Thursday, December 31, 2015

Jesus Was a Refugee, Today's Republi-CONs Would Deport Him

UPDATE II:  "JESUS OF Nazareth was born a displaced person. As the writer Garry Wills relates it: “He comes from a despised city and region. Yet he cannot be allowed a peaceful birth in that backwater. His parents are displaced by decree of an occupying power that rules his people. For the imperial census to be taken, Joseph his father must return to his place of birth. . . . Joseph does not even have relatives left in his native town, people with whom he can stay. He seeks shelter in an inn, already crowded with people taken away from their own homes and lives. Because of this influx of strangers, he is turned away. There is no bed left, even for a woman far advanced in pregnancy. She must deliver her child in a barn, where the child is laid in a hay trough.” Soon afterward, the infant and his family become fugitives from King Herod as he seeks out the child he fears will one day replace him on the throne. And so it went. . .

[T]he word 'Christian' is often misused in our times, in a way that implies some allegiance to a particular political party, economic doctrine or set of moral strictures that are not representative of large numbers of true Christians. . . There is a broader concept of the term, one that is succinct, relevant and all but imperative in this season when we face a humanitarian crisis that tests our character and our compassion. It comes from the Gospel of Matthew and is stated as an ideal voiced by Jesus:

'I was hungry and you gave me food.

I was thirsty and you game me drink.

I was a stranger and you welcomed me.'

Read the Washington Post, Reminders of the first Christmas in today’s migrant crisis

UPDATE:  Watch also Salon, Stephen Colbert just nailed the GOP’s Christian hypocrisy on Syrian refugees with one Bible verse. :

Colbert noted that "'there are a few candidates (Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush) who think that allowing Christian refugees into the country is fine. Cruz went on to say “there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.”

'I’m sure these guys right here are just campers roasting marshmallows,' Colbert said with a photo of the KKK with flaming crosses. 'You can tell because they’re each wearing one-man tents.'

After all, like the plaque on the Statue of Liberty says: 'Give us your tired, your poor, mostly Christians, and maybe one more two Indian guys with engineering degrees.'

'If you want to know if somebody’s a Christian just ask them to complete this sentence,' Colbert said pulling out his Catechism card. ''Jesus said I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you….' And if they don’t say ‘welcomed me in’ then they are either a terrorist or they’re running for president.'"

"Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed over the weekend that highlighted the irony of recent Republican response to the Syrian refugee crisis. The New York Times columnist made the not-so-subtle observation that Republicans would likely have denied asylum to one of history’s more significant immigrant families: 'a carpenter named Joseph, his wife, Mary, and their baby son, Jesus,' who, according to Matthew’s Gospel, were forced to seek refuge in Egypt to escape King Herod’s infanticide.

It’s a fair point, but there’s no reason to limit it to the story of Jesus. The truth is the Bible’s authors have an awful lot to say about immigration, forced or otherwise, and their perspective flies directly in the face of the Republican Party’s jingoistic zeal for border-strengthening and turning our backs on refugees. Given the GOP’s enthusiasm for biblically based governance, Republican leaders might want to consider the chasm separating their current immigration policies and the source document upon which they claim to base some of their politics."

Read Slate, Because the Bible Tells Us So