In recent months, I have received quite a few emails from Christians bemoaning the number of illegal immigrants in our country. It is not the purpose of this brief post to discuss what our national policy should be with regard to this issue. Frankly, I don’t know enough about this issue to suggest a policy, or for that matter, to criticize one.
What I would like to address is what I perceive to be a “calloused,” “hard-hearted,” and sometimes a downright “mean-spirited” attitude taken toward those who are illegal immigrants.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I love the United States of America. The older I get, the more I am touched by the National Anthem and other patriotic hymns. I am very nationalistic. During the Olympics, I am grieved when the USA doesn’t win gold. I want us to excel in everything good on the world stage. But what I believe I am seeing is nationalism gone to seed! Do we love our way of life more than the life or lives of other human beings? It appears that way, at least by some of the rhetoric I’ve read. Am I suggesting that the law doesn’t matter, and that we can disobey it at will? Absolutely not. I believe God demands obedience to the laws of the land (Romans 13:1-7). What I am writing about is the hypocrisy (maybe that term is too strong, for some may not comprehend what they are doing) I am witnessing.
I see brethren in an uproar, forwarding emails demanding that these “law-breaking” illegal aliens be unceremoniously sent packing! Again, while I do not defend their “law-breaking,” I certainly understand the circumstances, and can have sympathy regarding why they break our nation’s immigration law. But for those among us who callously want these souls given a swift kick back to where they came from for “breaking our laws,” let me ask you a question.
- Do you ever break the law by willfully driving above the speed limit?
- Do you ever break the law by not wearing your seat belt because you don’t think the government should have the right to tell you that you must wear a seat belt?
- Do you ever break the law by having music on your computer that you did not legally obtain?
- Do you ever break the law by sharing or receiving software with or from a friend or installing it on more computers than the license agreement permits?
- Do you ever break the law by not reporting all income during the year?
- Do you ever break the law by littering?
- Do you ever break the law by sharing a prescription pill with your spouse?
- Do you ever break the law by not licensing your pet and keeping up to date with its shots?
Do I need to go on, because if I do, I can. For a willful “law-breaker” to point a finger at another “law-breaker” is hypocritical, isn’t it? Shades of Romans 2:1. Frankly, I can understand and have sympathy toward those who break U.S. immigration laws easier than I can those who, without batting an eye, break these “lesser” laws,” while at the same time point their finger at others.
I am reminded that God “administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore, love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:18-19). Friends, the purpose of this post is that we reconsider our attitude toward those who find themselves in a struggle for a better life for their families and themselves. Again, I’m not suggesting that we disregard our laws, but can we do a better job of upholding the laws of our land while at the same time making it clear that we love all men?
What do you think?