Christian approach to immigration doesn’t include buses, airplanes

Asylum-seekers unceremoniously dumped in Martha’s Vinyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who apparently glommed them from his Christian buddy Greg Abbott in Texas.

Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis, Republican governors of Texas and Florida, respectively, publicly proclaim their affiliation with the Catholic church. They often wrap themselves and their approach to managing state governments around their Christian faith.

So, here’s a popular question Christians often pose to people they perceive as being naysayers to the teachings of Jesus Christ, a question that Greg and Ron need to answer in front of all Americans: What do you think Jesus would do with respect to illegal immigrants?

Here’s what a Bible passage states in simple English (so Greg and Ron won’t have any trouble with a translation): Leviticus 19: 33,34 — “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

Greg and Ron might not like that one, so how about this one: Deuteronomy 23: 16 — “Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them.”

OK, those are not direct quotes from the New Testament section of the Bible where Jesus’ teachings are reported by his disciples. Jesus, however, says a good bit about immigrants during his time on Earth. Note: The term “immigrant” isn’t used in the Bible very often (if it all), though. Instead, what Americans refer to today as immigrants were known then as “strangers” or “sojourners.”

With that in mind, here are a couple of Scripture passages for Greg and Ron to ponder when shaping their answers to the WWJD question:

  • “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. “ Matthew 25:35
  • “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels.”Hebrews 13:2

Nothing in the Bible talks about sending immigrants — illegal or otherwise — from a foreign to towns or cities far from where they entered the country. The holy book never talks about rounding up groups of foreigners and sending them to a locale where they most likely don’t speak the native language, or would place an undue burden on local governments.

Greg and Ron, good Christians that they proclaim to be, have bused or flown more than 10,000 immigrants who legally or illegally crossed into Texas to major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Martha’s Vineyard. And by the way, Ron actually couldn’t find any groups of immigrants in Florida so he borrowed some from his friend in faith in the Lone Star State.

Buses and planes? How does that fit into the Scripture lessons, into the teachings of Jesus Christ that Greg and Ron so proudly proclaim as major influencers in their lives and works as governors of two of the most populous states in the country?

Since buses and planes didn’t exist during Jesus’ time, moving large groups of immigrants to score political or religious points would have required a lot of donkeys or long walks.

Nowhere in the Bible, however, is there a reference to Jesus or any of his disciples preaching or teaching about rounding up immigrants and shuffling them off to Buffalo, so to speak.

Greg and Ron — and a large segment of the Republican Party they represent — need to separate their attitude toward the act of entering the country illegally from their attitude toward illegal immigrants themselves.

In a response to a question from an online reader, the website “Got Questions: Your Questions/Biblical Answers” offers the following solution to the WWJD question that Greg and Ron apparently need help in answering.

“Illegal immigrants are individuals who are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), and for whom Jesus died (John 3:161 John 2:2).

“The first obligation of a Christian is to express Christlikeness in all our thoughts, words, and deeds (Romans 8:29). There is no room for hatred toward illegal immigrants who seek work, refuge from danger and persecution, or a better life for themselves and their families.

“Christian compassion must be shown toward those who would risk their lives in a dangerous attempt to cross a border. Acts of hatred or violence toward illegal immigrants are never to be tolerated by those who name the name of Christ.”

Greg and Ron, can we get an “amen and amen?” Stop the political stunts. Practice your Christian faith and follow the teachings of Jesus.


3 thoughts on “Christian approach to immigration doesn’t include buses, airplanes

  1. As a Jew, Jesus was certainly familiar with Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and he summed up much of their teachings when he said “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” and followed it with the Good Samaritan parable. And as a cradle Catholic, I am highly offended that some bishops will deny communion to pro-choice politicians and yet not turn away these two despicable men.

    Liked by 1 person

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