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Adele Elliott: Suffer the children

 

Adele Elliott

 

In the Golden Triangle we wear our Christianity like a cloak -- a very shiny cloak -- a cloak wired with blinky lights and flashes of lightning. Yes, we are enormously proud of our tenets. What would Jesus do? Well, no one really knows what he would do today. No matter -- we do what we think Jesus would do. The correct plan of action is the one completely inspired by The Saviour himself. 

 

Our part of the world is proudly called "the buckle of the Bible belt." We keep that buckle well--polished, to a sheen that is blinding. We proclaim our devotion with "cross" decor in our homes, and on our jewelry, bumper stickers, tattoos -- any surface that stands still long enough to be slapped with paint, hung with "gold" or "silver," or etched with ink. Lordy! No one would ever question our devotion. 

 

Every business in this area had a decal on the door proclaiming "Christians at Work." This sort of declaration erases any doubt about our devotion. (I have always wondered about those who practice other religions. Don't they have jobs? Evidently, not in this area.) 

 

Jesus had a lot to say about, well, everything. One topic that seemed to be a source of great inspiration was children. There are several places in the bible where Jesus made it very clear how he felt. "He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven..." (Matthew 18:2--6) It all seems quite clear. Be innocent like children; it is one step on your path to heaven.  

 

Also in Matthew 18:2--6, Jesus says, "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." Whoa! "Drowned in the depths of the sea" -- that's a scary fate. No one wants to experience that. 

 

So, to re--cap: children = good, being mean to children = you will die a horrible death. It' all fairly clear. 

 

The last few weeks have seen one news story after another about orphan children along the border in Texas. They travel across Central America, under great hardship, fleeing terror and violence. We should be so proud to see how they are welcomed. What? Are you telling me there are no open arms, no soft bed, no comfort for little ones searching for a better life? 

 

Yes, yes, I know -- that is Texas, this is Mississippi. But, what would we do if thousands of children escaping frightful conditions were dropped on our doorstep? Please tell me the scenario would be different. After all, we have the Good Book to guide us. 

 

I have the horrible fear that Mississippians would behave much like Texans. No matter that Jesus said, "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:10 

 

Many people believe that the Bible is literal. If that is true, then it is quite clear that America should welcome these little lives, and try to save them with food and protection. 

 

History will judge The United States of America by the way we handled these small immigrants. I fear that judgment will not be kind. 

 

In Mark 10:13--16, it is written, "And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them." Why aren't we doing that? It is obvious what Jesus would do.

 

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.

 

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