Friday, June 23, 2006

Challenged by the Appearance of the Stranger

The relative quiet at the Table Round made me realize that ye knights are sitting back sharpening thy lances, waiting for me to take a controversial stance on something so that thou can skewer me. Skewer away!

Several months of debate on the "problem" of illegal immigration. Most of our conservative brethren take the view reflected by the comments in this blog of Senator Bill Frist. Basically, they don't belong here, and we don't want them. The other side of the debate is hard to get a handle on, but at least one viewpoint that we should be able to relate to is held by the Catholic bishops of the United States...their view is summarized in the last paragraph of this story from the Catholic News Agency. Basically, we need to extend Christian charity to these strangers to our land.

I can't find Biblical support for the first viewpoint, and I find plenty for the second. We have plenty, they have little. Our children are safe and healthy, their's generally are not. We are fully employed (5% unemployment is full employment), they are begging on the streets for work. These are poor people who need a hand; they are not waging war with us, nor are they trying to subvert our faith, bomb our buildings, or steal from us, as some would assert.

As far as I can discern, these folks would be just as strong and upright Americans as any previous generation of immigrants has ever become. They have a strong faith in Christ and in family values. They work hard and pray hard. Sure, they look different, speak a different language, and impose a different culture on our cities. Is that really a bad thing?

I say all true Christians should embrace these new Americans-to-be, and I further assert that thou canst not prove me wrong by any part of God's Word submitted in the Spirit of our Lord, Christ and Saviour.

En garde!

Sir Carlos Reyes

23 comments:

  1. What other federal felonies would you have us offer amnesty for?

    We should enforce our laws as written. Somewhere there's something about Caesar and obeying our authorities put in place by God.

    sir don.....
    Knight of the Golden Horseshoe

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  2. I have mixed feelings on the issue of illegal immigration.

    One the one hand, the stranger is one of the groups we are admonished to be kind to, along with the widow and the orphan. Therefore, I think we should be merciful.

    On the other hand, should we reward illegal activity? If immigration law is not to be enforced, why should any law be enforced? Why should one immigrant, like a friend of mine, wait for months and go through endless hoops of paper work when another simply breaks the law?

    Another point is that illegal immigration creates a culture of deception. Illegal immigrants have to have papers so they pay someone to make up phony documents and then they are forced to lie about their immigration status.

    I think I like Bush’s proposal that is merciful to those already in the country yet it attempts to put a stop to illegal immigration. That is the way God is. He is merciful to the lawbreaker, yet, He enforces His law.

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  3. That is the way God is. He is merciful to the lawbreaker, yet, He enforces His law.

    Good point, Sir John.

    Perhaps Sir Jason can help me with a little history here. Was the immigration of Europeans into North America "legal" to the Native Americans?

    Were the subsequent 1776-1789 actions of the new "Americans" "legal" to their British government?

    Were the revolutionary 1835-1836 actions of Texican immigrants to Mexico legal to their Mexican government?

    Did the "legal" immigrations of millions of Africans into the United States in the 1700's and 1800's conform to the law of God?

    I don't think we (current American citizens) hold the high ground in a discussion of "legal" immigration. More accurately, our forefathers were all in the right place, at the right time.

    And these new illegal immigrants suffer mainly from a bureaucratic mess of an immigration process that would have stopped most of our own forebears from ever getting into this country. And current residents who want to take advantage of that system to, lets face it, cut off the flow completely.

    Thank God that He is merciful to the lawbreaker. Whose law were we talking about again?

    Sir C, looking into a different law book

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  4. What other federal felonies would you have us offer amnesty for?

    None that I can think of, Sir Don. What other law has 11 million of our neighbors in limbo as federal felons?

    What's the Golden Horseshoe? You wearing one around your neck now to go with that 12-carat diamond head knocker?

    Sir C

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  5. Sir Chuck.

    You pose some interesting questions to ponder. I knew the armed rider with the lance would have to appear and try to unseat me from my horse, not a terribly difficult task. :)

    Sir Chuck, if God appointed you King of the USA, what would be your policy? Should we open our borders freely to all, including the Chinese and the millions from India?

    Consider this: suppose the population of a neighboring nation is comprised of two classes of people.
    1. Law abiding people
    2. People who ignore laws

    Now suppose you deny access to all law abiding people and embrace only the law breakers? What kind of immigration would that bring? It would probably be good for Mexico, since the law abiders would be the only ones left. That is essentially our system in place. One way or another it has to be changed. I would rather have a system that simply welcomes all immigrants than one that encourages law breaking.

    God is very merciful, yet he does not condone law breaking.


    Sir John, the unseated knight

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  6. Perhaps Sir Jason can help me with a little history here. Was the immigration of Europeans into North America "legal" to the Native Americans?

    Were the subsequent 1776-1789 actions of the new "Americans" "legal" to their British government?

    Were the revolutionary 1835-1836 actions of Texican immigrants to Mexico legal to their Mexican government?
    _________________________________
    Sir Chuck's questions are worth thinking about. They bring up the reminder that immigration has for millenia been a source of tension for both the immigrant and the "imigree" feel their are very high stakes involved. In a sense they seem rhetorical rather then analytical and so answering them anylytically is not necessarily appropriate.

    The immigration of Europeans into Indian territory was neither illegal nor illegal. The Indians had no maps and surveys that granted them title to the continent and didn't know what the word continent means. They had customs, not laws and how much those customs impinged on European immigrants is debatable. There were no clear borders to define whose customs applied where-until such was decided by what is unfortunatly "the customary manner" among mankind. It was sometimes illegal according to European laws. And it may have been immoral. Even that is describing hundreds of thousands of separate instances conducted by hundreds of thousands of people acting on their own. To say encroachment was immoral invites the response, "which encroachments?". To say it had bad results is plausible, though then you must weigh out all factors involved-there are not many indians around today who would prefer to live in a wigwam, for instance. On the other hand not many then liked smallpox. So there you are. In any case the Indian Wars are a separate issue. The Europeans never claimed a desire to be live in Indian territory-they desired to make dubious territory(and sometimes territory which clearly belonged to the Indians) their own. The Indians never wondered about whether it was uncharitable to object to the Europeans presence. They simply settled it in the "customary manner". Which is more evidence for the doctrine of original sin, but does not apply to the Mexican immigration.
    The American Revoulution was not legal. No rebellion is legal; that is a matter of definition. Once the rebellion was started there was a de facto Colonial government that could claim to be "Caesar". After all the original Caesar was a usurper. So I suppose those that served the Colonial government could be said to be acting legally so long as they stayed within the boundries implied by their position-and in fact the British assumed that though they didn't say so. That is they waged war with the Americans more or less the same way they did against the French. However the instigators of the American Revoulution could hardly be said to act legally. Nor do I think they even acted any where justifyably as despite legend King George III wasn't a bloodthirsty tyrant, he was simply obnoxious sometimes, and more important politically unskilled. The American Revolution was essentially caused by London trying change to a governing policy that was more oriented to control from London. The immiediate trigger was taxation which the Americans claimed to be illegal, and an escalation from that. It was a pile of small annoyances rather then any obvious Tyranny. And people then were less shy about appealing to arms then we are today. It is hard to believe the American Revolution could take place today.
    And the same would apply to the Texans-though they hadn't yet had time to form a recognizable government before their war was over.
    All of these cases, especially the
    first are issues in which it is unclear what the law in fact was. This does not really apply here. The sovereignity of the US has not been seriously disputed since 1865.
    However one illuminating way to look at this is to think of America as a coffeehouse-the "Starbucks of State". At Starbucks customers politely wait their turn. What if all the customers rushed forward to grab their cups of coffee? The result would of course be that their would be a a big brawl, all the coffee would be spilled everywhere, and no one would get coffee. Likewise if to many immigrants come in at once, and in the wrong fashion it can be disturbing to the "Starbucks of State". It takes advantage of those that are waiting. It creates economic and social change faster then can be adjusted to. How damaging this can be debated on and on. But it is a question.
    Finnally are the illegals guests or citizens? If they are guests then they should respect the host. If they are citizens they should have responsibilities appropriate. The concept of citizen should imply more then resident. A citizen has a right to be protected or avenged by the state if mistreated by foreigners. He has a right to take part in the working of the state. And so on-more rights then simply come from being a human. And a citizen has responsibilities. He must pay taxes, and do such services as voting and jury. What happens when a non-citizen is to sit in judgment on a citizen because the state is to lazy to make distinctions?
    A guest has only such rights and responsibilities as are appropriate to being a guest. He has the right to be protected while he is a guest. And he has the responsibility to obey the rules set by the host.
    Finnally what defines charitable or uncharitable for the state is different then for individuals. The state has to deal with the competeing claims of millions of people. And it must give preference to it's own citizens-just as a lawyer must give preference to his own client. Lots of things the state does aren't charitable to the given individual primarily affected. Taxes aren't charitable. Conscription certainly isn't. But perhaps that is twisting the meaning of charity. Charity simply means love for God and your fellow-men. If the claims of several of your fellow-men clash, choosing between them is not uncharity.
    The real question is whether it is just and whether it is prudent. It is just for the state to write the terms on which immigrants can come. Prudence is more debatable. But it is also not something to have reciprocal protests over.

    Sir Jason the Longwinded

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  7. if God appointed you King of the USA, what would be your policy?

    Honorable Sir John:

    Your question here illustrates well the complexity of the issue.

    A king of the USA would have the responsibility and right to defend his kingdom as he sees the need. He could deploy his troops, shoot the immigrants on sight, or put them into forced labor at will. And all the subjects would say "It is the will of the King." Alternately, if he were a Christian king, he could be guided by the Holy Spirit to include an appropriate amount of charity in his decisions. And again, the people would defer to his generosity.

    However, the USA is not a kingdom, so the issue is much more complicated. For instance, some claim that our National Guard should be dispatched to the border, because defending the border is their primary role. If I accepted that as fact, how would I reconcile the reality that the governors of the individual states are free to use this means of defense, or not? We see that the governors of both Arizona and California have opted not to send significant portions of their National Guard at this point.

    Perhaps a more interesting question would be...If I were governor of Pennsylvania, would I send our PA National Guard to defend the border at Tijuana in the absence of California National Guard? I would have the right, would I not?

    Our country is a complicated place with conflicting and overlapping administration. In situations such as this, action usually prevails over debate and inaction. The illegal immigrants are only illegal to the recognizable jurisdiction that can identify, apprehend, and execute judgement on them. In absence of that, they have acted and continue to live in accordance to a more powerful law, the law of survival. In many cases, I am sure, they are praying to our Lord and God that He will protect them and arrange their steps so that they will find peace and prosperity in this land of the free.

    It is in the light of the power of survival action over indefinite political preference that I believe our current Christian president has responded to this situation. I believe he recognizes the Biblical virtue in respecting the struggle of these people, and he is not certain what his responsibility is with respect to the laws and actions of the USA. He is pledged to uphold the laws, and certainly he is not directing our immigration, border patrol, or national guard to do anything but uphold the law. But with respect to these individual folks in each individual circumstance, local authorities seem to be making those decisions on their own, and his sense is probably that is the way it ought to be handled in our country. In all cases, the strongest action will prevail.

    I guess it comes down to...if we had a national president that exercised the power necessary to shut down the border and sweep out all the illegal aliens, would that still be the democratic One Nation Under God that we cherish...or would it be the Kingdom of Sir John?

    Submitted in deference to the power of The Law...

    Sir C

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  8. Even that is describing hundreds of thousands of separate instances conducted by hundreds of thousands of people acting on their own. To say encroachment was immoral invites the response, "which encroachments?".

    Thanks, Sir Jason, for supporting my previous comment.

    So I suppose those that served the Colonial government could be said to be acting legally so long as they stayed within the boundries implied by their position-and in fact the British assumed that though they didn't say so.

    The Europeans never claimed a desire to be live in Indian territory-they desired to make dubious territory(and sometimes territory which clearly belonged to the Indians) their own.

    And the same would apply to the Texans-though they hadn't yet had time to form a recognizable government before their war was over.


    Action prevails, and God decides the victor! Is it not thoroughly demonstrated to be so throughout His entire Word?

    Sir C of the slow steed...

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  9. Sir Chuck,

    As always you bring our some interesting and important points.

    I think we agree several areas:

    1. We should show mercy.
    2. We are not to despise aliens, legal or not, as they are created by God

    We have issues, however, the most important one is that you seem to regard rule of law as something you can put aside if you believe it unfair. Now we get into God's law.

    " Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. "
    Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. " Rom 13:1-2

    God has established the laws of immigration and people who violate them are resisting God.

    "… they have acted and continue to live in accordance to a more powerful law, the law of survival."

    This is a very dangerous doctrine. It basically acts to deny the authority of law and, in turn acts to deny God's authority, since our law is established by God.

    The fact that the law is complex and has not always been applied fairly is irrelevant; that always has been the case, especially in the Roman days when the Holy Spirit directed Paul to write Romans 13.

    If I were king, very scary thought I know, I would pattern the immigration a little like salvation.

    1. I would require all illegals to sign a paper to the effect that they recognize U. S. law, or be returned. We certainly are required to recognize God's law.
    2. They would either become citizens or guest workers, depending on a number of things like how long they have been here and what their record has been in terms of being law abiding citizens. God allows us to become citizens of His kingdom.
    3. I would stop the flow of people coming in who show contempt of the law by ignoring all legal procedures. On the other hand, there would be a more efficient process allowing those who wish to come in to come in legally. This is also like salvation since no one can come to God except though the way God has chosen, namely Jesus.

    One difference, obviously there are many, between this plan and salvation is that God does not limit the number of people who can repent and come to His kingdom. We, I believe, have to have some limit on the influx of population.

    Sir John, searching for common grounds

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  10. None that I can think of, Sir Don. What other law has 11 million of our neighbors in limbo as federal felons?

    The key word is neighbors. Neighbors live in their own house, not yours. Let's make a simple assumption that you have 9 neighbors houses around yours. If 2 of the 3 southern neighbors decide to come live with you, then are you going to abide with them in limbo? If they ask and you allow or if you invite, then that's a different issue. If they show up in your living room in the middle of the night, then insist to stay. They cleaned the carpet, so why don't you feed them.

    Neighbors are neighbors, and guests are guests. Felons are felons. Lack of political will is missing. What does limbo have do with it?

    ...bureaucratic mess of an immigration process that would have stopped most of our own forebears from ever getting into this country.

    If we had laws abolishing slavery in 1776, then we'd have a lot less, too. So what?

    What's the Golden Horseshoe? You wearing one around your neck now to go with that 12-carat diamond head knocker?

    It's the only knighthood I have. If I had a diamond head knocker, I wouldn't have the bloody nose from running into corporate walls.

    sir don.....
    Knight of the Golden Horseshoe

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  11. you seem to regard rule of law as something you can put aside if you believe it unfair.

    Low blow, Sir John! I saieth no such thing. I simply take the position that no law is a true law unless it is fairly and demonstrably applied. Is this the case here?

    Great scripture, thanks...

    " Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. "

    Seems to me that God has granted authority to 11 million new Americans. Highly unlikely they're going back, isn't it?

    Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. " Rom 13:1-2

    Yes, any immigrant caught and deported under our laws should go back peaceably and suffer the consequences. That is the risk they take. If they resist the officers and challenge their authority, I would agree they bring condemnation on themselves.

    Yes, the law of survival is indeed very dangerous. That is why we (and a large percentage of the immigrants, I would bet) place our hope in Christ.

    I agree with King John's Rule # 1; not sure I see the need for 2 and 3.

    I believe, have to have some limit on the influx of population.

    Why is that, Sir John? Is not God sufficient to meet all our needs?

    If it gets to too crowded here for you, you could always move to Mexico :-)

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  12. Neighbors live in their own house, not yours.

    Not sure I can follow your analogical thrust here, Sir Don. Your house is your physical space,no argument there. Defend away, and keep all at bay ye will. However, if a person rents or buys another home here they have right to dwell there, don't they?

    If we had laws abolishing slavery in 1776, then we'd have a lot less, too. So what?

    So, we wouldn't have had a Civil War, or a whole race of disgruntled Americans 200 years later. Seems to me its never too late to start trying to make right, Biblical, Spirit-filled decisions in our collective actions.

    Collective actions spring from personal decisions. Right now, our personal decisions seem to be driven by angry people. Whether Christian or not, they aren't led by the Spirit when they're in anger about poor people improving their lives, even at their expense.

    Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.

    An inconvenient scripture.

    Sir C, bloodied but not beaten

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  13. I didn't say rent or buy your home.....

    They entered your home in the middle of the night without permission, "come live with you." They are no longer a neighbor. They are now an "unwelcome resident."

    Do you let them squat, or do you send them back across the street?

    sir don.....
    Knight of the Golden Horseshoe

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  14. Sir Don, you speak figuratively, I literally. The distinction is important in this case. By speaking figuratively, you make them guilty of invading your home. By staying literal, I find them guilty only of sneaking over and finding their own space.

    Questions of law should always be decided literally, should they not?

    By the way, I've not yet even touched on my belief that welcoming this new influx of immigrants, making their way legally possible, helping them assimilate into our culture, and proactively seeking out and creating jobs for them would be the wisest thing for our country to do.

    From observing our manufacturing industries for most of my career, I believe our country is suffering from a shortage of folks in what should be a healthy economic normal curve. The mean of our economic population has shifted so far toward "healthy" that the bottom of the curve is no longer populated by folks that are glad to take the lower paying jobs. This has resulted in wages (and salaries) that are too high for the quality of people that occupy them. (Boy, that sounded harsh; forgive me, Lord!)

    If we had a dramatic influx of lower wage citizens, who would not only gladly work for those wages, but would be productive and strive for the benefit of their future generations, our national economic engine would be firing on all cyclinders again. As it is, our engine is running lean, and it's pushing around a Cadillac (maybe a Hummer.) At the same time, we seem to be surprised that all the jobs are going to other places. Simple economic equilibrium, which we've lost in our country.

    Tough for capitalism to flourish without workers to exploit. (I'm not quoting Karl Marx, am I?)

    My son Charlie went out this weekend and got a job paying $6/hour to start. And he just turned 14! My daughter Allie makes so much money babysitting that I wouldn't be able to afford her if I had to pay her those rates. Tell me jobs are hard to get...

    Give me a boatload of illegal immigrants, and I'd be wealthy within a year. And they would be better off, too.

    And we'd all be thanking Christ for His blessings.

    If we weren't in jail, that is :-)

    Sir C, the always-blessed

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  15. Just got back from lunch, during which I heard O'Reilly giving governor Schwarzenegger (wow) a tongue-lashing for only sending 1000 troups to the border, and refusing to send an additional 1500 to the border in other states. (California has 20,000 National Guard, 10% are overseas, leaving 17-18,000 at the governor's disposal.)

    O'Reilly says that Arizona beefed up their border patrolling last month and it resulted in a 20% decrease in illegal border traffic.

    Good for them! Action, results! Of course, those particular results benefit the haves, not the have-nots...Sort of illustrates the Catholic priests' concerns, I guess.

    Sir C

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  16. "Low blow, Sir John! I saieth no such thing."

    Sir Chuck, If I was out of line, I most humbly ask your forgiveness. You are a faire knight and I would never want to offend you.

    Sir John, the penetant

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  17. from sir chuck - By staying literal, I find them guilty only of sneaking over and finding their own space.

    My analogy was figurative, a universe of one home with 8 neighbors. But you'd be okay with "neighbors" who behave that way?

    Okay, let's me literal. I'll give them space. But that's it. No citizenship, no state or federal aid, nothing. Yes, they have inalienable human rights, and access to our capitalist economy. They have to buy land, house, utilities, food, water and other necessities of life. Freedom is the freedom to starve. You don't have freedom, if you have expectations of others. TANSTAAFL!

    Your comments about the impact of illegals on the economy are empty. Either we're a nation with the rule of law or not.

    sir don.....
    Knight of the Golden Horseshoe

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  18. Sir Chuck said...

    Even that is describing hundreds of thousands of separate instances conducted by hundreds of thousands of people acting on their own. To say encroachment was immoral invites the response, "which encroachments?".

    Thanks, Sir Jason, for supporting my previous comment.

    So I suppose those that served the Colonial government could be said to be acting legally so long as they stayed within the boundries implied by their position-and in fact the British assumed that though they didn't say so.

    The Europeans never claimed a desire to be live in Indian territory-they desired to make dubious territory(and sometimes territory which clearly belonged to the Indians) their own.

    And the same would apply to the Texans-though they hadn't yet had time to form a recognizable government before their war was over.

    Action prevails, and God decides the victor! Is it not thoroughly demonstrated to be so throughout His entire Word?

    Sir C of the slow steed...

    8:47 AM
    Sir John said...
    _______________________________
    It is true that God decides the victor as Sir Chuck pointed out. That does not of course mean the victor was right. Two extremes must be reconciled. "Might makes right" is infamous. "Irredentism"-roughly the assumption that because an action in the past might have been unjust, therefore we must amend said injustice, even at the expense of causeing injustice today, is also wrong. For one thing almost every tribe, people, and kingdom in the world is the result of some usurpation-except the first one which of course no longer exists and is probably not even remembered. The crimes and follies of the past, cannot be used to justify crimes and follies today. Yet how long do we wait until the past becomes the past? Obviously a crime committed yesterday cannot plead this. What of last year? Last generation. Perhaps last century is a good guideline.
    In any case America's right to sovereignity over the territorys in question has been recognized by Mexico over a hundred years ago(though the manner in which the treaty was obtained does admittedly render it suspicious). Mexico has never tried very hard to reclaim it. Therefore we must say that California is part of US and under it's laws.

    My point about, "which encroachments" was as I said because it was describing a situation more complicated then is often assumed. There were dozens of Indian tribes, many of whom were nomadic. The colonists could often argue that they were taking empty territory and that the Indians claim to so wide a territory was presumptuous. A large part of the problem was that Indians tended to look on land as free to all-as white men looked on the ocean. This was a reflection of the nomadic lifestyle, but was impossible to farmers. When an Indian tribe claimed land, he was claiming a "sphere of influence" not claiming it the way a farmer would. Thus the Indian wars were to a large degree a matter of differing customs.
    On the other hand there were times when settlers were taking land that was so close to a tribes main base as to be clearly and obviously beyond the pale. Such an action might for instance be caused by a recent gold strike on land which a tribe inconveniently occupied.
    That is what I mean by the encroachments were neither legal or illegal. There were to many places where no law applied. As for whether they were immoral it depended on the situation. There was no Federal policy to take over the Indian territory because there was no policy at all. The government wavered between support for the settlers and attempts to controll settlements(which usually were lost in red tape). Thus the conquest of the west is better thought of as a phenomenon then as an act of aggresion. Individuals did immoral acts, but the country as a whole was mainly guilty of negligance.*
    One might ask, "can't you say the same about the Mexicans today". Well actually I am doing exactly that. I am desireing that those that immigrate according to the rules be treated differently then those who aren't.
    In any case the settleing of the west really isn't a fair comparison-there are to many variables.
    What might be a better comparison is to go back to Texas. In the prelude to the Texas revolt the Mexican government had invited settlers into territory that was previously empty but clearly under the control of the Mexican government. As the settlers were uncomfortable with Mexican law(one suspects any law)they became a frightful nuisance. This is not to say they were completly at fault for the following events-the dictator Santa Anna was a rascal's rascal. However this period is really more like what is happening now.
    At the same time as the immigration into Texas there was a simmilar immigration into California. It had similar results.


    Sir Jason the Longwinded




    *There was "Manifest Destiny" history seems to indicate that that was more a catchy phrase, probably said mostly by people back home in New England

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  19. One against three is not chivalrous. Fair sirs-is there none who will take Sir Chucks side?

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  20. Right, Sir Jason, I do seem to feel the weight of a dog pile here. It is as I expected. However, all ye dogs are barking with worldly logic and history. I can get enough of that from the din of the pack that call into O'Reilly, Hannnity, and that sage of the world, Michael Savage. I challenged for Biblical support for thy positions. The weight of the Word bears more pressure.

    Sir John has forwarded one scripture reference that has at least a tangiential validity. Are there more challenges from God's Word before I state His case for the wayward travelers?

    Sir Chuck, of the large but light burden of proof

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  21. sir chuck - I challenged for Biblical support for thy positions. The weight of the Word bears more pressure.

    Tts 3:1-2 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

    Do we have rule of law or not?

    1Sa 15:2-3Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember [that] which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

    Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

    I submit that God told Saul through Samuel to destroy the Amalek, but that don't seem real neighborly to me.

    As Americans or Christians, we are to be humble, just and merciful (Micah 6:8), but I don't see where that makes us a door mat or the welcome wagon.

    sir don.....
    Knight of the Golden Horseshoe

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  22. God and man's law

    "Rom 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God."

    Imperfect though governments are, they are established by God. God owns all the earth and gives it to whomever He pleases.

    "Rom 13:2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves."

    To resist earthly authority is to resist God and I deserve whatever punishment it get if I do that. To go 40 in a 30 mph zone is a sin and if I get a ticket, I deserve it, even if Portland is run by sinful people who take believe being gay is a thing to take pride in.

    "Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;
    Rom 13:4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil."

    Law enforcers are God's minister and law breakers fear them. It does not mean that all police officers are righteous. They do God's will any way by avenging crimes.

    "Rom 13:5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake."

    We should not only be concerned about punishment but about our conscience. We should feel guilty about running a stop sign, even when there is no one there.

    "Luk 2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth… Luk 2:3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city."

    A case could be made that this is a very foolish law, requiring a pregnant women to make an arduous journey. Yet Joseph and Mary obeyed and fulfilled prophecy by doing so.

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  23. Excellent points, Sirs Don and John. It is hard to refute God' plan to have us abide by the laws put in place by our government.

    I have a line of thought coming together that is taking me longer, and in a different direction, than first imagined. Scrambling to finish a paper I'm presenting in Poland next week so may not be able to pull together my offering to you for quite a few days. Since it will likely spur more discussion in different direction, I'll post it as a new post so that this excellent discussion doesn't get lost down here at the bottom of an old post.

    Until then, I submit!

    Sir Chuck, vanquished to return another day

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