One of the most striking things about our current immigration debate is that it is not about immigration at all. The whole thing is classic misdirection. We are looking at the wrong things, we are measuring the wrong things, we are yelling about the wrong things, and we are building a wall around the wrong things.
Picture a great house, owned by a very wealthy family, and the amount of wealth we are talking is in the upper registers of fabulous. But let us say that the head of the house has died, and that his kids have become wasters, chasing skirts and cocaine, that kind of thing. His harried widow is trying hard to manage everything, but it has obviously gotten away from her. Now let us introduce the second element. I would like you to imagine that their grounds have turned into a massive tent city, and that every evening the homeless gather on the porch to bang their pans and cups together, demanding dinner. And then we introduce the third element—ostensible Christian activists, coming from the soft middle and hard left, who meet regularly with the widow in order to urge her to attain to greater heights in the duties of hospitality. But whatever else this is, it has very little to do with hospitality. That is not what we are talking about at all.
Or let us change the picture. Christians who weigh into the immigration debate by appealing to virtues like “generosity” are doing something other than what they think they are doing. It is not the biblical virtue of generosity to help the vultures find the dead armadillo. Generosity is not the word that springs to mind.
And before anyone waxes indignant about an implied comparison between “Mexicans seeking a better life” and “vultures,” please keep in mind that I also compared my beloved US of A to Roadkill Republic.
In the Abstract:
If we were having an immigration debate, which we are not, I would be in favor of free passage across borders, whether to pick apples or visit Disneyland. As a loyal Archenlander, I still want no checkpoints on the border with Narnia.
So if you want to know my utopian dreams, I do not want to live in a surveillance state, I wish I didn’t have to own a passport, the fact that the border patrol can set up checkpoints inside the United States and require identification from motorists traveling from New Mexico to Arizona is appalling, and some of my other thoughts on immigration can be found here and here.
Everything else being equal, immigration is a policy question that can be discussed and debated calmly, with common sense solutions being applied after the fact. But this is not an immigration crisis. This is a crisis caused by the fact that Americans, and their leaders, have turned away from Christ en masse. We turned to idols, but now our idols have grown old and are crumbling. The invaders have idols that are young and vigorous.
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world . . .
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
An Important Caveat:
I do not believe that America is a new Israel, and I say this because of all the passages from Deuteronomy I am about to quote and apply. I believe that they are applicable, not because of any special status that we have in God’s redemptive economy, but rather because I believe that God is unchanging in His character, and consistent in His governance of the world, and I also believe that people obey or disobey God in remarkable consistent patterns.
When you look at empires in senescence, you see the same thing over and over. You see it in the Torah, you see it in the historical books, you see it in the Greco/Roman period, you see it with the British Empire, and you see it now. It turns out that, everywhere you go, God is not mocked. Everywhere you go, a man reaps what he sows. And yet we are filled with indignation, draw ourselves up to our full height, and demand to know why we were not informed. But being not informed and remaining stubbornly, willfully ignorant are not the same things. We do not know what is happening to us because we are blinded by our insolent stranglehold on our precious sins. We do not know what is happening to us because we refused to obey the gods of the copybook headings.
Deuteronomy and Immigration:
A column of immigrants can be lined up outside your door for two reasons. The first reason is that your land is healthy and filled with opportunity, and they want to be assimilated into that health. Their aspirations are spelled like opportunity, and not like opportunism.
“Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” (Deut. 4:6–8).
They are attracted to the blessing that are consistent with righteousness. They are filled with admiration, and so they come. They are like the Queen of Sheba when the heart went out of her.
But the second reason comes about when a wealthy nation, a previously blessed nation, has turned away from God into gross idolatry. The chastisements of God are falling down around them heavily, and consequently there is an opportunity for spoil. The italics below are mine.
“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee . . . The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee . . . The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail” (Deut. 28:15, 28–29, 43-44).
Look at Europe being overrun by Muslim immigration, and then look again at that phrase “the Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart.” Why then is everyone shouting at the blind man, “Why can’t you see?”
Apart from a massive reformation and revival, a wall will do nothing but put the demolition of America into slow motion so that we can all see it better. And those who love God more than life itself, more than the American way of life itself, will rejoice in the judgments of God that are quite obviously terrible and true.
“Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things . . . And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it” (Deut. 28: 47, 63).
The alternative, the only alternative, is for us to repent of our worship of Mammon, to repent of the slaughter of the unborn, to repent of our celebration of sexual uncleanness, Having repented, our duty is to turn back to God in the name of Jesus, the one who was crucified and raised on behalf of arrogant losers like us.