Immigration is more than just politics.

The title really says it all, but I feel like it merits some explanation. What I have to say people may disagree with, it may result in disagreements or confrontational conversations or inaccurate labeling or name calling, but it doesn't really matter. I have been too silent about this issue for awhile because of those very reasons, but I've realized that's not the way. The President's announcement last night and the many negative comments I've seen since, especially from my Christian brothers and sisters is sickening. Because here's the deal...immigration isn't about just politics.

Immigration is about people. Immigration is about human beings. Immigration is about individuals who were made in the image of God just like everyone else and who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, an Obama hater or lover, a Conservative or Liberal...that shouldn't matter if you claim to be a follower of Christ. Our faith mandates that we move beyond those basic labels and that our ultimate label and job is to be citizens of a greater Kingdom, of God's Kingdom. We are called to usher in the shalom community...where there is peace and justice and wholeness and equality and where we're not divided by our politics, but where our main concern is people and loving each other well.

President Obama's announcement tonight gave me so much joy. Joy because people I know and love are able to step out of the shadows and not live their life in fear. People who are here because they had no choice but to leave their home out of fear for their lives and the best way to do that because of our majorly broken immigration system was to do it "illegally". People who contribute more to the social and moral fabric of our community better than most and who want to make things right.

These friends, these families, these children. They are why I don't care if President Obama "went outside his legal rights". Frankly, people who are so focused on the politics of this and continue to direct their hate and disrespect to Obama are totally missing the point, especially those who claim to follow Jesus. Because Jesus said...I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Jesus has a lot to say about welcoming the stranger, loving people and loving those who are forgotten and on the margins...and actually he wasn't even that concerned about politics.

How are we welcoming the strangers really? I hope and pray the Church is able to lead the way and by example putting people over politics, hospitality over rejection, acceptance over judgement and love over hate because that is what we are supposed to be about.