Dear Fellow Christians: This Sunday, just two days before Election Day, I want you to consider something for me.
If our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, stood before you today and asked you to explain why you have supported policies that have ripped His children, including babies still breastfeeding, away from their parents, what would you say? Could you justify it to God?
Let’s break down the cold, hard facts.
Yes, the cages we’ve seen on tv were built in 2014, under the Obama administration. However, when that administration detained immigrants, they detained families together, as a whole, and children were only ever taken from their parents if it was determined the children were in immediate danger. Children who came by themselves were detained, as well.
Also, the families were only held for no more than 72 hours before being released and told to return for a court hearing for their asylum case. According to data, about 99% of these immigrants *did* attend their court hearing.
No, President Obama was not perfect. He made plenty of mistakes, too, and I’d guess the way his administration handled migrant families might be one of their biggest regrets. However, their actions on immigration pale in comparison to the policies of the Trump administration.
During the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, every child, including breastfeeding babies, were taken away from their families and parents — not “coyotes” (which is rare) their PARENTS. Thousands of children and babies were taken from their parents, to the point that the detention facilities were overwhelmed with those children, and most of their parents were eventually either sent back to their home country (and the violence and extreme poverty they were fleeing in the first place), or at least sent back across the southern border.
Lawyers and judges have made it clear that these children, some of whom couldn’t even walk or speak, were sent before the court to make their plea for asylum all by themselves.
This policy was decided upon almost unanimously by the Trump administration, led by Stephen Miller, a well-known and documented racist and/or white supremacist.
Trump signed an executive order meant to end the “zero-tolerance” policy in 2018, but the damage was already done, and he only made that move because of the criticism he was facing from around the world. Despite that executive order, it’s estimated an additional 700 families were separated at the border after its signing.
The children who had been taken from their parents were shipped all around the country, making it difficult to relocate them all. The children were placed in orphanages and foster homes. When the executive order was signed in 2018, the administration said they would work to re-unite the approximately 3,000 children with their families, but as of October of 2020, multiple years after some of these children were taken, there are still 545 children whose parents cannot be located. It’s believed their parents were deported without them.
The challenge of finding these families has fallen mostly on the shoulders of non-profits like the ACLU — not the government that created the problem in the first place.
If these children cannot be reunited with their parents, they will more than likely be absorbed into the “system” and be placed in foster care or permanently adopted. About 60 of these 545 children were under the age of five when they were ripped from their parents’ arms.
This is literal kidnapping. The government forcibly took these children from their parents and is now keeping them in America, alone. Those 545 children may never see their parents again.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has said this policy will create “serious health consequences” for these children for years and maybe even decades to come. The AAP has more or less called this policy a state-sanctioned form of child abuse.
The group Physicians for Human Rights even called the policy “torture,” as well as “cruel, inhuman, and degrading.”
And, no, these facilities are not as grand as Trump tried to make them sound at last week’s debate — as if being housed in a nice facility makes up for having been stolen from their families. Reporters and attorneys who have visited these facilities tell a very different story. Not to mention, the American people have seen with their own eyes the cages these children are locked in, sometimes crammed to the point of standing-room-only, while some sit and even sleep on a cold concrete floor.
You, fellow Christian, belong to one group of Americans that should be the most distraught, upset, and even angry at this policy and the permanent harm it has caused. We are taught that every human being is a child of God and deserves our love and care for their well-being. Yet, you still overwhelmingly support the very public officials who created and implemented this horrific policy.
Some so-called “Christians” are actually okay with children being taken from their parents, because they hope it will deter more immigrants from seeking a better, safer, more prosperous life in America — the same kind of life your own immigrant ancestors sought out at one time.
Approximately 75% of white evangelicals support the child separation policy as a matter of deterrence.
Why are you so okay with this abuse and torture? Because, unlike you and your children, these families are brown and speak a different language?
You constantly claim to be “pro-life.” So, why aren’t you screaming in the streets about this horrific situation?
Why do you refuse to hold our public officials accountable for abusing and torturing these children and their families?
Why do you simply turn your head and vote for those same officials yet again, to give them another four years to enact inhumane policies?
Why do you twist yourself into pretzels to excuse and even justify these actions?
How would you make your argument to Christ Jesus?
I cannot stomach what is happening in America. Any patriotism I may have felt in the past is gone, and this policy and the horrific actions carried out by OUR OWN GOVERNMENT is one major reason why. I am heartbroken over these things. But I am equally heartbroken by your refusal to speak out or fight to end these actions. I’m heartbroken by your support of the very people who have inflicted all this pain and damage on our fellow human beings. Disappointment is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel — I am HEARTBROKEN.
I’m at the point where I don’t even call myself a “Christian” anymore, because people like you have completely perverted that very word.
I have decided to call myself a follower of Jesus, because I want my beliefs to reflect the love, gentle nature, and kindness of Jesus — not the callousness, coldness, and even hatred now exhibited by far too many “Christians.”
If you defend the child separation policies, if you support tearing families apart and causing irreparable trauma, if you continue to vote for the very officials responsible for all of this, don’t ever call yourself pro-life again or lecture me about the “sanctity of life.”
You say you want all children to be born, no matter the circumstances, but it seems you’re okay with the children you’ve forced into this world being tortured and abused and saddled with lifelong trauma.
Again: if Jesus Christ stood before you today, how would you defend and justify your support for child separation policies? What would you say? Do you really think Jesus would agree with you?
Maybe, just maybe, if you couldn’t justify it to Jesus, you shouldn’t continue supporting and voting for it.
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