Christians often ask, especially during trying times: What would Jesus do?

Hailed as the Prince of Peace, Jesus strove for calmness and tranquility. He inspired people to seek peace and end conflict and hostilities.

Today, many of the forces charged with addressing serious issues would rather attack one another than solve problems in a civil, constructive way.

Too many politicians view their opponents not as voices with different thoughts and possibilities worthy of consideration, but as vicious foes. It’s fostered an us-against-them attitude and desire to place winning above all else, regardless of the cost to those less fortunate.

So it’s been in the nation’s capital, where players on both sides of the aisle dug in their heels over President Trump’s demand for $5 billion from the federal government to build a southern border wall.

The focus of all involved should be on more realistic ways to address illegal immigration, with stepped-up border security one part of the solution. Unfortunately, there’s not been enough emphasis on comprehensive immigration reform that also would ease the path to legal status for immigrants heading here for a better life.

The impasse over the wall Trump promised led to a federal government shutdown that should have been avoided at all costs. Instead, innocent government workers and their families experienced a holiday season with troubling uncertainty.

At the southern border, the heartbreak of separated families persists. The horrible ordeal also saw a second young child from Guatemala die recently while in detention. Catholic groups and others trying to help immigrants who’ve fled abject poverty and violence said such tragedies could be avoided if U.S. authorities wouldn’t block migrants from entry points where they could seek asylum.

The latest death of a youngster at the border came on Christmas Eve as Christians worldwide celebrated the birth of Jesus, whose own remarkable story involved much vulnerability.

Thanks to the Prince of Peace, love of neighbor became a central theme in Christian ethics. He would abhor the acts of politicians who put self-serving interests above the greater good.

Jesus called on his followers to be welcoming and show love, compassion and charity toward all. Policymakers should resolve to embrace those sentiments and pursue more humane policies in the coming new year.

 

GateHouse Kansas