#416 Children in Cages - June 22, 2018
Pro-life Meet-up at Families Belong Together Rally Our member group Rehumanize International is organizing a pro-life meetup at the Families Belong Together Rally at the White House on June 30. We'll gather at 10:15 AM at the permanent anti-nuclear vigil on Pennsylvania Ave. before joining up with the main rally. Here's a link to Google Maps with the meetup location. See updates on RI’s Facebook Events page.
Children in Cages Our blog post this week, Children in Cages, is a set of denunciations from our member groups, endorsers, and others on the hard-hearted policy the Trump administration had of separating immigrant children from their parents. The executive order Trump signed last Wednesday stopped future separations, but didn’t address the separations already done – and can never un-traumatize those children.
Connections The connection of the current crisis to lethal racism and poverty is clear. But what about war? One connection: many are refugees fleeing gang wars in the aftermath of civil wars. War is a major reason the crisis arose. Another: a “concentration camp” is defined as “a camp where persons (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, or refugees) are detained or confined.” The association with Nazis leads some to say using the term is overblown: Nazis used camps for mass extermination, which isn’t contemplated here. Yet it wasn’t contemplated early in Nazi practice either. It grew. There’s dehumanizing language, and cases of observers being blocked – signs of danger that we’re starting a downward spiral. That’s how wars and massacres generally start. Slate magazine has an article explaining this.
Throughout history, people wanting to justify violence used religious reasoning. Religion also motivated opposition to violence. On family separation, Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited a Bible passage (Romans 13:1-2), and our member group Red Letter Christians gives a good summary of the historical context of the passage and other groups commenting on Sessions’ use of it. Meanwhile, the Southern Baptist Convention overwhelmingly passed a resolution against the policy – see Resolution #5. Bishops of the United Methodist Church, the denomination Sessions belongs to, have also strongly condemned the policy, and 639 clergy and laity are bringing formal church charges against him for child abuse. Noteworthy: in the same chapter of Romans, verse 13:10 says that love does no harm to a neighbor.
Credibility through Connections Charles C. Camosy, who’s on the board of our member group Democrats for Life, has an op-ed in the June 16 New York Times: "You Can't Be Pro-Life and Against Immigrant Children." He argues pro-life organizations’ credibility will be undermined if they don’t denounce policies separating families. This touches on an important principle: connecting issues can strengthen advocacy for them. Single-issue groups abound on all issues and have advantages that go with focus. Nevertheless, showing concern for others extending beyond one issue offers a means of persuasion. If someone sees we’re with them on one issue, they might look at our other issues with fresh eyes.
Quotation of the Week Bishop Daniel E. Flores Bishop says deporting migrants ‘not unlike’ abortion Crux Magazine, July 26, 2016 One cannot in conscience countenance a program of mass deportation. It is a brutal proposal. In some instances, particularly dealing with the Central American mothers and children, and deportations into some parts of Mexico, we are dealing with placing them in proximate danger of death. I consider supporting the sending of an adult or child back to a place where he or she is marked for death, where there is lawlessness and societal collapse, to be formal cooperation with an intrinsic evil. Not unlike driving someone to an abortion clinic.
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