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The Resistance Prays

November 2, 2018
By Rev. Erin Spengeman Hutchison

Today's Top Story

Via Reuters: "Trump promises immigration crackdown ahead of U.S. elections."

  • Although still trekking through southern Mexico, the Central American caravan of asylum-seekers has become a favorite talking point for Trump ahead of Tuesday’s contentious elections, stoking fear in order to ensure votes for the GOP.
  • “It’s like an invasion," Trump said on Thursday. "They have violently overrun the Mexican border…This is not an innocent group of people… Illegal immigration hurts American workers, burdens American taxpayers and undermines public safety, and places enormous strain on local schools, hospitals, and communities in general, taking precious resources away from the poorest Americans who need them most.” (Read the full transcript of Thursday’s remarks here.)
My dear friends, pay attention. God has given a lot of faith to the poor people in this world. God has also promised them a share in his kingdom that he will give to everyone who loves him. You mistreat the poor. But isn’t it the rich who boss you around and drag you off to court? Aren’t they the ones who make fun of your Lord?

You will do all right, if you obey the most important law in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” But if you treat some people better than others, you have done wrong, and the Scriptures teach that you have sinned. If you obey every law except one, you are still guilty of breaking them all. 

- James 2:5-10
The Faith Given to the Poor

Let’s be clear: Trump is taking advantage of a significant and devastating humanitarian issue to fear-monger Americans into voting for conservative candidates. The arrival of the caravan to the U.S. border is still a couple weeks away, while our heated mid-term elections are only three days away. His declaration of the caravan’s arrival as an “invasion” is inaccurate, an emergency is premature, and his characterization of these poor asylum-seekers as “violent” is bleak and wholly unfair.

We know, though, that his words are intentional, and that the motive of his administration is not to secure “precious resources” for “the poorest Americans who need them most” but to stoke fear in the election booth. 

Scripture is also clear: We must not take advantage of or further oppress the powerless—the poor, widow, orphan, the aged, the stranger—but must instead care for, lift up, and prioritize their well-being and wholeness. The caravan does indeed have great faith: they are hoping for a miracle from God, that Trump’s heart will be changed, that they will be able to find safety and fulfillment in the U.S. We must also speak out against Trump's violent rhetoric, reminding one another that his call for the military to shoot the asylum-seekers should they throw rocks stands in blatant opposition of the way of God.

  • Vote this Tuesday for candidates who both support asylum-seekers and immigrants and denounce Trump’s rhetoric.
  • Read stories about the asylum-seekers in the caravan. Look at the photos of the blistered feet of tired children and their families. Remember they are human.

God of Beautiful Liberation, you promise to bring down the mighty and exalt the humble, to fill the hungry with good things and send away the rich away empty. We pray for the asylum-seekers, that they be lifted up and fed as they travel and greeted with food, safety, and hope as they enter the U.S. And we dare to pray for Trump, that he will be humbled, truly coming to know that you alone are the God of Justice. Amen.

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