A very far left friend of mine told me a couple days ago that illegal immigrants are just trying to keep their families from being murdered or simply to make a better life for them.
“Wouldn’t you?” He asked. “Do anything you could do for your family?”
On the surface that seemed like a fair question but, really, it was little more than an emotional appeal, it’s leading, and it blatantly disregards the larger problem.
Let me explain.
It’s an emotional appeal (not only that, it’s one that is loaded with implied assumptions, rhetoric, and hyperbole). He may as well have said, “You monster! How can you possibly support punishing completely innocent and well-meaning people who have done nothing wrong except look after their families? Also, you’re a racist.”
It’s leading because it’s intended to elicit the desired response of “Of course I would. Who wouldn’t?” A response that will, 100 percent of the time and without introspection, be used to condemn you for being a hypocrite. Of course, you could answer the question in the negative but you will immediately be labeled a horrible and immoral person for disregarding your most basic moral obligations.
And, really, that’s all the left wants from exchanges like these. To walk away believing that those who disagree with them are evil shmucks therefore they themselves are better, more just, and more moral people. But what’s always missing is the nuance.
If I were born and raised in Mexico, there is a high level of likelihood I would try to sneak across the border too. This has nothing to do with my opinion of American border laws now or whether or not, or to the extent, they should be enforced.
In the same respect, if I had no money and my kids were starving, I might steal steal food, sell drugs, perform sex acts for money… or, as my friend said, “anything I could do.”
The difference between me and my friend however, is that I like to think that I would not demand that my crimes be excused because I am fully aware that the justice system does not owe me any mercy.
I didn’t have the chance to ask but I wonder if my friend would commit a crime if he felt he absolutely had no other options. Odds are he would but, in order to be consistent in his views and not hypocritical, he would have to demand that the justice system just look away. Either that, or appeal to some form of moral relativism where he alone decides what is right and what is wrong and who receives punishment and who does not.
*I said above that “I would probably steal food, sell drugs, perform sex acts for money….” If I felt I had to which is, admittedly, an odd thing for a spiritually mature Christian who should fully rely on God to provide to say…
But I think it’s time for Christians to get, “I would never…” out of their vocabularies because, quite frankly, there is no way to say with 100 percent certainty what anyone would do if they were in someone else’s shoes. After all, we are all fallen and all of us have a sin nature.