Debating Our Cities “Sanctuary” Status (Santa Clarita)

A strain on Facebook’s “Santa Clarita Community” page is keeping people (myself included) up late at night. What got this party started was the below graphic and comment (click to enlarge):

FIRST-and-FOREMOST — many mentioned that Joshua chapter 29 is non-existent — like how the Left views clearly enumerated powers in the Constitution. Non-existent. But discussion of the statement in the Original Post (OP) also riled people us, including myself.

It reads:

  • After seeing all these so called “christians” protesting the sanctuary laws, i feel ashamed to be part of this community. People aren’t thinking of the consequences of getting rid of said laws. #sanctuarysantaclarita

Here is my response to this:

Hmm, what makes me embarrassed is that Christians do not use a proper hermeneutic, and apply 21st century understanding/context to Biblical and Ancient Near East laws, history, and culture. Here is a primer on these cities (4-partial excerpts from the many commentaries available for those seeking context – since it is king – rather than straw-men, red-herrings, and non-sequiturs):

CITIES OF REFUGE

This had been described already in Exodus 21:12–14, as well as Numbers 35 and Deuteronomy 4 and 19. Exodus 21 places the law of asylum at the head of its discussion of capital offences. It describes how God will designate a place for the unintentional killer to flee for safety. Numbers 35:9–15 defines six places as towns of asylum, three east of the Jordan and three to the west. Verses 22–28 go on to state that the town must guarantee protection for the person who is found not guilty of murder, but if the person wanders from the town he may be killed by the avenger of blood. Deuteronomy 4:41–43 describes the three towns of asylum east of the Jordan which Moses designated in that area.

Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 305.

1. The Lord spake unto Joshua … Appoint out for you cities of refuge—(See Nu 35:9–28; De 19:1–13). The command here recorded was given on their going to occupy their allotted settlements. The sanctuaries were not temples or altars, as in other countries, but inhabited cities; and the design was not to screen criminals, but only to afford the homicide protection from the vengeance of the deceased’s relatives until it should have been ascertained whether the death had resulted from accident and momentary passion, or from premeditated malice. The institution of the cities of refuge, together with the rules prescribed for the guidance of those who sought an asylum within their walls, was an important provision, tending to secure the ends of justice as well as of mercy.

4. he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city—It was the place of public resort, and on arriving there he related his tale of distress to the elders, who were bound to give him shelter and the means of support, until the local authorities (Jos 20:6), having carefully investigated the case, should have pronounced the decision. If found guilty, the manslayer was surrendered to the blood-avenger; if extenuating circumstances appeared, he was to remain in the city of refuge, where he would be safe from the vindictive feelings of his pursuers; but he forfeited the privilege of immunity the moment he ventured beyond the walls.

Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 1 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 155–156.

One of the first ordinances after the announcement of the Ten Commandments provided for the future establishment of cities of refuge (Ex. 21:12–13). These cities, providing havens for unintentional manslayers, are discussed in detail in Numbers 35:6–34 and Deuteronomy 19:1–14. The present chapter discusses their appointment after the Conquest (see their locations on the map “Canaan in the Conquest” near Josh. 3).

The fact that these cities are discussed in four books of the Old Testament marks them as being of great importance. It is apparent that God wished to impress on Israel the sanctity of human life. To put an end to a person’s life, even if done unintentionally, is a serious thing, and the cities of refuge underscored this emphatically.

In the ancient world blood revenge was widely practiced. The moment a person was killed, his nearest relative took responsibility for vengeance. This ancient rite of vendetta was often handed down from one generation to another so that increasingly larger numbers of innocent people died violently. The need in ancient Israel for the refuge that these special cities provided is evident.

Donald K. Campbell, “Joshua,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 362–363.

The need for these cities grew out of the fact that in the ancient world, and to some extent in the Near East even today, there was a custom according to which, if a member of a family or clan was killed by someone, either intentionally or accidentally, the family would gather together and appoint one of its members to be an “avenger of blood” for his relative. This was a world in which the basic legal maxim was “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” So if a member of the family was killed, it became the duty of the avenger of blood to track down and kill the murderer. Clearly, there was a certain primitive justice in this system. But a person could be killed by accident, and if that were the situation, it would be an injustice if the avenger were allowed to proceed.

[….]

Once in the city, the frightened man was to appear before the elders, as the text in Joshua shows. He was to state his case, explaining why the death was accidental. Then, if the elders of the city judged that there was no malice aforethought and the death was indeed accidental, they were to admit him to the city, where he was to live in safety. It was necessary for him to remain there until the death of the high priest serving at that time. After that, he could return home in safety.

James Montgomery Boice, Joshua (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 108–109.

After I posted the above, JESSIE responds with this:

I respond:

I was responding to the OP* [posted by ALEX], but thanks. And I would bet your understanding of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists and the first time it was invoked as something supporting a separations of church and state is lacking. But hey, thanks.

[Here is] the context in which my response was written:

“…what makes me embarrassed is that Christians do not use a proper hermeneutic…”

Which was a response to:

* “After seeing all these so called ‘christians’ protesting the sanctuary laws, i feel ashamed to be part of this community. 

Now, the assumption could be that ALEX is ashamed to be part of this community (the SCV) because Christians who live in the SCV do not rip Joshua out of it’s cultural and historical context — in which case my comment is somewhat null… but still making a salient point.

But if ALEX is saying that he is a “true Christian” because he takes Joshua out of context, and then applies it to sanctuary cities regarding immigration (modern legal dilemmas), then, my comment has weight.

DIMITRI was nice enough to share his support…

PAQUITA joined the convo in a way that caused a few responses. (BTW, BILL Q’s responses were great.) Here is her opening salvo:

  • Church is a festering ground of sinners. That’s why people go to church. Deep down inside we all know how rotten humans can be to each other. Therefore, I’m not surprised that a few Christians are at the forefront of such demonstrations. They are not the voice for an entire congregation . Everyone has their own version of Christianity. In many churches they are divided , over, on going issues. Yet, the irony of some churches is to go the world over in the name of their God & put a nice face in prayer to basically sucker people to become members. However, their agenda isn’t about inclusion or bettering anyone or love for their fellow man, but their numbers. It’s the oddest thing how people feel so much hate when most church pastors spend hours spreading compassion. However, there’s a lot of hateful preachers too & haters share a strong bond psychologically.

(As an aside, the church IS filled with sinners, she is correct. The human condition is awful. Thank GOD for Jesus [Romans 7:25a is a response to the human condition enumerated from verse 14]. But by stating such in no way supports her jump to the issue at hand or how she encapsulates it.)

I said,

So to be against sanctuary cities is hateful? And then this lawful, secular position is applied to what it is to be a true believer?

......

wow.

PAQUITA responds to me specifically:

  • Sean G sure it’s hateful, against your follow man. God creates all & didn’t put those little lines on the maps. The world is ever changing. People screw it up with the violence, anger, competitive , complaining, bad ideas, and festering selfish ideas of this belongs to me, me, me. This earth belongs to everyone. No one is taking Mother Earth to the grave. The future generations will proceed. Each one of us is here for a short time & to get greedy & not share the earth is really backward thinking. After all China & India surpass the USA in populations. Do you realize those two countries each have over a billion population? This here mass of land of the USA from east to west can support the 316,000,000 million we have.

I respond:

POINT ONE >> To quote you PAQUITA, “…sure it’s hateful, against your follow man…”

May I share what I think is foolish and brings harm to the many women who decide to make the trek from South and Central America? And mind you, I wish to show you that the more hurtful position to women is yours, and not my own, or even Trump’s – so bear with me.

I asked all my Left leaning family members and friends to name one or two things that come to mind regarding why they think Donald Trump is a bigot or racist. I wrote on three of the most popular examples given by these 40+ people who responded.

Number one was Trump’s statement that “Mexico was sending its rapists and drug dealers.” (I do have the full quote on my site if you wish to view it.)

The issue is, is this statement true in its essence. OBVIOUSLY most immigrants aren’t necessarily coming from Mexico, but, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (a Left leaning org) had previous numbers of 60% of the women making the trek from the lower Americas being raped. This has been revised to 80-percent.

You read that right.

80%

…Now, this doesn’t mean all the men coming across our borders are rapists. Many may be (more on this in a second), but I suspect some of the rapes occur by residents of wherever these women are passing through, or by the Coyotajes (which I show a news footage piece about “rape trees” by these traffickers on my site).

But, a good number of these rapes are happening by the criminal element traveling to and across our border as well. So by not controlling the border and giving haven to these criminal elements, not only are the women from these areas at risk, but the women of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds here in America are also being put at risk.

Which explains these criminal record percentages committed by illegal aliens as VERY high (comparing their percentage of the general population).

So, back to my point. Your position on immigration and our border seems to be protecting crimes against women. Which I would assume to the women having been or being raped would seem pretty hateful an act — especially at the time.

POINT TWO >> To quote you PAQUITA, “…God creates all & didn’t put those little lines on the maps…”

I will assume you have not read much of your Bible. God created different cultures and languages at the Tower of Babel. Not only that, but I suggest you read up on YHWH’s dealings with the Israelite’s and giving the differing tribes boundaries to live withing the boundaries of other nations.

One example of the GENIUS of GOD is that these boundaries, cultures, and languages, stopped (and has and will stop) mad men from taking over the world. For instance, WWII.

If we had no boundaries and all had a similar culture, a Hitler could have easily swayed many more than he did. And may have eventually taken over most of the world with his Socialism. 

But as the Nazis advanced across the map, they were crossing borders and entering into self-selected cultures (via Free Will — which God created) which rebuffed this advancement. And finally, the various cultures that did joined forces as Allies and defeated Nazi Germany. 

So you can see — I would hope — the benefits of nation states and the importance of protecting our varied cultures and histories.

In responding to BILL Q, PAQUITA noted that she “was raised a southern baptist & than we became seventh Day Adventist.” (All misspellings in the original.)

POINT THREE >> PAQUITA, No Seventh Day Adventists speaks of “Mother Earth.” Dumb. Most “Seven Dayers” I meet are young earth creationists. And there are healthy 7-day churches that rebuke much of Ellen G. White’s teachings, and others that embrace her teachings.

But even they are not New Agers, which is what you are sounding like.

CHRIS summed up the discussion between PAQUITA and BILL and myself (TL/DR means: too long, didn’t read):

PAQUITA then responded to a comment by CHRISTOPHER M

  • “…quote those bible versus: facts please. Borders didn’t exist when the Bible was written…”

I respond to the border issue:

FIRST Here is a map of the ANCIENT NEAR EAST IN OLD TESTAMENT TIMES. These empires were ruled by differing peoples and cultures and many writings in stone speak [jump to historical example from the Sumerians] of these kings and rulers going into other lands and defeating the people who considered this their land and enslaving them:

SECOND Here is a map of the Tribes of Israel in OLD TESTAMENT TIMES — the borders you see were instituted by God through the priests in their theocratic faith (or, guided at times by YHWH through the priests, through judges, or through a king, etc):

And this THIRD example (not during Biblical times) is about the warfare over natural resources here in America BEFORE and after the Settlers arrived (short video):

FOURTH… and most important: 

A National Story Hits Close To Home Via Our Veterans Park

We have a neighbor who served her country with honor and distinction.

Really.

Not the White House’s post-modern/Orwellian understanding of “honor and distinction,” she really served our country. (See Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow unit members react to Jay Carney saying Bowe served with “honor and distinction [second video].) At any rate, she was at a park in our valley designated to honor our local veterans to check in on her own brick, and she saw this:

Being the curious sort of gal she is… she had to see it was. This is who:

Can you believe it? I checked, Bowe has no connection to our Valley… and people who pushed for the brick really had no idea of all the circumstances surrounding Bowe’s predicament, but here is a conservative blogger from our valley pushing for the brick to be added to our City of Santa Clarita Veterans Historical Plaza… here is the post on the matter he entitled, “Let’s Get a Brick for Bowe Bergdahl

For a long time, I have followed the story of Bowe Bergdahl. He is an American soldier from Idaho who was captured by the enemy in Afghanistan. To my knowledge he is the only POW from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I would like to lead an effort to purchase a brick at the Veteran Historical Plaza in Newhall to bring his plight to the attention of our community and keep his name public in an appropriate manner. To my way of thinking, this commemoration is more meaningful if it is supported by a few individuals who share this belief than by one individual. Therefore , I am inviting four other patriots in joing me to purchase a brick for Bowe Bergdahl to be placed in Veterans Historical Plaza prior to Memorial Day, 2012…..

Again, I doubt Mr. Petzold had any idea about the entirety of the circumstances that led to Bowe being in Taliban hands… but I have a feeling that that brick will be removed. If not, I will lead a movement to have it removed.

Funny how things hit home. We have a large veteran community in town, and I guarantee most of them are scoffing at the “honor and distinction” twist the current Admin is salting this story with. We are blessed as well to have one of the most pro-military reps in Congress from our district, Howard “Buck” McKeon, who, will be involved with this case intimately.

Well all this doesn’t affect the liberal elites in their cozy homes… it only bothers those nameless/faceless people far-far away: Survivors of Afghan Village Massacre Fume Over Obama’s Prisoner Swap. It isn’t like they are destroying wine cellars:

Who cares about them? It’s not like this action will put the Taliban back on their feet from their heels?  

Taliban strikes close on Obama’s heels

The Taliban struck back less than two hours after President Barack Obama left Afghanistan on Wednesday, targeting a foreigners’ housing compound with a suicide car bomb and militants disguised as women in an assault that killed at least seven people.

It was the second major assault in Kabul in less than three weeks and highlighted the Taliban’s continued ability to strike in the heavily guarded capital even when security had been tightened for Mr. Obama’s visit and Wednesday’s anniversary of the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in neighbouring Pakistan….

(The Hindu)

 (US Defense Department)

….Coalition and Afghan forces have reversed the Taliban’s momentum and will continue to build on that success, a senior Pentagon spokesman said today.

“The Taliban’s momentum has not only been thwarted, it’s been thrust back,” Navy Capt. John Kirby told reporters. “We believe they are in a much weaker position.”

[….]

“The Taliban [are] in a much weaker position as we head into this spring than they were as little as a year ago,” Kirby said.

[….]

“It was over by the next morning,” he said. Another attempted attack in the hours after Obama’s visit to Afghanistan last week was “completely ineffective,” he added.

U.S. officials believe the Taliban are on their heels. “It is much more difficult for them to move around, to resource, to plan and execute,” Kirby said, though he added it’s too early to count the Taliban out.

“They are still a resilient, determined enemy,” he said. “We understand that. But we really do believe that we have wrested the momentum from the Taliban.”


Mike Rogers thinks different:

An SCV Crush ~ Local Winemakers Nate Hasper and Steve Lemley Talk about Their `Crush`

 SCV Custom Crush Services, by Eve’s Wine 101

After months of knowing that Pulchella winemakers Nate Hasper and Steve Lemley had built the first crush pad in Santa Clarita, and not being able to release the news, I was chomping at the bit to get in there and check it out.

It finally happened.  I got all of my questions answered, and then some, when my editor Michael Perlis and I had our tour.  And if you just want the basics, click here for the news release.  If not, here’s the full skinny:

First, for my wine 101ers: What is a crush pad?  It’s a winemaking facility to which the grapes are transported after harvest, the stems and leaves are removed, the grapes are crushed and then all of the stages of fermentation – turning juice into wine – are closely managed by the winemakers.

In this case the winemakers are UC Davis-educated and bring a wealth of knowledge, and love, to the process.

“We’ve crushed 50 tons total since we opened.” Steve began.  “But it’s been a long haul.  The city was very supportive, happy that we were building the facility.  However with the health department we hit all red tape and walls. The health department does not have a winery specific category so being forced to be categorized generically required us to implement tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary and not industry standard requirements to open. Never the less, Santa Clarita has a hospital grade winery now…  We worked together to complete the project.”

And why do it?  Why not continue picking your grapes in Paso Robles and crushing there?  Because they live here.  “We couldn’t be watching over the process every single day so that meant we couldn’t make the wine the way we wanted to.  We were clients in a crush pad long enough to learn how to do it.”

…read more…

War On Christmas Makes It To Newhall ~ SCV Makes Drudge`s Headline

This was the story linked at Drudge, via the Daily News:

Seniors decry ban on Christmas tree in their complex in Newhall

Residents in a Newhall senior apartment complex are protesting an order from management to remove their beloved Christmas tree from the community room because, they were told, it’s a religious symbol.

On Tuesday, Tarzana-based JB Partners Group Inc. sent a memo to staff at The Willows senior apartment building demanding they take down Christmas trees and menorahs in communal areas.

The company has owned The Willows for four years, but this is the first time it’s given such a directive to staff.

On Wednesday, two dozen residents in the 75-resident complex gathered in the lobby to place a neon green sign that read: “Please Save Our Tree.” ….

…read more…

Via Gateway Pundit:

Today is the Feast Day of St. Nicholas.  A day millions of Christian children around the world will wake up to shoes filled with small gifts and candy.  In some regions, the day includes elaborate festivities of symbolic rituals to honor and celebrate the goodness and generosity of a great man born centuries ago.

Who is St. Nicholas?

The St. Nicholas Center tells his story,

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.

[…]

Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. In Germany and Poland, boys dressed as bishops begged alms for the poor—and sometimes for themselves! In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the saint’s horse, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts. Simple gift-giving in early Advent helps preserve a Christmas Day focus on the Christ Child.

Some Santa Clarita News About a Student`s Innocent Comment and Crazy P.C./`Hate Crime` Thinking (UPDATED)

To voice your frustration with this decision, please go directly to the source and contact Dr. Marc Winger, Superintendent of the Newhall School District: 661-291-4000

(http://www.newhallschooldistrict.net/)

The Blaze:

…Grayson, a fifth-grader at the campus near Santa Clarita, Ca., noticed the gentleman’s outward characteristics: Tall and lean. Good looking. Charismatic. Charming. Energetic.

Then he made a fatal error: Grayson, 11, pulled a little “made you look” joke on a schoolmate seated next to him, saying something along the lines of “Obama’s visiting our school today,” referring to the magnetic figure holding court nearby.

It wasn’t Obama, of course. But from Grayson’s point of view, Chris Schauble—morning co-anchor of KTLA 5′s TV news program in Los Angeles—did possess a demeanor and countenance similar to the president’s.

According to Grayson’s dad, Darren Thomas (who provided the previous details), what happened next was scary: Word of his son’s Obama-Schauble comparison spread to Schauble’s daughter, Shelbi, who was sharing lunch with her newsman father. And Shelbi was uncomfortable with Grayson’s statement, saying it felt racist.

Then a teacher was summoned, then the principal, Candace Fleece, then the Newhall School District superintendent, Marc Winger. And that very afternoon, Nov. 4, Grayson was kicked out of Stevenson Ranch for good, his father says, for implying that all black men look alike…

…Read More…

Via Christopher Hopper:

…Thomas was attending the school on a waiver due to a recent move, and the superintendent decided the appropriate action was to recall the waiver and send Thomas to another school.

“It was racist because Grayson was saying that all black men look alike,” said Dr. Winger. When questioned by the parents if indeed Thomas had said that all blacks look alike Dr. Winger’s response was, “No, he only said that the man in question looks like Obama.”

Thomas has since been bullied via texts by friends of Schauble’s daughter who have taken the “racist” label placed on the boy by the school administration, calling him a “f***ing racist liar” and a “stalker.” Word of this has also spread to Thomas’ older sister’s school where she is being taunted about her brother.

When questioned about the matter, Thoma’s father, Darren Thomas, claims they are anything but racists. “To call my son, and our family, racist is the farthest thing from the truth. Nearly all of his friends are of different races, both at school and in our neighborhood. We’ve even had a black friend live with us in our house for several months last year. I don’t understand how comparing two people who look similar is a racist remark worthy of this level of discipline. I just don’t get it.”…

…Read More…

Here is an UPDATE about a family friend:

In Grayson’s group of friends, every single one of them is of a different ethnicity—Korean, Vietnamese, black, white, Hispanic. Our home has always been open to a wide range of people.”

That includes Julian Eubanks, a childhood friend of Grayson’s mother who bunked with the Thomas family for the first six months of 2011 while he looked for acting work.

“As a man of color and a close friend to this family, I am [offended] that such a grotesque accusation could be made against any of them, especially my ‘G-Man’,” Eubanks recently commented on a blog. “The so called adults in control of this situation have handled it horribly…they need to intervene and clear this young man’s name.”