Dec 262016
 

Most of the time I write things for the edification of my readers.

I’m writing this for me.

I’m writing it because I’ve found something wicked in my soul, something that I loathe.

Cowardice.

 

There are things that matter that I’m afraid to write about because I know my audience and my audience doesn’t want to hear them…and my audience will leave me if I write as I should.

I’ve been forced by the timidity of my heart to choose between writing about all the things that God puts on my heart and writing about the things I know our readers will read.

If I write about some things, they will not hear me about other things.

Now, I will cleanse my soul.

The greatest problem facing the world today is the migration of the poor and oppressed from places of violence and poverty to places that offer a measure of hope and safety.

The problem isn’t going away.

It doesn’t matter is you’re liberal or conservative or something in between…the people keep moving.

There will be a day when we can no longer avoid the problem.

The wall will only fool us into thinking we’re safe.

We’re not.

We are much safer than the people that are on the move…millions of them all over the world.

What I believe I know about Jesus leads me to believe that attention must be paid to the realities all of us must face.

I don’t have answers, but I can’t be afraid of the conversation…even if my brethren in the church leave me for starting it.

It really is all about what I think I know about Jesus…and I think He’s on the move with the migrants.

He can also walk through walls…

  92 Responses to “On the Migrations…”

  1. Michael,

    I think that what you are talking about is a huge issue in the American church today—one that perhaps many do not want discuss.

    I do not have a problem talking about this issue.

    Why do you believe that this migration is the greatest problem facing the world today?

  2. Michael,
    I’m so glad you wrote what God has put on your heart.

    Sometimes, we may not want to hear it.
    But, God knows, we must hear it.

    Thank you for having the courage to say what God have given you.
    Bless you, my friend.

  3. what God HAS given you… not sure if that was my typing or some version of auto correct!

  4. Jason,

    Trust me, they only want to discuss it in a very narrow way…I found that out the hard way.

    This has been the biggest global problem we face for at least twenty years and the reason for that is it’s complexity and the sheer numbers of people we’re dealing with all over the globe.

    It doesn’t lend itself to easy answers and it has equal parts of humanitarian and political concerns.

    Every thing we do has a reaction that creates another problem…it will take all we have to find solutions.

  5. Linnea,

    Thank you!
    There really is no choice when you think your faith is on the line….

  6. Not losing this member of your audience… You’re right on target. The new UN reports place mass migration today on the same numerical and societal impact level as during the aftermath of WWII…

  7. Thank you, Duane!

  8. This is something I’ve been bringing up for awhile now. It’s been disappointing the response of my Christian friends who cannot distinguish between the cultural Christianity of American Republicanism and the Gospel. I don’t know how anyone can avoid that God is very concerned for the poor and the stranger. The command of God has been redefined to the widow and orphan I know personally.

  9. Well done Michael, well done!

  10. I think you are right Michael. It is sad. Too many in the church today want to talk about simply what is inside the four walls of the church. There is a whole world out there literally dying—physically and spiritually.

    As far as those who are “on the move,” I have often tried to put myself in their shoes. I know in my own heart that I would do whatever it takes to keep my family safe. If I had to migrate, even illegally, I would.

  11. the migration in progress is creating a complete shift in the composition of the nations, so it must be a part of God’s design for this age (or “time” for those offended by “age”)

    two camps are taking in the chops – IMV – Michael’s camp that calls for compassion and charity and the camp that is, for a number of reasons, fighting the tidal wave in progress -some selfish and myopic and some just unable to see a positive end

    right now there are so many reasons for world’s people to be on the move… i just can’t lump them all together under one banner, nor do i think that this is going to have a good outcome without some Divine intervention… pray

    puts me in mind of an old, old movie starring Elizabeth Taylor… i think it was called “Elephant March” – maybe wrong … one can’t very well blame the elephants, but brace yourselves for a whole new planetary distribution … and pray that many souls are saved in the process … that is something to hope for whenever there is a big shakeup of formerly settled lives

    just sayin …

  12. Michael,

    Can you link to an article or write about how the church can practically respond to immigration?

    What can the Church do on a practical basis to present Christ to immigrants?

  13. It will be very hard to discuss solutions when the conversation involves kneejerk charges of racist and Islamophobe from so many voices of influence and does not recognize the very real risk involved that SOME (not all) of the migrants are using this situation as a Trojan Horse of sorts.

    The free world is presently in WW3 whether our leaders will admit it or not. With Islam and the religion’s stated goals and procedures to establish those goals straight from their book and founder. The fact that all Muslims do not believe in this way is as meaningless as the fact that all Christians do not claim to believe in the Virgin Birth. Our faith and book teach the virgin book and those who take it seriously will believe. There are plenty of Muslims who take their religion (and book) seriously. Multiple millions.

    And like the last World War (and the first for that matter) we need to look carefully at what is happening in Europe. (After of course studying what Islamic dominated countries look like throughout the Middle East first – because if there is one way to determine what a religion REALLY believes, it is not to ask someone in a nation like ours where that religion is practiced within the 1st Amendment by a tiny token of the population)

    Every day it seems I read another outrageous atrocity committed by either a random or small group of Muslims who hate freedom. And almost all are relatively recent “immigrants” to Europe. I do not speak solely of terrorists who actually are killing Europeans (or trying to). For example, how much media is given to the three Christians stabbed on Christmas at church in Switzerland?

    But Muslims who are attacking women (and others) for enjoying the freedoms they have enjoyed for years that Sharia loving Islamists see as Satanic and evil. If you look at how women, family, children and so forth are treated in the Middle East, it should be no surprise that as their numbers swell with no desire to assimilate Western freedoms, we would see the same.

    The world put it’s head in the sand about Hitler for many years. Merkle in Germany is every bit the appeaser that Chamberlain was back in that day. One wonders if a Churchill will arise without being shouted down as a racist Islamophobe.

    (My one post of the conversation – feel free to tear it apart) But personally, I don’t see the Christian love in taking someone half a world away from their home, their language, their people and dropping them in a new and strange country with no means or expectation they will support themselves and no real expectation of them ever returning home when the conflict wanes. The world could invest all its resources in seeing that the most neighboring nations house those in need but instead we see many people literally travelling past multiple nations to find the European country most receptive – that is not survival and desperation.

    That is strategy.

  14. Linnea,
    I’ll try to post some helpful things when I get home. Out and about for a bit..

  15. Steve,
    The migration from Central and South America has nothing to do with Islam…and Islam does greatly complicate the situation in other areas.

  16. #13 Steve, I share your concerns about Islam, especially after reading ‘Infidel’
    by Ayaan Hirsi Ali… There is a massive portion of the Islamic world that, to be really frank, we really do not understand, as they do not conform to any societal norms we would recognize in the West. It is a vexing problem. I would encourage you to read her memoir. It is enlightening and sobering.

    On Central and South America, I very much agree with Michael. This is especially the case in that US policy through the decades has helped to create much of the instability that still plagues the region…

  17. we are mistaken in thinking many, perhaps even most, refugees don’t want to return to their homelands if and when peace and security is reached. Their temporary ‘homes’ can be sanctuaries without being permanent residences. Too many confuse refugee status with integration and immigration. These are two (at least) different issues.

    Further, most protestant pastors relegate the discussion to the politician rather than investigate the Biblical injunctions and faithfully teach them. I applaud those who take the risk to buck the trend and speak honestly about it…including PP

  18. The migrations are a symptom, prophetic, and exactly what Jesus said the end of days would look like.

    But I think you have missed the mark here.

    Our nation is not under judgement because of racist, xenophobic foreign governments who destroy at will and with the intent of pushing migrants north and west. The US plays it’s part, but there is something haunting and more silent than a migration made up of mainly military age males who practice a religion of hate, intolerance, piracy, and plunder. I find it hard to feel sympathy for military age men who by and large support the tactics of ISIS.
    This missed the mark because there is a hole we have dug under our feet, and hell hath enlarged itself. Isaiah 5. Rinse and repeat in 2017.

    Our nation, and our world, is under judgement first and foremost because of its pride. Because it plays at being gods determining the value of life that He has created, within and without our borders.This materializes in the bombings of Syria, the practices of Islam embodied to every jot and tittle among ISIS and our ally Saudi Arabia. Worse still, it materializes in every church that rapes its congregation’s children and funds, that plays at politics in lieu of preaching sin and redemption and Christ crucified, who let their flock wear the name of God in vain. The greatest problems in the World today are Pride and it’s children Bitterness and Apathy.

    Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the leftist, sanctified silence of non therapeutic abortion. We have destroyed 3 generations of infants by burning them, dissolving them, crushing their skulls, and selling the leftovers.

    Then we approve of those who do so and worse.

    It’s an old case, but one we shouldn’t tire of pleading.

    “The problem isn’t going away.

    It doesn’t matter [if] you’re liberal or conservative or something in between…”

    People keep killing their children

    “There will be a day when we can no longer avoid the problem” …

    We will be held accountable

    What more could God have done for this people??

  19. On the Muslim issue, I agree with Steve’s analysis and I ask the question – what is it Saudi Arabia, Qtar, Kuwait, and Dubai know the we and Western Europe are too blind to see? Those countries dwarf the US per capita income and won’t touch this Islamic migrants.

    As to the Central & South American migrants, we should expedite a corridor straight to Canada so they can show us how it is done. They always criticize our immigration policy, brag about their better quality of life and claim to be nicer people.

  20. Jerod,

    I’ll try this again.
    The migrations are worldwide and Muslims are only part of it.
    How this is prophetic is beyond me…

  21. Michael,

    If nearly (or perhaps a little better than) 60 million dead babies strikes you as less important than those still holding on to life…

    Then you have problems bigger than cowardice.

  22. Jerod,

    I wasn’t addressing abortion.
    I was addressing an issue I’ve spent most of the last 15 years studying.
    I see no need to conflate two separate issues.

  23. The greatest problem facing the world today is the migration of the poor and oppressed from places of violence and poverty to places that offer a measure of hope and safety.
    ___________________________________________

    That’s not conflation, in my opinion. That’s oversight. You were talking about the greatest problem in the world. Imo, you’ve missed the mark. In the real cost of it and spiritually speaking abortion will destroy us.

    No one sees the need to speak or write about it unless it is grotesque enough and even then dead zoo animals steal the spotlight. Nobody, including the church, wants to look at it in any real light because we are all responsible for doing nothing.

  24. If you think about it migration from Central America maybe the only thing keeping this country from caving because we need the people who will actually reproduce. You needn’t worry, there will never be a wall. Maybe a fence with some holes in it.

  25. Jerod,
    I’m speaking of a global issue that has consequences that are staggering in number and scope.
    If you think differently you can say so or start your own blog.
    The church has been engaged in the abortion issue for decades.

  26. Michael,

    I really do agree with your statement.

    Except from Muslim nations.

    Am I off the mark on this?

  27. there are some great and, IMV, on target observations developing on this thread…
    Michael’s greatest concern has rightly called, for years now as i understand him, for Believers (in Christ) to put compassion first
    and yet…
    from a secular viewpoint, there are so many challenges in this population shift … are they merely adjustment challenges or are there also security challenges in the form of targeting our families – bad guys taking advantage of migrant/refugee groups to do what can only be defined – IMHO – as the devil’s work?
    we are most definitely at war… the status quo is under major attack … how it will all resolve is just about anyone’s guess as history plays out according to God’s design ultlimately… some of us think that we see prophesy unfolding and some say, nope – dunno
    i heard Denzel Washington say that our biggest problem in the U.S.A is not racial but cultural or something to that effect… he’s onto something, i think … thinking … thinking

  28. Costco,
    We have to deal with it all.
    Nowhere did I write anything about the US being the only solution to this problem.
    This is a global issue that is and will continue to affect us all.
    We have to have some much broader discussions, especially in the church.

  29. I see.

    Cuz it really is costing Europe right now.

    And us, as well.

    And I never want to be racist or xenophobic.

    But to use a worn out cliché…

    It is what it is.

  30. another voice i heard 🙂
    a Muslim saying that Christianity has separated itself from a theocratic view of the State to a separation of same centuries ago and it is time for Muslims to do the same … that would help – a lot

  31. Costco,
    The Aussies were building internment camps at the turn of this century.
    It’s a global issue…

  32. This was from clear back in 04…
    https://youtu.be/w8G-19HMwMs

  33. I agree.

    The pendulum swings one extreme to the other.

    You have the internment camps, followed by free flowing immigration, then the Third Reich.

    And history repeats itself.

    Or maybe I’m over-simplifying the whole thing. 🙂

  34. I appreciate this blog for allowing a diversity of views.

    Good article Michael.

  35. Yeah, migration is so hot right now

  36. Jerod,
    What did that mean?

  37. Jerod, Michael is no coward! He is addressing one issue and you aee calling him a coward and worse cuz he is not talking about a subject that you want him to……be nice!

  38. Michael has always had migration on his heart….the fact that they put children in cages at the borders. …..

  39. there was an old saying i used to hear when i was a child …. so and so has a burr under his tail … every now and then someone comes here with that condition 🙂

  40. Jerod –

    First, the post is about migration of the poor and oppressed and their flight to safety. It is not about abortion. That is for another post and frankly is a topic that Christian audiences are quite receptive to. It takes very little courage in the Christian community to speak on issues of life.

    Second, as Bo Tchividjian, the head of Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments (GRACE) and others have pointed out, while Christians are very clear as to their support of life in the womb, we have an abysmal record regarding those already born. He specifically speaking of sexual abuse and the cover up and silence around that issue. I would extend the same statement to our care of those who are fleeing poverty, starvation, and abuse. Yes, the issue is complicated by the desire of radical Muslims to attack the countries they are fleeing to, but the same kinds of fear have driven countries to prohibit the other from migration for centuries.

    This issue of the migration of the poor and oppressed must be discussed in the church. We cannot follow the world, but must lead.

  41. Oops! That would be Boz Tchivijian.

  42. Michael, this is a good and timely topic and reasonable men (generic) discussing it may just find a center point that will help us all … most folk here have caught on to what makes them look knee jerk stupid and, instead, contribute really useful food for thought at your promptings… ignore the ones who don’t – cuz …
    we’re all worrying about your health right now and you don’t want to do that to us, do you?

    signed, your loving grandmother

  43. John 20:29,

    I still haven’t made it home tonight. 🙂
    I’m encouraged by much I’ve read here today as I’ve driven around.
    Thank you and thank you, Dusty…if things get too much I’ll handle the problems and the rest of us will continue to think together…

  44. Tracey,
    Well said!

  45. Tracey,
    “while Christians are very clear as to their support of life in the womb, we have an abysmal record regarding those already born. ”

    I will object strongly to this comment and retort that they Church is the most generous and efficient machine in the world tending to the needs of those people already born. The church has built schools, hospitals, clean water facilities, orphanages – , food banks, homeless shelters, all over the world. You will find not other entity in the world that has done such for “those already born” than the Church – not the US government, not the UN, not Muslims, not Jews, not Hindus, not Buddhists – no one comes even close.

    Does the Church have flaws? yes, but you need to turn your spotlight around and start praising the good.

    Crap that kind of talk just ruins my day.

  46. How can one’s heart not go out to those who are fleeing for their very lives and the wickedness that drives them to leave their homes?

    At the same time there’s a reality that wicked people with wicked agenda’s are doing all they can to come here and join those who are already here.

    We must do all we can to help those who desperately need our help.

    We must do all we can to keep our nation safe.

    How people view these issues and how we should respond is the chasm that we’re confronted with in our nation today.

    What really drives the conversation and resulting disagreements is we have a president elect that for better or for worse is going to try and implement what he sees are the answers to the refugee question when he formally takes office.

    It’s at this point where all he** breaks loose and any semblance of sides trying to reach some sort of conclusion that will satisfy all is lost in the noise that follows.

    We live in a day where any morning we face the possibility of waking up to a changed world due to any number of things. It could be terror, natural disasters, or any other number of things.

    At times it seems what we as a nation have been blessed with is totally lost on us as we survey the rest of the world.

    Time will record how we rise up to the challenges before us.

    Meanwhile our God never sleeps. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. He asks us to trust Him in all things. As believers we can never leave or minimize God in the days we live. Then again we could descend into arguing what that might look like.

    It can be very disheartening especially in light of battles and trials many of us are walking through at this moment. I find comfort in knowing that He knows.

  47. Dusty
    Michael called himself a coward
    I didn’t. It is something we all succumb to.

    Tracey
    The post is about, per Michael,
    “The greatest problem facing the world today
    [read: the world’s greatest problem facing it]
    is the migration of the poor and oppressed from places of violence and poverty to places that offer a measure of hope and safety.”

    Whatever. His blog. His brain. His words. I don’t agree. This is not the greatest problem. It is a symptom of it, yet not even the greatest symptom.

    In order to discuss it it takes sounding like that annoying broken record.

  48. Jerod,

    Can you cite for me the most impactful books or white papers you’ve read on this subject…before I bounce you for good?

    Because, unless you can convince me quickly that you’re not talking out your ass as usual, you’re out of here.

  49. Jerod,

    Never mind answering.
    Go hang out at “emergent watch”.

  50. Seems to me that the problem here is lack of empathy, that is, the ability to put oneself in somebody else’s shoes.
    I am a family man and I am also a combat vet. I only say that to say I’ve experienced war and having a family. I guarantee you any of you would move heaven and earth if your family was caught in a combat situation. These people from Syria have risked their lives to get out of there and why? Because it’s their only hope for survival for them and their families. Most of us have seen the horrendous photos of children caught in the deadly web of other peoples’ hate. Yet we argue over how we can keep ourselves safe instead of thinking about these folks as fellow human beings who are only
    attempting to keep their own families safe and alive. We in the west are so egocentric and focused on what is good for us and forget those who are less fortunate. If they bring war with them, they will be dealt with accordingly. It’s the only way to do it in a free society. Michael, he is no coward who stands for the weak. Who sees them for who they are and feels empathy. That person in my opinion should be called Christlike.

  51. Cash,
    ” If they bring war with them, they will be dealt with accordingly. It’s the only way to do it in a free society”

    This is not so. Look at Chicago – war has been brought to us and we cannot handle it. This weekend alone, 12 killed, 40 wounded in 27 separate shootings. This year over 4,200 wounded and almost 800 killed (just in Chicago). Again, war has been brought to us and we cannot (or will not) do anything about it.

    To any and all in this discussion – The larger question is, why do their brother nations (Saudi Arabia, Qtar , Kuwait, Dubai) refuse to help them, place them in a closely native environment? I asked earlier – what do they know that we do not know?

    And one last thing, just because we want a change in our immigration policy does not mean that American churches will not help those who show up in need.

    Will anyone here offer up names of churches they know would turn away immigrants who would show up like the American poor and would be refused service? I know my church does not require papers to get help.

  52. Cash,

    Thank you for the kind words.
    We do start with empathy and we also deal with all the complexities from there…and there are bunch of them.

  53. I think it is too ‘idealistic’ to think we can have open borders in the world where anyone and everyone who wants to come into our country or any country is let in by just walking across the borders – sounds like a cool sentiment as John Lennon said in his song ‘Imagine’, “Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do”—- It is such a lovely thought. Also the thought, like in Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ of ‘all the people sharing all the world’. But not all people have lovely intentions and not all are ‘nice’. A no brainer. There are other ways to help people besides open borders. There is a man in my neighborhood that you won’t hear about that takes things people no longer need or want down to an orphanage in Tia Juana – helps them very much with computers for education, etc. He’s been doing it for decades. I would like to see us care about our forgotten people already here. I was appalled when I stopped to get gas in Los Angeles and a dozen unemployed people came up to want to help me put gas in my car for any kind of change. I gave one man who I allowed to put gas in my car (even though I didn’t need the help) one dollar to help him out – a drop in his bucket of the help he needs. Last time I drove through Skid row in LA, I was appalled at the number of tents now on the sidewalks. Our country has many unmet needs and problems among our people already here. Many are in poverty and suffering here.They are the forgotten ones that deserve our help.

  54. “To any and all in this discussion – The larger question is, why do their brother nations (Saudi Arabia, Qtar , Kuwait, Dubai) refuse to help them, place them in a closely native environment? I asked earlier – what do they know that we do not know?”

    They know the same things that Mexico and Central America knows…that they don’t want to pay for the reforms necessary to improve the lives of the people.

    “Look at Chicago – war has been brought to us and we cannot handle it. This weekend alone, 12 killed, 40 wounded in 27 separate shootings. This year over 4,200 wounded and almost 800 killed (just in Chicago). Again, war has been brought to us and we cannot (or will not) do anything about it.”

    You were one of those who mocked me when I said that what happened in Juarez would happen here.
    It has.
    This is a cartel war over drugs with bought off police and politicians making a literal killing.

  55. “I think it is too ‘idealistic’ to think we can have open borders in the world where anyone and everyone who wants to come into our country or any country is let in by just walking across the borders – sounds like a cool sentiment as John Lennon said in his song ‘Imagine’, “Imagine there’s no countries.”

    I said this on Facebook…I’m still looking for this person who advocates “open borders”…because I haven’t ran into him in anything I’ve studied from border people.

    This is a red herring that most people who advocate for immigration reform do not support but constantly have to defend against.

    Every once in a while it would be nice to discuss this issue without that stupid canard.

  56. What is happening in Chicago is not new — decades — Al Capone days. Eliot Ness days.

    “This is a cartel war over drugs with bought off police and politicians making a literal killing.”
    So as you can see, this is no environment to bring unsuspecting migrant families.

    Canada, now Canada is well equipped to handle this load.

    Saudi Arabia, Qtar , Kuwait, Dubai do not need reforms – they are rich and can just absorb these folks.

  57. This is what I’m saying, folks.

    You may not want to deal with this issue,but it’s an issue you will have to face whether you like it or not.
    These migrations are global and getting larger.
    We are in a lull now…but that will surely change.
    They are not stopping and there is no way to protect ourselves from the consequences.
    It’s time to be compassionately creative.

  58. We will even see an internal migration in this country at some point soon.

    The Southwest and parts of the Midwest will run out of water in a generation or two.

    MLD will be seeking refugee status in Oregon… 🙂

  59. “They are not stopping and there is no way to protect ourselves from the consequences.”

    Well if this is indeed true that they are coming and there is no stopping them and we can’t protect ourselves – I say it is in our interest and the world’s interest and we put the military – at least the National Guard on out borders and do just that…protect ourselves.

    How do you expect me to change my mind and join your side when you put it that way?

  60. We will have water – however we may be forced to kill off the tree huggers first.

  61. MLD,

    The solution Mexico has used is to kill as may of them as they can.
    That strategy is used in other places as well.

    I happen to think we can do better than that…

    We’re dealing with an historic, geopolitical reality.
    To pretend it’s just going to cease is mindless…

  62. “How do you expect me to change my mind and join your side when you put it that way?”

    The only reason there are sides is because some people have made political hay out of human lives.

    Time to quit choosing sides and find solutions.

  63. “We will have water – however we may be forced to kill off the tree huggers first.”

    The aquifers are draining too fast to recharge…best wishes to Arizona and New Mexico…the only way to get water will be to steal it from someone else…

  64. Why do you say “steal” – don’t the natural resources belong to all of us? Does Oregon own their water?
    Now you sound like the anti immigration people – MINE!!

  65. MLD,

    I find it hard to believe that you are unaware that many Southwestern states and California are in constant disputes over water.
    People settled in places where people weren’t intended to live.
    It is going to be a huge problem in the near future.

  66. MLD (unintentionally) hit upon another factor we have to consider in these migrations.
    Finite resources.

  67. A good starting place for resources on migration…

    http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com

  68. “Finite resources.”

    This isn’t new. It does no body any good to turn North America and Europe into 3rd world countries where we cannot help anyone.

    This is much like the “solutions” to the global warming / carbon footprint issues. The countrie that do a pretty good job with the environment are asked to double up because countries like Mexico and China won’t do anything – so folks tout that they are coming up with solutions just like the immigration issue and really nothing gets done.

  69. “This isn’t new. It does no body any good to turn North America and Europe into 3rd world countries where we cannot help anyone.”

    Once again, I don’t know anybody who wants to do this.
    The error is in thinking we can prevent the 3rd world populations away from us without either changing lots of policies or just settling on bloodshed .

  70. Ok, give me a policy change that the world can get behind.

  71. MLD,

    That’s slightly above my pay scale.
    The obvious need is to help these countries change in such a way that their citizens can stay home in safety and relative prosperity.
    Most of these folks don’t want to get on a leaky boat or walk through the desert…

  72. There are thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants pouring across our southern border every month. There are many that feel this is fine for them to come and take jobs, attend schools, get Federal benefits, etc. which they are doing. We also of course have sanctuary cities to protect illegals from being deported. There has recently been a political platform that illegal entry is not a deportable offense. Many advocate open borders like Professors such as Bryan Caplan. In Europe the refugees coming into Germany can and many have crossed into other countries like Belgium due to Europe’s open border policy. Many Belgium citizens are very upset over the problems the open border policy has brought to them from these refugees. And borders here in the USA are being crossed freely as we speak. Having borders is one issue. Immigration reform is another ball of wax imo.

  73. Sue,
    There are not thousands of illegals pouring over the southern border.
    The Mexican migration has been in reverse for years.
    The benefits in most places are highly limited.
    Quit getting your info from Breitbart and do some real research.
    I’ve never heard of Bryan Caplan.

  74. Our country’s involvement in South and Central America dates from the early 19th century. Most historians now view the Mexican-American war as a massive land grab by the US. We engineered a revolution in Panama to get the canal zone. We had early military involvement in Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican. We’ve supported military dictatorships in Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, and El Salvador to name just a few. The gangs terrorizing El Salvador today, got their start in LA. All this is to say, we have some moral responsibility for the conditions in many countries that provide the impetus for migrants. This, of course, does not even touch on the issue of low wage migrant workers whom we have been content to make use of for decades in agriculture, the building trades, etc. (By the way, in the early 70s, Shiloh used to have teams live in the migrant labor camps for the season to witness… I was there…)

    While this provides a geo-political/moral case for a compassionate approach to migrants on a national level, we are not politicians arguing a case. We are Christians. We have a unique responsibility to “the least of these”, “the stranger”, ‘the outcast”… If Jesus was recasting the answer to “Who is my neighbor?” today, the Samaritan would probably be recast as an immigrant…

    I think we can argue as to the best approach to the issue, but I don’t think we can argue about the fact that we have a not merely a moral responsibility in this area, but a spiritual and theological duty as well.

    Just my opinion…

  75. Duane, not to tie this to migration, but many of the actions you listed were actually for the good of those nations and not to their harm. Some countries, at their time and history are better served by a dictator for their own stability. Bautista wasn’t perfect but he did not kill as many as Castro nor impoverish the country for 60 yrs.

    I think we now see that Iraq was better served by Saddam as a dictator that whatever replaced him.

    Some times the world does not give you good options to deal with, so you make the best of what you can.

  76. MLD

    I understand your point of view, but I think even allowing for the lack of good options, we have to in some sense own the consequence of our actions, i.e. the Colin Powell doctrine of “you break it, you own it…”

    Currently I have friends in El Salvador that do not dare leave their homes after 5 pm owing to gang activity and certain elements of the military. Their sons and daughters are under threat just trying to go to school. I’m simply saying, we were a part of creating the chaos and the immigrant situation is part of the price we are paying. Clearly not a “black and white” issue, but our response to the situation as believers, I think, has to be along the lines of Christ’s teaching.

  77. hmmm…. were we really a part of the cause in these unstable, sorry areas of the world’s unfolding histories … or were/are we just a participant? An ineffective participant, at best…

  78. #77 When you go through the list of Central and South American countries, I think it is clear that in many we were certainly participants, and in some cases the prime movers.

    Think of Allende in Chile; Iran/Contra in Nicaragua; training and equipping the military in El Salvador; deporting (rather than jailing) gang members to El Salvador; the list goes on and on. This, of course, does not even touch on our use of migrant workers for decades.

    Again, however, the real issue is how we as Christians react to the resultant tide of migrants.

  79. Michael – I don’t read Breitbart. Maybe you should quit reading and getting your information from the Washington Post and MSNBC. I know you don’t like my comments but they are fair. I live in southern California not Oregon, and there are thousands coming across and it is not in reverse. If they can have a birth here, the family gets benefits or if they can get forged documents, the same, and they do. I am completely in support of the belief of treating everyone compassionately. That does not mean we can’t have a country with secure borders. And It does not mean we have to put up with illegal immigration because of some past wrongs our country has done in other countries. We don’t have to let guilt from someone else’s wrongs run our country. Like California – it was taken from the Mexicans who took it from the Spanish who took it from the Indians. We here today can’t undo Americas part in what happened in the past in CA., however right or wrong it was. We also are not responsible. We didn’t exit. And we can’t all leave and give it back to only the native Americans, and animals whose homes were stripped from them because people think its OK to dominate animals and kick them to the curb. We can only go forward.

  80. Duane, I think Lutherans did a great job leading the way for the migration of the Vietnameese refuges in the late 70s. Mass migration, worked within our system and laws.

    I asked yesterday, does anyone know any American church body that turns away aid to anyone who shows up hungry? Name the church and I will talk to them.

    Some on this site are making it sound like churches have closed their doors.

  81. MLD

    Agree on the great job with the Vietnamese in the 70s, although as I remember it was not really as “tidy” at the time as it looks in retrospect.

    I think most Church bodies do want to help, given the chance. Then, of course, here in Indiana we had Mike Pence try to stop the reception of Syrian refugees – thankfully, the RC Archbishop stood his ground, accepted the refugees and the courts said Pence was overstepping his authority as governor.

  82. I should have came here for a discussion rather than FB….

  83. Sharon,
    You’re here now. Welcome!

  84. Duane, make up your mind. If you want to beat up political figures like Pence you will get a different response from me. Government has more strict guidelines – like state and federal law not to mention the constitution. They answer to a different constituency.

    Again, Michael’s article makes it sound like the church is doing nothing and had better change it’s ways and do everything.

  85. Once again, we are unable to look past the narratives of the media and look at this issue from other angles.
    The reason we do this is, in my opinion, we believe we can shield ourselves from it through the use of force.
    If we simply build a 25 billion dollar wall and put 50,000 National Guard troops on the border we will be safe from all the different global migrations.
    We won’t be, but we will ensure that the results are catastrophic.

    Anything we do (or don’t do) at this point will have a varied list of negative results.
    It’s not a simple problem.

    I only reference the church because the church is where the followers of Jesus are and Jesus had some things to say about poverty and oppression.

  86. Michael,
    “I only reference the church because the church is where the followers of Jesus are and Jesus had some things to say about poverty and oppression.”

    And are you saying that the church DOES NOT step up when presented with this need?

    Look, Duane took issue with things we have done in the past sticking our nose in the affairs of other countries (I can make a case we did it for good, even if for our own selfish reasons – but we did want the people to like us so they would not flip to become a Soviet leaning nation state like Cuba) – so some of it didn’t work out.

    But Michael, your initial solution is to do the exact same – stick our nose in the business of other countries who are not asking for our help.
    “The obvious need is to help these countries change in such a way that their citizens can stay home in safety and relative prosperity.”
    Is anyone asking us to do this?

  87. #84 Just giving you the facts of what happened her in the heartland…

  88. MLD,

    We spend billions on foreign aid.
    We spend half a billion every year equipping the Mexican army to fight the drug war…thus creating the largest cartel in the country.
    Thus,it would seem to me that many countries are asking us to stick our noses in their business…and we’ve rarely waited to be asked.

    The migrations of the poor are an identifiable, global issue.
    It affects us all.
    What would you do to raise awareness and begin finding solutions?

  89. By the way, one of the huge risks is that many of the Central and South American countries become Chinese leaning states…

  90. “Maybe you should quit reading and getting your information from the Washington Post and MSNBC.”

    What a world we live in when we label people and ideas according to media outlets.

    I don’t spend much if any time on American media as it has totally ignored or distorted the realities in Mexico and Central America.
    I have spent years and thousands of hours (and dollars) reading the best books by real scholars and authorities on the subject.
    There are professionals in many disciplines doing great work on this subject that nobody reads…

  91. FYI, PBS KOCEs Frontline tonight is a 2 hr special on migrants and refugees fleeing war and persecution to seek safety and refuge in Europe.

  92. Duane, evidence of the Lutherans grand work in the migration issue 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XydN7j83m54

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