If you have a certain realistic, cautious reserve that some taco trucks might not really contain tacos, or that the tacos won’t be any good sometimes, that’s reasonable. If you fear that every taco truck is trying to sell you a non-taco, you’re a bigot. If you fear that the existence of taco trucks is a threat to your own cherished brand of truck, or that the mere existence of a large number of tacos threatens the racial purity of your other favorite food, that’s bigotry.
If you’re concerned about a certain threat to our national safety, coming across the border from Mexico along with desperate poor people; or if you’re afraid of some terrorists hiding in the midst of refugees from the Middle East or something like that, we can talk about that. We can see if the threat is legitimate, if it can be avoided, and how we can do that while still being ethical and humane. But if you’re afraid of Mexicans themselves, or of Middle Easterners or Muslims or Jews or any other group of human beings as themselves; if you think that Mexicans are drug dealers and rapists or that Muslims are all closet terrorists– then you’re a bigot. If you think the only good Muslim is a “bad Muslim” who doesn’t understand the Koran, you’re a bigot. If you think that Mexicans as such or undocumented immigrants as such are lazy and liable to ruin the economy, you’re a bigot.
If you believe that we ought to prioritize helping the poor and desperate people already in the country before helping suffering people from the Middle East or from Mexico or anywhere else, very well. I don’t know that I agree, but we can look at those issues, look at economics, and figure out a plan that helps as many people as we can. If you believe that you are somehow intrinsically more worthy of help and comfort and a chance at a better life than another race or creed of people, or than people of your race born in a different part of the world, you are a bigot.If you view another human being as less than you, you are a bigot. And bigotry is a sin.
God only created one kind of person, a person of infinite dignity whom He loves with an everlasting Love. And He loves other people who come from other places and speak foreign languages, as much as He loves you. He is hidden in the person who sneaks across our border out of desperation as much as He is in someone who comes to the country legally. He demands to be honored in the Muslim as much as in the neighbor who goes to your church. He values the child taking refuge here to escape violence and exploitation in his home country, as much as he values your honor student who plays soccer on the weekends. He hears the cry of the poor, the migrant, the refugee… even the person who just wanted to come to America and sell tacos out of a truck.
He hears them.
And we must hear Him.
The children of God will listen to God. And as they listen to God, they will do what God commands. They will not be stirred into bigotry and hate because of anybody’s speeches or political tactics. They will participate in government as they can, but they won’t allow loyalty to any political group to come before their obedience to God. They will render unto Cesar but they will die before they light even a pinch of incense to worship him.
And if Cesar commands us to hate, we must refuse. And every time Cesar commands us to hate, we must refuse again. And every time Cesar tells us that our brother is to be feared– our brown brother, our immigrant brother, our refugee brother, or any other brother– we must love our brother all the more.
Come hell, high water or a taco truck on every corner, we have to continue loving our brother.
Even if our brother really was dangerous.
How much more, if he just wants to sell us a good lunch?