Loving My Neighbor Doesn't Apply Across Borders, Right?

Loving My Neighbor Doesn't Apply Across Borders, Right?

I am a Christian. I am also an American. Our country was founded upon Christian principles so I shouldn't find myself in conflict between my religious beliefs and my political beliefs, right? Unfortunately, that is not always the case. During this election season, it is easy to see the strain between politics and religion. Especially when it comes to the topic of immigration.

Are you my neighbor?

In Mark 12:31 Jesus says "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." (these referring to loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbor) This seems like a pretty simple concept and yet many of us still struggle with it. It's easy to love ourselves, but not as easy to love our neighbors. Then there is the question - who is my neighbor? Would this just extend to the people living directly beside me? What about just those in my neighborhood? Does that mean that I don't have to love the people who live the next town over? And obviously that means I don't have to love anyone who lives in another country, right? Does loving my neighbor apply across borders?

Listen to this week's conversation on Immigration:

Do Unto Others

Let's look at this another way. Jesus also says in Luke 6:31 "Do to others as you would have them to do you." This is another simple concept that I think everyone can agree on, even those who are not religious. So, if you were giving the opportunity to take in children who were in great danger, would you? Would you hope that someone would do the same for your children if the situation was reversed? Most people would. Yet we Americans have denied this request. Twice.

Yes, I sort of set you up for that one. But I had not realized that we were repeating history with the recent debate over Syrian refugees. I did not know that a majority of Americans voted in poll to not take in Jewish refugee children in 1939. You would think we would have learned from the Holocaust. Or is this one situation where do unto others does not apply?


I'm honestly not sure why there are so many people against immigrants. We are all immigrants to this country when you think about it. Our ancestors came to America and settled here. We are still a relatively new nation. People want to build walls to keep immigrants out. People want to ship the immigrants back home, refuse work visas, refuse refugees, and make it difficult to get citizenship. And what makes it worse is that I am hearing all of this from "Christians". This doesn't sound like love or like doing other as you would have them do to you. What it sounds like is racism. Which is pretty ridiculous when you consider how small our world really is and how connected we truly are. If you think otherwise, take a moment and watch this video.

Politically Correct

Am I saying let everyone in and don't have any rules regarding immigration? No. This blog was not meant to provide a political opinion or position on how I think our country should be run. However, I'm hoping it will cause those who read it to pause and think about the opinion they've formed on immigration. Make sure it has not been formed out of fear, bias, or racism. Love your neighbors. Do unto all as you'd have them do unto you. Yes, even across borders.

About the Author | Sarah Schaidt
I love web design, my family, photography, traveling, music, Jesus, sleep, and Food Network (not necessarily in that order)

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This American Church
A place for exploring the Church in the American context. Issues may get political, cultural, and philosophical — but it’s always personal.

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