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Suns & Shields

By Rachelle Hamlin

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Sanctuary Cities

By: Rachelle Hamlin

Fort Fairfield Journal, October 28, 2015

By now, most of us who follow the news have become aware that Sanctuary Cities exist in California and that they appear to be cities where people can go to escape the heavy hand of the law. In one such city, a criminal who should have been deported according to federal law, lived freely and without fear of deportation. For some unspecified reason, he shot and killed a beautiful young woman as she enjoyed a walk on a wharf with her father. The sheer craziness of this act brought national attention to this heinous deed yet, as I write, there is no resolution of this murder.

As far as I can learn, the man walks free and the girl's family grieves over their loss.

I read the statute that San Franciscoans wrote establishing themselves as a sanctuary city and county. It appears to be a humanitarian effort to protect illegal immigrants for the sake of their family unity. That gesture, now law, emerged from efforts in the 1980's by churches and other interested individuals, to draw a line of defense against ICE agents and Federal Law.

It is a case that proves the saying that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” In their ignorance they have abused the Steinle family's right to unity. I doubt that even one of these do-gooders connected these dots in order to see their own misguided pride. San Francisco has declared they will make no change.

Ancient history documents, in the Jewish Torah, in the last chapter of Numbers where the idea came from. Numbers 15,9. “The Lord told Moses to say to the Israelites...” It goes on to v.34, to provide land for the Levitical Priests to settle on, and create 48 cities with arable land around them, ie, counties. Of these 48, six were to be cities of refuge where murderers who accidentally killed someone could find refuge from family members looking for blood. It maintains that it is the duty of a family member to revenge the murder victim of intentional murders.

Even in the cities of refuge, the community was responsible to prove claims of accidental murder. Should the homicide be declared intentional by the court, the murderer was turned over to the aggrieved family for dispatch. An accidental murderer was safe as long as he remained within the county and city. Outside the county line, he was considered fair game for the aggrieved family.

This shows a high degree of intolerance for the act of murder. It also puts responsibility for just outcomes on those who are directly involved. What became so interesting to me was after telling Moses all the details about the issue, after saying how and when a murderer could be let go, after establishing the justice of blood being shed to rid the land of blood shed, the Lord tells Moses that murder makes the land unclean, and since He dwells with them He requires the land to be clean.

I know of a number of well-intentioned Christian churches who were part of the effort to take in illegal immigrants and their families. In each situation that I know of personally, it was all done out of love and genuine concern to do that which is right in the sight of the Lord. This bothers me now.

The Steinle case lays Justice right out onto the examination table to be looked at with deeper vision than our makeshift society ever wants to look at. For proof, I offer the 2009 Fort Hood Massacre of American military personnel committed by a killer named Hasan shouting Allah Akbar! Where is he today? What is his daily life like? Was justice ever served? Were his multiple crimes intentional?

It puts the wisdom of God in clear perspective. God would have handed him over for death to the nearest family who would have had the inclination to end his life. There would have been no waiting for justice to be served to all those families who grieve day in and day out while he clutters some form of safe place that he really never deserved to be sent to.

This soft-hearted approach to justice defies justice even at the moment it most wishes to create justice. We see too much of it in our society. I realize that as I write this article, I am cutting the meat crosswise against the grain. As a cook I know we do that to tenderize something that otherwise would be too difficult to swallow. I am asking my reader to stretch and flex a little here. I am attempting to rectify a wrong, by demonstrating that many thousands of years ago God got it right.

We cannot have a merciful society when we show mercy to criminals but not to victims.

It was God who told Moses to establish the safe havens, and that was merciful. A man who killed accidentally comes by mercy legitimately, but notice, he does lose the rights he had before. He is forced into involuntary confinement and his family has to decide whether or not they will follow him into that confinement.

This law concerning murderers appears at the end of the book of numbers. Then, count the number of dead innocents. Compare it to the number of living killers. If our innocent are dead, shouldn't the guilty also be purged out of our land? If you can see it, this also explains just wars.



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