Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us remember and be thankful that God is in control.

This does not relieve us of our duty to do what we can. Noah built the ark but God closed the door. Noah cared for the animals during the months the ark was afloat but God kept the ark safe.

The months and years ahead may be challenging and heartbreaking but we may rest assured that God is guiding our course and that the battle, through His finished work on the cross is already won.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."Luke 2:11

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Immigration and Fairness

I was recently reading a post on Vanishing American's blog. One of the commenters said: "Also, the people on VA's site are against ALL immigration. We don't want refugees, legal immigrants, or illegal immigrants. Maybe some O-Visa people here and there, but that's it."

I had to stop and think about that. Am I someone who is against all immigration? Am I a racist or a xenophobic, spoiled, rich, American who wants not to have to share the blessings and advantages of living in this country, as was the implication in my reading of that comment?

I find that I must disagree. I do appreciate VA's intelligent observations on immigration and assimilation, but for myself, I am not against all immigration. I think and believe that every individual is inherently worthy of my consideration because we are all made in the image of God. I do not want to speak for VA or her commenters, which is why I am posting this on my own blog rather than as a reply on hers.

I think those who value and wish to preserve the history, heritage and ideals of America should be welcome. But why should I welcome someone, who is not willing to live those ideals in order to change their own country, into mine?

There is also the culture barrier. Someone who is used to having to pay bribes (for example) to get government assistance in a matter, will bring the assumption that bribes are necessary here. It will not even occur to them that it is not the case, or that it is a citizen's responsibility to expose anyone who would take bribes. This places a temptation before our law enforcement community, who, after all, are just people.

What about those for whom violence is a daily and familiar occurrence? Those who find it acceptable to kill a family member for honor are not likely to go out on a limb to uphold a legal system that does not allow such behavior.

Those who come here illegally plunge themselves and their children into a never-ending cycle of victimization and criminal activity. There is no way for them to participate as fully functioning members of a self-governed society.

That is why those individuals who suffer from political persecution have been welcomed in the past. Because they have made the attempt to change their system and suffered for it. We then have a reason to believe that they understand, or at least have the ability to understand the burdens of citizenship in a self governed country. Refugees and illegals have not shown this drive towards freedom, nor can we expect them to.

That is the danger brought by immigrants. That is how they destabilize our system. This is particularly relevant in light of the arrest of the governor of Illinois yesterday. As Americans, we know that law enforcement does not work in a vacuum. It works, only when citizens participate. It also requires that citizens risk persecution to assure that law enforcement is functioning as it should. Someone in Chicago is paying a price for turning that man in to law enforcement to protect the rest of us. The higher up the corruption goes, the higher the price that must be paid to restore the system. That's the sacrifice required of American citizens.

I think, that, in large part, is also why we hear so many people basing their arguments these days on the "fairness" of an action. It is because we, as Americans, have been conditioned from an early age to question authority and to want to make things "fair" for everyone. I think that the citizenship issues behind that urge to require "fairness" from the world in general have been lost over time.
I think, that for myself, I am going to start being very careful about using the word "fair" in reference to political issues. I think I am going to concentrate instead on the idea of doing what's right. Right and fair are not equivalent. I think there is a connotation of sacrifice in the phrase"doing what's right" that is completely missing from fair. In fact, it is not fair that an individual often has to suffer for doing the right thing.

Those who are simply being persecuted because that's how their system works or who just want a job that pays enough to support their family are not fit citizens for a country that relies upon it's citizenry for regulation. If folks want to come here, they need to take up the duties of an American citizen, not just the benefits.

Perhaps, if we, as a nation, cannot quell our suicidal tendencies to embrace destruction in this manner, refugees should be offered a place of safety for a limited time during which they are required to learn and exercise the responsibilities of citizenship here. Then send them back home to fix their own countries. I have no doubt that their countries of origin will cry "foul" and say it's not "fair" of us to interfere in their sovereignty in that way. Our response should be, no, it's not fair, but it is the right thing to do. If you cannot make your country a safe enough place for your people to want to stay there, then we will help your people to accomplish that goal. Even if the adults don't get it, I'll bet their children would and in 10-20 years, we would see fewer refugees.
"Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."~Exodus 20:21

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pearl Harbor Day

They say that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. On this day, let us remember the attacks upon our nation soberly and with thought towards the future.

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"

~ Psalm 107:21-31