Religion and politics do not mix well. At least that is the way it is often told. This week’s column may well test that theory.
The current border crisis to the South illustrates. One prominent Texas Pastor announced that Jesus would build a wall, a fence, to keep people out. His appeal, in short, was religion and politics do not mix well. He even appealed to Jesus’ words, “Render unto Caesar.”
Christians do not get the luxury of making that appeal when convenient. If so, then Christians would have to go along with whatever law were passed by Congress and signed by the President no matter its author’s party affiliation or content.
Crises nearly always reveal character, personal and otherwise.
Our current President seeks to fund the law signed by our Former President that set in place a provision to investigate what it would mean to send refugees home. The conscience of a nation on whose icon of liberty it reads, “give me your tired, your poor,” could not bear up under the weight of the moral responsibility if sending someone home meant they would more likely die than not.
Christians who champion life in the womb must also plead for it when lives outside the womb come across the border fearing death, while doing so risks death.
Jesus was not a wall builder. The barriers that separated people faced his very intentional resistance. He talked to women when it was taboo. He engaged Samaritans who were ethnically and morally repugnant to his people. He cared for those whose bodies were wracked by very visible diseases that led to ostracism. Jesus shared meals at risk of being accused a drunkard and glutton.
We may shout all we want about our borders, but if your religion means what it meant to Jesus, then we may need to adjust what words of Jesus we quote.
This article appears in print form in today’s, 07/17/2014, edition of the Tuttle Times. The online version posted here contains links not referred to in the print piece but are intended to amplify the original content.