The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

The Pope’s beautiful “insult”

with 7 comments

Pope Benedict XVIPope Benedict XVI well illustrated the tension between citizenship in the Kingdom of God and citizenship in a nation of this world. Here’s a lovely summary by Patty Kupfer from God’s Politics:

WSJ: That ‘Insulting’ Pope (by Patty Kupfer)

During his visit last week, Pope Benedict XVI gave a consistent and prophetic call to U.S. Catholics:

I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrow and trials, and to help them flourish in their new home. This, indeed, is what your fellow countrymen have done for generations. From the beginning, they have
opened their doors to the tired, the poor, the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” These are the people whom America has made her own.

Somehow this beautiful pastoral call prompted Lou Dobbs to claim the pope was “insulting our country,” and Tom Tancredo to accuse him of “faith-based marketing.” As if a global spiritual leader shouldn’t have the right to offer guidance on how we view and treat our fellow human beings? […] If anything, the pope’s words were a simple and powerful reminder of precisely the pastoral role Jesus calls us to. […]

Today’s WSJ said it better than I ever could have:

The pope welcomes immigrants because he’s Catholic, not because they are. He isn’t “marketing” his faith. He’s practicing it.

Immigration is an opportunity to care for displaced, poor people. There is no controversy in the teachings of Jesus about how fellow humans in such circumstances are to be welcomed and aided. Controversy exists only because of our earthly citizenship—a loyalty that is to remain, for Christians, a distant second.

Related Posts: Christ in the Migrant , Reclaiming America from illegal immigrants [cartoon], We want you to feel like you belong [news], “Christian” values, Jesus’ preference for the poor [sermon], We Are Citizens of Another Nation [sermon] Tags: , , , , , , , , , Monte Asbury

Written by Monte

April 22, 2008 at 5:35 pm

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I don’t know what the Pope would have to say about this but I am about apoplectic over it, and nobody seems to be taking any notice of this egregious offense.


    April 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm

  2. Monte, et all,
    The man I am referring to was someone that my husband worked with, and he was doing this exact thing. He was the one who was going back to Mexico, and has had several friends and relatives who have done the same.

    Monte Says: OK, I believe you. But tell me, in what way does he live like a king? How does this work? Does he have health care? Can his kids go to college? In what kind of home do they live? Are they in a safe part of Mexico? I just don’t follow what this means, specifically, or if it’s a way any of us would care to live.

    I live in the midwest, where a Century Farm is a big deal. I can certainly understand someone doing whatever he could to stay on land that has been handed down from his ancestors for longer than white people have lived here in Iowa – possibly centuries.


    April 24, 2008 at 6:50 pm

  3. Can someone tell me what kind of a phenomenon this Lou Dobb is?

    Monte Says: He’s a CNN and talk radio personality most known for his outspoken – sometimes outrageous – comments on immigration. There’s a pretty good description of him at Wikipedia. Cheers, friend! Always good to hear from you. I hope we get to meet somehow, someday.


    April 24, 2008 at 7:06 am

  4. “However, the Lord also put rulers and authorities over us for a reason, and He expects us to obey the rules.”

    Really, then I should send a letter to Obama and Hillary and tell them to quit it, let God decide. I guess democracy is overrated.

    Monte says: Yes, that’s the uncomfortable part. Democracy is us.


    April 23, 2008 at 10:59 am

  5. My ancestors came here from Ireland looking for a better life. I assume they came here legally (but after 150 years who knows)? At the time the Irish were considered by many to be human cockroaches come to destroy the status quo. Thankfully we seem to have assimilated, not necessarily to the detriment of the nation. Most of the immigrants I know are hard working folks who seem appreciative of opportunity. Illegal immigrants do trouble me but I ask myself again and again how Jesus would deal with this issue. And I ask myself if I were in their shoes and was looking desperately for a better life for my family would I take those same chances, those same risks to be ridiculed, hated and possibly imprisoned or deported?
    It’s a circular problem; If Americans people didn’t offer them employment they would not be here. If Americans would accept the same employment opportunities that are being offered to ‘illegals’ we would not be having this discussion. We all have a lot to learn here.
    From the chorus of one of my favorite songs:

    ‘It’s not mine to judge others,
    It’s not mine to condemn,
    It’s not mine to drive nails
    into somebody’s hands
    It is mine to be faithful
    stand upright and see
    that I do unto others
    as You’ve done for me.’

    Monte Says: What a beautiful and humble response! Thanks very much, Rick!

    Rick Reiley

    April 23, 2008 at 6:08 am

  6. I’m sorry whisper, as someone who worked with and lived amongst many of the people you claim return to their home countries and live like kings…you are simply wrong.

    The people I grew up with worked in fields at back breaking work that no white person is even willing to do or they worked in hot kitchens and made minimum wage if lucky—-usually they worked under the table for less. Yes they sent the meager money they made back home…but no they did not return to live like kings…and even if they were able to do that—why would that not be fair after working their butts off at slave wages?

    Your statement exudes bigotry.


    April 22, 2008 at 9:32 pm

  7. I am not really a fan of this pope- he looks too much like Emperor Palpetine from Star Wars… and he is scary.

    That said, I do believe that “the Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” However, the Lord also put rulers and authorities over us for a reason, and He expects us to obey the rules. Many of those who come to the US come and work for a few years, sending what they can to their families back home then after a period of a few years, they return to Mexico, and live like KINGS. I just don’t think it is fair.

    Monte Says: Thanks for your comment, rvnurse2b. We’re long-time homeschoolers, too, though ours are mostly grown by now.

    A couple of thoughts: “He expects us to obey the rules” – Don’t forget that Jesus’ conflicts with the Pharisees were often over his refusal to keep the rules when the well-being of someone poor was at stake. He was considered “not from God,” ultimately going to the cross, over this very issue. And the rules – Sabbath laws, for instance – were more than religious. This was a theocracy; these were the laws of the government. I think of the man born blind, the man with a shriveled hand, the disciples snagging wheat as they walked through a field, off the top of my head. Jesus willingly breaks the rules – at great personal cost – when those rules would prevent him from extending care to someone.

    Second – regarding “live like kings.” Unless you have evidence of that, I’d be careful about saying it. I know of no examples; I’m sure you wouldn’t want to spread something untrue. I doubt that most of them do much more than break even, given the fact that they must live on such low wages in the USA.

    I would hope that, if I were a Mexican who could not find a way to get my children enough to eat or a hope of ever doing better, that I would have the courage to put caring for them above keeping outmoded and politically-inspired laws of a foreign country. Jesus did.


    April 22, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: