There are many disparities that need our voice AND our vote. Matthew 22:20-22 states, “They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s .”
In theory, this is what we should do but what happens when Caesar (the government) is doing something that goes against what one believes is correct? There are times throughout history that individuals or groups have stood up for their rights that were being violated.
For example, women at one time did not have the right to vote. Black people were en- slaved against their will and freedom did not include equality or equity. Laws have been discriminatory or were created to protect the vulnerable.
There are times that we can’t sit by silently when others are violated. According to the Texas Tribune, “Texas has spent more than $12 million sending busloads of migrants to East Coast cities, according to the Texas Division of Emergency Management…. the Governor of Texas’ office announced that it had begun busing migrants to Chicago. Documents from the emergency management department show that the state has already paid a total of $12,707,720.92 to Wynne Transportation…from Texas border communities to Washington, D.C., and New York City…”
Yet, residents of Texas suffered the loss of electricity during a winter storm across the state due to the electric grid’s instability in February 2021. Funding that could be used to repair the grid, focus on infrastructure, and so many other issues is being wasted.
It’s interesting to watch how so many Christians will politicize issues without using scriptures as a basis for why we do what we do. Another friend who is no longer a Christian told me some years ago that our problem is that we are buffet Christians. We pick and choose what works for us. We seek forgiveness when we mess up but when it comes to others, we seek the highest punishment and condemn because it’s not our issue.
Scripture commands us to treat people with care: “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt : I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:34) “Cursed is anyone who with-holds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.’ Then all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’” (Deuteronomy 27:19)
This week has illuminated the issues that we have as a country with those in positions of power, acting on behalf of the government. Recently, a Black pastor in Alabama was arrested for watering flowers for his neighbors who were out of town.
Officers continued to say that he did not identify himself although bodycam video shows that he shared his name. There are numerous examples of many unarmed Black men and women, not breaking the law, whose interactions with the police resulted in bodily harm and even death.
Residents of Jackson, Mississippi have been without water for days despite a state budget surplus of more than $2 billion but no clean running water in its capital city.
Time Magazine said, “Some researchers and columnists point to “white flight” for Jackson’s failing infrastructure and a subsequent lack of taxes and state funding that instead poured into developing neighboring predominantly white cities such as Flowood and Madison. More than 82% of Jackson’s population is Black and almost a quarter of residents live below the poverty line, a stark contrast to 1980 when over half of the city’s population was white.”
So many of the issues we face at the core involve dignity and how we see others. If we are not living out what we espouse as Christians, we are hypocrites: “If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:20)
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry Podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the Vice President of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit drfroswa.com.