What a College Kid Learned from a Japanese-American who was Interned During World War II; Are Evangelical Christians Going to Take Responsibility for the Current Refugee Crisis?

When I was a college student a man of Japanese-American descent told me about his families incarceration in World War II. Today I want to tell that story as a reminder that history is to be learned from. May the mistakes of the past not be repeated in the present.  Also to what extent are Evangelical Christians going to own this current mess with those with Visas or Green Cards being turned away?

 

“In remembering, it is important to come to grips with the past. No nation can fully understand itself or find its place in the world if it does not look with clear eyes at all the glories and disgraces of its past. We in the United States acknowledge such an injustice in our history. The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated.”

President George H.W. Bush as part of a formal apology on December 7, 1991.

“We saw all these people behind the fence, looking out, hanging onto the wire, and looking out because they were anxious to know who was coming in. But I will never forget the shocking feeling that human beings were behind this fence like animals [crying]. And we were going to also lose our freedom and walk inside of that gate and find ourselves…cooped up there…when the gates were shut, we knew that we had lost something that was very precious; that we were no longer free.”

Mary Tuskamato on being Interned

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.

Luke 2:1-5 NLT

newspaper_headlines_of_japanese_relocation_-_nara_-_195535

From Wikipedia

Oral history by a Japanese-American who was interned in World War II

I attended Carroll College from 1993 until 1996 and while there I majored in history. People often asked me, “What are you going to do with a history major?” It is a valid question, and I struggled with figuring out my future. I loved history and I bury myself in it regularly. You see it here in this blog as I have frequently wrote about history in many posts. One year when I was at Carroll I had to take American History from Professor Bob Swartout. He was a professor who made a deep impact on my life at the time. There were two sections of the class which spread out over the year. The first class took place in the fall, and was from the earliest days of the United States until the end of the Civil War. The second class (in the spring) was from 1865 until modern times. In addition to the regular text books he also assigned additional books to read. One of them which I still have in my large book collection is called “Desert Exile. ” Its the story of a Japanese-American family that was uprooted from the Bay Area into the Tanforan Assembly Center before being sent to Topaz, which was an internment camp in Utah. What was their crime? They were of Japanese descent and in the wake of Pearl Harbor there was fear that there was going to be another attack on the West Coast. In addition people speculated and asked the disturbing question –  “Can they be trusted?” Like many history books I have read, I processed it, and moved onto the next one for class or personal leisure. I was disturbed by the topic and didn’t think much of it until a disturbing conversation took place in my summer job either that summer or the next.  When you  read something in history it stays with you in that context until it can  personally come alive to you.

 

A Difficult Conversation at Work

During my summers in Fresno, California I worked in a hobby shop to save money for college. I always returned to that job each summer. The store I worked at was a pool, toy, bike and hobby shop called Arthurs Toys. I worked in the hobby department. This was during the 1995, 1996 and 1997 time frame. At the time I was 21 or 22. The  bicycle shop was worked by an elderly Japanese-American man whose name was Ken.   Ken’s wife was actually a patient of my Dad, as my father was a practicing neurosurgeon in Fresno, California.  My Dad loved Ken and his wife. I have forgotten Ken’s last name, and trust me I banged my head on the wall trying to remember it. And my Dad has forgotten them as well, my Dad had a brain tumor and some aspects of his memory were affected.

Ken’s family had deep roots in Fresno if I remember correctly. His family owned the first Honda – Suzuki motorcycle center in Fresno if I recall. I believe it was on Belmont Ave. It made the family successful, but there was a darker side to their family history as well. It was before their motorcycle business took off. I was not prepared to hear what I heard one day at work. One day Ken started to talk about his internment during World War II. He was a young boy, and he remembered  when the United States government seized his family’s business, and property. In Fresno, Japanese-Americans were sent to the Pinedale Assembly Center and the Fresno Assembly Center. Ken told me what it was like to be in the Fresno Assembly Center. He lived in a barn with other people. He was confused by what was going on. There were weeds everywhere and this was going to be his new home. From the Fresno Assembly Center’s Japanese-American citizens were then sent to internment camps in the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona and the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas.

I was uncomfortable as I heard this conversation. As I said it was something I was not prepared to hear. I had no idea likewise what to say to Ken at the time. I remember him looking at me and seeing that he couldn’t blame the American people for what they did, after all he said they acted out of fear. When it came to the Japanese being rounded up I recall him looking me in the eyes and saying, “What can you do?”  But he said that some people in the Japanese-American community never recovered from that betrayal.  People were shocked, and hurt that they would be rounded up and placed in internment camps and guarded by American military with rifles.  Some of the Japanese-Americans died frustrated over the situation. And after saying that Ken changed the conversation and it was over. I fell out of touch with Ken and I am sure today he has passed away. After all when this conversation happened I was 21 or 22 and he was in his 70’s. At the Fresno Fairgrounds there is a memorial that remembers Ken and the other Japanese-Americans who were interned there. When I am back in town and I drive by the Fresno Fairgrounds this occasionally pops in my mind. I attended many Fairs there as a kid growing up. But what does that site mean for those of Japanese-American descent? What tragic and horrific memories does it stir? This my friends, is why you learn history…you learn the past so you will not make the same mistakes in the future.

 

The Internment of the Japanese in World War II

The internment of the Japanese-American’s in World War II is one of the darkest stains on our national history. On February 19, 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which authorized the deportation and incarceration of Japanese-American citizens. The United States was at war and two month prior the Pacific Fleet was attacked at Pearl Harbor. Many in the United States lived in fear, with some even wondering if the Japanese were going to invade the west coast. After Pearl Harbor 5,500 Japanese-American community leaders were already in custody. The goal of the internment was to evacuate those of Japanese ancestry from all of California, Oregon, Washington and Arizona. The exception in Arizona were those in government camps, plus Japanese were incarcerated in California as well. By the spring of 1942 130,000 Americans of Japanese descent were forced from their homes and relocated. The War Relocation Authority was responsible for the forced internment of the Japanese. It administered and ran all the internment camps. The Wartime Civilian Control Administration was established by the Western Defense Command to coordinate the forced removal of Japanese-Americans. Japanese-Americans would be told to report to Civilian Assembly Centers. There were 15 to 18 centers in all. From there they were sent to internment camps that were spread around the country. In Arizona there was the Gila River War Relocation Center, and the Poston War Relocation Center. In Colorado there the Granada War Relocation Center. In Wyoming there was the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center.  Arkansas had the Jerome War Relocation Center and the Rohwer War Relocation Center. In California there was the Tule Lake War Relocation Center and the Manzanar War Relocation Center. In Idaho there was the Minidoka War Relocation Center and finally you had Topaz War Relocation Center in Utah. In these camps Japanese-Americans were guarded by guns and protected by barb wire fences. Conditions varied from camp to camp and on the inside children were educated, and fed but it was all done behind the power of force. Despair was felt by many Americans of Japanese descent and the saying “it cannot be helped” was how Japanese-Americans looked at the situation.

On December 18, 1944 the United States Supreme Court ruled on the legality of incarceration in Korematsu vs. United States. In a 6 to 3 decision the Supreme Court ruled that the removal of the Japanese-Americans from the West Coast was Constitutional. But the incarceration was not legal, as such they could not be held without cause. This ruling led to the eventual release of people from the Japanese-American internment camps. Many Americans of Japanese descent lost property, and ultimately everything. When they returned back to their homes they faced discrimination, anger, sometimes violence. It was a dark period in American history. Many Japanese wanted the wrongs to be amended and reversed. In 1978 the Japanese American Citizens League became the tool to seek address by the United State government. In the 1980’s Congress determined that what drove the incarceration of Japanese-Americans was racism and fear. Congressman Norman Mineta and Senator Alan Simpson sponsored the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which was signed by President Reagan. It provided redress giving each surviving detainee $20,000 for their loss and pain.  On the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor George H.W. Bush issued a formal apology which I have part of listed above. The lessons from places like Topaz and Manzanar stand firm.  Often there are the claims of “never forget” and this issue hits closer to me as I knew someone in my life who was deeply impacted by this issue. I write all this to introduce the next section.

 

The Level of Fear I Have Noticed and Felt

This past year there was a profound amount of demagoguery that I have not felt or seen before in my lifetime. I have talked with some older people as well who have told me that they have not seen this as well. The fear that is being floated is irrational and causing profound harm to our country, people’s lives and our reputation in the world. I didn’t write about this but on Christmas Eve I walked out of church. I can’t tell you what it was like to listen the narrative of Mary and Joseph, and the decree by Caesar Augustus for a Census and contrast that story with all the rhetoric over the past year about immigrants. I felt sick in church and walked out of the service convinced I was going to vomit. I spent Christmas Eve in a restaurant, until I was kicked out, thinking about all this. I was going to write about this and then scrapped it. Because I didn’t want this blog to show hints of becoming political.  But as I write all this my mind keeps going back to that conversation with a Japanese-American who was interned in World War II. What happened to Ken reminds me as to how destructive fear can be.

Shortly after the election in November I went and knocked on the door of a Muslim neighbor. He’s here for work I believe and he comes from Saudi Arabia. I knocked on his door and apologized for the hate, the fear and all that he heard this past year. I thanked him for living and working here and expressed my gratitude that he was my neighbor.  I wrote about it on Facebook and you can see the response I got in return. Interesting enough the people who pushed back against several of the commenters below was a pastor who feels strongly convicted on this stuff. And a friend who was a missionary in Kenya. Some of those who haven’t been outside the country as much had more of a fear and the systems they were in fed that fear.

fb1

fb2

fb3

fb4

fb5

fb6

fb8

Are Evangelical Christians Going to Own their Mistakes?

In the last 24 hours I have been taken back by what I heard. When I heard about those with visas and green cards being blocked it took my breath away. At first I wondered if I heard the news incorrectly because it seemed so far fetched. When I realized that I was not hearing the news wrong I was stunned. As I was thinking things over I got a text message from a close friend of mine in the Midwest. He said that he is watching all this play out on the news and he is profoundly disturbed. He also texted me that he is saddened and confused. I texted him back saying that I appreciated his heart, and that as a friend I loved him. As the news wore on I read about how this was being viewed in the world. I read the European news on my Android and I continued to process what I was reading. It felt surreal and like a dream. In the process I learned of the despair of those who were vetted being turned back or prevented from flying.  I also read about a recent suicide attempt who was distraught and didn’t want to go back. It was because of all this that I delayed working on another post.

In German history Dietrich Bonhoeffer talked about Christian responsibility in regards to the German state. How much were the Christians collectively responsible for what happened in Germany?  Today we are in this situation because 81% of evangelical Christians supported Donald Trump. And I am going to wonder when this is all said and done, will evangelical Christians own their mistakes? Will they say they are sorry and admit it? Or will they act like The Gospel Coalition and stick their heals in the ground and refuse to admit their error? This post is a personal one to write but these are questions that I believe must be asked.  Eric Metaxas book on Bonhoeffer is popular among evangelicals but if you know how Bonhoeffer felt and acted, well there would be a problem for many Christians. After all its easy to do the right thing when all is well. But its in times like this that I want to ask will Christians do the right thing? Will they speak up? Or will they stay silent and be embarrassed for their mistakes. Or will they  defend their behavior due to cognitive dissonance? As I said I was working on a couple of other posts but due to the news and the texts I received I felt like I had to step back and deal with the issue at hand. For me in the next day or two I will knock again on my Muslim neighbor door and apologize for what is happening and hope that he can stay. Anne Frank is a popular story that many children learn in school. Perhaps you may not know this but part of the reason Anne Frank was eventually killed is because her family at one, point tried to enter the United States and they were turned away for national security reasons. But when the times change will we ignore the lesson of Anne Frank? If this post is uncomfortable for you, well its designed to make you uncomfortable. What Ken told me as a young college kid in the back of a toy store needs to be remembered by all. History is to be learned from, and if you don’t learn from it, then repeats itself in differing ways.  The situation that Ken told me about in regards to living on the Fresno Fairground before being sent to an Internment camp, well I don’t want that to happen again in our history. While World War II is a far cry and in the history books the names and situations vary. In one case it is hysteria during World War II over fears of invasion by the Japanese, today its hysteria over Islamic terrorism. But what links them both is fear. And if we are acting on that fear then people are going to be hurt and major problems will be created.  These last 24 hours have reminded me of that lesson. This is a difficult topic but we shouldn’t turn our back on such situations. This post is dedicated to the memory of Ken and that conversation at work which occurred years ago. I hope that people will learn from the pain and scars of those of Japanese descent who were rounded up and forced into Internment camps. I hope that we remember the past so that it is not repeated. When it comes to such profound injustice one must not remain silent. I can’t…as I type this post I can think of Ken standing and having this conversation with me. Likewise I can recall his smile,  and I can even hear his voice. Let’s take a lesson from the Japanese-American community and learn from them. That is my challenge to you.

 

30 thoughts on “What a College Kid Learned from a Japanese-American who was Interned During World War II; Are Evangelical Christians Going to Take Responsibility for the Current Refugee Crisis?

  1. Oh dear, David. Where to begin?

    From the OP:
    This past year there was a profound amount of demagoguery that I have not felt or seen before in my lifetime.

    You are correct. Hillary and the Democrats certainly engaged in demagoguery. They called Trump supporters “deplorables”, racists, misogynists, homophobes, xenophobes and just plain dumb. There was plenty of demagoguery to go around.

    From the OP:
    I was going to write about this and then scrapped it. Because I didn’t want this blog to show hints of becoming political.

    I wish you had considered that before you wrote this post. You now have crossed that line and you will have a problem going back. I used to read Julie Ann’s blog and the Internet Monk. Then both sites held what basically turned into a whine-fest about the election which read like the Twitter feed from MSNBC. I used to read Julie Ann’s Twitter account and got a lot of good articles on spiritual abuse. Now you have to fish through so many anti-Trump tweets and retweets that it’s not worth the effort. I fear that your blog will head in the same direction.

    Word of Wisdom: The Wartburg Watch’s no-politics policy works pretty well.

    From the OP:
    In German history Dietrich Bonhoeffer talked about Christian responsibility in regards to the German state. How much were the Christians collectively responsible for what happened in Germany.

    Please tell me you are not comparing Trump’s executive orders to anything that has happened in Nazi Germany. Except for the Syrians, the orders only last 90 to 120 days. You may not agree with the orders, but NONE of the orders apply to American Citizens. Let’s wait a few months before starting the Nazi comparisons.

    From the OP:
    Today we are in this situation because 81% of evangelical Christians supported Donald Trump. And I am going to wonder when this is all said and done, will evangelical Christians own their mistakes? Will they say they are sorry and admit it?

    So you have determined that Trump is a mistake after 9 days in office? I wish I could judge an administration in such a time frame. Making such a judgement shows a large amount of hubris. If Trump turns out to be a mistake, will evangelical Christians own it? I do not know, but the American people will certainly turn him out of office in November 2020, like any other bad president.

    From the video:
    A Muslim registry is first step in repeating history.

    Let me know when or if that happens, and we will talk.

    In conclusion, comparing the last 24-48 hour news cycle to the Japanese internment camps of WWII is alarmist at best and disingenuous at worst. Until a lot more happens, I categorize your post as typical liberal hype.

    Like

    • Interesting Ken….not once did you say anything about a man I knew who was incarcerated during WW II. You flew right through that and said nothing. You are entitled to your opinion, but I wrote this post with that individual in mind. Also this blog is not a political blog but I felt that the story I heard should be told and documented. I told someone at church this morning that I once knew someone who was interned during WW II. And his eye brows raised when I said that. I more I live Ken, the more I see the value of history and the more I treasure it. Those who don’t study or learn history I feel sorry for them. I really do. But thanks for the comment.

      Like

      • “Those who don’t study or learn history I feel sorry for them.”
        There can also also be a problem of misappropriating history. Rounding up citizens was wrong and am glad they didn’t also round up Germans, although before and during the war a lot of Germans in North Dakota changed their last name from that of a particular German despot. Tightening immigration from Germany and Japan during the war would have sounded sensible, although neither analogy fits well for me to this situation.

        I admire the many Japanese who remained loyal this country that was not loyal to them and I disagree with this latest move on immigration. I also will caution that there is fear and hysteria displayed by those who accuse others of fear and hysteria.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Full disclosure: I used to work at the WTC & was on jury duty on 9/11/01. So that may color my perspective, just as your Japanese friend’s experience may color his perspective.

        Relevance… I don’t see anyone being rounded up, or any interments going on, unless I’m mistaken. Only people from certain regions being merely prevented from entering this country. It’s a very big world out there outside the U.S., and there are no restrictions other than temporarily entering the U.S. until the vetting process can be fixed. There are no restrictions on *citizens*, unlike the Japanese-*Americans* during WWII. Conflating what happened during WWII (under FDR) with the current situation doesn’t seem helpful to me. (The ones with green cards being turned away were unfortunately already in transit when the restrictions were put in place, and there is a lot of leeway being given in individual cases, as the order grants discretion to the State Department to issue case-by-case exemptions.)

        This factual info might be helpful & ease the hyperbolic consternation a bit:

        https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2017/01/trump-immigration-executive-order-fact-fiction

        Better comparisons to history might be restrictions put in place for groups from certain countries/regions by President Carter (Iran), & President Obama (the same 7 countries), neither of which caused such consternation.

        The amount of demagoguery, vitriol, and disrespect coming from the political-left at this time — much of it borderline-unhinged & based not on facts, precedent, or established law, but on feelings & fear-mongering — is unprecedented as far as I can tell. In my opinion, it is not laudable.

        As for Christians being “responsible” for this, for now, that’s just too much to get into. I understand the “am I my brother’s keeper?”, and “who is my neighbor?” approach, and that what we do for the least of them, we do for Christ. I believe that all Christians wrestle with this. 🙂

        But terrorists are not “the least of them”. And there is also a vast difference between the rule-of-law, legal immigration, and illegal aliens, and the bible does admonish us about respecting the law in Romans. The difficulty comes in being able to discern the difference. I believe the president is merely trying to put the framework in place to do a better job of it. For that, I applaud him, as it is long-overdue, in my estimation. “Better to be safe, than sorry” is an oft-used platitude, but it just hits home for me a little more than most. And I saw quite a bit of “sorry” in 2001-2002.

        Eagle, I don’t mind you getting political, and I appreciate your heart in this. Be prepared for a lot of blow back. 😉 I believe that many Christians voted for Trump, not out of any love for the guy, but due to the abortion issue, which sits heavy on many hearts, and the make-up of the Supreme Court. For many, it was not an easy choice, but ultimately many just could not bring themselves to pull the lever for HRC, someone who many consider to be utterly corrupt & self-serving. In my opinion, understandably so. To demonize Christians like this en masse for their choice is not laudable either, in my opinion.

        My take; your mileage may vary.

        Like

      • ejj wrote,

        “The amount of demagoguery, vitriol, and disrespect coming from the political-left at this time — much of it borderline-unhinged & based not on facts”

        Just wait until later today when Trump makes his Supreme Court nomination. Some Senators in the Democrat Party are already calling for a filibuster regardless of who is nominated.

        Like

      • …although before and during the war a lot of Germans in North Dakota changed their last name from that of a particular German despot.

        And a certain Adolf Arthur “Harpo” Marx legally dropped his original first name.

        (According to the 1943 OSS psych profile, “Hitler” is a variant spelling of “Heidler”, which was a widespread family name among “Sudetenland” Germans along what’s now the German/Austrian/Czech border.)

        Like

  2. Here is my problem with this liberal slant. Japanese AMERICANS are not in the same category of NON-AMERICAN’s. Japanese AMERICANS were CITIZENS of the United States of AMERICA. Their CIVIL liberties as citizens were violated.

    So-called REFUGEES are not American Citizens and are not afforded the same rights as American Citizens. As the head of Homeland Security stated yesterday (or the day before), non-citizens do not have a right to DEMAND entry into the United States.

    You cannot compare American Citizens to non-citizens. And I am getting a bit tired of hearing the word “undocumented” when it comes to our southern border. Why can’t you use the word illegal?

    I was in the navy for almost 20 years. We had foreigners in the US Navy. Many from the Philippines. Some from England. They were called resident aliens, but in no way were they ever called Americans, because they were not citizens. They had to go thru the process and it took about 5 years.

    Recently, we had a mall shooting near Seattle (I live in Bremerton, Wa), and the shooter was a RESIDENT ALIEN, NOT an American Citizen, and you know what our local radio stations learned about this guy? He was registered to vote. He was not an American Citizen, yet he voted in the elections.

    But, I suppose the quid pro quo of allowing terrorists into the United States is just okee dokee for you liberals, who just want to love the terrorists, and apologize to them because we fill our gas tanks with their oil, or some nutty thing like that, huh?

    Being a US Navy Veteran, I am appalled at the left leaning way of thinking, that is for sure.

    I am glad that Trump is doing what he is doing, and I oppose anything that the ACLU brings to any court of law to fight him with. And, I am sick of Hollywood thinking that they have a platform to speak FOR the rest of America.

    Ed Chapman

    Like

    • And the Glitterati still wonder how Trump won the election?

      “I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!”
      Network

      Liked by 1 person

      • “And the Glitterati still wonder how Trump won the election?”
        There is always the infamous “I couldn’t understand how Reagan won, because no one I knew voted for him” although I wonder if it is just oft repeated urban legend.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I certainly agree that we have to have preventive measures in place to try to safeguard ourselves against those who intend to do us and our country harm. There needs to be a very strong vetting process in place. I think we could and should all agree on that. I think the question is whether an outright “blanket” ban is the best way to accomplish that. Do we simply bar the door and ban everyone rather than risk one bad agent slipping through? I don’t think I believe that. And what’s more, I don’t think President Trump believes that either. Otherwise, why wouldn’t he have included in his ban some of the countries from which terrorists originated who have actually caused us harm . . . and specifically those countries in which he has business interests? Even in his ban the President is being selective, apparently not for security reasons but for reasons of financial interests, so does this policy really make us any safer?

      Like

      • From my understanding, these countries that Trump is putting a TEMPORARY ban on (for the purpose of making sure that vetting processes are in place), President Obama is the one responsible for identifying THOSE PARTICULAR countries…and Trump ran with it. Trump’s financial interests have nothing to do with it. But, the left is running with that false premise. More fake news.

        Like

  3. Today we are in this situation because 81% of evangelical Christians supported Donald Trump.

    Which is just above the 80/20 threshold for Groupthink to lock in and Purge the 20% by Any Means Necessary. At which point, the only Evangelical reaction possible is “HAYYYY-MENNNNN!” and “I Know I’m Right — I HAVE A VERSE!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. George Takei was also interned at one of the camps, and recently wrote a play about his experiences, which I think has been on Broadway.

    I spent some of Saturday at the airport protesting. The people being blocked already had visas or even green cards. When I got there, the Governor was there giving interviews about how un-American this kind of discrimination is, and how he would fight it.

    This is a dark time four our country. We cannot stand by and let history repeat itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When we as Christians ask ourselves how we are to live in and interact with this society, this culture, this world, there is no way to completely avoid touching on political questions, so when the two intersect bringing political issues into the discussion is unavoidable.

    At heart is the question that, if we are God’s people and if we truly believe we are in this world but not of it, then how do we represent God to this world in which we live? How do we display our faith and communicate God’s love? What is the message we should be communicating through our lives? It is virtually impossible to answer this in a vacuum without touching to some degree on issues in society and the political issues of the day.

    “Don’t say anything political” usually boils down in meaning to, “don’t say anything that calls into question or makes me uncomfortable about my own set political beliefs.” If we can have respectful dialogue, even over issues where we disagree, that shouldn’t have to be the reaction. We should be able to talk about these things, think think about these things, and determine where we can find agreement and acknowledge where we have disagreement. Unfortunately, the reality in our society is that the political battle-lines have been drawn, and people are unwilling to consider anything that does not correspond completely with what they already think. People view anyone not 100% in agreement as being entirely wrong, and not only entirely wrong, but intentionally and maliciously wrong. So we divide into camps that can’t even agree on the basic facts, much less the interpretation of those facts and the conclusions to be drawn from them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave wrote:

      “Don’t say anything political” usually boils down in meaning to, “don’t say anything that calls into question or makes me uncomfortable about my own set political beliefs.”

      I don’t know whether your statement is “usually” true, but feel free to challenge my political beliefs as you see fit. I can handle it.

      I do believe it’s not a good idea to go political on this blog. Political blog wars are a dime a dozen.

      Like

  6. Many Japanese immigrated to the US between 1870 and 1910. So, in truth, some Japanese descendants were “more American” than many Irish and Italian immigrant families. I can understand the fear after Pearl Harbor, but the fear does not justify the actions.
    My first husband’s paternal grandparents were both Caucasian Americans with a long family history in the US.
    His maternal grandparents were another story. Grandmother was a German. Grandfather was a native of Guam. They met in Germany during the war. They came to the continental US after WWII, when GF was stationed at Ft. Campbell. GF was a US citizen – Guam was a US territory. GM became a US citizen in 1952. Though both grandfathers fought on the German front as US soldiers, paternal GF hated maternal GF because “he looked like a Jap”.

    I’m all for vetting, checking backgrounds, etc. But, if a person is here legally, working, paying taxes, no prob. Just became an American citizen? Welcome home! Different beliefs? Different religions? As long as we can disagree agreeably, I’m okay with that. Remember the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty?
    I do have a problem with people who come here illegally. I have no clue what to do, though —— so many children born in the US and know of nothing else, yet who have parents who are illegal aliens. What about them? Breaks my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And those from another part of the country have NO idea just how hot feelings run about this issue here in SoCal. Anglo or Hispanic has ALWAYS been the big ethnic divide in the SW border states, and has always been more delineated by language & culture than color.

      Like

      • My family came from North Dakota. The Germans there held Swedes in low esteem, don’t even talk about how they felt about the French.

        Like

      • Ah, Germans & French. The family feud between Eastern and Western Franks.

        Though my type example has been Japanese & Koreans. (You want to hear about hard-core racism…)

        Like

      • “Though my type example has been Japanese & Koreans. ”
        Considering the atrocities committed during WWII in Japanese occupied Korea, it is a lot to overcome.

        Liked by 1 person

    • @Nancy2 who writes, “so many children born in the US and know of nothing else, yet who have parents who are illegal aliens. What about them? Breaks my heart.”

      I believe that Reagan’s solution had it right.
      Work visas, no (or a narrow) path to citizenship, and ability to travel freely between countries, back & forth, as long as they’re well-monitored & check in & don’t break any laws.

      This:

      1. Allows them to be here *legally*.
      2. Allows them to work here on the books & pay taxes here *legally*.
      3. Allows us to monitor them & keeps them from breaking laws.
      4. Allows all from all sides of the issue to truly be compassionate.
      5. Keeps them from voting.

      Because we all know that the elephant in the room is the leftists who want to import illegal immigrants in great numbers in order to skew the vote, DON’T WE?! 😉

      Like

  7. I think it is best to talk about this without getting into politics or picking a side. Instead let us look at how the ancient Christians helped plague victims.

    Back then plague victims are highly contagious and there weren’t any modern medicine. So the pagans would abandon their own family members into the streets. Then you have the “crazy” and “stupid” Christians who would go get these abandoned plague victims into shelters and try to help them. Many Christians themselves fell sick to the plague because of this, but they did not fear death. Love of God has overwhelmed them. As a result Rome slowly abandoned their pagan ways and embraced Christianity. People know true love when they see it.

    If the ancient Christians are willing to go help the infected plague PAGAN (not even Christian) victims, why are today’s Christians so scared to help “suspected” Muslim terrorists? The plague was certainly MUCH MORE deathly than any terrorist bombs. 33%-50% of the people dies when one of these plagues comes around. How many percentage of the total US population can these terrorist kill? Certainly not even close to 0.1%.

    The church has always been about LOVING OUR ENEMIES until they believe in Jesus. The ancient Christians faced direct persecution by the Romans and the Christians still LOVED THE ROMANS! Many of those pagan plague victims were the very same ones that were persecuting Christians. Yet the Christians still love them and risked their lives to help these pagans. Just look at how the Christians forgave Apostle Paul, who was Saul the persecutor. Do you get it? And now our love has SHRINKED so much that we are just going to stop loving the Muslim refugees just because they “might” be terrorists?

    Why should Christians fear death? If we are not even willing to let Muslims in, what are the chances of we going to ISIS and North Korea today to spread the Gospel? Now I am not saying we must go to ISIS or North Korea. Of course those are special callings from God. But I just want to put things into prospective for all of us. God calls Christians to spread the Gospel to the ends of the world. And the ends of the world includes ISIS and North Korea. If God calls us to go to ISIS and North Korea, facing death everyday to spread the Gospel, then how can we deny letting these Muslim refugees in? Because we fear some of them might be terrorists that might kill us? What about the fact that some of these Muslim refugees might come here, listen to the Gospel and ends up believing in Jesus?

    Now I am not crazy and yes I too fear death. But I can be a wimp but still face the truth of God head on. If our faith in our eternal life is strong, then why do we even need to fear death? Doesn’t this point to our unfaithfulness. Does this mean we are so focused on the riches and materials that we are enjoying in our 1st world countries, that we lost prospective for the eternal treasures in heaven? Jesus was right when he said: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:25)

    I am not trying to be political. I am just pointing out how the ancient Christian church operated, how they love even their very worst persecuting enemies, and contrasting that with how we value our lives and comfort over the Greatest Commandant and the Great Commission. How far have we fallen? I am not pointing fingers since I am certainly part of the problem. I am not going to ISIS and North Korea because I am weak in my faith. I am not going to talk to that homeless man for an hour because I am weak in my faith. And I am struggling to even tithe that 10% because I am very weak in my faith. I am only volunteering in positions that are very comfortable and fitting for a 1st world citizen. So my faith is indeed very weak. But I would rather know the truth of my weakness than to hide and pretend what an awesome Christian I am. Hopefully God will change me and grow in me the fruits of the Spirit. In the glory days of the ancient church, even the richest person would donate all to help the poor and even give up their very lives to help the plague victims. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13). I pray those glory days filled with love will return to our churches.

    My church is directly sponsoring 2 Muslim refugee families right now. We plan to help more. Perhaps you should encourage your church to do the same?

    Like

    • Chips,

      I have one for ya, in regards to “Love Your Enemies”.

      During a recent confirmation hearing, that I saw a senator grilling one nominee, he mentioned the Matthew 25 verses in regards to “when I was thirsty…”. Well, one of those that he ALSO mentioned was something about “when I was in prison, you came to visit me”.

      I had to laugh out loud at that one, because if the GOVERNMENT visits you in prison, it’s certainly not for the benefit of spreading GOOD NEWS.

      My point:
      Loving your enemies, neighbors is REALLY about INDIVIDUAL responsibility, not government responsibility. This is one huge reason that I cannot stand the left wing thinking that they can LEGISLATE charity. Charity is an individual thing, from your heart.

      If YOU see a hungry man, feed him. You cannot tell him that “I gave at the office”, or “the food bank is down the street to the left on Maple Drive”. No…YOU are to feed him. It’s not MY job to feed a hungry man that I did not see, or meet.

      But for some reason, the left thinks that it is the government’s job to love your enemies, and give them a drink of water????????

      Luke 14:31-32
      “…suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.

      So, I say that our government has a responsibility to kill the terrorists, because they sure won’t make peace with us. This has nothing at all to do with “love your enemies”, because “Love Your Enemies” is a personal thing, between you and your own enemies. NOT “enemies of the state”.

      The President has a responsibility to this nation to keep its citizens safe. Loving our enemies, as the way that I see that you explain it, is not a national thing. It’s a personal thing.

      Unless, of course, that you think that the government is supposed to visit you in prison, as Matthew 25 states. But, I can assure you that if that happens, it’s not the gospel that they are bringing you.

      Ed Chapman

      Like

      • It is indeed true that loving your enemies and the least of these is a individual’s job, not the government. I know the government is not Christian. So no I am not under some illusion where I think Trump and the government are Christians and that we can convince them to act in a Christian manner.

        So if you are saying is that the government will continue to commit evil acts, I totally agree with you. The government aren’t Christians and so of course will commit sins. However Christians should still be able to discern right from wrong,loving from unloving. Will speaking up against the government change anything? Probably not, unless God change their hearts. But in this land God has given democracy and freedom of speech. And I feel it is Christians’ responsibility to speak out against any evil acts that the government does.

        Even non-believers are speaking up against the unloving policies of the government. Where are the Christians?

        It is the same way we treat neo-Calvinist. Will speaking to them change anything? Will pointing out the sins of CJ Mahaney change anything? Will pointing out the theological mistakes of John Piper change anything? Some might change but most won’t. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak up.

        Christians SHOULD care about those Muslim refugees. The bible clearly stated that Christians must care about the well beings of our enemies. We know that most of these Muslim refugees are peaceful. But yes there are a very small percentage of terrorists mixed inside. Even then what do we think the ancient Christians, filled with the love from Jesus, will do? These ancient Christians sold all the processions and gave up their lives to help the plague victims. Will they really reject taking in Muslim refugees just because a few terrorists are mixed in them?

        For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

        Brothers and sisters, do not forget where we came from. Do not forget the first generations of Christians who gave up everything to bring us, their worst enemies, this Gospel. Be filled with God’s love so we can also go out and love our enemies.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you on this. You know what I learned tonight? Someone in my Bible study protested at Dulles airport. I was happy to hear that, as it shows deep concern about this issue. A nation state can secure their borders and not resort to fear. I also think of what Franklin Roosevelt said about fear. We should remember that as well.

      Like

  8. Sometimes a discussion topic has nowhere else to go but into the realm of politics. And if so, the discussion can be lively and informative. There is no need for a controversial exchange to get nasty and uncivil. Nor is there any need (in my opinion) to ban political discussion outright, so long as it’s civil and in the spirit of Athenian style dialogue.
    Some Christian blogs have put the nix on any and all political comments and its owners reserve the right to do so. But you Eagle are under no such constraint to follow the formats of others. I’ve noticed that you’ll tackle stuff that other Christian blogs won’t touch with a ten foot pole. I applaud you!

    Like

    • Thanks Muff…I don’t see how some blogs can ignore topics like this. This blog will not be political but from time to time, yes topics like this are fair game. If Franklin Graham is speaking about it, then it deserves some frank discussion. As long as the topic stays civil and people are respectful. To not talk about issues like this is like ignoring issues of science because Ken Ham is controversial.

      Like

  9. @CHIPS, I would assume that your comments in regards to Christians includes all Christians, not just U.S. Christians, correct? Because the focus seems to be unduly on U.S. Christians, and U.S. “evangelical” voters. It’s a big world out there beyond the U.S. And there are hundreds of countries for refugees to settle that are a lot closer geographically than importing them across a large ocean. And what about doing something to fix the cause of the situation that is giving rise to so many refugees? Alas, no easy answers there.

    Liberals are fond of saying “anyone who is against abortion needs to adopt a baby or keep quiet.” Does that mean that anyone who believes that we need to be the country that imports every refugee should personally adopt & support a refugee, or keep quiet? Shouldn’t anyone who is pro-refugee be anti-abortion? Just a thought…

    I realize that my stance on this is not very “Christian” in some ways. I continue to wrestle with it. But it seems to me that importing a boatload of people all at once isn’t a viable solution, and a slow-down-let’s-take-a-good-look-at-this approach seems to be a prudent one to take.

    Again, I lived 9/11, so my perspective may be a tad skewed.

    Like

  10. Pingback: Why the EFCA Should Reject the Biblical Sexuality and the Covenant of Marriage Resolution at the 2017 EFCA One Conference in Austin, Texas | Wondering Eagle

Comments are closed.