The bell of Christianity is often rung in the United States because after all, we are a “Christian Nation.” (end sarcasm) The thing that’s interesting is that it seems Jesus is relied upon generally only so far as he can be of use on the political stage. Whenever there is a gay rights issue or drug decriminalization issue, Jesus comes and saves the day for lobbyists, sounding the neo-conservative call to arms to help defeat the challenge to Christianity and Christian moral values.
Christians in America seem to be by far some of the least Christ-like of all. Christ asked those who truly wished to follow him to give away all their worldly possessions and live a simple live of material poverty. He implored those victims of injustice to turn the other cheek. This sounds far different than the gun-ho attitude typical of many that fly the Christian flag. As you might be able to deduce, finding a place where Christian values are discussed in their true form is exceedingly rare. I discovered one such instance in an article in the Washington Post discussing Christian values and how they relate to the current immigration issues facing the U.S.
The ingredients of such an approach are clear by now. It includes providing an earned path to citizenship for (otherwise) law-abiding immigrants, requiring the payment of back taxes and a modest fine for those who have been here illegally, requiring illegal immigrants to learn sufficient English-language skills to function well here, and improving both border security and enforcement of existing laws once this reform has been implemented.
It seems to me that Christian moral values can support such an approach. Its relatively humane provisions at least reflect in some small measure the compassion taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ. Its underlying spirit, in which an effort is made to redeem and welcome the visitor’s presence among us, fits with the generosity of spirit and hospitality taught in Christian ethics. Of course, at the deepest and most radical level, Christian ethics raises serious questions about the ultimacy of the nation-state and its borders, as we know that God transcends all human creations and loves each person with an immeasurable love, regardless of their legal status.
While not being a Christian myself, I have a healthy dose of respect for those propagating the teachings of Christ in its true form, as a message of peace, understanding, and forgiveness. If all the “Christians” in this country behaved more like Christ, there would be far less backward thinking and substantially more tolerance.