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Op-Ed

Allan Erickson: Here's How To Respond When You're Accused of Hating Refugees

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Those of us who hold to traditional interpretations of the Bible and the Constitution — conservative Christians — must respond to presentations like this one by Jim Martin. It is stunning coming from a minister.

Martin starts out by asking, “Why do people hate migrants and refugees?”

This is a tactical question employing the straw man fallacy. Here’s how it works: First, the aggressor (Martin) accuses the opposition of hating people; then he attacks haters. It is a dishonest debate tactic serving the overall strategy: Demonize the opposition by painting them as “bad people.” Translation: Since you hate people that God wants us to love, you’re bad, immoral and inferior.

It is a muscling tactic, slanderous, and useful in sparking conflict. It is remarkable how cleverly the so-called peacemakers actually wind up inciting violence.

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False accusations have a way of doing that.

Do you actually believe most Americans hate refugees? If you think so, may I see the proof? Allow me to prove the opposite premise, that most Americans love refugees.

During the last 30 years or so, Americans have taken in 20 million migrants and refugees, most of them illegal immigrants. No other country has ever taken in so many people. We spend $135 billion tax dollars a year to accommodate refugees, migrants and illegal immigrants. Does that sound like Americans hating refugees? To me, it is evidence of the traditional generosity and compassion displayed by Americans since our founding.

In fact, if you study the topic more generally, you will find that conservative Christians give to charity in the greatest amounts and more consistently across the board, supporting refugees at home and abroad. Does that sound like hating refugees?

Do you support the ability of people to immigrate to the U.S. lawfully?

So, in the first place, Americans do not hate refugees. Americans, especially conservative Christians, love refugees, showing it in tangible ways through donations of money, material and volunteer labor on a incomparable scale. And since Americans do not hate refugees, the question of “Why?” is irrelevant. Moreover, your attempt to explain the “Why?” of a false allegation is slanderous.

Martin claims conservative Christians hate refugees because they are breaking the law by coming across the border. (To be consistent, Martin is forced to keep it personal since facts and logic have little bearing.) He argues we hate people because they break the law, failing to consider that we dislike lawbreaking because it hurts everyone.

Lawfully, refugees are encouraged to apply for asylum. For 242 years we have welcomed people from around world, inviting them to come to America lawfully, placing only one condition — that they become Americans with all that requires. Orderly immigration policy protects citizens — and immigrants, people too often exploited.

Keep in mind, non-citizens do not enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship. Sound immigration policy is a good thing, not bad law, as Martin argues. For more than two centuries, many millions of people have come here peacefully and legally to become Americans.

Until recently, this was the way of immigration. It was the way my ancestors came from Scandinavia in the 1880s. I have a friend from Guatemala. He came here legally about 30 years ago. He was sponsored by conservative Christians. I have another friend whose entire family came here from Iraq in the 80s. They also came legally with the help of conservative Christians.

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However, today, my friends agree that circumstances have changed radically. With increases in terrorism, drug dealing, human trafficking and disease, prudent lawmakers and public officials have good reason to be more careful in granting asylum. In fact, these officials have very good reasons to be more scrutinizing about immigration overall. Their civic duty demands it.

The citizenship duty to obey the law is negotiable for Martin. He gives himself permission to decide if a law is just or unjust, ignoring the fact that the basis for law is morality. In the West, that law is rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition and values he supposedly endorses and promotes as a minister.

How strange then to hear a minister encourage lawbreaking, based only on his subjective judgment. I think that is the definition of anarchy. Does Martin suppose he can pick and choose from among the Ten Commandments?

Martin chides us for holding illegal immigrants to a standard. He arbitrarily says our immigration laws are unjust. He doesn’t bother to explain why he thinks they are unjust. However, he does fail to mention that every nation on Earth controls its borders with strict immigration laws, most all of them much tighter that ours. So how are our laws unjust, out of step with the mainstream?

You see, it’s just another of Martin’s false accusations.

He goes on to say conservative Christians (and all Republicans) ignore laws we think unjust, such as the laws legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage. Therefore, people on the left like Martin should be arbitrary and ignore unjust laws too.

However, there are two huge differences worth noting.

One, when we object to laws concerning abortion and same-sex marriage, we do not break the law in order to protest, as does the left in league with illegal immigrants.

Secondly, the so-called “laws” regarding abortion and same-sex marriage were effected by the Supreme Court in violation of the Constitution. Lawyers will argue all day and night about this but it is clear the Founders never intended the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench. According to the Constitution, lawmaking is the exclusive function of Congress.

The Supreme Court violated the Constitution by legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage, both measures opposed by substantial majorities. What is it called when government steps beyond its prescribed duties to force laws on unwilling citizens? Unjust? Tyrannical?

Even more importantly, abortion and same-sex relationships are clearly abominations in the sight of God, according to His Word. Here we have Martin tacitly endorsing abortion and same-sex relationships in complete contradiction of the Word of God. In the past, most often, one could trust that a minister in good standing would be faithful to the Word of God. Apparently, faithfulness to the Word, along with good citizenship and fidelity to the Constitution, are negotiable.

Martin accuses us of picking and choosing what law we will or will not obey when the truth is his relativism leaves him violating both Scripture and the Constitution. You see, once you start leveling false allegations, they just compound and cascade.

Here is another example: Martin claims it is God’s law that requires us to welcome all refugees and migrants. This is absolutely untrue.

God certainly calls on us to love and respect the refugees we find among us. He never orders all nations to throw open their borders to unlimited immigration, no matter the status of the persons wanting to immigrate, especially when many are known criminals, terrorists, drug runners and human traffickers.

Does Martin think the Almighty would have mayhem descend on innocent citizens, especially women and children? Indeed, God talks about setting boundaries. In particular, with regard to Israel, God commanded that nation to secure itself, and be ready to do battle, on many occasions.

Martin will no doubt invoke this passage to support his point: “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Does this verse say throw open your borders and invite anyone and everyone to come in without conditions of any kind? Of course it does not say these things, but Martin would have you believe that is the right interpretation.

When American citizens foot the bill for food, housing, language and job training, welfare, education and health care for both illegal aliens and refugees, is that somehow “mistreating them?” When we treat them better than we treat the native-born, are we violating Scripture?

It also states in Leviticus 24:22, “You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the Lord your God.”

In other words, refugees, the foreigners, are to become legal citizens! How else do they become as native-born with equal standing under the law?

The ancient Israelites were commanded to apply the law equally. Do we do that in America today with illegal immigrants? No! We provide them sanctuary cities so they can break federal law and avoid the consequences. We give illegal immigrants special status. We deport them numerous times and they violate the law upon their return, time and again, without punishment. In short we have created a two-tier system of justice granting special status to people who violate our laws, whose violations injure law-abiding citizens, and we call that just law, equal protection, human rights.

In fact, these are the means by which anarchy reigns.

Once again Martin is found trafficking in fables.

Martin goes on showing us the love of God by leveling another false accusation: Americans hate refugees because these people have been demonized by President Donald Trump and others. He then engages his own form of Trump Derangement Syndrome, apparently unaware of at least two realities: Hispanics, in huge numbers, likewise object to illegal immigration, and Hispanics in growing numbers support this president in record-setting ways.

If Trump were a racist, as Martin implies, then why on earth would Hispanics rally to him in such dramatic ways? Once again Martin is guilty of issuing falsehoods.

However, Martin saved the biggest lies for last. He links Trump saying illegals “infest” our country to Nazi rhetoric, genocidal language used in Rwanda and the way Americans described interned Japanese during World War II. “It’s much easier to treat people like dirt when they are seen as animals,” Martin declares.

If you think we treat migrants, refugees and illegal aliens like dirt because we think they are animals, and if you think Trump is a Nazi leading refugees to gas chambers or internment camps, then you are as deceived and incoherent as Martin. If you think we are no different that the killers in Rwanda during the Clinton administration, when 800,000 people were hacked to death with machetes, then you suffer from another kind of psychosis.

Martin sums up by first telling us we should be like him. We should understand refugees’ stories. You see, Martin served in East Africa for two years in the 90s, so he understands these stories and therefore has a keener mind and a softer heart toward refugees. These refugees, unlike conservative Christians, were the most faithful and hardworking people Martin has ever met. He reminds us that the next time we see refugees as animals infesting our country, we should remember they are doing what we would do if our families were threatened.

Like you, contrary to Martin’s indictment, I have never viewed another human being, refugee or otherwise, as an “animal infesting our country.” I see desperate people who need help. I see compassionate Americans doing their best to help. I see politicians manipulating refugees for votes. I see clerics and lawyers exploiting refugees for political and monetary gain. I see employers exploiting refugees because our laws are not enforced.

I see thousands upon thousands of illegals demanding open borders in Europe and here, 90 percent of them men between the ages of 14 and 40. I see spikes in violence and crime directly attributed to disorderly and lawless immigration practices, and I see more and more responsible leaders in countries throughout Europe and here at home calling for security for all, justice for all, and provision for all by returning to the rule of law.

Unfortunately, people like Jim Martin think a solution lies in the traditional leftist approach to most any problem: romanticize the situation, pit the poor against the rich and the middle class, throw money at the problem, ignore the law and demonize whites, Republicans, conservative Christians, and law enforcement. But more than all this, he and his friends insist you ignore those who claim, with substantiation, that this is not so much a migration, as it is an invasion.

Radicals in Central and South America have for many years stated their objective to overthrow our country. As Jihadists are doing in Europe, as predicted by Qaddafi and many others, the invasion will succeed as millions take up residence and receive welfare and out-breed natural-born citizens. This reality is something Martin ignores for some reason, but presidents and other public officials cannot ignore the invasion, nor can they ignore the oath they took to protect and defend the Constitution and the sovereignty of the United States.

Some may casually ignore Scripture and the Constitution. Others may consciously violate Scripture and the Constitution. Both groups will be held accountable for false teaching on Judgment Day.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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After college, Allan Erickson enjoyed an 11-year career in journalism. He then turned to sales and marketing for a decade. Fourteen years ago, he started his own recruitment company. Allan & his wife Jodi have four children. He is the author of "The Cross & the Constitution in the Age of Incoherence" (Tate Publishing, 2012.) He is available to speak in churches addressing the topics of faith and freedom. To contact him, email allanlerickson@gmail.com




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