When President Trump called the MS-13 group, “Animals,” California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi decided that his remarks were inappropriate and dehumanizing.
“So when the president of the United States says about undocumented immigrants, ‘These aren’t people, these are animals,’ you have to wonder, does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity, and worth of every person?” She concluded: “Calling people animals is not a good thing.”
After reading the following excerpts from Matthew 23, you should be able to decide for yourselves whether or not the President’s description of MS-13 members was appropriate or dehumanizing; you might find out that it is appropriately both. The passage begins with Jesus discussing the character of the Jewish leaders of His time.
23 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore, all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4 They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 5 But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6 They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and respectful greetings in the marketplaces, and being called Rabbi by men.
This is a very serious and critical remark made against the top spiritual guides. Jesus says that the people should pay attention to these leaders when they teach the words of Moses, however, their example is totally inconsistent with the character of Moses and, therefore, is godless. Note that the godless character of Israel’s leaders falls far short of the ghastly character of MS-13 members whose godless activities include physical beatings, rape, amputation of the head and/or limbs, and murder. With this in mind, continue reading the following section taken from Matthew 23. Note His many and confrontational, you might even say combative accusations.
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore, you will receive greater condemnation.]
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ 17 You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19 You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20 Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it.21 And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
My question to Nancy is: “Is being called a reptile more offensive than being called an animal?” My memory recalls the Bible’s teaching that the snake or serpent, which once stood erect and was “more crafty than all the beasts of the field”, was judged by being cast down to endlessly crawl upon the ground (Genesis 3:14). Being called a serpent, is worse than being called an animal. If Jesus called MS-13 reptilian, the President was within bounds when he called MS-13 “animals”.
Nancy does not understand that the “spark of divinity” (not a biblical term, better called simply the image of God) was greatly corrupted when Adam and Eve (humanity’s parents) decided to seek divinity for themselves, that is, they sinned against God instead of choosing to submit to God.
There is only one Lord. Seeking divinity was the original sin that separated all human beings from their Creator. The image of God, in which every human being is born, is corrupted, that is, the spark is gone and we are completely separated from God. Rather than being like God, we are conscious beings, ships without a moral compass with sails that are weak and torn and a rudder that can only turn towards reckless power and feckless prestige. Without divine intervention (the sacrificial system and its completion at the cross of Christ and His resurrection), each human being becomes less and less human in character and on a collision course with eternal judgment.
The further from God we get in our individual journeys, the more like animals we become. Love becomes the pursuit of selfish pleasure, justice is the property of corrupt elitists, and righteousness is in the eye of the beholder—the product of this demonic trio is ultimately the dehumanizing of people, which means that animal behavior replaces divine behavior that is consistent with true or perfect humanity, the best example being Jesus Christ Himself. The terrifying truth is that the less we embrace the character of Christ, the more we are bound to embracing the character of the wild beasts of the field.
MS-13 members are wild beasts seeking their prey. If they are not stopped, they will kill everyone who crosses them. Submit or die, however, like animals, submission to them, more often than not, ends in a brutal and terrifying death process. By the way, Nancy, have you ever read or heard the sixth commandment, “You will not murder” (Exodus 20:13)? You should not support the murder of your constituents! Furthermore, God requires that those who murder a fellow human being sacrifice their own lives through execution. A murderer gives his own life when he takes the life of another simply because the murdered victim is “made in the image of God” (Genesis 9:6). Only the One who shares His image with others can take the life He bestows. To protect humanity from those whose vile corruption leads to mutilation and murder, God has placed upon the authorities of every nation the obligation/duty to execute those who steal a right that is God’s alone.
Like the Pharisees of old, those “vipers, animals” who disdain and disregard God today will stand before the ultimate Judge, Who has the final say over a person’s eternal life or death. The term “animal”, as used by President Trump, properly describes the nature of human beings who totally corrupt the image of God by replacing it with illegitimate power and judgment. The government has no choice but to rid communities of such peo…, animals in order to protect people whose lives are threatened by them (Romans 13:1-5).
Nancy, you have been Zapped!
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