Sanctuary Cities for the Undocumented, Yes or No

person reading the bible in a church


A friend posted a poll question on one of his social media pages. It asked, “Would you support Frederick becoming a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants?”

To this, one woman responded, “Most definitely. Anything less isn’t Christ-like. Period.”

As one might imagine, this was met with a number of replies that offered to correct her non-biblical view. What follows below is a blended synopsis of the group comments, of which some (but certainly not all) of the words were mine.


Misunderstanding Christ-likeness

Wrong. Compassion for aliens is certainly Christ-like (see Leviticus 19:33-34), but abiding by the law is also Christ-like (see Romans 13:1-2). The government is hopefully enacting laws that provide for loving justice. If not, Christians in the USA can work to have the laws changed. It’s a political tightrope for Christ-followers, to be sure. However, there are non-government solutions, as well. Thousands of churches are stepping up to be places of shelter for refugees, while acknowledging that Christ would never break God-sanctioned law or tell anyone to break any God-sanctioned law. Only a fool or an enemy of Christ would dare say otherwise.

Some have mentioned that there should not be sanctuary for people who commit violent crimes, but that there should be sanctuary offered for minor offenses, such as traffic violations. Yet, let us not forget that even in a minor traffic incident there are consequences and we all pay them. Did we have a choice not to break the speed limit? Yes, we did, but we were willing to pay the consequences. But this is a bait and switch argument anyway. Does it have anything to do with being someplace you’re not supposed to be, basically trespassing? No.

The laws which illegal immigrants are breaking relate to a different choice that they made. The consequence for that choice is deportation. They did have an alternative choice. Maybe they didn’t know about the alternative, in which case it would be ignorance, or maybe they just didn’t want to wait. Either way, they need to pay the consequences. I don’t blame them for wanting to make a better life for themselves here in the United States. I applaud them for their dreams of freedom, and I hope they come legally, as that’s better for us and it’s better for them. There are a multitude of reasons why.

What gets me is why people are trying to confuse the issue for political purposes. Illegal is illegal. “Immigrant” does not equal “illegal”. And when people try to claim it’s what Jesus would do they base that on their own feelings, not scriptural doctrine. The Old Testament says to be kind to the foreigner, so we are to welcome them to come here and become citizens, when they obey the same laws everyone else is expected to obey.

Lastly, too often the argument erroneously conflates undocumented immigrants with refugees. Refugees would be documented. Some consider whether or not to let in particular refugees, and what constitutes a refugee, and what safety measures are needed when taking them in.

These are legitimate questions, and must be sufficiently thought through. But Scripture always supports obeying the law of the land. Peacefully. Satan might tell us otherwise, but to him we must not listen.


Post Script

I was also going to blog today about a video posted online by Bill Nye, but the video has now been removed. Agree or disagree with Bill Nye “the science guy”, there is no denying the headline to his post is misleading. That headline reads: “‘Stop Telling Women What to Do with Their Bodies’: Bill Nye Debunks Anti-Abortion Logic with Science”. Within the video Mr. Nye passionately states his position by making mere assertions which are based upon his presupposed philosophical (and political) world view. Disappointing. I was hoping to hear at least an attempt at a scientific argument from “the science guy”, especially since the word “science” appears in the title. Sadly, I’ve grown used to these sorts of inconsistencies from the supporters of baby killing. Here’s the now-deactivated link, if you care to see for yourself that the video was removed.

Thanks for reading along.



The blog above was first published on the original version of this website.  Since then the site has been completely reformatted and upgraded.  With this change, the blogs needed to be re-uploaded to correct corruptions that occurred with the transition in 2023.  While doing this, some additional information is added at the conclusion of many of the older blogs in a “postscript” section that might not have appeared in the first draft that was published on the first website.  Think of this as “bonus material” if it’s brand new content.


Engaging With Those in an Echo Chamber

A high profile leftist politician in north central Maryland has often been a magnet for controversy. On one such occasion Mr. Kai Hagen posted the following on social media:

I’m sure most of you never listen, and I can only handle it in small doses here and there, but I will note that if the appallingly ignorant and idiotic callers to WFMD’s local talk radio were representative of everyone, there would be no hope for the human race.

Since WFMD happens to be home to The Faith Debate radio show that I’ve hosted since 2004, I considered it appropriate to rise to the defense of the loyal listeners who were attacked by a man supposedly elected to serve them. So, I wrote:

My favorite parts of the thread are where Kai writes, “the appallingly ignorant and idiotic callers to WFMD’s local talk radio.” Then some hours later Kia writes, “I used to call in from time to time, and I was a guest on Blaine’s show a few times.” Please don’t take offense, but I found that to be funny. And to cap it off one of his sycophants writes, “You are right Kai. I have never listened to it.” I found that to be very funny! How could he know if Kai was correct or incorrect if he never actually listened to hear the “ignorant and idiotic callers” himself? :0 


His unfriendly reply was to double down:

Would love to replay an hour’s worth of such callers here, Troy, and then ask you to characterize or defend them. You could start with some of the moronic and ugly calls about climate change.

Attempting to shift the conversation from name-calling (“ignorant”, “idiotic”, “moronic”) I took a moment to offer a more substantive answer:

There are callers who make one scratch their head, for sure. Just as there are social media posts that do the same. But if the complaint is that there aren’t enough callers who represent your worldview (or who pass muster on your quality index), then whose fault is that? The afternoon show on WFMD is an open forum. Everyone and anyone are allowed to call. The fact that only about 1% of the total audience ever picks up the phone cannot be blamed on anyone but the 99% who do not call. In a way talk radio callers are like songs. But consider, when a music station plays a song that you don’t like you just have to hope that the next one is better. With a talk station if there’s a call you don’t like, then you can have a direct effect on changing the next call.


Ignoring that fact that he had specifically brought up “climate change”, his lengthy retort was:

I didn’t specifically complain that there aren’t callers who represent my world view, Troy. I spend plenty of time reading and watching and listening to things that don’t represent my worldview. But, sorry, not buying your explanation for the almost obscenely ignorant and idiotic (and ugly) calls and callers that dominate Mid-Maryland Live… almost no matter what the subject is. There are certainly shows where that is never or almost never true, based on the host(s), the normal audience, the call screeners or whatever. The Mid-Maryland Live callers compliment and reflect the sort of things that the host thinks and says himself, and that he encourages, to boot.

Tempted to step out of this dialog due to this elected official’s mean-spiritedness, I continued nonetheless:

This dialog might benefit from the defining of terms. What is the definition of “almost obscenely ignorant”? (And how would this compare with “absolutely obscenely ignorant”?) Similarly, what is the definition of “idiotic (and ugly) calls”?


In true politician fashion, he commented in return without any effort to answer the questions:

C’mon now. If you listen to enough of it, and I’m sure you do, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I decided to give the exchange one last stab:

Do I agree with all the callers? No. Nor do I even always appreciate the aesthetic value of each caller. But “obscenely” doesn’t fit what I’ve heard, given that the definition of that word is (according to dictionary dot com), “offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved: causing uncontrolled sexual desire.” Is this the sort of meaning you’re intending to convey?


The far left politician decided to give the exchange one last stab, as well:

There is also a difference between obscene and obscenely ignorant and idiotic, for what it’s worth.

At this point I put a wrap on this back-and-forth with the man and his cultic devotion to “the narrative”:

Well, we’re back to square one. I have no idea what you consider to be “obscenely ignorant and idiotic”. Since you won’t tell me, I guess I can’t agree with your characterization.


There were a number of others chirping in the comment thread, as well.

One of these others directed her words to me, alleging that she has heard “racist comments” on the radio station. Before leaving the thread in my rearview mirror, I felt it important to address what the woman was claiming to have heard:

I likely don’t listen as often as you do, so I haven’t heard some of what you reference. Whether it is on-the-air or on one of these social media forums, I would advocate for careful (and when possible, precise) use of language. Generalized observations have their place, but when using them we should be prepared to respond to others who ask for specifics that will aid in deeper understanding.


I hope the sharing of this online exchange has been helpful, instructive, and edifying to you in some way.

Many blessings to you,

Pastor Troy Skinner