Calling All Christians’ Attention to the Border

I grew up surrounded by a loving, powerful, Christian community — there are many like it all over the U.S. I was supported, I was loved, and I was taken care of. People in my community knew that it was their responsibility not just to take care of their own kids, but of all the kids, because we would grow to form the communities of the future.

Right now at our southern border, children are being separated from their parents. Herding and detaining people at the border is not a new practice, but separating kids from their parents is. The Trump administration is using the Bible to justify the new policy, and it leaves me wondering, where are the Christians?

Jesus Christ was a teacher, leader, and protector of “the least of these.” Specifically:

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

–Matthew 25:40-45

Children, in all circumstances, from all backgrounds, are a part of that group, and  Jesus said it is our responsibility to protect them.

A large number of Christians voted this administration into the White House, and many still support it. Christians are the current administration’s prized constituency. As such, your expectation for this country, as Christians, should be that we treat humans with dignity and respect — especially children.

Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas, said that evangelicals continue to support Trump because of his “strong leadership.” Separating terrified kids from their parents and placing them in cages with strangers is not leadership — it is misguided at best, evil at worst. It’s time for Christians to show leadership of their own and say enough is enough.

I remember buses going from churches to theaters in 2004 to see The Passion of the Christ, and churches have done the same for Christian movies in the time since. It seems to me that now is the time for buses to start rolling from churches down to places like McAllen, TX, where children are being separated from their parents.

It is possible to support this president and disagree with something he does. I voted for Barack Obama, and acknowledge that the policies allowed under his administration set the stage for what is going on now. It is my duty as a voter and citizen of this country to hold my elected officials accountable — especially those I support.

Christians in this country have so much power — particularly since for many, this is the administration you chose. Elected officials are at our service. In a nation made up mostly of Christians, this cannot be the service we accept. This is not the work of a Christian country.

This is a call to all Christians. Now is the time to stand up. Now is the time to follow Jesus.

 

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