I’m glad President Trump made derogatory comments about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries. His comments are a line in the sand that forces Christians to take a stand.
God is clear about is command to love all people. When he
made man and woman, he said that he “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” All people – from all countries – are made in God’s image. When we chose to denigrate God’s people, we are choosing to denigrate God.
In the law, God clearly outlines that we are to treat the foreigner among us with respect. In Deuteronomy is says, “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.” He demands his people treat all people with dignity and respect. The same dignity and respect that people treated Abraham with when Abraham was a foreigner.
Even Jesus' descent into our world illustrates God's desire for us to love all people. When God chose to come to our world, he chose to be born as a poor man from a town that was looked down upon. His parents had to flea as refugees to Egypt – an African nation. Jesus humble identity illustrates his message that the last will be first.
He further punctuates his command of loving the least through his teaching. He taught that when people love the least, they are loving him. When asked about how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus told a story of how a man's choice to ignore the poor sent him to hell. Jesus taught that if people want to follow him then they must love their neighbors - using a parable of a man sacrificially loving his national enemy to explain what neighbor meant.
And when God gave a picture of what the Kingdom of God would look like, he included that every tribe and every nation would be included in the Kingdom of God.
To follow God means to love God’s people. It’s not just about charity to others, but when we love the God’s diverse people, we have the opportunity to love God.
Trumps words back up his other racist comments that we’ve heard. Choosing a preference over one country – even if he didn’t use the phrase shithole or shithouse – is choosing to devalue God’s people because of where they are born or the color of their skin.
And I am thankful that President Trump so clearly defined his racism. Because while people could have argued that his immigration policies are not about race but about “economic security”, now we all must come the realization that we decide who helps our country economically by the color of their skin. And while some might have argued that a border is for national security, now it is evident that a person is considered dangerous to our nation’s security because of their place of birth.
Trump’s hateful comments force us to come to grips to the reality that our country is still frightfully far from God’s Kingdom.
But God's kingdom will come and he is giving us the opportunity to partner with him to bring his Kingdom here. We can choose to partner with God to value all people and to speak out against policies and laws that degrade God's people. We can choose follow God's law and love the foreigner among us. We can choose to believe that God is bigger than the evil of racism and we can follow in the footsteps of the saints that came before us - like Martin Luther King Jr. - and call out the racism that strangles our country.
Let us not just be disgusted by Trump's comments. Instead, let us see his comments as invitation to choose to follow God to love all people.