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If you will forgive a comparison between the passage of a law in Arizona giving local law enforcement better tools to address an epidemic problem and a comedy movie (“Raising Arizona,” 1987, with Nicholas Cage), the common denominator can be described in one word – kidnapping.
In the movie, a childless couple decides to kidnap one of the quintuplets of a furniture magnate, while in real life, Phoenix, Ariz., is well-known as the kidnap capital of the United States. The former is humorous; the latter is brutally real – particularly for the kidnap victims, their families, a city in fear and a growing pandemic of a lawless spirit driven by drug cartels and criminal gangs.
The courageous, bipartisan action by the Arizona Legislature deserves praise, not the vicious “razing” heaped upon them by the Lawless Left. Please note that I am a strong advocate of reforming our broken immigration system to make it more efficient, just and humane.
Rewind the clock with me to 1923, Washington, D.C., at an event named the Citizenship Conference. The conference included delegates from Congress, federal law enforcement, national movement leaders and clergy. The topic: lack of enforcement of the 18th Amendment, otherwise known as Prohibition.
What we now know that they did not was that it was indeed soon to be repealed. Prohibition has been much maligned and the victim of historical revisionism, but that entirely aside, there are some fascinating principles we can learn from the speeches given at the conference. They were printed in a book titled, “Law vs. Lawlessness” (Fleming H. Revell Co., 1924).
I urge you to read these excerpts carefully and consider their application to the current condition of our nation and certainly the underlying issue of the breakdown of our immigration system and border security:
The 18th Amendment was the result of a great moral and religious fervor. The spirit which actuated the sponsors of this law certainly must be kept alive after the law has been written into the statute. How greatly mistaken have our friends been who have believed that once the law became a law, it was only necessary for the law’s machinery to revolve and that there was no further use of sustaining the enthusiasm … which made the legislation possible.
– Roy Haynes, federal prohibition commissioner
I don’t know whether you would assent to the slogan I offer – that I offer to every meeting in America which I happen to address on problems of citizenship, of patriotism, of lawlessness … “Either repeal or enforce!” But the truth is this: The enemies of law and order have neither the courage to … repeal nor the decency to acquiesce in enforcement of the law.
– Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Free Synagogue, New York
We must enforce the law. How can we enforce it? Some say the federal government ought to do more. I say they all should do more – federal government, state government, county government, city governments, all marching together – four abreast – for enforcement of the law.
– William Jennings Bryan, attorney and former secretary of state
I have one more quote and source from a pastor that I will save for a moment, but I believe you can see the direct parallels. As the wise king Solomon stated, “That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NASB). Dr. H.A. Ironside, longtime pastor of Chicago’s Moody Church, used to say, “If it’s new, it’s not true; and if it’s true, it’s not new” (Bible Exposition Commentary – Old Testament).
The fundamental issue in the breakdown of law starts in the heart of the individual as we either conform to or reject the laws of God as given us through His creation and his revealed, written word. I always find it tragically humorous that the same religious, non-religious and anti-religious liberals who weep and gnash their teeth over enforcing immigration laws demand that we strictly adhere to the “law of the land” in allowing the slaughter of 50 million unborn children.
It’s really not hypocrisy. They are simply amoral, without any moral foundation or frame of reference to base their beliefs, allowing them to engage in such double standards to serve their lawless purpose. Lawlessness breeds anarchy, which allows for tyranny to control both.
In 1849, Speaker of the House Robert Winthrop (direct descendent of colonial leader John Winthrop) stated:
… Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet. …
I don’t think any rational person would say that on a continuum of Bible to bayonet, we are closer to the Bible. We can feel the cold, hard steel of the bayonet pressing against our backs because we have rejected the above-mentioned internal control.
The Rev. Charles Zahniser, executive secretary of Pittsburgh Federation of Churches, addressed the Citizenship Conference by declaring that churches must lead with a united and prophetic voice:
If the churches are the spiritual power-houses of our community life – and they are – then the community has a right to demand that the power they generate shall actually be delivered 100 percent into the machinery of government, and of the other community activities. We are all weary of the type of church program into which all the steam is used in making the wheels of the church machinery go round, and blowing the preacher’s horn.
Visualize me standing and shouting, “Amen, brother!”