In other news? Bryan Fischer doesn’t get how borders work.
I like the phrase applied theology. It read it in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy.
It’s never really applied to geo-politics. Land borders were determined by a god! And needless to say it’s the Christian one! Or is just the douchey god of Bryan Fischer’s mind? We make the gods in our image and Bryan Fischer’s god was made in his image.
Violent, Inhumane, Cantankerous and bereft of kindness. A god of hate and pain. A heartless god of profits and poverty.
As we watch this utter humanitarian disaster unfold on our southern border – a “man-caused disaster” if there ever was one – it’s natural to ask what insight we might gain from the Bible regarding borders.
It amuses me that the lines Bryan would go for are the lines about Bible Borders.
Rather than the lines about kindness and caring for your fellow man.
But then again? Bryan’s god is a libertarian god when it comes to economics and poverty, to require help is to be weak and to help others in need is to be a person encouraging weakness and poverty. The scary thing is that Bryan claims to be a Christian, but his god requires him to behave unlike Jesus. If Bryan Fischer were running America? You would have to melt down the Statue of Liberty and send it back to the French.
Or make a single change to the tablet she carries…
After all this we should inscribe the words “….. NOT!”
What we learn from the Bible is that borders are God’s idea, and that such borders are to be respected. They are not to be crossed without permission.
IF there ever was a poster against intelligent design, Bryan Fischer would be it.
Does Mr. Fischer even realise the bullshit that comes out of his mouth? Or does his god intercede and somehow change the words into glorious common sense.
Dear Readers, at the moment, what is America famous for in regards to world politics over the past decade and a bit? Or has Bryan Fischer forgotten all those dead and wounded soldiers and the million or so dead people who happen to be “not American” while he blindly chanted the mantra of “Support the Troops” which is a unique Americanism which can be boiled down to “WAR GOING BAD! WAGGLE FLAG HARDER!” because supporting the troops in America seems to often mean support wars which kill lots of troops.
Crossing a border without permission is like breaking in the back door of a house to help yourself to goodies instead of being invited in by the host through the front door. You might get to eat either way, in the same house and from the same cupboard, but in one case you would be doing something respectful and civil and in the other doing something that rightly should land you in jail.
Does this mean we have to send America to Australia? That’s the only nation I can think off that technically started off life as a gaol.
The Scriptures make it clear that national sovereignty, including clearly defined borders, is God’s idea. In Acts 17:26, we read, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place…” (Emphasis mine throughout.)
Which of course clashes with the notion of free will. And it is surprising that Mr. Fischer says this. Turns out a lot of the allotted periods of man improved due to the highly ungodly scientific discovery of medicine. I like the fact that in Mr. Fischer’s eyes what I do is effectively robbing The Reaper. That without my science, his god would kill a lot more people at a lot younger age. Bryan shows the problem of Christianity if taken literally. Life is a sin, death is what he seeks.
It’s surprising how Mr. Fischer sees all global wars as some sort of divine intervention. He has to, nothing humans do can be due to human ingenuity or stupidity otherwise we would just be hairless apes who make mistakes and follow stupid ideologies rather than belonging to a grand and complex machine operated by a god.
To Mr. Fischer? All those dead people in Iraq thanks to ISIS? Jehovah determined their allotted periods and boundaries. Every massacre and war crime was the work of his god, who used his infinite power to shape human history through colossal deaths.
Oh it’s probably explained away as “this god gives special rules to America as the godliest place on earth so it can do stupid crap”.
Two things, we are told, are under God’s sovereign control: how long a nation lasts, and where its borders are. The verb translated “having determined” is the Greek verb “horizo,” from which we get the word “horizon.” It means “to mark out, to define.” So God has marked out and defined the borders of each country.
Bryan’s statement is a statement of privilege. Of idiot privilege.
I joked a while back. Those who forget history, die in interesting geography. Bryan white washes the history of the USA. To him it is a divinely ordained nation. Created by god for the benefit of people like himself. He ignores history and forgets what built America. What price people had to pay. And if we asked him what the price was he would mention people like Washington and the other founding fathers standing staunchly against a caricature of the British as the epitome of “goodness” and “godliness”. Bryan Fischer is the sort of person who stood outside the Statue of Liberty smashing bottles of Champagne and French Mustard while calling things Freedom Fries before the Iraq War become the generation’s Vietnam.
But we know what Bryan Fischer is. We know what Bryan Fischer is white washing over. That America was founded on the concept of Manifest Destiny and the displacement of the Native Americans and on racism where African Slaves and Irish and Chinese Indebtured Labour built America. We know what sort of America Bryan Fischer lives in. The America in the sky, a fantasy world where god made everything in it’s place and woe betide anyone who wishes to break that carefully constructed social strata.
Naturally people like Mr. Fischer are on top as it were.
Wow! I take it back, the only problem with Bioshock Infinite is Daisy Fitzroy grabbing the Villain Ball for no adequately explained reason. Comstock is perfectly normal even in this day and age.
Our southern border is there by God’s design. To disregard it, to treat it as if were not there, to regard it as something not worth respecting and defending, is an insult to the God who put it there for our benefit.
Seems like god only does things to benefit around 1% of 300 Million People in a single country.
I mean he isn’t really doing anything to help solve the issue. Your right! Your border is worth defending, but so are the ideals you claim to pay lip service to.
Look, I get it. Immigration when uncontrolled simply harms local economies, but you know what? Refugees are refugees. Hiding behind your Bible and claiming god gave you all your cool stuff is just ignorant and designed to justify a denial of rights to people who are poor because you think that a divine sky father who rules an entire universe is setting out to ensure the guy panhandling on the street is a beggar for a divine purpose.
The bulk of the second half of Joshua is a record of the promised land being divided up among the 12 tribes. What is striking is how thorough and detailed the description of each tribal boundary is. In Joshua 15 the word “boundary” is found no less than 15 times in describing the perimeter of Judah.
The Bible also spends an inordinate amount of time speaking about the evil that is Bacon yet I see Bryan Fischer still eats pork. What? Jehovah dictates your borders and tells you to not help children and harass refugees but when he tells you to not eat pork, that’s where you make your stand? They can take away our human rights but they can never take away our BLT!
For instance, here’s the description of the southern boundary: “It goes out southward of the ascent of Akrabbim, passes along to Zin, and goes up south of Kadesh-barnea, along by Hezron, up to Addar, turns about to Karak, passes along to Azmon, goes out by the Brook of Egypt and comes to its end at the sea. This shall be your southern boundary” (Joshua 15:3-4). Such detailed delineations go on for chapter after chapter.
Which doesn’t mean borders are divinely ordained because a few books after Joshua, Romans show up and kerb stomp everyone. I am going to assume Bryan Fischer thinks it is because Jews did something to garner such a punishment but in reality it is because the Jews were a small Kingdom. It’s just that Bryan Fischer’s world extends from Egypt to the far side of the Middle East and maybe Europe. What happened in the rest of the planet is of no consequence to him. If we told him what the Mauryan and Zhou Dynasty he would not believe that there were empires with million of people (They are the two Major Empires of the East. Each only slightly smaller than Alexander’s conquests). Joshua’s kingdom?
Is kind of cute.
And no, the Romans took over the region from the Pontic State, not from the Jews. The Jews already “lost”, what changed was the landlord.
It is shocking that Americans do not learn history. I know a bit about American History, I read about the Mayans and the Aztecs and the Olmecs. I read a little bit about Native History. I read about the New Deal and all that American Civil War History stuff. Maybe not to the level of the Americans but tell me? How many Americans know anything about Roman History or Indian History or Greek History or Chinese History? To Mr. Fischer all that is good in humanity came from this tiny region. That the Greeks and Romans who built the foundations of our Western Society didn’t count. That the Muslim Golden Age that preserved and Expanded these traditions? Didn’t Count. That the Egyptians and Indians and Chinese and Mongols and every damn civilisation out there that wasn’t “Jewish” didn’t count.
A cautionary tale.
Teach your children history, lest they turn out to be like Bryan Fischer.
That such national boundaries are to be respected is made plain by no less a personage than Moses himself. In a largely forgotten passage, Numbers 20:14-21, we read that Moses sought permission from the king of Edom to cross his border and pass through his land. When permission was refused, Moses didn’t force his way in; he respected the king’s decision and went around Edom to the East.
Possibly because Edom had some of those Iron Chariots from Judges 1:19. They were considered badasses from the period until their defeat by King David at the battle of Salt. They also weren’t all that liked because of their habit of sacking Jerusalem. Possibly? Idumea were a state of local Spartans and no one wanted to fuck with them unless they were Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian, Hittite or Assyrian who were large civilisations who could field proper armies and generally fought over the region.
Moses didn’t force his way in possibly because a two fronted war would have killed his “empire of gods” because the gods seem to favour heavily armed and armoured jerks with buckets of angst more than they do peaceful lotus eaters. In the history of the planet, it is the douchebags who rise to the top. Weak kings are those who seem to get a conscience.
Moses couched his original request this way: “Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from a well…we will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.”
The king’s response? “You shall not pass through.” Moses tries a second time to secure an entrance visa. “We will go up by the highway, and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then I will pay for it. Let me only pass through on foot, nothing more.”
The king of Edom was utterly impervious to this plea for so much as a tourist visa. “You shall not pass through.” How did Moses react to this denial of permission to immigrate into and through the sovereign territory of another nation? Did he barge ahead anyway? Try to sneak in under cover of darkness? Did he launch a military strike to secure passage? Nope. “Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him.”
You wished to march an army through a soverign land to attack another. When that country denied you access, invasion would have lead to a two pronged war. History has a word for armies of equal equipment and training that are outnumbered by their enemy. It’s called “massacre victims”. When war was a shoving match between two sides where you met on a field and pushed and shoved till one side was left and the other side ran away, numbers counted. And this ignores the fact that Moses killed and massacred other lesser nations for less indicating that Edom was probably too powerful to handle but revisionism translates that in Bryan Fischer’s mind as
And Moses said “Hold me back bro!” and god did, for Moses was packing wicked heat.
The lesson? Each nation’s sovereignty is marked by its boundary, and each nation has the moral right to decide who will be given permission to enter its sovereign territory. Moses recognized this, and so should we. The only exception is under circumstances of a just war.
All wars are just to the people who wage them. No one ever goes to war as the bad guy.
Not even the Nazis
Bottom line: borders are biblical, and are there by God’s sovereign design. And they are to be respected by everyone.
Slavery is Biblical
Genocide is Biblical
Rape is Biblical
It is our humanity that has made the world a better place. We have strived to analyse our actions and take the path of least harm for all or best intentions for all. I get it, unfettered immigrations destroys economies by flooding in cheap workers who take away low paying jobs in a society where we are happy to pay people non-living wages because immigrants live in conditions we would not consider as acceptable. I know when I first came to the UK me and my father slept in a single bed hostel in one room. We had no money to rent a house while my father looked for a job and my mother studied for exams so we lived in a single room. Not a single bedroom house but a single room. The bathroom was shared with others and we relied on food from a canteen.
We were willing to live in worse conditions than homeless shelters.
As doctors because we had lived in a refugee camp. Our idea of what is acceptable and what isn’t was warped by sleeping over stones, drinking boiled water and shitting in a hole. A shared REAL toilet was a luxury. Drinking water out of a tap was a luxury and the food….
I felt nothing but kindness. When people ask why I am so defensive of the British part of my heritage and the people who helped us, the reason is the kindness and humanity. Age 5 I had to eat nothing but pita bread/khubbus and maybe a little scavenged oil or cheese or a can of sardines. Age 6, on my first day there I saw two acts of kindness.
The first was the hospital canteen staff. Who saw these emaciated Indians stare hungrily at food they could just about afford as my father got his first pay in advance to help him settle in. We had to be very very tight that month but it was his first pay so we wanted a proper meal.
It was lasagne. When the staff asked around why I was so skinny they gave us the lasagne for free because I was staring at it. When I joined school and both my parents worked, the Canteen staff agreed to watch me until they came back. I used to sit there and do my home work or colour in while watching TV. Something I had never seen because of the war and because I needed glasses that I could only get in the UK. For 2 months they helped my family out by babysitting and slipping me treats. It was kindness. When I say I grew up in hospital, I mean I literally would follow my parents around on duty and sit quietly in the room or at the Nurse’s desk while they worked playing with stationary and reading.
I remember the fact they couldn’t pronounce my real name. When I hear People of Colour complain about “White guys mispronouncing names” I tend to step out of the conversation because I have a soft spot for the people who called me Omelette.
The second was the warden of the hostel. One day he caught me in the TV room. When he asked why I was crammed into a small room, he gave my father another room so that we didn’t have to fit into a tiny room.
Kindness is more important than Joshua and the Bible. If people are cold, tear your Bible up for kindling Mr. Fischer. If that is not an act of kindness and goodness, then your god is less moral than me. The only duty we have is to be good ancestors, to leave the world a better place for our existence. It doesn’t matter how big or how small that contribution is but that’s all we really have. A kindness, a gesture of niceness to those who have seen none.
I once saw a young tourist couple here break down and cry. She had seen a Road Traffic Accident. A young drunk man while trying to cross the road had fallen in front of the bus I was travelling in. He was struck a good ten metres and then run over. I had helped rescue him from under the bus. The young drunk lived and went back to being a young drunk, but he needed CPR. One of the advantages of 4 trained medics on a bus quite near to a hospital was that we could do CPR and protect the spine. These two were simply shocked by the violence and the gore. And by the apparition of the four of us drenched in the man’s blood (CPR looks nice on TV, lot less when you have to do it to a man with a facial wound) looked like horror movie cannibals. The crowd was more interested in the violence than actually helping and these two people had a shock of their lives in what happened.
The person consoling them? Was a young girl who carried her brother around begging.
Kindness is universal, you find it in the least of places because it is the only commodity among the least of people. You trade in kindness.
And to help the poor children trying to cross the border to the USA to escape violence and to have a future? Is a kindness. Mr Fischer thinks that they will take your jobs? Really? A bunch of kids who don’t speak the language or understand the local culture are going to take your jobs? Have you considered making rules about not hiring asylum seekers and refugees (which is what they are) for illegal rates and instead allowing them to work for the same local minimum wage? No. Defend the border. Pay heed to your fetish of guns and justice and Bibles and ignore the teachings of Jesus for the Bloodthirsty pre-Biblical Characters.
Life is cruel. Life moves on cruelty. To quote Terry Pratchett.
“he Patrician took a sip of his beer. “I have told this to few people, gentlemen, and I suspect I never will again, but one day when I was a young boy on holiday in Uberwald I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I’m sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that’s when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.”
It is up to all of us to alleviate the suffering of other men. You may not want to. You may not be able to. That’s fine. But don’t oppose those who can or are able or who wan’t to.
Because Bryan Fischer’s god is a cruel god. Of violence and brimstone and fire and pillars of salt. Fischer’s god is the god who pulls the legs of flies in his test of Job. He is the rapist god who determines that virgins of the enemies should be kept as sex slaves. He is the god of genocide and slavery. In Hinduism you understand the duality of nature of gods. That a god to one person can be a different thing to what you see. Hence Uma.
Parvathi. The wife of Shiva is generally depicted as this.
You would know here by her other names.
Durga, Shakti and Kali. She is the Mother of Weapons, the Goddess of Power and the Goddess of Doom and Ferocity.
See the Hindus could see their gods as being of different forms. Shiva’s other name is Nataraja. The god of dance. In his incarnation he flirts with Meenakshi (The Goddess with the eyes of the Fish – another name for Parvathi and it indicates beauty because her eyes are wide) who he wins over because he out dances her. The reason he wins is because the outfit he wears allows him to do the splits. Sure it’s misogynistic but it is just stories. Stories that lead to me realise that we see what we want in our gods. The same blood thirsty half naked blood drinking berserker that is Kali is engaging in freaking dance fights with her husband. And it makes sense because people wanted to hear a story about their favourite gods that isn’t all blood drinking of demons but also about having fun.
Bryan’s god has gone the opposite way. Rather than the whole Jesus Malarky, he’s following the Old Testament god.
But I do have a question for Bryan Fischer. Do you know of any other children who had to escape across national borders to avoid persecution and death?