Tennessee Pastors Respond to Rhetoric on "Invasion" at Southern Border

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition calls out misinformation, highlights call to "love they neighbor"

A group of pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition is calling out what they say is "dangerous rhetoric" over a so-called "invasion" at the U.S. Southern border.

The group cited a recent poll released by NPR that said that a majority of Americans believe the inaccurate claim that there is currently an invasion at the Southern border.

In a video statement, Rev. Brandon Berg of Norris United Methodist Church in Norris, TN, outlined the group's concerns about the dangerous rhetoric around immigration coming from political leaders including Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn.

"It shook me to hear in the past couple days that more than half of Americans now believe there is an 'invasion' at our southern border. Recent polling from NPR also tells us that the majority of Americans believe untruths about the immigration situation in our country. Apparently, the decades-long practice by some politicians using lies and dehumanizing language to describe the situation at our southern border has been effective: it has effectively desecrated the image of God in immigrants and refugees. What's even more discouraging is that the majority of politicians and pundits spreading those lies and feeding off of people’s fear claim the Christian faith, but their fear mongering is in direct opposition to our call as believers to love and welcome immigrants. As a Christian and ordained minister I have a call and a duty to speak against the dangerous idea that immigrants and refugees are anything other than beloved children of God, made in the Divine image.

"Hospitality and welcome to the stranger is a foundational principle of Christianity, Judaism, and even our core American values. Most of the early European residents of the New World were refugees. We need to remember our heritage, and to remember that God tells the people of Israel in the Book of Leviticus, 'You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.' And the Book of Hebrews says, 'Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.'"

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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