Are We Morally Distressed by What is Taking Place on Our Border?

The UN Declaration of Human Rights guarantees everyone asylum protection, but Jesus’ commands us to go the extra mile.

Jesus was a baby born in the Middle East who became a refugee in Africa because of the rage of a mad king. As a migrant who took shelter in a foreign country, he understood the ambivalence of living in the shadows. I can’t think of a better way of lifting Jesus high than saving refugees who are in peril.

As an urban pastor and Harvard-trained ethicist, I am morally distressed about the way we are treating the most vulnerable in our country. How we treat the powerless compared with the way we treat the most powerful reflects both our present collective moral consciousness, and our future moral trajectory.

What happened to the light Lady Liberty shone so brightly from the shores of New York Harbor? It is a light that once lit up the whole world, as those fleeing violence, tyranny and religious persecution were embraced in her arms. Today, this light is under threat of being extinguished by a new vision that prefers walls to bridges.

As ambassadors of God’s kingdom, we are called to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God, as Micah compels us (6:8). What then can we do?

First, let’s resist relying on anecdotes, and work instead to get an accurate picture of the issues surrounding immigration.

G.K. Chesterton once remarked, “It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.” Hasty conclusions are often the product of superficial analyses. As Chesterton notes, the problem can stem from a shallow understanding of a particular situation.

The president has declared a national emergency on the southern border, despite the fact that in 2017 his own State Department said no terrorists were found entering the U.S from the southern border. Similarly, …

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