Our Immigration System and Christians in the Culture: Its Foundations of Freedom Thursday, a special day of the week where we get to answer questions from you, the listeners! Always answering your questions from constitutional principles! Tune in today as we answer your questions such as is it Biblical to be involved in politics? How do we glorify God? Are naturalization and immigration synonymous? What role do state governments play in immigration and naturalization? What can we do to correct our immigration system? And so much more, right here on WallBuilders Live!
Air Date: 01/25/2018
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith And The Culture
Thomas Jefferson said, “The constitutions of most of our states, and of the United States, asserts that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves. That it is their right and duty to be at all times armed and that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press.”
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live and it’s Thursday and on Thursdays, we do what we call Foundations of Freedom. It’s where we take your questions and we dive into those foundational principles so that we can all be educated and inspired to be better citizens and preserve freedom for future generations. If you’re not familiar with our program, we’re always talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith and the culture. But we always look at it from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional, perspective.
Our conversation today is with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also with Tim Barton, he’s a national speaker and pastor and president of Wall Builders. My name is Rick Green I’m a former Texas legislator.
You can find out more about us and the program at WallBuildersLive.com. That’s our radio site. You can get a list of the 300 stations around the country we’re on. You can also get archives of the program. So if you enjoy this Foundations of Freedom program, you can look up prior Thursday programs over the last few months and get more of that education there.
And then also our other website is WallBuilders.com. That’s our main website and there you’ll find all kinds of great resources, daily news, it’s got all kinds of materials available to educate you and your family, it’s just a fantastic wealth of information. So check it out at WallBuilders.com.
David, Tim, Foundations of Freedom Thursday. I always enjoy this because we get to ask you guys some questions from the audience. You guys ready for some rapid fire here?
You bet. Go for it.
On Christianity and Politics
Alright, first one comes from Sebastian. The question is on Christianity and politics. “What I’ve noticed speaking to fellow Christians about politics is this argument that this world is not our home and we should not be worrying about what’s going on on Earth politically. How should I go forth bringing political issues to their mind and getting them to care about these issues without bringing into question the authenticity of their faith?”
Well, guys, this is a common, common, question. And actually, debated a lot in the church I think. Should we even worry about what’s going on here on Earth? Shouldn’t we be heavenly minded? Shouldn’t we just be focused on Christ return?
Well, that is a good question from Sebastian. And my first two thoughts are, the first part, they actually do reference the Bible verse that, “This world is not our home.” But then the second part where they say, “therefore we shouldn’t be involved.” That’s not a Bible verse. So, they started out Biblical and now we’re not Biblical.
So, whenever someone says, “We shouldn’t be concerned with the affairs of this world.” I always want to ask, “Well, what do you base that on? What verse do you base it on?” Because we can go to Luke 19 where Jesus says, “Occupy until I return.” Or we can go to many parables where Jesus talks about that there’s a master, and he leaves to go on a journey, and he leaves his servants in charge and then he comes back and holds them accountable for all they were left with.
How Does God’s Will Get Done on Earth if it’s Not For Humans?
There are several things we could point to that would seem to indicate there should be some level of accountability. And by the way, if we shouldn’t worry about this world, Jesus said that we should– when He was teaching the disciples how to pray, and so you can go through the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6. He said that we would pray that, “Your kingdom come, Your will would be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Well, the question I would then ask is, “How does God’s will get done on earth if it’s not for humans?” Because everything God has done on this earth, He has done through humans, He has used humans to do.
Read the Old Testament, read the New Testament, it’s all humans doing things on this earth. Even though when you get to the New Testament, they knew this wasn’t their home. And yet, they are still fighting and striving to make their communities, to make their life, to make the world, a better place. As people come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, as they learn to walk in those Biblical principles, they learn to operate in that, and treat people in love, and serve people, and do things.” This is all about the world we live in, but not because we live here, it’s in preparation for the place we’re going.
And so really, it gets back to, “What does the Bible say?” And the first part from what was Sebastian saying where, “My friends say, ‘Well, this world isn’t our home.’” Well, that is based on the Bible. But the next part of their argument is not based on the Bible.
Our Theology of Heaven is Often Built on Hymns
There’s another aspect that goes with this, Rick, and it goes to what Tim was saying on the Bible. There are so many wrong concepts of what heaven is and what the afterlife is. Our theology on heaven is more built on Christian hymns, particularly southern gospel hymns, than it is on any Bible verses out there.
Or Mercy Me “I Can Only Imagine”.
Yeah, but you’re right, it’s songs. That’s so interesting. I had not thought about that until right now we’re talking about it, but it really is true. Most of, “When This Weary World is Over”, “I’ll Fly Away”, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”, Take Me Home”. So, many hymns are about taking us to a better place.
Show me the Bible verses to back those hymns. Here’s a couple I’ll just throw at you. If you take 1 Corinthians 6, one of the things Paul got on them about was abusing the civil process, the court process. He says, “Guys, don’t you know that, in eternity, you’re going to be the judge of the entire world? That you’re going to be judging angels and all men?
“So, are you telling me you can’t run courts right now? You’re going to be running courts when you get to eternity.” Nobody thinks about going to heaven and running courts. But Paul says that’s what happens in eternity. We’re going to be running courts, we’re going to be judges.
Nations Exist in Heaven?
And grab this for heaven – you talk about heaven and in Revelation in chapters 21 and 22, two passages here where it talks about the city of God. So, it says that the City of God is so bright that it gives light to all the nations. Wait a minute, I thought we wouldn’t have any nations once we got to heaven? I thought once we get to heaven we’re all going to be won big people. This says no, no, no, the light from the City of God is going to light all the nations.
And it says the tree in the midst of it, healing will flow to all the nations. So nations exist in heaven? Are you kidding me? That’s not what I heard in the hymns. And so we really do have a concept of heaven based on hymns rather than on Bible verses.
Because in the Bible, in final eternity, Paul says you’re going to be judging, you’re going to be running courts. Jesus says through John the Revelator that, hey, there’s going to be nations in heaven, and we’re going to rule those nations, and He’s going to rule them with a rod of iron. And so there’s a whole lot of government involved in heaven that people don’t pay attention to. Now having said, that our friend Tim Brooks, I had a real epiphany with him and I think Tim probably did too.
But it’s a big deal now because if you ask most religious people, “Why are we here? Why did God put us here?” We will invariably go back to the 1646 Westminster Shorter Catechism that says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”
What Does it Mean to Glorify God?
And by the way, I would not disagree with that notion. But we should ask the question, “What does it mean to glorify God and how do we glorify God?” Because if God created us for a purpose, and God intended for us to do something, part of how we glorify God is doing what He has called and created us to do. So then it still goes back to, what did God create or call us to do? Why are we here?
Because doing it is part of what glorifies Him because we’re utilizing what He’s given us to do, what he’s called, what he’s made us to do. So, what does that look like?
Well, and part of that is the notion, again, we’re going back to Christian hymns, but glorifying Him means we just sit around all day long in heaven and play our little harps, and sing songs to Him. And that’s not what the Bible teaches heaven looks like. But the problem we have is, why was man created? Was he created to sing songs to God? I don’t think so.
God had how many gazillion angels that were praising Him and glorifying Him all day long. And if there’s a shortage of voices that glorify Him, He can just make some more angels. That’s an easy thing for Him to do. What’s really significant is when you go back in the Genesis in the creation story, and you watch how God made light, and then separated the light from the day, and put the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night, and separated the firmaments, and there was water, and there was dry land. As you proceed through this, it says that God created the earth, and then He created the plants, and He created the fish, and He created the birds, and He created the animals.
And in Genesis 2, when you get there, Verse 4, that’s the end of story. He’s done with creation. And the Bible then says, “And God looked and saw that there was no one to tend His garden. So, He created man.”
It’s like He went through all creation and said, “This is really cool, oh wait a minute, who’s going to take care of this for me? Oh, I’ve got to create something else.”
Gardens of the Culture
And obviously not that God was perplexed and confused, but Moses as he’s writing Genesis, identifying that God looked and said, “Okay, this part’s ready. Now for the next part.”
And the part, the purpose of man, Genesis 2:5 and 2:15, he was created to tend the garden. Now what’s God’s garden? Well, if it’s a regular garden, it’s going to have a whole lot of stuff in it. It’s going to have, He’s going to have the garden of business, He’s going to have the garden of entertainment, He’s going to have the garden of government because he created government, He’s going to have the garden of religion because He created the vertical relationship. See, He’s got all these gardens to take care of and He created man to tend the garden.
Not to sit around with our harps, and play songs, and wear white robes, and dance around all day. No, if that were the case, He would have us doing that right here, right now, but that’s not the case. We’re supposed to have, as Tim said, His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We’re supposed to be bringing His principles to bear in every part of His garden. And by the way, we’re told in the Bible that the Earth is Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and everything in it, and all that dwell on the earth.
That’s His garden. He wants every bit of that taken care of and that’s up to us to do. So, the concept of us not being involved, Christians not being involved, that’s Christians who have not read the Bible very much. They’ve not thought through it very well. Or they’ve listened to music more than they’ve listened to Bible verses.
That’s also the idea that when Jesus talks about the master and the servant, he calls the one who was unproductive and he says, “You wicked, lazy, servant. You knew that I was expecting something and you did nothing? Alright, cast this wicked, lazy, servant into outer darkness where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth. There is an accountability that God expects from us to be productive in the place that God has put us. And part of that, as you read the Bible, it’s the way we raise our kids, it’s the way we conduct ourselves in the marketplace, it’s the way that we run our business, or the way we work for our employer.
There’s a lot of things involved in this about the life that we’ve been called live. And it’s really not just we’re sitting and waiting for heaven. No, while you are here, you are supposed to bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. And that’s part of, as a Christian, what we are trying to do. To love people like God loves us, to serve people, to do all these sayings.
One Day We Will Give an Account
The Bible teaches us to operate and walk as Christ did. But certainly that includes your family, it includes your community. And this is where the kind of ripple effect goes because talk about your state and your nation. But certainly we have a responsibility to get involved because one day we will give an account. Just as Jesus taught in the parables, that servant stands before the master, the master says, “What did you do with this talent I gave you, with this responsibility I gave you?”
And we want to make sure that we don’t say, “Well, I was scared so I buried it. We say, “No, Lord, here is what is Yours. And actually, I even doubled it. I got even more than You gave me.” And then we hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Because we have been productive, because we’ve been responsible, we’ve been diligent stewards of what God has given us.
So, great question from Sebastian. We’ve got to take a quick break. We’ll be right back with more of your questions from the audience. If you’ve got a question today, send it into [email protected] That’s [email protected]
We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
President Thomas Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves. And if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
Moment From American History
This is TimBarton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. In the early seventeen hundreds the Reverend John Wise preached that all men were created equal, that taxation without representation was tyranny, and that God’s preferred form of government was the consent of the governed.
All of which is language recognizable in the Declaration of Independence. Why? Because in 1772 the Sons of Liberty led by Founders Sam Adams and John Hancock reprinted and distributed the Reverend Wise’s sermons.
Four years later, much of the Declaration reflected the language of those sermons by John Wise. In 1926 on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President Calvin Coolidge affirmed, “The thoughts in the Declaration can very largely be traced back to what John Wise was saying.”
Few today know that the Declaration was so strongly influenced by the Rev. John Wise. For more information on this and other stories go to WallBuilders.com.
Abraham Lincoln said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts. Not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
Welcome back WallBuilders Live on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Next question from the audience comes from Jodi. It has to do with immigration, “I have a question about immigration. On some of your podcasts, you have mentioned that immigration used to be handled by individual states. But Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution states to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.
“So, are the terms ‘naturalization’ and ‘immigration’ synonymous? And if naturalization is under the jurisdiction of the federal government, what role do state governments play in immigration and naturalization? Also could you give a brief overview of the history of immigration in the U.S.. What has our nation done well? What have we done not so well?
“I’ve heard that there are a lot of problems even with legal immigration. So, what can and should we do to correct our immigration system. Thanks for all that you do to keep us informed.” So, David, Tim, man, we need about four programs for this one probably. But let’s see what we can do with what we have left today.
Yeah, we’ll try to do this short. I’ve just finished, I mean, right now as we we’re talking, just finished a section of the book that will come out in September. It has a major section on immigration both from what the Bible says and from what early America was, what the Founding Fathers themselves did with it before the Constitution when they put the Immigration Naturalization clause in the Constitution, the uniform rule of naturalization. And also what they did in the first three federal immigration laws they passed one in 1791, in 1795, one in 1798. It’s interesting that what they did in those early laws, what they did in the Constitution, is exactly what the Bible said should be done with immigrants.
You Divide the Religious Community Very Quickly
And it’s also fun to see what the Founding Fathers themselves in their own writings said about what the Bible says, what they’re going to do, and how they actually did it in their laws. So, those three parts come together make it fairly interesting. One of the things that happens today when you start talking immigration is you divide the religious community very quickly. Because they go back particularly and love to cite Leviticus 19:34. Particularly those who want open borders or easy immigration, whatever.
And this is where God speaking and He says, “The stranger that dwells with you shall be unto you as one born among you. And you will love him as yourself for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” And so people say, “Look, God says you treat other people, you take them and bring them in because Egypt excepted you, so you take them and bring them in. And listen to the verse again, it says, “The stranger that dwells with you shall be to you as one who’s born among you.”
Now here’s the problem – the English word “stranger” is not the same in Hebrew. Hebrew has three words for stranger. It’s like if you read in the New Testament if you can read in Greek, you’ll find that there are actually four Greek words for the word “love”. But for all for those words we use the word “love” in English.
So, one word for love means a brotherly kind of love. One means a natural affection of family members. One means God’s love to us. And one means a sexual type of love. So, all four words in Greek, the only word we use for them in English is the word “love”.
So, does that mean that when the Bible says, I should love my neighbor that I should have sex with my neighbor? No, that’s not what it says because there’s four different words for love in Greek.
Someone Who Wants to Become One of You
Same thing with the word “stranger” in Hebrew. There’s three different words for it. And that word stranger means, and by the way, it’s actually translated correctly in what we call the Septuagint. But the word stranger in that verse means someone who has a proselyte and wants to convert to be one of you. So, it’s not just somebody who walks across our border, “Oh, they’re a stranger, now we accept them.”
No, somebody who walks across your border and says, “I want to be fully an American.” In their case, somebody who walked into Israel and said, “I want to be a Jew.” Alright, here’s what we do, here’s the tour, here’s the law, here’s our customs, here’s our language, here’s our everything. That’s the word stranger that immigration is to be built on.
So, modern immigration would be saying, “I want to come to America. I want to speak English. I want to say the Pledge of Allegiance–
That’s exactly it.
“–I want to put my hand over my heart for the National Anthem, I want to get a job, I want to be a producer in culture, I want to be a provider for my family, I want to be stable, I don’t want to be on welfare.
“I don’t want to come and get a handout, I want to come, and do, and exist, and produce, but I want to be an American.”
That’s exactly it and that’s called assimilation. And what happens is, the process– and that’s where the Bible says, “The stranger that dwells with you–”, in other words, the one who wants to come be one of you, “–shall be unto you as one born among you.” Now here’s where immigration comes in. You have what are called natural born citizens. If you’re born in the United States, you’re a natural born citizen.
What is Naturalization?
Now, we have those who are immigrants who come in that can be naturalized citizens. And that’s the second level of immigration. You weren’t born here, but you got here as quick as you could and you want to be American. That’s naturalization.
Here’s what you do. You go through the process, and you learn the Pledge of Allegiance, you learn American history, you learn the Constitution, you learn English. It’s all about assimilation. And so the Bible says if a stranger comes in among you and wants to assimilate and become one of you, you treat them just like you. And so once you become a naturalized citizen, guess what? You get all the rights that American citizens get.
You get the right to trial by jury, you get the right to keep and bear arms, you get the right to free speech, free exercise of religion. But that’s the assimilation part of it and that’s what immigration was all about. So, when you look at what the Constitution says about, it says, “Congress shall establish a–” this is quoting from Article 1 Section 8 paragraph 4, it says, “Congress shall establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” Now that uniform rule of naturalization, that is not immigration. That’s after you come here as an immigrant, this shows you how to become a citizen.
And there’s a uniform rule to be an American citizen. So, that’s what Congress establishes. Now when you get beyond that, there is more to it in the sense that states have a role in this. For example, if you come into what used to be the Statue of– well, if you come into the Statue of Liberty, what used to be called Ellis Island, the Gateway there coming in.
What happened was at that point you decided I’m in America, now where do I want to live? Do I want to live in Maryland, or Texas, or Oregon, or Wyoming? And just because you came to the United States didn’t mean that every state was the same. You choose your state. And so the founding fathers recognized that, yeah, we’ll set up the general rules.
The States Could Set Up Additional Guidelines
And what they said for general rule is you have to have a background check, you have to be five years living in the nation before you can become a citizen of the nation, they went through all the– that’s the uniform rules. But in addition to that, what you could do was you could establish additional things that states set up.
Alright, David, hold on the what the states could set up. We’re going take a quick break. We’ll be right back. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday.
Our question today is on the difference between naturalization and immigration. What the states can do versus what the federal government should do. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution of most of our states, and of the United States, asserts that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves. That it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. That they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press.”
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Patriot Academy is now expanding across the nation and now is your chance to experience this life changing week that trains champions to change the world. Visit PatriotAcademy.com for dates and locations. Our core program is still for young leaders 16 to 25 years old, but we also now have a citizen track for adults. So visit the website today to learn more. Help us fill the void of leadership in America. Join us in training champions to change the world at PatriotAcademy.com.
President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realize that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
The Difference Between Naturalization and Immigration
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. Our last segment today on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. The question is about the difference between naturalization and immigration and what the states can do versus the federal government. David, you were just about to share what the states could actually do on this issue.
And talking about uniform rule of naturalization, what happened is Congress set the standard and then after that, the states filled in the rest of it. So, here’s the standards set by the founding fathers in those three first immigration laws – 1790, 1795, and 1798. The immigrant must have good moral character. They must not only support the Constitution, but also has to renounce allegiance to any other nation and loyalty to any other system. You have to believe in the equality of Americans and you have to renounce any title of nobility.
You have to be a resident for five years before you can become a citizen. The children of naturalized citizens get to become citizens at the same time, but there’s no anchor babies. Citizenship goes from parents to child, not from child parents. States have a definite role in immigration. Security risks can be deported and permanently banned.
Some State Requirements
And the government will protect the borders. Now that’s the federal role. That’s what the feds are supposed to do. Now in addition to that, you have what the states are also able to do. And here are some of the state requirements – Pennsylvania said that any foreigner of good character who took an oath of allegiance to the state of Pennsylvania was allowed to own property in the state after one year’s residence.
And then after one year’s residence they could own property and become a citizen of the state as well as of the United States. New York had that except they also said in New York that you have to renounce any allegiance to any foreign prince. Maryland required a belief in the Christian religion if you’re going to live in the state of Maryland. And in South Carolina, you could not be naturalized as a South Carolina citizen till you had lived there two years and it also took an act the legislature. So, these are the requirements states were allowed to make in addition to it.
Now here’s the deal, the states were really in charge of everything except those core requirements that the feds put out there. The states did that until 1875 and 1876. You know why it changed, Rick, Tim? You know why states were not in charge of immigration anymore after 1875- 76?
So, what happened in 1875 and 1876.
I can only make a joking guess, but no I don’t actually know. I know there was a transition in power in Congress, but I have no idea.
No, that wasn’t it. Now that’s a good thought because 1876 you switch from a Republican Congress to a Democrat Congress.
Because I know that’s when they started overturning and repealing a lot of the Civil Rights Act has been passed.
So, I know they did some drastic things, but no, I don’t know why it left the states.
The Supreme Court Ruled the Fed Take Over
Because the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all the previous provisions and said, from here on out, the feds are in charge of all immigration.
Okay, guys, so we’re going to take over now. Good job up to this point–
–but we do better. So you go home and we’ll take care of it.
And that’s because there was a Constitutional Amendment right before that that gave the federal government that, right?
The people said, the states said-
Oh, that didn’t happen.
No, that didn’t happen.
So, the Supreme Court just rewrote the, yeah, gotcha.
The First Ever Federal Office of Immigration
The Supreme Court, as they often do, rewrote. Now, do you know when the first ever federal Office of Immigration was opened? 1891. So, until 1891, the states had immigration. 1891 is the first because the Supreme Court now to decreed it’s got to be.
And the first ever federal immigration center was in 1892 on Ellis Island. Prior to 1892, all immigration centers were at the states. Because you came into South Carolina, you came into Maryland, you came into Virginia, you came in in New York, you came into Maine, all the immigration centers were controlled by the states, not the feds. So, that’s kind of a different look at immigration from what we’re used to today.
No doubt. And it sounds like then the states could say “no”, right?–
Well the states couldn’t say–
–This business when Obama was sending all these refugees to the states, states had, used to have the right to say “no”.
Now the Supreme Court changed it without us giving the Supreme Court permission to change it.
The Uniform Rule of Immigration
The states couldn’t say “no” to who came into the United States. That’s the uniform rule of naturalization. But they could say “no” to who came into their own state.
Yeah, no doubt. Alright, well, very interesting. Now, David, you said you’re writing a book on this?
Our Immigration System and Christians in the Culture
Yeah there’s a book that will be out in September. First week of September. And this is one of the six issues that we tackle in that book. Six really hot issues that are facing the country today and immigration is one of them.
Looking forward to it. Alright, folks, you can find out more at our websites, WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com. This has been Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Thanks for listening to WallBuildersLive.
Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”