Let me open with a brief statement: I am a conservative Christian and I am well aware of the disdain many have for people with my beliefs. Let me also tell you: I do not care. My faith and values are far more important than the rhetoric coming from both sides of the aisle.
Rather than list the issues I agree and disagree with – both conservative and liberal – I will share a quick story with you that helps shape the stance I take on one issue, one of the many issues that shape America: the controversial Mexican/American border wall.
My grandparents are immigrants from communist Croatia (then, Yugoslavia). My grandfather was one of five children. When he was three years old, his father went off to war and never returned. Unfortunately, his disappearance is not a story of heroism, but of cowardice and greed. After being discharged from the war, he fled to America and remarried, leaving behind a poor wife and five hungry children in the depths of poverty in a Stalinist country. Now, when I say poor, it is not the poor we as Americans know (with food stamps, government housing and, in my opinion, a gross lack of responsibility and motivation). I’m talking about dirt floor, one room shack, days without eating poverty. Fast forward 20 years, my grandfather worked odd jobs to scrape together any money he could. He married my grandmother and had two children – my uncle and my mom. Croatia (Yugoslavia), still under communist regime, jailed my grandfather for baptizing his children in the Catholic church and actively practicing his faith. That moment was the exact time that my grandparents knew they had to flee the country.
Now, you may say, “well, yes, what you are saying contradicts the exact law President Trump put into place by building the wall.” No, it does not. Here’s why…
My grandparents were poor, truly oppressed, and spent YEARS saving to come to America through the front door, the correct way. They came here alone, with a few dollars in their pocket. With zero understanding of American culture. Zero handouts from the government. Studying and learning and taking the test most American-born people probably wouldn’t be able to pass. They sacrificed, they suffered, and they still chose to enter our great nation and do their best to assimilate to our culture. They became citizens. They worked in undesirable jobs and ultimately built their wealth through hard work, respect for American laws, and faith. The true American Dream. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was discouraging. Yes, it is unfair that people have to go through great lengths just to better themselves and their families. But life is unfair. My faith teaches me that life on Earth is a temporary test. This is not our forever home. We live in a world of free will. If there is good, there is also evil, and we often focus too much on the evil.
One of the greatest blessings we as Americans have IS our freedom. There is a correct way to enter our nation and be accepted, respected, and given a better chance. Building a wall to protect our people (including immigrants who followed the rules) from those too lazy to work their way in and/or criminals, is an act of love for our country and its people, not an act of hate. Just like we have doors and locks on our homes – they are not to keep people we “hate” out, but to protect the people we love in. To protect the people who worked and earned their home and the freedom they have within it. Just like if you were to rent out a room in your home, you would expect your tenant to abide by your contract and pay their rent. The wall is not different from a tenant expected to pay their dues.
I believe in accepting all people, but rules exist and they have a purpose – to maintain and protect our freedom. That is why I support securing our borders.