Monday, May 14, 2007

Sanctuary Movement

Posted by Teresa at 2:24 PM

Bill O'Reilly talks to Rev. Schaper about
the sanctuary movement. This is my
opinion on the topic. I wrote it last year.


Philip on 12:33 AM, May 16, 2007 said...

This response is unedited because I have a sore throat and need to get some sleep.

My Frightening Alliance

God knows it sickens me to say this. I would rather take a knife and twist it in my gut, but I have to stick to what I think is right. Here it is, I hope you never have to read this again: Bill O'Reilly is right. There I said it. I can say that I don't agree with him for exactly the same reasons he states. I don't enjoy his airs, his demeanor, or the flippancy with which he treated his guest; but he is right. I guess even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

In a recent interview with a New York City pastor, O'Reilly questioned her about what is known as the Sanctuary Movement. This is a movement that looks to shield people from being deported back to native countries because they illegally immigrated to the United States of America.

It is true that some people have fled because of political oppression. However, I am interested to know how many illegal immigrants are being shielded just because they wish to live in the United States. If the goal of the Sanctuary Movement is only to shield illegal immigrants who are fleeing political pressure and are looking for a fair legal case in U.S. courts, than I believe the Sanctuary Movement is doing just what Christ and God would want us to do. We are looking after our neighbor and we are offering shelter to a stranger. Nothing could be more in tune with what it means to be a Christian.

I don't believe that is the case though. I believe this to be a shielding of illegal immigrants or immigrants who have used loopholes (like giant corporations use tax loopholes) to achieve the ability to stay in the country.* I don't like it for a number of reasons.

First, it allows for a theocracy on the level of what hard-core religious fanatics want to make the U.S. government. These people want the U.S. to dance to its tune. They claim that by breaking the unjust laws they are following Christ. Christ himself says in Matthew: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. The New Testament is full of references to law an order.

These people wish to allow anyone who is a "good person" to come into the country. When did goodness become a requirement? Certainly we all want our neighbors to be "good people," but we also want them to be law-abiding. This is my biggest problem with the amnesty for illegal immigrants. How many Mexicans, Guatemalans, Venezuelans, Chinese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the rest are waiting diligently for green cards, worker visas, and immigration paper? And how many of these people see someone who is not willing to play by the rules get into the country in which they have always dreamed to live, work, and raise a family? How cruel is it that America says to those who have always played by the rules, "I am sorry, you should have ignored the law, better luck next time."?

When I was arrested for "operating a vehicle while intoxicated"**, my dad called up the police officer who had arrested me. The officer said, "If I had known what a good person Phil [that would be me] was, I never would've arrested him." My dad said to me afterwards, that isn't the point. The point was if I had broken the law or not." It took me a while to get a hold of this concept, but I finally get it. If I had been drunk, it wouldn't matter what I had done for the community or how morally upstanding I had been. I had broken a law, I deserve everything I got. I didn't break the law. I was still charged and I yet I obeyed the punishment.

Further more, how many illegal immigrants and advocates for illegal immigrants are willing to honestly obey the law to its fullest extent? They broke the law in coming to this country, why are they then demanding that the law cater to their desires. Does this mean that laws and dictates should be obeyed only when it suits our desires? It is as if the president were to enact only the parts of the laws he wishes to enact, instead of obeying the desire of the people who are in charge of him.

Lastly, I find this kind of talk to be nigh un-American and borderline racist. Illegal Immigrant groups pressure Latinos to be in favor of their position because they are of the same race and blood. However, as any American should tell you, once you enter this country you are no longer the person you were before. The taking of the oath is almost sacramental. Your race is American. Your brother can be black or white; Protestant or Catholic; Jew, Christian, Gentile, or Sikh. You have no allegiance to your "homeland" or ethnic brethren (the German and Japanese population proved this in World War II). You are an American. If you left your country only to make a little more money; than you really missed the point. America is not a physical country as a state of mind. No one points to the American race, they point to the American people. We are bound together not with a common ethnic tribe, but with a common will to help our brothers and sisters in this country and our neighbors throughout the world. And we have never said that we are to help our neighbors against the rule of law, but rather through the rule of law. (Yes I am aware that we have stumbled from time to time, but we have always known what the right answer was.) Thus any charge of racism is both erroneous and racist itself.

I may be wrong and I definitely don't have all the facts. However, nothing is certain in this world except uncertainty. I mean, I was certain I would never agree with Bill O'Reilly and now I am finding him at my shoulder. What an odd place America can be.

*One of the positions mentioned in the website for the New Sanctuary Movement website states that they are trying to not separate children from immigrant parents. What this means is that the parents put the unborn child's life in danger by crossing the border and having the child be born in the U.S.A., and thus making the child a natural born American citizen. He or she cannot be deported, because legally this is his or her homeland. And if we were to try and separate the child from the parent or parents, we would be forcing the child into an orphan status and the parent to the loss of a child. It is almost tempting in this scenario to allow the child to become an orphan because if a parent is so self-centered to place an unborn child at such great risk to cross international borders and with no assistance from an medical team just so they can use "it" as a pawn to stay in the United States of America, than that person is not fit to look after another human being. The parent may say it wants a better life for the child, but it is better to have a life than no life at all. This is a deplorable action disguised as giving a great gift and selfishness disguised as altruism.

** Which is kind of odd because I was both not operating the vehicle nor was I intoxicated.


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