One of the excuses I’ve heard in the past for America’s constant military presence in other countries is that as a global leader and superpower, it’s our job to do what we can to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
If that’s who we are, then we also have an obligation to care for the people fleeing war and turmoil and give them safe haven. It’s just the right thing to do. If we have to screen them as they come in, so be it. If it costs money, so be it. If it’s hard, so be it. If there are risks, so be it. You simply can’t put a price tag on doing the right thing.
I’m a Catholic Christian, and proudly so. And according to the Bible, the Catechism, and the leaders of my Church, I’m called to do what I can to help the poor, the needy, the sick, and the desperate. It’s a Christian duty, and my salvation is contingent upon it. No ifs. No buts. It really is that simple. And as a Christian, I believe that one day, I’ll have to stand before God almighty and answer for my actions. When I think about that, I can’t think of a single excuse that’s good enough for turning my back on people in need. I’m also reminded about Christ’s warning to those who ignore those in need:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you? And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me. Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me. Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.— Matthew 25: 31-46
I’m usually not one to weigh in on who goes to Hell or what gets you sent there, but the Scripture is pretty clear here.
The Bible tells us that the face of God is on every single one of the poor and needy. When called upon, we answer. It’s what we do as Christians. And we do so to the best of our ability. If that means taking a family into your home, do it. If that means adopting a child, do it. If that means donating food and money, do it. Even if that simply means voicing our support and calling on the Government to do the right thing, do it. Period. Easy. Simple.
“The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.” Catholic Catechism,