Ben and I came across the border at Niagra Falls today. The border patrol officer took our passports, thumbed through them and asked us what we’d been doing in Canada.
Ben told him I’d been speaking at a conference, chuckled, and then told the officer he’d only come along to make sure I got where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there. The officer chuckled back, leaned in to get a better look at me, and asked what I was speaking about.
“I was speaking on behalf of Compassion International,” I said.
“What were you speaking about?” he asked.
“Oh,” I said, “uhhh, I was talking about what the bible says about poverty.”
Looking up from our passports, showing the first signs of actual interest, he asked, “Well, what does the bible say about poverty?”
“Uhhh, it says when we lend to the poor we lend to God?” I paused, hoping that was enough.
He raised his eyebrows and cocked his head slightly as if to say aaaand?
“Aaaaand we should take only our daily bread and give the rest to the poor?” I said.
“We’re supposed to share right?” he said, leading the witness.
“Yessir. That’s right.”
He stood, backed up, stared out over the top of our rental and into the distance thoughtfully. Then he stooped down, leaned in close.
“What do you think about socialism?”
“Um, I’m not for it?” I said.
“Taking money from me to share with somebody else is called stealing right?” he asked. “What does the bible say about socialism?”
I was pretty sure these were rhetorical questions. I was right. He asked another.
“Do you think that’s where the present administration is taking this country?” He paused this time waiting for an answer. I imagined a taser in his back pocket, a pair of rubber gloves in another and an interrogation room nearby complete with a generator and jumper cables.
Think, dangit. Think.
“Um, I don’t know enough to say,” I said.
“Well that is exactly where the present administration is taking us…Alright. You guys have a safe trip home.”