aliens because they we not living there permanently. The word immigrant does not exist in the Hebrew language. Aliens could remain in Judea only if they paid taxes, converted to Judaism, obeyed the Israelite laws, went to Jerusalem each year to be counted, they could not violate any norm of Israelite law. Those who want to live here legally should not have to adopt Christianity. They should be able to worship or not worship how they like. However, they should never be allowed to walk on other religions be mandating that others make unnecessary adjustments just for a different religion. Some religions have tried to mandate that our public schools add separate water fountains for boys and girls, prayer rooms for their specific religion, and many more.

Some Christians are even voicing opposition to the Arizona immigration law by saying this law in not compassionate or fair. My question to them, “Who is it the state and federal laws are in place to protect? Should it be those who break the law or the law abiding citizens of the US?” Is it fair to law abiding citizens to live in fear of escalating violence, and to have their wallets continually skimmed to provide welfare, education and medical care to individuals who have no legal right even to be in our country? Remember, the word illegal refers to those who do not enter the US legally.

It is time for mature Christian thinking to solve this, and other, issues. We must have a Christ minded view and not world minded view in order to resolve the issues our country has and will have in the future. George Washington said, “What happens when a nation stops basing its judgments on a Biblical basis? Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” Ronald Reagan said, "Without God democracy will not and cannot long endure."

Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer explains that she signed this bill into law because, as governor, she has a responsibility to protect the safety and security of Arizonans. That is her Biblical job.

Arizona is a state that has been ravaged by illegal aliens committing criminal acts and has seen a rise in almost all violent crimes; murder, burglary, illegal drugs, human trafficking for prostitution, car theft and home invasions to name a few. Arizona is now the kidnapping capital of the world. Not a title any city wants to bear. There are an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants currently in Arizona alone. This is a huge strain on their budget. Taxpayers are the ones footing many of their bills.

For years the federal government has not lived up to its Romans 13 duty of protecting the citizens of the United States. President Obama has even said that there has been a failure to act by the federal government. That is the sole reason Governor Brewer signed SB1070 into law. It is not the states duty to protect its citizens; it is the God-given duty of the federal government.

The new Arizona law is very close to the federal law that has been active, but not enforced, for over 50 years. This should not be a States Rights (Tenth Amendment) issue. This is a federal issue. The problem has been that the federal government has been asleep on the job so the states are acting out of necessity.

A 2006 congressional report claims that only 10 to 30 percent of illegal aliens are ever caught -- implying that 70 to 90 percent enter the U.S. unnoticed.

I oppose granting amnesty to illegal immigrants for the same reasons that we rose up twice during George W. Bush's presidency and defeated two congressional efforts to create amnesty and a path to citizenship for an estimated 12 to 20 million illegal aliens. I believe it is simply wrong to reward citizenship to those who illegally crossed our borders without permission or overstayed their visas. Those who want to enter our borders legally should come from those waiting in line or willing to join the existing line.