Many Christians are “missing the mark” on immigration
My heart has been grieving over the immigration battle brewing in the state of Arizona. SB1070 is nothing short of government sponsored terrorism toward people of color, particularly our Mexican brothers and sisters.
I do consider both Mexican nationals, and Americans of Mexican descent, to be my brothers and sisters. I try to think of all the people in this world as my extended family. Why? Because I am a Christian and the Bible tells me that my God created all men and women in His image and calls us His children.
And while I do understand that some of the people who are being terrorized by this law have come to America illegally, I also understand that many American citizens are being terrorized as well. I wonder how this law can be applied without resorting to racial profiling, effectively making “brown the new black.”
As I have researched further into the issue, I have discovered the racist origins of the new law, and the [un]surprisingly stacked deck against people of color being able to immigrate legally to America. I encourage all Americans to uncover the truth of these things for themselves and give it serious thought.
But beyond the origins SB1070 and the legalities of immigration, I feel very strongly about this issue from the human rights perspective.
You see, America rapes and plunders the world.
We steal the resources of third world nations. We rob the people of these nations by paying shockingly sub-par wages. We industrialize and mine in them without following our own environmental standards. We wage wars and make refugees out of the citizens.
Doesn’t it make sense that the people we steal from would attempt to follow their wealth and resources to America? Mexico and Latin America are being destroyed by America’s drug war. Latinos are having their homes and neighborhoods taken over by cartels and gangs and we did this!
We have made them refugees and when they come here seeking the freedom and opportunities that we have denied them, we treat them like the worst kinds of criminals. Most of the people who immigrate illegally into the US are not criminals – they are hard working, honest, and good people. The supposed crime statistics just don’t add up.
So how can we, who call ourselves Christians, support the violent offenses against our brothers and sisters? Do they deserve to have their homes raided? Do families deserve to be torn apart? Do children need to lose their parents? Do honest, hard-working people (who otherwise would never be allowed to come here, check the history!) deserve to be treated like the scum of the earth?
Let me just say this before moving on – Manifest destiny is not proof of “God’s blessing” on America. Manifest destiny is the rationalization of theft in the name of God. Think about it. How would be feel about Mexico’s “manifest destiny” to take back their original lands? Yeah, I thought so.
Just because we are experiencing difficult economic times in our nation, does that mean it’s ok to develop a mob mentality and start going after “those dirty Mexicans who steal all of our jobs”?
Those who claim to be Christians should be doing anything in their power to alleviate pain and suffering on our planet. Starting with how we treat those people who are already here, and then extending that grace to the nations we have been destroying. Why? Because Jesus tells us to to bring heaven to earth!
“This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.‘
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Jesus asks us to pray for God’s kingdom to be on earth as it is in heaven. We have been bringing hell to earth and robbing the people of this planet of their peace and joy. Do you think the kingdom of God is so divided? Will there is Mexico Heaven and America Heaven and Canada Heaven? I think not! We are one planet, one people.
“The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14
The entire law, which Jesus came to fulfill, can be summed up as loving your neighbor as yourself.
I have read this carefully, and I haven’t found that is specifies only white neighbors, or “good” neighbors, or “nice” neighbors, or Christian neighbors. It just says neighbors. Whether your neighbors are the people who live next door to you in your neighborhoods, or they are the neighbors of our nation, this text applies. We are to love them as we love ourselves.
We have destroyed their homes and stolen their resources. We have done the opposite of loving our neighbor. Would you steal, destroy, and pillage your own family? Would you condone the ripping apart of loved ones? Yet, we do! As long is it’s a mentality of us vs. them.
So, maybe you can’t see immigrants as your neighbor yet. Although you should, I understand we are all on varying stages of acceptance. I know many ‘Christians’ who see immigrants as enemies who steal jobs, burden our economy, and reap the benefits of American tax dollars. If that is the case, you are still without excuse!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:43-44
Because we are called to love even our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us! Love them, for God *is* love, and God created us all. There is divinity in every person on this planet. We all bear the image of God.
Your hatred and treatment of immigrants is the same as murder. Did you get that Christians?
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” Matthew 5:21-22
Those are strong words, but they are needed. We humans are pretty thickheaded. Christians, I fear, even more so. We read these words, but fail to even come close to living up to them. We are supposed to be the radical ones on this planet. Not living life in judgment of all those around us, condemning them for their sins. No, we are supposed to be radical in our love, radical in how we treat one another, radical in meeting the needs of those who are weak, hungry, sick, poor, and downtrodden.
Christians in the first century church sold all their possessions and gave to those in the community so that none had need. Think about what America does. Rather than give up even some of our possessions and wealth to those in need, we steal even more! We are so far from the calling of Christ.
I challenge you to rethink what it means to be a Christian and what stance you should be taking on immigration. Think about how you need to change yourself and your thoughts first, and then focus an eye on changing the hurts of our world. Immigrants don’t need to be vilified…they need to be loved, treated with respect, and shown the true light of Christ’s message. Sadly, all they see from us – supposed Christians – is darkness, hatred, and fear.
The word ‘sin’ in the original Greek means “to miss the mark” Christians are indeed missing the mark on this issue, and many more that relate directly to how we treat others. Not only are we guilty of this sin, but we make the message of Christ unappealing. You represent Christ….so, how are you doing with that?