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What would Jesus do about immigration issues?

Esther J. Cepeda on

Driving its point home, the e-book starts off by underscoring how many of the most prominent Bible characters were themselves immigrants, forced across borders just to find food. It goes on to cite numerous passages showing that vulnerable groups of people, like immigrants, were "objects of God's particular concern."

This would be the precise moment for the cynic to engage in finger-pointing and recriminations about the many ways and times that Bible verses are taken out of context (or not) to delegitimize particular groups, such as gay, lesbian or transgender people.

But to what end?

These evangelical Christians, who feel they've been miscast or misrepresented, are clearly trying to extend an olive branch not only to their detractors but to those who might find solace in the Bible and are ambivalent about the immigration issue.

These videos are nicely produced, and the e-book is a fine resource that is also humane. It calls for a "bipartisan solution on immigration that respects the God-given dignity of every person, protects the unity of the immediate family and establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents."

Ultimately, however, while enlightened evangelical Christians preach about the Bible to fellow Christians, they need to also contact elected lawmakers who dehumanize immigrants or stand with a president who wants to be even harsher to the women, children and men who arrive at our border fleeing political turmoil, violence or economic freefall.

 

It's not enough to preach to the choir on the issue of immigration.

Evangelical Christians, please take an outspoken leadership role and help cool the heated rhetoric in far-right, anti-immigrant camps. Especially with those who put the power of their political pulpit toward dehumanizing immigrants and those who care about them.

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Esther Cepeda's email address is estherjcepeda@washpost.com, or follow her on Twitter: @estherjcepeda.

(c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group

 

 

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