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A study recently found many people, particularly Evangelical Christians, think of God as white. With paintings showing baby Jesus as blond and blue-eyed, and statuary having Jesus pale skinned with flowing light brown hair, maybe that makes sense on some level.

God the Father and God the Holy Spirit have been manifested in things like fire. The only human form of God is the second person of the trinity, Jesus. Jesus was likely not tall by today’s standards, muscular from carpentry and occasional fishing, with black or dark brown hair and eyes, brown skin and a beard — nothing like a Northern European. Indeed, other than a Middle Easterner, Jesus looks more like a Native American or Latino without a beard. This is the “image” of God.

These people, in God’s image, who stand at our border have been terrorized and brutalized in their countries; women and girls have been subjected to rape, men murdered by bullets and machetes, and boys forced to work for cartels or face the deaths of their relatives. Many have walked over 1,000 miles seeking protection here because of the values and ethics of the United States that are noted in the gospels. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost our souls.

Now, we are the ones terrorizing and brutalizing small children, scarring them in ways that will never be erased. The eyes of the adults who were seeking our help, and their traumatized children who no longer have hope, will be reflected in God’s judgment of how we assist strangers.

We need to remember, in God’s eyes, we are all equal. No group or race is more “equal” than others. We must act in generosity, compassion and love together — not with hate, not with walls — to manage our immigration challenge and save lives.

Diane Lehman Turck, Bismarck

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