Nov. 1, 2018

The Right to Refuse

“Simpletons! How long will you wallow in ignorance? Cynics! How long will you feed your cynicism? Idiots! How long will you refuse to learn? About face! I can revise your life. Look, I'm ready to pour out my spirit on you; I'm ready to tell you all I know.” Proverbs 1:22-23

At first glance, this verse seems harsh. I’m a strong believer that sometimes harsh is good. Harsh bible verses are kind of like a slap in the face. It’s God’s way of saying, “Hello…get a grip, please.” I believe humans tend to make things much harder than they need to be. I tend to make things much simpler.

Being simple-minded works at times but doesn’t at others. I suspect I am being simple-minded when it comes to the issue of immigration. I don’t think there is an American functioning in our society that doesn’t think something must be done about immigration. The issue isn’t political despite being used in political campaigns, commercials and speeches. The issue isn’t simple, but I believe there are simple solutions. We need to keep in mind that immigration isn’t merely today’s hottest topic. It’s something affecting everyone’s lives. Those wanting to come to America, and those of us already living here. Immigration needs a humane resolution for all humanity.

Dear Leaders, every restaurant in America has a seating limit. The managers of the restaurants post signs announcing their limitations. They hire staff to monitor the doors and calm those needing to wait before entering. Most restaurant owners screen who gets in and who is asked to leave. Restaurants and other American businesses have always reserved the right to refuse service to anyone they believe is bad for their business. Being told, “no,” or that you aren’t welcomed isn’t easy, but there are times it is necessary.

If we look at immigration simply, I think we can follow the lead of National Restaurant Association when overcrowding is an issue. Perhaps I am being too simple-minded, but I don’t think it is rocket science. What do most patrons do when they are turned away? They go to a different restaurant or they go home and make a sandwich. (I realize some of you are very angry right now that I am comparing escaping violence to making a sandwich. I’m sorry, but somebody’s got to say it. We cannot save everyone. God can.)

Consider the safety guidelines instated in some of our nation’s largest amusement parks. Even rides at carnivals have rules to protect human lives. They enforce a height requirement for the more dangerous rides. They also post the signs regarding the requirements for all to see. They, too, hire people to enforce their rules. In those cases, the most humane thing we can do is tell somebody, “no.” Safety requires rules and rules result in hurt feelings. That’s life.

Something I don’t see as being effective is calling the restaurant patrons or carnival goers “thugs” or “terrorists.” We need mature adults coming to the table and discussing what to do about this critical problem. We need dignity; not stupidity from either side. We need less drama and more solutions. God guarantees us, even the simple-minded, that His answers are out there. I suggest we stop the campaign rallies, speeches, and TV commercials. I suggest time would be better spent in productive dialogue and devising a strategy. If we worked together as opposed to pulling apart, we might find simple solutions to this complex issue.

A simpleton is a gullible and foolish person. Brilliant people seek and find common ground for all concerned. Kind of sounds like the practices America was built on in the first place. Simple or not, I believe it is doable. One thought is to stop the massive amounts of money paying for flights to campaign stops, rallies, commercials, and billboards. Save it. Rebuild Puerto Rico and send them there. <wink>

I think we should simply put up a sign that says, “America is full.” With all the money the politicians are going to save by working to solve the crisis instead of campaigning, we can build compounds on the Mexican side of the border to house them. See, simple!