Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Way To Go Arizona!

There's been a lot of hoopla over this new Arizona immigration law that will take effect later this summer. The violence and hate that is normally said to be a trait of the Tea Party protesters (falsely) has been common in the protests of those who oppose this legislation. Critics have been taking pot shots at it such as Peter Spiro, a Temple University law professor who said that the law sends "a clear message that Arizona is unfriendly to undocumented aliens." So? How is that a bad thing? I mean, being unfriendly is rarely cool, but to be unfriendly to those who willfully break the law? That's supposed to be something for which anyone should be ashamed? What the hell has happened in this country?

Michael Medved, if I'm understanding him correctly, thinks this law, if supported by conservatives, will drive Hispanic support more in the direction of the Democratic party. I don't get that. Conservatives will lose support (or rather, not increase support) of the Hispanic community because they stand for the rule of law? Is that it? So are we supposed to be like the left who, rather than insist on proper behavior will alter the understanding of right vs wrong so as not to lose votes? I'd rather the country comes crashing down around us rather than to "compromise" on righteousness like that.

Medved thinks that because even legal residents of Hispanic background might know someone who is here illegally, perhaps even a relation, that they cannot be reasoned with regarding the need to follow proper procedures for entering this country and availing one's self of its bounty.

So what's so bad about this bill, anyway? I've looked it over and haven't found anything over which anyone should be alarmed. It basically says that henceforth, Arizona law enforcement will enforce the law. That's it. It states that cops can, with reasonable suspicion, insist that a person provides proof that he is here legally. That's already required, but what has been happening is that cops around the nation are being prevented from making such inquiries.

Indeed, Obama is said to have called for a cut in border enforcement, a stop in ICE raids and is planning to propose what's sure to be, another amnesty bill dressed up as immigration reform. And how's that fence coming along?

Here's the deal: We have laws for entering this country. They need to be obeyed. Period. Those who don't obey them, never mind just how hard working they are or how much they wish to provide for their families, should be deported. If they came through proper channels, then they wouldn't be deported. It's that simple. No. I'm not saying the immigration rules provide a simple means of entry. I'm saying that doing things by the way the law is structured will prevent deportation.

Here's more of the deal: We have every right and duty to regulate who enters our nation. It does not serve us to have open borders where there is no oversight as to who is or isn't here and why they came, what their intentions are, etc. If there happens to be more people wishing entry than our system is set up to allow in a given year, that's just too damned bad. They have to wait or prove they are more worthy than the next immigrant.

The Arizona law also prohibits other laws that might interfere with the ability of law enforcement to enforce the immigration laws. This is a good thing as it prevents any Arizona municipality from becoming a "sanctuary city". Some lefty mayor looking for more votes won't be able to game the system in order to win election.

Some, like Medved, wonder what will happen once this law is in effect. Will profiling take place? I hope so. But not only of the racial variety, but of the linguistic variety. Anyone who can't speak English should be under suspicion of being illegal. It's only logical. Are Hispanics now expected to carry papers, like the Jews in 1930's Germany? Not exactly. But aren't we all required to carry identification when we drive or seek to do various business? And if we are arrested for any reason, aren't we expected to identify ourselves with our legal names, and legal places of residence? I can easily provide a birth certificate if one is requested, as it has been for the last dozen or so jobs for which I applied. Why should it be any different for someone suspected of being here illegally, whether that person is Hispanic or not? And look, like most terrorists are youngish Arabs, most illegals are Hispanic looking/sounding. No, not all, but the Polish illegals will get theirs eventually as well.

What will we do with them? Are we to round them all up, and if so, where do we put them and how do we transport them? Stupid question. Who says that we have to get them all right away? Who says that once we show we are no longer going to protect illegals, but follow the law, that many of them won't start leaving of their own accord just to prevent the major hassle? And really, as far as transporting them, how did they get here in the first place? So they ride a crowded bus. Big deal. Many rode in the back of a trailer sitting on the floor. Some merely walked across. We can round them up, lock them up until we can transport them all on our own terms and timetables. If our facilities get crowded with illegals awaiting deportation, we'll just back off on the round ups until the facilities are emptied.

What of the children? Some are born here and are Americans! Assuming there are no legal Americans willing to take them in, they simply go back to their parent's country of origin with their parents.

This new Arizona law, for all intents and purposes, only does what existing laws are supposed to be doing. Enforcement. I applaud the Arizona governor for signing this bill. I hope more states adopt the law as well. The reform of our immigration policy must begin with enforcement of existing laws. It must begin with strengthening and securing our borders. All illegals must be deported and made to stand in line behind all those who are seeking entry in the legal manner, if any still exist.

93 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

So are we supposed to be like the left who, rather than insist on proper behavior will alter the understanding of right vs wrong so as not to lose votes?

Who decided that not welcoming aliens and foreigners was not "proper behavior?" I know we, the people, have decided that people coming here from Mexico or El Salvador or Canada (not so much Canada, though) is illegal, but why is it wrong?

That is, I find it odd that Christians would be so strong in support of anti-immigration legislation. Surely the Bible readers out there are familiar with how strong a theme it is in the Bible to be welcoming to foreigners, not treating them harshly.

The dominant principles of the legislation are most succinctly given in two passages: He "loveth the [foreigner] in giving him food and raiment" (Dt 10:18); "And if a [foreigner] sojourn with thee (variant "you") in your land, ye shall not do him wrong. The [foreigner] that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were [foreigners] in the land of Egypt"

source

Beyond that angle on this point, I am not clear on the wording of the law. It sounds too vague to be constitutional. If someone "appears" suspicious? What does that look like?

The law:

"For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency…where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…"

I'm just not seeing how that is extremely vague. "reasonable suspicion?" What does that look like?

Craig said...

Dan,

Are you really suggesting that laws in the US be made in conformance with Biblical principal/OT commands?

I'm not sure from your comment, but you are OK with the duly constituted authority actually enforcing existing US law?

Dan Trabue said...

Are you really suggesting that laws in the US be made in conformance with Biblical principal/OT commands?

No, not exactly. I disagree with our current immigration laws. But I'm not saying "We ought to make our laws match ancient Israel's laws." However, not only do I disagree with our current immigration laws, I'm not sure how smart they are. I have no problems with reasonable rules about immigration, but I just don't think crossing the border is a crime akin to theft or anything serious. More like minor trespassing or jaywalking.

But my point was not about immigration laws per se, but about why so many Christians get so fired up about them. I can see (although I might disagree) why a non-Christian might want harsh immigration laws, but it just seems so counter-biblical that I find it hard to believe that many bible-believers would be strongly in support of harsh immigration laws.

Are you suggesting that biblical principles are NOT good standards for US law? I guess you are aware of how constant and strong this message is in the Bible - the whole notion of assisting and welcoming foreigners?

(To be clear: I'm opposed to any laws that are created solely to comply with "biblical standards." If someone thinks the Bible is opposed to gay marriage and thus, they lobby for a law outlawing gay marriage solely based on what they think the Bible says - not for any civic reason, but for purely religious reasons - I think that would be a bad law. You?)

I'm not sure from your comment, but you are OK with the duly constituted authority actually enforcing existing US law?

I disagree with the laws as they are and would like to see them changed. But this SEEMS to me to be going beyond the laws. It SOUNDS like they're saying "IF WE THINK you 'look suspicious,' that gives us all the reason we need to demand identification." And I can hardly blame folks for questioning whether "look suspicious" is code for "are brown, black or speak with a funny accent." What DOES a "reasonable suspicion" look like?

Imagine this: Craig is out with his children. Let's pretend they're adopted from Latin America and thus, are obviously darker than Craig. Is that a "reasonable suspicion" ("Is that white man smuggling latinos into our country???")? AND, if Craig had just gone out to the park and didn't have his driver's license with him, the police can then arrest him. Would that be right?

My point is that this seems entirely vague. I can't see how such vague language could be constitutional. Perhaps this is just because I'm not a legal expert. That's why I'm asking the question.
What does that mean? How do we know what "reasonable suspicion" is? It sounds like a way of allowing the police just to stop anyone they wish and demand ID and possibly arrest them if they're not satisfied.

Stan said...

A coworker here was shocked. "They've changed the immigration laws!" No, they haven't. This new Arizona law isn't about immigration. It's not about people south of the border. It's not about who should or should not be allowed to cross the border. Why it keeps getting framed as an "immigration" issue is beyond me.

On the day that the governor signed the law, the train home from work was packed with protesters. They were complaining. "You know, all of us are immigrants!" Yes, indeed (with a few exceptions, as the one young Native American woman pointed out). That's not the point. The key word here is "illegal" and apparently it is wrong, wrong, wrong to enforce laws like this.

If people want to change the rules, do it. If they want to make it legal for anyone at all to come in, the question goes away. It's not about immigration laws. It's about people breaking the law. (And, oh, by the way, according to studies in our state, 75% of the violent crime is due to people who have already demonstrated a willingness to violate our laws. We're #1 in kidnapping because of the people who have demonstrated that willingness. It's not a small issue here in this state.)

When the President assures us that we're wrong headed for trying to enforce federal law, I don't know what to think.

4simpsons said...

Good points, Marshall. As Stan noted, the key word is "illegal." Groups like Sojourners pretend that we should just open the borders and let anyone and everyone in because that is what the Bible says. Ridiculous. I'm all for controlled immigration. But why give preferences to those who break in illegally? What if India and China send one boatload after another here with no restrictions? Are U.S. citizens obligated to give them clothes, food, education and health care? Why not leave them where they are and just send money from our unlimited pot of gold (sarcasm intended).

Dan Trabue said...

I don't believe that anyone has complained about enforcing laws. What the complaints are, the ones I'm hearing and raising, are the legality of this law. Again, WHAT does "reasonable suspicion" look like and who gets to make that call?

Does it not concern anyone here the sheer volume of biblical passages that warn against treating the foreigner unkindly and of failing to welcome foreigners seem contrary to our laws?

Jim said...

I guess you haven't heard about the American citizen truck driver who was stopped, handcuffed and had to call his wife to bring his birth certificate to prove that a brown-skinned person was actually a native born US citizen. I'm sure the same thing would have happened to Sean O'Malley.

Good thing he wasn't born in Hawaii!

Marshall Art said...

First of all, I would ask what's so wrong with our current immigration laws, other than the fact that they've been so poorly enforced for so long? What's "harsh" about them?

Secondly, there's very little problem that anyone has with LEGAL immigrants, other than those who don't learn the language (and that's a legitimate beef considering how important communication is). Instead, there's this perception that this law will give racist cops just the ticket they need to needlessly harrass people who look Hispanic. Why would they? What profit is there in taking off on just anybody? Right now, there is already plenty of situations where cops make judgement calls about whether someone is suspicious or not. I can't see that cops will go out of their way to harrass just for the sake of harrassing.

Imagine for a moment an actual racist cop on the job. How does it serve him to harrass actual citizens? Does he get brownie points for pissing off legal immigrants? Does he get any for pissing off his superiors by drawing constant complaints? This law simply gives cops the right to demand proof of citizenship or legal status of any kind in order to maintain some semblance of control over the illegal situation in Arizona. If they stop someone for a standard traffic violation and the dude has no ID and can't speak English, why shouldn't his status be questioned? In many places it can't be, as if there's something wrong with the concept.

We have no idea how many illegals are actually in the country. Only guesses. This law more importantly than allowing law enforcement to determine status of those suspected, it prevents laws from being formed to interfere with law enforcement's duty in acting appropriately when dealing with a suspect who isn't here legally.

What's more, no Biblical verse justifies allowing people to enter illegally and then demanding that they be accepted as if they came here properly. How we treat legal immigrants and visitors or those on work visas, etc, more than proves our adherence to what those Biblical verses encourage. But apprehending, restraining and then deporting those who snuck in is not treating aliens "harshly" any more than apprehending, restraining and incarcerating thieves would be. It's merely justice meted out for crimes committed, which in this case is illegal entry into the USA.

cont--

Marshall Art said...

As to current laws, I ask again what about them is harsh or unjust or outdated or any other negative some wish to apply? We have a number we feel is a proper amount of people our system can handle being let in. We have an interest in determining who gets to come in and who doesn't. And right now, all who enter legally are required to keep on their persons their proof of their legal status, such as green cards or work visa papers. The Arizona law was crafted to mimic the federal law, to do what the federal law is supposed to be doing. It's not designed to allow any cop to simply demand papers from anyone walking by anymore than the federal law does.

As far as I'm concerned, this law is a good one and more states should do the same. When the laws are enforced, the problem of illegal invasion and all the burdens it puts upon the nation will soon dissipate as being here illegally becomes too much of a risk.

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

Too bad the link didn't have a video interview of this guy. It might have indicated a guy who speaks like a foreigner. That sounds bad to some, I'm sure. But for ICE agents in a state with the problems Arizona has, to question ANY Hispanic is not state terrorism, but good police work. Does the guy speak with a thick accent? I'm in Illinois and I've dealt with many citizens of Hispanic ethicity who speak with an accent. Is it a pain in the ass for legals to go through it? I have no doubt it is. But when certain behaviors are common from amongst a particular group, it isn't evil to scrutinize members of that group more closely, it's logical. MOST of the illegals are Hispanic. Some Hispanic citizens will be suspected wrongly, but that's merely unfortunate.

Look. When I was younger, I had the misfortune to be stopped on several occasions because I resembled someone the cops were looking for. I'm a white guy. It was a pain in the ass to be suspected so often. I had to have my car searched more than once, only to be told that I could go. So what? I had nothing to hide. I showed them my ID as well, but they searched anyway. It happens.

I would also say that the article in your link suggestst the Arizona law is stiffer than the federal law. I don't think so. And it hasn't even gone into effect yet. The ICE guys were doing what they always do anyway and the Arizona law doesn't enter into it.

Furthermore, I don't know anything about the periodical in which this story appears. It seems to make assumptions about the motivations of the ICE agents. It suggests there was nothing that motivated them to be suspicious of this trucker. It suggests they just f'd with him out of the blue. Without their side of the story, I remain skeptical. I'm gonna go out on a limb and wonder if this periodical is of a leftist slant until I can take the time to find out otherwise. The story is just too one sided. That's typical of lefty rags.

Marshall Art said...

Jim,


Here's a little counterpoint to your sob story of unjust harrassment by ICE agents.

BenT - the Unbeliever said...

To me the problem is that this law sets the precedent that a baseless suspicion is sufficient for search and questioning. If this law is affirmed how long until some city or state says that police can pull over any car that looks "suspicious" to search for drugs?

This is the first step away from "innocent until proven guilty" towards the mantra "suspicion equals guilt."

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

What's more, no Biblical verse justifies allowing people to enter illegally and then demanding that they be accepted as if they came here properly. How we treat legal immigrants and visitors or those on work visas, etc, more than proves our adherence to what those Biblical verses encourage.

What the Bible has to say about how the nation of Israel was to treat foreigners...

Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.

Ex 22

Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.

Ex 23

Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God...

When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Lev 19

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.

Lev 23

If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.

Lev 25

The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.

Num 15

And I charged your judges at that time: Hear the disputes between your brothers and judge fairly, whether the case is between brother Israelites or between one of them and an alien.

Deut 1

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. God defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.

Deut 10

At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Deut 14

Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns...

Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge...

When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.

Deut 24


cont'd...

Dan Trabue said...

When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. Then say to the LORD your God: "I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them."

Deut 26

Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.

Deut 27

The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

Psalm 146

If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place

Jer 7

This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

Jer 22

See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood. 7 In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the alien and mistreated the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths...

The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice.

Eze 22

[God talking about dividing the land in which Israel will settle...]

You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance

Eze 47

Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.

Zec 7

"So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.

Mal 3


...For example.

Over and over, some simple expectations are placed upon Israel about how they treat foreigners...

1. Treat them as a native
2. Do not opress or mistreat them.
3. Israel was to welcome them and treat them as "one of [their own] native born."
4. Israel was to provide food, resources, even land! for them so that they "continue to live among" them.

Our treatment of foreigners (along with the poor, etc) is even tied to curses and promises - those who mistreat, fail to welcome, oppress the poor and alien will be cursed and those who treat them with justice and welcome will be rewarded "Then I will let you live in this place..."

These even appear to be rules that are specifically a "lasting ordinance for generations to come..." as opposed to some temporary idea.

Dan Trabue said...

So, returning to Marshall's statement...

Marshall said...

What's more, no Biblical verse justifies allowing people to enter illegally and then demanding that they

be accepted as if they came here properly. How we treat legal immigrants and visitors or those on work

visas, etc, more than proves our adherence to what those Biblical verses encourage.


I'm not sure that we can justify biblically criminalizing immigration. There is no biblical support for such an idea. Instead, the repeated and repeated and repeated idea is that we are to welcome - and even provide for - foreigners, specifically poor foreigners.

That's my question to Bible-believing folk who are strong on limited immigration laws: Do you read these verses and still feel comfortable making coming into our country illegally a crime? Or put it another way: Those poor and desperate needy folk of other nations who come to our great nation seeking to find enough food to feed their poor families, do you really think the bible supports making that behavior a crime?

And let me repeat myself - I'm not saying that we ought to make our laws based on what some think the Bible says just because that's what they think the Bible says. I'm not advocating religious-based legislating. I'm just asking Bible believers if they don't find the biblical case for how God expected God's people to treat the poor foreigner to be in opposition to our laws?

Edwin Drood said...

Dan, after all the stuff you've thrown out of the OT (war, atrocities, punishment for homosexuality) you really should lay off the references.

We do have ways for people to immigrate, all we ask is for background checks and some heath checks. It's not unreasonable (or unGodly) to consider the safety of the people already living in the US.

The funny thing is that Democrats today are using the same arguments Democrats did for slavery. "They are better off here", "Regular people won't do the work they do", "It's so much cheaper for them to do it".

When are Liberals going to reconcile the fact that they want to exploit the mexicans terrible situation for cheep labor?

Bubba said...

Dan, in our earlier discussion, you never justified your position that Christ completely "set aside" the principle of proportional retributive justice. In fact you never returned to that discussion: you didn't respond to a lengthy excerpt that explicitly disproved your guess that John Stott believes the principle of lex talionis is no longer in effect (see his comment on Mt 7:1), and you've been eerily silent about the overwhelming evidence that your understanding of Matthew 5 is completely off-base.

Supposedly you're a humble guy, open to correction, but you don't take seriously a persuasive argument against your current understanding of Scripture. And you say you love the Bible, and yet your current understanding of the text has you concluding that Christ "set aside" parts of Scripture.

I bring all this up here, and I'm writing you in the context of that conversation, because I think you add to your hypocrisy by appealing to Scripture ONLY when it can be used to advance your political agenda.

Just how do you know that Exodus 22 is still relevant when you think Christ "set aside" parts of Exodus 21?

What makes you so sure that Leviticus 25 still holds true today, when you think Christ has "abolished" part of Leviticus 24?

You write, "These even appear to be rules that are specifically a 'lasting ordinance for generations to come...' as opposed to some temporary idea."

Well, so is the idea that God has the right to take human life whenever and however He chooses, which we see from Genesis 6:7 to Revelation 9:15, but you've never been able to affirm that idea, choosing instead to imply that even God Himself is morally restricted in when and how He takes life that He Himself created, sustains, and owns.

And, in Matthew 19, Jesus Christ Himself taught that the purpose of marriage -- a MAN becoming one flesh with his WIFE -- is a lasting principle rooted in our being created male and female "in the beginning," but you believe that God blesses "gay marriage."

(For what it's worth, I doubt anyone here supports "a law outlawing gay marriage." We merely affirm the traditional and biblical definition of marriage; "gay marriage" is nothing but a contradiction in terms, as nonsensical as square circles and chaste adulterers. We're not radicals trying to "outlaw" something that has long existed, but are instead opposed to the radicals who are trying to pervert the traditional institution of marriage.)

Here, you quote Leviticus 19, but it's not clear why you think this chapter is relevant when you dismiss parts of chapters 18 and 20.


The passages you mention are worth examining, but no one should believe that you really submit to the Bible's teachings: you champion what you can use to advance your progressive political agenda, and you ignore, downplay, and even dismiss the rest.

Bubba said...

And, Dan, you should be more honest in stumping for your political agenda.

"And let me repeat myself - I'm not saying that we ought to make our laws based on what some think the Bible says just because that's what they think the Bible says. I'm not advocating religious-based legislating. I'm just asking Bible believers if they don't find the biblical case for how God expected God's people to treat the poor foreigner to be in opposition to our laws?"

If you don't think biblical morality should have any influence on American laws, the answer to your question is irrelevant.

Obviously your position is that the Bible and our laws are in opposition, but if we shouldn't legislate based on our religious beliefs, what does it matter?

Maybe you should just be honest: you like invoking the Bible when it can be used (rightly or wrongly) to advance your political agenda regarding welfare, immigration, and pacifism, but you still want to feel free to invoke the spectre of theocracy when political conservatives appeal to the same text in the defense of policy positions with which you disagree.


About your honesty and transparency -- frequent issues -- you write, "I have no problems with reasonable rules about immigration," but it's not at all clear what you think those reasonable rules ought to be.

You apparently don't think that our border should be secure, since you think illegally crossing the border is like "minor trespassing or jaywalking."

You apparently think that we should provide immigrants with access to our welfare programs, since you boldface a passage from Scripture about the provision for food, mention that Israel provided food, and mention that people now come to America for food.

You mention nothing about any restrictions on immigration -- such as sheer numbers or criminal records -- and nothing about even having a process for immigration.

Instead, you're engaging in demagoguery against those who believe we ought to enforce the laws regarding that process, by suggesting that we oppose all immigration outright.

"I'm not sure that we can justify biblically criminalizing immigration. There is no biblical support for such an idea."

But the discussion here isn't about criminalizing ALL immigration: what we're discussing is enforcing the laws that regulate immigration.


You're more honest -- but also more incoherent -- when you ask, "Do you read these verses and still feel comfortable making coming into our country illegally a crime?"

"Coming into our country ILLEGALLY" [emphasis mine, choice of words yours] is already a crime.

Hence the word, "ILLEGALLY."

When you do something illegally, you've committed a crime. Our position isn't re-criminalizing already illegal behavior, but merely enforcing the laws that made the behavior illegal in the first place.

I wonder, Dan, where the Bible justifies disregard for the rule of law.

Bubba said...

Dan, on one other note, it seems to me that your understanding of American values is as poor as your grasp of Scripture.

You ask:

"Those poor and desperate needy folk of other nations who come to our great nation seeking to find enough food to feed their poor families, do you really think the bible supports making that behavior a crime?"

Once again, the question is not about the complete restriction of immigration, but its regulation: whether we should have rules (you say we should, but you do so implausibly) and whether we should actually enforce those rules.

(The thrust of your question would undermine enforcement, not only of our immigration laws, but of our laws criminalizing theft and acts of violence -- so long as those "poor and desperate needy folk" were acting out of a search for food.)

But, historically, at least before the growth of the welfare state, people didn't come here for food.

They came here for freedom.

The American dream isn't material security through government largesse: it's the opportunity that comes when government largely gets out of the way.

People haven't come here "to find enough food to feed their poor families," even through social welfare programs, but TO EARN A LIVING so that they can provide for themselves.

The founding principles of liberty and the American dream of opportunity are ultimately undermined by the apparently massive welfare state that you support.

Our nation has prospered because of freedom, including economic freedom, but you have no problem slamming the free market as greedy and oppressive.

You pay lip service to "our great nation," but you don't have the first clue about what makes our nation great.


Along the same lines, and back to the subject of Scripture, the Bible is clear that our salvation is caused by Christ's death, but you deny that teaching. You can make a lot of noise about preaching the gospel, but you deny what really makes it "good news" -- that God justifies us JUSTLY, because Christ died for our sins and for our forgiveness (Mt 26:28, Rom 3:24-25, I Cor 15:3).

If I were to give you the benefit of the doubt, which I can no longer do, I could attribute the behavior to ignorance, but it's still dangerous.

If someone believes in our great nation without understanding what makes our nation great, he is liable to support something that undermines that greatness -- almost as much as someone who is actually antagonistic toward what makes our nation great.

Likewise, if someone proclaims the good news without really understanding what makes it good, he is liable to omit what is absolutely essential and subsequently preach a different gospel altogether.

Dan Trabue said...

Edwin said...

after all the stuff you've thrown out of the OT (war, atrocities, punishment for homosexuality) you really should lay off the references.

I haven't "thrown out" anything. I've done Bible study to discern what is and isn't relevant for today, what is and isn't God's Will for us today. To the best of my poor, flawed ability, this is what I have done. It's what we all do.

And that's why I am asking you all how you reconcile US immigration laws with OT commands about how to treat foreigners. I'm curious how you get "it's okay to lock 'em up and deport them" from these biblical principles I've provided.

Edwin said...

When are Liberals going to reconcile the fact that they want to exploit the mexicans terrible situation for cheep labor?

Unfortunately, it IS true that many corporations and individuals will gladly exploit cheap labor. That would be an instance of the sort of injustice against foreigners we ought to watch for. However, I see no evidence to suggest that this is a "liberal" problem. I know of no liberals who wish to do such.

Marshall Art said...

Well said Bubba. I totally concur and between you and Edwin left with little else to add. "Little", but not "nothing".

I wonder if any of those many Bible verses assume the alien is a relatively decent, law-abiding soul who has not committed any crimes or broken any laws to get to where he is among the Hebrew people. Would all those verses apply equally to an alien who robbed or lied or cheated or whored his way to Israel? If laws of Israel were broken in order to live amongst the Jews, would the Jews be obligated to do all those meany verses suggest?

The current immigration laws include, I firmly believe, specific steps one must take to enter and take advantage of all the United States has to offer. Sneaking in so as to avoid those steps is breaking the law. It is also unjust (socially) to cut in line. All reforms that have been suggested since the last administration and what is coming out of the mouths of liberals pretending there is some great evil afoot in our immigration laws and the hearts of those of us who demand they be respected, are an affront to all who have been trying to enter via the proscribed protocols. I reject any form of "fines" that are no more than a way around those proscribed procedures for entering the country. I haven't heard of any reform idea (that provides "a path to citizenship") that would not lead to more illegal entries. There is already a path to citizenship, as I have said before: it begins on the other side of the border and is populated by law-abiding foreigners that will be welcomed by most, if not all Americans.

You care about the poor and ill-fed of other nations? Work harder, make more money and donate generously to charitable organizations that provide food for such people. Write to their leaders and encourage them to adopt American ideas of conservative free market principles that have made our country prosperous. Encourage others to do the same.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

Dan, in our earlier discussion, you never justified your position that Christ completely "set aside" the principle of proportional retributive justice. In fact you never returned to that discussion: you didn't respond to a lengthy excerpt that explicitly disproved your guess that John Stott believes the principle of lex talionis is no longer in effect (see his comment on Mt 7:1), and you've been eerily silent about the overwhelming evidence that your understanding of Matthew 5 is completely off-base.

I'm still considering Stott's position. I'll have to do that in my own time to the best of my ability. I hope you'll understand.

Bubba...

Just how do you know that Exodus 22 is still relevant when you think Christ "set aside" parts of Exodus 21?

What makes you so sure that Leviticus 25 still holds true today, when you think Christ has "abolished" part of Leviticus 24?


Exactly because Christ "abolished" and "set aside" some parts, for one, but never set aside the demands for justice for the foreigner. What "parts of Exodus 21" or Lev 24 do you refer to?

Exodus 21 says "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything... If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free."

I don't think ANY of that is relevant today. Partially because of NT teachings. Beyond that, just because of plain common sense. These are obviously not rules that apply today. They are against our notions of justice and righteousness. Just because it may have been a good thing for a slave owner to set a male slave free but keep his wife and children as slaves back then, does not means it is STILL a moral good. In fact, we reject such "morality" as an atrocity, now.

Even though Jesus nor the Bible ever reject that rule specifically as no longer valid or moral, we can safely make that statement today. Wouldn't you agree?

Marshall Art said...

(Just to be clear, though not to suggest a tangential subject upon which to distract, I DO prefer that "gay" marriages be illegal, outlawed or at the very least, offically discouraged and not legally recognized. If they want to live together and pretend, that's their business. But those of us who fully understand the truth so well shouldn't be made to treat their unholy unions as legitimate. Just sayin'. Carry on.)

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

you quote Leviticus 19, but it's not clear why you think this chapter is relevant when you dismiss parts of chapters 18 and 20.

That's a fine question. WHY would some of us read "A man shall not lie with a man, those who do must be killed," and assume that this means any and all gay behavior and thus embrace that first half of that line, but reject the second half about killing them? WHY would some of us think that concern for foreigners, being welcoming to them and feeding them, even providing land for them is STILL a valid concept but reject the notion of killing a child who curses their parents?

WHY do any of us accept SOME of the passages and not other passages that may just be a few words away?

I can't answer for anyone but me. My answer...

1. Rules in the OT were for Israel in a specific time and place. They are NOT universal rules necessarily.
2. SOME of the rules in the OT ARE universal, though.
3. The way we sort the non-universal from the universal requires discernment, the leadership of the Holy Spirit and, well, just a bit of common sense and reasoning.
4. It is important to rightly understand the rules and the circumstances in any of these references in order to have a good handle on more universal teachings.
5. We begin by more obvious teachings and looking to the teachings of Christ in order to try to understand the less obvious.
6. Some "more obvious" teachings would include prohibitions against causing physical harm or death to innocent people. It is self-evident, Jefferson and others suggest, that we have a right to life that others can't just take from us. We it is fairly self-evident that we have a right not to be harmed. OT laws that confirm these "self-evident" rules can be considered universal.
7. Other "more obvious" teachings would be ones that Jesus and the Bible affirm clearly and repeatedly, in an unambiguous manner. Clearly, if we read the Bible, we can see a constant and clear affirmation of protecting the rights of the poor. Most of the "foreigner" teachings in the Bible are a subset of this category. God cares for the poor, God looks out for the poor, God expects justice for the poor. This is a clear and constant teaching of the Bible.

Thus, I think the OT rules about foreigners DO still apply because they are part of the larger clear teachings of the Bible about watching out for the least of these.

On the other hand, killing children who are disrespectful is NOT self-evidently true. In fact, it is self-evidently false. Children WILL be disrespectful and it would be atrocious to go around killing children for this human trait.

Having slaves is self-evidently wrong. We have a right to liberty, as human beings. "Giving" a male slave a female slave to be a wife is self-evidently wrong. Setting free a male slave but holding on to the slave's wife and children is self-evidently wrong.

The question would be, why would anyone support such rules as Godly teachings, but reject the teaching that we ought to be welcoming and gracious to foreigners?

Dan Trabue said...

I apologize for the aside on the biblical questionability of such laws. Getting back closer to topic, I still wonder: WHAT does "reasonable suspicion" look like? WHO gets to decide what is and isn't reasonable?

Again, THAT seems to be the big civic problem with this law - it sounds unconstitutionally vague.

Could anyone answer these questions?

Bubba said...

Dan, it's not a completely reliable source on more politically charged topics, but Wikipedia records that "reasonable suspicion" is a legal standard that is less demanding than "probable cause," the standard for warrants and arrests. Reasonable suspicion requires specific facts and inferences which would cause a reasonable person to conclude that a crime is being or is about to be committed, and the standard was upheld by the Supreme Court, 8-1, in 1968, and has apparently never been overturned.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the USSC didn't get it wrong, but it does mean that the term is an established legal standard that has already faced the highest judicial scrutiny.

More in a moment.

Bubba said...

Dan, I would like to see a thorough, substantive, clear and germane response to Stott's argument, and see it in a timely manner.

I don't think your past responses to strong arguments have always been (for instance) clear and on-point, and that's one reason I balk at this claim:

"I haven't 'thrown out' anything. I've done Bible study to discern what is and isn't relevant for today, what is and isn't God's Will for us today. To the best of my poor, flawed ability, this is what I have done. It's what we all do."

You certainly work hard to give this impression, but the details of your beliefs regarding Scripture -- WHAT you believe, and the reasons WHY -- don't support the claim that you really work to understand Scripture and (just as importantly) submit to its teachings to the best of your ability.

Now that you've settled into theological liberalism, you don't seem truly open to correction about how you interpret the text.

You routinely rip passages out of their immediate context -- parts of Psalm 106, Romans 12, I Peter 2, and now at least arguably Matthew 5 -- and you rarely provide a substantive explanation when your doing so is pointed out.

You claim that your position regarding "gay marriage" resulted from careful and prayerful Bible study, but you have never told us what passage convinced you that God condones homosexual behavior -- you can't tell us, because no such passage exists -- and you've never really wrestled with the inevitable implications of Matthew 19.

And it's clear from your comments here that you DO throw out passages as irrelevant, unjust atrocities.


As the context suggested, I alluded to Exodus 21 and Leviticus 24 because those passages teach the principle of lex talionis, "eye for an eye," specifically in Ex 21:23-25 and Lev 24:19-20.

About the passage about freeing a slave but not his wife (who was given by the master), I think one can easily see the morality in the recognition that a freed slave might not be able to support a family on his own.

That's one possibility, and you write a reasonable enough list of heuristics that include accounting for the context of the contemporary culture, but you're not committed to that list and humble enough even to CONTEMPLATE the divine authority and eternal relevance of the passage.

You not only reject the passage as irrelevant...

"I don't think ANY of that is relevant today."

...you even reject it as an immoral atrocity.

"In fact, we reject such 'morality' as an atrocity, now."


You routinely take this position, and here you reiterate your belief that Christ did abolish or set aside part of Jewish Scripture.

You make your contempt for parts of the Bible absolutely clear.

"On the other hand, killing children who are disrespectful is NOT self-evidently true. In fact, it is self-evidently false. Children WILL be disrespectful and it would be atrocious to go around killing children for this human trait." [emphasis mine]

What the Bible records as God's law, you SMEAR as self-evidently false and atrocious.

And you want us to believe the lie that you haven't thrown out any part of the Bible?

You cannot be serious.

Bubba said...

Dan, about the OT commands regarding capital punishment for homosexuality and contempt for one's parents, one certainly need not believe that these JUDICIAL INSTRUCTIONS for the theocratic nation of ancient Israel ought to apply to all nations at all times.

You give two good heuristics:

"1. Rules in the OT were for Israel in a specific time and place. They are NOT universal rules necessarily.

"2. SOME of the rules in the OT ARE universal, though.
"

I agree with both of these sentiments, but I think you miss a key principle, omitting the principle because you ultimately deny the principle:

ALL SCRIPTURE'S RULES COME FROM GOD.

Because their ultimate authorship comes from omniscient and almighty God, even the rules that applied only to ancient Israel and the old covenant are liable to reveal universal truths.

Look how the author of Hebrews describes the old ways as a "shadow" of heavenly reality and the good things to come (8:5 and 10:1). They're shadows or patterns and NOT atrocities or mistakes, because they come from the divine Author.

Hebrews is clear that the sacrificial system foreshadowed the once-and-for-all sacrifice for our sins that Christ gave on the cross, and it's reasonable to conclude likewise that the system of external, ritualistic purity anticipated the internal purity of the indwelling and sanctifying Holy Spirit.

It is no sin -- no atrocity, no blasphemy -- to give every passage the benefit of the doubt that it contains universal truth revealed by the all-knowing God.

ALL Scripture is God-breathed and profitable, after all.


Dan, it's sinful pride to dismiss ANY passage of the Bible as wholly irrelevant for today, with nothing to teach us, at least about who God is and what He values. The omniscient Creator authored the passage; how dare you insist that you know its meaningfulness is limited by time and place.

"I don't think ANY of that is relevant today."

Even worse is denouncing as evil what the Bible attributes to God.

"In fact, we reject such 'morality' as an atrocity, now."

"On the other hand, killing children who are disrespectful is NOT self-evidently true. In fact, it is self-evidently false."

"Setting free a male slave but holding on to the slave's wife and children is self-evidently wrong."

This closely parallels what appears to be the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit. Note the scribes' comment, in Mk 3:22, that prompted that warning: they attributed to demons the work of God.

To dismiss so quickly as "self-evidently" wrong and false, to denigrate even as an ATROCITY what the Bible claims to be God's word, is a line that no Christian would even approach -- much less cross so frequently and flagrantly -- if he truly loves the Bible.

Craig said...

“No, not exactly. I disagree with our current immigration laws. But I'm not saying "We ought to make our laws match ancient Israel's laws."”

Whether you agree with current immigration law or not is immaterial. We have laws that were passed appropriately, have not been overturned by the judiciary. The laws exist; the federal government is inconsistent in enforcing the laws as they exist today. Since the only argument you make is to quote the OT why should one conclude that you do not believe that your interpretation of those laws is not what you would want to see in US law.


“However, not only do I disagree with our current immigration laws, I'm not sure how smart they are. I have no problems with reasonable rules about immigration, but I just don't think crossing the border is a crime akin to theft or anything serious. More like minor trespassing or jaywalking.”

Again, who cares about your agreement? The current laws are in fact rules about immigration they specify some reasonable restrictions on who can immigrate to the US, they also provide for limited numbers of non immigrants either for employment or vacation. Crossing the border is not currently a crime. Crossing the border without going through the proper immigration process is de facto a crime. The “punishment” for this crime is a return trip to ones country of origin. I fail to see how this is unreasonable.


“But my point was not about immigration laws per se, but about why so many Christians get so fired up about them. I can see (although I might disagree) why a non-Christian might want harsh immigration laws, but it just seems so counter-biblical that I find it hard to believe that many bible-believers would be strongly in support of harsh immigration laws.”

So, in your opinion sending someone (at US taxpayer expense) back to their country of origin is “harsh”? I am aware of no one who wants anything besides the fair and evenhanded enforcement of current immigration law.

“Are you suggesting that biblical principles are NOT good standards for US law? I guess you are aware of how constant and strong this message is in the Bible - the whole notion of assisting and welcoming foreigners?”

I have suggested a number of times that US law is grounded in Biblical principals. I just find this inconsistent appeal to theocratic law interesting. I would suggest that the Biblical laws on hospitality were not intended to be applied to a thief who broke into ones house. In this case the illegal aliens have de facto committed a crime by violating US immigration law. It would seem that there would clearly be a different approach between a wandering traveler, and one who breaks in or invades.

Craig said...

“(To be clear: I'm opposed to any laws that are created solely to comply with "biblical standards." If someone thinks the Bible is opposed to gay marriage and thus, they lobby for a law outlawing gay marriage solely based on what they think the Bible says - not for any civic reason, but for purely religious reasons - I think that would be a bad law. You?)”

Since you have provided no arguments from anything but Biblical standards in your critique of immigration law, it would seem that you are inconsistent at best. I would suggest that any law no matter what it’s basis that is passed properly through the proper system should be respected and obeyed. What my opinion of that law is, is immaterial. If I disagree with the law, there are means to change the law within the established system of government.


“I disagree with the laws as they are and would like to see them changed. But this SEEMS to me to be going beyond the laws. It SOUNDS like they're saying "IF WE THINK you 'look suspicious,' that gives us all the reason we need to demand identification."

Again, what you think the law seems to say is immaterial. The law actually does nothing that is not already codified on US law.


“ And I can hardly blame folks for questioning whether "look suspicious" is code for "are brown, black or speak with a funny accent." What DOES a "reasonable suspicion" look like?”

Bubba has dealt with “reasonable suspicion” elsewhere, I would add that from what I have seen the law explicitly prohibits what you are suggesting.

Craig said...

“Imagine this: Craig is out with his children. Let's pretend they're adopted from Latin America and thus, are obviously darker than Craig. Is that a "reasonable suspicion" ("Is that white man smuggling latinos into our country???")? AND, if Craig had just gone out to the park and didn't have his driver's license with him, the police can then arrest him. Would that be right?”

Yes, it is perfectly right that a police officer would stop one who looks suspicious and ask for identification. The problem with your problem is the word arrest. Current law provides (US as well as AZ) that the police can stop anyone they “reasonably suspect” and ask for proof of citizenship. (Interestingly enough under the AZ law an AZ driver’s license would suffice) If they can provide proof then they would be released. ONLY if they cannot provide proof of citizenship or other legal immigrant status could they be arrested. So why would anyone object to someone being arrested for committing a crime?




Just an example, I was driving home from work the other night about 11:00. In the course of driving and as a result of being tired I failed to use my turn signal and barely crossed the center line of the road. Due to this I was pulled over because the officer had a “reasonable suspicion” that I might have been drinking. After a check of my “papers” (oh how onerous), he determined that I had not been drinking and allowed me to go on my way. It was frustrating, but not a big deal.


Unfortunately, I will be unable to continue this as I am leaving for the Pearl of the Antilles and have a ton to do before I go.

So, this will be it for a while.

Mark said...

The following excerpt is why I mock and make fun of Dan:

"I find it odd that Christians would be so strong in support of anti-immigration legislation."

This law is not anti-immigration, Dan, it is anti-ILLEGAL immigration.

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be intellectually honest.

Well, I suppose intellectual might be asking too much from you, Dan. But, how about just being honest?

But to answer your charge as to why Christians would be anti-ILLEGAL immigration---

Because Christians believe in obeying the law. Remember, it was Jesus hisself who said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's"

Ignoring the law is not Christian, and aiding and abetting criminals (Which is what immigrants become if they break the law) is not Christian.

Before we can have an intelligent conversation on any subject, Dan, you must first be honest with your terminology. After all, you are the one who said, "words mean something".

So, use the correct term and your vapid arguments go right out the window. But you won't, so, as usual, all you do is manage to make yourself look like an ass.

And, you need to stop quoting the Bible when you are so obviously wrong. It makes you look like one of those atheistic Liberals who don't know the Bible but use it to defend depravity. You know like when they say, "Judge not! Judge not!"

Mark said...

Here's a reasonable suspicion for you, Dan:

I sell cell phone contracts. The other day, an Hispanic man wanted me to sell him a cell phone. The process of selling a cell phone involves getting the purchasers social security number.

The man did not know what a social security number is.

So, what do you think? Do you think that man is here legally? Do you think it was discriminatory that I refused to sell him a cell phone?

Am I a bigot because I followed the rules?

Mark said...

And Dan, regarding your exhaustive and continual quotations involving how we should be treating the foreigners in our land...

Those verses instruct us on treating foreigners with the same respect with which we are to treat everyone else. With respect.

Therefore, those verses can be encapsulated to say, "Treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they are."

I don't believe the recent ruling in Arizona is contrary to that. If a person is found to be an illegal alien, he or she should be respectfully deported.

Bubba said...

Briefly, I agree with Craig and Mark that Christianity entails obedience to the rule of law (see Rom 13:1-8), up to a point, that point being when man's law conflicts with God's law. Daniel obeyed God rather then man, as did the Apostles in Acts 4 and quite explicitly in Acts 5.

(It's worth reiterating here that, in Matthew 15 and Mark 7, Christ Himself set human traditions against God's commandments, and He quoted Jewish Scripture with the obvious implication that it came from God. Christ's affirmation of Scripture's divine authorship -- and subsequently its lasting authority -- makes it impossible for an obedient Christian to "set aside" passages as irrelevant atrocities, ostensibly for the sake of heeding God's word written on his heart.)

But is the enforcement of this country's existing immigration laws such an offense against God's law that we must engage in civil disobedience in protest against it?


Dan, you seem to hint at precisely that: why else quote Scripture at length and ask whether we "find the biblical case for how God expected God's people to treat the poor foreigner to be in opposition to our laws"?

And, yet, you insist, "I have no problems with reasonable rules about immigration."

It would be helpful if you made clear what rules you think are reasonable.


At the WashingtonPost.com, NR's Ramesh Ponnuru makes an excellent point.

"Nearly everyone in the immigration debate has claimed to favor enforcing the immigration laws. But if you think it is draconian to require that anyone have to show papers proving their legal status, then you're simply against enforcement. And if you really believe that, you're not going to change your mind just because the government has set up a 'temporary worker' program or a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants: You're going to be against truly enforcing any conceivable set of immigration laws. Good to know."

Dan, I wonder if you favor reasonable rules only in theory, but not in practice -- or if you favor having rules for immigration but believe that actually enforcing those rules is an offense to biblical morality.

Dan Trabue said...

Been busy. Briefly...

And, yet, you insist, "I have no problems with reasonable rules about immigration."

It would be helpful if you made clear what rules you think are reasonable.


I'll own up to not having a clear position on immigration. IF I were to stick to just what the Bible says, I would lean towards NOT having any rules about immigration much beyond, "Welcome, y'all!"

However, having said that, I think (as I have noted before) that I agree with what the Catholic and other faith traditions have decided about civic laws and religion: That there are SOME of our religious traditions/rules that are more universal and expected of everyone and that we can reasonably, as Christians, advocate for these rules. Don't murder. Don't steal. Don't assault.

On the other hand, there are other rules that are more rightly considered rules for Christian behavior and that we ought to be careful or avoid trying to enforce others to heed these rules, since they are more specifically just for us, not necessarily for everyone. Honor the Sabbath, for instance - there really is no civic reason to insist that Saturday (or Sunday) ought to be set aside for no work for everyone. It comes closer to being more of a religious - not universal - rule. I think I would be opposed to trying to legislate pacifism, as I feel that's a calling for Christians that not necessarily everyone is called to do or expected to do. Of course, I disagree with gay marriage bans, but that would fall in that category too. There is no civic reason for telling gay folk they can't wed - only some people's religious or cultural traditions.

Welcoming all immigrants - especially the poor - seems to me to fall closer to this category. A rule that God expects for God's people but not necessarily a universal rule.

Hence my ambivalence about such rules.

Hope that helps.

Stan said...

To no one in particular ...

A few weeks ago I was in an accident, a little fender bender. Entirely my fault. No question. We pulled over to exchange information. The other driver was acting very strangely. He was nervous. He didn't want to identify himself. He called for help and four young Latinos arrived to assist him (in whatever sense that was). They weren't nervous. They weren't concerned about identifying themselves. There was nothing at all in their demeanor, even though they were Latinos, that made me wonder about their immigration status. It was the demeanor and mannerisms of that one guy, the other driver, that made me wonder, "Is he so nervous even though he's not at fault and no one was injured and damage was slight because he has something to hide?" That, in my mind, coupled with the necessary (the law requires it) prior reason for the stop (everyone seems to forget that the Arizona law dictates that people are not stopped at random on the street -- this can only occur in the process of a traffic stop or criminal investigation), would constitute the kind of "reasonable suspicion" that is required.

There is, actually, an entire science behind this. The TV show, Lie to Me, is based on this science. Currently the TSA is being trained in this discipline that reads mannerisms and facial expressions, not race, to detect possible terrorists. (See Paul Ekman's work.) We all, to varying degrees, know and practice this. "What's wrong, honey?" "What makes you think anything's wrong?" It's not outlandish or foreign.

Bubba said...

Dan, I can understand a certain amount of ambivalence on the subject of immigration law, but YOU WROTE, "I have no problems with reasonable rules about immigration."

Surely you wrote this having some idea of what immigration rules are "reasonable," even if you aren't sure about your personal support for some or all of those rules.

So I reiterate that it would be helpful if you made clear what rules you think are reasonable.


You write, "I think I would be opposed to trying to legislate pacifism, as I feel that's a calling for Christians that not necessarily everyone is called to do or expected to do."

Presumably it follows, then, that you think it might possibly be reasonable for a nation to have a standing army with the intent of using military force AT LEAST in response to an invasion or another act of aggression.

You also write that you believe welcoming all immigrants is "A rule that God expects for God's people but not necessarily a universal rule."

So, presumably it follows that you think it might be reasonable for a nation NOT to welcome all immigrants, perhaps excluding those with a criminal record or a highly communicable disease, and perhaps by deporting people who try to sidestep the process for visiting as a tourist, a worker, or as an applicant for citizenship.


I ask you to make clear what immigration rules you think are "reasonable" (your word) so that we can see exactly what your problem is with Arizona's new law -- and why you say you disagree with existing law and question the intelligence of existing law.

Craig said...

Dan,

I think we all understand that you would prefer that your opinion of the interpretation of some (somewhat out of context) OT passages, be the law of the land. But until that day comes we need to live in the here and now.

The facts are there are laws that control immigration into the US.

These laws are constitutional.

These laws are inconsistently enforced.

The AZ law allows for enforcement of these existing laws. It does not go beyond existing law.

The AZ law specifically states that the question of status cannot even be an issue unless the person has already been detained for another offense (i.e. speeding).

I find it hard to believe that anyone could consider verifying the immigration status of someone who has already been detained as "harsh". Further, I find it hard to believe that anyone would consider being returned at no cost to ones country of origin as "harsh".

Personally, I would simply say; obey the law, play by the rules, and your going to be in pretty good shape.

Maybe I should see how Haitian immigration would react if I tried to sneak past passport control, I bet they'd just let it slide. It's just like jaywalking.

Bon Swa.

Bubba said...

Let me retract and restate my last comment.

"I ask you to make clear what immigration rules you think are 'reasonable' (your word) so that we can see exactly what your problem is with Arizona's new law -- and why you say you disagree with existing law and question the intelligence of existing law."

Instead of that, I'm asking for what rules are "reasonable" so that we can see whether existing law falls within the scope of what's reasonable -- and if it doesn't, what does.

Bubba said...

Dan, going back to Jewish Scripture, I see that you cite Deuteronomy 24 and 26, but I wonder if you considered the implications of a passage from the chapter in-between.

"Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way, when you were faint and weary, and struck down all who lagged behind you; he did not fear God. Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies on every hand, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; do not forget." Deut 25:17-19

You write:

"IF I were to stick to just what the Bible says, I would lean towards NOT having any rules about immigration much beyond, 'Welcome, y'all!' "

But that's not what the Bible says: a more accurate summary would surely be, "Welcome y'all, unless the Lord commanded your tribe's eradication."

The welcome mat for strangers was surely not extended to those who were given the divine death sentence.


You quote Numbers 15...

"The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come."

...and you write about foreigners that "Israel was to welcome them and treat them as 'one of [their own] native born.' "

I don't think you grasp the full ramifications of that principle. It's not only that the foreigner wasn't to be oppressed with laws that were more strict than the laws for the Israelite: it was also that he was held to the same high moral standards of the Israelite.

[cont]

Bubba said...

[cont]

Dan, this entire chapter is worth quoting.

"1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: I am the Lord your God. 3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not follow their statutes. 4 My ordinances you shall observe and my statutes you shall keep, following them: I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall keep my statutes and my ordinances; by doing so one shall live: I am the Lord.

6 None of you shall approach anyone near of kin to uncover nakedness: I am the Lord. 7 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness. 8 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is the nakedness of your father. 9 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether born at home or born abroad. 10 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son's daughter or of your daughter's daughter, for their nakedness is your own nakedness. 11 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, begotten by your father, since she is your sister. 12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister; she is your father's flesh. 13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister, for she is your mother's flesh. 14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother, that is, you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. 15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law: she is your son's wife; you shall not uncover her nakedness. 16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife; it is your brother's nakedness. 17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, and you shall not take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter to uncover her nakedness; they are your flesh; it is depravity.

18 And you shall not take a woman as a rival to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive. 19 You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness while she is in her menstrual uncleanness.

20 You shall not have sexual relations with your kinsman's wife, and defile yourself with her.

21 You shall not give any of your offspring to sacrifice them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 23 You shall not have sexual relations with any animal and defile yourself with it, nor shall any woman give herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it: it is perversion.

24 Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for by all these practices the nations I am casting out before you have defiled themselves. 25 Thus the land became defiled; and I punished it for its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.

26 But you shall keep my statutes and my ordinances and commit none of these abominations, either the citizen or the alien who resides among you 27 (for the inhabitants of the land, who were before you, committed all of these abominations, and the land became defiled); 28 otherwise the land will vomit you out for defiling it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these abominations shall be cut off from their people. 30 So keep my charge not to commit any of these abominations that were done before you, and not to defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God.
" - Leviticus 18, emphasis mine

[cont]

Bubba said...

[cont]

Dan, it is clear that even laws against blasphemy applied to the foreigner in ancient Israel -- as did the harsh punishment for disobedience:

"One who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death; the whole congregation shall stone the blasphemer. Aliens as well as citizens, when they blaspheme the Name, shall be put to death." - Lev 24:26


So, let's look back at your earlier summary of the Bible's teachings on immigrants and immigration.

"Over and over, some simple expectations are placed upon Israel about how they treat foreigners...

1. Treat them as a native
2. Do not opress or mistreat them.
3. Israel was to welcome them and treat them as "one of [their own] native born."
4. Israel was to provide food, resources, even land! for them so that they "continue to live among" them.

"Our treatment of foreigners (along with the poor, etc) is even tied to curses and promises - those who mistreat, fail to welcome, oppress the poor and alien will be cursed and those who treat them with justice and welcome will be rewarded 'Then I will let you live in this place...'

"These even appear to be rules that are specifically a 'lasting ordinance for generations to come...' as opposed to some temporary idea.
"

Your list is incomplete.

First, some entire groups of foreigners were to be wiped out because of their enmity to God and to Israel, before they could intermingle and corrupt the people: remember Psalm 106, beginning with verse 34.

Second, you're right that "simple expectations are placed upon Israel about how they treat foreigners," but you ignore the expectations placed upon the foreigners who were to live in Israel: THEY WERE TO ACT LIKE ISRAELITES.

They were indeed supposed to "Treat them as a native," not only in giving them food as needed (#4), but in holding them to the law's exacting standards.

Foreigners were forbidden from homosexual behavior, same as native-born Israelites, and they were even forbidden from blaspheming the name of God -- and were subject to the same punishment of DEATH.

That Israel should welcome foreigners is NOT the whole story: they were also commanded to exclude God's enemies by wiping them out, and they were commanded to require the foreigners to act like Israelites.


Something tells me you're not as enthusiastic about this more comprehensive view of the Torah's teachings regarding foreigners, especially since you have such contempt for some of the very passages I'm citing.

Craig said...

Bubba,

Well said.

Dan Trabue said...

[rolls eyes]

Of course I agree that the foreigners were to obey Israel's laws within that context.

For that reason (among others) I think it's a good thing for folk in other people's countries to obey the local laws.

Of course I don't agree that it's okay to wipe out all of an enemy - Genocide - today.

The difference is that the Bible taken as a whole would condemn genocide and would endorse welcoming foreigners.

I'm interested in what the Bible says as a whole, not cherry picking isolated verses to support a god that commands genocide and thus distort the teachings of our Lord and savior.

Bubba said...

That's hilarious, coming from you, Dan: you're the king of cherry-picking.

You cite Romans 12's "overcome evil with good" to justify pacifism even though THE VERY NEXT PASSAGE, in Romans 13, teaches us that the government is an agent of God's wrath, an instrument that "does not bear the sword in vain."

In support of your belief that Christ didn't literally die for our sins, you argue that the New Testament teaches a variety of things about why Jesus died, and you've cited I Peter 2:21-23, which taught that Christ died for our example. You did all this ignoring the VERY NEXT VERSE, which taught that Christ bore our sins on the cross.

You believe that, in Matthew 5, Christ "set aside" Moses' teaching of "eye for an eye," even though it's clear from the context that Christ was repudiating EXTRA-BIBLICAL teachings (5:43, where "hate your enemy" is found nowhere in Scripture); that Christ was affirming the full meaning of the law (5:21, 27); and that Christ explicitly affirmed the lasting authority of Scripture to the smallest penstroke and taught His followers to obey the least commandment (5:17-19).

Most germane to this discussion, you've cited Psalm 106:38 and its condemnation of shedding innocent blood in your argument that God wouldn't command Israel to wage wars of annihilation, even though THAT VERY PASSAGE also condemns Israel for failing to "destroy the nations as God commanded" (106:34), implying that they shed innocent blood **BECAUSE** they ignored that command.

As often as I've mentioned these (now) four passages, and as recently as I've reiterated them, I cannot imagine what makes you think you can glibly reassure us about your distaste for cherry-picking and get away with it.

Are you literally stupid, Dan? Or do you think we're stupid?

Do you have Alzheimer's, or do you think we don't have any long-term memories?

Truly I loathe lying, but if you're gonna lie, at least make it plausible, and don't insult our intelligence like this.

"I'm interested in what the Bible says as a whole, not cherry picking isolated verses..."

That's BULLSHIT, Dan, and we both know it.

Bubba said...

On the subject of the teachings of who is ostensibly your Lord and Savior...

"I'm interested in what the Bible says as a whole, not cherry picking isolated verses to support a god that commands genocide and thus distort the teachings of our Lord and savior."

I'll not only remind you that, in Matthew 5, Jesus Christ affirmed the lasting authority of Scripture to the smallest penstroke, I'll also remind you of Christ's repeated warnings of judgment.

You believe that even the Bible's record of THE PASSOVER is ahistorical, and you deny the historicity of God's cataclysmic judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, but Christ **REPEATEDLY** pointed to the judgment against Sodom as a mere warm-up for what's to come (Mt 10:15, 11:24).

Christ taught more about Hell than He did about Heaven and His warnings about judgment made it clear that the final judgment will be worse than anything that has come before -- an eternal, unquenchable fire (Mt 18:8, Mk 9:48).

And in the revelation of Jesus Christ (as it's described in 1:1), we have God's judgment which includes the annihilation of a third of the human population (9:15).

You write that "the Bible taken as a whole would condemn genocide" -- a slanderous description of what the Bible attributes to God -- and you've **NEVER** been able to justify your position without A) cherry-picking and ripping passages out of context, which you say you don't do; B) asserting some alternative figurative interpretation which you've never given, to say nothing of a plausible alternative; C) speculating that the commands attributed to God were really the "revenge fantasies" of post-exilic Jews, soothing them by making false claims about God's actions in the past and promises for the future; and/or D) dismissing those passages as erroneous, "self-evident" falsehood and atrocity, as you do above.

The reason I've generally brought my talking to you to a halt is the same reason it's been necessary and worthwhile to make an exception here: you're a liar, a hypocrite, a fraud, and a phony.


Dan, because God made us, gave us life, sustains us, and remains sovereign over us, He is completely in His moral right to end our lives whenever and however He chooses: His giving us life doesn't morally obligate us to immortality, regardless of our innocence or sinfulness.

NOTHING in the Bible contradicts that, and a contradiction of this belief is the only thing that would require a dismissal of the Bible's record of God's taking of human life, even through human agency.

"Render unto God what is God's."

We are made in His image, and so our lives are His to do with as He will.


More simply, it's just not believable that you respect the Bible's teachings "as a whole" when you so frequently denigrate individuals passages as false, atrocious, prejudiced -- in a word, evil.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

If this is such a wonderful law, I'm wondering why conservatives all over the country are running from it. The latest is Connie Mack of Florida, but a slew of elected Republicans, and other hangers-on like Karl Rove, even law enforcement in Arizona, think this is really bad stuff.

Quite apart from anything else, are these folks just a namby-pamby bunch of RINOs who don't have the country's best interests at heart? Or, perhaps, being more in touch and in tune with certain political and legal realities, particularly that AZ sheriff who has already stated he will not enforce the law, know more about the situation than you do, Marshall.

Bubba said...

Dan, it seems to me that, if one were to give you the greatest benefit of the doubt (I can no longer do so), he would have to conclude that you bring to the Bible an assumption that is not only extra-biblical, an assumption that is even CONTRARY to the Bible -- namely, the assumption that even God Almighty is morally prohibited from taking human life whenever and however He chooses.

If a person were to bring to the Bible the unbiblical assumption that Jesus is **NOT** a figure of history, he might still get some things right -- that we should forgive each other and be humble -- but if he were to try to make the text fit that assumption, he would completely mangle parts of Scripture, including the clear claims that the writers carefully corroborated the details of Jesus' life, that they were physically in Jesus' presence, and that Jesus' resurrection is essential to our faith (Lk 1, I Jn 1, I Cor 15).

In an even more extreme example (barely), a person could bring to the Bible the atheistic assumption that God doesn't exist, and the reader might still grasp the lineage of ancient Israel's monarchies, but he would pervert the vast bulk of the Bible's most important teachings in an effort to make the book fit a proposition that it completely rejects.

Likewise, I think you're trying to make the Bible fit an assumption that is contrary to its clear teachings.

There are some things that we are prohibited from doing that God doesn't do: God commands us not to lie, and He doesn't lie, either. (Ex 20:16, Num 23:19)

But on the other hand, while it's clearly wrong for any of us to demand worship from another person, it's not wrong for God to demand worship.

It's not, "thou shalt have no gods," but rather "thou shalt have no other gods BUT ME."

Our demanding worship is wrong for us, not because it's ALWAYS wrong for anyone (God or man), but because it's God's prerogative.

I'm willing to grant that, under most circumstances at least, it's wrong for one human being to take the life of another.

But is it wrong because it's ALWAYS wrong, or is it wrong for US because it's God's prerogative?

The Bible gives a pretty clear answer.

"For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life. Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person's blood be shed; for in his own image God made humankind. - Gen 9:5-6, emphasis mine

1) Clearly, it's not always wrong to take human life, because murder is a capital offense -- that is, punishable by execution.

2) Murder is wrong because we're made in God's image: we belong to God.

From here, if one concludes that God has the moral right to take human life, whenever and however He pleases, because it belongs to Him, then it all makes sense, Old Testament and New: the Deluge, Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and Isaac, the Passover, the conquest of Israel, and the subsequent discipline of Israel's being invaded; the dreadful parable of the fig tree, the fate of Ananias and Sapphira, the consequences for those who partook of the Lord's Supper unworthily, and the final judgment promised in both the Gospels and the Revelation.

You try to impose the opposite assumption, and it all falls apart: you end up denigrating passages as "self-evident" atrocities, as clearly false, and as mythic stories that require figurative interpretations THAT YOU DON'T PROVIDE.

Bubba said...

Oh, and Dan:

"Of course I agree that the foreigners were to obey Israel's laws within that context."

Does that include the law that forbade taking the Lord's name in vain, a crime punishable by death?

I ask, because you dismiss the Old Testament's punishment of execution for dishonoring one's parents, and you denigrate the law as "self-evidently" false and even an atrocity.

"On the other hand, killing children who are disrespectful is NOT self-evidently true. In fact, it is self-evidently false. Children WILL be disrespectful and it would be atrocious to go around killing children for this human trait."


I alluded to this earlier, but I didn't make the point as completely as I could have.

You quote Exodus 22, but you think Christ "set aside" parts of chapter 21.

You quote Leviticus 19, but you really put absolutely no stock in chapter 18's prohibition of homosexual behavior.

You quote Leviticus 23 and 25, but you must surely think that chapter 24 contains self-evident atrocity for making blasphemy a capital offense for Israelite and alien alike.

You quote Deuteronomy 24 and 26, but you dismiss as an atrocity the command in chapter 25 to blot out the Amalekites.

What's the rule? Only every other chapter counts?

It seems like, whatever you quote from the Bible as authoritative, you don't have to go far to find a passage that you would reject as irrelevant, false, prejudiced, and even atrocious.

If I had to oscillate so quickly and so frequently between reverence and contempt for the book I claimed to love and respect so highly, I'd set the book down and find a more comprehensible religion.

Bubba said...

Geoffrey, I wouldn't expect full-throated praise from anyone working so closely with a Republican President who enraged his base working so hard to try, unsuccessfully, to shove amnesty down our throats, but it doesn't appear that Karl Rove would be accurately described as "running" from this law because it's such "bad stuff."

----- BEGIN EXCERPT -----

“I think there is going to be some constitutional problems with the bill,” he said to the standing-room-only crowd at the Colony Cottage Recreation Center. “I wished they hadn’t passed it, in a way.”

Still, Rove, who was promoting his book Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight, objected to comments by critics including President Barack Obama that the law will lead to problems such as racial profiling by police.

“These are modern police forces that respect the rights of people in their communities,” Rove said. “They’re going to do it on the basis of reasonable suspicion that these people are here illegally, like they’re driving a car with a Mexican license plate or they can’t speak English or they don’t have a drivers license.”

However, Rove said there may be other ways to tackle the issue.

“At the end of the day … I think there are better tools,” he said. “But I understand where it’s coming from.”

------ END EXCERPT ------

It seems like Rep. Mack doesn't understand the law.

"This law of 'frontier justice' – where law enforcement officials are required to stop anyone based on 'reasonable suspicion' that they may be in the country illegally – is reminiscent of a time during World War II when the Gestapo in Germany stopped people on the street and asked for their papers without probable cause."

As I understand it, and as it has been widely reported, the law doesn't require officials to "stop" people, but only to inquire about one's immigration status AFTER he's already been stopped for some other crime, and only THEN on reasonable suspicion.

He wouldn't be the first member of the House to shoot his mouth off: he might just be ignorant about the law's details.


And about the Sheriff who refuses to enforce the new law -- Clarence Dupnik, who calls the law "racist" and "disgusting" -- well, it's damn hard to find his party affiliation.

Hard, but not impossible: a blog entry from 2008 and a news story from last year seem to make clear that the Sheriff is a Democrat.

Something tells me that his party affiliation wouldn't be buried in today's news stories if he was a Republican.


Rove's comments weren't as condemnatory as you suggest, Rep. Mack seems ignorant about the details of the law, and the sheriff who refuses to enforce the law is a Democrat.

Careful, Geoffrey: you're reaching so far to show the Arizona law is extremist, you're liable to pull something.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

it's just not believable... you're a liar, a hypocrite, a fraud, and a phony... Are you literally stupid, Dan?... That's BULLSHIT... That's BULLSHIT... That's BULLSHIT BULLSHITThatsBULLSHITBULLSHIT...

etc.

As always, you are free to your opinion. I believe my positions to be the best representation of God and Jesus, my Lord and Savior by whose grace I'm saved and in whose steps I seek to walk as I'm able to discern by prayerfully seeking God's will. You can disagree. You can call names. You can not believe me.

Fortunately for all of us, you aren't my God. I shall rest my position and understanding in the sweet grace of Jesus, by whose forgiveness I am saved. I don't have to answer to you nor you to me. Go in God's grace.

Sorry for the distraction from the actual post, Marshall. All I meant to say is I find a harsh immigration position to be hard to justify biblically. And by "harsh," I mean arresting, imprisoning and deporting people for the "crime" of seeking a better life. If you feel your position is reasonable and biblical, go for it. I disagree.

Thanks all for the info about how "reasonable suspicion" has sometimes been used in legal situations. That helps, at least a little.

Dan Trabue said...

As to the constitutionality of this law (including phrases like "reasonable suspicion" and other potential problems), I'm willing to leave it to the legal experts. If the Court rejects this as not constitutional, I'm okay with that decision and if it allows it to stand, well, I may disagree with the tone of it, but I'll live with that.

Everyone else down with that?

Craig said...

Dan,

Just one more before I go. The "constitutionally problematical" reasonable suspicion that you are so worried about is actually a legal term. The concept of which was upheld by SCOTUS in the 60's. So you should feel much better.

Bubba said...

Dan:

Since you so routinely denigrate as ahistorical, false, and atrocious parts of the Scripture that Jesus Christ affirmed to the smallest penstroke; since you embrace "gay marriage" in spite of Christ's clear teaching about why we were created male and female; since you deny the claim that Christ's death caused our salvation, even though He Himself taught that His blood was shed for our forgiveness; and since you even downgrade His institution of communion to merely an ancient church tradition, it's not really believable that you're honestly seeking to walk in His steps.

You say you are accountable to God and not to me, but -- even if that were true -- that doesn't give you license to pervert the teachings of Scripture. I Peter 3:15 teaches us that we need to be ready to give an account of what we believe and why, and you are evidently incapable of doing so: your explanations for what the Bible teaches don't hold up to the least bit of scrutiny.

But while each of us is ULTIMATELY accountable to God and we should not presume to judge on the final verdict for each other (Mt 7:1-2), each of us expected to confront each when we believe he's sinned against us (Mt 18:15-17). I believe you sin against us with your repeated efforts to mask your beliefs by portraying them as far more moderate than they are: you lie to us, almost constantly and apparently without remorse.

You claim to be a Christian, and when it suits you, you'll admit that Christians are supposed to build each other up and correct each other; you've had no problem condemning others' behavior as ungracious.

But when I dare to confront you about your obvious dishonesty, you claim that we're not accountable to each other at all.

That's hypocritical, and that business of "you aren't my God" is petulant, beneath any spiritually mature Christian adult.

But, then, it's not clear that anything's beneath you.

Bubba said...

And Dan, your dishonesty is obvious, not only when you pretend to be a devout student of the Bible, submitted to all its teachings, but also when you bring up politics.

You write:

"All I meant to say is I find a harsh immigration position to be hard to justify biblically. And by 'harsh,' I mean arresting, imprisoning and deporting people for the 'crime' of seeking a better life. If you feel your position is reasonable and biblical, go for it. I disagree."

(We're not criminalizing "seeking a better life," you demagogue -- not if those immigrants who do so play by the rules and get in line.)

Earlier you wrote, "I have no problems with reasonable rules about immigration."

You **STILL** have not answered my request to provide details of what rules you consider reasonable.

From what you now write, it's clear that you believe that the mere enforcement of immigration law ISN'T reasonable and is instead harsh, if that enforcement entails arrest and deportation.

(What else would it entail?)

Your words about "reasonable rules" were just that: words. They're a smokescreen, a meaningless claim that doesn't correspond to much of anything in the real world, because -- if you think that deportation in the course of actually enforcing immigration law is unreasonable and harsh -- then there are few, if any, rules that you think are reasonable enough to be enforced in a meaningful way.

At least on the subject of immigration -- an important aspect of national sovereignty for ANY country, made more important by our democratic self-rule and our budget-busting welfare programs -- you're apparently an open-borders anarchist, de facto if not de jure.

Of course you have "no problems" with immigration rules that YOU YOURSELF find to be reasonable, but that tautology is both hollow and, more importantly, misleading.

You strongly object to immigration rules that MOST PEOPLE would find reasonable, and your genuflecting to what's reasonable simply doesn't disguise the radical details of your beliefs.


In matters of both faith and politics, your pose of deference to Scripture and moderation in policy is a lie. It is deceptive -- and is almost certainly deliberately deceptive -- because it doesn't map to the details of what you believe.

And those of us who have read your writing at length can see right through the song and dance.

Mark said...

So, Dan has once again retreated into his own little world, where right is wrong and only his opinion matters.

I love the way he takes his ball and goes home whenever someone like Bubba so devastatingly deconstructs his arguments.

Dan fires a parting shot with "All I meant to say is I find a harsh immigration position to be hard to justify biblically. And by "harsh," I mean arresting, imprisoning and deporting people for the "crime" of seeking a better life. If you feel your position is reasonable and biblical, go for it. I disagree."

Translation: "I am going to believe whatever I want to believe regardless of how completely everyone else destroys all my arguments, and regardless of what I know in my heart to be the truth. My mind cannot be changed. Not by Bubba or any of the other commentators, and not even by God Himself. I am smarter than even God."

At least he's tenacious. That's the only positive thing I can say about Dan.

Oh, and that I like his music.

Carry on.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Actually, Bubba, since I am quite sure most if not all the law is unconstitutional, I really don't care; having proved, once again, you have abundant time to type, perhaps you could also prove you understand brevity by answering this, simple question - Since Cubans are allowed to enter the US and are instantly granted resident alien status, what if one of them ended up in Arizona?

See, one of the problems with AZ's law is that it kinda sorta crosses the line in to territory that is the provenance of the federal government. The Mexicans fighting a drug war that is spilling across the border? It might be nice if the governor of AZ, or TX, or all the border states asked the President for some assistance on the border - troops, equipment, etc - but having the AZ State Gestapo stop everyone and demand their papers just isn't the way to go.

Bubba said...

Geoffrey, when one visits another country as a tourist, he carries around his passport. When one visits to work, he has a work visa.

Presumably, Cubans have documentation about their being given resident alien status. If one "ended up" in Arizona -- perhaps by driving the 2,000 miles down I-10 from Jacksonville to Phoenix, a frequent mistake, I'm sure -- then he can feel at ease if he has that documentation.


And it's a brilliant idea that the federal government should enforce its own immigration laws: absolutely brilliant, and it's a wonder that you're the first person on this planet to have thought of it.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark...

I love the way he takes his ball and goes home whenever someone like Bubba so devastatingly deconstructs his arguments.

Yes, after years of getting my positions wrong 90-ish% of the time, Bubba HAS thoroughly devastated many positions. Unfortunately, very few are MY actual positions.

Destroying strawmen tends to be quite easy, Mark. Engaging in actual respectful adult conversation takes a bit more work. I've gone about as far on old arguments with you all as I'm inclined to go, not when you keep "devastating" arguments that aren't mine.

Bubba said...

"Destroying strawmen tends to be quite easy, Mark. Engaging in actual respectful adult conversation takes a bit more work."

This, from the guy who has described our position as "anti-immigration," rather than opposition to ILLEGAL immigration.


Dan, you write, "I'm not sure that we can justify biblically criminalizing immigration," when no one's suggesting the criminalization of immigration, PER SE, but only the criminalization of trying to circumvent the existing immigration process.

And you accuse us of supporting the deportation of immigrants "for the 'crime' of seeking a better life," which is a slanderous piece of demagoguery almost as odious as the spectre of racial profiling, another strawman you don't hesitate to invoke.

It's hilarious for you to lament strawman criticism when you seem to depend so very much on that very tactic.

What's next? The suggestion that affirming the morality of the entire law of Moses requires cherry-picking? Oh, wait...


You write:

"Yes, after years of getting my positions wrong 90-ish% of the time, Bubba HAS thoroughly devastated many positions. Unfortunately, very few are MY actual positions."

I bet you cannot name even a handful of your positions that I continue to get wrong.

It's not that I misunderstand your claim that your interpretations of Scripture are reasonable: I do understand that claim, I just disagree with it.

It's not that I misunderstand your claim to love the entire Bible: I do understand the claim, I just disbelieve it.

I urge you to name even three of your positions that I distort -- JUST THREE, nowhere near your claim of 90% -- and tell us what you really believe.

You can't, because I simply don't make a habit of distorting what you write.

Marshall Art said...

Really Dan! Look to your very first comment in this thread. You say,

"Who decided that not welcoming aliens and foreigners was not "proper behavior?" I know we, the people, have decided that people coming here from Mexico or El Salvador or Canada (not so much Canada, though) is illegal, but why is it wrong?"

The first sentence is baffling. The multiple negatives confuses so I will state what "proper behavior" would be in this situation: Entering the country by established procedures, as opposed to sneaking across the border in the dead of night. To alter it to fit the left's warped ideas of right vs wrong would include allowing them to continue doing so.

Another problem is your continuing habit of including yourself amongst "we the people" as if by doing so you've added legitimacy to your nutty notions.

But the rest of the sentence is an intentional misinterpretation of the common conservative position on the subject. NO ONE has decided that people coming here is illegal, but only when done in a manner that avoids the proper and legal procedures for doing so, hence, "illegal". Furthermore, doing so illegally is what is wrong, totally wrong, morally wrong, as is the breech of any other established law of the land. All who come here legally have done so in a manner that is NOT wrong and is actually blessed by the vast majority of conservatives, if not all of America.

The bottom line here is that YOU do far more misinterpreting of the positions of your opponents than we ever do on our worst days. You go further by saying that you find it odd that Christians would be so strong in support of anti-immigration legislation. Totally unfounded and what's more, lacks any example of "anti-immigration" legislation that we actually oppose. What we have opposed in the past and continue to oppose currently is any legislation that allows illegals to stay rather than to be sent back to their homelands to stand in line like the law-abiding people are doing.

Moving on a bit you say,

"And by 'harsh,' I mean arresting, imprisoning and deporting people for the 'crime' of seeking a better life."

Can you name any law which when broken cannot use this "seeking a better life" as an excuse? When people embezzle the money of their union retirement fund, are they not also seeking to create a better life? Or the bank robber---is he not also seeking a better life? When someone lies about another in order to eliminate competition for a promotion, is he not seeking a better life? For that matter, one can easily say that all crime is a manifestation of the seeking of a better life.

The illegals are breaking the laws of our land to seek their better life and YOU and other progressive shallow thinkers believe that to be a worthy excuse for doing so. Shame on you for your willingness to encourage not rendering unto Ceasar what is his for self-serving reasons.

Marty said...

I can no longer be silent.

If you want to help solve the immigration problem, then do away with U.S. policies that make migration worse.

A few facts:

Migrants come primarily for jobs due to economic insecurity in their own countries. They also come because of war and political repression.

NAFTA dumped cheap grains on the Mexican market and pushed thousands of farmers from their land. In the 1980s when Central Americans sought to transform economies that left the majority in poverty, they met with U.S. military support for the elites in power. We can address causes of migration by supporting people's efforts to improve their lives in their home countries. That means opposing war, violation of human rights and harmful economic policies.


Immigration visas are nearly impossible to obtain for all but a few wealthy or highly skilled immigrants. The U.S. gives out only 226,000 family-based visas and 140,000 employment-based visas every year. No country can receive more than 7% of the combined total of these two visa categories.

Immigrant workers raise the demand for goods and services which create jobs. Immigrants are a large creator of small businesses.

1.6 million of the estimated undocumented population are children and almost 50% are women. There are now 3.1 million U.S. born children whose parents are undocumentd. Nearly 5 million children are in danger of having their families torn apart by the current wave of deportations.

This says nothing with regard to the horrible conditions and treatment these people endure in detention centers.

Sources:
"The Politics of Immigration"
"Migrant Realities and the Church's Response"
"Who is My Neighbor?"
"Let's Get Together" - United Methodist Women 2010 Program Book.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

"Actually, Bubba, since I am quite sure most if not all the law is unconstitutional..."

What makes you think so? I read the bill myself (actually just most of it) and found nothing that smacks of constitutional trouble. Indeed, it is said to have been written to mirror the federal version so if this is unConstitutional, then I would expect that the federal version is as well. Since what I read didn't seem problematic, perhaps you could show where in the bill there is something about which everyone should be quite certain like you are.

In today's newspaper I read:

"...Arizona lawmakers were expected to vote on a recommendation from a House-Senate conference committee that would strengthen restrictions in the law on using race or ethnicity as the basis for police questioning. the law's sponsor, Republican Sen. Russell Pearce, characterized those possible changes as clarifications "just to take away the silly arguments and the games, the dishonesty that's been played."

So as Constitutionally sound as it appeared to me to be, it will become more so by the time it's all said and done. But again, feel free to point to the Constitutional problem you see, or show how it differs in that way from the federal law after which it was patterned.

I would also reject your notion that a state has no right to protect it's own border, just because that border is also the border of the nation. States are still supposed to have some level of sovereignty or they simply are unnecessary as individual entities. A state has the right to defend itself against crime intruding on its territory, and the nation should be viewing this as an international incident demanding military response of some kind at some point.

Also, I've been trying to bone up on the differences between the Cubans and the Mexicans (fewer Cubans have been attempting to enter in recent months either by land or sea, but a number do come through Mexico). Off the top of my head, I would have the say that the obvious difference in treatment toward the two is based on the fact that one group is basically fleeing a country and the other is not so much fleeing (since so many go back and forth and send money back to family in Mexico) as cutting in line to grab what they can. If Mexico was run by a Communist despot like Cuba, then they'd likely get the same treatment. Actually, that seems rather the obvious answer.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Bubba - all the typing in the world doesn't render you any smarter or more correct.

Ahem: "Presumably, Cubans have documentation about their being given resident "

No. Since the Revolution, any Cuban placing his or her foot upon the land mass of the US is immediately safe. The Mariel Boat Lift of the late 1970s - in which the real dregs of Cuban society were set adrift to land in the US - proved how stupid this policy is; yet, it is still official policy. A Dominican, Haitian, or indeed resident of China, Myanmar or some other dastardly regime must prove through normal legal channels that he or she is in need of emigration to the US, and considered an official refugee. All a Cuban needs is a good boat. Seriously.

Now, I ask you again - what if one of these Cuban emigres strays to Arizona?

What of the claim that children born in the US to undocumented immigrants - who are, according to the Constitution, citizens - are to be "deported" (which is wrong; they would be exiled)? Are you behind that? How about the revelation that the bill was actually authored by a Washington-based anti-immigration group, and tailored to fit Arizona's conditions, rather than an organic, home-grown law?

Because I am confident the law will be declared unconstitutional, the arguments being presented in its defense are more in the way of sport than anything else.

Marshall Art said...

Thanks, Geoffrey. Still no comment on what is actually unConstitutional in the AZ law, though. That disappoints. Your confidence means little here. So does the fact of who authored the law. What possible difference could that make, as if the guy had no input from the Governor and other AZ legislators?

And speaking of sport, thus is the concern regarding children of illegals born here. Why would you expect that they'd be separated from their parents, except to use the argument as a means for allowing the crime of illegal entry to go unpunished? In my world, parents keep their kids with them regardless of insignificant aspects such as legal status of some of the family. Would you leave your kids behind? Huh? Of course not. At worst, you'd leave them with family or friends who ARE legal residents or legally entitled to be in the country. But barring those possibilities, to pretend that they'd be left alone to fend for themselves rather than to simply join their parents, who put them in that situation by the way, is simply the type of claptrap that mucks up the debate. It's a non-issue for those who care about their own children.

As for Cubans who come in through Mexico, if they come in in the same illegal manner, then they are likely to be sent back to Mexico. Perhaps they should stay in Mexico until they can come through legally as well. OR, they can try going to the American consulate or perhaps even show them any Cuban documents that they likely have as Cuban-born citizens. Might that make a difference in your mind?

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

The same goes for you with your presentation of the same bullshit "families torn apart" crap. Who is talking about sending people back without their kids? I've NEVER heard anyone from the secure the borders side of the equation ever suggest such a thing. As I said above, it's just a BS argument used to demonize those who demand our laws be respected and that those who break them to enter be sent back to wait their turn.

It really doesn't matter what the number is for the max quantity of legal immigrants per year. That has absolutely no bearing on the debate. I know many want that number raised, but to what level that would finally do away with the illegals who sneak in? It's stupid to suggest a number pulled from one's nether region, but instead it must be based upon something substantial, and the numbers who want in isn't it. It must be based on the impact any given number would have on our nation and its economy and how that number would help or burden us.

And why would we simply let in every poor person from any country just because they're poor? YOU send YOUR money to help the poor of foreign lands (like so many Americans already do every freakin' day) and stop insisting that everyone here empty their wallets for the sake of other people that YOU think are worthy of it.

I'm all for encouraging other nations to improve their economic policy in a manner that promotes growth and prosperity. But the way you put it would be no different than what you suggest was the reason those countries are impoverished, reasons I reject as being at best only a partial (and small) factor. Just how much into their business do you insist our nation goes so that you'd be satisfied?

And by the way, you also prefer to use the words "migrant" and "immigrant" when the subject is "ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION". The lies that our side opposes immigration have to stop and to continue those lies will not help us get to the real problem.

There seems to be an overall desire for no immigration law whatsoever. No laws, no borders, no security, just a wide open door for whomever chooses to come here regardless of their desires to become an American and melt into our culture and be one of us, rather than come here, take jobs we need for our own people, isolate themselves into groups demanding our governments provide info in their language, and then go back if they want, send money back if they want and basically live on their terms without regard to the rest of the nation. (The perfect type of constituent for any card-carrying Democratic nominee).

Uh uh. That's not helping anything. That's simply encouraging even more people to try and enter. There have to be limits for our own survival, economic or otherwise. We CANNOT simply allow just anyone and hoards of them without some restrictions. To call that stupid is a complete understatement.

Bubba said...

Geoffrey, the documentation I mentioned wasn't paperwork that the Cuban would present to prove he came from Cuba, but the paperwork presumably given by the government as proof that he's been granted resident alien status.

I hope you're actually trying to keep up with the arguments here, but you need to try harder.


If you really think the law is so obviously unconstitutional, then OTHER arguments against the law -- such as mock outrage about its origins -- are also irrelevant. More, I'm not interested in answering any more of your questions if you're too busy or too stupid to grasp what I've already written.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I said directly the law is an unconstitutional abrogation of federal authority by a state.

Or perhaps you didn't read it.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Furthermore, the whole question of how these alleged demands for identification are to be conducted pretty clearly violate the ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. Since even non-citizens enjoy Constitutional protections, the idea that cops can just walk up to someone who they deem suspicious and ask for ID - well, since conservatives thought it was OK for David Koresh to kill a bunch of federal officers serving an actual warrant, why do they think it's OK to just stop someone because they look like they might be an undocumented resident?

Marshall Art said...

"...why do they think it's OK to just stop someone because they look like they might be an undocumented resident?"

This is just the sort of dishonesty that has yet to be substantiated by any liberal opponent of this law. Over and over again it has been stated that the ability of law enforcement to question legal status was only after a subject has been detained for other, more obvious reasons, such as a traffic violation or other crime. There is no provision for simply stopping the random dark-skinned pedestrian without probable cause. If you've really perused the law, you'd know this. So once again I defy you to present what part of the law can reasonably be interpreted as allowing such behavior from AZ cops. In addition, as I've shown below, they are working to tighten the law even more so as to eliminate such stupid assumptions from those who see a vested interest in open borders or in demonizing the right at every opportunity.

"I said directly the law is an unconstitutional abrogation of federal authority by a state."

In what manner exactly? Federal authority is granted by the states. At least that's what was intended by the founders. You haven't answered for the dilemna of common border shared by the state and the nation. I also find it amusing that you would assume that any law enforcement body automatically loses jurisdiction within it's own territory because YOU believe federal law should trump their own security. Once again, the feds derive their power from the people, not the other way around. So if there's anything unConstitutional going on, it's in the a federal law that assumes AZ must answer to Washington for it's own security, particularly when Washington continually shirks its own responsibilities in border security.

By the way, what conservative thought Koresh had a right to kill federal officers serving a warrant. I'm gonna say this is a blatant lie. Obviously you are twisting the facts here. What is true is that conservatives questioned the manner in which that warrant was served. That event was a total cluster-f**k that could have been prevented by serving warrants when Koresh was off the premises, which he was mere days, if not hours, before the assault.

Bubba said...

Geoffrey, Marshell is right, your comment about Waco is slanderous.


Let's suppose that you're right that the Arizona law is "an unconstitutional abrogation of federal authority by a state."

1) The federal government has apparently abdicated its authority, at least in enforcing its own immigration laws, so the state of Arizona is in a tough situation, dealing with the costs and consequences of a federal government that is unwilling to do its job. To act as if no one has urged the feds to enforce its laws is asinine.

2) I suspect that you have no problem with unconstitutional abrogation of state and individual rights and authority by the federal government -- or have you been vocal in protesting the new health care law that compels individuals to purchase insurance?

The question of constitutionality may be a good bludgeon to use to attack the new Arizona law, but I sincerely doubt that you really care about restricting the government -- state AND federal -- to the letter of the highest law of the land. I would be happy to see government at all levels limited to its constitutional authority; it's doubtful you could honestly say the same.


But you seem damn confident that the law is unconstitutional. You seem so confident that you must know what SPECIFIC clause this violates.

In light of the Tenth Amendment...

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

...I imagine that the law must violate a clause pretty obviously. I think you ought to enlighten us.


The Fourth Amendment ain't it: I reiterate that "reasonable suspicion" is an established legal standard that was upheld by the USSC in the 1960's.

Dan Trabue said...

And so I repeat: I'll be satisfied to leave this up to the Court. If they find this law to be unconstitutional, then it will be overturned as it should be.

If not, then it won't and we'll have to watch to make sure that it does not contribute to injustice.

I hope you all will support the decision if the Court rules against your position.

Bubba said...

Dan, I doubt you'd really be "satisfied" if the court upheld a law you denigrate as harsh and even demagogue as the criminalization of seeking a better life.


Anyway, you made a pretty serious charge regarding my reading comprehension, and I want you to provide a tiny shred of evidence that would actually support the charge.

(I'm also curious to see if you will EVER get around to a substantive response to John Stott's analysis of Matthew 5.)

When one of us accuses you of lying, you demand proof: now that you say that I misunderstand you on roughly 90% of what you write, I'm asking you, **NOT** to substantiate that particular claim, difficult as it surely is to prove, but merely to provide some evidence that points in that direction.

Name three of your positions that I distort -- JUST THREE -- and tell us what you really believe.

The task ought to be trivial if you really think I misunderstand you the vast majority of the time.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, we've been through all of that before. I have demonstrated that you generally fail to understand or just misrepresent my positions when you try to speak to them.

If you are sincerely interested in knowing more, feel free to email me. I don't see value in repeating what's been repeated already out of context here.

But, Here's a bone. I'll give you one from this conversation. You said...

I think you add to your hypocrisy by appealing to Scripture ONLY when it can be used to advance your political agenda.

Demonstrably false.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

I like this comment better, so I deleted the previous one.

FOFLMAO! Dan, stop it! You're making my belly hurt!

I know you're joking, 'cause if you were serious, you've just told the biggest whopper since you said God blesses gay marriage.

HA, HA, HA! Snort!

What's that you keep saying about "bearing false witness"?

Why don't you answer the question asked about when you have misrepresented our position? Here's a little help to remember a time, right here:

"I find it odd that Christians would be so strong in support of anti-immigration legislation."

You know damn well none of us are anti-immigration. We are against ILLEGAL immigration, and you know it. The operative word here is ILLEGAL, you Putz.

HO, HO, HO! Chortle!

Bubba said...

Dan:

You write, "I have demonstrated that you generally fail to understand or just misrepresent my positions when you try to speak to them."

Where, exactly, have you ever done this?

You say, "I don't see value in repeating what's been repeated already out of context here," but you don't have to repeat anything: through the magic of HTML, you can link to whatever previous conversation proves that I routinely misunderstand your positions.

You refer to one line in our conversation here as "demonstrably false," but you don't write one word to, um, DEMONSTRATE that it is false.

And, anyway, the one line has nothing to do with your positions, but with your BEHAVIOR.

I wrote, "I think you add to your hypocrisy by appealing to Scripture ONLY when it can be used to advance your political agenda."

I think I provided plenty of evidence to support the claim: you quote the books of Moses when they encourage hospitality to foreigners, but you dismiss as atrocity their record of divine commands to wage wars of annihilation, and you dismiss as "self-evident" falsehood their commands to execute, for instance, those who dishonor their parents.

But all of this is about YOUR BEHAVIOR, not YOUR POSITIONS.

You write things about my behavior with which I disagree strongly -- for instance, your claim that I routinely misunderstand you. But the fact that we disagree in how interpret each other's behavior does NOT prove that either of us misunderstand each other's beliefs.


Again you say, "you generally fail to understand or just misrepresent my positions when you try to speak to them."

But the "bone" you threw had nothing to do with misunderstanding or misrepresenting a particular position.

I ask again for three actual positions that I get wrong.


If you didn't want to discuss this in public, you shouldn't have made the public accusation in the first place.

I'm not going to ask you to defend privately a smear you're more than willing to make in public.

Dan Trabue said...

sigh...

Bubba,

1. This is off topic.

2. We've been through this all before.

3. I'm not going to spend my time looking it up and posting links. Anyone fair minded who has read our conversations knows that we've been through this all before.

4. As a rule, you tend to misunderstand/misrepresent my positions.

5. I've given an example just now. I didn't provide support because it is self evident to anyone who has read our rounds in the past.

6. BUT, just in case there is anyone who hasn't read us in the past...

A. I was raised a traditional conservative Southern Baptist, with all that entails.

B. I've changed my positions to a more progressive anabaptist position over the years. I've done so from reading the Bible and seeking God's will prayerfully. Sometimes, this has caused me to change my positions, but always it has been in an attempt to seek God's will. NOT because I'm a liberal seeking biblical support through cherry-picking Bible verses, but the exact opposite: I was a conservative seeking God's will and the Bible and prayer and the Holy Spirit led me to my current positions.

D. Could I be MISTAKEN in my positions? Always. I am a fallible human being entirely capable of mistakes. However, I have not randomly chosen a position and THEN looked for Bible verses to support that, that just has not happened in the real world. Bubba has no evidence to support such a conclusion.

E. For instance, I was a John Wayne loving believer in war as a just solution. I changed my position to a more peacemaker/pacifist position out of seeking God's will in the Bible. I did not suddenly become "liberal" on that position and only then looked to find biblical support for that position, rather I held the pro-war position whilst a conservative earnestly seeking God's will in the Bible and reading the Bible and prayer led me away from the notion of war as "just." Entirely opposite from what Bubba claims.

The same is true for my position on gay marriage. I held the traditional conservative position and only after seeking prayerfully God's will in the Bible was I convinced that my old conservative position was mistaken.

Dan Trabue said...

Again, support that Bubba's claim is a misunderstanding/misrepresentation of my actual position.

Bubba had said... appealing to Scripture ONLY when it can be used to advance your political agenda.

E. In fact, I DO quote the Bible an awful lot. Moreso probably than Marshall and some of the others here with blogs. But the reason I do this is because I dig the Bible. I love God and I love the Bible. I enjoy reading it. I think there's an awful lot of great stuff to be discussed and considered there.

But just because I quote it does not mean I'm "using it" to advance a political position. Rather, as demonstrated, I have sought to align my life with what I understand the Bible to say and, more importantly, what God's Will is. There is no evidence for this, just Bubba's guess. The only real world evidence is for the exact opposite, since I HAVE changed my political position in order to line my life up with what I understand the Bible to say.

In the real world, I don't believe I hold to a single political position that I did not arrive at by seeking God's will. War? Environment? Poverty? Simple living? Gay marriage? On each of these, I arrived at my position by seeking God's will.

Bubba is free to guess that this is not the case. That I was always a flaming liberal and I'm only pretending to have been conservative or that I was a conservative Christian but somehow got "converted" to a liberal position and now only seek to justify that position by finding biblical verses to support it, but that's all just guesswork. Anyone who knows me, who knew me growing up, who knows me now can tell you that this is just not the case.

I'm curious Bubba. What ARE you guessing is my "real" life story? Do you think that I was a conservative who, for some reason, converted to a liberal political position? Or, do you think I was always liberal and am just lying about my upbringing?

If the former, what are you guessing might have changed a traditional conservative Christian to a liberal political position? If the latter, why would you think I'm making all that up? Why don't you contact my parents or the guys in my Contemporary Christian band I used to be in - they're all still traditional conservatives.

Or does it come down simply to you don't understand my position, therefore you think I'm lying?

What causes someone to take a guess like the one you're taking and make accusations like the ones you make?

Dan Trabue said...

Not enough support?

Look again at your claim...

appealing to Scripture ONLY when it can be used to advance your political agenda.

1. Look at my blog. I quote scripture regularly. I have an on-going look at the Bible and what it has to say on matters of economics, poverty and wealth. There is no political agenda there, just quoting scripture, usually with hardly any commentary.

2. The whole gist of that particular stream of Bible study IS that the Bible has a lot to say about poverty and wealth. As I say...

For many people, it can be surprising to learn how very much the Bible talks about matters of wealth and poverty. Many of our churches simply don't talk about this topic much (and unfortunately, often when they do, they do so poorly).

3. Thus, the purpose of these posts has nothing to do with a political agenda and everything to do with simple Bible study.

4. Further, I have quoted the Bible recently telling the Easter story, again with no comment other than the story itself. Where is the political agenda in that?

5. I also have recently posted just a fun excerpt from Revelation, again with no political commentary.

6. Before that, I posted about Justice and again, here, but the idea there was that my and THE church is striving to align ourselves with biblical teaching, not vice versa.

7. I could go on, but it's easy enough to demonstrate that I do NOT, in fact, "appeal to scripture" ONLY to advance a political agenda. I appeal to scripture for education's sake, for Bible's study sake, for the joy of the Word of God, and, yes, sometimes, to demonstrate WHY I hold my position - because of what the Bible says.

The evidence does not support your conclusion.

Marshall Art said...

Good gosh, Dan. No amount of denial will change our minds. We do indeed have several years of your comments from which we've drawn our conclusions. I keep thinking of this line used in several contexts, mostly comedic, which goes, "Can't get there from here." If the Bible is a road, it won't take any serious student to progressivism/liberalism/socialism/whateverism they're calling it these days. It certainly won't bring any reasonable, serious student to "gay" marriage.

As to your humble beginnings, there is a huge question regarding your alleged conservatism. Based on how poorly your "prayerful study" has served you in understanding Scripture, I'd put my money on the strong liklihood that you never truly understood conservatism. You certainly don't carry on as if you do now. No sir. I cannot believe anyone could ever get from Lev 20:13 to "gay" marriage without outside influence. Nothing in Scripture can possibly lead anyone in that direction, and you've never, EVER shown what within its many verses lead you. Indeed, that it seems strange to you that the behavior can still be prohibited though atonement for the sin can be satisfied through Christ's death indicates an incredibly poor grasp of the message, the Good News of the Bible.

All along the many discussions it's been shown how you fail to make your case by your improper use of Scripture, your penchant for presenting partial verses or verses wherein the message is incomplete without the very next sentence. It's routine with you.

Even here in this discussion, you've pulled a number of verses that you need to believe gives credence to any claim of "social injustice" in our immigration laws and their enforcement. Yet, not one of those verses suggests anything illegal, unlawful or sinful in the manner in which the alien has presented himself before God mandates how he is to be treated. It really doesn't matter whether or not you like the laws as they now stand. The fact is that the laws have been broken by the illegals and there's no Biblical mandate to treat them as if they haven't. Legal immigrants are treated just fine, though because of the illegals, no doubt many legal aliens will suffer. Where's the justice for these people? Because some like you believe our laws need not be obeyed, those who have obeyed them will again be put through the ringer. How typically liberal.

Dan Trabue said...

I GET that you think I'm mistaken, Marshall. No news there. But what I'm pointing out is that, where Bubba said I am...

appealing to Scripture ONLY when it can be used to advance your political agenda.

That he is mistaken. I appeal to scripture because I hold it in high value and because I hope to learn from it. I quote scripture not to validate a political agenda but because that scripture is how I reached my positions in the first place.

No one disputes that you disagree with my conclusions. Where you all have it wrong is in assuming I have not gotten where I am because of Bible study and seeking God's will.

If you're still going down this rabbit trail, let me ask you a question. Earlier in a previous post, I believe, someone mentioned Martin Luther King, Jr as being a conservative. I don't necessarily dispute it. He is a conservative and serious Bible believer in the same vein as I am.

Here is where the Bible led King...

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching
spiritual death...

We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam.
I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak
for the poor in America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I
speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the
leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours...

The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant
animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty...

When we ask Negroes to abide by the law, let us also declare that the white man does not abide by law in the ghettos. Day in
and day out he violates welfare laws to deprive the poor of their meager allotments; he flagrantly violates building codes and
regulations; his police make a mockery of law; he violates laws on equal employment and education and the provisions of civil
services. The slums are the handiwork of a vicious system of the white society...

The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America...

We have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifices. Capitalism was built on the exploitation of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor...


I am a conservative in the same vein that MLK was a conservative. I am a liberal in the same vein that MLK was a liberal. We both seek/sought to follow God's will and to walk in Jesus' steps, which has led us to seek ways to end/limit injustice and oppression.

You may disagree with our conclusions, but what you can't say is that we didn't reach them by seeking God's will. That is my point. THAT is where Bubba makes his mistake in these sorts of comments.

Bubba said...

Dan, I appreciate your multiple replies, and the shortest possible response I can make is simply this:

I understand what you've written, I just don't believe all of it.

It's not a matter of misunderstanding, it's a matter of disbelief; it's not a matter of my comprehension, it's a matter of your credibility.


To answer your question, I personally don't much doubt your claim to have been a conservative, but it has never seemed to me that you had a good grasp of what conservatism means.

I don't question the fact that you've moved from conservatism to progressivism, but I do question your stated explanation for why you've moved. I'm skeptical, not because of a mere "guess" or "hunch" but because you can't point to a single verse that justifies your belief that God condones homosexual behavior -- no such verse exists -- and because you rip passages out of context to justify your position on war.

(Yes, Paul taught in Romans 12 to overcome evil with good, but it's sheer question begging to assume that war is evil. That conclusion is not only contrary to Ecclesiastes 3 -- which doesn't teach that there's a time for idolatry or adultery -- and to Paul's imagery of the armor of God, it contradicts THE VERY NEXT PASSAGE IN ROMANS, where Paul teaches that the government is an agent of God's wrath, an agent that, in 13:4, "does not bear the sword in vain.")

Now you say you love the Bible.

You insist, "I HAVE changed my political position in order to line my life up with what I understand the Bible to say."

You say you hold your positions "because of what the Bible says."

You write, "I appeal to scripture because I hold it in high value and because I hope to learn from it. I quote scripture not to validate a political agenda but because that scripture is how I reached my positions in the first place."

And yet:

And yet you denigrate as "revenge fantasies" the Old Testament accounts of God's command to annihilate Israel's enemies.

You question the historicity of the Passover, a central event of Judaism that has been celebrated for literally millennia, an event through which Christ taught the meaning of His own death, the central event of our faith.

You even seem to question the centrality of Christ's death: what the Bible records as the Lord's commanded commemoration of His death, you dismiss as merely ancient church tradition.

Paul's biblical teachings regarding the sexes, you say is "doubtless" evidence of his misogyny and/or bigotry: even CHRIST'S choosing of twelve men to be His closest followers, you dismiss as "a nod" to the sexism of the surrounding culture.

[cont]

Bubba said...

[cont]

Even in this one thread, your inconsistent love for the Bible's clear teachings is completely obvious.

The Bible's OT command to execute those who dishonor their parents? You dismiss it as "self-evidently false" and even "atrocious."

Exodus 21's regulations for the treatment of slaves? "Self-evidently wrong."

You not only dismiss the passage as irrelevant, you return to the idea of literal atrocity to denigrate the morality of the passage.

"I don't think ANY of that is relevant today. Partially because of NT teachings. Beyond that, just because of plain common sense. These are obviously not rules that apply today. They are against our notions of justice and righteousness. Just because it may have been a good thing for a slave owner to set a male slave free but keep his wife and children as slaves back then, does not means it is STILL a moral good. In fact, we reject such 'morality' as an atrocity, now."

None of this is actually justifiable by Scripture, either by any individual passage or by its teachings "as a whole," and you've never been able to argue for your position without ANTI-biblical assumptions that the text itself rejects -- such as the notion that even God Almighty is morally prohibited from ending, at will, human life WHICH HE CREATED AND SUSTAINS.


Dan, the Bible isn't an infinitely malleable text. Its teachings are often quite clear.

And equally clear is the fact many of your beliefs deviate significantly from its clear teachings.

I know the Bible well enough, and I understand your positions well enough, to know that the book doesn't justify many of those positions.

We know the Bible well enough that we simply cannot accept as remotely credible your ridiculous claim that that book has been determinative for your beliefs.

Dan Trabue said...

Dan, the Bible isn't an infinitely malleable text. Its teachings are often quite clear.

I agree. That's why I wish you'd change your positions. But the thing is, YOU DISAGREE with my conclusions.

And you know what? That's okay. I'm not insisting that you think just like I do. While I think your biblical exegesis is sometimes quite appalling, I recognize that I am a fallible human being and I could be wrong. I don't think I am, or I wouldn't hold my positions, but I could be wrong.

You are responsible for seeking God's will as best as you can and I expect that that is exactly what you're doing. I sometimes fear that you're allowing human tradition to set your agenda, rather than God's will, but it's not really my place to force you to agree with me. All I can do is explain what I find WHEN I SEEK GOD'S WILL in the Bible and in prayerful contemplation. And that is what I have done.

Now, you disagree with my conclusions just as I disagree with yours. That's all fine and good. But where you err is in assuming that simply because YOU don't find my positions to be reasonable, that no other human beings could come to my conclusions honestly.

The thing is, I have. Get over it. You aren't a god and you don't know my mind. You disagree with my positions and that is it. Sometimes people disagree with each other, it happens. And they can do so honestly thinking they are right.

I assume - no matter how ridiculous or offensive your positions might be to my understanding of God's will - that you are honestly trying to discern God's will. I'd appreciate the same respect.

You are free to not give it, but that will never mean that I don't actually hold my positions for exactly the reasons I have said.

And thus, you ARE mistaken when you say that I "appeal... to Scripture ONLY when it can be used to advance your political agenda." That is a mistaken and false conclusion. And I know, because it's MY position that we're speaking of.

Dan Trabue said...

And THAT is why I decline to give you further repudiation of your false assumptions and misrepresentations again. I've done it repeatedly. It gets us nowhere that I can see.

You appear to be too tied to your own belief in your own brilliance to accept that people of good will could actually disagree with you.

Good luck with that. I'd prefer trusting in grace over my own brilliance, if I were you. Grace is so much better.

Bubba said...

Dan, you keep bringing up "misrepresentations," but it seems like I really do understand what you write: I just don't always find it credible.

It's not the case that, just because I think you're dishonest, I discount the good faith of literally everyone who disagrees with me. That sort of slander belies your effort to appear magnanimous.

But, yes, barring arguments that are far better than yours, I do believe that your positions are simply unreachable via an honest effort to understand and submit to the Bible's teachings.


The Bible emphasizes God's wrath and consistently condemns homosexual behavior, but you believe God blesses "gay marriage" all while you question the historicity of the Passover.

The Bible is clear about the saving efficacy of Christ's death and the absolute necessity of Christ's bodily Resurrection, but you deny the former and pride yourself on not being dogmatic about the latter.

And, the Bible is clear that Jesus Christ instituted the Lord's Supper, and you demote the observance to merely an ancient church tradition.


If someone told me that he loved the Bible and sought to conform his beliefs to its teachings, and he then went on to say that he is an atheist because of what the Bible taught, I would rightly reject his claims as simply not credible.

Ditto, for someone who claimed that Bible study led to the rejection of the Incarnation or even the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth.

While your beliefs aren't nearly as obviously outrageous, I believe they still fall well clear of the set of beliefs that are possible from a reasonable man's good-faith attempt to study Scripture and conform to its teachings.

Giving your beliefs that credit when I do not think they deserve it would require me to compromise my integrity.

Marshall Art said...

"I assume - no matter how ridiculous or offensive your positions might be to my understanding of God's will - that you are honestly trying to discern God's will. I'd appreciate the same respect."

Dan. Please. Respect? You haven't even shown us respect by showing us how Scripture leads to your positions. More accurately, when we show how your use of Scripture is improper or out of context, you give us the old "hunch" bullshit. Our objections are obvious based on your own words and poor use of Scripture, often incomplete or totally out of context. You make great assumptions, such as those regarding wars of annihilation, homosex marriage and now immigration, that you've never supported with solid Scriptural evidence. Indeed, you routinely go outside of Scripture to overlay what seems beneficial to your arguments, such as notions of ancient writing styles, to insist that those extra-Biblical arguments apply to Scripture...why, exactly...because you say so. Or worse, because some progressive scholar needs it to be so in order to maintain his position, one that you might favor over the implications of accepting the words of the Bible as they are.

As your politics is so very much like most progressives/socialists/liberals of the last 100 or more years or so, I hardly think that it is totally honest to expect me to believe that one could reach such conclusions on one's own without outside influence. Indeed, my initial studies of the Bible were to find loopholes I could use to satisfy my own worldly desires and I found nothing like what you have made exist for you. It has lead me to real conservatism, far removed from anything you seem to think it is or was for you. I cannot see in the least how it was God who lead you to believe as you do. I can't for the life of me imagine what you were like "pre-conversion". But you haven't grown closer since then, you've only grown more holy-like.

Dan Trabue said...

I hardly think that it is totally honest to expect me to believe that one could reach such conclusions on one's own without outside influence.

Believe it or not, that is how it happened. As I have told you, being the sort of conservative that I was, I didn't READ "outside" sources. I read the Bible mainly and a bunch. Beyond that, I read CS Lewis, Leonard Ravenhill, Charles Stanley, Oswald Chambers, James Dobson, etc.

The thing that you need to keep in mind is that, just because you can't imagine something does not mean it can't happen. The world is bigger than your imagination. GOD is greater than your mind. People of good faith some times - and without "outside influences" come to different opinions than you.

Believe it or not.

Mark said...

I don't believe you. You have proven yourself to be a liar.

And, you have proven that you will quote the Bible out of context every time you want to make a point that is not in the least Biblical.

There is absolutely no way that anyone, after prayerful study of the Bible, could ever conclude that God blesses gay marriage.

And you have never produced one single solitary shred of evidence that backs your ridiculous finding up.

Despite the fact that you have been asked repeatedly to present even one Bible verse that would support that conclusion.

How long have we been asking you to answer that question? 2 years now? Or is it 3?

You know, Dan, as I've often said, I admire your tenacity, but a reasonable semi-intelligent man would have realized long ago that he was supporting a notion that is wholly unsupportable and just plain wrong.

Frankly, I don't understand why you cling so desperately to your stupid and vapid argument. The only explanation I can come up with (seriously)is you must be homosexual yourself, and are continuing to search for justification so you don't have to admit you are abnormal.

But, even if you aren't gay, you're still abnormal.

So, anyway, you have long ago convinced everyone that you will lie to support your points. And once you've been caught lying, you will never be believed again.

Bubba said...

Dan, the proof is in the pudding: if you want people to believe that reasonable, good-faith Bible study led to your theological and political positions, you ought to present reasonable arguments FROM SCRIPTURE TO THOSE POSITIONS.

You don't.

Sometimes you don't present any argument from Scripture at all, as you have never told us what passages convinced you that God condones homosexual behavior: you don't, because no such passage exists.

When you do present what superficially resembles an argument from Scripture, you either introduce extra- and anti-biblical assumptions -- such as the assumption that God does not have the moral right to take, at His discretion, life that He created in His own image, that He sustains, and that He remains sovereign over -- or you rip passages out even their immediate context, as you've done with Romans 12-13, I Peter 2, Psalm 106, and arguably Matthew 5.

We wouldn't have to "imagine" that your beliefs resulted from a reasonable, good-faith Bible study if you were capable of walking us through the arguments that led you to where you are.


You write to Marshall:

"The thing that you need to keep in mind is that, just because you can't imagine something does not mean it can't happen. The world is bigger than your imagination. GOD is greater than your mind. People of good faith some times - and without 'outside influences' come to different opinions than you."

You're still engaging in the same smear that we don't believe the good faith and sincerity of anyone who disagrees with us. Just because we don't believe YOU, it doesn't mean that we need to reminded that disagreement is "some times" possible between reasonable men.

("Sometimes" is the key word, and I don't think the adverb applies in this case.)

But I must ask, do you believe there are limits to what you write here?

You write, "just because you can't imagine something does not mean it can't happen."

Do you mean that literally ANY interpretation of the Bible is a possible result, from a reasonable person studying the text in good faith?

How about atheism? The denial of the Incarnation? The denial of a historical Jesus? Polytheism? Devil worship? Salvation by works?

At some point, giving the benefit of the doubt to the world of imagination -- where anything is possible, and dreams become reality -- simply goes too far: it becomes a de facto denial of the clarity of Scripture.

Not every teaching of the Bible is a clear teaching, but I believe that many of its most important teachings are so clear and so emphatic that a reasonable and sincere study of the text really can lead nowhere else.


As I pointed in our previous conversation, John Stott implied that, where Scripture is clear, one really should be dogmatic.

I still wonder if you're dogmatic about the Trinity, the Incarnation, or even the existence of God: I don't think you ever addressed my question.

Still, you were pretty clear that you are dogmatic about the ethical command to love your enemies.

Should one suppose that YOU would deny that a reasonable person could conclude, in good faith, that the Bible commands us to hate our enemies? Would your doing so be an act that is contrary to the infinite possibilities of imagination, and an act of arrogance in light of the greatness of God?

I ask again, are there limits to your appeal to imagination and thus the malleability of Scripture?

Bubba said...

Mark, I don't think your theory best fits all the available evidence.

(Your theory might also be considered beyond the pale, but, then, I've never seen Dan say one word of criticism when, at his own blog, his friends routinely call into question the sexuality of people who believe that homosexual behavior is morally prohibited.)

Your theory would explain Dan's unjustifiable intransigence regarding this one subject, but it doesn't explain everything else -- from the Passover and the Lord's Supper, to the saving power of Christ's death and the absolute necessity of His bodily resurrection.

It's not as if Dan's beliefs are reasonable, orthodox, and biblical except for the issue of "gay marriage."

So, I think the better explanation is that Dan is trying to advance his radical political agenda (and the radical theology that comes with it) by trying to give his beliefs the appearance of respectability, and he does this by insisting -- quite implausibly -- that his beliefs resulted from Bible study.

The Bible's clear teachings and his own beliefs diverge so clearly on so many topics, that he ought to abandon one or the other, but the only reason I can conceive that he doesn't, is that he wants to invoke the former to advance the cause of the latter.

It's the treachery of a stealth radical, subverting a traditional institution in service to his own agenda.