I don’t have cable, haven’t for years. So I had never before experienced the pure, unadulterated bliss that is Joy Reid on her MSNBC show AM JOY. I have now, and with one 20 minute segment, this woman became one of my many, many heroes.
After President Donald Trump’s “shithole” remarks became public knowledge, Reid had Pastor Mark Burns on her show to discuss those remarks. Pastor Burns is a member of Donald Trump’s Evangelical Council. Reid’s first question for Pastor Burns was to ask what his reaction was to Trump referring to African countries, and Haiti, as “shithole” countries. Burns spent a few minutes arguing about whether Trump ever said it. Reid pointed out that no one has denied Trump used the offensive term in reference to those countries, not even the White House, but Pastor Burns wasn’t hearing it.
Eventually, Reid got Pastor Burns to admit that IF Trump did call those countries shitholes, he’d disagree whole-heartedly. But it just went downhill from there. Pastor Burns maintained that many of the countries Trump was referring to are destitute due to poor leadership and governance. Trump “clearly ran on a Make America Great Again policy”, Pastor Burns stated, and therefore, in his opinion, the USA shouldn’t accept immigrants from countries who aren’t great already.
In defense of his statement, Pastor Burns quoted The Bible, 1 Timothy 5:8, which reads, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Reid’s response is poetic. She mentions that she taught Sunday school in her younger years and will gladly have “church” this particular morning, and it’s a church I’m glad I attended. In rebuttal, Reid quoted Isaiah 10:1-2, saying, “Doom to those who pronounce wicked decrees, and keep writing harmful laws to deprive the needy of their rights and to rob the poor among my people of justice; to make widows their loot; to steal from orphans!”
The difference in the two Bible verses clearly marks the difference between Pastor Burns and Reid. Pastor Burns talks about how Trump promised to make America great, to keep Americans safe and to take care of Americans; Pastor Burns even goes so far as to refer to citizens as “our kind”. And the quote he chose only talks about one’s responsibilities to their family. The quote Reid chose is about taking care of the least of the people, not just in one’s family, but anywhere. Trump’s administration is already sending undocumented immigrants back to countries that some of them haven’t lived in for decades, countries that are destitute and have corrupt governments. Reid’s point is that, if Trump were a truly Christian leader, he’d want to help the least of the people living in his country, something Trump clearly has no interest in doing.