Inhumane Misuse of Holy Scripture, Yet Again

There are times when one cannot keep silent without losing all personal integrity. This is one of those times. Infants and young children seeking asylum in the US are being separated from their parents by US immigration agents at the US/Mexican border.

Nursing babies literally ripped from their mothers’ breasts, screaming. Young children grabbing their parents’ legs in a last-ditch effort to hold on, while stone-faced ICE agents stand by. Parents crying while trying to comfort their overwrought, terrified children.

ICECan you imagine escaping your home after seeing your own parent beheaded by a gang only to find there is no safety waiting, only more fear, more uncertainty, more outright disregard for humanity? Can you imagine your incredulity when you learn that there has been a major US policy shift as of last month that no longer allows children to stay with their own parents in such situations, regardless of age? Can you imagine the Sophie’s Choice of choosing between possible murder of or certain separation from your children?

In my mother’s heart, I cannot even fathom the nightmare of such a choice, knowing that not only will my child be ripped away from me but will be put in a cage or locked up for 22 hours/day in the new US jails for innocent children, abandoned Walmarts.

There is no justification for such inhumanity. There is no finger-pointing blame that lets anyone off the hook. And there is most assuredly no mandate for such cruelty in the Bible.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Press Secretary Sarah Huckaby Sanders citing Biblical precedent for following the law in Romans 13 as justification for such soul-destroying policy, instituted by the Trump administration, is appalling and dangerous.

Holy Scripture has been misused throughout history to justify slavery, women’s oppression, and anti-gay policy. To now use it to justify separating innocent children from their vulnerable parents is an abomination.

To engage in this kind of travesty involves what is called proof-texting, or taking one Biblical verse out of context to support one’s position. Any student of scripture knows how misleading and inaccurate this is.

The Bible can only be correctly interpreted in its entirety, not piecemeal. For Christians, Jesus’ words trump all – not Old Testament passages or parts of Paul’s letters to the Romans or other communities, taken out of context.

Here these words of Jesus.

Then he [Jesus] will say to those at his left hand…’I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’” Matthew 25:41a-45, italics added

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He [Jesus] said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40, italics added

All who call themselves Christian stand judged by these words of Jesus. Anyone who would twist the Biblical message for their own political purpose needs to stop talking and get on their knees and pray. For their very soul.

Please join me in praying for the soul of our nation.

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