Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Anti-Immigrant Fever: WWJD

WWJD: What would Jesus do?

Yesterday we saw at Juanita Jean’s a bible quote that pretty much spells out what Jesus must be thinking about all of the anti-immigrant fever currently raking our country into shreds. I remarked at the time that the only reason this is an issue now is that Republicans need to turn public commentary away from their gross misdeeds in congress recently: voting against 911 first responders, voting against the unemployed, voting against Wall Street reform (and for the very people who delivered the 2008-09 recession to us).

But I kept going back to her citation of Leviticus 19:33-34:

“And if a stranger dwells temporarily with you in your land, you shall not suppress and mistreat him. But the stranger who dwells with you shall be to you as one born among you; and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Appropriate, no? That, by the way was God Himself talking to Moses.

Christians have told me that Old Testament quotations don’t count because they all came before Jesus. That’s what they say, anyway and as a noncombatant, I’ll just take their word for it.

So, OK here is the updated version, from the New Testament:
“Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers – being friendly, cordial and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously – for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

- Hebrews 13:2
But the one quotation I really like is one that is not often used in finding biblical guidance on what to do when you have immigrants in your country. Remarkably, the passage comes right after the most quoted passage in Matthew 25:31-36 which speaks to what Jesus will do on Judgment Day with the righteous people who treat immigrants and strangers with compassion. This part deals with what Jesus will do with those who lack any compassion towards immigrants and strangers, Matthew 25:41-46:
“Then He will say to those at His left hand, Be gone from Me, you cursed, into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me and entertain Me; I was naked and you did not clothe Me; I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me with help and ministering care. Then they also will answer, Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to You? And He will reply to them, Solemnly I declare to you, in so far as you failed to do it for the least of these you failed to do it for Me. Then they will go away into eternal punishment, but those who are just and upright in standing with God into eternal life.”
What would Jesus do? I’ll leave that to you to decide. As I said before, I am a noncombatant. But from what I read, if and when Jesus makes good on His promise to come back someday, my guess is that He is going to be One Pissed Off Deity.

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