May 24, 2010 10:01 am ET - by Melinda Warner
Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, has decided that Jesus would have signed the Arizona anti-immigration law out of "compassion." He believes that Jesus would have been compassionate towards Arizonans and other Americans who have suffered from the various effects of "illegal immigration" across our southern border.
I was asked by a caller Thursday whether Jesus would, if he were governor, sign the Arizona immigration law. "In a heartbeat," I answered.
Why, I asked rhetorically? "Because of his compassion."
This compassion is for the citizens of Arizona who are subject to home invasions, out-of-control drug trafficking, human smuggling, the constant threat of kidnappings, and a $2.7 billion price tag for all the social problems caused by illegal aliens. The costs of education, welfare, medical care and law enforcement may wind up bankrupting the state. The compassion of Jesus goes out to Arizonans who live with constant social disruption and suffer a steady drain on resources which should be available to take care of their families.
There is no questioning the fact that many Americans have suffered as a result of the broken immigration system that allows drug smugglers, human traffickers, and criminals through the porous border. And, yes, Jesus would have had compassion for all those who suffer as a result of "illegal immigration." But that includes not only the victims of the related crimes but also the immigrants themselves.
People put themselves through the rigors and horrors of "illegal immigration" to escape poverty, to escape danger, and to provide for their families. Not, in fact, unlike the Jews who escaped persecution and enslavement in Egypt.
However, Fischer's use of Biblical text is very selective.
If, as Fischer says, "the costs of education, welfare, medical care and law enforcement may wind up bankrupting the state," then shouldn't he be in favor of a path towards legal residency, a status that would allow immigrants to pay more in taxes? Because as Romans 13 says, "pay your taxes, too...for government workers need to be paid."
A few years ago, Fischer spent considerable time and energy fighting to keep a Ten Commandants monument in an Idaho park. But "thou shall not steal" is apparently absent from Fischer's Bible. Or he just feels it doesn't apply to him.
To support his idea of how Jesus would have responded to this law, Fischer lifted -- almost verbatim -- an article from the Washington Times. Fischer clearly has no respect for the intellectual property of others and is blatantly guilty of violating a key Biblical guideline (also known as sinning in some circles).
Illegal aliens destroyed the property of rancher Roger Barnett, killed his calves and broke into his home. They tore up water pumps, tore down fences and gates, and stole his trucks. Some of his cattle died after ingesting the plastic bottles left behind by illegals, and he installed a faucet on an 8,000 gallon water tank so they could get water without damaging the tank.
Mr. Barnett told The Washington Times in a 2002 interview that he began rounding up illegal immigrants after they started to vandalize his property, northeast of Douglas along Arizona Highway 80. He said the immigrants tore up water pumps, killed calves, destroyed fences and gates, stole trucks and broke into his home.
Some of his cattle died from ingesting the plastic bottles left behind by the immigrants, he said, adding that he installed a faucet on an 8,000-gallon water tank so the immigrants would stop damaging the tank to get water.
The immigrant trails that cross his property are littered with trash 10 inches deep, including human waste, used toilet paper, soiled diapers, cigarette packs, clothes, backpacks, empty one-gallon water bottles, chewing-gum wrappers and aluminum foil (used to pack the drugs coyotes give to their "clients" to keep them running).
Mr. Barnett said some of the ranch's established immigrant trails were littered with trash 10 inches deep, including human waste, used toilet paper, soiled diapers, cigarette packs, clothes, backpacks, empty 1-gallon water bottles, chewing-gum wrappers and aluminum foil - which supposedly is used to pack the drugs the immigrant smugglers give their "clients" to keep them running.
Besides, evidently, being the basis for Fischer's blog post, the Washington Times article includes some additional details about the incident Mr. Barnett is being sued for. Barnett held 16 people at gunpoint, threatened them with his dog -- saying his dog was "hungry for buttocks," and kicked one of the women. Wouldn't Jesus have compassion for them as well?
Fischer is welcome to have an opinion about the Arizona law, no matter how distorted his reasoning is. But he should take care and acknowledge that he also has a responsibility to his audience to not only present a more comprehensive view of what the Bible says and what Jesus taught but also to follow the very teachings he so freely throws around. For who could possibly believe a word he says if he so carelessly plagiarizes (steals) the hard work others have completed?
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