The biggest losers, children.
In this lose/lose power-hungry game of politics, being played out on the international stage, there is one clear loser…
It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”
Jesus said it a little better, “I assure you that when you haven’t done it for one of the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.” Jesus was saying (read in context – Matthew 25:31-46) whenever you mistreat the least of these, the weakest members of a society, you were doing that directly to me.
Now I can already hear the arguments, the retorts being formed… America has to have borders! We are a nation of laws! Illegal immigration is a huge problem!!! To all of that, I say this: Nations have borders, but God’s love and His church do not…
So I will continue this post with a single focus, to remind us that our nation is failing at the border and that the church has a choice in how it responds.
You can assign blame and call for change or you can choose to defend taking children from mothers, again, assigning blame somewhere else. That’s where this countries politics seems to be.
Just today though I had a glimmer of hope that perhaps innocent children would not be mistreated, or used as pawns in a political power struggle. Today Republicans and Democrats would meet to hopefully end this travesty happening on our southern border. That hope was short lived.
Yesterday, Chuck Schumer tweeted this:
You – and not the law – are responsible for this family separation policy, @realDonaldTrump. GOP Senators and members of your own administration have confirmed this. You could reverse this terrible practice in a few minutes- but you refuse to lift a finger. https://t.co/goVSkJoGVk
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 20, 2018
Today, after Mitch McConnell and other republics met with Schumer to seek a compromise, he tweets this:
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 20, 2018
So in the most simple of terms, the Democratic minority leader of the Senate, who has been incredibly vocal about his critique of Republicans and the President, just met with them to right the wrongs he has so publicly condemned. The hopeful outcome of this meeting? To seek a compromise for the sake of reversing “this terrible practice” as he himself labeled it, to stop separating children from mothers, to act immediately to end this terrible practice. So can we all celebrate an end to this saga? No, Church chose not sign. He chose not to be part of a solution that would right wrongs.
it’s a lose/lose scenario when left to our nation’s leaders.
As his tweet shows, he chose to blame Trump. He could have chosen to sign this legislature, get the ball rolling, and perhaps put an end to the cruel practice, but instead, he chose to play politics, using children as pawns. He chose to do the exact thing he, and many like him, have accused the president of doing time and time again. Instead of fixing the problem by whatever means necessary, to take the high road and right a wrong, he chose to play the game, and this at the cost of innocent lives.
Trump wants a wall, so children will continue to be separated from their parents…
Schumer doesn’t want a wall, so children will continue to be seperated from their parents…
That’s what that amounts to folks. If you think a thing is so terrible, and you are given the opportunity to end the terrible thing but chose instead to assign blame elsewhere…. allowing the terribleness to continue… yeah… you are the problem… stop pretending you want a solution…
Now I know, maybe there was so compromise in the legislature, maybe he didn’t like something in the bill, maybe Trump could reverse it with a pen stroke (and absolutely should), but honestly, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. Whatever beef one party has with the other needs to be tabled, the lives of children are being held in the balance.
Get over yourselves…
I care about “the least of these…” and they are far more important than the ridiculous power-grab game of political chess our leaders a playing.
This is where the Church comes in…
OK, church peeps, or perhaps I should say “followers of Jesus” to be more clear… Jesus words are clear. Matthew 25:31-46 is unfolding right before our eyes. Children are hungry and thirsty, are we giving them food and drink after their long journey through the desert? Families are labeled illegal and seen as a stranger, but our country doesn’t want to welcome them in. Some are “naked”, or perhaps ill-equipped for their journey, so have we given them and you gave me clothes to wear, and supplies for the path ahead? Many are sick, especially children wrenched from the arms of their mothers, so are we caring for them? Children are in actual prisons, and Jesus says that when we did not visit those behind bars, we did not visit Him.
How we choose to respond in these times of crisis reflects more on us than it does on the leaders we do or do not support…
Church, our nation has and will continue to deviate from the laws of God. Like every empire before it, there will come times when allegiances to empire will be questioned. This is one such time. We can no longer say “God Bless America” in one breath while with another we say “lock them up” to innocent children, all while claiming that this is a Christian nation. Nations cannot be Christian. It is impossible. They can be lead by Christians, they can be founded by them, but nations by their very definition cannot follow Jesus and His commands.
For a nation to exist, it must be self-serving, seeking its own well-being over all others. A nation cannot love enemies, turn the other cheek, or make disciples of all nations, especially since it’s approach to many other nations may involve military force.
Jesus calls His followers to be part of a different kind of nation, one without borders, founded on love for God and love for neighbor. He calls His followers to take part in the kingdom of heaven, where the first shall be last, where we should not think highly of ourselves, but treat others better than we treat ourselves. He speaks of a kingdom where we love our enemies, even feeding them, and turning the other cheek when they strike us. Jesus calls us to be part of a kingdom that sets an example for the world, showing them what grace looks like, showing them how to love even the least of these.
If you want to be part of that kingdom and movement, if you are tired of this political rhetoric and finger pointing, then act. Not sure how? Here are just a few suggestions:
- Sign this document and petition your local representative to stop the cruelty.
- Text your representatives: text RESIST to 50409 to get connected
- Donate to a group like KIND (Kids in need of defense) who represent the “least of these” in a court of law, assuring that they are given their due justice.
- Share your story like this Pastor in Texas did. Those on the border who are actually witnessing these things happening in-person help keep our leaders and the media accountable. Trust is at an all-time low, and facts matter.
- Talk to an immigrant, ask them about the process, try and understand a different perspective so that we stop further entrenching this country into a left vs. right narrative.
- If you belong to one political party, set aside your pride and talk to someone from the other side. Practice “agreeing to disagree” to help mend the divide within the church and this country. These are complex issues and we do ourselves a disservice when we paint in broad strokes with divisive labeling.
- Finally, show love, and empathy. In all situations, care for the least of these, not just in this one issue. Take seriously Jesus call to extend grace by feeding the hungry, offering a drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and visiting those in prison.
They will know you are my followers by how you love
In John 13:35 Jesus says the world will know we are his followers, his disciples, by how we love.
Let that be enough church.
The world does not need to know us by labels like “republican” or “democrat.” They do not need to know us by how conservative or liberal we are, or by which presidential candidate we voted for, or even by the label “American.” The world needs more love, and we are called to lead by example.
Love is powerful…
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Be the change you want to see in the world, start by extending love…
Until next time…