Plenty kudos to go around
I would like to say “thanks” to the following (drawn from the Daily News Weekend edition): the federal government and Moscow city government for the A Street improvement; Moscow and Pullman police officers for responding to parties, fights, noises, thefts, vandalism, sick people and a suspiciously parked car with a spider in it; Washington state and the federal government for a grant through Whitman County’s COVID-19 Nonprofit Relief Program to the Whitman County Library; Idaho North Central District Board of Health for keeping track of COVID cases; Women’s Leadership Guild of Pullman Regional Hospital for giving grants to local nonprofits that support women’s and children’s health; Latah County officials for dealing with early voting, how to deal with voters who want to vote in person after getting a mail-in ballot, and working assiduously to ensure a fair count; the Post Office for speeding up delivery of mail-in ballots; Moscow Volunteer Fire Department; Moscow Farmers Market farmers, other vendors, and staff; the Catholic Church’s first Black Cardinal from the U.S., Wilton Gregory, who supports an inclusive approach to LGBT Catholics; the first responders, doctors and nurses who saved the life of Jay Ostvig; Kathy Dawes and Diane Baumgart for researching who was behind the anti-government trash “Latah republican” we all received and writing the “Whom Do You Trust” ad; Moscow-Pullman Daily News and its professional staff; and Mary Ann Reese, who died on Thursday, a writer of the highest standards, a loving and generous person.
Embracing ‘radical hospitality’
I am privileged to have made friends of people who came to Moscow from all over the globe — India, Vietnam, Germany, Scotland, Japan, England, Africa, Iran and yes, Mexico. I am honored to have had many of them eat at my table. I also call myself a Christian. I was distressed to read Larry Kirkland’s letter (Daily News, Oct. 31-Nov. 1) using scripture to defend the creation of a stricter immigration policy on the basis that God does not require us to open our homes to everybody. Here’s the problem, Larry. He does.
Both the Old Testament and New Testament call for radical hospitality. When God took the Israelites out of Egypt, he commanded them to “treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the Land of Egypt,” (Lev 19:34).
Think of Abraham rushing to make a feast for the strangers on the road (Gen 18). Even Lot offering his daughters to the mob to protect his unexpected guests (Gen 19) is an example of biblical hospitality. “Therefore welcome one another as Christ had welcomed you,” (Romans 15:7).
God’s grace and hospitality extends so far as to offer to adopt murderers, adulterers, liars and all other evildoers into his family. God has never been interested in protecting wealth, and he expects the same of us. His story is bigger than our personal gain. “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,” (Hebrews 13:1-2).
Larry, hold whatever ideals you may have about U.S. immigration, but there is no ambiguity — the Bible does not support your ideology.