People are having fun lampooning Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's selective exploitation of Scripture to support the Democrats' advocacy of open borders, but let's not allow this mirth to distract us from larger questions.
The incoming congresswoman tweeted: "Joy to the World! Merry Christmas everyone — here's to a holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all people. (Including refugee babies in mangers + their parents.)"
Let's put aside that Ocasio-Cortez is conflating the Nativity story described in Luke's Gospel, in which Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to register for the Roman census, with Matthew's description of the couple's fleeing to Egypt to protect Jesus from King Herod's decree to murder every boy age 2 or younger in Bethlehem. The latter example also fails because there was no illegal border crossing into Egypt, as it, too, was part of the Roman Empire and, in any event, because Mary and Joseph were following God's command for them to flee to protect Jesus; a divine order trumps all man-made laws. Let's also defer until a later time the bizarre scolding about refugee babies from one whose party virtually supports abortion on demand.
Ocasio-Cortez's biblical illiteracy is irrelevant. The point is that she is carrying on an unfortunate practice of cherry-picking Scripture for political gain. She's simply trying to show that conservatives have no compassion for "foreigners" or the lost and that they are egregious hypocrites and frauds for holding themselves out as Christians while declining to model Jesus' love.
In a less imperfect world, I wouldn't have to bother refuting this, but Democrats have done a masterful job permeating our culture with these slanders, and far too many people actually believe them — just as they believe their equally wicked mantra that we are hateful racists, sexists and homophobes.
It's wicked because they know it's not true. But the Democratic Party's main recruiting strategy is to show that Democrats care about people and that Republicans don't. In a world where supposedly good intentions are the yardstick, results don't matter.
Though I am convinced that the average conservative has as much compassion or more than the average liberal, I realize I'm not going to convince anyone of that just by asserting it.
What might be more helpful would be to examine how compassionate and prudent the Democrats' policies on immigration and related issues are in practice.
Underlying Ocasio-Cortez's tweet on refugees is her implied charge that Republicans don't care about refugees, foreigners or other vulnerable people — that we would deny asylum to those truly fleeing their countries to escape harm and we sadistically desire to separate children from their parents.
These are all malicious lies. Republicans don't want to repeal asylum laws, but they do want the laws to be applied in an orderly fashion to ensure that we help those truly in need. When Democrats support open borders, sanctuary cities, across-the-board amnesty and a catch-and-release policy, they are incentivizing border anarchy, human trafficking and lawlessness. They are endangering American citizens and discriminating against immigrants who played by the rules.
The question we ought to insist on discussing is whether Democrats even believe in the concept of nation-states anymore — and specifically American sovereignty — as opposed to deferring to some enlightened global entity. Do they even remotely embrace the American idea anymore? Socialism and top-down authoritarianism were hardly contemplated by the Framers. I might tell Ocasio-Cortez that the Apostle Paul said, "From one man (God) made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands."
It is axiomatic that a nation cannot exist without borders and border enforcement. This is especially true of America because its uniqueness is in its founding ideas, which are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
Our patriotic ancestors knew that our freedom tradition depends on adherence to the Constitution and on a citizenry dedicated to ordered liberty — understanding that freedom is meaningless and ephemeral unless undergirded by the rule of law. They believed that the government's first duty is to protect its citizens from domestic and foreign threats. They disagreed on whether and to what extent we should export our democratic principles but never on whether we should preserve them for ourselves.
Conservatives fervently believe in ethnic diversity. America is undeniably — and gloriously — an amalgam of countless ethnicities. But we also believe in the assimilation of all ethnicities into a common culture committed to the Constitution and rule of law — as opposed to a Balkanized society of competing groups that are suspicious and hostile toward one another.
This is why the legal path to citizenship and its attendant naturalization process have involved the applicants' pledge of loyalty to this great nation of which they want to become a part.
Democrats need to explain whether they still believe in the American system itself and in America's sovereignty — in its right and duty to enforce its immigration laws, as well as the orderly, controlled system of immigration those laws establish. Let them explain how eviscerating these laws would be in the best interest of America and its citizens in any respect, how flooding our borders with people we can't support or assimilate would help either those immigrants or existing American citizens.
If we care about preserving America as the freest, most prosperous and most benevolent nation in the world, then we cannot continue to ignore border security and thwart the rule of law. How compassionate would the world be without America?
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com.