Conservatives! You can’t convince me you’re Christian

It never ceases to amaze me how, under the guise of the very religion they so doggedly embrace, conservatives will commit the worst crimes against Christianity one could possibly imagine without a second thought.

Take the current war on the poor. If ever a rightwing endeavor was antithetical to absolutely everything Jesus stood for, this has to be the one. The Bible clearly denotes that Jesus said “feed the poor,” not denigrate, excoriate and refer to them as “takers.”

But as it is with all addictive behaviors – and putting someone else down so you can feel better about yourself does become an addiction – you have to continually scramble for a bigger and better fix.

So now conservatives have turned their voracious wrath on immigrant children which doesn’t really surprise me considering their propensity for picking on people who generally can’t fight back.

We’ve all heard about the unaccompanied immigrant children crisis brewing on our southern border. In an effort to escape grinding poverty, escalating violence, and abject famine, 57,000 Central American children recently crossed the Rio Grande in the hope of finding a better life.


Of course, the conservative knee-jerk rightwing reaction to this human tragedy was to blame to President Blackenstein and his laissez-faire policies when the truth was, it was actually George W. Bush who signed the law making it illegal to deport children from any non-contiguous country without due process.

So unless these minors come from Mexico or Canada, we can’t simply ship ‘em back.

But that stark reality didn’t stop folks in California and Arizona from blockading busloads of children – some with mothers and their babies – before they could get to the holding centers. And they were chanting things like “This is not our problem!”

Silly me! I had the temerity to believe we actually are our brothers’ keeper!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, an Arizona State Rep and his protester minions proceeded to charge a school bus full of “immigrant children” only to discover they were YMCA campers.

Since the central concept of Christianity is clearly compassion, I’m challenging conservatives everywhere to offer just one reasonable explanation regarding how turning suffering children away fits in with your creed?

It’s not our problem!!?? Oh! I beg to differ.

The United States has meddled in Central America for so long, propping up and taking down dictators, it’s become an unmanageable morass. Add our insatiable appetite for getting high to the ensuing futility of the drug war and now you’ve created narco-terrorist states in which no one is safe.

Think about it! Think about the desperation it would take to ship your child across a border and through a desert where they’re subjected to rape and other forms of abuse at the hands of the “coyotes” paid to bring them here.

It’s not just a question of a better life, it’s a question of having one at all. The violence and poverty is so bad in Central America that sending their children through this kind of ordeal is actually the better option. Returning them would be nothing more than a death sentence.

So, I will ask the question again. How does turning desperate children away fit in with any Christian tenet I’ve ever read?

Given conservatives’ eminently consistent and predictable nasty nature, what bothers me far more than their increasingly hypocritical rhetoric is, the priests, pastors, and ministers who give these rabid folks a free pass.

I understand that Christianity is a tough standard, but no one (recently) put a gun to anyone’s head and “encouraged” them to go to church. So what I want to know is, where is all the ecclesiastical outrage over these conservatives, who smugly sit in those Sunday pews, and, in the very name of Jesus, subvert everything He ever stood for?

I can’t understand the deafening silence. Why haven’t I heard a thing about any local church providing aid or shelter to these children?

Because if you’re in the business of saving souls you’re not doing a very good job. What do you think is going to happen when your conservative congregation members make that journey to the Pearly Gates only to have St. Peter ask them why they turned their backs on children – truly the least of our brothers and sisters – in their time of direst need?

Of course I already know the answer to that question because your religion is pretty clear about those kinds of consequences.

12 thoughts on “Conservatives! You can’t convince me you’re Christian

  1. Jeff, you’re confusing “Christian” with “Christ-like”. Very different terms. Christianity for many is more a religion ABOUT Christ, rather than the religion OF Christ.

  2. This split is buried deep into American culture. There is fear that uncontrolled immigration will leave the U.S. a third world country. This fear is so strong that our country is unable to recognize broader needs or the problems this fear perpetuates. Our population is aging. We have a Boomer crisis looming. Money and corporations can flow freely anywhere in the world. People on the other hand are largely restricted. As a result, we offshore jobs to low wage countries. Tyranny thrives on tight borders. In my opinion, we should follow Europe’s example and work to remove borders. Start out by removing barriers between the U.S. and Canada. Then do the same with Western Europe. Human rights are not part of a zero sum game. As human rights broaden, our economic & cultural base grows. We shouldn’t be afraid of children; we should welcome them.

  3. I don;t think its so much that the right doesn’t care its the fact that our current immigration laws are ancient and needs to be reformed. As of now we cannot feed, clothe, house and give jobs to those who are currently here now and who were either born here or came legally, that said, how can we keep bringing in more promising them life, liberty and happiness? I’m not sure of my numbers but we have upwards of 92 million out of work, some have given up even looking because they just cant find a job. We have close to 50 million people living under the poverty level, we have 40 some million on Food Stamps, we have 40 some million still without HC. But they want to bring in thousands more? That said, I dont know what the solution is, we have had legal immigrants since Columbus came over on the Mayflower, but we cannot afford this anymore, so Im not sure what the answer is.

  4. Bill,

    Neither Christianity nor Jesus ever made the distinction that you’re only suppose to feed the poor if it’s convenient. Again, the money we pay in oil industry subsidies would cover these 57,000 children a thousand times over.

    And if you’re not sure that the answer is might I suggest faith! Remember the loaves and fishes?


    • Jeff you may be right that we have the money but how can I, hypothetically, help someone else if I cant afford to help myself? I am a christian and I do my best to help others but not everyone is a christian and I dont think we have christians running this country. I might also remind you that Paul in his Epistles states if you dont work you dont eat….

  5. we are also 17 trillion in debt and I would like to see us help those who are already here and are trying to get out of the hole before we bring more in

  6. Bill, you assume that immigration hurts the economy. Please look at and consider the state of East Germany at the time versus Mexico today. Look at how Germany is thriving today. There are other approaches besides guns & barbed wire.

  7. . . . . . CHINO “Christian In Name Only” . . . . .

    There are NO rightwing evangelical christians . . . only the American Taliban . . .

  8. How has immigration helped our economy now? We have had immigration for years and look where we are!

  9. Bill, One word Alabama! They clamped down on immigration so hard they had no one to pick their tomato crop and it rotted in the field. They tried to get white folks to do it, but they all quit after one day.

  10. Jeff, I am new to your blog and have been impressed with some of your local coverage. However, your recent blog screams out for the presence of an editor or at least sleeping on an idea before posting. You have attempted to over simplify some some pretty complex and broad ranging issues and in doing so take a a pretty big swipe at both conservatives and Christians alike. You are correct that the children on our border deserve our compassion. But they are not the only ones…. Our friends and neighbors who are homeless, under-educated and jobless deserve our compassion. And perhaps, the protesters you identify deserve our compassion as we try to understand why they are so threatened by these children. Perhaps we should spend more time trying to understand each other and discussing solutions.

    • Dear KWR,

      First let me say I appreciate your readership and I do try to mix up the local with some more philosophical pieces.

      As far as the particular post in question, it has actually been brewing for over six months. And then, before I wrote it, I had a half hour discussion about it with the Lutheran pastor who married my wife and I. Then I read it to him before I posted it!

      Now, I certainly don’t expect you to catch up on over 500 posts, but trust me, I’ve also written columns on taking care of our neighbors and how that means doing more than simply writing checks.

      And yes, this situation is complex, but some Christian tenets aren’t. And that’s really what this piece was about. Though we certainly need to find a long-term solution to the immigration issue, you can’t react with vitriol and horror to children who simply want to live, as so many conservatives have and still call yourself a Christian.

      Many times, Christianity calls for being compassionate first and worry about the potential consequences later. That’s why “faith” is a verb and not a noun.

      And the pastors who let that kind of behavior slide simply baffles me. I’m not talking about getting into confrontations at church, but when the poor bashing has gone as far as it has, someone needs to say basta (Italian for enough).

      I’ll write a little more on this tomorrow.


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