Silver Lining: Better Christians?

There is unalloyed rage over today's implementation of Donald Trump's Muslim ban - well, it's not the Muslim ban, they say, but it's close enough: It bars refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. I'm sure Trump, if it ever occurs to him to ask his two sons about it, will be surprised and pleased to learn has no real financial interest in any of the shunned countries. 

Not all from these countries are or will be banned, of course - some persecuted minorities will be given priority. That means Christians go to the front of the line before the rest of the line gets sent back to whatever hellhole they are trying to escape. The vigilant Trump administration, knowing that the kind of fanatic who would blow himself up might also be willing to tell a little fib in order to infiltrate the Great Satan, are administering a basic Christianity test: Applicants who pronounce the bible verse 2 Corinthians as "second Corinthians" are legit Christians; those who say "two Corinthians" are obvious frauds. 

I wish everyone would take a step back and consider the silver lining: While much of this executive order is horrible and anathema to the ideals of the United States, giving persecuted Christians priority gives us a sorely-needed shot at improving our overall pool of Christians. 

Don't get me wrong - I am friends with several Christians myself, and American Christians as a whole are already pretty impressive. They dominate every professional sport. They are generous with their prayers. They have an uncanny ability to spot Christian imagery in nature, and to photograph it, and to share it on Facebook. 

Lately, though, the group has shown a dispiriting lack of courage, having thrown their support largely behind the opportunistic, nihilistic, and boorish Donald Trump. While the calculations of single-issue voters can at least be understood (e.g. Trump = Republican [for now] = anti-abortion [for now]), it is disturbing to see those who profess to the Christian faith twist themselves into pretzels in order to justify Trump as ideal, or admirable, or tolerable, or anything other than despicable.

Christian or pro-Trump - how can one be squared with the other? If anything represents the abandonment of bedrock principles of goodness, it's the action that took place today. Those who cheer it do so against principles of this country that they, like Donald Trump, either do not understand, or don't care about. After all, it's only people of a different color, or religion, or nationality on the other side of the slamming door.

So here's hoping that the backbone of our Christian coalition here in the USA will be stiffened by this influx of immigrants; a group of Christians who, having endured wars even more harrowing than the one on Christmas, might just have something to teach many of ours about courage.