I’ve become much less strident about the political conclusions that can be drawn from the Bible than I used to be. I think any fair reading of scripture can yield justification for a range of things, and besides, I’m pretty convinced Jesus wasn’t terribly concerned with winning the political battles of the day.
However, there are a few things that are indisputably clear political actions commanded by Christ. Feed the hungry. Care for the orphan and the widow. Free those in chains. Welcome the stranger. A lot of people who claim to be Christian fail that last one. Worldly political considerations become more important than the clear and unambiguous words of Christ directing our actions in accordance with Gods kingdom. In fact, an entire disastrous presidency was built on the back of a deeply anti-Christian antipathy of the strangers among us.
These things that Governors DeSantis and Abbott are doing – and that their followers are cheering so lustily – are not just immoral and unethical. They are at odds with the Gospel message of Christ, with the command to remember that we were all once strangers in these lands, and thus we should extend the same types of hospitality to others we would want extended to us if we were far from home, in a place alien and unknowable, surrounded by a language we don’t speak, fleeing unthinkable and inhumane conditions for the promise of a better life for ourselves and our children. We would all do well to remember: Jesus was a refugee and an immigrant. God forbid that in the face of the child of God we turn away and mistreat at our borders, we should see the face of God.
“Almighty and merciful God,
whose Son became a refugee and had no place to call his own;
look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger,
homeless and hungry.
Bless those who work to bring them relief;
inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your Kingdom of justice and of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.