My husband is a Christian and I am nonreligious, but our understanding of what is right or wrong is still very closely aligned. Usually I like to say that we have the same morals, we just believe that they come from different places.
In fact, a lot of people with whom I have discussed religion share a similar sentiment: "I believe in God but I don't like organized religion."
I think that that's a pretty healthy understanding of personal spirituality since, in my experience, someone saying they are a Christian or attending church every week really has no bearing on their actual human decency, much less their holy righteousness. What organized religion can do, however, is help someone falsely justify their bad behavior in the most sanctimonious way imaginable.
So, this weekend, #FakeChristian was trending on Twitter. This specific instance is in reference to Vice President Mike Pence after he displayed little to no human empathy as he toured a migrant detention center.
("Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner," Leviticus 27:19)
But at this point there are many, many Christians working with/in the Trump administration who, ya know, I just feel like Jesus wouldn't be all that impressed by.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham also fails to have any compassion for the people who are being detained at the border, and has no qualms about saying as much.
"I don't care if they have to stay in these facilities for 400 days," he said on Sunday.
("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)
At the very core of this issue, people really believe that immigrants are coming into the U.S. so that they can get on welfare and "suck the pump," so to speak. This is — and I might shock you here — propaganda.
("[O]ur citizenship is in heaven" Philippians 3:20)
I will never forget when I was a senior in high school and was taking a Spanish three class. Two days a week I went to the elementary school to sit and talk to a second grader, Rosa, who had just come to the U.S. from Mexico.
We were sitting in the hallway one day, reading a book aloud together, and she started to talk about Mexico. She said, "Do you know why we came here?" I said no and asked her to tell me the story.
"Well," she said simply, "Everyone in my town kept getting shot."
(…Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action" I John 3:18.)
Imagine making the decision to pack up your family, leave everything and everyone you've ever known, and risk months of detainment just so you can get $300 a month in food stamps. Does that really seem reasonable?
What about deciding to pack up your family because every day you worry that your daughter is going to be murdered by the cartel on her way home from school?
When we treat all migrants as nothing but criminals, we fail to see the humanity that is necessary for all of us to make correct choices of morality. I recognize that crossing the border, in many of these circumstances, is illegal. I am not disputing that.
But how can a true Christian hold the laws of man — arbitrary political borders — higher than the laws of their God?