Deliberately Misquoting Jesus

Someone whom I've known for decades and greatly admire recently posted the following series of statements from Reverend James Martin, SJ:

What Jesus never said:
"Feed the hungry only if they have papers."
"Clothe the naked only if they're from your country."
"Welcome the stranger only if there's zero risk."
"Help the poor only if it's convenient."
"Love your neighbor only if they look like you."

Every statement that Mr. Martin makes is factually correct, however, I typically do not like comments like these nor the memes they become because they are abusing the love of Christ in a not-so-cleverly veiled way that implies Jesus said something that He did not. I will expound on that concept in a moment, but first I'd like to share a recent experience from one of my neighbors.

This is a true story: a couple weeks ago, one of my neighbors awoke shortly past midnight and walked downstairs to find a complete stranger sitting on his couch in his living room and eating his food. Think about that for a moment: a person whom you do not know has broken into your house while you were sleeping. You don't know whether they're dangerous, and yet this person is making themselves at home and helping themselves to your possessions. Imagine how terrified and how violated you would feel.

Now let's re-examine Mr. Martin's statements within the context that I have just shared: it was not my neighbor's responsibility to feed/clothe/house this intruder, regardless of whether she was legally in the country (which she was), or whether she was poor (which she probably was), or whether she looked like my neighbor (which isn't remotely relevant). In the end, all that matters is that the burglar was trespassing - she had no right to be in my neighbor's house, sitting on his couch, and eating his food. Despite Mr. Martin's specious pontifications, if he had been in my neighbor's shoes he would have done the same thing my neighbor did - he would have called the police.

Brining this back to my opening statement, that is why I don't like it when people like Mr. Martin arrogantly twist the words of Christ to make a cheap political statement, and I don't believe that Jesus would like being misquoted, either. What Mr. Martin is attempting to do is to cram his political views about immigration and other subjects down others' throats by hiding behind a series of grandiose proclamations that he's disguising as our Savior's intentions, which - quite literally - makes Mr. Martin a false prophet.

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