Oklahoma Christians' outrage over Gov. Kevin Stitt’s decision to allow federally vetted refugees resettle in Oklahoma, whipped up by Fox commentator Tucker Carlson’s religiously charged attack on Stitt and 16 other Republican governors, gets at a core problem with the politics of many American Christians: nationalism and Christianity don’t mix.
Christianity is an inviolate commitment to the teachings of Christ. Those teachings regard the treatment of others. The church is, among other things, a global group woven together by common belief.
Christ’s message and the love it requires know no national or state borders, and Jesus had a lot to say about the treatment of strangers, migrants, the poor, orphans and widows.
Our creed doesn’t ask to consider how our generosity will affect the political prospects of a particular party. The responsibility of believers is to carry out the gospel faithfully, whether or not it aligns with the interests of a political party, politician or even the nation.
A Christian must be prepared to put other people, even if they’re not Americans, above national and state loyalties and to put generosity and love above winning elections or paying low taxes, just as Jesus did.
Don’t listen to Tucker Carlson’s spin on these governors. At best, Carlson grossly misunderstands our religion and at worst he’s purposefully using nationalism to twist our faith for political ends. Don’t fall for it.
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