Is The Wall the Original Sin of Trump? Many US Christians who are concerned about immigration and the plight of refugees believe the idea of The Wall has been the genesis of everything evil in America.
But is it in the eyes of God?
What does the Bible say about immigration, security, and the nations? It says much and presents the Christian with quite a conundrum.
In this final installment of our series Comparing the Political Platforms, I’ve grouped together these interconnected issues. Let’s see what the platforms say about national security and immigration in Part 1. In Part 2 we will define the conundrum, and then we’ll look at the Bible’s clear instruction about walls in Part 3.
Part 1: The Platforms:
(I know it’s long, but please read it if you care about immigration, refugees, and national security. I included every idea each party says and removed words only to have comparable word counts between DNC and RNC, as a testimony of my fairness.)
SECURITY: Democrats believe that climate change poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our national security, and our children’s health and futures (p.2). [We] will oppose trade agreements that do not … improve our national security. (p.14) We will support a national commission on digital security and encryption …to address the needs of law enforcement, protect the privacy of Americans, assess how innovation might point to new policy approaches, and advance our larger national security and global competitiveness interests… Democrats will be informed by a new Nuclear Posture Review in determining continued ways to appropriately shape our nuclear deterrent, with the aim of reducing our reliance on nuclear weapons while meeting our national security obligations. (p.44) Climate change poses an urgent and severe threat to our national security (p.45).
IMMIGRATION: The United States was founded as, and continues to be, a country of immigrants from throughout the world… Democrats believe immigration is not just a problem to be solved, it is a defining aspect of the American character and our shared history. The Democratic Party supports legal immigration, within reasonable limits, that meets the needs of families, communities, and the economy as well as maintains the United States’ role as a beacon of hope for people seeking safety, freedom, and security (p.16). People should come to the United States with visas and not through smugglers. Yet, we recognize that the current immigration system is broken… More than 11 million people are living in the shadows, without proper documentation. The immigration bureaucracy is full of backlogs that result in U.S. citizens waiting for decades to be reunited with family members, and green card holders waiting for years to be reunited with their spouses and minor children… And there are real questions about our detention and deportation policies that must be addressed …We will work with Congress to end the forced and prolonged expulsion from the country that these immigrants endure when trying to adjust their status … Those immigrants already living in the United States, who are assets to their communities and contribute so much to our country, should be incorporated completely into our society through legal processes …we will defend and implement President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans executive actions to help DREAMers, parents of citizens, and lawful permanent residents avoid deportation …We will support efforts by states to make DREAMers eligible for driver’s licenses and in-state college tuition. … We believe immigration enforcement must be humane and consistent with our values. We should prioritize those who pose a threat to the safety of our communities, not hardworking families who are contributing to their communities … We disfavor deportations of immigrants who served in our armed forces, and we want to create a faster path for such veterans to citizenship. We should ensure due process for those fleeing violence in Central America and work with our regional partners to address the root causes of violence. We must take particular care with children, which is why we should guarantee government-funded counsel for unaccompanied children in immigration courts. We should consider all available means of protecting these individuals from the threats to their lives and safety (p.17) We will also vigorously oversee any programs put in place, to make sure that there are no abuses and no arbitrary deportation programs…We will work to ensure that all Americans—regardless of immigration status—have access to quality health care… We reject attempts to impose a religious test to bar immigrants or refugees from entering the United States. (p.18)
The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.
3.1 National Defense: We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.
3.2 Internal Security and Individual Rights: The defense of the country requires that we have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security. This requirement must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens. The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war. Intelligence agencies that legitimately seek to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to oversight and transparency. We oppose the government’s use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have, especially that which shows that the government has violated the law.
3.3 International Affairs: American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.
3.4 Free Trade and Migration: We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.
[It] is the vigor of our economy which makes possible our military strength and our national security (p.1). The digital revolution has transformed … how we live. Technological change drives our positions with regard to… privacy, cyber and national security (p.5). Protecting intellectual property is also a national security issue. (p.15) Energy is both an economic and national security issue. We support the enactment of policies to increase domestic energy production (p.20). The federal fiscal burden threatens the security, liberty, and independence of our nation. (p.23) In a time of terrorism, drug cartels, human trafficking, and criminal gangs, the presence of millions of unidentified individuals in this country poses grave risks to the safety and sovereignty of the United States. Our highest priority, therefore, must be to secure our borders and all ports of entry and to enforce our immigration laws. That is why we support building a wall along our southern border and protecting all ports of entry … We insist upon workplace enforcement of verification systems so that more jobs can be available to all legal workers …We reaffirm our endorsement of the SAVE program — Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements — to ensure that public funds are not given to persons not legally present in this country. We demand tough penalties against those who engage in identity theft, deal in fraudulent documents, and traffic in human beings. The Department of Homeland Security must use its authority to keep dangerous aliens off our streets and to expedite expulsion of criminal aliens. Gang membership should be a deportable offense. Any previously deported illegal alien who continues to show a lack of respect for our borders and rule of law must be penalized… In light of both current needs and historic practice, we urge the reform of our guest worker… programs to eliminate fraud, improve efficiency and ensure they serve the national interest…From its beginning, our country has been a haven of refuge and asylum. That should continue — but with major changes. Asylum should be limited to cases of political, ethnic or religious persecution. As the Director of the FBI has noted, it is not possible to vet fully all potential refugees. To ensure our national security, refugees who cannot be carefully vetted cannot be admitted to the country, especially those whose homelands have been the breeding grounds for terrorism. (p.26)
Republicans continue to support American military superiority which has been the cornerstone of a strategy that seeks to deter aggression or defeat those who threaten our vital national security interests. We must rebuild troop numbers and readiness and confirm their mission: Protecting the nation, not nation building. The United States should meet the Reagan model of “peace through strength” by a force that is capable of meeting any and all threats to our vital national security… To keep our people safe, we must secure our borders, enforce our immigration laws, and properly screen refugees and other immigrants entering from any country. In particular we must apply special scrutiny to those foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States from terror-sponsoring countries (p.42). With North Korea in possession of nuclear missiles and Iran close to having them, an EMP [Electromagnetic Pulse] is no longer a theoretical concern — it is a real threat. Moreover, China and Russia include sabotage as part of their warfare planning. Nonetheless, hundreds of electrical utilities in the United States have not acted to protect themselves from EMP, and they cannot be expected to do so voluntarily since homeland security is a government responsibility. (p.54)
Clearly, the platforms address these issues in their own ways. Every reader plants firmly between each line, their own beliefs about the political parties, their preconceived ideas about compassion, the law, and a worldview that is either globalist or American. It calls for discernment.
So we look to the Bible to see how God sees walls and immigration, compassion and the law. What you find will surprise you.
The Christian’s Conundrum is outlined in Part 2 which will lead us to ask the question,
What does the Bible say to Christians about the purpose of walls and Christian responsibilities for immigration, hospitality, separation, and security?
We’ll address that and provide questions and verses for a little Bible Study in Part 3.
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This series contains:
- An overview of each party’s platform http://seminarygal.com/comparing-political-platforms-part-1/
- Part 2 Overarching principles of individual vs. state and rights of self-determination
- Part 3, on Freedoms of Speech, Religion, and Expression
- Part 4, Government Transparency and a Right to Privacy
- Part 5, Human Relationships, Sex, and the Law in a Divided America
- Part 6, Abortion
- Part 7, Education
- Part 8, Drugs
- Part 9, Criminal Justice
- Part 10, the Death Penalty
- Part 11, Guns and The Second Amendment
- Part 12, Taxation
- Part 13, the Environment
- Part 14, the IRS and the Size and Scope of Government