Voices For Children: Let the Children Come Unto Me
Here are two good articles on behalf of the immigrant children. We must find a way to help them and not inflict further hurt. We need to find ways to act on their behalf even as we keep them and their self-sacrificing parents in prayer. Can you imagine how it must have been for these parents to pay passage to”Coyotes” (those who take the children to the border) to send their precious children to hope and freedom from violence and fear only to have them returned again-defeated. The Gospel is all about inclusion and hope, as the Sojourners article says: let the critics at least read the Gospel!
We must protect the young and innocent
Denys Arcuri 10:32 p.m. PDT July 10, 2014
Seldom has a story so affected me emotionally as the story of the “flood of illegal immigrant” children seeking safe haven in the United States and the reception they got in Murrieta.
That this country is still a beacon of freedom and justice is amazing to me when the reality apparently falls somewhat short of those ideals.
I hold this truth to be self-evident: There is a rule that is more important than the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. There is something more important than the issue of taxation without representation, than living a wealthier life, than religion.
It is this: We must first and foremost protect the young and the innocent.
Even animals understand this. A mother leopard will risk her life to protect her kittens. She might even adopt a wayward cub of another species.
For the record, I’m an old white guy. My life, my existence, is precious, at least to me and to those who are close to me. It ought to be precious even to you. But my life is not so important as the life of, say, a 6-year-old child. A child of any color from anywhere on earth. We already have the record of what I have done with my life, good or bad. But the child is all potential, all dreams, all hope. A child has not had the opportunities to experience all of life’s joys and tribulations yet. I have.
All other things being equal, a surgeon deciding whether to transplant a healthy heart into a 6-year-old black child from Ethiopia and yours truly, leaving the other to die, correctly and morally chooses to let me die.
There are roughly 320 million people in the United States. If we had a “flood” of immigrants here amounting to 1 percent, that would be 3.2 million people. But the numbers we’re talking about here amount to less than 10 percent of that 1 percent. Way less.
We often see Third World countries dealing with hundreds of thousands of refugees from war, famine and disease. Sudden massive populations of immigrants amounting to a much greater burden to the host countries who have far fewer resources than we do. Ho-hum. Bear in mind that these countries shouldering these burdens are not known as the light of the world, the keeper of the peace, the leader among the world’s nations.
I am not a religious person, but I think it’s appropriate at this point to ask: What would Jesus do? Would He wave a flag in front of a starving child, do you think? Would He curse him with hate speech and tell him to go back to his life in an earthly hell? Remember, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”?
It’s also appropriate to ask if we need to change some laws to prevent exploitation by those who would defraud the system. Yes, we do. And that applies to immigrants and native-born citizens as well. Do we need to expose children to rape and murder by deporting them? No, we don’t. In fact, we are morally bound to do the opposite.
The Statue of Liberty has inscribed on it the words:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me . . .”
The Declaration of Independence says that “…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
If you are going to wave the red, white and blue and spew hate to this wretched refuse newly deposited on our doorstep, please don’t assume to be speaking for all Americans when you do. Xenophobia, power and the bottom line might frame your idea of this country’s raison d’être, but I’m clinging to what I consider crucial American values: kindness, acceptance, freedom and peace.
Denys Arcuri is a longtime valley broadcast journalist, freelance writer and former legislative assistant for the late Supervisor Roy Wilson. Email him at email@example.com
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Jesus: “Let the little children come to me.”
Fox News Pastor: “Children stuck at the border? Build a bigger fence.”
Yep, that’s right – Fox News recently featured Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress claiming that the “Christian” way to respond to immigrant children in distress is to build a stronger border fence. You’ve heard the stories: tens of thousands of children are currently stuck at the border after fleeing crime and violence in their home countries. These children need our compassion – not calls for a bigger fence.
This pastor has gone too far – and Fox News is only enabling his outrageous claims. Let’s tell Fox their pastor is wrong: Christians need to welcome immigrants and love our neighbors.
Pastor Jeffress has a history of making shameful statements posing as religious truth. In January, he said that President Obama was paving the way for the antichrist. He’s now on the record saying that the “right thing to do” with children alone in the desert is to lock them out. Pastor Jeffress needs to read Jesus’ words in Matthew 25: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
We know better. Let’s make a strong statement against these outrageous claims by calling on Fox to feature pastors who actually read their Bibles!
With evangelicals across the country united for immigration reform, Fox News has plenty of other religious voices to choose from. Let’s remind them that the pastors they feature should reflect biblical teaching!
Janelle, Tim, and the rest of the Sojourners team
the world’s children?
In Solidarity and love,
Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP