Wednesday, July 16, 2014

America, No More

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
     The words etched forever into the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, a welcoming sign to all those seeking refuge in a world full of terror, injustice, pain and tragedy. What would the Mother of Exiles think of our citizens reactions to the current influx of huddled masses seeking refuge from a tempest created by us?  What does it say about us, as a Nation of immigrants, when we spit on helpless children seeking solace from a world full of users and abusers? What does it say about the soul of our Nation when we turn our backs on some of the most helpless people in the world, who have overcome vast obstacles and traveled long distances just to come seeking the light we have offered the world for over 200 years?  What does all of this say about the claims of the majority of our people, the claim of us being a Christian Nation, founded on the Principles of Christianity? Let us look at the words of the Bible, the actions of the faithful, and the truth of the matter.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Colossians 3:12-13  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,  compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and,  if one has a complaint against another,  forgiving each other;  as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Zechariah 7:10  do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner,  or the poor, and  let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.

Matthew 7:12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is  the Law and the Prophets.

Galatians 6:2  Bear one another’s burdens, and  so fulfill  the law of Christ.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy,  brotherly love,  a tender heart, and  a humble mind.
    These are not vague passages, there is no misinterpretation of their meaning, there is no doubt in the idea of brotherly compassion and kindness to strangers.  They are simple ideas about being humane to each other, accepting of the struggles we must all face and overcome, and understanding of the need for us to band together to lift up those that need help.  Christians have no problem going overseas and helping the plight of people in far away lands, telling them the Word and showing them the Way. But when those same people (some of them literally from villages visited by American Missionaries) come here seeking the promises made to them, they see the truth of Christianity in America.

     American Christianity is not sacrificial to our fellow man. It is not compassionate or kind. It is not a religion of peace or a religion of hope, or a religion of comfort. American Christianity is the business of death, the politics of control, the dogma of self.  American Christians use prayer to remove themselves from the plight of others. Deeds are replaced by intention to the detriment of everyone. If we are to make the world a better place, if we are to be the light in the darkness, we have to DO, not think. Building a church and handing out Bibles does not solve any problem for these people in their communities, it serves the base ego of the American Christian. "See what I did for you, God?" "See how I have brought you more people to worship you, God?" "See how righteous and wonderful I am. God?"

    Of course, not all Christians are like this, not all anything can be so simply defined or explained. But, how many American Christians are partaking in the abusive tactics against these children and families? How many have stood up and told those attackers to stop? How many have sent aid to those people that truly need it here and now?  Your religion is your business, you can worship any way you like. But if you are going to claim the moral authority over ever facet of American life, look down your noses at everyone who does not identify themselves as Christian, and demand the "freedom" to dictate your religion onto others because of its superiority... Maybe you should act as if you have actually read the base message of Jesus Christ:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.