Sanctuary Cities or Goldilocks and The Three Bears

This past Monday I had the privilege of testifying before the County Council regarding the move to make Maryland a sanctuary State — a place where those who have illegally broken into our country are protected from enforcement of the U.S. immigration laws. The repeated refrain of those who advocated for the law breakers is that we must be a welcoming community. In my testimony, I used the analogy of someone breaking into my house.

Afterwards, I thought a better analogy would be Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You remember the story. Momma bear prepares breakfast – three steaming hot bowls of porridge. Because it was too hot to eat right away, the three bears went out for a walk in the forest.

While they were gone, Goldilocks comes to their house hungry. She sees that no one is home,2 so she breaks the little window beside the front door, reaches in and unlocks the door and enters the home. That’s breaking and entering (my embellishment on the original story).

Goldilocks sees the food on the table and now she is very, very hungry. Papa’s porridge is too hot, Mamma’s too cold, but baby bears is just right, so she consumes the whole bowl. That is stealing from the three bears. Then she sits in all three bear’s chairs and breaks baby bear’s chair to smithereens. That’s destruction of property and vandalism. Then, being tired, she goes up stairs and trying each bed, settles down for a nap on baby bear’s bed.

The three bears come home to find that a criminal has broken into their home, stolen their food, destroyed their furniture, and is now sleeping in baby bear’s bed. They respond with a powerful roar as only a bear can roar, which awakens, startles and terrifies Goldilocks.

Now, there are two ways this bed time story could end. In one, Goldilocks sits up in baby bear’s bed, wipes some porridge from her chin with baby bear’s pillow, and proceeds to castigate the three bears for not being more welcoming of strangers. She wags her finger at them, she scolding them scornfully: why they are morally deficient, they have no compassion for the tired, the poor and the hungry. They have all this wealth and are very selfish to keep it all to themselves. If they were good, upright and moral people, they would gladly give it all away. In fact, she continues, she has a mind to go to those who make laws in this forest and demand they pass legislation which will force the three bears to do exactly that.

Woodrow Wilcox


Now you remember how the original story ends. The three bears roar with a powerful roar as only a bear can roar, which awakens, startles and terrifies Goldilocks. She leaps out of bed, runs down the stair case, and out the open front door and off into the forest, never to come back to the home of the three bears ever again, never to break in, steal, destroy and abuse the property of the three bears.

And we know the moral of this children’s story: a moral, by the way, it appears three years old’s do better at comprehending than many adults today. The moral is, even if you are in need, even if you are very, very hungry, it doesn’t justify breaking and entering someone’s home, it doesn’t make stealing their food permissible nor destroying and abusing their property acceptable. If you do such wicked things, those whose property rights you have violated by breaking and entering, those from whom you have stolen, those whose property you have vandalized and destroyed will rightly be very angry with you. They will terrify you with their roaring against you. And, deeply frightened, you will flee from them never to return, never to violate their property rights ever again. So children learn from the sins of Goldilocks that they must not steal from others, and must never violate other people’s property rights.


But it seems this simple lesson, clearly understood by children, is lost on adults whose brains have been besotted with the lie of socialism. They some how believe it is a good thing, if Goldilocks is hungry, to break into an country where they do not belong, to steal food from those people, to destroy their property, and sleep in their beds. Here in Maryland alone, our State government, by gun point, takes two billion dollars annually from the hard working citizen tax payers and gives it over as free bees to the illegals who have broken into our country: free education, free health care, free food stamps, free housing, free transportation. In reality none of it is free; the government has nothing of its own to give anyone.  Instead, the government has become the transfer agent for stolen goods. In the socialist rewrite of the story, the government follows Goldilocks after she breaks in and steals, is there when the three bears wake up Goldilocks and at gun point the government stops the three bears from terrifying Goldilocks and stops them from driving her out of their house. This is not a pleasant bed time story, and it does not have a happy ending. And this is what the attempt to make Maryland a Sanctuary State actually does.

One of the astonishing things about the testimony Monday night of those defending Goldilocks’ crimes of breaking and entering, of theft and property destruction, not to even mention rape and murder, is that the defenders were claiming the high moral ground. They threw out challenges like “What would Jesus do?” As if that was a slam dunk that settled the argument once and for all. They were implying that of course Jesus would be on the side of sanctuary cities and sanctuary States, that Jesus would fully endorse the actions of a government which materially supports and fully participates in the crimes committed by illegals entering our country. This is an astonishing claim! Where did it come from? I have heard it stated before; it is claimed that God’s law in the Bible provides for and even commands God’s people to create sanctuary cities.

That come from Numbers 35:15 “These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them:” (most readers stop right there as say, see it says their will be cities of refuge for the non-citizen in Israel in which they are safe from removal; but look at what the rest of the verse says) “that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.”

If you read the whole context of chapter 35 you will see the legal structure God established for the Hebrew republic and it does not protect illegals in the way that it is claimed by today’s sanctuary cities. Rather, this law applied to everyone, citizen of Israel or not. If anyone killed another human being, he had to flee to one of the six cities of refuge. The rest of the chapter spells out what would happen at that city of refuge. A trial would be held, evidence presented, witness testify and finally the jury deliberates and comes back with a verdict. If it was a verdict of guilty, guilty of intentionally and purposefully taking a human life with malice aforethought, in other words murder, the condemned would then be executed by stoning, the witnesses who testified that it was murder would be the one’s who cast the first stone. But what if the verdict came back not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter – “the unlawful killing of a man without malice, express or implied?”[1] What then?

The whole chapter Numbers 35 commands that the one guilty of manslaughter would be confined to remain within the boundary walls of that city of refuge for the remainder of the life of the current High Priest. If he set foot outside the walls of the city of refuge any time before the death of the High Priest, then he would be liable to be executed by the avenger of blood. So basically the man slayer was under city arrest. He could go anywhere within the city, do business there but could not leave. So these cities of refuge had nothing to do with harboring illegal aliens in Israel. That idea is a complete misinterpretation and misapplication of the Word of God. The Scripture tells us that in the Hebrew republic, the stranger or sojourner was completely subject to the laws of the land. And when you study the Word of God carefully you will find that God set certain restrictions against certain nations.  For example in Deuteronomy 23:3 “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever:” So these two nationalities were restricted from citizen for ten generations. If a generation is 40 years that means that prohibition would stand for 400 years. Consider that in contrast to a temporary ban on travel from certain countries. The rest of the chapter gives the reasons why.

Clearly, someone is being deceived about what the Word of God actually says. Those who accept this false teaching are responsible themselves for falling into the trap, but the greater guilt rests upon those who perpetuate these lies – the false pulpits in our land today. Turn to Titus 2:7 where Paul deals with the Problem Pastors of his day and offers a clear solution.

Learn more about your Constitution with Pastor David Whitney and the “Institute on the Constitution” and receive your free gift.

[1] Webster’s 1828

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Rev. David Whitney has been teaching the Christian heritage and history of our country with Institute on the Constitution for over a decade where he serves as Senior Instructor, and Radio show host on Dr. Stan Monteith’s Radio Liberty. Whitney is an Honors Scholar graduate from Rutgers University with a Masters Degree from Denver Seminary. A minister for 32 years, he is currently the Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church of Pasadena, Maryland. As a member of the clergy, an activist and radio personality, Whitney has appeared in Washington Times, on Voice of America, Fox, ABC, NBC, CSPAN, BBC, and more.
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