*Editor’s Note: This is a contribution from Dillon Naber Cruz, whose book, Theological Musings, is out now on Quoir Publishing
Many Christians of various conservative varieties say that we people should follow the Bible literally. With that in mind, let’s do a quick dive into a hot button topic that has the Republican party in America up in arms as they drag out all of the xenophobic tropes at their disposal to scare voters about people attempting to come into the country from Latin America. A quick perusal of Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn’s posts on the platform formerly known as Twitter will show readers just what I mean. Other Republican politicians take it even further than Blackburn as Ron DeSantis has done in Florida and Greg Abbott in Texas by bussing people to “Democrat run cities” as a political stunt at their taxpayers’ expense.
Abbott, the fascist governor of Texas, is a man who openly professes to be a Christian, yet he has for purposes of cruelty and political gain, implemented policies along the border between Mexico and Texas that are quite literally human rights abuses. In so doing, he is clearly ignoring American history. Texas was once part of Mexico and the imperialistic, and wholly manufactured, Mexican – American War fought during James K. Polk’s administration absolutely robbed Mexico of an enormous part of their country. Abbott and others also ignore the fact that the subsequent U.S. political and military interventions in Latin America in the 20th and 21st centuries have created a many decades long humanitarian crisis in the region which has led to much of the immigration from Latin America to the U.S. This latter fact means that Abbott is also ignoring international law which says that seeking asylum is perfectly legal. He has created literal death traps that make crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas, whether to seek asylum or simply to build a better life, a deadly undertaking that has led to children and adults drowning or getting severely injured because of his white supremacist xenophobia and pandering to those who think like him.
From a Biblical standpoint, Abbott is ignoring what the Bible says about how people are to treat immigrants and sojourners in the land. The Bible has quite a bit to say about how Jews and Christians should treat immigrants and other strangers as Exodus 22:21; 23:9; Leviticus 19:33-34; Deuteronomy 27:19; Jeremiah 7:5-7; Zechariah 7:9-10 Matthew 25:35; Hebrews 13:2 to name just a few shows. There are many more, thus Greg Abbott for all of his declarations of faith is literally doing it wrong, and Christians in Texas and everywhere else should literally be rising up against his governance (and all xenophobic bigots in government) to demand caring policies for immigrants, whether they are seeking asylum or not, because the Bible literally says we should. Christians should also be actively opposing economic and military policies which create these humanitarian crises.
Perhaps there will be readers who think I am making these things up or surrendering to the “woke” mind virus and being anti-American. If so, I’ve taken the trouble of providing some scriptural evidence below. Those who have an issue with what I have written should realize that their issue is not actually with me, but with the texts of the Bible. Those folks might want to reflect on why they think national citizenship or allegiance to a political party is more important than actually following the faith they claim to follow. Jesus said that his disciples would be known by how they show love, not by telling people who they hate. Immigrants are our neighbors, and Christians are called to love our neighbors, not intentionally try to kill them, harm them, or make their lives miserable.