LET ME ASK YOU SOMETHING. It’s about the Bible as it relates to immigration. I recently posted the following note on my business Facebook page. I got a response that startled me.
To mix politics and the Bible, why do you think Christians would oppose something like the Dream Act—a route to citizenship for immigrants—given the Bible’s take on immigrants: “You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way” (Exodus 22:21).
Throughout the Bible, writers tell us God wants us to help society’s most vulnerable, identified in Bible times as orphans, widows, and strangers in the land. I’m wondering, since I try to present both sides of hot topics in my Bible study books.
Here’s the surprise. Only one person responding argued in favor of treating immigrants with compassion. All the others argued against it.
One young Republican I know and respect spoke about the importance of the “rule of law.” He added, “Let me phrase it this way. If you came home one night and 4 strangers were in your house watching TV and eating chips, would it be mistreating them to ask them to leave?”
I played devil’s advocate with this follow up:
Trying to think biblically, New Testament era. Regarding “rule of law” argument, let’s say we make a law that says it’s illegal to run out of a burning building, or—I don’t know—Mexico run by cartels that cut off the heads of people and roll them in the streets. And let’s say some people break our law and run out of the burning building, or Mexico, and end up in my yard. Should I treat them the way I would want them to treat me?
Suddenly, Facebook fell silent. It probably had more to do with the news stream growing old than it did with that follow-up question of mine.
Still, I’m wondering: What’s the biblical, Christian argument for showing immigrants the door? I report on this stuff. And I’d really like to know the thinking behind this position. So far, all I’ve been able to get in my various queries—including those in Bible study groups—are arguments that seem to put Christians ahead of their neighbors. The Christians genuinely seem more worried about their own fiscal risk of embracing the people at risk.
I’m trying to understand this.