Biblical teachings on immigration, and FBI as Big Brother

Oh, fun, the immigration debate has gone from the rediculous to the rediculouser.

I’ve had a lot of feedback to my column last week, and again this week, on that pesky illegal immigration problem. Everyone else seems to be weighing in, including Rev. Neal Humphrey, a local pastor who usually takes what I consider to be a pretty hard core right-side view of things.

His column said good Christians would welcome the undocumented aliens because that’s what the Bible says to do.

Needless to say, the Bible can be used to prove anything, and another reader responded in kind,   tossing up the list of Biblical laws contained in Levictitus and other places, all Old Testament. They’re pretty interesting, such as never touching a woman during her period, killing neighbors who work on Sunday, selling your daughters into slavery, and so on. The list is going around the Internet all the time and, in a slightly altered form, made for a very fun West Wing episode a bunch of years ago.

Just shows again, be careful citing God’s Word. He tended to speak all over the map.

Not God, just the FBI I see where the FBI wants to expand its ability to snoop into our computers if it thinks we’re are terrorists, and in today’s world who shouldn’t be suspect?

OK, not me, but certainly you. I mean, who are you, anyway? Can you prove who you are? Where you were born? I mean, REALLY prove?

No. If Obama can’t, neither can you.

So we are all suspect, which means the FBI will, soon, be checking up on you. And they want the power to do so now.

This is yet another way this whole War on Terror is becoming more of a War On Us. This story reminds me that our own Sen. Orrin Hatch has, in the past , advocated government snooping of our personal computers. The government screams “Terror!” and we scream, “Save Us!” and little by little, Big Brother gets Bigger.

The irony that this stuff is pushed most vigorously by the same people who scream about government getting too big is, well, just ironic.

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8 Responses to Biblical teachings on immigration, and FBI as Big Brother

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    Here’s a story that needs to be heard more. It is very dangerous for the illegal immigrants to sneak into the U.S. through Arizona. We need the Red Cross or somebody to send people out to get water to these people. The death totals are alarming. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-07-28/arizonas-real-immigration-problem-migrant-deaths/

  2. Charles Trentelman says:

    wouldn’t it be better to legalize them working here so they could ride here in buses and then ride back to mexico at the end of the day or week or month or whatever>

  3. Doug Gibson says:

    Yes, Charlie, it would. It’s horrifying that people die like wounded animals in the desert.

  4. Carolyn S. Bennion says:

    The bigger question is why Mexico is such an unfit place to live? Why are people risking their lives to escape? How can anyone respect the President of Mexico when he applauds his people crossing the border to leave, but won’t do anything to improve the lot for the people of his country?

    Perhaps the boycotts should be done to Mexico; not Arizona. Oh, by the way if you go the other way across the border to Mexico you are treated with gestapo tactics and thrown into jail to rot.

  5. Sylvia says:

    The reply using the laws from Leviticus etc. would have been more interesting if it weren’t just copies off the internet. That same response has been sent around in e-mails for years, is in innumerable blogs and a famed philosopher even published it in his book. Kudos to the person who first came up with it, but shame on all these copycats who use it as if they came up with it themselves.
    As to the “but they’re illegal” issue that you discussed in an earlier column, it was very helpful to me to hear the SLC police chief’s explanation of the issue. He said that illegal residency is a civil crime like not paying your taxes. If you don’t pay your taxes, the police don’t come after you; the IRS does. And most people would agree that we don’t really want our police to spend their time on tax cheats. And so it is with illegal immigrants. If we want our police to be able to handle the criminal element of illegals, we can’t have them spending their time on the now-law-abiding illegals. I had heard over and over how it’s a federal issue, etc., but the definition of it as a civil crime and the analogy with the non-compliant taxpayers helped give perspective. This probably won’t help most of your opposition, but it might help clarify the issue for some.
    I was glad to see you concede the Gov Herbert has come to be a voice of reason on this issue. I was very glad that he pointed out the myths about illegals using all our social programs. He is the very kind of person that needs to be saying that stuff.

  6. Charles Trentelman says:

    Carolyn — the “Look how Mexico treats people” argument is a bit odd — are you saying we should lower ourselves to their level? Do as they do? That’s a race to the bottom I don’t want.

    In a way, though, you answered your own question of why do Mexicans want to leave Mexico so badly: Life there sucks for them.

    There’s wrenching poverty so bad it makes them willing to risk their lives in the desert to get to a country where they will only be despised, but at least have a shot at eating regularly. How desperate would you have to be to do that?

    Part of why life in Mexico is so bad for so many is the American Public. We push billions upon billions of dollars to Mexico every year to finance the illegal drug trade, which attracts people away from legal occupations and finances the purchase of guns, gunmen, and running gun battles over drug trade routes.

    It is very hard to run a profitable taco stand or belt factory in a war zone, especially when you have to compete for workers against drug jobs that pay ten times what yours do. Drug money corrupts all the politics down there, too. And that is American drug money.

    Why does the president of Mexico do nothing? Read the papers — he’s waging a war against drug cartels, actual military battles with actual military guns.

    And, guess what? He’s losing. American drug money is being used by Mexican cartels to buy American guns in American gun shops to kill Mexican soldiers.

    So, want to help Mexico? Make drugs legal. The drug cartels would be out of business overnight. I’d like to see them take on Glaxo Smith-Cline.

    Sylvia –I didn’t concede anything. It is the firm policy of my column to always give credit where it is due — Gov. Herbert is right on immigration and is taking heat for being right, but not from me.

    Air Pollution? That’s another matter.

  7. Al says:

    Doug, Charles — I recommend Luis Urrea’s “The Devil’s Highway” for a detailed look at immigrants’ journeys across the southwestern U.S. deserts. It’s a vivid account of a brutal and dangerous trip. (Which is commonly understood to be the case to those near the border, but always a striking surprise to those farther north.)

  8. Charles Trentelman says:

    I’ve seen it. It is amazing to me how many Americans feel that human beings undertake that journey just to get free food stamps up here, apparently presuming that life in mexico is just too inconvenient, or they’re too lazy to get jobs.

    A lazy person would not last five minutes on that journey. Neither, I would venture to guess, would most Americans.

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