California’s Governor Moonbeam has called upon President Trump to do the “Christian thing” and halt the deportation of illegal immigrants. According to the Daily Wire, Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Cal.) went on to call the president “Mr. Religious Fellow” and said, “I thought we had to treat the least of these as we would treat the Lord. So I hope he would reconnect with some of his conservative evangelicals and they’ll tell him that these are human beings and they’re children of God, they should be treated that way.”
A common trope among liberals is to suddenly get religion when it suits their policy views. In recent weeks, Democrats have also attacked the proposed Trump budget as “immoral” because it cuts federal funding for programs for the poor and the arts.
Gov. Brown is himself a lapsed Catholic who doesn’t “want it to be understood that I’m ready to underwrite” the “whole train of [Catholic] doctrines and beliefs” notes the Sacramento Bee. Many Christians would consider Brown, who studied Zen Buddhism in Japan and India under a former Jesuit priest who blended Christianity with Buddhism, to be an apostate.
When considering Brown’s view of what is “Christian,” it must be noted that Brown’s policies as governor of California were hostile to Catholics and Christians who oppose abortion. Brown’s administration changed state policy to require that health insurance companies pay for elective abortions, a decision that the president of the Catholic League told the Mercury News was in “direct conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Brown also signed a California law that requires crisis pregnancy centers to refer patients to abortion clinics.
While it can be galling when liberals hold conservative Christians to Biblical standards, it is not inappropriate. If Christians profess to adhere to a higher moral standard, it is fair game for the left to call them out when their actions fail to live up to their words.
The bigger problem is when non-Christians read policy prescriptions into the Bible that are not there. One of the largest myths from the religious left is that the Bible commands us to create a government welfare state to help “the least of these” (Matthew 25:31-46). A closer examination of the Biblical text reveals an individual commandment to help the sick and the poor. There is no option to have the government fund charity through tax dollars.
The leftist argument also assumes that government programs actually help the poor. Many studies have shown the destructive effects of government entitlements on the poor with unintended consequences from undermining personal responsibility to increased out-of-wedlock births and reducing upward mobility out of poverty. Second Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat,’ is conveniently ignored by the big government Christians.
What of Jerry Brown’s contention that illegal immigration should be allowed to continue because it is the “Christian” thing to do? Jesus’s admonition to “render unto Caesar” (Matthew 20:21) and Paul’s advice to “obey the laws” (Romans 13:5) argue that Christians should not abet people in breaking the law except in the extreme case that man’s law contradicts God’s law (Isaiah 10:1-2, Acts 5:29).
Brown’s position on abortion contradicts the Biblical commandment not to murder, but the immigration system, thought broken and badly in need of reform, does not require Christians of conscience to break God’s law. Christian health care workers in California who are being compelled to aid in the murder of unborn babies have a better case for civil disobedience than federal immigration officers.
If Gov. Brown believes that the immigration system is unjust, as a majority of Americans do, he should work to change it, not tell people to ignore it. And while he’s at it, he should change California’s abortion policies to reduce the killings of unborn babies. It would be the Christian thing to do.