Old City Walls

Many, many people are condemning Donald Trump for his plan to build a wall on America’s southern border. Even members of my family are tweeting about how wrong this is…

I thought I might step back and give some thought about walls and wall builders. What are walls for? Why do people build walls?  Are walls and people who build walls good or bad, right or wrong.

I was going to start with the Bible as this is, and must be, our foundation, but I thought first I would just have a think about walls in our everyday life.

My home.

Door LockAt home I have walls. My house has walls around it that keep us warm and safe and keep our goods safe. These walls have windows and doors in them, and these windows and doors have locks on them. These walls keep out the cold, wind and rain. The windows and doors let in the things I want in the house, light, fresh air, and friends. Generally speaking, most of us would consider that we have the right to have walls in our homes. And that we should have the right to let in those we things want in, and to keep out those we do not want within our homes.

I do not have a historical right to the land our house is on, I do not even own the house, we rent the house. However, most ordinary people would not consider us to be evil for locking the door to our house to keep people out when we go out for the day. Nor do I lock my house to keep out good law abiding people, there is no need to keep them locked out. I lock my house against the criminal and unlawful.

People who call for a borderless world.

Very few people who are, ‘anti-wall’ would leave their home unlocked when they were away. Most of the prominent individuals who call for a borderless world, or who use rhetoric like “build bridges not walls,” have walls around their own property.

vatican city walls
Vatican City Walls

The Daily Mail, “When Francis visited the border during a trip to Mexico in February, he said that politicians who propose to build walls instead of bridges are ‘not Christian.’ The Vatican, however, is protected by 40 ft. tall walls. Has anyone noticed the Pope building any bridges over these walls?

Michelle Obama, addressing the class of 2016 at the City College of New York, said, “Here in America we don’t let our differences tear us apart. Here in America, we don’t give in to our fears; we don’t build walls to keep people out.” However, the Obama’s new house has a fresh new wall and fence barrier around it with a Secret Service booth. So if people in America do not build walls to keep people out, is this wall to keep the Obama children in?

No, despite the many protestations of we want an open world, when it comes down to it, we each want to have the comfort of at least a small secure area. People have the right to security, so do nations.

If you demand the right to enter and live in the Vatican or the Obama’s new home, you will soon find yourself being shown in a very clear way that you do not have the right to live in either or those places.

I can invite people in, and have even invited homeless people into my home and given them food, and a warm place to live. However, that is at my invitation, not at their forcing their way into my house.

So, what about the Bible?

Adam and Eve lived in a beautiful garden. No wall there! Having said that, there were no clothes or death, and initially no sin either.

flaming swordsHowever, before we get to the end of the third chapter, Adam and Eve have been put out of the garden, and there are Cherubim, with flaming swords keeping Adam and his wife from re-entering the Garden of Eden. No mention of a wall, but the is, as it were a wall of fire. If there were still no sin, we would have no need of walls.

The wall of fire around the Garden of Eden was to keep Adam and Eve out, for their own good, and for our good too. But some walls are to keep the people inside safe. If we look into the story of the return of the Jews from exile in Babilon, we might find Nehemiah upset at the lack of a wall to keep the inhabitants of Jerusalem safe.

The message got to Nehemiah that, “… The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:3–4)

Nehemiah knows that it is a sad thing for a people to be left vulnerable to evil people.

Even in the New Jerusalem, there will be walls and gates. “[New Jerusalem] had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” (Revelation 21:12)

Now you may be boiling, and saying, “You are as bad as Trump and are calling all Mexicans evil!” No! I do not lock my home because everyone in England is evil. I lock my door because some people in England are bad, and I do not know when they will try to enter my house and burgle it.

Trump is not proposing to build a wall to keep the good Mexicans, who would only enter America legally out. The wall is to keep out the bad Mexicans who not only enter America illegally but also traffic guns, drugs and slaves across the border.

On top of the few ‘bad Mexicans’ who might need to be kept from entering America illegally, there are the other people, other than Mexicans, that cross Mexico to reach America, who may be deterred from being in Mexico on the way to America.

Trump is being painted as a racist because he wants to provide safety and security to the country that elected him to be the President. Maybe we should give it a little time and see if he acts like a racist or a president. If he starts deporting legal, law abiding Hispanics or other minorities, then maybe we should brand him a racist. However, if he, on the whole, only deports murderers, thieves, violent gang members, drug suppliers and other illegals, them maybe we should stop using such emotive and unwarranted language.