The state of California has descended into a modern-day version of Dante’s Inferno, where treachery of all kinds occupies the bottom circle. Public sector unions are running (or rather ruining) the state into bankruptcy, betraying the public trust while charging the taxpayers for the perverse privilege. Republicans collude with the supermajority of Democrats to raise taxes, fees, and unrelenting regulatory burdens.
The public schools indoctrinate their young charges to hate this country and the rule of law. Illegal aliens continue overwhelming the state, draining California’s already depleted public services while endangering our lives, the rule of law, and public safety for all citizens. The federal government has filed lawsuits against Sanctuary California, and ICE is rounding up illegals in their homes and in workplaces. However, demonic pro-illegal forces still parade in the streets and cross our borders, defying American sovereignty. Larger cities have more homeless than homes for citizens.
The natural disasters are hitting crisis level, too. The Bible depicts torturous flames with respite in hell without respite, (Luke 16: 24). So too parched conditions have engulfed California. Wildfires have become a year-round terror, yet the state’s leadership refuses to prepare emergency water storage. This past week, two hundred firefighters had to quell another massive conflagration in south Orange County, and summer hasn’t even begun yet. To make matters drier, Gov. Brown signed legislation to make the current drastic water rationing permanent!
Even wealthy coastal elites have found that the cost of living in California is slowly exceeding its value. Money can’t create water, and financial gain provided nothing for West Los Angeles socialites when a few homeless transients set a blaze along the 405 Freeway overpass along the Santa Monica mountains.
All of this is a testimony to the damage wrought by progressive policies which have transformed California into a picture of hell. That’s precisely what Evangelical preacher Franklin Graham called California … or at least that’s what he called the sanctuary cities. During an interview on the Todd Starnes Show, Graham commented:
"People are leaving the state. The tax base is eroding. They are turning their once beautiful cities into sanctuary cities, which are just a little picture of Hell," Graham said. "Just go to San Francisco and go to this once-beautiful city and see what has happened to it."
But why did the son of the renowned Reverend Billy Graham take time to comment on the harrowing horrors of California? For his latest Gospel Crusade, he visited ten cities in the once-Golden State. Starting on May 20 in Escondido (one of several cities to challenge SB 54, aka the Sanctuary State law over the past three month), Graham is bringing the message of the Good News to the dispirited wasteland along the Left Coast.
Returning to Pastor Graham’s signature statement from the Starnes interview, finally a pastor of stature and renown is condemning sanctuary city policies, and a welcome response from the all-too-quiet church leadership in California and across the country. Pastors should be the first to denounce this misnamed, misleading agenda. The concept of sanctuary comes from the Bible, better known as “cities of refuge” (cf. Numbers 35:11-28), locations reserved for those who had accidentally killed someone. To avoid retribution, they would flee to those cities.
In California, sanctuary policies bar local and state law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials to arrest and deport illegal aliens. These cities are not safeguarding otherwise innocent people, but are protecting criminals who have broken into the United States and reside illegally to this day. Pundits left and right contend that these policies actually protect otherwise law-abiding residents to seek help and report crimes. Nothing could be further from the truth.
However, is it fair to tie the long list of hellish outcomes from these left-wing enclaves to their refusal to enforce federal immigration laws?
What has happened to sanctuary city San Francisco, for example? The progressivism that made God nothing and man’s “ideas” everything created the s***-hole dystopia that resides there today. It’s an overpriced progressive utopia, to put it charitably. For the vast-majority of residents, even for those who can afford it, a salary of $100,000 a year barely pays the rent. Roommates doubling up is the norm, especially among the Big Tech interns who take the bus to Silicon Valley to work all day on the latest app for the Google, Facebook, EBay overlords.
For the price they pay to live in the city, San Franciscans aren’t getting their money’s worth. Intravenous drug needles litter the streets everywhere. Homelessness is more common than homeownership. “S***hole” better describes the streets of the city, where the feces piles have so overwhelmed the streets, that visitors receive maps on how best to navigate away from the crap and corruption. Street fights among transients and the mentally ill have exploded, rampant moral decline has overshadowed the once great city. Tourists find enough to see, then flee.
Freedom of speech and freedom of religion have lost their place, even though Graham’s latest crusades have succeeded in otherwise unfriendly territory, like Berkeley. Last year, the Patriot Prayer movement, headed by Joey Gibson, attempted to throw two rallies for freedom of speech and thought. The elected officials of San Francisco (including Nancy Pelosi) and the now-deceased mayor Ed Lee, smeared the peaceful program as a “White supremacy rally.” Gibson is half Japanese, by the way.
Where Gibson had tried and failed, Graham’s message of hope accomplished peaceful gatherings with a call to action to California’s Christians. And I say it’s about time. There have been flickers of hope in spite of the deranged left-wing agenda ravaging my home state. Californians in general, and Christians in particular, need to step up. They are called to be light in a dark, hellish world, but nothing good will happen if they don’t vote for their values, then educate the public how to fight against the devilish lawlessness foisted upon us by our political leaders and the cultural elites running—or rather ruining—the state.