Fear not: thou didst them unto me

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refugeesThe strangers at your gate are the gods, in disguise.

This is one of the most ancient and recurring wisdom secrets in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible. YHWH was so irate with Sodom for their treatment of strangers, that he leveled the city and crushed it into non-existence.

Ezekiel declared the sin of Sodom in no uncertain terms:

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)

There is tragic irony that the states in the US with the highest levels of cultural diseases–homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia–are the ones whose populace and politicians cling most tightly to their literalist and shallow readings of their holy books.

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Woe unto the American south, full of Sodomites who stay their hand from helping the distressed. Woe unto the governors of the American midwest, and to the mountain and desert states who consistently let brown skin and foreign tongues serve as exclusion criteria from seeing the image and likeness of Divinity in each member of humanity.

Fear for personal safety and security is a normal human response. However, in non-trivial ways, do we not invest in the security of the future by working together to create a cooperative global environment? How does one cultivate security by turning away perishing masses in their time of greatest need?

Quoting from a beloved Mormon hymn:

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew–
The Savior stood before my eyes!
He spake, and my poor name he named:
“Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
“These deeds shall thy memorial be:
“Fear not: thou didst them unto me.”

 

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