I knew this moment was coming, but I never wanted it to arrive. “This moment” being some form of conflict at our southern border between armed troops and unarmed people seeking asylum, or work, or simply another place to live. Today — November 25, 2018 — American citizens, American military, or police, or National Guard troops (it doesn’t matter which) fired teargas at unarmed civilians who may or may not have been trying to climb fence (that also doesn’t matter) into the United States. In doing so, the Americans broke every norm of decency that there is.
For military folks, I think, shooting at unarmed civilians goes against the Code of Honor. For police, it goes against the idea of “least force necessary”. For the National Guard, shooting over the wall into another country makes them active duty soldiers in an undeclared war. Americans who used to be proud of our country have lost pride in our institutions. In a country that prided itself on morality, these acts are the epitome of immorality.
Simply put, there is no moral reason at all for any human being to attack any other human being who asks for help. None.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the immoral leaders ignore the man on the side of the road who needs their help. For Jesus, that is evil. We are shown that morality requires offering aid and comfort to those whom others have abused. We know that it’s wrong to kick a bum lying on the sidewalk. We know it’s immoral to mock the homeless and evil to mock the poor. We know that anyone who does this is — on a good day — a jerk. On a bad day, we know them as “thugs”, “bullies” , “sociopaths”. Being a Christian is supposed to mean being none of those things. In fact, being a Christian is supposed to mean being the opposite of those things.
There are those in America who claim to be “God-fearing” believers in Jesus and yet support this policy and these actions. These people have aligned themselves with Donald Trump rather than Jesus. They have aligned themselves with those who believe in white supremacy and an “America First” policy. They believe that they are following the Jesus of the United States who is, of course, White. There is no such Jesus. Nationalism, to someone who created and rules the entire world is to shortchange God, which is what all idolatry does. White Jesus of America is a shallow comparison to a living God.
For those who wish to claim that this is a Christian nation, there is no Christianity to be found in today’s actions. It is as simple as that. The Jesus who welcomed children did not teargas or threaten them. The Jesus who fed the 5,000 would not turn away the hungry. The Jesus that spoke to women and men from foreign countries would not avoid them or attack them. If Jesus of Nazareth is the “founder of your faith”, the Jesus you’re now serving isn’t him.
The actions that were taken today at the Mexican border are not moral to anyone who has compassion. They are not moral to soldiers. They are not moral to non-soldiers. They are not moral to Christians. They are not moral to non-Christians. They are not moral to people with no religion at all. They are not moral to anyone. I grieve for us and who we have become, but even more, I grieve with those who have been attacked. In a world of ideals, this is not “America, land that I love” and it isn’t a Jesus I would choose to worship.
Resisting with Peace,