I was finally able to watch The Post, a really good movie about the attempts of the Washington Post to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971, top secret documents that basically documented America’s defeat in Vietnam. What was so powerful to me was that this movie pinpoints the moment in history where the press and the US government parted ways and became almost opponents where they had previously been comrades. It was the first time that the press realized the US government could and had misled the American public.
The Nixon administration tried to use legal loopholes and blatant intimidation to stop newspapers from printing the documents but ultimately the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the press with one justice stating, “. . . the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in [these two areas] may lie in an enlightened citizenry – in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government.”
The story is quite relevant today in wake of the current political climate. Take the migrant caravan that is currently moving towards the United States border. The White House has painted quite a grim picture of the growing band of migrants mostly from Honduras moving towards the US with one official calling the migration a direct attempt to undermine the laws and policies of the United States. The group is being characterized as criminals and even terrorists trying to enter the US illegally.
But media outlets covering the caravan and interviewing some of the thousands of participants tell a different story. With any large group like this, you will of course encounter those that have ill motives but for the most part these are self-confessed people who are trying to escape poverty and gang violence in some of the most violent cities in the world. Some say they will stop in Mexico and apply for asylum while some want to make the trek to America to seek asylum.
Many of the migrants reference God and their prayer that He will protect them and lead them to freedom. For many it is a very religious journey for they feel if they do not make it to America they will die if they stay where they are. Some were interviewed and said they would actually be OK with dying because at least they died trying to gain freedom from oppression in their home countries. Their commitment is evidenced by several factors including walking hundreds of miles and many declare their desire to come to Mexico or the US to work so they can contribute to the economy and support their families. And to date, the caravan has been peaceful.
So, we as citizens have been presented with two very different views of the caravan. And I guess the possibility that there is truth to both views exists. The only thing I am sure of is that God’s will is what matters. Not the White House’s, not the media’s and not even the individuals’ making the trek. It all boils down to what God wants.
So, we must pray for God’s will and His protection for the people fleeing oppression as well as our borders. I’ve learned that as Christians we shouldn’t take sides because our responsibility and desire should be to be on the side of God and His will. Everywhere you look, there are warnings and propaganda and just plain evil but we must not give in to fear or anxiety. Jesus knew the world would be filled with unrest and fear which is why He left us His peace, a peace that surpasses understanding, meaning people in the world won’t understand how you can be so calm when there’s so much destruction and fear all around us (John 14:27; Philippians 4:7).
The Bible tells us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33-34).
When we put the Kingdom first, when we put God’s will first, there is no reason to worry. So, pray without ceasing for those being oppressed and pray for the United States. Prayer is our most powerful tool against fear. The spirit of fear has flooded our borders and we must kick it out through prayer!