The law of the land and the law of love

July 11th, 2018

Last month media outlets began reporting about children being separated from their parents at U.S.-Mexico border crossings because of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration. Public outcry quickly spread, accusing several government departments and officials of inhumane treatment. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R, Alabama) responded in part by quoting Romans 13:1: “Every person should place themselves under the authority of the government. There isn’t any authority unless it comes from God, and the authorities that are there have been put in place by God.” Sessions’ blatant misuse of Scripture to justify actions recognized internationally to be inhumane launched a torrent of criticism from all sectors, including a formal complaint filed by over 600 United Methodist clergy and lay people outlining how he has violated his own vows as a United Methodist Church member.

Fact check

Immigration is a complex issue, and we all can agree that border security is a priority when balanced with compassion for those seeking asylum. Many flee their homelands because of civil war, gang violence and fear of death, only to be denied access because they do not meet current entry requirements. A border wall is not a new idea. Under President George W. Bush, 653 miles of border fence was constructed, with walls erected through California, Arizona and New Mexico. A majority of border land in Texas is without walls since it is privately-held land. The way in which children were immediately separated from parents at the border is what sparked international outcry and eventually led to Trump’s executive order to reverse the separation of families during detainment.

Love = action

Responding from our faith with love involves contacting our representatives to voice our concerns, signing petitions if needed and attending rallies or marches. Responding with love involves doing what Jesus did — welcoming strangers, caring for orphans, clothing and feeding those in need and advocating for social justice.

Question of the day: Is it ever OK to break a law?
Focal scriptures: Romans 12:9–13:14; Matthew 5:17-20, 43-48; James 2:1-26 

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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