Let’s be very clear: there is nothing remotely biblical or Christian about ripping children away from their mothers and fathers. I almost can’t write this given my sputtering anger over our federal officials quoting scripture defending the righteousness of their obscene policy at our borders. They’ve completely violated the gospel of redemptive love.
In early May, the US Attorney General announced a “zero tolerance” policy for persons attempting to migrate to the United States resulting in de facto family separation: children are immediately removed from their parents as they are apprehended after crossing the border. And three days ago he also announced a policy reversing protections for asylum seekers fleeing domestic abuse and gang violence. Neither threat of violence is now considered grounds for asylum.
You’ve seen the pictures, heard the stories, and now have read about the tent city being erected for the express purpose of warehousing kids (KIDS!!). His use of scripture defending this policy should appall every thoughtful follower after the way Jesus blazed.
Let’s be reminded of other biblical texts like this one from the prophet Isaiah who, within the Christian tradition, helps define the titanium chord of justice linking us throughout human history to the present moment: “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” (Isaiah 10: 1-3 NIV)
Do we really need to recount the relentless messages pertaining to love of neighbor that resound on nearly every page of the gospel? Do we really need to recall that when asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded with the story of the Good Samaritan? Do we need to remember that calling children to himself he said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these?”
Page after page, verse after verse, story after story, our sacred texts reveal what God requires of us, namely, to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
I say, here is where Christ Church stands. If you stand where I stand, find your voice and join me in contacting the Justice Department here:
Oh, and irony of ironies, happy father’s day…