quilts at Trinity

The sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran in Drayton.  The sanctuary if the holiest place in the church.

If history were music there is a motif that can be followed and embellished from Nimrod to Nabo0 -Chadari – Uzzer, to Henry IV, to Stalin and Hitler and even modern democracies.  Governments, whether they be individual monarchs, or the smallest of municipal jurisdictions will try and usurp what should and ought to be the purview of religion.

You may have heard bleating in the media over the sad story of the San Francisco woman shot to death by an illegal alien who had been deported five times and went to San Francisco because it was a “sanctuary city”.  The political class desperately resort to the CYA theory of governing and that is to find as many excuses as possible to focus attention somewhere other than their own stupidity.  The first effort was go to the old “there isn’t enough money to enforce the law” ploy.  In other words you don’t pay enough taxes so it is your fault.  The problem with that as that the criminal had been deported five times before so funding can’t be the issue.  The fact is that money was wasted five times before and there is plenty more where that came from (you and me).  Then of course the old argument that if you notice that the shooter was Hispanic you are a racist.  It has and will be tried but even the high matriarchs of the nanny state in the House and Senate and on the campaign trail condemned the shooter while of course blaming the law enforcement folks.  Perhaps the strangest statement that I heard sounded like a five year old screaming about some egregious act he had committed, and getting caught screamed that his “brother started it”; “the church started it”, some said.

Yes the church started it.  The Old Testament church started it.  “Grasping the Horns of the Altar” was not just a trite saying.  More importantly it was not a political trick and it did not always work (1 Kings 2).  This from Daniel Engbar in Slate – The Old Testament mentions safe haven at the altar for criminals who commit accidental murder and even suggests the establishment of six cities of refuge” for killers. By around the fourth century, the right to sanctuary had become formalized among the early Christians. At first the sanctuary rule applied if the criminal had one part of his body in a church building or grasped the rings attached to the church doors. Within a few centuries, the sanctuary zone included the churchyard, graveyard, cloisters, and a 35-pace radius around the bishop’s residence.   Engbar continues to relate that slowly governments intruded so that “sanctuary”  was taken from them and pretty much given taken over to the secular authorities  like a lot of stuff.  Everything from charity to counseling to education has been handed over to government  at the detriment to the church and those functions

The point is the church started it.  It is in the churches purview and the government at whatever level has a totally different function and responsibility.  The church sanctuary offered a picture of divine protection and the total forgiveness of sins by the one the altar represents.

So once again we have a controversy over something that worked fairly well for hundreds of years and is now used as a political devise to pad the voting booths for certain political persuasions.  Both parties are at fault when getting elected is more important than actual governance.

My cynicism over all things political is boundless.  I am ashamed of myself but I had a curious thought.  The San Francisco shooter said at first that he was taking a gun down to the pier to “shoot sea lions”.  That story since has disappeared but – imagine that is what he did.  Suppose rather than kill a vivacious young women he killed some sea lions.  Something tells me the outrage would have been fiercer and the “justice” much swifter, even in a sanctuary city.