You may have seen the article in the New York Times entitled “Christian Leaders Denounce Trump’s Plan to Favor Christian Refugees.” If not, and if you are not already struggling with suicidal depression, you can read it here. This article reminds us, once again, that Christianity is the religion with no benefits. Members pay dues, of course, but the table they spread is open to everyone.
I find my very own bishop, Joe S. Vásquez, Chairman of the Committee on Migration of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, smugly announcing that “we believe in assisting all, regardless of their religious beliefs.” With this approach, he may very soon discover that there is no longer a “we” who share the religious beliefs of Bishop Joe Vásquez, whatever those might be, and therefore no one to help him offer assistance. It will be Lonely Joe, down at the boarder, passing out sandwiches.
If one insists that religious belief makes no difference in this world, it leaves listeners scratching their heads when you turn around and say religious belief makes a great difference in the next. I am not arguing for hard-hearted indifference to non-Christians, but:
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8).*
If these preening humanitarians would read up on the history of their own (alleged) faith (discriminatory as that would be), they would discover that it prospered when membership had its benefits. Rodney Stark’s Rise of Christianity is a good place to begin. When Christianity was, you know, rising, and not, as today, collapsing, Christians understood that “brothers and sisters” meant brothers and sisters in Christ. They understood that they were to look after “their own household” first. Not exclusively, but most decidedly first!