Note: This is the second installation of a two-part series. You can read Part 1 here.
In part one of this post, I laid down a foundation for what I hope will spark a meaningful discussion about how Christians should respond to illegal immigration, the refugee crisis, and Trump's policies. This post picks up where I left off.
Let's begin by addressing the whole “God loves refugees!” claim we hear non-stop. First off, I don't disagree with that.
I think it's helpful to remember that we’re not God. Let’s take one step at a time here. If we can’t love the person we see at work every day or the guy at the grocery store begging for change, why on earth do we think we’re prepared to care for hundreds of thousands of people from halfway across the world? To truly embrace “loving our neighbor” like Jesus taught, we should start with...our actual neighbors!
We’ve done an awful job at caring for the people who are already here. Our vets quickly come to mind. They're committing suicide in record numbers and make up a large portion of our homeless population. But do they get a march? Are people flooding the streets rioting over our horrible treatment of them? Nope.
So liberals need to quit the virtue signaling and stop pretending they care about people, when they don't pay enough attention to the ones right in front of them. I propose that we start at home before we bring more people in.
Heck, why not encourage our "allies" (gag), the Saudis, to house refugees in their 3-million-person-capacity tent city complete with air conditioning, bathrooms, and kitchens?
It’s just sitting there empty. (They only use it 5 days a year.)
Why is America the one being chastised by the world for wanting to shore up our own borders and secure our nation? Why aren’t the progressives demonizing neighboring Arab countries?
Gulf countries including Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees.
But yet nothing from the regressive Left. Well, nothing that makes sense or helps - just name-calling, violence, and rioting. Their hypocritical spokeshuman Chuck Schumer recently cried about it, even though he advocated for the same thing just two years ago.
Is Chuck right? Is America just a bunch of meanies? Is President Trump pausing immigration from terrorist incubators because he’s...unkind? Have we devolved to such a point that progressives think a Tim McGraw song should dictate our national policy?
Being American Means Something
If we let folks in on a permanent basis, they should be let in to become Americans; but are immigrants from the countries that Trump is putting an immigration ban on wanting to blend in here? What do many of them think about Americans? How is the West viewed from the perspective of someone from a country like Iraq (generally speaking)?
Listen to what Steven Gern (a Marine veteran currently working in Iraq) has to say about it:
If you look at the U.S. as an overflowing lifeboat with sick, dying, and vulnerable people hanging out over the sides, would adding hundreds of thousands of more people who can’t row be the loving thing to do - even if it ends up sinking the whole thing and killing everyone in it?
A lot of Christians in America would say, yes...even to their own demise.
Let's go one step further - what if you translate this to your actual house? Do you let anyone just waltz right in, eat your food, sleep in your bed, use your stuff, and take your things? Is that loving toward your family, kids, and spouses? What if they get hurt because of it?
That’d be foolish. Because being part of your family means something. The same principle applies to being an American. It means something.
So, if we become something that we historically have never been (e.g. a socialist nation) what would our culture look like? What would your day-to-day life look like? How would it affect your kids? Your job? Would that new culture be conducive to seeking the peace and prosperity of the nation, or would it make things worse?
That's the question Christians should be asking.
What’s an American Christian to Do?
Compassion is a praiseworthy thing, but it doesn't mean that you throw wisdom and prudence out the window to maintain it. It’d be unwise.
Having robust borders around our country and halting immigration from terrorist-friendly nations are good things, because they allow us to keep America free and safe. Mexico does it. The Vatican does it. Israel does it. The White House does it. Everyone with even a hint of common sense knows that fences, walls, and borders (generally) keep bad people out.
If the integrity of our borders and national security are compromised, the freedoms we enjoy will cease too (which, for you Christians reading, allows you to freely and openly proclaim the Gospel without any restraints).
If we lose our culture, we lose our identity. If we go from a shining city on a hill to a struggling lesser-developed country that has nothing to offer the world - everyone everywhere loses.
Reagan understood this well:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
Securing the borders and putting a process of "extreme vetting" in place is long overdue in America. It ensures that the people here (and the ones we let come here) will have a shot at a good life.
This is how we see God deal with his people of Israel in the Old Testament. They had borders, rules, cultural practices, and laws that set them apart from other nations. They were different. They were sovereign. The national identity of Israel meant something. They had a purpose, and so do we.
If we flush our God-given national sovereignty down the toilet in the name of “love,” we're flushing ourselves, too. The faulty dilemma that pits love against prudence needs to vanish.
“But Jesus said to love, bro…”
Sure he did; but love that negates wisdom isn’t love at all. It’s an imposter.
Author Bio: Brian Lenney is a copywriter who helps startups create conversion-friendly marketing campaigns. He has a B.A. in Political Science, an M.A. in Philosophy of Religion & a penchant for debunking humanity.