Frank Pastore

How should a Christian view illegal immigration?

I’ll assume you’re already familiar with how the debate frequently goes. Basically, both sides toss verses at one another. Those who favor amnesty cite “alien-stranger-hospitality” passages. Those who favor legal immigration cite “law” passages.

Perhaps the story of the Good Samaritan can help:

And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”

And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” (Luke 10:25-37)

What can this teach us?

The Samaritan is honored as “good” for showing mercy to the beaten man because he used his own time, effort and resources to do so. It was he that took the time to bandage the wounds. It was he and his beast that transported the beaten man to the inn. It was his money that paid for the recovery.

There are a number of important lessons to be learned here. First, I cannot be generous, compassionate or loving by giving your property away. I cannot fulfill the commandment to “love my neighbor as my self” by using your land, your property, your house or your money to do so.

Frank Pastore

The Frank Pastore Show is heard in Los Angeles weekday afternoons on 99.5 KKLA and on the web at, and is the winner of the 2006 National Religious Broadcasters Talk Show of the Year. Frank is a former major league pitcher with graduate degrees in both philosophy of religion and political philosophy.
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