"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian."
Remarks that Trump was quick to respond to Thursday evening in his usual rancorous and entertaining style. Stating that no religious leader has a right to question another man's faith, calling the comments "disgraceful."
Yet, however disgraceful or not this exchange between the most unlikely of opponents is, it raises an interesting question for Catholics and Christians of all stripes. Namely, is it against the Christian faith to support securing the border?
Time and time again conservative Christians are told that to support securing the border is to deny Christian charity to illegal immigrants. Suggesting that it is somehow unfair to deny Mexicans and other South American citizens the opportunities and blessings that we enjoy here in America. In fact, I was shocked when it happened at even the most conservative and largest of international Christian gatherings, Urbana12. With Christians quoting such passages as Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:33-34, and Matthew 25:35 as proof that to build a wall and secure our border is unbilical.
However, this type of cherry picking and misuse of Scripture to justify one's position is nothing new, and this is no exception. These passages, particularly Exodus 22:21, and Leviticus 19:33-34, do refer to aliens (illegal immigrants) living in another country and state that it is indeed our Christian duty to treat these individuals with respect. With the justification for why we as Christians have a moral duty to offer the illegal immigrant hospitality, being because God's people were once aliens in Egypt. It is a practical example of obeying Christ's command in Luke 6:31 to "do to others as you would have them do to you."
However, if we as Christians were to follow this command in regards to our southern border, we would understand that an open border policy is not only unbiblical, but building a wall is exactly what Christ would want us to do. Since just as the illegal immigrant would want their homeland to defend their people against terrorists, drug cartels, and violent criminals if they were attempting to pour over their homeland's borders. With the most effective means of their homeland protecting its citizens from such violent criminals being to build a wall. They would want to build a wall so high, and so thick that it would neutralize all threats to their own people. Meaning that America should do the same, and put the safety and security of its citizens first.
Since what proponents of securing the southern border such as Donald Trump are saying, no matter how much the liberal media and liberal Christians attempt to distort our message, is not that we should shut ourselves off from the world and prevent anyone and everyone from coming to America and enjoying the many blessings that our great nation offers. What we are advocating for is the protection of innocent life and our fellow citizens by putting in place a security measure that will ensure that only those who truly wish to come to America and through their hard-work realize the American dream enter our nation. Thus, not only protecting American lives, but also ensuring that illegal immigrants do not deprive deserving new legal immigrants (Americans), the unparalleled opportunities offered by our great republic.
In fact, to follow the command given to Christians and found in Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:33-34, and Matthew 25:35 concerning illegal immigrants has nothing to do with whether we should secure the border or not, and everything to do with how we should treat the illegal immigrants who are already here. With dignity, respect, and hospitality, but also as we would treat our fellow countrymen. Meaning that since we believe in personal responsibility and thus punish our fellow Americans who break the law. So too should illegal immigrants face a penalty for breaking our immigration laws and entering the country illegally, whatever the punishment may be. Especially when one considers that God's people were only able to settle in Egypt because of the permission given to them by Pharaoh, who invited them to stay.
Thus, as one can see Pope Francis is on the wrong side of this issue, and Donald Trump, whose Christianity could be doubted for several more valid reasons, is absolutely right. Not only is it inappropriate and disgraceful for the Pope to judge another man's faith, for only God can see one's heart. Every Christian has a duty to protect innocent life and their fellow countrymen from anyone who would seek to do them harm, and whether we want to admit it or not securing the border by building a wall is the only way to fulfill this Christian duty to protect life. A fundamental Christian duty that trumps our duty to show hospitality, even to the illegal immigrant.
Think Aboot It.