Some Americans can still find a morsel of humor in the twisted crumbs that fall from the tables of our esteemed politicians in Washington. Mr. Trump has provided us with a tasty fragment of sardonic relief when he suggested that an overflow of illegal immigrants could be shipped to sanctuary cities. It has been a real hoot to watch the Dems attempt to reject the idea. Leftists invented and now own the present concept of safe harbors for the unlawful. But when their illogical reasoning turns to bite them in the posterior backside, they experience great difficulty in finding wiggle room.
Even the briefest consideration allows one to see the flawless logic of the President’s proposal. The Democrats refuse to offer any viable solution to the immigration problem even though the system is deluged with alleged asylum seekers. Detention centers are overcrowded and little can be done under existing law. But wait ---grace, love, compassion and mercy ride on liberal wings. These virtues are the foundation stones of leftist theology and politics; at least, so they say. The people that the Dems profess to care about should find solace and refuge in the very cities that have been designated to accommodate them. What could be better?
Mother Pelosi has called the plan cruel…surely she misspoke. What could possibly be cruel about sending the needy and forlorn to the epicenters of charity? Others have complained that San Francisco, Portland and Seattle are too great a distance for the weary to travel, but didn’t they walk from Central America all across Mexico? Wouldn’t an air conditioned bus or train be a piece of cake after such an ordeal?
It is reasonable to assume that most supporters of sanctuary cities would be horrified to know the basic concept of said communities stems from an Old Testament mandate. To be sure, it would be vexing for the Left to admit God is miles ahead of them. On the other hand, they have been known to cherry pick certain passages if they appeared to advance their agenda - albeit they generally lift them out of context. One of my seminary professors correctly reminded us frequently that “a test without a context is a pretext.” But if political gain is the motive—who cares? Certainly not the media!
In an effort to reach across the aisle with a generous spirit, I shall attempt to help our friends on the Left gain a Biblical grasp of their efforts in the hope that they will apply the entire doctrine of refuge. According to Numbers 35 and Joshua 20, the Jews were instructed to designate six cities, three on each side of the Jordan River, as “cities of refuge.” These cities were to serve as safety zones for those who were responsible for the death of another until a court could determine their guilt or innocence. If it was ascertained that the individual was guilty of murder, they were to be executed. If, on the other hand, it was concluded that the whole affair was an accident, the perpetrator escaped the death penalty but was considered culpable to the extent of manslaughter. His sentence was to remain in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest, upon which time he would be absolutely free. If during the time of containment the quasi criminal was located outside of his assigned city, an avenger of blood (a close relative of the deceased) had every right to slay the incarcerated.
I readily confess this is not an apples for apples comparison, but there is enough meat on the bones for some general observations. It’s not hard to imagine San Francisco’s mayor attempting to convince an audience of Conservatives that his city’s status is found in the Bible. Allowing that thought to capture our pondering, let’s ride that horse all the way to the barn.
Any person who has entered the U.S. without legal permission is illegal, thus guilty of criminal offense. What to do with them until their case is adjudicated is the problem. God has given us a pattern for relief. Three cites on each coast could remedy the difficulty. If it is determined to grant the offenders legal residence, let them remain in their assigned city until ---oh, let’s say, the death of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. After all, we are seeking a political solution, not a religious one. We simply refer to the Scriptures as a reference point of common sense.
Jewish tradition suggests that these cities were to be of easy access, and to have good and smooth roads to them and bridges where they were necessary. When there were any crossroads, they took care to set up posts with an inscription directing the way to the city of refuge. Shouldn’t we, as a nation, provide similar conveniences along the trail to help the unfortunate?
Perhaps the Bible has once again laid out a perfect prototype for action with both sides of the aisle finding some satisfaction. Conservatives, who tend to place greater credence in the Scriptures, might be pacified with a plan that finds some roots in God’s Word. And Liberals could once again boast of their compassion for the downtrodden. I dreamed that thousands of good, hard working Conservatives lined the southern border willing to transport the helpless in their personal vehicles to sanctuary cities. Mother Pelosi and friends were there to greet them with wonderful Welcome Wagon hospitality. But when I awoke the Right was still there, and the Left.. had left.