loving one’s neighbor

 

 

op-ed – NY Times 8-5-2019

 

 

The following article appeared in today’s New York Times:

 

“Loving Our Undocumented Neighbors: When ICE officials arrived, residents of a Nashville neighborhood formed a human chain to protect an undocumented man and his 12-year-old son.”

By Margaret Renkl

Contributing Opinion Writer

The New York Times

August 5 2019

 

 

*****************************************************

 
My thoughts.

God bless them. The Nashville neighbors.

They are true Christians.

Christ didn’t care about rules. The Pharisees were always trying to trap him, trip him up with their questions.

I am not an ostensibly devout or observant Christian. But I am grateful that I was raised by my Protestant — which is to say, Christian — parents and had Christian principles instilled in me. That I was taught them as a child and adolescent in church and Sunday school.

I have written about this before.

I read the Gospels or watch a film such as The Gospel According to Matthew and am moved by the narrative. All of it. Including the nativity, the miracles, the resurrection. Do I believe it all literally (the virgin birth, for example)? No.

This news story makes me realize something. What I really believe in, what makes me a Christian, is what Christ taught and His life. I believe, fully, in what he taught us about how to live, including our actions towards others. Mercy. Forgiveness. Charity. Do unto others. … “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

These wonderful people do. Their individual faiths were not recorded or mentioned. I am a Christian within, I realize, but externals don’t matter to me. These people acted in what I would call a Christian spirit. My religion does not have a monopoly on goodness. Their humanity and decency are what moves me. And, on a personal level — in terms of my belief system — that means Christian principles taught and exemplified by our Lord. Wonderfully exemplified by them, faith aside.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   August 5, 2019

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