This week buses that carrying undocumented immigrants were unable to drive to the border patrol station near Riverside, California. The reason? A crowd of 150 screaming protesters blocked the road.
"Go home -- we don't want you here," they screamed, angrily waving American flags. Their signs read "Bus illegal children to the White House."
The scene was shocking--the screaming red faces conveyed a startling rage.
I grew up attending the Episcopal Church, and though I haven't continued attending as an adult I have fond memories of the service, the ritual and the sermons of the priests. I don't claim to be a biblical scholar, but my simple reading of the bible, combined with my understanding of why people immigrate to the United States, leads me to a simple conclusion:
If you attack immigrants, especially immigrant children, you can't call yourself a Christian.
Let's admit it--those on the left feel a little squeamish talking about the bible. For the most part that is the role of right. But when you cut through the politics and look at what the bible says vs. what many who call themselves Christian do, you see a pretty glaring contrast.
You can't open a bible without seeing references to helping the poor and helping those who immigrate to find a better life.
How about Proverbs 14:21 "Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor."
Or this verse from Proverbs "Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him."
Or how about this passage from Luke 10:30 that specifically deals with the poor who travel in search of a better life
"Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
Or how about Exodus 12:21 and 23:9: "You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt."
Or Deuteronomy 10:18-19 "For the Lord your God...loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."
Or Psalm 146:9 - "The Lord watches over the strangers..."
Or how about Ephesians 2:11-22 - "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God."
The bible is clear on this point. But Christians who remain unconvinced, those who think there is a way to both hate immigrants and be followers of Christ, might want to pay extra attention to Matthew 25: 34-46:
"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? 39 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.'"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Simply put, the bible says that if you hate the poor, the needy, the "strangers" who are searching for a better life you may just find yourself going to hell.
I don't know who the screaming protesters are who blocked buses full of immigrants this week, but I know who they are not.