Freedom Folks

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I've written on this before but I thought it might be good to trot it out again. One of my least favorite elements of modern, dare I say namby-pamby Christianity is what I refer to as the curse of 'niceness.'

Niceness is when you supplant the word of God with a purely human value no matter how wonderful. Actual Christianity is a fairly tough minded deal, here's my default example, I'm sure we've all seen the picture of Jesus carrying the lamb on his shoulders? Do you know what that represents?

In the time of Christ is a lamb ran away the shephard would break its legs and carry it on his shoulders so that it would bond with him and stop running away.

Not namby-pamby I think you'll agree.

Here's an example of a namby-pamby Christian saying something that sounds so right, until you actually stop and think about what he's saying...
The wall that Israel is now building on the West Bank is meant to keep people out, justified as a security measure against terrorists. It is distinctive in that it is being built not on the Israel-West Bank border, but on the Palestinian side, without the Palestinians' consent. The wall is dividing Palestinian communities and connecting Israeli settlements on the West Bank with Israel proper, creating "facts on the ground" for an Israeli annexation of large portions of the West Bank. This wall has been condemned by the International Court of Justice as violating international law.

The U.S.-Mexico wall is also meant to keep people out, justified by both immigration enforcement and national security concerns. However, it operates more as a filter than a total barrier—the United States still needs large numbers of people to cross back and forth. It has forced more of those who cross without authorization to try their luck in harsh desert regions, with deadly consequences. Hundreds die in the desert each year. The Vatican has condemned the wall as "inhumane." It is also distinctive in that it is between two otherwise friendly neighbors who have a free trade agreement.

Physical barriers also result in the erection of invisible walls. By hindering human contact, people become less knowledgeable and more suspicious of each other. Those being walled in or walled out can feel trapped and inferior. The contact zone, the border area, becomes unpleasant, even dangerous, further accentuating divisions and fears. The powerful and rich can cross over the barriers more easily; the costs of separation weigh more heavily on those who are poorer and less powerful.

Borders have a positive role in the peaceful ordering of that part of God's creation which is humanity. If borders are to serve that role, they should promote human rights and human dignity, not take dignity and rights away. A nation's borders reflect its values.
Fine, good, except how many Israeli lives have been saved by the wall? The Palestinians weren't merely coming over to bus tables, they were immolating themselves and innocent Israelis. Where's the compassion for the Israeli's here? I don't see it.

And I have the same problem with the Mexican border analogy, fine, lovely, we're a big bunch of Mr. Meanie pants for wanting a wall, except it's actually good for those on the Mexican border as well. In his book State Of Emergency Pat Buchanon writes of Rep. Duncan Hunters wildly successful program to build a fence in the San Diego district...
"As Duncan Hunter, whose SanDiego district encompasses the fence, testifies, even the neighborhoods on the Mexican side now accept it. For these people, too, were abused by gangs that congregated, robbed, raped, and murdered. Says Hunter, the fence "brought down the border murders from an average of ten a year to zero. It brought down the number of drug trucks from 300 a month to zero. It brought down the smuggling of narcotics and people to almost zero."
And he notes that property values on both sides of the border increased! Now that's compassion.

As to these reality challenged "christians?" It isn't compassion to ask people to live in a less safe environment, is it? And how does a border barrier take the "dignity and rights away" from anybody? Is there some right to cross the border illegally that I am currently unaware of? This is at best muddle headed thinking, at worst? Dangerously soft headed!

I continue to be astonished at the lengths to which supposed "Christians" will pervert scripture and play on people's compassion to ensure that sweat shops remain open, people are abused in our fields, and butts sit in their pews.

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