By Jonathon Moseley
Giving “amnesty” to illegal immigrants depends upon manipulating gullible voters and elected officials. A major component of the amnesty propaganda campaign is trying to convince churches and Christians that they have to support citizenship for 11 to 20 million people breaking the law in our nation because of their Christian beliefs. Enlisting church denominations – even those who normally vote conservative – is essential to the amnesty effort.
But “Go and sin no more,” was one of Jesus Christ’s most frequent commands. Christian forgiveness never means keeping what you stole. Note the example of Zaccheus, who cries out in Luke 19, “if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” Upon seeing such heartfelt repentance, Jesus announces: “Today salvation has come to this house!”
It has been a controversy for 2,000 years: Can a person just sin and get away with it? Can a person sin all they want, then ask to be forgiven? The Christian answer has always been “No,” because forgiveness requires repentance. Repentance must be sincere from the heart (and God sees into our hearts), and sincere repentance requires changing one’s behavior and making restitution where feasible.
Jesus never forgave sin without warning the sinner emphatically to stop sinning. Jesus always called the sinner to turn back toward a path of an honorable and law-abiding life. Looking back, Jesus would – always did – call for a new beginning. But looking forward, Jesus would – always did – call for a new start grounded in obedience to the laws of God and of Man.
Jesus would insist that illegal immigrants be forgiven any punishment for past transgressions. But Jesus would insist that illegal immigrants return to their home countries and start to obey the law. Actually, the word “amnesty” is a mistake. Amnesty does not mean being allowed to keep ill-gotten gain. Amnesty means a waiver of punishment.
“What would Jesus do” upon seeing that the unemployment rate in Mexico has ranged between 3 and 5 percent for decades, while in the U.S. 10 million additional Americans have stopped looking for work? Would Jesus have any compassion for those 10 million Americans who are so discouraged that they have given up all hope of getting a job since 2008?
“What would Jesus do” seeing that the average salary of a Mexican is $49,574 per year – adjusted for purchasing power – but the average salary of a U.S. citizen is $40,584 per year? The average Mexican salary is $6,143 per year translated into U.S. currency. However, according to the International Monetary Fund, the purchasing power within the Mexican economy buys 8.07 times as much. That is, a low cost of living in Mexico allows you to buy $8.07 worth of goods and services compared with what you could buy in the U.S. with $1. The average Mexican salary will actually provide $49,574 per year of lifestyle. (Obviously, tourist traps in Mexico do not represent the normal Mexican economy.)
“What would Jesus do” seeing that the United States has already been the most generous nation in history giving to the poor around the world? Would Jesus preach to other nations to step up and start to share that burden? And when the U.S. helps the poor, should we focus first on those who are honest and law-abiding or countries that systematically encourage law-breaking? Would Jesus see any difference between the person who steals and one who receives a gift?
Would Jesus teach that the United States should be generous with help to poor countries? Yes, of course. And we already do that. Should the USA welcome victims of persecution, famine, wars, natural disaster? Absolutely. But we already do that. Should America welcome as many to this country as we can handle? Yes. But we already do that. Around 1 million foreigners immigrate lawfully to the United States each year. Obviously, we should welcome those fleeing danger or disaster. And we do.
But, wait: Didn’t baby Jesus, mother Mary and father Joseph escape persecution by traveling to Egypt as refugees? Definitely. But they also returned home again once the danger was past. Now, if the persecution had continued, could they have remained safely in Egypt? Of course. But they also cared greatly about where God had intended for them to live.
How would Jesus view those who do not care if they are putting an American citizen out of work? Would Jesus notice any difference between those who broke in to our country out of pure financial greed and those who fled wars, natural disasters, or government persecution? Can I go around robbing liquor stores because I “just want to create a better life for myself and my family”?
Jesus would want illegal aliens to trust in God, not in their own craftiness at skirting the law. If God wants someone to relocate, God will provide a way that doesn’t involve breaking the law.
However, liberals traffic in mangled distortions of Jesus’ teachings. Where Christianity upholds morality and God’s holiness, liberals abuse the forgiveness of God to try to erase God’s morality and righteousness from society. Liberals seek to eliminate Christianity by twisting Christian teachings. Liberals seek to eliminate right and wrong.
Restoration under Christianity demands a contrite heart and true “godly” repentance. St. Paul taught at length that even a person who is repentant – but is only sorry at getting caught, not sorry for having sinned – is not (yet) eligible for the forgiveness of Christ. See 2 Corinthians 7:9-11.
Official Catholic catechism teaches that forgiveness is only possible when there is repentance. There is no repentance – and no forgiveness – if a Christian does not try to restore what was taken, heal the wound she caused, or unravel a problem he created. Often those things aren’t possible, so the damage must simply be forgotten. Therefore, Christians grow sloppy on this point. But the repentant heart at least wishes he could make restitution and longs to make things right. It is all too easy for an illegal immigrant to simply go home. Many sins cannot be unraveled. But illegally living in the United States can be undone.
The amnesty push is oddly arrogant, assuming that living in any other country is a punishment. The trespasser who returns home will go with improved skills and occupational knowledge, improved English language ability and experience in how things work in the U.S. He will return as a worker even more in demand in his home country than those who never left.
Jonathon Moseley is a Virginia business and criminal defense attorney. Moseley is also a co-host with the “Conservative Commandos” radio show and an active member of the Northern Virginia Tea Party. He studied Physics at Hampshire College, Finance at the University of Florida and Law at George Mason University in Virginia. Moseley promoted Reagan’s policies at High Frontier and the Center for Peace in Freedom. He worked at the U.S. Department of Education, including at the Center for Choice in Education. He can be reached at [email protected].