This child is a Syrian refugee. He and his people are suffering. Life requires that we help them any way we can.
If you support the GOP’s stance on refugees and immigrants, you are not a Christian. It’s that simple. You can use all the alternative facts and rhetorical tricks you like. It will not change the reality that you are directly disobeying God’s commandments for His people.
The ideas of immigrants and refugees are core to both Judaism and Christianity and the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are very clear on how we should treat strangers, immigrants, and refugees. Below are some of the Biblical passages that spell out your duty as a Christian.
Exodus 22:21 (http://biblehub.com/exodus/22-21.htm)
“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.
Exodus 23:9 (http://biblehub.com/exodus/23-9.htm)
“You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 19:33-34 (http://biblehub.com/leviticus/19-33.htm)
“When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.”
Deuteronomy 10:18-19 (http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/10-18.htm)
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
Matthew 25:34-45 (http://biblehub.com/niv/matthew/25.htm)
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For 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 invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Galatians 5:14 (http://biblehub.com/galatians/5-14.htm)
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:29-37 (http://biblehub.com/luke/10-29.htm)
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denariie and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Millions of Americans are calling themselves Christians while supporting the GOP’s policies. The Bible makes clear that these people are either openly lying or profoundly deceiving themselves.
Here are a few additional sources and discussions on this vital issue:
There’s an organization in the United States called No More Deaths, “a humanitarian aid organization that, each year, enlists hundreds of volunteers to hike deep into the wilderness with thousands of gallons of water in an attempt to prevent death and suffering along the US-Mexico border.”
These people are truly pro-life. When someone claims to be pro-life, this is a good standard to measure them by.
John Pavlovitz has just written an excellent post on a Conservative Christian effort to boycott Disney for introducing a gay character to its classic Beauty and the Beast. His writing feels a little like a rant, because it is, and a justified one. I feel his frustration with people who claim to follow Jesus Christ but in reality stand against everything he stood for.
I would like to believe we’re coming to an inflection point where all but the most hard core supporters of Conservative Christianity turn away as they realize it’s all been an exercise in hatred and manipulation. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening in the United States anytime soon. Here, Christianity is a cloak that the majority wear as a social identity, not a moral one, and they wear it in order to live their lives as they wish, without having to grow as human beings or care for anyone outside their tribe.
It’s very unfortunate that so many people use the life of a man who tried to bring us peace and joy to cover their addiction to fear and hatred.
Here are two reports on the CPAC’s attempt to paint the alt-right as left wing fascists, which is a contradiction, as anyone who’s studied fascism knows.
A friend on G+ pointed out that this is a prime example of the right’s common tactic of taking any complaint the other side has about them, making the exact same complaint about the other side, and then repeating it until it sticks. I’m glad others see this tactic. It’s basic propaganda and we need to call it out wherever we see it.
The left needs to be on the attack as well as defense, all the time. The enemy of progress is relentless and we need to be too. As soon as the right starts some BS propaganda like this, the left needs to come out in force and ridicule the right while also explaining why it’s BS. We can’t reach everyone, but we need to make our voices as loud and far reaching as possible.
My biggest complaint about the left is that they usually refuse to play hardball and tell it like is. Sanders is a great exception and I think Warren is too. I’m a pretty intense person and I started adulthood in the Army infantry and then served as a deputy sheriff. I have a hard time with the left being meek and gentle when aggression is called for. We can be both kind and fierce, and we need to be both.
One major paper, one group of journalists, stood up to Hitler and the Nazis, refusing to normalize them, a crucial lesson for our times.
The Munich Post saw Hitler and the Nazis as they were. Rather than take the path of normalization and appeasement as the Weimar government and the world did, the Post journalists decided to fight, publicizing the truth behind the lies until they were closed down by the Nazis. At least some of them disappeared or ended up in Dachau, paying the ultimate price for their devotion to journalism.
This is an excellent deconstruction, worth watching if you’re interested in how comedy works. Louis is a genius.
I don’t usually become an official member of activist groups, even the ones I frequently donate to, but I’ve decided to make an exception for the ACLU. Below is what I gave the ACLU as my optional statement on why I joined.
“I’ve donated to the ACLU foundation before, including recently, but I’ve decided to formally join the ACLU because you’re the organization that best represents my values and you do the incredibly hard work to defend and advance civil rights in the United States.
I don’t agree with everything you do, but I admire your commitment to defend the civil rights of everyone, no matter their political stance or the (occasionally offensive to me) nature of their activities. Your work makes the United States a better nation.”
If someone you know considers Breitbart a news source, it’s best to avoid them if possible and minimize contact with them if not. Many people are capable of good faith discussion on serious issues. Many are not. Try not to waste your time on the latter.
Being able to talk to people you don’t know well is a vital work skill. If you can start a conversation with strangers, you’ll be rewarded with:
1. People opening up to you, helping you feel closer to them and them closer to you
2. A decreased level of stress and awkwardness (compared to silence)
3. Potential business or social opportunities for you or the person you’re talking with
The tips here are all excellent. I’m not good at small talk and I don’t enjoy it, but I make myself engage in it at work because it often leads to real, substantial communication which can benefit everyone. One of the tips, “Give them your full attention”, is an obvious one, but many of us have a hard time doing that. If you can really be present with someone, listening to them and paying attention to their tone, watching their body language, and thinking what they might be trying to communicate with their words (consciously or subconsciously), you’ll find that such presence is both its own reward and will give others the desire and confidence to open up to you. Give it a try. Focus completely on another person while they’re talking with you. Your relationship with them will likely grow in a positive way.