What Manner of Love Does your God Prescribe?

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

I wonder how many people were as incensed as I was when hearing U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III use the Bible to defend ripping apart families — arresting parents and placing children in internment camps (oops, I mean “detention centers”).

I wonder if my exasperation is similar to that of my Muslim friends who are often frustrated by the misrepresentation of their sacred book.

I am sick and tired of, dare I say, Christian extremists, trying to justify their oppressive views with biblical scripture (taken out of context). I’m no theologian (and apparently neither is Jeff Sessions), but the last time I checked, Christians were commanded to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

What manner of love abuses asylum seekers (who, by the way, have a right to come here), traumatizes children, and degrades human beings?

Everything within me rejects the attorney general’s spiritual arrogance and dangerously misguided and perverted interpretation of biblical scripture as justification for the inhuman treatment of immigrants.

I would like to draw attention to an alternative interpretation of Paul’s message via “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” delivered by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1956 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Rev. King described the basis of his sermon as what he imagined the Apostle Paul would write to Christians in America at that time:

“… American Christians, I must say to you as I said to the Roman Christians years ago, ‘Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ Or, as I said to the Philippian Christians, ‘Ye are a colony of heaven.’ This means that although you live in the colony of time, your ultimate allegiance is to the empire of eternity. You have a dual citizenry. You live both in time and eternity; both in heaven and earth. Therefore, your ultimate allegiance is not to the government, not to the state, not to nation, not to any man-made institution. The Christian owes his ultimate allegiance to God, and if any earthly institution conflicts with God’s will it is your Christian duty to take a stand against it. You must never allow the transitory evanescent demands of man-made institutions to take precedence over the eternal demands of the Almighty God.”

https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/publications/knock-midnight-inspiration-great-sermons-reverend-martin-luther-king-jr-1

As a Christian, I adhere to a just and loving God. I stand against the inhuman and unjust treatment of any human being.

Posted in Associate Blog

19 responses to “What Manner of Love Does your God Prescribe?

  1. If one is over 60 and their parents or grandparents where white from Europe they didn’t have much of a problem emmigrating to the US. Of course Italians were not welcome. So, Immigrants are people that chose to come here and if they were in the “correct” group from the “right country” they got in. However, refugees are a different group. A refugee is one who is fleeing ostensibly from danger to their life. Suffice to say the women and children
    on our borders crying to find “refuge” from terror ( that we cannot imagine), murder, torture, etc. are not Immigrants they are Refugees.
    Walking through the treacherous peril before them from places in South and Central Americia should be signal enough that something is terribly wrong. Sending their
    children on the trek North is what they perceive as keeping
    them safe. The risk is what they are willing to take for what they imagine could be a better life.
    To what country could a United States American flee for refuge? Which country could we walk to?
    An Immigrant has choice and time. A Refugee has neither if they are to survive.

  2. Thank you Colette, for putting in words that express our outrage at the tragedy of separating children from their parents. The audio on T.V. is chilling. What has happened to our America that we knew? I hope this gets resolved soon.

  3. I have read all your responses ,some I agree with and some not,Collette you wrote a nice article,I get upset with congress,not doing their job,had all former presidents followed and enforced the law that congress made we would not be in this mess pure chaos. I am for all LEGAL IMMIGRANTS, but not illegals,sorry come through the right way.My parents came here as immigrants, no problem. ILLEGALS are sending their children here,parents not coming with them , wrong, wrong. Congress must do their job that they were elected to do!!!

  4. Many people buy into the “drugs and criminals propaganda perpetuated by this President however the drugs and crimanals are here and have been her for years. The drug problems in this country are not recent but have escalated into a very complex situation of which ‘Big Pharma’ has been a part. Also, big money on this side of the Border is funding the flow of much of the drugs from the Cartels.
    The youth in many border US cities are being drawn into drug running. I think we have to look here at home first. The past and present policies of our own government in Central and South America plus the leadership of our own Catholic Church has contributed to the social evil that has placed this suffering on our doorstep.
    What fear has anesthetized our Christian conscious that we who are made in the image of the Divine fail by our indifference to respond to the human dilemma?

  5. Thank you Colette perhaps the Congress and President and especially the AG need to heed this biblical reference; “cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphans, plead for the widow”
    (ISA 1: 16-17). We have in this country plenty of money and space to absorb refugees, it is our focus that is skewed.
    Remember, “those who oppress the poor insult their maker”
    (PROV 14:31). Martha

  6. I doubt there are very many decent people who will not agree with what you wrote, but the issue remains the same. Over and over again, Congress has refused to address the issue (other than granting amnesty to all of the illegals already here — hardly an answer to the problem). Now it’s the children and parents being separated, but nobody yet has come up with an answer to the real issue. Drugs and the criminals who promote them are coming across the boarder along with those good folks needing a safe place to raise their families, and unfortunately many coming here cannot support themselves so the taxpayers must do it. We need answers, not finding people to blame. Please God, help us find solutions to this worldwide problem!

    1. Karen,
      We do need solutions to this multi-layered issue. I always find it interesting that we raise the notion of taxpayers paying for those who can’t support themselves, but we never hear about those “undocumented workers” who are paying taxes and not filing tax returns because of their need to be invisible (I don’t hear anybody asking what happens to the tax dollars that they pay and never see as a refund). When looking for solutions, we first need to be aware of all the facts/truths. But I digress — my main point is that I don’t like anyone twisting words from the Bible, giving folks a broad brush to paint Christians as pompous and sanctimonious. And I am perplexed about the fact that the U.S. Attorney General is (trying) to quote biblical scripture — WHY? (but I digress, again).

  7. Collette,
    Thanks for giving God the great review! He isn’t giving those responsible for tearing apart families a good one.

  8. How arrogant can we, as a “civilized” nation get! Possessing too much seems to be the criteria for denying others their human rights.

  9. Thank you, Colette. Love reading your blogs. They really have substance. Quoting Martin Luther King, Jr keeps reminding us how prophetic this man was.

  10. I am equally incensed, Colette. Thanks for your clear and powerful statement. Let’s everyone share it n Facebok and wherever we can.

  11. Thank you for sharing this. Sessions referenced Romans 13, but he apparently didn’t make it down to verse 13:10: “Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.