“It is hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, or toss out someone in need of my help…do these these things and call myself a Christian, I am a hypocrite.”
– Pope Francis
I am not a Catholic (even though my father’s father was, as was his family for over a thousand years), nor do I belong to any one form of “organized” religion or strictly adhere to all their tenets. But I do believe in the mandate of Jesus, who said we are to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, tend to the sick, and warning that to not do these things is to reap punishment (Matthew 25:31-46).
Francis is spot-on, calling a spade a spade and not mincing words. I respect him for that.
In my post, Immigration, I wrote, “Will we continue to welcome immigrants with the Statue of Liberty’s ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses’? Or will we close our borders with walls…and become ‘Fortress America’?”
In my post, Tribes Reduex, I wrote, “Some nations in Europe, and lately the United States, have been voting for leaders or policies that proclaim nationalism, anti-immigrant and religious intolerance…Things I find loathsome and abhorrent. Especially here, in the US, a nation of immigrants…”
Since its inception, we Americans have rooted our social compact in the Judeo-Christian Bible, and we have been blest and the better for it.
We have welcomed and taken in foreigners seeking a better life here. But today there are those among our government – and among those that elected it – who no longer want to allow them in, particularly those from the countries south of us or especially those of a certain religious belief from the Middle East.
Out of fear.
We have endeavored to see to the needs of the poor, the homeless, the sick and the aged – maybe not as well as some other first-world countries, but better than most – through our Welfare, Medicare and Medicaid, and Social Security programs. But today there are those among our government – and among those that elected it – who, instead of endeavoring to do even more or better, would lessen or do away completely with all that we’ve accomplished.
Out of greed.
As Francis has said, some would rather “throw up skyscrapers and shopping centers and strike big real estate deals [and] abandon [others]…excluded and marginalized: without a job, without options, without a way out.”
If things continue to go in the direction we are going, it will be hypocritical to claim we’re a “Christian nation” (“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” – 1 John 3:17).
I am not a prophet, I have no divine revelation, but I do worry about Jesus’ warning about punishment if America reneges on its promises and duty to our fellow man.