This guest post is by Sheri Faye Rosendahl.
Those who support the Muslim Ban, are adamantly against universal healthcare, support drone strikes that kill thousands of children abroad, yet call themselves “pro-life” — I am trying to understand where you are coming from because I can’t for the life of me figure out how this perspective aligns with the ways of your savior.
From what I can see, it appears life before birth is something you consider a cause worth fighting for — but, in the same breath, you fight vigorously against a system that ensures healthcare to all children domestically and are totally cool with policies that condemn to death children abroad, deeming them “collateral damage.” When is life precious and when is it “collateral damage?” Real talk — I need an explanation to understand the logic.
I struggle because, from where I’m standing, it seems that you like the idea of pro-life, but not at the expense of threatening your sense of self-protection and first world comforts. You can picket abortion clinics and call young women murderers and you lose nothing. There is no personal cost to you. It’s not like you’re out there offering these young terrified women who feel there is no other option another way out. Think about it, if this was truly a cause you cared about so ferociously as “Christians,” wouldn’t it make more sense to look to the ways of Jesus and extend love instead of condemnation?
In the meantime, there is a clear tendency to find any possible reason to oppose anything that threatens a perceived sense of self-comfort, even if it means the certain death of others.
Take the Syrian refugee crisis, one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of our lifetime, millions of innocent who have literally lost everything, and our response: ban them. I’m sure you feel sad when you hear the stories of children buried in rubble or being washed up dead on a beach as they seek safety, but we can’t let them come here, right? What if some “bad ones” got in? We have to be smart and by smart I mean inwardly thinking to the point that we allow children to die for a better piece of mind.
And then there is the idea that everyone in our nation gets healthcare regardless of class or income. But we don’t want our tax money to go toward the health of other people — it’s not our responsibility. It’s better to have private insurance companies profiting off of us.
Okay, so where is the way of Jesus? You know, that sacrificial love stuff.
Seriously, we can both see the hypocrisy here; well, at least I hope we can.
The most important command Jesus specifically gave was to love your neighbor. This command was put on the same level as love God. And to put the parable of the Good Samaritan in modern terms, to love your neighbor looks something like finding a beat up, half-dead member of ISIS on the side of the road, stopping, taking him in, bandaging his wounds, and spending your own money to care for him.
However, what we are seeing in the way of religion looks more like the parable of the goodhearted fearful American who stopped to help a family stranded in the freezing cold, realized they were Muslim and got back in the car, sped off, remembering what the pastor had said about Muslims and Sharia law, thanking god they were safe.
We have the resources to open our doors and extend love to the most vulnerable around the world, but we refuse to do so in the name of Christianity, which, if we are honest, is being used as a smokescreen for self-involved fear and is a direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus.
The way of Jesus means self-sacrificial love, loving others first and loving boldly. Losing your life to save it, giving up the draw to self-security in order to boldly love “the other” while trusting your savior over yourself.
I get that it’s not easy to love first. I mean, I know I can be rather harsh on you guys. The thing is, I’m not upset because these actions we see personally affect me, I’m upset because these actions are literally leading to the deaths of thousands and all because of the desire to seek a false perception of self-comfort first above the Great Command to love others.
In all honesty, I want to understand you. I want to learn your rationale and how you feel it aligns with Jesus. I would be lying if I said I don’t hope you find a new bigger value in loving first, but I know that changing your mind is not in my capacity. So I will leave the conversation open — I would love to listen with the goal of understanding, but at the same time I will continue to stand in direct opposition to oppression because, above all, we need love to win.
Photo via Stocksnap.io.
About Sheri Faye Rosendahl
Sheri Faye Rosendahl is a writer, lover of bold love, the Middle East, Yoga and cookies. You can find more of her writing at NotYourWhiteJesus.org or find her on Facebook. Sheri and her husband, Rich, also run a non-profit called The Nations, doing peace and humanitarian work with refugee neighbors from the Middles East, both domestically and abroad.