Finally, a Prominent Christian Journal Prints Some Sense on Immigration

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on December 7, 2015

A thoughtful article in the December 2015 Christian journal First Things, "Two Theories of Immigration" by Mark R. Amstutz, is well worth the read. The political scientist at Wheaton College takes a fair, well-researched, considered look at the two prevailing philosophies informing immigration views today, "cosmopolitanism" and "communitarianism". These align, respectively, with globalism or post-Americanism, on the one hand, and, on the other, with valuing the nation-state as the best way in this world to obtain both individual rights and rule of law.

Cosmopolitanism translates into open borders. It's the prevailing pro-amnesty rationalization among George Soros's religious pawns who are party to the Evangelical Immigration Table. It's morally bankrupt.

Amstutz concludes:

There is no guarantee that a post-national future with open borders will usher in the cosmopolitan utopia. It may well encourage more primitive and violent forms of solidarity of the sort we see in ISIS and other Islamist movements. Or it may lead to a soulless, me-centered consumerism governed by multi-national financial interests that have no concern to promote the common good or encourage solidarity. Therefore, when we set about to think morally about immigration, we do well to keep in mind Gertrude Himmelfarb's observation about our essential human needs. Our policies need to be open, inclusive, and generous, yes, but they also need to respect and promote the "givens of life," family, religion, heritage, history, culture, tradition, and nationality.

A few observations, having closely read this excellent essay:

The cosmopolitan philosophy is just another version of utopianism. It denies human sin nature and God's provision in common grace for civil government as His agent for justice to protect the innocent and punish the lawbreaker. (See here for a fuller discussion.) This view, Amstutz notes, claims "the human community as a whole" has moral standing, but the nation-state does not. Cosmopolitanism's tossing overboard of sovereignty implies its adherents envision unfettered movement of people wherever, whenever, under the benevolent eye of some global government.

The globalist experiment has failed. The practical effect of the movement toward globalism in internationalizing government, economics, and business has been pretty harsh on "the least of these" — at least those in the United States and other developed nations. As seen increasingly in those countries, liberal immigration policy or practice has enabled criminal enterprises like Latin American drug and human smuggling cartels to operate within the United States. And foreign terrorists gain ready access into the heart of Western nations, such as Paris, London, San Bernardino, New York, Boston, Chattanooga, and elsewhere.

There are immigration-related effects like contributing to stagnant U.S. wages, discrimination against American job seekers, increased native-born joblessness, and the feeding of taxpayer-funded welfare and government-subsidy dependency among foreign-born residents (legal and illegal). This plays out in unjust, immoral ways, such as the middle-aged American computer programmer facing the indignity of having to train his or her foreign H-1B replacement or the black American youth who can't get hired in his or her own neighborhood because he or she doesn't speak Spanish.

Globalist immigration policy (which denies the truth about God's creation order, only in highfalutin mumbo-jumbo) will lead one direction: It will turn the whole world into one big "failed state". Many of the misguided Christians who have fooled themselves with Soros's help are aiding and abetting the demise of the Judeo-Christian consensus that was the blessing to the West coming out of the Protestant Reformation.

Thirty-five years ago, the Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer warned of this same unbiblical perspective. Then, Schaeffer directed his warning at secular humanists. But today's "cosmopolitans" espouse the same new world order of globalism, making them the functional equivalent of 1970s secularists. Schaeffer wrote in "A Christian Manifesto":

The humanists push for "freedom," but having no Christian consensus to contain it, that "freedom" leads to chaos or to slavery under the state (or under an elite). Humanism, with its lack of any final basis for values or law, always leads to chaos. It then naturally leads to some form of authoritarianism to control the chaos. (pp. 29-30; emphasis in the original)

Prescient words, indeed. Free movement of people globally, unbound from the constraints of national governments regulating immigration, will end up as unworkable at best or tyrannical at worst. That is, we'll get a global DMV-type bureaucracy, with its process-oriented ineptitude and abject inconvenience and frustration, or with a global regime run like Communist China. Whichever one it is, it won't be a conscientious agent of the Lord set on defending the inalienable rights of individuals because nothing meaningful will bind people together (Romans 13).

Globalist immigration policy doesn't fulfill the two greatest commandments, but rather undermines them. Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love God fully and to love one's neighbor as oneself (Matthew 22:36-40). Cosmopolitans claim to hold individuals above the nation-state. But as Schaeffer illustrates, that isn't true. Nor does this claim match reality.

States, with borders and laws and customs and sovereignty, aren't legal fictions. Rather, states are groupings of people. States are people — people who share the most important things in life in common — beliefs, family, faith, culture. They are people organized in a meaningful way that facilitates life together in community.

Cosmopolitanism focuses on pluribus — what makes people different from one another — and therefore "diversity" becomes an organizing principle. Communitarianism focuses on unum — what unites people. In the spiritual context, what unites Christians is faith in Jesus Christ. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). This beautiful picture of unity makes people who are "diverse" in earthly terms equal as citizens of Heaven (Philippians 3:20). However, in the temporal context, those stations in life, most of which we have no say in, do matter. Membership in a given community (including citizenship in a nation) matters.

It's difficult to conclude that globalist immigration policy promotes love for the Lord. It seems to substitute a new state, a global state, for God. The ultimate authoritarian state of globalism also displaces love for neighbor. The resulting situation described in the third point above leads to selfishness. The inept bureaucracy or the tyrannical authoritarian produces a malfunctioning existence that feeds corruption, bribery, an underground with its own rules and shadow enforcement — the kind of horrible life endured in the roughest neighborhoods of the gang-controlled inner city, for example. To survive, people distrust, people sear their own consciences and those of others, people compromise in ways they never would dream, people do what is right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6).

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If cosmopolitanism prevails and globalizes migration (for a time), it is hard to foresee anything approaching the selfless sacrifice and neighborliness the world witnessed following 9/11. Americans responded immediately, generously, and selflessly. To help their hurting fellow Americans of New York City, people donated blood; people drove hours cross-country to pitch in with medical or emergency response assistance; people contributed money; people held prayer services; people enlisted in the military to fight our common enemy and bring them to justice. Why? Because of what unites us. Because of what we as Americans hold in common. For millions, the tenets of Christ's greatest commandments were applied in the most practical ways.


Topics: Religion