Bible, Main, Opinion, z105
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Sanctuary Cities and Free Stuff

Credit: Jeff Wallace/Flickr/Creative Commons

Credit: Jeff Wallace/Flickr/Creative Commons

We went for a walk the other day, and I was amazed. I live in the city that still has American Elm trees, the Dutch Elm Disease hasn’t reached here, and many trees are almost a hundred years old. As a result, a walk in an older neighborhood is like a walk in a park.

So, we went for a walk, close to where I grew up, and I was shocked to see that most of the houses were gone. I saw many construction sites and large new “infill” mansions, and some expensive cars. People with money want a piece of the older generation, before it’s all gone.

The next day, I read a front-page newspaper article demanding that we become a “sanctuary city.” The details are, we must give free services to people who here illegally, and possibly hiding from the immigration police who want to deport them. This is a huge argument and I don’t want to argue right now, so let’s call them “undocumented migrants.” These people now want driver’s licenses, cheap university tuition, medical insurance, library cards; all the things that make this city comfortable. Again, people want a piece of the older generation, before it’s all gone.

I grew up in one an old community with tall elm trees, built by an older generation. The city was designed as a full-service community, and costs were always low. I remember when houses started costing more than one hundred thousand dollars, and we were appalled. Our world was coming to an end. Now those infill houses are around a million and prices are rising. I have a friend who can retire comfortably, just by selling his house.

If you are wondering about the sanctuary city idea, there are two possibilities. The voters will just say no, if they are asked; but the administrators might say yes, and then boost the prices for those “free” services. For example, university tuition used to be $1200.00 a year and graduate students didn’t pay. They taught classes and the university payed them.

Now, I think tuition has multiplied by about twenty times, more for foreign students, and one textbook can cost a thousand dollars. To me, the demand for a sanctuary city means that people are begging for library cards, but they will receive the benign accounting term “cost recovery.” That means, the promised land with a happy new life no longer exists. I have never heard any discussion about the undocumented paying taxes, so I know, the money will be collected in other ways. The money people did not miss this one.

It’s all a scam, there is no free stuff.

I don’t want to grumble about money and how things were better in the old days; we had many issues and problems back then. What I see is a huge population bulge of young adults who are scrambling for a lifestyle that is disappearing before they can grasp it. My young neighbors borrow too much money and search for elusive careers, and people from poor countries cross borders and live illegally. Those “undocumented” who get through hide in misery, and that is their long-term future.

And they all want the same thing; the Bible belt, without the Bible.

An older generation built a prosperous and stable society with schools and hospitals, and stable jobs, and affordable houses. I knew my old neighbors, and most of them claimed to be Christian, and went to church every week. Long ago, the city scheduled extra street cars on Sunday evenings because of the Christian revival services. I have heard many stories of how God moved among those people. Those who were less devout still had respect for God, and every family had a Bible in the house.

That generation built the things that we are desperately trying to catch now, before it’s all gone. We want everything on the menu, except for the cheque, and we are missing the point. There is no gift without a giver. In the Bible we were warned “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me …” (Revelation 3: 17 and 18)

If we say “no God” and then demand the blessings from God that an older generation found, we are demanding something that evaporated long ago. Good things always have a source.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord?

There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. You would shame the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad. (Psalm 14)

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