No this isn’t going to be a new feature at Blogging Blue every Sunday.
Although I don’t identify as a Christian now, I was raised in the Catholic Church and Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan appeared in the liturgy on an annual basis. So it is stuck in my memory pretty indelibly.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, here’s a link to find an annotated version. But a quick paraphrase on my part:
A man was travelling when he was attacked, robbed and beaten nearly to death. At later times two prominent Jewish travelers come upon him on the road and simply pass him by. But a Samaritan found him, cared for him, and took him to an inn for further care and left money to pay for his care.
The main theme of the parable is we are our brother’s keeper and we should love all mankind as ourselves. But that’s not the point I want to make from this parable. The story of the Good Samaritan kept popping into my consciousness during the Trump Campaign as now President Trump identified Mexicans and Muslims as bad people…as others.
Christ selected a Samaritan for the person who came to the robbery victims aid because the Jews hated the Samaritans. The Samaritans were the Other. There would be no expectation that a Samaritan would help a Jew or anyone else. A Samaritan would be viewed as less than human, as uncaring, and as bad people. So the attribution of generosity and human feelings to a Samaritan would have been a major shock to Christ’s audience and a key to the meaning of his lesson.
So during the campaign I kept thinking about this as President Trump kept belittling the efforts of Muslims and Mexicans and others. Denying their humanness. Denying their human rights. Labelling them as the Other to forward his ambitions and to rally his supporters against a ‘common enemy’, this Other of his devising. As a self-professed Christian, President Trump should know the meaning of the parable and what he was consciously doing violated the teachings of Christ.
I wrote this blog post in my head a dozen times and decided not to publish it because I thought coming from a non-Christian it would feel a little bit heretical. But after the anti-immigration events of the past two days, I felt it needed to be said.
Immigrants are important to the growth and well being of the United States…I won’t go into that now…but they are not the Other. They are simply human beings who want ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ and only see that as being available to them in the United States of America.
Go in peace…