Withholding aid from refugees is not a Christian value

BY KATIE PRINCE '19

Shame. Shame is the only word that continually comes to my mind when I think about the recent executive orders issued by Donald Trump regarding the ban of any immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries. It's not only this national shame that comes to my mind, it is the shame shared by my fellow Americans who are not personally affected by this move and their apathy and literal disregard for those who are being deeply affected by this turmoil. 

My entire life I have stayed fairly up-to date with politics, but I have always stayed out of political discussions. I would say, "Politics are really not my thing." However, that all changed when these politics became personal. Personal to me, yes, as someone who identifies as a woman and as someone with chronic medical conditions that need daily attention that could be affected by the recent election outcome. But that is not the "personal" I am referring to. When I call these politics personal, what I am talking about is my closest friends and my community of peers being attacked and targeted by an administration that is anything but American. Politics are personal to me because they are affecting every aspect of their lives. 

I am also a Christian, meaning that my personal beliefs are those of the Christian faith, but I am ashamed by the larger American Christian community's response and lack of responseto these recent events. How selfish it is to say that this does not affect you, and therefore ask why should you care, get involvedor even choose a stance on what is right. Is not one of the main principles of our faith to be selfless and carry the causes of others – to love all? It is obvious that these Christians have made our faith comfortable for us and let it suit our needs and our own agendas instead of the love, empathy and service Christians are actually supposed to be practicing. Pope Francis, who is the leader of the Catholic Church and respected even by the majority of Protestants, recently said, "It is hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help. If I say that I am a Christian, but do these things, I am a hypocrite." This is the heart of the problem with our community. Are Christians actually saying "God-first" as we say, or are we saying "self-first" as our actions show? 

If you are of the Christian faith and claim to run your life using Christian principles, then you cannot also turn a blind eye to the disasters that are unfolding in this country. You cannot claim that this is just politics and everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. This is not a matter of opinion at this moment, this is a matter of people's lives and how you choose to view the sanctity of them. Shame on you if choose to just turn a blind eye. Shame on you.

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