Sanctuary: Every Man’s Right?

Sanctuary: Every Man’s Right?

In Gosia Wozniacka’s article on the Huffington Post website entitled “Francisco Aguirre, Undocumented Activist, Takes Sanctuary At Portland Church”, it is discussed how an illegal immigrant and supposed drag trafficker took sanctuary in an Oregon church when authorities attempted to arrest him at his home. They aimed to eventually deport him out of the country, as they felt that he may be a danger to society. Furthermore, Aguirre is not the only illegal immigrant to claim sanctuary in recent times, as churches have begun to offer safety to many people who are in similar situations to him.

If one looks at this scenario from the churches’ perspective or ‘worldview’, it can be argued that they feel it is their duty to provide safety for every individual who asks for it, despite their past sins, and that everyone should be welcome in church who wishes to enter. The Bible instructs its followers to show kindness and compassion to others, regardless of who they are or what they have done. Therefore, the individuals and pastors that are involved with the churches who help people like Aguirre evidently ‘see’ their actions as forgiving, compassionate, and very Christian.

However, not everyone may necessarily agree with this argument. For instance, the immigration officers who consider Aguirre to be a threat to society do not necessarily ‘see’ the churches’ actions as the correct thing to do. After all, is it not true that the Bible also clearly instructs people to try their best to follow the ten commandments, several of which Aguirre, as well as other illegal immigrants, may very well have broken through their actions? From their specific worldview, these people need to be deported for the good of every one. The officers are simply trying to do their job and protect their homes through their actions.

After I read this article and considered both the perspectives or ‘worldviews’ of the pastors and their churches, as well as the immigration officers, I came to the conclusion that neither point of view was completely correct, and that both parties could be sympathized with, depending on what one’s values and beliefs are in life. On one hand, as a fellow Christian, I agree that it is our duty to help those in need, even though they may not necessarily deserve it. However, at the same time, I can understand why the immigration officers might be frustrated with the churches’ sanctuary policy, as they feel that they are trying to help everyone by deporting people such as Aguirre, and the church is making the situation worse by protecting them. Overall, I found that this article posed an interesting question regarding both the topic of world views and of religion. While not everyone may agree with the churches’ actions in this case, it is important to remember to always consider all perspectives, and to try and ‘see’ beyond your own point of view.

-J.D., #200


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