By Gallagher & Schleicher
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, not for the first time, we are confused, and we hope that Thou mayest shed some light.
We don’t question Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he says asylum seekers must be separated from their children. As he noted, the Bible commands that we obey “higher authorities.” Does this mean Jeff, ICE or others who are above the law? We are puzzled this same 13th chapter of the book of Romans was not in effect when Barack Obama was our governing authority. Perchance a “birther exception” in the original Greek?
In any case, Lord, we’ve got other questions. About other instructions. Like the one not to get between Thou and the little children. We’re looking for references to tent cities, zero tolerance and a wall of any kind. Also, do we have Thy permission to read that verse in the Psalms literally: “Happy is the one who seizes your infants…”?
Elsewhere Thou commanded us not to oppress widows, orphans or foreigners. These are not mutually exclusive categories — again, room for confusion — and the word “oppress” is a little vague. No offense, but a few charts or infographics would have been helpful. Or hyperlinks. But let’s move on.
Great I Am, do not misapprehend our loyalties or desire to do Thy will. Children make excellent pawns in human politics, as we saw in Egypt under Pharaoh. Smite down the first-born of an entire generation and people are going to pay attention — maybe even stand at attention. Lots of upside. We do not question Thy omniscience — instead only to confirm changes in policy.
Heavenly Father, if kids are fair game now, may we humbly offer a few additional suggestions for delivery by way of one of Thy Beltway Prophets or Mar-a-Lago Messengers?
The Supreme Court recently allowed Ohio to purge its rolls of voters who failed to cast a ballot for two years and then did not return a mailed form. Good start. But what if Thou, via Stephen Miller or Jared, or some other High Authority, authorized taking away one child for every missed vote? So many would vote that even the Russians couldn’t determine our elections! On the other hand, it’s not clear that the right people would vote, if Thou getist our drift, so again, a Little Guidance would be Awesome.
King of Kings, our perplexity extends elsewhere, too. Thou hast asked us to care for the sick and the poor (i.e, losers), but as Thou knowest, this is not cheap. And the tax cuts — oh, blessed tax cuts — well, any green there is already departed … reinvested abroad or obliterated by trade wars. So back to square one. Some insist all recipients of government medical benefits be drug-tested and get a job. An opportunity for us to assume Thy divine judgment on morality and worthiness, and we are so up for that, but too indirect?
Might we require them to sacrifice one child per major surgery? And a lesser sibling for unemployment benefits? We’re standing by to take those kids to camps (tents!) where they can stay. True, Jesus said better to be drowned with a boulder around your neck than to lead a child astray, but we realize now that Thou simply misspoke. Sad!
Surrender-to-authority as a matter of policy raises a few other questions for Thy clarification, beyond kids. For example, Jesus was a lawbreaker, as were his disciples — many dispatched by capital punishment. Were they simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? And the Pharisees who criticized him for hanging out with tax collectors and prostitutes …were those comments meant as foreshadowing the dangers of the Deep State and women like Stormy?
Most Merciful One, forgive us, as we’re really into the weeds now, but Romans 13:7 says that if we owe taxes, we must pay them. Does this apply to all of us? Even those burdened by Thy will to be especially laden with gold, emoluments and, say, mid-town Manhattan mixed-use property? Must we, “Go into all the world and proclaim” our revenue “to the whole creation”? Or only render unto Caesar that which otherwise might trigger Suspicious Activity Reporting to FinCEN?
Finally, Classy Good Shepherd, pardon our pedantry [don’t worry, we Googled it — not as dirty as it sounds]; we pray Thou grant us the wisdom to be wise as serpents, if not harmless as doves. Surely even Thou must confess there are some mixed messages. Policy pivots. Surprising messengers. We are hugely up for it All — just want to get it right.
We read that with “a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy good.” That’s all fire and fury and totally awesome Twitter fodder. But who’s the “thy” in this case? Is it possible Thou dost not consider us the Winners here? Come to think of it, Thou hasn’t said much of anything in this conversation.
Did Thou just do that thing where Thou turnest Thy back on a country? Hello. Hello? Can you hear me now?
This column originally appeared in the Waco Tribune-Herald in June 2018, where David Gallagher and David Schleicher are members of the Board of Contributors.