I try not to talk about politics in my sermons. There's no one listening who hasn't figured out how ultra-liberal, socialist-democrat I am, so I don't have to point that out in sermon time.
Secondly, religion and politics--like church and state--should have a line between them. They just should. There are lots of right-wing churches who tell their members who to vote for that I believe should be stripped of their non-profit status. Just me talkin'--but talkin' true.
But today, I crossed the line in my sermon at St. James, Higganum. I crossed over into a political debate that I think is also a theological and moral debate: the separation of children and parents if they cross the boarder illegally.
The Administration keeps saying they're enforcing 'the law'--which isn't true. They are forming policy by interpreting the law in a way they want to. The same law they point to has been in place for at least two administrations before this and neither Bush nor Obama chose to interpret it the way the current President has.
And, truth be known, the President, in my mind is using this immoral and un-American tactic to get a vote on immigration in the Congress that he will only sign if it includes funding for his maniacal 'wall' across the southern boarder. Folks in the White House know how heinous this separation of children from parents is--but they're using it as a bargaining chip...which makes it all the more despicable.
I was freed to cross the line by Attorney General Jeff Sessions who quoted from Romans 13 to justify 'enforcing the law'. And Paul does say a lot in that chapter about obeying 'civil authorities'. I would remind you he was writing in a time when being a Christian was illegal in the Roman Empire and it only made good sense to stay below the radar by 'obeying authority'.
What enraged me was that Sessions (a Methodist Sunday School teacher for heaven's sake!) must not have read the previous chapter of Roman. In Chapter 12 Paul advises us to 'share what you have with those in need' and 'to welcome the stranger into your house'.
That sounds like a pretty moral and sensible immigration policy to me--one that this country has, for much of it's history followed.
Unless you are 100% Native American, your ancestors came to these shores longing for a better life. And they built our nation up. Diversity is the hallmark of America. Today's immigrant is tomorrow's hard working citizen.
But even if you have some more conservative view than the 'open boarder view' I have, you must acknowledge that ripping children from their parents' arms is hideous and wrong and must, must, please God, stop!
(One man after church told me, "I wish you hadn't preached that sermon because now I have to do something." Perhaps the best comment I ever got about a sermon.)
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