Sunday, July 20, 2014

The New Colossus

While most of us know the end of this sonnet it seems that many have forgotten its message. Today’s screed is brought to you by the “close the border” protests that are going on this weekend. This group of boisterous and vocal protesters (many of whom belong to the TEA Party and the Religious Right) seem to have forgotten the basis on which this country was founded – but that doesn’t stop them from turning right-around and claiming that we should “return to the founding principles.”

The New Colossus

Emma Lasarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

This country was founded on immigrants. Everyone who is here (except for the indigenous peoples who we all but eliminated) comes from immigrants.

I do not see how one reconciles this with American or in deed Christian principles. Perhaps it is because I was raised a Catholic, but I remember the teaching of Christ being a bid different. I cannot imagine the answer to the ubiquitous question represented by all those “WWJD” bracelets would be “Jesus would yell angrily at a bus full of children who do not, in most cases, understand what you are saying anyway.”

Matthew 18:10

King James Version
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you,
That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Oh, and it is not because they are criminals, is it!? There may be an answer to WWJD there to. If someone could please remind me of chapter and verse where Christ stood in judgment of the criminal he encountered, I would be VERY grateful. I keep wracking my brain and all that comes to mind is the following hogwash about being “nice” to people!

Mark 2:16-17

King James Version
When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Luke 10:36-37

King James Version
Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man
who fell among the robbers?”
He said, “The one who showed him mercy.”
And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

John 8:7

King James Version
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them,
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

So, it would seem that “The New Colossus” is a mob of agoraphobic, borderline racist yahoos who tend to fall into the groups calling themselves “Patriots” and who self-identify with the religious right that are, in fact living up to NONE of the principles you claim to espouse. Interesting…

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will act on what you claim to believe.

Don Bergquist – July 20, 2014 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Words by
C. Herbert Woolston
Music by
George F. Root

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow,
Black. and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.

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