I try not to get too involved in politics on this site but there are times it is hard not to. This is one of them. Currently, there has been a lot of attention focused on the detaining of children who have crossed the border. They have been herded into detention centers and have been separated from their parents. Of course, we don’t really know what to believe since we can’t trust the media to be honest.
Whether what is actually happening matches with what is being reported is not what I want to talk to here. (I have another blog for that) What I would like to talk about is the references being thrown around claiming the Bible condones such action. The scripture passage most commonly cited is:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. – Romans 13: 1 – 2 RSCVE2
Attorney General Jeff Sessions had this to say:
“Illegal entry into the United States is a crime – as it should be. Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”
Here is the problem I have with this line of thinking. Assuming what we are hearing is true and these children are being held and being treated inhumanely, that completely goes against other teachings in the Bible. The main message of Jesus is to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. We have this teaching:
Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God. – 1 Peter 2:13 RSVCE2
Wouldn’t the alleged holding of children in cages and abusing them be considered evil? God does not want us to ever do evil, He wants us to do good. The good here would be to keep the children with their parents, not separating them.
God also instructs us to:
‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ – Matthew 25: 34 – 36 RSCVE2
Would God contradict himself? I don’t think so.
As a Christian and a Catholic, it is tough to take sides on this issue. We need to follow what I quoted from the book of Matthew. Feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, welcome strangers, but we need to enforce the laws. The fact is these people are breaking the law by coming into the country without the proper documentation. True we shouldn’t be separating families, but there is some question if we actually are as some reports claim that less than 20% of these children are traveling with their families. These children can also be classified as young adults as many of them are teenagers.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, we don’t know the truth. We don’t know the whole story in which case we could actually doing the best thing for these children. Some say they are taken care of better than they would be if they were home. They have a place to sleep, three good meals a day, and there is the argument that they are better cared for than most of our own population of homeless children.
I truly am torn on this issue, how can we form an honest opinion when we don’t know the truth? I don’t think God intended for the Bible to be used to fight political battles. He certainly doesn’t want it used to provide sound bites for the evening news, rather it should be used as one complete message. The Bible isn’t meant to be cut and pasted to fit the need of any certain group of people or their agenda.
Until we know the true story, if we ever will, I guess all we can do is pray.