The world was shocked when border patrol agents - on orders from the Trump administration - launched tear gas at asylum seekers attempting to cross the border. Pictures showed the immigrants - many of whom were children - covering their eyes and running away from the gas.
Now, the United Methodist Church Building in Washington, D.C. is joining the chorus of voices against violence toward asylum seekers.
The United Methodist Building in Washington, DC. “I was a stranger and you tear gassed me...Wait a second.” Proud t… https://t.co/OsTuJIGtk8— Michele Shields (@Michele Shields) 1543596825.0
The sign alludes to Matthew 25:35, which reads:
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in."
The UMC Building is located next to the Supreme Court building and only a short walk from the Capitol, so it's likely that many lawmakers will see the sign.
Twitter praised the message.
@thehill #proudtobeamethodist— SoMamaSays (@SoMamaSays) 1543517361.0
A Methodist Church in DC has a sign that reads, "I was a stranger and you tear gassed me." SHOOOOK 😲😲😲— Trav (@Trav) 1543501999.0
@thehill Perfect!— Kevin1928 (@Kevin1928) 1543543514.0
Some called on Evangelical Christians - many of whom support Trump - to follow the church's message.
@thehill THANK YOUfor not being this: 😡 https://t.co/x3DKbu0SZs— D Berl (@D Berl) 1543526944.0
@kahumikala Wish more churches lived up to this example.— Geri Ryan (@Geri Ryan) 1543596998.0
This isn't the first sign the UMC building has brandished to criticize the actions at the border.
When news broke this summer that the Trump administration was separating children from their families, UMC spoke out as well.
Sign of the times — “I was a stranger and you ripped my child from me.” Wait a second ... (in front of United Meth… https://t.co/UFbVBirFl0— Carey Cavanaugh (@Carey Cavanaugh) 1529453514.0
It resulted in the same effect.
"I was a stranger and you ripped my child from me." Hey @GOP, your Christianity sucks! Jesus didn't pick white p… https://t.co/EKVU1PIDsl— Villager (@Villager) 1529327124.0
@z3dster This is a good start.— Barbara Howard (@Barbara Howard) 1529094498.0
The separation of families and the tear gassing of asylum seekers has horrified Americans across the nation, though the Trump administration continues to defend it, citing the Obama administration's use of the gas. In the last three years of Obama's presidency, the uses of gas dropped substantially before rising again the year of Donald Trump's election.
Matthew 25:35 has often been invoked to call for humanity toward asylum seekers.
@realDonaldTrump @senmajldr @marcorubio There are no words for how abhorrent it is to gas asylum seekers. Matthe… https://t.co/JzAxsq1uQg— Karen Weber (@Karen Weber) 1543284229.0
"I was a stranger & you did not welcome me" US fires tear gas at asylum seekers in #Tijuana World’s most mighty mi… https://t.co/AXsffiYkeq— Özer Khalid (@Özer Khalid) 1543215298.0
"I was a stranger and you did not welcome me." (Mt. 25) US fires tear gas at asylum seekers, including children,… https://t.co/N2ul5ma1SO— Nachillyo (@Nachillyo) 1543205323.0
While the current administration may defend the tear gassing of children, at least UMC is standing firm with the United Methodist motto: Open minds, open hearts, open doors.
Hopefully the lawmakers who pass the sign each day will grow to feel the same.