Opinion

Jeff Sessions got it right on immigrants and the Bible

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is sworn in to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to become U.S. attorney general on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 10, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Kevin Lamarque *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-SCHMIDT-OPED, originally published on Feb. 8, 2017.

(RNS) The immigration debate has witnessed a parade of cases of selectively appealing to Scripture to support open borders and amnesty for immigrants who enter the country illegally. It is ironic that the political and religious left who normally eschew treating Jewish and Christian Scriptures as a source of authority when it comes to matters of public policy have suddenly dusted off their Bibles for the immigration debate.

Back in 2010, Debra Haffner, a Unitarian Universalist minister — a church not known for taking Scripture seriously — turned Bible thumper in response to Arizona’s illegal immigration law, writing: “It’s as if the 70 percent of Arizonans who support the law have forgotten the Biblical injunction to ‘love the stranger for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.’”

Now, John Gehring has chided Sen. Jeff Sessions, the attorney general nominee whose confirmation hearing is Tuesday (Jan. 10), for his handling of the Bible to inform his position on the status of illegal immigrants. Gehring recalled how Sessions quoted the Old Testament during a 2013 Senate hearing on immigration. As it happens, Sessions was citing my book “The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens and the Bible” (Crossway, 2009).

Gehring argues that Sessions’ view is basically un-Christian and out of the mainstream, opining: “religious leaders — including many conservative evangelicals — widely agree God’s central message to the Israelites is to protect and defend the stranger.”

Leviticus 19:33 is one passage quoted in this regard:

“When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the stranger. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you.”

This wonderful passage has nothing to do with illegal immigrants in America, contrary to what Gehring and his ilk so piously believe. They need to go to Sunday school, better yet study “Hebrew for Dummies“!

Families separated by the two countries chat along the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Border Field State Park, Calif., on Nov. 19, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mike Blake *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HOFFMEIER-OPED, originally published on Jan. 10, 2017.

Families separated by the two countries chat along the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Border Field State Park, Calif., on Nov. 19, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mike Blake *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HOFFMEIER-OPED, originally published on Jan. 10, 2017.

Old Testament laws were primarily intended to promote an orderly society for a nation — ancient Israel. Simplistic application of 3,000-year-old laws to American society is ill-advised until one thoroughly understands what was meant by “stranger” in this verse. The Bible is not “a living breathing document” that can mean whatever one wants it to say.

Regarding the Hebrew Scripture’s instructions on the “stranger,” two fundamental questions must be answered: What is a “stranger,” and how did people obtain that status?

The relevant Hebrew word is “ger,” variously rendered in different English translations of the Bible as “stranger,” “sojourner,” “alien” and more recently as “foreigner.” The latter is quite misleading because there are other Hebrew terms for foreigner — for example, “nekhar,” or one who is passing through another country and not seeking residence. “Zar” is another Hebrew term rendered “foreigner,” but it has a more hostile nuance: a squatter or an enemy. The “ger” alone has obtained legal status to live in a different country and might be seen as a foreigner who has become a “protected citizen.”

How did people become legal aliens (gers) in another country? The classic example is when Jacob’s family went to Egypt to escape a famine in Canaan. They asked Pharaoh for permission:

And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our fathers were” … “We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. And now, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is before you. Settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land. Let them settle in the land of Goshen” (Genesis 47:3-6).

No less authority than the king of Egypt granted this permission. This means that the Hebrews, though foreigners, obtained legal status in Egypt; they were gers.

In biblical law the distinction between the alien or stranger (ger) and the foreigner (nekhar) is striking. The ger in Israel could receive social assistance such as the right to glean in the fields (Leviticus 19:9-10; Deuteronomy 24:19-22) and resources from the tithes (Deuteronomy 26:12-13). The ger and citizen were to be paid alike (Deuteronomy 24:14-15).

None of these benefits was available to the nekhar (the foreigner without legal status) in biblical law. Charging interest to fellow Israelites or ger was prohibited, but the foreigner (nekhar) was fair game (Deuteronomy 23:20). These passages show that aliens or strangers received all the benefits and protections of a citizen, whereas the foreigner (nekhar) did not. The reason is that the ger had legal status; they were, so to speak, documented!

It is wrong, therefore, to confuse these two sociological categories of foreigners and then to use Scripture regarding the ger as if it applied to immigrants of today who enter the country illegally. I would argue that if one wants to apply biblical passages regarding the ger to our context, green card holders would better correspond. They need protections so as not to be abused and exploited as we have unfortunately seen. Old Testament law simply does not address how people in the U.S. illegally should be treated.

My intention here is not to discourage utilizing biblical principles to shape public policy and law, but to call out the abuse of Scripture and to urge that it first be read carefully and contextually before emotionally satisfying, but simplistic and inaccurate, interpretations are applied to 21st-century American issues. Certainly Christians should not be made to feel guilty by the exploitation of Scripture by social justice activists who seek to advance a particular political agenda.

(James K. Hoffmeier is professor of Old Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and author of “The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens and the Bible”)

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James K. Hoffmeier

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  • Hmm. Surprising to see RNS allowing an article like this one, into the mix. Certainly seems to make sense!

  • I appreciate this analysis and agree that you can’t oversimplify the Torah’s admonitions regarding foreigners. In that interest, however, we should remember that ancient Israelite society did not issue green cards or H1-B visas. While the Torah does not require open borders, the overriding approach is kindness and fair treatment toward those who sojourn in the land, whether they are “officially” granted ger status or not. And it really depends on the individual circumstances. Everyone wants to stop people from flooding over the border. But when it comes to, for example, a Slovenian model who comes to the US on a visa that did not permit work, but worked anyway, even going back and forth to Slovenia many times in that period, and for 20+ years no one cared, even when she married the future president, is she a ger or a nechar? She’s made a life here, she got married, had children, etc., has she not sojourned?

  • Just thinking about how Session’s public support for the 1924 Johnson Reed Immigration Act fits within this context.

  • As one who grew up studying Biblical text in the original Hebrew, I was taken by the convoluted manner in which it is misrepresented. The most repeated Mitzvah, commandment, in the Torah is “not to torment the stranger,” “to love him/her as yourself.” The Talmud debates is this thirty-six times or forty-two times, as in six cases it is repeated in the same passage. The Hebrew word for stranger is “ger.”

    The Hebrew word, “nekhar” is a verb, not a noun. Yes, the Torah does not require one to loan money without interest to one outside the People of Israel, one not “your brother.” But as far as for other “social-economic benefits” to a “nakhkri” (male) or “nakhria” (female), take a journey to the Book of Ruth, who refers to herself as a “nakhria” (Ruth 2:10) and is permitted to “gleam” (to pick-up the crops left in the field after harvest) in the field of Boaz. In my many years of study, I have never seen a class of “Nakhar” as opposed to “Ger.”

    The Torah was adamant in forbidding Israelites from participating in the religious and sexual-cultic practices of any foreign people, “am nekhar,” and intermarriage with them was forbidden. But if the “ger” lived in a manner that did not threaten the moral and spiritual life of the tribes of ancient Israel, they were respected as “created in the image of God.”

    One final point: To some in the Jewish world, the Biblical word “Ger” is conflated with the term, “Ger Tzedek” in later Rabbinic Literature. They read the Torah commanding one to “love the ‘convert as yourself.” The problem is: The text continues, “For you were strangers (“gerrim’ – plural) in the Land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:34) Some actually translate the word “Ger” differently in th e same verse. Anything to manipulated Biblical text so as not to have God commanding us “to love the stranger,” i.e. “the other.” But clearly the intent of the Torah is to treat the stranger, the other, “Ger,” “Nekhar,” as oneself, “created in the image of God.”

  • Well said.

    Therein lies the vast gulf between how Christians see the old testament and Jews see the Torah. Christians use the text to justify behaving in a spiteful and harmful fashion. Seeing inviolable, unbending draconian punishment and interpretation. Mostly as a way to circumvent the more humane directives of their own scripture. Of course inherent to this is the hypocrisy of demanding adherence to mosaic law in others and weaseling out of applying it to themselves.

    Jews typically debate, discuss and analyze the text. Looking as to how it can justify treating others with humanity. Eschewing self serving proof texting and selective editing for long winded commentary and exploration. It makes for a more honest take on the text.

  • His history of harassing civil rights workers in the early 80’s points to someone who doesn’t even respect citizens. The guy is pond scum.

  • Unfortunately, neither you nor I can parse enough Hebrew to figure out which scholar has got the linguistic edge there, and RNS will not be scheduling any one-on-one live debates between the two men anytime soon.

    So you are welcome to continue rooting for Rabbi Epstein, and I’ll just do the same for Prof. Hoffmeier. I’m glad RNS published his article.

    But somehow it doesn’t look like the politicians running today’s confirmation hearings on Jeff Sessions — whether pro or con — are giving a hoot about Hebrew anyway. Each side already have their minds made up, as always.

  • The good Rabbi did that for us in the previous post.

    It still stands that Christians employ the Old Testament as an end run from the Gospels and Jesus’s commandments concerning how we treat others. Such hypocrisy is hardwired into the religion. Scholarly discussion of the Bible has degenerated among Christians of a conservative bent that they are mostly reduced to proof texting for whatever self-serving point they wish to make and emphatic insistence that they offer the only interpretations possible. All of this despite lacking any possible reason to hold them in such singular authority.

  • Well, at this point you’re merely wanting to shoot the breeze a little, and I’m okay with that.

    (I see no reason to stop rooting for Dr. Hoffmeier’s assessment, by the way. “Dispute” is not the same as “Refute.”)

    Here’s a thought for you, though: In both Hebrew and Greek, in both Old Testament and New Testament, the matter of how one “treats other people” is preceded by the matter of how one treats God.

    What commandment comes before “Love your neighbor as yourself”? Answer: “Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul.” If you ain’t doing the 1st one, you can’t paper it over by doing the 2nd one. Hmm?

  • So, the wellACTUALLY splaining here involves this professor wanting us to know that his interpretation of the Bible teaches us to be a lot stingier, less just, less righteous, toward the stranger and the alien.

    Tells us a lot about Hoffmeier. Tells us nothing at all about the character of God, or the meaning of the law and the prophets.

  • “the matter of how one “treats other people” is preceded by the matter of how one treats God.”

    To those who study the Torah, they are one in the same. Treating people well IS how one honors God.

    One does not use law, ritual and custom to exempt the obligation to treat others humanely.

    “Do not do to others that which is hateful, this is the entirety of the Torah, the rest is commentary” Hillel the Elder 1St Century CE.

    Christians of a non malicious bent understand that as well.

  • Well, that’s an interesting position. But permit me to question it a little.

    According to you, merely by “treating people well” (in whatever arbitrary manner one chooses to defines such a phrase, independently of any other biblical commands or any other biblical explanations of what a loving relationship with the God of the Bible entails),
    a person has automatically satisfied the original Bible command to fully and completely love that same God, as specified in Deut. 6:5 and Matt. 22:37.

    Is that your position, Spuddie?

  • Bravo floydlee, today love is almost synonymous with permissiveness. What does it mean to love my neighbor? Does that include standing by and watching him be consumed with self destructive behavior? After all, he is not hurting anyone else. Does being kind and welcoming to strangers include standing by while they destroy my home. On immigration, it has been my stance that I would never begrudge a man trying to make a better life for his family. But like the nation of Israel, we have laws. The foreigner was expected to conform to those to be considered a citizen or protected alien. Now we can debate the cumbersome nature of what it takes to become a citizen, but that is a different debate entirely. What I will leave you with is that I have been in 25 different countries on 5 continents lived in Europe for 7 years. Only in America will people recognize you as an American once you become a citizen. Every other country, no matter how long you have lived there, you will be considered the American who became a citizen of their country.

  • While I am not an expert on Hebrew, in looking at the various usages of both of those words, I am not sure treating “ger” as if it is a documented immigrant and “nekhar” as an undocumented one really fits with the evidence. I do think the two terms may have been mutually exclusive (you can not be both ‘get’ and ‘nekhar’) but I don’t think the distinction between the two is a declaration of legal status, but rather circumstantial.

    I would suggest that the distinction between the two is the “ger” is one who is a people without a homeland to go to. Genesis 47:4 itself supports that conceptualization: they come to “reside as aliens” because “there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks the famine is severe in the land of Canaan.” V. 4 does not present itself as an appeal for a certain legal status as “ger” but a statement of circumstances; they are ‘ger’ because the land where they are from can not sustain them; in this case, famine. It is more analogous to our words “refugee” or “homeless.” It is v. 5 that follows that makes a specific appeal. “Ger” doesn’t fit as a legal category, but a description of one’s circumstances.

    By contrast, I would suggest “Nekhar” is referring to people from a foreign land, but they still have a home to go to. One hint is that they frequently are seen as being potential trade partners (either in giving permission or by prohibiton) as in Exodus 21:8, Deuteronomy 14:21 (where “Ger” and “nekhar” are spoken of differently), and Deuteronomy 23:20. Their status as trade partners suggests they have a temporary purpose amongst the Israelites. LAter in 1 Kings 8:41, a ‘nekhar’ is talked about as coming from a far land to visit Solomon’s temple; this suggests against a temporary status to visit, not to reside, and it connects their status to being “landed.”

    Now, how this distinction applies to modern socio-politics is another question. But if I my observations are on target, the author is correct to suggest that quotes about the “alien” from Leviticus is not about accepting any and all immigrants without qualification, but diverges by suggesting the important distinction is about granting of a legal status. The distinctions neither fit with the universalizing tendencies of modern progressivism nor the exclusionary practices of nationalism. Beyond not easily fitting with the different usages of the word, Dr. Hoffmeier’s distinction does suggest a bit of anachronism. Furthermore, I would be skeptical that the Torah would employ terms in such a legal, declarative matter that is divorced from reality and circumstances; such legal definitions are more fitting for central hierarchies with bureacratic elements that require certain legal requirements for action. While it possible to have existed under Pharoah, Israel had no centralized government until King Saul; it was a loose confederation of tribe that would not have worked with words that had specialized meanings for a legal context.

    Instead, I would suggest the pivotal question of immigration really is more humanitarian, just as it was with Joseph’s brothers in Genesis 47: are the immigrants people without a way to safely provide for themselves in the land they are coming from?

  • “Certainly Christians should not be made to feel guilty by the exploitation of Scripture by social justice activists who seek to advance a particular political agenda.”

    Bless your heart, James.

  • About that, what James K. Hoffmeier writes, which is both contradictory and irresponsible, in my opinion.

    Here’s the contradiction:  His 1st argument is that “None of (society’s) benefits was available to the nekhar (the foreigner without legal status) in biblical law.”  This is contradicted, however, by his 2nd argument, in which he states, “Old Testament law simply does not address how people in the U.S. illegally should be treated.”  But sure it does per his 1st argument, which is to entitle “the nekhar” a.k.a. “people in the (country) illegally” with “None of (society’s) benefits” whatsoever.

    Worse, though, than his contradiction is his irresponsibility.  After admitting that “Old Testament law simply does not address how people in the U.S. illegally should be treated”, Hoffmeier should’ve said, not only that the New Testament doesn’t either, but also, more importantly, that it offers something better than the Old Testament law and a way out, namely through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    What I’m getting at is that there actually are 5 New Testament versions of the Old Testament “nekhar”: “allotrion” (strangers), “xenoi” (foreigners), “parepidimoi” (sojourners), “epidimountes” (temporary residents) and “paroikoi” (aliens).  And as was the case with the Old Testament “nekhar”, “None of (society’s) benefits was available” to these 5 classes of non-citizens in New Testament times either.  Unlike the Old Testament “nekhar”, however, there are now much & way better “benefits” to which these “allotrion … xenoi … parepidimoi … epidimountes … paroikoi” are entitled.  But there’s a dual catch.  On the one hand, everything hinges on whether or not they have a firm and lasting faith in God’s saving grace through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of His Son, Jesus the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the rest of the world.  And, on the other hand, all these “benefits” can only come from the Kingdom of God, but never ever from all the kingdoms of, after all, mere people with all their carnality, worldliness and idolatry still intact.  Not USA.  Not EU.  Not Brexit.  Not Russia.  Not China.

  • The situation of Leviticus 19:33 is during one of the two back-to-back 40-year periods, either between 1526 and 1486 BC (Exodus 16:35) or between 1486 and 1446 BC (Numbers 14:33, 1 Kings 6:1), when the Israelites were in transit between Israel and the Promised Land. The type of literature that Leviticus 19:33 conveys is a specific commandment about immigration to ancient Israel. Its object is the ancient Israelites and *only* the ancient Israelites, who would have been hypocrites for not doing the same thing for others that the Egyptians did for them (except enslaving), and because of that, it is descriptive of ancient Israelite culture, not prescriptive for modern Christians.

    Auto-generated by ‘S.T.O.P.’ app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.blogspot.strawn_04.stop

  • If you can’t understand what is meant by “not doing something hateful” to the point of considering it’s application arbitrary, then you have pretty much disavowed any socially redeeming feature of your Christianity. Love thy neighbor being a farcical fiction of excuses for one’s malice.

    But that has always been pretty clear. So many carve outs and contortions are made to avoid scriptural obligations to act in a humane manner.

  • When I wrote here earlier, I did nor proof what i wrote. “Nekhar” is an adjective, not a verb. I am sorry.

  • Bottom line. We are to love thy neighbor but we have to also know about you so you won’t bring us harm. So just go through the process of coming here legally. Everyone needs to be vetted. End of story…

  • You seem to be forgetting what happened to the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

  • About that, what James K. Hoffmeier writes – “Christians should not be made to feel guilty by the exploitation of Scripture by social justice activists who seek to advance a particular political agenda” – which begs the question: what agenda, and whose, exactly?

    Hoffmeier’s answer (from elsewhere): it’s those Bible-thumping, left-wing activists bent on mobilizing “churches (to) offer their facilities as a refuge for illegal immigrants who have been tried and order deported”.  OK, so like who?  Well, like United Methodist Church Bishop Hee-Soo Jung in “the case of Elvira Arellano, a woman who had been ordered deported by a judge because of her undocumented status (but then) given sanctuary in a United Methodist Church in Chicago for more than a year” (The Gospel Coalition, June 9, 2009):

    “Bishop Hee-Soo Jung … released a statement supporting (Elvira) Arellano’s action, saying she was ‘invoking the centuries-old Christian tradition of sanctuary’ and ‘drawing upon the tradition of civil disobedience.’  ‘While as Christians we may disagree over the best way to fix the nation’s broken immigration system, we affirm that the Bible directs us to care for the foreigners in our midst (Exodus 23:9) and reminds us that we too are sojourners (Leviticus 25:23) …  governments and laws should be the servants of God and of human beings … (United Methodist Church recognizes) the right of individuals to dissent when acting under the constraint of conscience and after having exhausted all legal recourse, to resist or disobey laws that they deem to be unjust or that are discriminately enforced.  … (The church will) uphold our commitment to families and urge the reunification of families now separated and those under threat of separation by our current broken immigration laws'” (Worldwide Faith News, 23 Aug 2006).

  • Thanks for this very helpful clarification Rabbi Epstein.

    Yes, Christian Old Testament, New Testament, or any other biblical iteration . . . They’re all clear that we are to treat the stranger well. Sodom and Gomorrah came to rather terrible ends when they did not do so.

  • This commentary is so slanted it kept sliding off my tablet screen. Really, Hoffmeier should have just said, “I’m anti-immigrant and anti-left and this is how I use the bible to prove(?) it.” Would have saved him a lot of time and typing.

    “The Bible is not “a living breathing document’.” Wow. Hoffmeier says the bible is a dead lump. I guess if you read it once your done. Any of us who ever studied the bible have wasted our time. His statement there is simply absurd.

    Apparently Hoffmeier really resents it when he gets his bible back in his face. I didn’t realize only he and his right wing buddies have any right to use it to support whatever he wants. I guess we’re not supposed to question him, just remain on our knees, nod our heads and say, “Thank you Herr Pastore, may I have another. ”

    Thanks RNS, for including the occasional absurd commentary like this. Helps keep my satire sense sharp while waiting for the real thing by Guthrie.

  • Who is the neighbor? The one who showed him mercy. Go and do likewise.

    -Bible study like the Hebrew word study is usually used to justify selfish means and to deny some “other” their dignity.

    We lefties have read the whole Bible, and frankly think it points to mercy, justice and love, with mercy and love trumping the justice. The rest is commentary on how to make this happen.

    If you are using the text to argue against these, well then, you are misreading the text no matter how much Greek or Hebrew you know.

  • What DIDN’T Jesus and His 1st apostles and disciples do to, or for, illegal aliens at the time, that Christians are now doing illegally these days?

    We all know the testimony, and this was all they did, no more, no less, according to that witness on record:

    (1) One, a foreigner (allogenis), and his fellow “lepers”, He had them all “cleansed”. Only to this foreigner, however, who afterward “turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God”, did Jesus say, “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Luke 17:11-19).

    (2) On Pentecost, when His 1st apostles and disciples “were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”, there were “temporary residents (epidimountes) of Rome” nearby who did “hear” such “utterance … in (their) own tongue”. Apostle Peter got up and had it explained to them that an ancient Messianic prophecy “spoken by the prophet Joel” was being fulfilled in their hearing. What for? It was so that these “temporary residents of Rome”, right there and then, got to “hear these words” from Peter’s mouth, saying, This “Jesus of Nazareth” who was “approved of God” on account of the many “miracles and wonders and signs” that He performed “in the midst of you”, and who was then “crucified and slain” – has “God … raised up” from the dead (Acts 2:1-24).

    (3) Apostle Paul reminded his non-Jewish, Jesus-believing disciples in Ephesus that, up to the time they came to believe in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel and savior of the rest of the world, they were all “foreigners (xenoi) to the covenants of promise (to Jews only) , having no hope, and without God in the world.” That all changed, however, because “now in Christ Jesus ye … are made nigh by the blood of Christ (and) are no more foreigners (xenoi) and aliens (paroikoi), but fellowcitizens with the saints … builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:11-22)

    (4) Apostle Paul coached disciple Timothy to train church widows in the practices of (exenodochisen) “hospitality toward foreigners” (1 Timothy 5:9-10).

    (5) Apostle Peter reminded all his Jewish and Gentile disciples in Christ throughout “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia”, that they were all “sojourners (parepidimoi)” and “aliens (paroikous)” in all these places, and that they all were to stay that way, while continuing to “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1 Peter 1:1-2 and 1 Peter 2:11-17)

  • Nope – Jesus established a new covenant and declared ALL to be your neighbor. If you do not follow Jesus then you are not so directed, but if you do then security should not be your concern.

  • So then you leave your doors open at night and welcome anyone who may come in and claim a spot as theirs, right?

  • NumbersUSA is a neo Nazi front against all immigrants.They frequently put out bogus statistics on immigrants of all stripes to promote xenophobia.

    http://www.coloradoindependent.com/2081/lies-damn-lies-and-immigration-statistics

    https://www.splcenter.org/20090201/nativist-lobby-three-faces-intolerance

    “… John Tanton has nearly single-handedly funded the evolution of the white supremacist movement…Chief among the groups Tanton has founded or funded are: NumbersUSA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)…The mothership of hate is U.S., Inc., an organization created by Tanton that simultaneously funds lobbyists, researchers and media who promote racist views while accepting funding from eugenics, neo-Nazis and wealthy ultraconservatives with a penchant for white supremacy.”

  • You are right. Feeling guilty is far too mild a term. Feeling shameful is far more appropriate. Using religious excuses to act inhumanely to others and promote prejudice cheapens one’s faith. It removes any pretense of moral standing by those who identify such attitudes. If one is somehow compelled by religion to act badly to others, it speaks badly to the believer who feels such phantom compulsion.

  • So when you rely on analogy you are demonstrating you don’t know what you are talking about, right?

    If you leave your land unattended and someone settles it and they stay long enough, it’s theirs. (Adverse possession).

    You reap the fruits of a system which drives people underground and working for pittance wages. It comes in low prices for things. When 50+ years of doing the same thing yields no tangible results it’s pretty clear you are not only doing something ineffective but that doing it more vigorously isn’t going to change it.

  • So you would be in favor of immigration reform?

    Including finding ways to document harmless people out of the underground economy?

  • Actually, it is you who are the one trying turn something complex into something simple – Jesus commanded us to love one another, thus “security should not be a concern.” With that simple premise it is reasonable for me to assume you leave your house open for anyone who may wish to enter, and for as long as they like. Of course life is not so simple.

    A society cannot function without basic rules of order which everyone must follow. It is a serious problem when people enter our country with the intent of making it more like the place they just escaped (as many immigrants try to do). It is also a serious problem when people enter our country to feed off the government (as many immigrants do). It is also a serious problem when the first act of some people is to break our laws (as many immigrants do).

    Even if you were compassionate enough to open your home as I suggested, you would still need to establish basic rules of order and there would be a limit as to what you could handle without having severe adverse affect on your family.

    We may disagree on how to solve those problems but to simplify it down to “security should not be our concern” is pretty foolish.

  • You mean 3,000-year-old laws such as to love your neighbor as yourself? To not murder, commit adultery, or bear false witness? Your own fix is broadly simplistic and ill-advised.

  • It is a serious problem when people enter our country with the intent of making it more like the place they just escaped (as many immigrants try to do – FALSE).

    It is also a serious problem when people enter our country to feed off the government (as many immigrants do – FALSE).

    It is also a serious problem when the first act of some people is to break our laws (as many immigrants do – FALSE).

    I agree that basic rules are necessary, but when your fears are predicated upon false premises, it simply becomes a justification for ignoring Christ’s call to service.

  • LOL! Do you have a link to that little tidbit from a source people outside the wingnutsphere can consider credible? Of course you don’t.

    I love how the demonization of George Soros has taken “Emmanual Goldstein”* levels of ridiculous exaggeration. Its become a knee jerk reaction. Something to fill a space in “Right Wingnut Bingo cards”
    *(just in case you are a little thick, its a reference to the novel 1984).

    You aren’t refuting any of the assertions made in my prior post. So by all means take your little bit of fiction about George Soros and stuff it. Its an irrelevancy. NumbersUSA is the brainchild of well known active white supremacist, John Tanton. You are just flinging poo in an effort of character assassination and rhetorical fallacy.

    “Hardcore Racists Flock to NumbersUSA’s Campaign”
    http://imagine2050.newcomm.org/2010/03/22/hardcore-racists-flock-to-numbersusas-campaign/

    “NumbersUSA seems to be popular throughout the white nationalist and skinhead communities. At the beginning of the week NumbersUSA’s campaign was promoted by white nationalist David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. On Vinlanders Social Club, NumbersUSA is promoted on the home page with a direct link to its website. Vinlanders Social Club is a midwest coalition of racist skinhead groups with a history of violence against members of the black community.”

    “Roy Beck, who runs NumbersUSA and was once deemed Tanton’s “heir apparent”, has a similar anti-immigrant track record. Beck worked as an editor at The Social Contract alongside Wayne Lutton, an active member of “both racist and Holocaust denial circles,” and helped edit a book by Tanton and Lutton”
    https://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/02/21/us-news-ignores-racist-ties-and-history-of-nati/192755

  • “A society cannot function without basic rules of order which everyone must follow. :

    A society which follows and upholds rules it is ignorant of is not a free or well functioning one. People who make your argument to a person never have even the most basic knowledge of our immigration laws and system they are claiming to uphold. People who talk about upholding the laws they are ignorant of are full of crap. Its not a legitimate argument from such people. I call it the “Judge Dredd Argument”.

    It is merely an excuse for bad behavior and the sort of thing one does in a dictatorship. Where laws are not only arbitrary but expected to be followed under severe draconian penalties.

    Hence you reliance on nonsense analogy with criminal law and your ridiculously broad stereotyping. Immigration law is not like criminal law. An alleged criminal has far great due process rights, favorable burdens of proof, and civil liberties than someone in the immigration legal system despite that some results which can be far worse.

  • Show me where is the “love your neighbor as yourself” is in the article? It isn’t there. As I see it a lot of Christians have a far more narrow view of who is their neighbor than Jesus did.

    As for murder and lying, if you needed religion to form the basis as to why this is wrong, you are pretty much a sociopath. As for adultery, its not a crime anymore. Let alone something worthy of state sanctioned death. Of course its no big deal for Christians anymore. They enthusiastically supported a serial adulterer as their leader.

  • If you actually read the post I was responding to, you’ll see that it was J.C. Samuelson that broadened the scope beyond the article. And that command doesn’t apply to just Christians, it’s found in Leviticus 19:18: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” The vast majority of humanity take their moral cues from theology, not philosophy. (Not that there’s any real difference between the two.) And that isn’t going to change any time soon.

    As for the evangelical Christians voting for Trump, they’re just following the Democrats’ example. The Democrats have been insisting for generations that a leader’s character means nothing, only the policies he or she seek to advance. Most evangelical Christians decided that, in these extreme circumstances, the Democrats are right.

  • “The Democrats have been insisting for generations that a leader’s
    character means nothing, only the policies he or she seek to advance.”

    That would be a cute response if not for the fact that the Religious Right PRIDED ITSELF AND IDENTIFIED ITSELF as the part of the godly, righteous and moral. Those who vote in support of their values. So nice try there. 🙂

    “Most evangelical Christians decided that, in these extreme circumstances, the Democrats are right.”

    Actually it was the most honest thing Evangelical voters ever did. They finally acknowledged their theocratic agenda is going nowhere so they just went with whomever might give them a little power. They finally admitted they are just tools of the ultra-wealthy.

    At least now we don’t have to pretend anymore their views are worthy of respect, have anything to do with religious beliefs or moral values. 🙂

  • Don’t look at me, I agree — by voting for Trump most evangelical Christians have dealt themselves a serious injury and they will be regretting it for years if not decades. Still, not all evangelical leaders gave in to expediency, so they’ll have a core around which to rebuild as they repent for the vote they made.

  • Cute, but it’s not the “end of story.” Reform the immigration system so that they can be vetted! The system does not meet the current needs of either our businesses or the immigrants.

  • No, Sessions and Hoffmeier got it wrong:

    1. Instead of an “alien” being compared to a green card holder, the alien could be compared to a refugee. Green card holders typically have the means to live comfortably and safely in their home country. Refugees come because they are fleeing a hostile situation. Refugee seems far more appropriate here than green card holder to describe these sanctioned aliens. Yes, I do realize that refugees do make up some of the people with green cards, but the definition of refugee more accurately describes the breadth of the situation. See next point.

    2. There are two kinds of refugees in the USA. The first are those approved and brought over by the State Department. The second are those who SHOULD be considered refugees but due to political games are not. Most undocumented immigrants in America meet the moral defintion of refugee. Many of them are not “officially” declared by the US government as refugee, but that is a sin on us, not them. They meet the qualifications. Many are fleeing violence, war or life-threatening poverty, much of it brought on by the actions of our own country. They should be welcomed as aliens in our land with full rights. The fact that they are not is OUR sin, not theirs.

    3. What is Sessions saying, we should only treat humanely those who are here legally? No one voids their human rights by breaking a civil law such as crossing a border.

  • Jim, you don’t seem to know many undocumented immigrants, do you? Your assertions of what they do and their goals are wildly inaccurate. How about some facts with your message?

  • I get it. When you don’t want to participate in an intelligent discussion, just claim the facts presented by your opponent are not true. Your third comment says it all. If my claim was false, there would be no need to have a discussion about illegal immigration. And by the way, I never mentioned fear and you have no idea what I do or have done in response to Christ’s call for service but it is so typically liberal of you to change the subject and toss an insult at the end. No point in further discussion.

  • I understand many immigrants come with good intentions. If this was true of all, and all respected our rules, we would have no problem to discuss. That you contend the categories I provided above do not exist leaves us with no room for discussion since you don’t want to accept basic facts of the matter.

  • I thought we were having an intelligent discussion. I am allowed to state that I think your statements are false. Or is a discussion only intelligent for you if people agree with you? Good for you for answering Christ’s call. I do not disparage it. Feel free to hate liberals, though, if you like. My skin is thick enough to take it. I am sorry if you took offense to my arguments.

  • Hoffmeier quote: “[Green card holders] need protections so as not to be abused and exploited as we have unfortunately seen. Old Testament law simply does not address how people in the U.S. illegally should be treated.”

    Uh….. is he actually suggesting that abuse and exploitation are okay if someone does not have a green card?

  • By Gehring’s understanding of “Biblical” scripture, the soldiers inside the Trojan Horse should have been welcomed.

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste, Mr. Gehring.

  • Empathy and prosocial behavior aren’t rooted in any law, no matter how old, and many (if not most) of the laws codified in scripture really have no bearing on modern society. Just four of the Decalogue (depending on version) might arguably apply, and not even love your neighbor as yourself is really as straightforward as it sounds in English (though it does suit most people to read it that way, despite differences in Christian and rabbinic tradition on who qualifies as a ‘neighbor’).

    So yes, I think modern perspectives on human behavior and ethics are much preferable to Iron and Apostolic age views. Quite frankly, I rather hope you’d agree.

  • Circumstances change, so the Law cannot be adopted wholesale. But human nature hasn’t changed in those three thousand years, so the principles behind the Law can be as relevant today as it was then. To quote Lincoln in his second inaugural address, “as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’ “

  • Not to put too fine a point on it, but you just moved the goalposts. My target wasn’t human nature, or any underlying and enduring principles. Attribute those to whatever or whomever you want. I simply don’t think scripture is as reliable a guide to ethical behavior and justice as those who revere it do. Hence, I think it’s worth dropping as a reference for complex issues such as human sexuality, immigration, politics, etc..

  • Here we’ll simply have to disagree. I believe that the Law, being based on our fundamental human nature, can act as a guide (though not necessarily a hard rule). But for that we have to, as best we can, determine what that Law actually meant to the people to whom it was given and not simply impose our own beliefs and attitudes on them. As the saying goes, the past is like a foreign country — they do things differently there.

  • Do we disagree? I’m not so sure, given how you seemingly just validated my essential critique in that those laws were written/compiled by and for a people living in a different place and time. As for our fundamental human nature, it’s rife with contradiction, and there’s a yawning gulf between abstract altruism, empathy, and general prosociality to specific legal codes.

  • As others have pointed out, your “facts” are not accurate. Does that bother you? Just saying something is a fact does not make it so.

  • I can’t express deeply enough the shocking irony of having Progressives, most of whom despise people of religious faith more than anything, dragging out Bible passages and attacking a political nominee with them–as though what the Bible says about that nominee’s political position actually has bearing on his fitness for office!

    I’m afraid that my answer to questions along these lines, were I the one being interrogated, would point out both the irrelevance of the question to my fitness for the office under consideration, and the historical indifference of the questioner toward biblical correctness–and simply tell the fool that he could go pound sand down a rat hole before I would grace him with my explanation of something about which he clearly did not care one whit. It’s all the answer they deserve… and most likely all the answer they’ll understand, since actually understanding what the Bible says is the last thing on the planet that these miscreants want.

  • PPHHHHHtphphphphphttthththththt. (That’s a Bronx Cheer. A really wet one.)

    Your comment rests entirely–ENTIRELY–on a presumption of guilt that is not in evidence. Nobody is accused plausibly of acting inhumanely to anybody else.

    Just because you imagine, in your fantasy universe, that disagreeing with YOUR POSITION can only be explained by inhumanity, does not make it so. In fact, in my experience, the probability of actual inhumanity varies inversely with the certainty with which Progressives imagine that it appears.

  • Oh, dear God.

    So, help me understand, here. You’re saying that because of the Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, nations–ANY nations–no longer have any right before God to reject any immigrant on any basis. In other words, passports are an offense to Christ, as are immigration quotas, border searches, visa restrictions… the very existence of borders, themselves, are completely evil because of the work of the Christ.

    Tell me, o Great Expositor of God, what OTHER laws are similarly expunged by the work of the Christ? Did Jesus forgive murderers? Why, YES HE DID!!! So laws against MURDER are ALSO expunged in the age of grace!!! Let’s repeal every state’s laws against murder, then. How about theft? Why, YES! Jesus forgives THIEVES!!! So laws against THEFT are ALSO expunged in the age of grace!!! Let’s repeal every state’s laws against theft, then. This is fun! Let’s see, what other laws can we discard…

    Complete nonsense. Get your head out of your nether parts.

    The grace offered by Jesus for all who would ENTER HIS KINGDOM–note carefully the specific context of that grace–makes it possible for people who have committed all sorts of misdeeds to RECEIVE FORGIVENESS FROM GOD and AVOID THE WRATH OF JUDGMENT associated with those acts. There is no indication, however, that the laws of nations should be altered because of that grace. Quite the contrary, in fact; the Apostle Paul writes explicitly that officers of the law exist to keep the peace, and believers should obey generally applicable laws. Murder is still murder. Rape is still rape. Nations are still permitted–expected by God, even–to keep the peace by passing and enforcing applicable laws.

    And trespass, sir, is still trespass. Sorry, it’s just a fact.

    Yours is just another illiterate attempt to apply laws where they do not apply. Shame on you.

  • Reductio ad absurdum is NOT a logical fallacy. It’s a perfectly legitimate approach to argument.

    If all are your neighbor, and that means that immigration laws should never be applied, then it follows that no other laws restricting access should be applied, either. You lock your doors to restrict access; ergo, by your own logic, you should not lock your doors.

    Jim Ash just successfully obliterated your position. Sorry, it’s just a fact.

  • Now, THAT, Frank Lesko, is an ad hominem fallacy (and, no, “ad hominem” does NOT mean “insult.” Lots of ad hominem fallacies do not involve insults. Any argument that rests on a characteristic of the arguer commits an ad hominem fallacy.)

    Jim argued from a general need for the rule of law. How many immigrants he knows personally has no bearing on the correctness or incorrectness of that argument.

  • theunknownsleeper, please provide the evidence on which basis you claim that not many ILLEGAL immigrants accept welfare benefits.

    Please also provide the evidence that not many ILLEGAL immigrants have broken our laws. Oh, wait–their having broken a law is part of the definition, isn’t it? Good luck proving your case…

    You’re simply wrong. Provably, in the latter case.

  • Of course, they were given to the people of a different time and place. But human nature is the same now as then, so there can be a great deal of overlap — and just what that overlap is can’t be determined without a clear view of just what that ancient time and place was like.

  • (1) True or false: “because of the Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, nations–ANY nations–no longer have any right before God to reject any immigrant on any basis.”

    False.

    (2) True or false: “passports are an offense to Christ, as are immigration quotas, border searches, visa restrictions”.

    False.

    (3) True or false: “the very existence of borders, themselves, are completely evil because of the work of the Christ.”

    False.

    (4) True or false: Although on account of “Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection … (God’s) grace (is being) offered by Jesus for all who would ENTER HIS KINGDOM … There is no indication, however, that the laws of nations should be altered because of that grace.”

    True.

    (5) True or false: “trespass, sir, is still trespass.”

    True (although not necessarily about the “sir” part).

    (6) Always or never: “apply laws where they do not apply.”

    Never.

    (7) Will do or won’t do: “Get your head out of your nether parts.”

    Will do.

    (8) Worth praying about or not, all things considered: “Oh, dear God …help me understand … (this) Great Expositor of God (of Yours)”.

    In all given sincerity, earnestness and lovingkindness?  No.

  • You made the claim, “X is false.” Three times.

    You have the burden to support that claim.

    It does not matter that somebody else made a counter-claim, either before or after. He’s responsible for HIS positive claims, you are responsible for YOURS.

    You are permitted to dispute by asking for proof, or by offering argument, but whenever you make a positive claim, you assume the burden to support it.

    I’ve been doing this for more than forty years, infant. Don’t )(*^& with me over the rules. I knew them before you could wipe your ass.

  • Setting aside your lack of understanding regarding the onus of proof, you do not wear your forty years very well if that is the kinda childish behavior you are going to throw down with. I bid you good day and happy trolling. I will save my arguments for someone who is armed with more than just a potty mouth and a massive chip on his shoulder, thank you very much.

  • Alright, perhaps I misunderstood. Now it appears that you’re saying that foreigners of all sorts get the advantages of the Kingdom of God if they apply to that kingdom. Fine. I agree.

    But now I have to ask this: what was the relevance of your comment to the argument given in the article?

    To be clear, I understand the argument to be that foreigners in ancient Israel were only entitled to the advantages of legal status in Israel if they made the appropriate effort to become part of the community, including obtaining the equivalent of formal legal status. And therefore, the commands to do good to foreigners in the OT don’t really address the situation we face here, with aliens entering the country illegally.

    Moreover, your tiny quibble with the author over whether the OT spoke directly to our situation or merely says nothing at all, does not rebut or confute that argument in any way that I can see.

    Were you just using the space to write a cryptic monologue about how everybody is welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven? Showing off your erudition in Hebrew and Greek? Or was there really some point to your post?

    PS: comments about whether I’m sincere, earnest, or loving, are also irrelevant. I honestly don’t care much whether you like me or not. Also, you’re wrong on all counts, but that’s neither here nor there.

  • This is hilarious. Your silly notion of the burden of proof gives you leave to say that people’s arguments are FALSE, but without providing any reason to think that they are false?

    And you think my comment was “potty mouth” and “chip on his shoulder”–when all I did was explain what the burden of proof is? (Anybody else reading this thread is encouraged to go back and reread my previous comment, to see what sorts of “potty mouth” sets this guy off.)

    You need to revisit logic 101, infant. But sometime AFTER you find Mommy and have her explain to you how conversation occurs.

    B’bye. Have a great life. Come back when you’ve finished middle school, alright?

  • I hope you find what you are looking for. I truly do. What an empty hole you must have in your soul to feel the need to insult people the way you do. Truly sad. I feel nothing but immense pity and sorrow for you.

  • Just the same old 2 points of relevance, plus a follow-up elsewhere:

    (1) That, based on his own argument, James K. Hoffmeier should’ve clearly stated, but which he chose not to, that “the nekhar” a.k.a. “people in the (country) illegally” were entitled to “None of (society’s) benefits”. It’s precisely in these terms of “benefits”, or the lack thereof, that “the nekhar” with no immigration status in present-day America is no different from “the nekhar” with no immigration status in Old Testament Israel. Why didn’t Hoffmeier just spell it out like that and be clear to his readers? But he chose not to.

    (2) That after stating, “Old Testament law simply does not address how people in the U.S. illegally should be treated”, Hoffmeier should’ve followed through, but again which he chose not to, by stating (a) that the New Testament doesn’t either; and (b) that the truth and living experiences encompassed in the latter covenant is superior in every way to that in the former. And this is all because of Jesus Christ and the gospel of His crucifixion, burial and resurrection, whereby both the OT “nekhar” and the NT “allotrion, xenoi, parepidimoi, epidimountes and paroikoi”, now and forever more, stand to benefit – immigration-status-wise – but not in the context of, and in terms defined by, for instance, USA, EU, Brexit, Russia and China, but in the context and terms of the Kingdom of God (KOG) at hand and in Jesus’ hands.

    And what could those superior benefits possibly be, exactly? Well, by way of clarification, that’s why I wrote my other comment here, which starts with, “What DIDN’T Jesus and His 1st apostles and disciples do to, or for, illegal aliens at the time, that Christians are now doing illegally these days?” The implication being, Hey, brothers and sisters in Christ, those of you who are foreigners in USA, always remember who you are in Him. No matter how hard life is, there’s no need to do anything illegal about your immigrant status here. Like someone here (Lillie Farris) already said, “Bottom line. We … have to … know about you so you won’t bring us harm. So just go through the process of coming here legally. Everyone needs to be vetted. End of story”. And why no need for illegalities? Because, remember, as far as God’s Kingdom at hand and in Jesus’ hands is concerned, you foreigners and the rest of us American citizens and residents are really all in the same boat of once being illegal aliens in that Kingdom but now no longer so. Because, now and for eternity, you and we are fellow-citizens in Jesus with the rest of the saints, being naturalized and assembled together as a nation, so as to become the very dwelling place of God. See, there’s no hope of salvation for anyone in US immigration, naturalization and citizenship, no, not really – for there is such only in KOG immigration, naturalization and citizenship. So why risk losing the latter that has already been secured and guaranteed for you in the first place by the grace of God in Jesus, for the sake of gaining the former that can never be secured and guaranteed by illegal means anyway?

  • Hmmm…Media Matters is a George Soros organization so no surprise that they further Soros’ agenda. Imagine 2050 will more than likely turn out to be funded by Soros, too……

  • Lol! Why bother being honest when you can play around with gonzo conspiracy theories.

    NumbersUSA is still a white supremacist mouthpiece. You haven’t refuted that. Whatever Emmanuel Goldstein level silliness you want to spout about George Soros is an irrelevancy here. You didn’t refute anything I said.

    You do not appear honest or sane enough to carry a reasonable conversation with. Bye bye. Sleep lightly George Soros may be hiding under your bed.

  • Phil, it is not ad hominem, and I’ll tell you why. I asked him if he knew any immigrants, because if he did, I suspect he would quickly discover that his assumptions of what they do are incorrect. In other words: his “facts” are not factual. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. His statement about why people enter, their intention for transforming this country and feeding off the government do not stand up to any serious evaluation. Some of us realize that when we get to know immigrants. That’s what I meant.

  • Frank Lesko
    I actually know quite a few illegal immigrants. I live in Southern California and a majority of the immigrants here are Illegal. They are the ones that have the gangs, they are the ones that are committing the crimes, they are the ones living on Public Assistance. The Legal immigrants I know have a hard time competing with them for jobs, are victims of their crimes and harassed and intimidated by the gangs to not report it.. Now how about some facts from you for your support for them being here. Show me where they have contributed Positively to our country or to the very neighborhoods they invade. Show me where they have helped their Legal community prosper with higher wages or lower crime. Show me some facts so that I can look past what I see in my own community.

  • How about a little immigration law for you then.
    Laws Surrounding Illegal Entry or Over-Staying:

    An immigrant may be classified as illegal for the following three reasons: the individual enters without inspection or authorization, the individual stays beyond an authorized period following legal entry, or the individual violates the terms of legal entry.

    The laws revolving around illegal entry or overstaying are found in Section 1325 in Title 8 of the United States Code. This section, titled “Improper Entry of Alien” will provide a fine or imprisonment (or both) for any immigrant who:

    1. Enters or attempts to enter America at any time or location other than what was designated by the United States Government (immigration official, or

    2. Any individual who eludes inspection or examination instituted by the United States Government and its immigration agents, or

    3. Any individual who attempts to enter the United States by providing a false or misleading representation of oneself or through a willful concealment of fact. For instance, if you provide a false passport, driver’s license or pretend to be anyone else, you will be charged with attempting to enter the United States in an illegal fashion.

    The maximum prison sentence for an individual caught in the act of violating immigration policy is 6 months for the first offense and additional 2 years for any subsequent offense.

    Does this help..you see weather they commit any other crime or not just being here illegal is a crime. If we are not a country of laws then we may as well not be a country at all. By the reasoning of those in favor of illegal immigrants we should let anyone in no matter their past or their future intentions, which btw we would know because we wouldn’t know who or where they are.

  • Nothing in that section actually refers to overstay or just being here. In all three sections the government has the burden of proving you did those specific acts. They literally have to catch you at the border or find forged papers on you for these to be in effect.

    As for analogies with criminal law, find me criminal statutes which:
    -Deny you a right to an attorney
    -Allow you to be charged as an adult for acts when you were an infant
    -charge infants and small children
    -can be waived by showing hardship to others
    -put burdens of proof of proof on defendants.

    Then get back to me. Y

  • No. If that were the case, Christ would have also spoken/taught on the topic of doing away with borders and nations and countries. You also make the illogical error in thinking that Man is, at his core, ‘Good’. Woe unto you. This is not so. Here is what the Word says:
    Jeremiah 17:9
    9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Luke 18:19
    “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? None is good, save one, that is, God, My Father.”
    —–

    Here is what His Word says:
    Acts 17:26
    “and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, ”

    Isaiah 2:4
    “And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.”

    Psalm 33:12
    “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”

    The reason for the boundaries is for the designation of one from another and also so that there is an actual line of demarcation of what needs to be protected from within the walls and from without.
    —–

    Luke 3:14 if you look at it, gives Nations leeway to have a military! You cannot have a Nation [long game] without a standing Military.
    You cannot a Nation exist in Peace, rather than in war without a strong Military presence. As Reagan, I believe, we rule in Peace through [the arm of] Strength [Military].
    —–

    Romans 13:3-4 gives world governments the #right to use force to restrain and #punish evil.
    —–
    What you’re alluding to is ‘pacifism’ which is dangerous to an individual AND to a country/nation. If taken to its natural conclusion and not just what sounds and feels good, it removes the Individual’s and the Country/Nation’s desire to defend themselves [Sweden, Germany, etc] … Pacifism is a Cancer. We need to root it out!!

  • so Americans dont abide by Hebrew law… OK… do American Christians then follow the teachings directed at Christians, such as the letters to the New Testament Churches? if so, justify Hebrews 13:2. Seems a person cannot be Christian, truly, and agree with Sessions OR Trump. Kinda CINO…… Christian In Name Only. So those voters rejected their own Christ, for a Hater and immigrant basher. I always wondered why they fear ISIS and immigrants and Taxes when they supposedly serve the most powerful God and are told, by His very own Son, “Fear not.”? illegality is a word used by sissies, legalistic punks, and do-gooders who usually have rotten skeletons in their own self-righteous closets. You watch, we are gonna find out Jeff buggers little boys, or auto-erotic chokes himself, before this is over. I cant wait. It is always these preachy little bitch-boys who turn out to be the dirtiest.

  • You are a sick individual to attempt to finagle a suiting interpretation of The Holy Bible to defend the red headed ANTICHRIST who is currently our President. If you need to tear yourself up about it. Jesus clearly says go with love.

  • You can’t develop a political perspective on a topic so complicated merely by focusing only on the root words used in scriptures writen at times with the biases of the culture and the men writing on behalf of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have to flow with the overall concepts throughout the scriptures with the overwhelming support to love thy neighbor, love does who despite you, who is your brother, and so on.

    Furthermore, there are times when human laws established by a public process need to be challenged. Therefore, to establish a policy on how we, as American citizens, treat individuals unable to obtain proper documentation through an antiquated immigration system needs to be debated beyond the clarification of two or three debatable words used within a cultural experience we have not personal experience.

    I am not advocating for disobidence of the law; or the lawlessness of individuals crossing boarders without permission but to justify anti-illegal immigtant sentiment by doing a limited analysis of scripture without looking at it through the CROSS of Jesus Christ, falls short of the love demonstrated by the blood shed for all of us.

  • Love the bastardization of the bible to suit your bigotry. FYI Jesus called and said quit using him & God to promote hate.

  • I bet you have many more “carve outs and contortions” to maintain what you consider to be “humane” (code for whatever today’s progressive orthodoxy is supposed to indicate). Here are a couple more recent articles that support or extend Hoffmeier.

    http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/othervoices/michael-shannon-illegal-aliens-listen-to-the-bible-not-the/article_f3748902-1b50-5282-894f-1ed57149dbbc.html

    https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/immigration-what-does-the-bible-say

  • If you have to put humane in quotes, you probably are advocating something malicious and nasty minded. 🙂

    People don’t need religion to justify behaving well to others but it is really useful to justify behaving badly.

  • Let’s make Mexico great again. Don’t you think that whats happening in the Middle East is what America did to Latin America ? Call it social engineering. Create a refugee flow so America will always have a supply of exploitable cheap labor. What idiot believes that the worlds greatest Super Power cannot protect its borders !! DUHHHHH !! The elite loves cheap labor just don’t ask for benefits.

  • I understand what you’re saying. But Christ never promises physical security. That was not a priority for him. The way I understand it, we aren’t supposed to be focused on our own well-being here on earth, our focus should be on others, specifically, those that need help. He doesn’t discuss immigration in a way that we could clearly shed light on this topic. But he is clear on one thing, compassion and love. He is clear that those qualities should take precedent over all else. I want a safe country, everyone I love lives here. But I choose to err on the side of showing compassion and love. That should be our default response. Illegal immigrants are usually desperate. They are poor and in need of help. They are the lowest of the low. Truly, the least among us. I think Christians should be opening their arms to them. Feeding them. Clothing them. Literally waiting at the border to welcome them and help them. The trailer parks where they often live 10 to one trailer should be full of Christians bringing food and necessities. Again, why wouldn’t Christians err on the side of radical compassion and love? Radical care for the poor and weak? As Christians we have the opportunity to risk our own safety to help others, which is what Christ did for us. We should be LOOKING these opportunities. For these chances. As privileged US citizens we do not often get the chance to put ourselves out, in a real way, to help others. We are known around the country as the ones standing up for physical security and strong borders, meant to keep desperate people out. What is we were known for showering them with compassion? What would you say to Christ? That you didn’t help them, because it wasn’t best for America? I don’t think he cares about America. I think he cares about the suffering of these immigrants.

  • As Gentiles, we tend to think that Jesus came to right all of the wrongs and establish a new covenant full of grace and mercy. This is partially true. We also tend to think that the Old Testament represents the “law” and the New Testament represents “grace”. This could not be further from the truth. The New Testament is an ! (exclamation point) to the Old. There is Nothing new in the NT. And the OT is full of grace. Everything Jesus said and did was a fulfillment of the Torah, which by the way means teaching, not law. All of it can be found in the OT. Jesus cannot and never did contradict the OT. It would be like contradicting Himself, since he is the Word. This article is correct in that many of the commandments were given for structure and for our protection. As Gentiles many are totally ignorant of the OT meanings, including Hebrew, etc. The Torah is so important that Jesus will teach the Torah from Jerusalem during the fulfillment of Sukkot, during his 1,000 year reign, or the 7th day.

  • You are using your idea of God to rationalize and excuse your own lack of humanity towards other human beings. Who gave you the right to own the United States and keep other people out? Weapons, subterfuge, genocide, broken promises. You have built your house upon the sand. Your words ring hollow.

  • That’s a non-response. I offered a rebuttal to your argument that was on point: namely, that your criticism of Hoffmeier’s article, when applied to any applicable law, would likewise “prove” that that law should no longer exist or be enforced in the age of grace. Your argument thus proves too much, and must be rejected.

    To that, you say nothing at all. Instead, you decided to turn this into an attack on me. That’s typical for leftists, who lack the intellectual rigor to understand how arguments actually work, but it does not save your argument from the trash heap. Your understanding of the scriptures is badly mistaken. You simply have no idea what God wants.

    Of course, your latest little hatefest is just as bad as your first. Apparently, in your mind, national borders should not exist at all, and every nation is an abomination in the sight of God simply because it’s a nation with borders.

    That makes me wonder why you’re so angry about the United States, when the US is arguably the least active nation on the planet in terms of enforcing its borders. But I think I know the answer to that; it’s simply that your entire posture is nothing but a pretense hiding your Progressive orthodoxy. You’re not a Christian at all; you’re a Progressive masquerading as a Christian, and your agenda is simply to undermine the United States as a nation because it’s the primary barrier to full World Socialism.

    And that, sir, is why your reading of the scriptures is so bizarre, so far off the mark, and so devoid of any real understanding of the heart of God.

    End of discussion.

  • You disgusting fraud. Your conversation drips with sanctimonious hypocrisy and smug self-righteousness. Your parents are worthy of derision for raising a fool like you.

    Definition of Pharisee: theunknownsleeper.

    You need to awaken before it’s too late.

  • Oh I have far more than insults friend. You’re just not worthy of anything more, seeing as how you respond to others.

    My rationale for how I respond to you? “Answer a fool according to his folly”

  • You have done nothing but insult me so far. You brought my parents into it as well. Bonus points for that. Your perceived pedestal is much lower than you think and your high road is buried in mud.

  • Touché !
    You’re no stranger to insults yourself, but you dress them up with high-brow sanctimony.

  • “You disgusting fraud. Your conversation drips with sanctimonious
    hypocrisy and smug self-righteousness. Your parents are worthy of
    derision for raising a fool like you.”

    Say what?

  • Then why don’t you leave your front door unlocked at night. Heck, leave it wide open. Using bible to try and make your own political point is not honoring of the Father, nor is it treating scripture correctly.

  • Googling and pasting something into a canned response doesn’t seal your argument for you. You need to tell everyone where the analogy fails. I will be happy to provide retort. Go.

  • His statements were all true. “Illegal immigrants commit cri- FALSE!” Um, wtf are you high? Of course they commit crime. Entering the country was their first one.

  • I am not high. Can you debate like an adult? Entering the country illegally is as much of a crime as jaywalking. So saying that “illegal immigrants commit crime” is grossly disingenuous. I suppose it is technically right though. As is “illegal immigrants obey laws” or “illegal immigrants love America”.

  • Ok, here are some reasons to deport every illegal and repeal DACA: 1) They depress wages. 2) They commit crime. 3) They have lots of children who will almost certainly vote democrat, as will they if they gain citizenship. With whites projected to become a minority by 2044, I’d prefer to not destroy any realistic chance of electing a Conservative leader again if that’s ok. Thanks.

  • 1) Well obviously we have different opinions then. 2) That makes no sense, as not wanting to willingly allow myself to become a minority in my own country is not racist. By your logic, the Japanese must be racist since they wouldn’t dare let that happen in their country.

  • You continue to espouse racism by now calling Japanese people racist. Do you not understand that making a grand generalization about people based on their race is “racism”? But I guess it’s “Go big or go home” for you, eh?

  • Did I say I believed the Japanese were racist? No. I said according to YOUR logic, the Japanese must be racist, judging by your implication that not allowing oneself to become a minority in one’s own country equates to racism. Try to keep up.

  • That’s one of the most hideous views I’ve read and I’ve read lots of them on this subject

  • Your skin isn’t thick at all. You ban people when they call you out online for your blatant hypocrisy, which you continue to demonstrate here. Also, I notice your positions change depending on which forum you are in. Very subtle trolling! Few probably ever notice.

  • Those aren’t ad hominems, are they? Funny, you banned me for doing the same thing you are doing right now. Pot Kettle Black.

  • Ah, so someone said something you found insulting and you responded in kind. Funny, that’s exactly what I did in another forum and you banned me for it. You never had a high road to begin with.

  • That’s fine. I’ll just keep to responding to you though. At least others can learn how fake you actually are.

  • This guy is a clown. He bans people for making arguments he finds insulting, then comes over here and insults people. Total hypocrite.

  • No.

    Perhaps you should look up the word “troll.” You keep misusing it. A troll isn’t someone who disagrees with you or questions your actions. A troll isn’t someone who calls you on your BS hypocrisy. I called out a poster in your forum who was threatening people with violence. He shouldn’t have been there in the first place, had you done your job.

    But since it made you look inept, you banned me instead so you could remove the criticism of yourself. You have a history of doing this all the time. I’m not a troll, you are just a very bad moderator. I bet you would ban me right now if you could, just so nobody could see this criticism.

    Again, look up the word troll. You might be surprised to find that meet the definition much more so than I.

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