Not In My Back Yard

Definition from Wikipedia: NIMBY (an acronym for the phrase “Not In My Back Yard“), is a pejorative characterization of opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development because it is close to them, often with the connotation that such residents believe that the developments are needed in society but should be further away.

The NIMBY concept originated in the 1980s, and popularized by comedian George Carlin. (language warning!)

It seems NIMBY is gaining popularity again around the crisis of Central American children trying to gain access to American soil.

And what are we, as Christians, going to do about it?

I think the picture below, seen on my Twitter wall this morning, illustrates the dichotomy perfectly and succinctly.


Are we truly followers of Jesus who will refuse to turn away children, sent by their parents in time of dire need?


will we turn our backs on them because of political expediency or fear?

Will we create excuses to send them back into extreme poverty, famine or death because we refuse to be the hands and feet of Jesus?

Will we refuse to feed the least of these, living in denial and walk out our lives as goats in sheep’s clothing?

How many more opportunities will we have to open a hand of God’s grace that He has freely given to us time after time?

What will you say when He asks you if you fed him, gave him drink, clothed him?

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in. Matthew 25:35


  1. Hard topic. Loving words. Always so many different opinions. No answers from me. Simply a thank you for seeing, caring, loving and making a difference. Even if there is no convenient or simple answer, words like these and yours matter. You matter. Just as all of us – including these children – matter.


    1. Thank you for your gentle words, Paul. They matter, too.


  2. At least Pope Francis has come out and made a clear statement that Roman Catholics are to extend Christ’s charity to these children, who are refugees. Frankly, an extreme faction of the so-called Christian Coalition in the US are anything but Christian in their callous selfishness, and this is not the only area in which they demonstrate it. They are a national embarrassment.


    1. Agreed, Beth, and bravo for Pope Francis. I am disheartened by other leaders that I had hoped would come forward. It’s disappointing, to say the very least.


  3. Dearest Susan,
    I can understand the political ramifications of a high influx of of foreigners and I believe a country should protect its boarders from illegal entry. I AM NOT allowed to come to America.
    I had to work my BUTT off to get to UK. I WISH I could get the whole of Africa over here – or there. Sadly – what would that resolve? AND HOW would one accomplish this?
    If we are to allow one group of people into the country because of violence then we should get them ALL in. From Afghanistan to Somalia – to South Africa.
    THERE is a limit to the amount of people that a country can take care of without is sinking the ship so too speak. Unfortunately it does cost money.

    On the flipside:
    WHEN people are SENT home that have ESCAPED to a safe haven – how hard is that? BUT where do we draw the line?
    When people are sent home that are found to be working and supporting families and it turns out they are illegal – we could help for them to become legal (ie incorporated into the system – the tax system to be precise) – catch 22 here too because the problem is then you will encourage the people who want to TAKE advantage of the loophole – which as far as I know already happens? (with the smuggling of folk into the country?)

    It is SUCH a huge HUGE picture and to have one solution to it is not really going to solve the big picture. HOWEVER – IMHO –
    WHAT SHOULD be happening instead of people protesting with plaquards is that the leaders (as you so rightly say) should be getting involved more in facilitating charitable groups etc to make it possible for atleast the children to have refuge.
    America seems to take it upon itself to go wherever it likes and do whatever it likes in other countries…but let other nations come there and all shit hits the fan. (just sayin) – irrelevant really in the situation we speak of ( not really but kinda)

    It just is not an easy solution – but the problem is the attitude. We may never help all the world in need…but if we can not help our neighbours…
    About the leader thing- DID you REALLY think they would say anything anyway?
    The leaders – great Christian leaders – are of the same mindset as any politician – they all play the same game.

    My lovely friend – the BEST thing that can be done is to pray for the situation – I KNOW we are called to action and to take a stand – but truly – we are not to involve ourselves in the politics of the world either (actually) – Faith and politics do not mix.
    So from a perspective of faith – our call is to pray – it IS pretty powerful right?
    Over the situation (Gods will be done) -over the families – the people – for wisdom for those who can have some influence in the direction of the way God deems it should go…and should we be in a situation where we CAN help on an individual level – so we must do so.
    America as a whole is not a land of faith – but ideologies and agendas. So it is not as a nation that you will find Gods work – but in the touching of lives.

    Look – I mean this begins to touch on such big big issues – charitable organisations and humanitarian movements where USA is at the head and the lead – but this is just a symbol – when it comes down to the bottom line – God does not work on mass scales. People do not need to be Christian to be good people and know that people are dying or starving.
    And lets face it – you are not just dealing with people of faith when it comes to the countries borders – you are dealing with ALL people – so appealing to the sense of Christlike charity is not gonna do much. So why are the leaders silent? Because my dear – the world is not run by God – but by mankind. That aint ever gonna change – and the only way God will move here is with prayer – silent and powerful.

    Could go on a bit hun – at the end of the day – it is political and really – it is NOT going to change EVER. Sad to say – no matter how much we fight the hypocrisy – the fact is that majority of ‘Christians’ are worse then politicians. EVEN the heads of Churches …dare I say – THEY are the WORST…. our era is an era where deception is at the forefront and what seems good is evil and vice versa – nothing is as it seems anymore and everything is so topsy turvy. The term Chritian cannot even be used anymore because it is coined by every jerkass who THINKS they belong to some powerful movement and belief system – and really know jack shit adam about what Christ or spiritual soundness is about.

    Shees – you gto ME going here sista!

    DON'T stress hun – it is in His hands. I know it doesn't look like it sometimes in this messed up world and it is SO SO heartbreaking seeing the lives that ache and hurt and break….but only one human was ever designed to save the world. And not once was it mentioned that he saved the world from itself…only from an eternity of itself. Fro in this life you will have trouble – but do not fear for I have overcome the world. 😀


    1. The thing is, we’re not talking about adults here, but about children. People are holding up signs to send CHILDREN back to their own country. We’re not talking as if these CHILDREN are going to take someone’s job. These are CHILDREN who we can feed and clothe. We are the wealthiest country in the world. And we turn them away??? I just don’t get it.

      And, yes, I’m calling Christian leaders to task because they (we) are CALLED to be and do something more. More than politics, more than religion, more than legal or not legal (that’s for the pharisees to determine, my friend). This is about doing the right and honorable thing.

      Of course it’s not limited to Christians – I’m only calling on Christian leaders because I am a Christian. And yes, I agree that the world is run by mankind, but don’t stop there. God gave us free will, but that doesn’t mean He’s ignoring the lot of us. He will still separate the sheep from the goats when the time comes.


      1. 😉 I WAS agreeing with you babe –
        Just expressing how I see the world sees it all – and how much the ‘leaders’ are not leaders as we wish them to be. Show me ONE good leader?
        Yes America is richest and very powerful.

        Makes one wonder how they got that way.
        Land of the free – hopes n dreams. Control and power and manipulation – and DECEPTION.

        Susan – I need to duck out now babe before I say something I will regret. Ok?
        Love you lots – and I do get it – and this was a SUPER post – really. I just have ‘other issues with it all’ that I do not wish to get into – it goes so so far back and so deep for me.
        And I am trying REAL hard to not get into these kinds of things (political stuff – for VERY good reasons – which it is at the end of the day- because of the nature of the situation)


      2. Thanks, and sorry to get hot about it. I’ve been praying, yet James also told us faith without works…well, you know the rest.

        It’s not about us or our personal agendas – it reminds me of historical things, too. It’s about the children who are asking us today – feed me, clothe me, give me shelter. We’re biblically called to respond. That’s the bottom line for me.


      3. You are QUITE entitled to get hot under the collar! (would you like a few tables to chuck about ? LOL! )
        I do it all the time. We ALL have our passions Susan – for me – it does not ignite …but I THINK it is because it is not on my turf? I do NOT know all the facts so it is really hard to comment.
        But yeah – turning kids away is A HARD pill to swallow.
        I have had to do it. Street kids by the hundreds at every corner … heartbreaking…only so many one can do anything for AND – doing too much ironically KEEPS them on the streets instead of ‘forcing them’ to seek asylum in the shelters that folk try put a place for them. Different I know …BUT…triggers my dear…all interlinked triggers.
        Imagine though if everyone in America gave one hours pay to feed and shelter these kids you speak of? Instead of the money it costs them to make a banner or flag or sign…
        THAT is the point isn’t it Susan ❤ Bless you lovely lady.


      4. Amen and amen!


  4. Amen, Susan. Love the George Carlin clip. He says it like it is. 🙂 It’s sad to me that Christians are just as NIMBY as the rest of America. It’s all about “me” and how it affects me. I personally got to know several families near where I live, and worshiped with them, ate with them, that is before they put on a bus one day in one of the biggest ICE busts in history (389 people), sending those I knew back to Guatemala.They were wonderful people just trying to earn money to feed their family back home. Would we do any differently if we were in their shoes? I think not.
    I think the opposite of NIMBY is Jesus.


    1. I agree, Mel. I don’t understand the deafening silence of public leaders on this matter, particularly those who have been so vocal on the subject of grace. Frankly, I’m appalled.

      When I saw the two Twitter entries this morning, one right under the other, I had to post about it.


%d bloggers like this: