It will come as no surprise that the northern California cities of San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland are hotbeds of liberalism complete with all the trappings such a label would entail. The latest flawed, liberal thinking finding a foothold in our nation in those fine cities has to do with the Immigration debate.
Last month, Oakland’s Mayor Ron Dellums and City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente declared their city a City of Refuge for illegal aliens. This expanded on the 1986 City Council resolution establishing Oakland as a haven for political refugees seeking asylum from four countries. San Francisco established this same practice as its own in 1989 and in January of 2006 reaffirmed its status as a City of Refuge. Other US cities, such as New Haven, CT, have taken similar steps or are considering it.
For Oakland, being a City of Refuge means, ” … that city departments and staff aren’t to cooperate with any federal immigration investigation, detention or arrest procedures.” For San Fran it means, “The ordinance forbids city resources from being used to enforce federal immigration laws or to gather or disseminate information regarding the status of residents of The City.” In a display of elitism that should surprise no one, these city fathers simply refuse to obey the law of the land.
The rationale for the ordinances is that the federal law (both at the time and some proposed legislation) is immoral and so, in a display of civil disobedience, it must be intentionally disregarded.
The most noxious element in the matter is the adoption of the biblical title, “City of Refuge” and the self serving appeal to the Scriptures and Christianity for justification. It should be seen as insulting to members of all Christian denominations that those willing to ignore the Book when it suits them will hypocritically claim its authority if it suits them. Clearly, they have no intention of honoring God’s Word. Their only agenda is promoting their own agenda.
Unfortunately for them, the inconvenient biblical truth is that the scriptural City of Refuge has nothing in common with their self righteous adoption of the name.
In the first place, the establishment of a city as a City of Refuge was not something a city did for itself. There were only 6 Cities of Refuge in all of Israel. God commanded Moses to establish them in Numbers 35 and gave Joshua the same command in Joshua 20. It was the Israelite equivalent of our federal government that established the concept. Oakland, San Francisco and others twist and pervert the biblical purpose and intent by taking the name for themselves.
Additionally, Cities of Refuge were established to preserve the rule of law, not to undermine it. The purpose of a City of Refuge was to be a temporary haven for either those who accidentally caused the death of another or who were accused of murder but maintained that the death they caused was either accidental in nature or justified. Mosaic law allowed for murder to be punished by the death of the murderer. The killing of the murderer was often accomplished by a relative of the victim. This person was known as “the avenger of blood”.
As there was little resembling our current justice system at that time and as the sentence was stiff, it made sense to have a plan to protect a person accused of a capital offense until such time as a trial could be had to establish guilt or innocence. A person at risk of being killed by an avenger of blood was to present himself to the elders of one of the six cities and state his case. Once he claimed sanctuary based on the City of Refuge concept, the city protected him and was not to turn him over to the avenger of blood.
His sanctuary was not permanent, however. There was to be a trial. If the accused were to be found guilty of murder, then the appropriate sentence would be carried out. If he was found innocent of murder, if the death he caused was determined to be unintentional ” … and without malice aforethought” then the accused could remain safe in the City of Refuge until the current high priest died. At that time, he was permitted to return to his home city, still safe from the avenger of blood.
Simply having a City of Refuge to run to was not protection enough. If the avenger of blood were to find his quarry on the way to the City of Refuge, the quarry could be killed without consequence. Just so, if the quarry arrived safely at the City of Refuge and was granted sanctuary and then left for whatever reason and the avenger of blood found him outside the city, the quarry could be killed without consequence.
Thus, the entire concept of the City of Refuge acknowledged that there were laws that must be followed and enforced. Cities of Refuge were established precisely so men like Ron Dellums, Ignacio De La Fuente and Gavin Newsom could not make their own laws to supersede the law of the land.
Ironically, the book itself forbids the use of the City of Refuge concept in the manner in which Oakland and others seek to do. The Book clearly acknowledges differences in national identity. In fact, one of the two key passages establishing Cities of Refuge does so. Joshua 20:9 says,
Any of the Israelites or any alien living among them (emphasis added) who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly.
A final observation is that the concept of the City of Refuge is rooted and grounded in mercy and grace. However, mercy and grace have no meaning without the concept of sin and offense. Thus, those who fled to a City of Refuge themselves acknowledged there was a law against what they were accused of doing. Their flight was not to escape justice but a claim that their actions were not such that justice needed to be applied to them.
In this, at least, 21st century City of Refuge aficionados are somewhat in line with biblical reasoning. They want Cities of Refuge, not because they want to ensure that illegal aliens are treated in accordance with the law of the land, but because they don’t believe illegal aliens are guilty of anything. Robert Reyes, the author of the American Chronicle article on Oakland, after incorrectly establishing the biblical concept of a City of Refuge says this:
Evangelicals aren’t adverse (sic) to disobeying the laws of men, they often cite the Biblical injunction to “Obey God rather than men.” Christians should be at the forefront of the movement to make the major cities in America, Cities of Refuge.
If Jesus Christ came back, I’m persuaded that the Holy Man who befriended social outcasts, would welcome undocumented immigrants with open arms. Jesus Christ would condemn Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson as hypocrites and embrace De La Fuente and Ron Dellums as men of God.
There is no such thing as an illegal alien; what’s illegal and immoral is the cumbersome and lengthy process to become a legal citizen. We should streamline the process and do away with restrictive quotas. America should be a Country of Refuge, absorbing as many immigrants as possible.
Mr. Reyes, with the arrogant stroke of a pen, legalizes the criminal and criminalizes the law.
Still, perhaps Mr. Reyes is right. Perhaps we should institute the City of Refuge concept here in the US. With that in mind, I propose the following …
Any law enforcement agency apprehending an illegal alien, rather than spending a dime to incarcerate and prosecute him should spend a few dollars on bus fare to send him to Oakland, San Francisco or Berkeley. Any other self appointed Cities of Refuge can get in on the deal as well. Upon his arrival, the illegal need only claim sanctuary and the City of Refuge will be required to take him in until such time as his case can be tried. If found guilty, he is to be punished according to the law of the land. If innocent, he must stay in the City of Refuge until the death of the current Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. At that time he can return to his home city (need I point out this would be in his own home country) and be free from our obnoxious and burdensome laws.
Thinking that looking before one leaps can save an awful lot of embarrassment …
Blue Collar Muse
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email stiknstein-at-gmail-dot-com and let us know at what level you would like to participate.
Other CAII members posting on this topic and on Illegal Immigration:
Linda Chavez Uses Amnesty Advocate’s Dishonest Tactics at The People’s Patriot
Command and Conquer: Red Alert - Part 1 by James Cordray
One Way to Fight a Sanctuary City at The People’s Patriot
Illegal Aliens in Jail, Then What at Right Truth
GA Illegal Immigration fighter Succeeds in Secret Squirrel Mission at GA Crime Watch
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