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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Saturday, November 11, 2017
ILLEGALS Finding SANCTUARY in America’s Churches. What About Homeless VETS?
Cheryl K. Chumley
Church World Services, a nonprofit based in New York that presses for amnesty and opposes much of President Donald Trump’s border crackdowns, knows of dozens of illegals who’ve sought sanctuary within America’s places of worship over the last few years.
Churches, in other words — at least some of them — have become an illegal’s best friend. And it’s hardly biblical; it’s hardly heavenly or humanly lawful.
From The Associated Press: “Amanda Morales sees her children off to school each day from the entrance of a gothic church, but she won’t even venture onto the sidewalk for fear of what may happen if she leaves the building where she has been a virtual prisoner for more than two months. Morales has been living in two small rooms of the Holyrood Episcopal Church at the northern edge of Manhattan since August, shortly after immigration authorities ordered her deported to her homeland of Guatemala.”
She ran to the church for safety; she’s since stayed in the church for protection from deportation. This is not a boo-hoo for Morales moment. This is a sad and outrageous reflection on how politically correct our churches have become.
And churches offering such protections are becoming more and more common in America, particularly as Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency increases its enforcement.
Morales is just one example; her kids are legal, but she’s a fugitive and could be arrested at the drop of a hat. ICE, however, views churches as safe zones — “sensitive locations,” in fact — and won’t enter to arrest and deport.
Should this change?
Maybe. maybe not. But certainly, churches ought to be shame-faced at the blatant skirting of law.
After all, most of these same churches that are helping illegals bypass deportation — bypass what U.S. law says should occur — wouldn’t think twice about turning away a homeless American citizen who needed long-term or permanent shelter.
How about permanently housing an American veteran or two? Or, a drug addict sleeping on the street — how about offering him or her a new church home?
Helping illegals stay in America is not a biblical deed. Churches may point to passages like this one, in Exodus, which states, “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him,” or this one, in Hebrews — “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” And churches may take such passages to mean, hey — we’ve got to hide illegals and help them break man’s laws in favor of God’s commands.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, for instance, wrote to the Department of Homeland Security in 2014 to demand legislation “which provides a path to citizenship for as many as possible of the deserving members of the current undocumented population living in the United States.”
But those are skewed biblical interpretations.
Sojourners, by definition, are temporary visitors. And it was God, after all, who divided the people — who established the nations and borders and languages and cultures during the destruction of the Tower of Babel.
Read Genesis 11. It contains some interesting passages. It opens this way: “Now the whole earth had one language and few words.” And it ends this way: “Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”
In other words: Church officials who think it OK to shelter illegals from U.S. deportation laws aren’t acting in line with biblical teachings or commands. They’re acting in line with personal political agendas. They’re acting out of opposition to this White House’s crackdown on illegal border crossings.