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The Good Samaritan and the Bad Caravan

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Friday, October 26, 2018 @ 12:16 PM
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John Kasich was quick to condemn President Trump for being un-Christlike by seeking to stop the invading army of thousands of illegal aliens snaking its way across Mexico. After all, Kasich says, Jesus taught the story of the Good Samaritan to teach us that we, as a nation, should throw our borders and our arms open wide and welcome them to cross our sovereign border en masse. 

Said Kasich: 

“We’ve got to start putting ourselves in the shoes of other people. We’ve got to start thinking about the consequences that others suffer. And if we have been spared those by the grace of God, let us be appreciative, let us count our blessings, and let us reach out to those who have less. And let’s stop putting up walls around ourselves and not understanding the plight, the trouble, and the problems of others. It is not right. And the Lord doesn’t want it, and our people at their hearts want to reach out to others.” 

Although it is perhaps encouraging that the governor has found his way back to the Scripture and is oblivious to the fact that, according to the left, he is trashing the separation of church and state, he is badly twisting this segment of Scripture. 

Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37. The outlines of the story are quite simple. A man on his way to Jericho is set upon by bandits who rob him, beat him, and leave him for dead. Two religious leaders come by, a priest and a Levite, and both pass by on the other side of the road. But a Samaritan, with whom Jews would have nothing to do, stops and shows mercy to the man. “Go and do likewise,” said Jesus. 

So what does this have to do with John Kasich’s view of the problem? Nothing. 

Jesus was not speaking to government in this story, he was speaking to us. The story is not a lesson for nations about what they are to do, it is a lesson for individuals about what we are to do. 

There are some marked differences between the Good Samaritan and Kasich. For one, Mr. Kasich is offloading the responsibility to take care of this caravan to somebody else. The Samaritan didn’t do that. He himself knelt beside the wounded man, tended to his wounds, and carried him to a place where he could recover. If Kasich truly wanted to imitate the example of the Samaritan, he would go to Mexico himself, come alongside the caravan, dig into his own wallet, and help somebody using his own resources. 

But by casting the responsibility to provide care for 14,000 people (pushing children in thousand dollar strollers, by the way) on President Trump, Kasich is demanding that government take the place of the highway robbers in the story. He wants the government to stick its fingers into our pockets, against our will, and seize money to use for a charitable purpose without asking our permission. That is simply a form of legalized theft. It is classic socialism, the involuntary transfer of wealth from those who have to those who don’t. That’s not Christianity. 

Now Christians, make no mistake, believe in the redistribution of wealth just as much as Bernie Sanders does. The difference, and it is a monumental difference, is that Jesus believed and taught the transfer of wealth should be voluntary. John Kasich does not. He believes in the involuntary transfer of wealth from the unwilling to the undeserving. That is not the way of Christ. It is the way of Karl Marx. 

There is nothing remotely “compassionate” about standing by while some Americans relieve other Americans of their money at gunpoint (try not paying your taxes and see who shows up) to give it to those who have no rightful claim to it. 

Beyond all that, Kasich, as a governor, knows that his first task is to enforce the law in the interests of public safety. But here he is making a virtue out of trampling on virtually every immigration law in the book just because his emotions tell him to. And then he wants the rest of us to feel guilty and ashamed of thinking that there is a good reason for immigration laws and that such laws should be enforced. No thanks. 

Here’s what the Good Samaritan teaches us. Compassion is not, as liberals and regressives believe, giving away other people’s money. Biblical mercy is giving away our own money and our own time, as the Samaritan did. And it doesn’t involve sticking somebody else with the tab. The Samaritan was determined not to presume on the charity of the innkeeper but instead, out of his own pocket, to make him whole for the cost of caring for the wounded man. 

Perhaps the governor should get back to doing his job and leave the task of interpreting and applying the Scriptures to others.

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