Sunday, February 04, 2007

Immigration Control is What?

I stumbled across an interesting blog belonging to a young Irish Theonomist named Daniel Ritchie. (Mr. Ritchie will soon be moving his blog here.) His posts are thoughtful, and preeminently concerned with propagating a biblical worldview in the arena of social ethics. Overall, not your typical pietistic flim-flam and well worth a visit.

Naturally, I do have at least one bone to pick. Mr. Ritchie's views on immigration, which are obviously a product of reading too much Gary North and David Chilton and not enough Rushdoony, are problematic at best.

Citing God's call to "love the stranger," Mr. Ritchie says, "The idea that the government should control and restrict immigration is a Fascist notion that has no warrant in Scripture." Moreover, he cites the flight of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to Egypt as an immigrant's story (see Matt. 1:13-15).

First, with regard to Jesus, Joseph moved his family because of the impending threat to their lives posed by Herod--he wasn't crossing the Rio Grande in search of a work permit. Therefore, it would be more apt to term them refugees rather than immigrants.

Second, "Biblical immithusiasts" neglect a few things when citing the call to "love the stranger." In Leviticus 19:34, the reference is restricted to aliens who have become believers. Citing C. D. Ginsburg, Rushdoony says that this "'stranger' is one who has become circumcised, fasted on the Day of Atonement, obeyed the laws of sacrifice, and has practiced the laws of chastity, as well as obeyed other moral laws." In short, once a foreigner had become part of the community, his nationality was not to be used against him. Such passages also address treatment of aliens once they are in a country. They don't say anything about the criteria whereby aliens gain admittance into the nation.

Moreover, Scripture affirms national division rather than globalism (Acts 17:16, Deut. 32:8, also see Genesis 10 and 11); that strangers must obey the laws and observances of Israel (Deuteronomy 16:9-15); that Israel was in no way to blend either her people or culture with surrounding nations.

Indeed, one consequence of disobedience is conquest and domination at the hands of aliens: "The sojourner who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail" (Deut. 28:43-44).

The Scriptures do call for the extension of hospitality and justice, but not an open-borders re-ordering of social life. Rushdoony says, "To call for the modern, humanistic society with an open relationship to all men would have appeared to the Israelites as the ultimate tyranny. The law did not require any such a re-ordering of any man's private life: It simply required justice in dealing with all men."

Likewise, in the New Testament, compassion is balanced with justice, and with a preference given to kin, and by extension to nation. I Timothy 5:8 teaches, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." Clearly, God organizes society around groups of people: families, clans, communities, tribes, nations. Open immigration destroys such a social order, and a prudential civil government has an affirmative duty to protect the interests of its people.

3 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

I agree Darrell. I recall that awhile back Hillary made the same dubious argument about Joseph and Mary and open borders that Mr. Ritchie has made.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Pieter said...

Another problem with the "love the stranger" argument, which you somewhat hint at with your comment that "the Scriptures do call for the extension of hospitality and justice, but not an open-borders re-ordering of social life," is that loving strangers and controlling immigration are NOT antithetical. Saying "we should enforce immigration laws and prevent people from illegally streaming into our country, particularly when they come here for the governmental goodies" is not the same thing as saying "I hate Mexicans (or what-have-yous) and intend to treat them like dirt." I am actually very fond of immigrants - I know several who are fantastic people. I just think that 1) they should come here legally (as all the immigrants I know did) and 2) they should integrate (as all the immigrants I know have).

8:30 PM  
Blogger Ehud would said...

"...so long as they integrate..."???

Precisely how would they do that outside of mixed-marriages?

7:36 PM  

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