In discussions about the way the USA treats immigrants and refugees, I regularly hear people who claim to be Christians say things like “well, maybe they shouldn’t be breaking the law coming here as illegal immigrants. Mary and Joseph didn’t break the law, so them fleeing a violent and oppressive regime to become refugees elsewhere is totally different.”
Ooooooh honey. No no no. There is so much there that you are getting wrong.
This is the comment I left in response to a comment along those lines today. And because I see this used as an excuse allll the time, I’m going to expand on it.
“There is so much wrong with that, both factually and logically.
1. Refugees are also being treated terribly, stripped of their families, coerced into not requesting asylum, and put into concentration camps with immigrants.
2. They [Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus] weren’t breaking the law? There’s kind of this part of the story where the decree passed by the head of state was a threat to the life of their child, and they defied the law and escaped.
3. How about Moses? Should his mom have obeyed the law and handed her son over?
4. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right, moral, or ethical.
Enslavement of Black people was legal. Helping enslaved people escape, as well as being an enslaved person and escaping, broke the law.
The holocaust was legal. Hiding the people targeted by the Holocaust, helping them escape, and being part of the resistance were illegal.
Making black people sit in the back of the bus was legal. Refusing to move was illegal.
Being part of an interracial marriage was illegal.
Not allowing People of Color or women to vote or own property was legal.
A certain 13 colonies breaking free and forming their own country was illegal.
Apartheid was legal.
The Trail of Tears was legal.
Legality is not what determines whether something is right or wrong.”
Quite frankly, if you are someone who is justifying and defending our treatment of immigrants and refugees, not only in the sense of what is happening on the border but also in the sense of our turning away refugees from war torn countries that WE HAVE BOMBED, and in the sense of the Muslim ban that the SCOTUS just upheld, you disgust me, and you are in no way living what Christ Himself taught. Furthermore, you are the type of person who -in Germany – in various ways supported the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. And no, that is not hyperbole.
We helped create the situations people are fleeing from, we have created the system that makes it damn near impossible to come here “legally” if you’re poor or need to leave home quickly. And now, when they try to come here to escape the situations in their countries of our making, we strip these same people of their humanity and dignity, tear their families apart, put them in concentration camps, and punish them every way we can for daring to try to exist? What. The. Hell.
If you support this, don’t you DARE call yourself pro-life, and don’t you DARE say “all lives matter”. This stand is the very opposite of being pro-life and you are showing that you don’t actually believe all lives matter, you only believe they matter if they’re white US American lives, especially if they’re police, to include if they are police who have just played judge, jury, and executioner to a black person. You have blood on your hands through your support and justification of a system that is engaging in ruthless ethnic cleansing and heading down the path of genocide. You should be on your knees before God and the people you are wronging, begging for forgiveness.
Let me close, not with my own words, but with the words of Jesus Christ Himself, whom you claim to love and follow. Read this and see how well your actions match up with this.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”