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In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?

“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.

Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders. 

“A Safe Place?”

View Point

The number of sanctuary cities is growing

By Linda Gilden

In this country, there are hundreds of sanctuary cities and several complete states offering asylum to illegal immigrants who have broken the law in some way. These cities have policies in place that forbid the local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department in the deportation of those who are in this country illegally.

Some Christians might argue that this is a good thing. Shouldn’t all those in this country be protected? After all, there were cities of refuge in the Bible. Isn’t that the same thing?

Not exactly.

The six biblical cities of refuge (Golan, Ramoth, and Bosor, on the east of the Jordan River, and Kedesh, Shechem, and Hebron on the western side) were established to afford refuge from the blood avengers. Blood avengers were family members who wanted to avenge the death of a loved one by taking the life of the one who caused the death. Even if it was an accident, the avenger sought restitution. If the killer made it to the city of refuge, he or she was allowed to stay until time of the trial and the verdict was announced. If for any reason the killer left the city of refuge, the avenger of blood could lawfully take the killer’s life.

Sanctuary cities were developed over three decades ago as places of safety for illegal immigrants in this country. These harbor cities created a place where immigrants, even illegal ones, could live without fear of deportation or detention. When an illegal immigrant is accused of a crime, he can no longer be detained in prison until trial. The accused is released and allowed to live in the sanctuary city until the time of the trial. Neither can he be deported, even if he is on the list for deportation.

In an article for the American Family Association, Bryan Fischer explains further the difference in sanctuary cities and cities of refuge. “The cities of refuge were different from sanctuary cities. If the killer was tried and found guilty, he could be put to death by the avengers. A city of refuge was not a place for the guilty to escape justice.” “Sanctuary cities, on the other hand, have been known to harbor lawbreakers,” Fischer maintained. “Even guilty parties are allowed to roam free in the cities and possibly commit more crimes.” Fischer pointed out that biblical verses maintain that the guilty must be punished.

The July 2015 murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco continues to bring up the subject of the wisdom of these laws. As Kate walked on the pier with her father and a friend, Kate was struck in the back by a bullet and later died at the hospital. The accused murderer who claims the shooting was an accident is an illegal immigrant who had taken refuge in San Francisco. Not only was he walking free as he awaited a trial on another charge, he had been deported not once or twice, but five times. When is enough enough?

Beside the safety issue surrounding these sanctuary cities, others question that those harbored are not required to abide by federal law, as American citizens are. Potentially dangerous criminals are allowed to roam free. Is this practice really caring, Christian, American, or even legal?

Certainly the cities involved are pleased with the extra revenue afforded to them. The Department of Justice has given over $342 million to sanctuary cities and states.

With all the attention given to sanctuary cities by the news media, it’s no wonder the subject has found its way more than once into the rhetoric of the political arena.

Having a sanctuary is a great thing. Everyone would like to be exempt from facing judgment. But sanctuary cities were not part of the original plan for this country. That concept has come about in recent years.

The only real place you can find refuge is the sanctuary offered through your relationship with God. If people could concentrate on finding the one true Sanctuary, there would be far less discussion about sanctuary cities, deportation, or anything else.

Pray for those who live in sanctuary cities.

Pray for those who have taken sanctuary in those cities.

Pray for all to find sanctuary in God.

Linda Gilden is director of writing programs for a popular Christian communication organization. She not only writes full time but also directs two writers’ conferences, speaks, edits, and enjoys encouraging writers to fulfill their writing dreams.

Member Comments

The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
  1. Judith says:

    It is not just rape that is pinned on some innocent people. Prosecutors tend to make a list of all the people who they know could have done a crime and then focus on one they think probably did it. Then they go about to convict that person whether guilty or innocent. Having no witnesses they go about to find circumstantial evidence and play on the emotions of the jurists to accomplish conviction.
    They do not seem to care about the truth. God is the judge and truth will someday be revealed.

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