Written by Philip Remington Dunn
President Trump after much build up and fanfare has announced Justice Neil Gorsuch is his nominee for the open seat on the United States Supreme Court. It would appear that Justice Gorsuch is a social conservative and an opponent of Roe vs. Wade. Evangelical Christians of America you have just been thrown a bone from the table of the President on the only issue he believes you really care about. Justice Gorsuch’s selection will change nothing on the issue of abortion, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? The strategy is as simple as it is insidious; give the Evangelicals what they want in a Supreme Court nomination and they will turn a blind eye to every other anti-Christian policy the President enacts.
Those of us who truly seek to follow the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth hoped for the best with our new President. His harsh rhetoric of the campaign, his three marriages, disparaging remarks about women, mocking of the weak and disabled, self-aggrandizement, and so many other character traits antithetical to the Christian life could have been easily forgiven and forgotten if upon taking the office he left it all behind. But no, his actions to date have made it clear, he meant what he said in the campaign and as White House insiders report he is just getting started.
What are Trump’s anti-Christian policies? They are his pronouncements that do the greatest harm to the poorest and weakest of God’s children. The recent ban on travel to the United States by residents of certain “Muslim nations” is most cruelly applied to refugees fleeing tyranny in those countries. Syria is the most obvious example as certain ethnic and political opponents of the regime are being systematically slaughtered as government forces with Russian military assistance attack civilian targets with chemical weapons and barrel bombs. The same is true to one degree or another for all of the other banned nations. The ban however does not apply to certain wealthy “Muslim nations” such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, despite the fact that Saudi Arabia provided the terrorists in the 9-11 attack and both of these nations are strongly linked to providing support to ISIS.
Jesus told us in Matthew: 40, “The King will reply ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’.” We are to care for the hungry, the thirsty and the stranger in our land, and not turn away from them. This is the example provided in the parable of The Good Samaritan. Let us not repeat the sins of our past such as when President Roosevelt turned away over 200 Jews who came to our shores escaping Nazi Germany only to learn later that we sent them to their deaths in concentration camps. That decision had at its roots in the same fear and distrust of foreigners that fuels our anger today. It is our faith in something greater than ourselves that sets this nation apart from others, let us not become the evil we fight against.
The issue is the same with our neighbors to the south. Anyone who has been there will tell you that the poor of Mexico are a humble Christian people. As with so many of our ancestors before them, the most desperate have sought to flee their impoverished circumstances for a better life in America. Yes, we should have a legal mechanism to deal with immigration in our country, but we should not make it our first priority to humiliate and punish the weaker nation that they come from. Are they really an enemy we must subjugate?
The law as set down to the Israelites in Leviticus; 33-34 is instructive here, “When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Jesus simply told us “love your neighbor as yourself.” The people of Mexico are our neighbors and they could use the help of the richest and most powerful nation in the world today. Do we as Evangelicals who describe ourselves as a Christian nation not only turn away from the poor of Mexico, but also demand that they pay for a wall to keep them separate from us? Is this not a demand that they recognize we have the power to destroy their economy should they not comply with a political edict from our President?
Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ, please do not accept the table scraps of the great master of the White House as some token of his affection. We cannot continue to be seen as supporting a man and his policies that are so contrary to our most cherished values. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war the way the world does.” Rather, let us always strive at to be charitable and kind to those who need it the most, whomever they may be.
Philip Remington Dunn is a practicing criminal defense attorney, social justice advocate, and author of the critically acclaimed book: When Darkness Reigns.