January 31, 2017

Make America Goat Again

On Friday - International Holocaust Remembrance Day - President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the admission of all refugees for 120 days, barring all Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocking all individuals from seven predominately Muslim nations from entering for 90 days. I've been heartened by throngs of people protesting at airports, the success of the ACLU in winning some quick court decisions against the order, and the strong voice of opposition from Christians who assist refugees. I noted some of the responses from Baptists in a Word&Way article.

But I'm still troubled by Trump's act. It's particularly troubling to recognize that 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump, thus empowering him to take this unChristian act. Among the first sent back by Trump's order were two Syrian Christian families with legal visas.

While a few of Trump's court preachers support his policy, most Christian leaders understand the clear biblical call to love our neighbor, welcome the immigrant, and care for 'the least of these.' That last phrase comes from Matthew 25 and should concern us as our nation sends women and children back to dangerous lands of persecution. In the parable of Jesus, people are separated between those (sheep) who helped the least of these, and those (goats) who didn't help the least of these. But the division is done by nations.

"All the nations will be gathered before him; and he will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats."

In the parable, the Son of Man separates people not as individuals, but as nations. With the executive order against refugees - literally 'the least of these' - Trump has made our nation goat again.

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