When Trump’s crowd chanted “send her back” they echoed or amplified the president’s tweet: “why don’t they go back?” Sympathy for such rhetoric stands in opposition to Christian Scriptures. Jesus’ core teaching requires us to love our neighbors in the same manner we love ourselves. God will judge our lives by the way we welcome the stranger(Matthew 25). Name calling, racial baiting, belittling, mockery and the silent support of aggressive speech is the opposite of truth, equality, hospitality and love.
You can know people by the fruit of their lives! What fills someone’s heart comes out of their mouth. Evil speech flows from a sickened heart. Jesus warns that we all will give an account for our words on Judgment Day(Matthew 12).
Yesterday, I ate lunch with a Christian friend. She is an immigrant and a US citizen. She leaned over the table, as if the KGB was listening in the next booth, and whispered: “Pastor, this President… ”. Her sentence lingered incomplete as tears clouded her eyes. She gathered herself and wept: “We are afraid.” Anyone who takes delight in another persons fear promotes a kind of terrorism.
If we do not defend our neighbor’s as worthy of equal protection under the law, then let us admit that we do not love our neighbors. And if we do not love our neighbors, then let us stop dragging down the glorious name of Christ by calling ourselves Christians.