Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott Need to Read the Bible

For the life of me, I don't know how Christian conservatives justify their repeated abuses and mistreatment of immigrants in America. At this very moment nearly a hundred immigrant children who were forcefully separated from their parents at the border years ago by the Trump administration still have not been reunited with their families. It's an unthinkable atrocity and about as cruel a human rights violation as you could ever have.

Ron DeSantis Migrants Florida
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis needs to read his Bible to learn how to treat immigrants. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

It's been a few weeks now since Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spent nearly a million dollars to charter two private jets from Texas full of hungry, desperate, and tired immigrants that had clearly been duped into believing they were going to a place that was prepared and ready for their arrival. They weren't. The whole thing was basically a cruel joke and those men, women, and children were being bounced around like hot potatoes. It's gross.

And for me, it's not just about policy, it's about faith and people. I am a practicing Christian. I attended seminary and was an ordained pastor of a local church for many years. My faith is still an important and vital part of my life. Governors DeSantis and Greg Abbott say their Christian faith is also essential for them as well, but I'm struggling to square something up.

If I had to boil the Bible down to 10 consistently repeated principles and lessons that are unmistakably clear throughout scripture, one of them would have to be the compassionate, generous, and ethical treatment of immigrants. It's not a riddle in scripture. You don't need a theologian to interpret those verses. They are about as plain any ancient text could ever be. And the Bible says it over and over and over again. Why? Well, the folksy way I was taught was that the Bible only repeats the same lesson over and over again for one key reason that is still clearly relevant today... the authors, whether you believe them to be divinely inspired or not, knew that this lesson would be so frequently ignored that telling it once, twice, or even ten times simply wouldn't be enough.

But here we are anyway, with a Bible full of verses begging us to treat immigrants like gold, and yet, those that so loudly claim to be Christian, instead treat them like crap. I apologize for needing to offer you a quick Bible study, but I want you to see some of these verses for yourself, ok? Please feel free to Google these verses for yourselves. They are simple, profound, and, if anything, very inconvenient for conservatives right now.

Leviticus 19:33,34 – "When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God."

Exodus 22:21 – "Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner."

Exodus 23:9 – "Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

Deuteronomy 23:16 – "Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them."

Deuteronomy 27:19 – "Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

Deuteronomy 10:18,19 – "He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt."

Zechariah 7:10 – "Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other."

Psalm 146:9 – "The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked."

Jeremiah 7:6 – "Do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm."

Jeremiah 22:3 – "Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place."

And that list has been trimmed down a great deal. I have dozens more, but wanted you to just be able to see how hard someone has to try to ignore how clear the Bible is on much compassion Christians should be showing immigrants.