I’M GETTING SOMEONE ELSE’S EMAIL.
People are writing vicious emails to some guy named Stephen Miller, and they’re sending them to me.
Here are three of several I got this week.
THE TAKING OF CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS …
WE WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER AND I’M A REPUBLICAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!! R
Mr Miller in regards to your zero-tolerance policy on immigration. Shame on you! M
As a Jewish mother, grandmother and retired math teacher I want to tell you what a disgusting human being I think you are. You are a disgrace to our religion. I’m not religious, just a decent human being. Who raised you? You should just know that every decent person I know is astounded by your behavior. And by the way, I believe there is a special place in hell for you!!! S
Our nation’s “top priority”
While I’m writing this note to you, immigration is the top priority in our country. We’re all focused on it.
Why? It’s not our top problem. It doesn’t even make the top ten list. Maybe not even the top 100. But it’s our top concern because a politician made a promise to isolate and better protect our country with walls and laws.
I’m in trouble. I have to teach a Bible study on the flip side of that coin. We’re working through the five-chapter book of James in five weeks. I got assigned to chapter 2.
The idea I have to teach suggests that the current approach to our top priority is wrong, abnormal, and as misplaced as:
- a fanny on a face
- boogers on a bun
- and footprints on the cakes in a cake walk,
James said so, though more delicately.
James, according to early church leaders, was one of the brothers of Jesus. James may also have been the lead minister of the mother church in Jerusalem.
He identified our top priority and put it in this context:
“You humiliate the poor. Why…when it’s the rich who hurt you?
…Here’s what you need to do if you want to do well.
Obey this top law that’s in the Bible:
‘Love your neighbor every bit as much as you love yourself’” (James 2:6-8 Casual English Bible).
Reasons not to welcome illegal immigrants
Christians have come up with lots of reasons for building walls, arresting illegal immigrants for trespassing, and then putting their kids in caged rooms. Some of the reasons make perfect sense.
- It’s the law. Break it and you get broken. And your kids get broken, too.
- It helps keep out the terrorists. And everyone else who isn’t like us.
- It helps us protect our jobs, like picking beans, digging holes for concrete, and roofing houses in the summer heat.
Those reasons aren’t Christian. They’re pagan, or secular, or “the ways of this world”…however we want to describe it, as long as it’s not “Christian.”
Christians aren’t the boss. They’re the servant. They’re here as representatives of God’s Kingdom, to show everyone else how to (pick one):
- make money
- look snooty, but not too
- remove teeth plaque with a razor blade and a bottle of Yamazaki
- love our neighbor every bit as much as we love ourselves.
How much love have we got?
I know there are limits to our love. We can’t do everything. But we can’t not do anything. We have to do something. It’s our top law.
- Help people. It’s the opposite of arresting them and caging their kids.
- Love people. It’s the opposite of writing laws intended to push them aside.
- Welcome people. The opposite of a wall, it’s a bridge across the Rio Grande with a Statue of Liberty souvenir for the incoming. For Canadian guests, it’s a tariff-free pair of walking shoes for exploring our Great Again country.
Idealistic? Naive? Dangerous?
Yeah. All of that. But as Christians, we make it happen.
When we see kids in a cage, we rattle that cage.
When we see unjust laws in the works, we lawyer up.
When we see a wall going up, we remember a wall coming down and a Republican president’s famous line: “Mr. Gorbachev…” (If you can’t finish it, Bing it.)
Stubbornly divided Christians
Yet we Christians remain divided and intransigent.
I believe there’s one main reason why:
We are feeding on different voices. And we are what we eat.