If God can build a wall, why can’t we?

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The diagram above is that of an animal cell.  I want to talk about the wall of that cell, the cell membrane,  designed by God:

  • to keep good stuff inside the cell;
  • to keep bad stuff outside the cell;
  • to manage traffic for necessary supplies to come inside the cell;
  • to manage traffic for stuff the cell wants to export to the outside, the organism.

If any of you readers see a parallel between the cell wall (shown in more detail below) and the projected wall that President Trump wants to build on our southern border, good on you!  Here’s a diagram of that cell wall, a phospholipid bilayer:

cell membrane diagram; note the phospholipid bilayer, the channels and gates composed of proteins and the guard proteins on the cell wall.
from Wikimedia Commons

There are sentinels and guards on the wall, proteins to act as immune agents;  there are protein channels, gates designed to let the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.

Hey—isn’t that just what a wall on our country’s borders should do?   And if God can design a cell with those functions for molecular biology, what’s wrong with us doing a similar thing for our country?


This is a topic not covered in my latest essay (pardon the shameless plug), “Are We Special—The Anthropic Coincidences,” but a lot of other topics in cosmology, laws of physics, earth and planetary sciences, and molecular biology are.

More to explorer


  1. Yes, and God created borders to separate His one bread, one body. The last thing Jesus ever wanted to encourage was uniting people together rather than keeping them separated and contained the way God intended.

  2. Yeah, how dare God lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt that place of slavery and then allow them to drive out the various people of Canaan, to establish a Promised Land for His people, or for him to inspire the Maccabees a thousand years later to engage in a very unecumenical war against the Seleucid Empire? God clearly forgot that all of Scripture exists only to support that pinnacle of man’s existence, 21rst century liberal pieties. (Sarc off.)

  3. Wait is this the Onion parody website? For a moment, I thought I’d been redirected to another site; I had sworn the link I chose was “The American Catholic”.
    What a ridiculous, paper-thin, un-Catholic “argument”. Idiotic is the word that comes to mind.

  4. One of the reasons I was drawn to the Catholic Church was that, as Pope St. John Paul II put it in his famous aphorism, it recognized that we are drawn to the truth on two wings, faith and reason. What I find remarkable about the Left/liberals (and I was one once–and that includes the Catholic left), is that they don’t resort to refutation of an argument, logical debate, but only to name-calling.

  5. Maybe this isn’t the strongest argued post Bob or TAC have done in awhile, but there is the point that even the city of God in revelation was listed as having a wall.

    What has baffled me is the number of Catholics which seem to agree that the nations should have borders on paper, but be completely open in practice. For example, Mike Flynn recently said in a combox:

    But I don’t think the immigration should be illegal in the first place. Let there be an Ellis Island-style facility for expeditious screening and sign-up. But none of this quota nonsense. The unions that once insisted or excluding cheap foreign labor are not the powers they once were.

    I mean, if there’s literally no rules against it – anybody who can come are allowed – then again, no matter what you say in principle, in practice we are talking about open borders. It’s like telling people they have a right to private property, but it’s morally wrong for them to lock their doors.

  6. A random, weak analogy — so random and so weak, that it does indeed smack of parody, does not merit much time for argument. When the analogy also loosely links “the bad” with ALL refugees and asylum-seekers in the name of Divine Creation, the comparison becomes shocking and antithetical to Church teaching.
    It is all too easy to now label “left-Catholics”, “right-Catholics”, “cafeteria-Catholics” — tantamount to name-calling itself. It’s also all too easy to make presumptions about other Catholics’ views over a myriad of issues, based on one statement. Many are determined to politicize our faith rather than uniting under Christ’s teachings.
    It is hoped that all Catholics will work to aid “the least of these”, to work for humane, life-honoring solutions. A Wall, in the name of God, does not align with this Catholic tenet.

  7. A random, weak analogy — so random and so weak, that it does indeed smack of parody, does not merit much time for argument.

    Fallacy– appeal to ridicule, AKA “the horselaugh argument.”

    Followed by assuming the conclusion…notably also lacking in actually making an argument.

    To paraphrase Kenshin, you are not building a strong authority to appeal to, you aren’t.

  8. I don’t think this is the best analogy. A cell wall is completely different than, let’s say, a wall in a house or a wall in an office building or classroom, or fences that people put around their yards or that schools put around their property, playgrounds. The walls of a cell are completely different than the walls around a stadium or security at airports. In our Parish, we have a school. We have security guards and tall fences and gates to keep the children safe. Even parents can’t come in without going through the office. Why? If you don’t know you’ve not been paying attention to the news. If you really do want walls to come down, then don’t complain at the next school massacre or when Hezbollah or Drug Cartels or MS-13 moves into your neighborhood and perhaps pays you or your family a visit.

  9. Amusing. Mocked for making an argument after being scolded for not having made an argument.
    Note that the content of the argument is not addressed, just that I didn’t/did make one.
    Can win with some people. They’re going to “win” no matter what.
    Peace to you.

  10. @ Daven:
    Admittedly, argument by analogy is weak.
    However, you have set up a straw man by assuming that I am against all immigration. My grandparent were, thank G-d, immigrants. My daughter married an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, an immigrant who became a member of the Providence, RI, City Council.
    Here is the point I was trying to make, and since I am “a bear of little brain,” I tried to make it in a simple way.
    The cell wall is distinguished by the property of being selectively permeable. That is to say, “it lets good stuff in and keeps bad stuff out.” Applying this analogy to immigrants, we should be selective, let those with ability in, those who are truly in danger of persecution, and keep the drug dealers, gang members, terrorists out. There are similar analogies with the other items in the list, but I’ll see if you are capable of ferreting them out.
    My complaint with you Devon, is that you call names and make insults, but don’t deal with the propositions. I’m not sure I can tag you with the complaint I have against most of those on the left (and, as I said, I was one once before the Democratic party became the advocate for abortion and immorality): that they are singularly incapable of making rational arguments and incapable of acting on anything but slogans.

  11. Dr. Kurland, VERY WELL SAID! I cannot imagine anyone commenting here who do not live in a house with walls and would advocate taking down fences and walls around schools and businesses. This is all about bringing cheap labor into the U.S. so that the so-called “Liberals” can continue grabbing their votes with promises of more government cheese. They use these folks and don’t care if the common people are in danger because of the criminals and terrorists who sneak in with them. After all, the people with power have armed guards. We don’t. They get cheap labor for their supporters and lots of votes. We get more violence and crime not from the innocent migrants, but from the wolves hiding among the sheep.

  12. The Vatican has massive walls…..some of the largest you will ever see.
    When they take down those walls we can take them seriously.

  13. I am sick and tired of false Katholycks yapping about now walls. And for the record, I am married to an immigrant, so let this anti-wall Katholyck take his Pharisitical self-righteousness and shove it. Nehemiah 2:17-20:

    17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer disgrace.” 18 And I told them of the hand of my God which had been upon me for good, and also of the words which the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when Sanbal′lat the Hor′onite and Tobi′ah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they derided us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build; but you have no portion or right or memorial in Jerusalem.”

  14. We have been so fearful of “germs” that we managed to incapacitate our immune systems using antibacterial soaps and overusing antibiotics…….. fear has made us destroy so much of the wisdom built into the natural world….and now we are destroying each other……Furthermore, we have cell membranes, as someone pointed out, not “walls”…. and lastly the implied message here compares people to germs and toxins..and that…well..you will have to decide if that is appropriate. I know what i think.

  15. You presume that what is “inside” is all good. I wish we would turn our attention to and start working more on making the “inside” a less rich environment for drug use, sex trafficking and violence…if there were no market for those things here…..then dealers would look elsewhere. We heal from the inside out…..not by building bigger walls.

  16. Kelly, if I read your comments correctly, I don’t believe you understand my post or my comments thereto. I’ll say again, the semipermeable membrane lets the good stuff in and keeps the bad stuff out (or tries to–as viral infections like AIDS show, the biological defense mechanisms aren’t always successful). And I think it is naive, in a particularly liberal way, to imagine that we can cure the drug problem without keeping traffickers out. And I speak from probably more personal knowledge than do you. And are we to cure the imported gangs like MS-13 by internal methods? I don’t think so.

  17. @ Kelly.

    I’m sympathetic to your plea for coexistence in a post 9/11 America. Terrorist come in many forms. The frequency of school shootings is a case in point. The vetting process of immigrants should be stringent. We owe that to each family member who longs for their loved one who was mercilessly vaporized in NYC on 9/11.

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