There once was a little boy named Yeshua. He was born to a woman named Miriam and a man named Yusef. When the child was young, the man who was king, Herod, decided he needed to kill all of the male children under the age of two. Miriam and Yusef took their child, and helped by strangers along the way, traveled from Judea to Egypt. When this refugee family arrived, they were welcomed. They found shelter and food; they were able to stay together. Miriam could nurse her baby; Yusef could protect his wife.
That baby grew up, and learned the trade of his father. As an adult, he became an itinerant rabbi, and went around the countryside preaching, healing and feeding people. He tried to explain to them what the Kingdom of God was like. He said if they wanted to understand this Kingdom, they would have to become like a child. In fact, he invited the children to come and be with him, and chastised those who would keep them away.
That’s Jesus, people. That’s the one who we Christians say is our mentor, our leader, our rabbi. That is the one we say is our Christ, anointed to bring good news to the poor, to preach liberty to the captives, to bring sight to the blind. Jesus taught his followers that when we feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit those in prison, we are visiting Jesus himself. (Matthew 25) "When you've done it to the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you've done it unto me," he said. When we serve the “least of these,” we are serving God.
Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Kristjen Nielsen, and all you government leaders who claim to be Christian: Shame on you for terrorizing families this way. Shame on you, immigrants that you are, for treating Black and Brown bodies as though they are less than human. Shame on you for your manifest destiny, white nationalist, border-closing, poverty-increasing policies that you enact while simultaneously claiming allegiance to the poor, itinerant preacher who was once a homeless baby, and then a refugee in a strange land.
I call on you to repent. I call on you to ask forgiveness, and to cease and desist from these abominable policies. I call on you to open your blind eyes and your too-small hearts to the lives of the human beings—children, mothers, fathers, aunties and uncles—who happen to be immigrants, who you are treating like scum. I call on you to stop lying and to acknowledge that neither your behavior or these policies are blessed by God.
And you, fellow Americans of all faiths and no faith, I am calling on you to have a zero-tolerance personal policy on hatred and bigotry. I am calling on you to have the moral courage to insist on #RevolutionaryLove as action to repudiate these wrongs. Those families belong to God. Those crying children? They are the voices of God. Those anguished parents? They are the body of God. Suffering, weeping, needing liberation. We must do something about this, and we must do it now.
It is our moral responsibility to tell our elected officials that Families Belong Together. Join me in following these steps offered by the NAACP to make a phone call, send an email, or write a letter to both of your senators. We need to foster a nation where strangers are welcomed and the most vulnerable—all children—are able to stay with their families.
People are heading to the streets this Saturday, June 23 in Washington DC to protest; I’ll be there to join the culmination of the Poor People’s Campaign at the National Mall as we come together to demand #FamiliesBelongTogether. Find a rideshare here to join us in DC. You can also watch the livestream online at the Poor People's Campaign website.
It is our moral call to treat each person at the border as though they are the body of God.
Image: Washington Post