- Rev. Charles Perry
No America for Jesus
EXT ISRAELI/EGYPTIAN BORDER CROSSING - AROUND 4 BCE
A MAN and WOMAN riding a donkey approach a border crossing manned by two GUARDS. One GUARD bars the way, while the other moves to question the MAN.
FIRST GUARD : Passports, please!
MAN: I’m sorry, but we don’t have passports. We are fleeing persecution. Please let us in!
SECOND GUARD: OK, Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to step off of the donkey, and both of you keep your hands where we can see them.
WOMAN: But I’m holding our son!
FIRST GUARD: (to SECOND GUARD) Hey, SETH, tell the Matron we got another one for Pyramid 14.
SETH exits. FIRST GUARD turns back to MAN.
FIRST GUARD: OK, I don’t want any trouble out of you two. We don’t accept refugees from the Roman Empire. You must be some kind of troublemakers. All they ever send us are criminal types.
WOMAN: But they wanted to kill our son!
FIRST GUARD: Nonsense! Everybody knows the Romans are pro-life.
FIRST GUARD returns with the MATRON. They approach the family.
MATRON: Please give me the child.
WOMAN: No, please don’t take my son! Please, I’m begging you! He’s just a baby! How can you do this! No, please, for the love of God!
Both GUARDS and the MATRON laugh. FIRST GUARD moves to hold a spear at the MAN’s throat. SECOND GUARD grabs WOMAN, while the MATRON wrestles BABY from her. BABY begins to cry.
SECOND GUARD: You've come here illegally. You'll be incarcerated pending deportation hearings.
MAN: But what about our baby?
FIRST GUARD: You lost your family when you chose to enter this country illegally. That was your choice.
GUARDS and the MATRON laugh again. WOMAN begins to sob, as the MATRON exits with wailing BABY.
Had the kingdom of Egypt in the time of Jesus been run like the United States of America of 2018, the story of Jesus’ flight into Egypt as described in the Gospel of Matthew would have played out like the scene above. It seems impossible; unconscionable. But this is what we have become. And I say WE for a reason.
WE have become a morally repugnant nation. There is no sugar-coating it, no hiding behind the flag, and certainly no attempting to justify it. I don’t care what your politics are or who you voted for.
Our once proud nation is now guilty of crimes against humanity. Specifically, we are ripping the children of would-be refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants from their parents and holding them prisoner in cages away from their parents. This practice can only be described as cruel, inhumane torture. If you think I’m exaggerating, imagine what it would feel like if they were YOUR children. Because, in Truth, they are ALL OUR children.
If you can somehow justify this behavior, we don’t have a difference of political opinion, we have different morals, and to be blunt, I find yours reprehensible.
But for those of you who are disgusted as I am, but have become so weary of the political extremities to which our nation has gone that you have thrown up your hands and given up, I have the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
So now I ask you, what will you do? Will you join our denomination, Unity Worldwide Ministries, and Unity World Headquarters, and write to our President, condemning this practice and demanding its end? Will you contact your Representatives and Senators? Or will you, perhaps, join me in the streets, and add your voice to the throng protesting this abhorrent practice? If you are willing to stand up and say, “No! This is wrong!”, please join me Saturday, June 30th at the Families Belong Together - Birmingham Rally at Kelly Ingram Park at 4:00 PM.
We have committed ourselves to a path of radical love. We cannot simultaneously claim to love and turn our back on those most in need of it. We cannot claim we want the kingdom of heaven right here, right now, and refuse to take concrete action to make that a reality. We cannot, in short, claim we are following Christ, and turn away from those he termed “the least of these.” (Matthew 25:40.)
I am tired of living in an America of which I am ashamed. Together, we can bring back a morality of love and compassion to our nation. Together, we can overcome the politics of divisiveness and find the common ground of common decency. Together, we can make America a nation that would welcome the baby Jesus with open arms and open hearts. Together, we can make a difference.
With love and blessings,