Last week we got our usual dose of fake news and political posturing. This time President Donald Trump supposedly called illegal immigrants “animals”. What did he really say? Here is the story, It was MS-13 Trump called ‘animals,’ not undocumented immigrants (washingtonexaminer.com).
What was most reprehensible was this comment from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
But since you brought up the subject of immigration again, it reminds me that and as I was talking about the religious groups and how they’re concerned about feeding the hungry in the Gospel of Matthew and the rest, 41 million people in our country are food insecure.
We believe, some of us who are attracted to the political arena, to government and public service, that we’re all God’s children, there’s a spark of divinity in every person on Earth, and that we all have to recognize that as we respect the dignity and worth of every person and as we recognize our responsibilities with that spark of divinity within us.
And so, when the President of the United States says about undocumented immigrants, ‘These aren’t people, these are animals,’ you have to wonder does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person? These are not people. These are animals. The President of the United States.
Every day that you think you’ve seen it all, along comes another manifestation of why their policies are so inhumane and why we have to continue the debate, striving for bipartisanship, with openness about what is at stake and what the choices are, and to be unifying in every way possible. Calling people animals is not a good thing. (from here)
It is not as if Pelosi could not have known Trump was talking about MS-13 gang members (foxnews.com). She apparently did not care to know. Therefore, out of one side of her mouth she claims to be unifying us. Out of the other side she slanders.
Was Trump right to call MS-13 gang members (cnn.com) animals? Well, when people behave so much like animals we have to treat them like animals, I suppose we may as well call them animals. Consider this verse from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 7:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Of course, Jesus does not want us to cavalierly treat each other as dogs or swine. That I think is why Matthew 7:6 is sandwiched between an admonition to judge others as we would be judged and Jesus’ reaffirmation of the Golden Rule. So we cannot avoid seeing the contrast. Jesus wants us to treat most people, even our enemies, with love and respect. Still, He reminds us that no matter what we do some people are so beastly they will try to destroy us.
Why do we need such advice? Why did Jesus call Himself the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-21)? Most of us are not too bright. Like sheep, we are often quite dumb. So we are in dire need of a Good Shepherd. That’s why the most beloved Psalm is Psalm 23. In Psalm 23 King David proclaims the Lord God as his shepherd.
What did ancient shepherds protect their sheep from. Lions and wolves. And yes Jesus called some men, false prophets, “wolves”.
- During Roundtable, Trump Calls Some Unauthorized Immigrants ‘Animals’ (npr.org)
- Trump blames media for ‘purposely’ reporting his ‘animals’ comment incorrectly (politico.com)
- Why the Bible compares mankind to sheep (commentaryonthebible.com)
- Nancy Pelosi: “Calling People Animals Is Not A Good Thing” (realclearpolitics.com)