Math Made Easy

Inside Za'atari, a refugee camp in Jordan. In March 2015, the camp's population was estimated at 83,000.

Photo: Moises Saman.


In the initial, scorched-earth Executive Order era of Donald J. Trump, ironies appear within ironies.

Take math, for instance.

Who can forget George W. Bush charging Al Gore with fuzzy math in the infamous U.S. presidential campaign of Y2K? Now, for majority American Christianity—and especially for its white evangelical composite, who, either by aggressive support or by turning a blind eye, voted for Mr. Trump in November—another kind of fuzzy math has become exceptionally clear.

Perhaps the best way to represent this mathematical calculation in the current political-cultural climate is by using the following painful equation:

 

The vulnerability, value, and dignity of an unborn child's life in, say, Ohio or North Carolina

> (is greater than)

The vulnerability, value, and dignity of a 4-year-old kid from Syria or Iraq fleeing religious/political persecution, violence, and war

= (equals)

What it means to be an American Christian with a passionately pro-life ethic

 

For me, the vulnerability, value, and dignity of humanity on both sides of the equation deserve our concerted moral attention. Only—not to the exclusion of humanity wherever we find it.

This week, the writer Stephen Mattson slayed me with an article for Sojourners called "American 'Christianity' Has Failed" (h/t Joshua Ralston). Of course what the title indicates (means) is that majority American Christianity with its largely white evangelical composite has failed in this specific regard.

With regard to the King of Refugees.

In regard to identifying with him and his message.

Christian brothers and sisters: To consciously or even tacitly support Mr. Trump's executive order regarding refugees is, I believe, to dis-regard.

To pay no regard.

To evidence more regard for something else.

Say it isn't so.

The election of President Donald Trump has proven that numerous Christians are more worried about power, influence, and control than the gospel messages of humility, generosity, ministering to others, and love.
— Stephen Mattson

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