Soap box: human dignity

Not worth linking to it (because it will just make me MAD again), but I read an article this morning about illegal immigrants, children born in the US (and therefore citizens), and food stamps. And Alabama.

And I made the HUGE mistake of reading some of the comments. And I read as people called illegal immigrants "garbage" and their children "spawn" and watched as they preferred that the children of illegal immigrants to die of starvation rather than Americans having to pay money to help people who weren't going to give them anything back.

And I could have cried. Or punched something. And I went a little crazy, commenting on lots of comments, trying to make the point that compassion and human decency are basic human values, and that we are being horrible human beings if we are honestly saying to immigrant families that we wish them dead, simply because they didn't play by our rules.

Laws are good. Order is good. Our immigration system is broken. But other countries and governments are corrupt and broken, and there are plenty of people who leave their home countries in order to protect and save their lives and their hopes for a future.

And so, honestly, I don't care whether we are Americans or Canadians or Mexicans or whomever else. Our nationality and even our country's laws don't let us off the hook for being decent human beings.

God is generous. God is gracious. And I know that I most certainly have not followed all the rules. And yet God promises me hope and life and new life nonetheless. And it breaks my heart to think that I'm in the minority when it comes to viewing others with that same gracious attitude.

Human needs are human needs. People need food. People need housing. People need clean water and clothing. And we are being unjust if we deny any of those things to our neighbors, no matter what their legal status. Because they are human beings. And they are children of God. And if you want to talk to me about the sanctity of life, then please talk to me about how we can care for one another and preserve life for ALL, not just for those whom we deem worthy.

Ok. Stepping off my soapbox now...


  1. You are a kind soul, my friend, and you have better things to do than waste your abundant love for humanity on the dregs of Internet comment sections. I do hope someone to whom you replied paid attention to your response and thought twice about their heartless words.

  2. Hey Melissa. Thanks for this. I'm organizing a Theology Pub about immigration and religion. Can you send me a link to the article so we can use it for discussion? (Not that I want you to have to live through it again!)