The thing I find amazing about America, now that we are a right-wing country, is that we go on and on and on about morality and God and the Bible, and we ignore all the teachings of the prophets (including Jesus). We are quick to condemn the sinner, quick to absolve the rich of their dereliction, and quick to impose limitations on the freedoms of those different from us. When it comes to charity and society and community, however, we talk about Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman; and God and Jesus are forgotten.
"Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.
"Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.
"If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset, because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate."
Let me see if I've got this right:
Do not abuse immigrants, because my relatives were immigrants once. In fact, my grandfather was an undocumented immigrant (the Irish quota had been met, so he wasn't allowed to emigrate). He was deported to Canada, returned to the border weeks later, and applied for admittance on the Scottish quota. He became a citizen. That was a crime. He was white. We treated immigrants better in the 20th Century. We still treat white immigrants well. We should treat the brown-skinned immigrants half as well.
Widows and orphans? I guess we interpret this to mean we should leave them alone, on the streets, or in a homeless shelter. We shouldn't use tax dollars to support programs that get them into secure living conditions and help them find a job. I wonder how God would judge our treatment of single-mothers, widows, children from broken homes, and orphans?
And I wonder how God would judge the bankers who sold all those homes, secured with bogus mortgages, and then foreclosed on the homeowners with non-existent paper?
I am often left with thoughts like this after church on Sunday.
Kyle G. Brixton