Thursday, April 13, 2006

The immigration issue: law or mercy?

Immigration. Talk about a current hot-spot! It seems that everyone who happens to get their voice heard falls plainly on one side or the other: Do we kick them out for breaking the law or do we accept them into the land of the free?
So where do you side?

As a Christian it is my belief that, when addressing issues such as this, we are to step back from politics, social trends, personal interest, and even the accepted conservative opinion before landing on one side or the other.

So, on one hand there is the law which deems illegal immigrants as, well, illegal. From a law standpoint, they should not be here. Aren't we as Christians called to uphold the law and those who enforce it?

On the other hand, upon hearing the stories of these people it is hard not to sympathize with their extreme hardships as well as commend their vigorous work ethic. Besides, above all, aren't we as Christians called to show compassion and mercy?

It is the weighing of these two issues which has forced me to ponder the Christian's roll in caring for the poor and downcast, from the homeless veteran to the illegal immigrant.

The difficulty falls upon the sort of law we live under. It seems as though all of the "caring" is mandated these days by the government; and while it is great to see compassion in government, I have to ask whether or not that makes a overall less compassionate individual. When a person sees their money being taken to support those who are receiving government funds, are they less likely to give their money away? There is almost a despising of the underprivileged; a sort of hostile attitude similar to the reaction in a child's heart who is forced to share. Do you think that child really cares for the feeling of the other child? Does forced sharing honestly promote compassion?

I think the average conservative republican Christian could go far in uniting forces with the democratic side on some of these issues. Perhaps it is because of the issue above or perhaps it is because of a reaction to the liberal's agenda on equality, but I think we Christians have drastically fallen behind in compassion.

I know it would be good for me to remove myself from the "politics" of these issues. Yes, I can put in my one vote, whatever that may be, but the bigger issue is in how I view my fellow human. Just because I may vote to enforce tighter boarders or stricter immigration laws does not mean that I should not reach out to those who are here illegally and make them feel "at home." Just because I vote to decrease state funding and tighten limitations on state-given assistance does not mean that I shouldn't feed the poor from my own pockets or provide shelter for the homeless.

What I am saying is this: I believe Christians must take the attitude of Christ (whose death we remember today). Don't let your qualms with how the government is run affect your Christian service. Perhaps if we as a church would step up in compassion, we wouldn't need the state's help. It is our calling after all.

Related Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments: