Friday, July 11, 2014

Signs I'd like to see at next protest blocking buses of immigrant children


“U-S-A! U-S-A!”

My heart swelled when I heard this communal roar of support last week from fans of the U.S. soccer team.

Then, the same week, I heard the very same chant from flag-waving protesters in Murietta, Calif. They turned “U-S-A! U-S-A!” into an angry taunt, directed at 140 women and children from Central America.

This time, my heart sank.

As these protesters illegally blocked U.S. Border Patrol buses, they insisted the undocumented immigrants on board were lawbreakers.

Maybe so, though many were fleeing such dangerous conditions in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras that they may yet qualify as refugees.

Do we have a broken immigration system that needs fixing? Absolutely.

But whatever the legal issues, the protesters’ rush to dehumanize these vulnerable women and children struck this faith and values reporter as a violation of the one rule – the Golden Rule – enshrined by all the world’s great religions.

Watching the protesters on TV and on YouTube, I didn’t see “Love your neighbor” on any of their signs. I did hear one woman, wearing an American flag blouse, chant “Not Our Kids, Not Our Problem.”

Most of the country’s religious leaders have not forgotten that their holy books teach that immigrants, documented or otherwise, are their brothers and sisters. So there’s now a broad faith coalition – including evangelical preachers, Catholic bishops, rabbis and mainline Protestant pastors – that has been lobbying, so far to no avail, for comprehensive immigration reform.

But apparently some in the pews, including the protesters in Murietta, remain unconvinced.

Perhaps, I thought, some competing signs at the next bus-blocking protest could get them to reconsider. Or at least tone down the hostility.

So, to answer “Go Back Home!” how about this sign: “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself. – Leviticus 19: 34.”

To compete with “Save Our Children from Disease” and “Agents: Secure Our Borders, Not Change Diapers,” I’d suggest this: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. – Matthew, 25:35.”

And to counter “Deport Illegals!” and "America is Being Invaded," here’s a sign-worthy sentiment that many seem to have forgotten: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. – The Statue of Liberty.”

-- Tim Funk


35 comments:

Bobby Pace said...

Get a clue Mr. Funk.

While they live in miserable countries, this is not the exodus you make it out to be.

This is a planned invasion of our country set up by our own government.

Ghoul said...

I'd like to see a sign of intelligence at the Charlotte Observer, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

lol, you're a moron Bobby.

Anonymous said...

I do love my neighbors...my American neighbors. How can we properly care for our own poor if we have to divert overwhelming resources to those who deliberately break our laws to enter our country? Loving your neighbor has to start at home before it can spread to others. Sorry, just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Not all paths to freedom are legal. Ever heard of the Underground Railroad??
Would the people dehumanizing these refugees not do the same thing if their children were in the same situation? Put yourself in their shoes for a second.

Anonymous said...

What once was a great newspaper is now a liberal rag.....charity begins at home.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article that every Christian should read. Sorry for the ignorant comments posted.

bobcat99 said...

Thanks Bobby Pace. It is nice to see the paranoid contingent represented here today. We cannot operate as a country with a fluid border, but there is no reason to deny the problems people are running from. It is unnecessary and anti-Christian to accuse little kids of being nation invaders. The political right in this country just keeps getting meaner for the sake of meanness, with no interest in solving problems. That's too bad.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for saying this so well, Tim. I think your alternative signs are a great idea and also hope more will speak out who agree that we need to find humane solutions to the immigration issues. Actually, these children ARE our problem as they are our future, along with all the ones in the US living in poverty,

Garth Vader said...

Tim,

If you have ever visited The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, you will learn through the exhibits on display that literally tens of thousands of potential immigrants were turned away for a variety of reasons: disease, criminal records, forged or non-existent identification documents.

From the Wikipedia entry on Ellis Island:

"It was important to the American government that the new arrivals could support themselves and have money to get started... Some unskilled workers were rejected because they were considered “likely to become a public charge.” About 2 percent were denied admission to the U.S. and sent back to their countries of origin."

If you're going to cite the inscription on the Statue of Liberty in your column, you owe it to your readers to use a future column to point out the actual history of US immigration during its Ellis Island height. But I'll bet you don't have the integrity to do so. Prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

Our country wasn't $17 Trillion in debt when the Statue of Liberty quote was engraved.

Anonymous said...

Tim, I love you - and I can't speak for the California protesters - but I, too, am opposed to illegal immigration...on the basis of equity. We have quotas to make sure that our support systems are not overwhelmed to the point that we can't take care of the immigrants or our own citizens. We have procedures to make sure that immigrants from all parts of the world have the same chance of coming into the US (exceptions noted) - in other words, my Russian friend Natalia has the same chance of bringing her adult children to the US as a Mexican woman married to a US citizen has of bringing in her family.

I suggest the following signs would be appropriate next to your proposed signs:

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme or unto governors, as unto the? That are sent by him... - I Peter 2:13-14

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. - Romans 13:1

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates... - Titus 3:1

Yes, there are exceptions to obeying "the laws of the land," but only when the law contradicts the word of God - and while the protesters may have put their objections to illegal immigration in non-loving terms, there is nothing anti-Christian in expecting immigrants to follow the law and wait their turns.

And yes - if I were ever to want to move to France or Canada, I would follow the rules and wait my turn - like all grownups should.

Later,

Paige Love
Atlanta - but from Anniston once upon a time :)

Anonymous said...

Let's stop dancing around this issue and call it out for what it is. This is racism pure and simple. People who spew this hateful language about the immigrants aren't worried about them taking jobs. They are doing jobs most Americans are too lazy to do.

Tim Funk said...

To reply to Garth Vader: So, to be clear, 98% of those who cane through Ellis Island got in. Including many of our ancestors, some of whom -- Irish, Italian, Eastern European -- got the same taunts from longtime Americans

Take back our schools said...

So in some cases you want separation of church and state and in some cases you do not?

Anonymous said...

For 200 years this country has had to put up with an infestation of angry, hard hearted, xenophobes. The evil invaders changes regularly, but the angry hatred from within continues. We survived the Irish, the Chinese, the Hungarians, the Haitians, the Cubans, and we will survive the evil brown Central American Spanish people.

Anonymous said...

1:30, you may want to look to California's economy for a preview of what is facing our whole country. As you point out for all these former groups, none had such an economic burden on our country as the more recent.

Additionally, how about the OTM's and the porous border? Are you not concerned about drug trafficing, the terrorists accessibility to the US and their ability to use these same "roadways" for dirty bombs, nuclear devices, etc.?

lew said...

Illegal is illegal is illegal. We have a President that with the backing of Harry Reid and Nancy Polizi ignores his oath of office and creates "his law". Gov. Rick Perry just asked Obama to send the National Guard to secure the border. Obama's answer is the nasty Republicans won't do as I say. Get real. Get a new group in Washington that has some honor and to whom an oath has some meaning.

Anonymous said...

Most of us true Americans are fed up with both parties for using this issue against the American people the way they have. The Immigration Reform and Cotrol Act of 1986 put everything in place needed to create an orderly manner to deal with immigrants. However, both parties shirked their civic duty to enforce this law and permit this lawless invasion to continue.

Anonymous said...

You parrot the line about the immigration system being broken. If that's the case how did about 1,000,000 foreigners manage to become American citizens last year? If it's broken how is it that the United States takes more LEGAL immigrants each year than the rest of the world, combined? Chew on those questions and get back to us in your next column.

Anonymous said...

Any time you want to see how dangerously hateful and prejudiced Americans can be, just publish an article or op ed piece on immigration...then stand back out of the way.

Sorta reminds me of Germany back in the mid- to late-thirties and during WWII.

Anonymous said...

Tell you what Mr. Funk. If you are so enamored and sympathetic with our "neighbors" to the south, publish your home address so you can welcome and house them yourself. Anything else would be hypocritical. These people are ruining our country, taxing our economic, educational and health systems, and yet you welcome them with open arms. You must have blinders on. You're truly a piece of work.

Anonymous said...

Christian charity does not extend to people who break into your house and demand you take care of them for life.

Garth Vader said...

Tim,

I knew you hadn't the integrity to report the truth. The Irish, the Italians, the Eastern Europeans, they FOLLOWED OUR LAWS. The US has the most liberal immigration and citizenry laws on the planet. I'm of German heritage. Think I can become a German citizen? Think I could work for MB or BMW? I'm a six-figure IT guy. No way would I get into the German economy, even with a desirable skill set.

What is Judeo/Christian about wanton lawlessness, Tim?

Glad my point about your (lack of) integrity is stored by the NSA for eternity.

Anonymous said...

RACISM. Pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

This issue will be the nail in the coffin of the Republican party unless they make some major changes. I'll just sit back and enjoy watching them fight it out among themselves.

Anonymous said...

Right on point, Mr. Funk. Glenn Beck had it right, also. I'd never thought Beck and I would agree on anything.
It makes me wonder what the reaction in Congress toward Obama's request for funding would have been if these were children who didn't have brown skin. Is this Katrina all over again? Will Congress do what's it's suppose to do or will it procrastinate before it's too late? Katrina and the undocumented children coming to the U.S.strongly suggests that still in this country, some people of color are not as important as white people.

Ghoul said...

Anonymous @ 12:05,

These people are stealing the jobs that Americans would happily do at the pay they use to make. Hundreds of thousands of Americans made good money, money you could live the American dream on, in the construction industry. Carpenters, roofers, painters, plumbers all could afford to buy a house of their own and raise a family. It was hard work, but they cared about what they did and earned every penny.

Now your illegal alien friends work for a third or less than what Americans did. They are paid under the table, so no taxes are taken out to support the infrastructure the use and abuse. Those that do pay taxes have stolen someone's identity, harming that person into perpetuity. All of this drives down wages for all working Americans.

They then send that money home, more exporting of this country's earnings abroad, further harming our economy.

Anonymous @ 12:05, why do you hate American working class people?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bobby Pace said...

To Anonymous @ 10:15,

Yet I'm comfortable enough in my beliefs to speak freely, post my name & not hide behind the Anonymous tag as you have. Show some gonads.

bobcat99 said...

To put it mildly, Anonymous @ 3:55 has violated the ethic of civility that is supposed to dictate Comments. Her/His rant is what happens in a world where political pundits and commentators on the left and right, but more so on the right, supply a regular does of outrage and fear in their listeners. I fear someone is going to get hurt.

Andrew Thiel said...

I look forward to the day when Americans wake up and realize that we can have open borders or we can have a welfare state, but not both

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sciteach6 said...

Growing up, I was under the impression that Americans welcomed immigrants...encouraged people who lived under oppression to come here for a second chance at life...believed the plaque on the Statue of Liberty. I thought WE were the GOOD GUYS. It really hurts me to see this kind of hatred directed at people who live countries that are oppressed and violent. They want what we all want. A place to live that's safe, where they have a CHANCE to escape the horrors of their own. country. When did we get to be so MEAN and heartless?

Anonymous said...

Mr Funk should be willing to support these children then. Our little town now has a Mexican cartel, so I am wondering if his charity would extend to gangs and drug dealers as well - not to mention any terrorists who have taken advantage of the lax border security.