“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Some seventy-five years ago a mid-sized cruise ship sailed from Hamburg, bound for Havana, Cuba. Aboard were almost 1,000 passengers who had proper visas to allow them to land in Cuba where they would have sought asylum from the growing Nazi mayhem that had developed in Germany.
The vessel arrived in Havana harbor, to find that some laws had been changed and their visas were no longer valid. When pleadings and appeals were ignored Captain Schroder took the ship to a point near Miami. The passengers were refused entry to the land of the free. They sailed slowly up the east coast while people ashore all the way to Ottawa tried to arrange a refuge for these Jews from the then impending holocaust.
But no, and finally the MV St Louis returned to Europe. The passengers were distributed among several countries, about 300 to Britain, some to Holland and Belgium, a few to Switzerland and the rest safely to France. Safe, that is, until May of 1940 when the Nazi war machine burst forth onto Western Europe.
Most of the refugees trapped there were eventually rounded up and sent to their deaths in the gas chambers. Thank you very much America.
Can you imagine the raw brainpower of these refugees and their descendants that we lost when they were sent back to Nazi Europe? How many doctors, scientists, educators and successful entrepreneurs, that could have enriched our nation were denied the simple asylum that international law and common Christian decency demands.
And now we are presented with a very large number of men, women and young children, fleeing violence, murder and mayhem have arrived seeking some of that loudly proclaimed Christian charity. And who are these people? They are the survivors of an even larger group who actually set forth to reach the modern promised land. The survivors who are most likely to become a productive member of our society. The same hypocrites who have been complaining that the President has been ignoring the laws that many of them voted for and were signed with some fanfare during the last administration are now demanding that President Obama ignore those laws and immediately send these people who risked so much and endured so many dangers be sent back to a modern holocaust while they bloviate in the Senate and House chambers, contributing nothing to any solution.
If only there were some way to ship some Congressmen to these destitute Central American nations for a week or two so they had the time to rest and read their bibles and learn what suffering and physical danger there is to the people living there.
As our good Christian Congressmen are aware, their Bible demands;
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
© 2014, Charlie Jensen, All Rights Reserved