Monday, January 30, 2017

#AlternativeFacts: Why Christians need to stop saying Jesus is in the Trump White House

This weekend, Donald Trump attempted to cease immigration from seven different countries, all experiencing unprecedented levels of violence and bloodshed, and all are countries whose dominant faith is Islam.

Yet, the supporters who remain are insisting that this is, somehow, a good thing to do to protect our citizens (interestingly enough, of the attacks actually inflicted upon the United States by terrorists masquerading as Muslims, not one of them were from the countries banned.

It was bad. Families who were waiting for loved ones escaping this violence had to endure the heartbreaking news that there loved ones were being turned away, sometimes in the very airports and tarmacs. Even people with established Green Cards could not return to the country under this measure from the Trump administration.

Today, we are going to get a Sunday School lesson (didn't know I was a Sunday School teacher did ya?) on why Donald Trump's Presidency, especially the latest border closure to refugees, can absolutely not be backed by the Bible. As a Christian, I personally take injustice against ANY group of people very seriously, whether people of a different shade, creed, or orientation. My faith teaches me that I am to "Seek justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God." (Micah 6:8). Yet, so many people of my faith continue to defend the shuttering of boarders to refugees, cheering on social media, saying fallacies like "God is finally back in the White House." Well, I am not sure whose God these people are worshiping, but the God that I have come to know, love, and follow teaches me to take care of the refugee. One of the first glimpses of this we get in the third book of the Bible, Leviticus:

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

God reminds us that we are to care for those who are different than us, that we are not to be lost to tribalism, but to be kind.

Even Jesus echoes this sentiment in one of His most well known parables, saying:

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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:25-36)

This portion of scripture was taken from the story of how God would honor those who looked after those who were in need.

Christians, we are also warned of what would happen to us should we forget the needy and displaced:
Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)

God takes the care of those who are in need very seriously. He Himself cares for everyone in need:

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

The best way that we show our faith can be summarized in this one statement:

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14)

What it boils down to is this: this country, which, other than the Native Americans, is populated by the descendants of refugees and displaced peoples. As Americans, how DARE we think that we can close the doors to those in need. And as Christians, how DARE we look at the evidence of racism, bigotry and hate, and attempt to paint Christ over it, when its obvious that there could not be a further example of the truth. 

We who Believe are COMMANDED to care for others, especially the displaced. It is a mark of our faith. And anywhere where this mark is absent, I guarantee, Jesus is also.