Upon Hearing That The United States Will No Longer Accept Syrian Refugees
Because they are not like us
They call our god by a different name and say they worship
the same one, but he is not ours.
We believe our judgments are superior
to God’s command to love our enemies.
We who believe our dead fathers and mothers
whom we owe a duty to honor
and the God who created us
look down on us from heaven unseen.
We picture our unseen champions,
and shed tears for their suffering.
I know I always do this week, the week when
my father died.
Though we weep for the unseen who died
peacefully years ago, we turn our backs
to the suffering we do not see.
Because if the roles were reversed, they would surely
have no care for us.
As if we have forgotten that the Golden Rule does not
begin by telling us to do what we think others would,
but instead what we would expect if we were them.
Perhaps we all admit
this was too much to demand.
Those who Christ committed to spread the gospel.
And meanwhile people die in cities we will never visit,
whose names we do not know.
People who if they were born here, or lived here
would hear what we believe is compelling message.
And we cast off believing
in the power of that message to compel.
Those who stand behind pulpits, and fill the pews.
Who have real problems
but also warm beds, houses, little luxuries,
and relatively secure lives.
Halfway across the world,
children covered in blood and dust
A dictator propped up by our president’s friend would
gas them in the street. While the upstart
religious radicals would torture them to death.
Friendless, homeless, and broken.
Are they not the least of these?
And here, where people go to churches built
on the settled principle that Faith without works
is dead —
we cheer. Because our president will not let them in.
And — somehow — we have the audacity to believe
we are keeping the devil out.