Where does "love your neighbor" end?
We feel sorry for poor people who are just trying to get by. We want to give them a break, and we want to see others do the same. If we're honestly trying to love our neighbor, we'll probably help them out — with money, food, or an odd job if we can.
But we don't help them jack someone's car.
The comments on the previous post, "Loving Your Illegal Neighbor," called to mind a very hard-nosed Proverb:
"Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house" (6:30-31).
Loving your neighbor has its limits. Those limits are the law, and the law is supposed to be "one size fits all:"
"Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly" (Lev 19:15).
In the illegal immigration debates, poverty cannot be an excuse to violate the law. If it's treated as an excuse to violate immigration law, we shouldn't be surprised if some think it's an excuse to violate other laws.
We can change our laws, and I think we should, but we can't ignore those who broke the law. If a reasonable price isn't paid, the law loses respect required to make our society function.
What's a reasonable price? That's a question for another time.