I was so proud this Sunday.
Grace Chapel’s associate pastor, Steve Allen, spoke directly to the un-Christ-like language (and more importantly) sentiment that the President of the United States used to disparage refugees and immigrants from countries with majority black and brown peoples (Haiti; Africa; El Salvador). If it wasn’t clear enough what he meant, in a closed-door meeting on immigration in the Oval Office, Trump asked why the U.S. couldn’t get more people from Norway to emigrate to the U.S.
(At The Atlantic, Krishnadev Calamur explained that Norwegian immigrants in the 1920s, despite their supposed shared “white” identity with Anglo-Europeans, did not always find the U.S. a welcoming place. Today Norway ranks as the “happiest” nation in the world, the nation with the most political and press freedom, and greatest prosperity. Norwegians thus might look to the U.S.–with our failed political culture, with a president who daily threatens civil liberties, with our mismanaged and costly healthcare and educational systems–as the relative, well, undesirable relocation destination).
Back to Grace Chapel on Sunday. In a sermon on Matthew 3:13-16, when Jesus is baptized by John, the Baptist, Pastor Steve called on us to tune out the corrosive voices, like the President’s, who demand our attention incessantly (to stop letting Trump “colonize or brains,” as I explained what I took away from the message to Michelle Boorstein at the Washington Post). Tune our hearts and our ears to the “beloved,” Steve implored us to do.
I’m trying to do so this week, Steve. Thank you for the reminder.
Listen Steve’s powerful sermon here.