President Barack Obama’s rhetorical abilities are among his greatest assets as a politician. During his speech justifying his decision to selectively abandon enforcement of immigration law, the president relied on tried and true clichés—our “broken” system, people in the “shadows.”
Obama also relied on scripture, and while the words from Exodus are eloquent, they’re a false basis for his decision to not enforce existing laws he took an oath to uphold. The passage Obama cited came from Exodus (22): “21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
While our president took to scripture as politicians on both sides sometimes do—taking a passage out of context—he should have told Americans the truth. Our president’s party bases policy on foreign nationals on policies set by the United Nations.
The UN’s aggressive efforts on migration undermine a country’s sovereignty. That certainly isn’t Biblical. Borders for countries are mentioned prominently throughout scripture, and so are permissions for strangers, aliens, or sojourners who wanted to enter another country, usually on a temporary basis.
Bear in mind the world of antiquity was quite different than ours today. If a mass of foreigners had shown up in a country in Biblical times and insisted on waving a foreign banner during a protest in front of a ruler’s domain, those “sojourners” would not have been long for that world.
The Center for Immigration Studies has a wealth of research from Old Testament scholars and others regarding rules for travelers in ancient times. An individual had to seek permission to enter a country, and he could enter only if permission was granted.
The scriptural mention was not surprising. Many major faith groups welcome unbridled immigration—it boosts membership. Some, like the Mormon Church, have even succeeded in getting amendments passed to shield churches who harbor foreign nationals who have broken federal law. For instance:
“An example of how the Church effectively works behind the scenes can be found in an amendment to federal immigration laws that exempts religious organizations from certain provisions of the federal immigration code.
In order to allow the LDS Church to baptize and extend full membership, including calling illegal aliens to serve in voluntary positions, the Church asked U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett [R] of Utah to quietly slip an amendment to the United States immigration act into an agriculture appropriations bill.”
The Church of Latter Day Saints is not alone in appreciating an exemption from harboring those who break federal law. Other major faiths value the legal set aside as well.
I wrote an article about the UN’s impact on US policy, and if you carefully consider the standards this global political body pushes, it is evident that a country’s sovereignty will be eroded. The UN directs governments not to use the term “illegal.” Instead, governments should refer to foreign nationals who have broken federal laws as immigrants “in an irregular situation.”
Just imagine for a moment telling the “Imam-ocracy” in Iran after you slip across the border you’re an “immigrant in an irregular situation.”
The UN goes further. “Irregular entries, stay and work are not criminal offenses.” Apparently this global body the US taxpayer is forced to subsidize has nullified US immigration laws.
While Obama and numerous politicos on both sides of the aisle often quote scripture to justify their position on a matter, it is only successful if we ignore the context of that scripture. In the same chapter our president quoted to make his case for refusing to enforce federal law, there are some other recommendations that would surprise not only our commander-in-chief but others who opt to go holy for political gain.
Among the verses in the chapter Obama cited are these:
“2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. [and]
3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. [and]
16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.” [and]
18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
Scripture is also often skewed by faith leaders who endorse the idea of sanctuary, and the misreading has manifested in cities that choose to ignore federal laws. Old Testament scholar James K. Hoffmeier explained:
“The conditions for sanctuary protection are plainly stated, ‘these six towns will be a place of refuge … so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there’ (Numbers 35:15 – NIV). Sanctuary, then, is explicitly a place to get a fair hearing in the case of accidental death, but for no other crime. The cities of refuge were not a place to avoid trial or punishment. American cities that use their communities to circumvent the law to help the illegal alien in the name of justice are doing a gross injustice to the letter and spirit of the biblical law.”
Obama may quote scripture at will, and so may others to justify a political position. However, you can’t cherry pick. If you’re going to go Biblical, be consistent, and if you are consistent, you will find yourself in a pickle because the Bible is not something that should be quoted piecemeal to justify political policy.
Both sides of the aisle should bear that in mind, and not just when it comes to what politicos call “immigration”.
Obama’s “Hallelujah!” moment would have become a moment of woe if listeners had weighed the whole chapter our president chose to reference—especially when you consider the directive on being “sold for …theft.”
Featured Photo: Harry Reid (center) and other longtime Democrats in Congress spoke about immigration before President Obama spoke on Thursday evening. Reid’s own faith, Latter Day Saints, was instrumental in changing federal law to give faith groups a pass on using foreign nationals in the country illegally as volunteers. Reid has flip-flopped on immigration, depending on the politics of the moment. (Snip from C-Span video)
Related articles at the Center for Immigration Studies
The Mormon Church and Illegal Immigration
The Use and Abuse of the Bible in the Immigration Debate
A Biblical Perspective on Immigration Policy
False Prophets; Open Borders
(Analysis by Kay B. Day/Nov. 21, 2014)
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