The images of immigrant and refugee parents and children in this newsletter are from our GateWAY Loft shelter. These are real people, not “stock photos”. (Thanks, Keoni Cabral for taking many of these images.)
I must speak out, for the children cannot. I’m damned tired of so-called “white evangelicals” saying they are “pro-life” when it comes to taking a baby from the mother’s womb but are perfectly OK with ripping that same baby from its mother’s arms. I am damned tired of the administration saying they will separate the children of “illegal” aliens from their parents as a deterrent for others trying to enter the United States. That word “illegal”, Mr. Sessions, is a smoke screen, because you are separating children from parents who followed USA and international immigration laws regarding asylum. They are NOT acting illegally, and as an American citizen who pays your salary, “I demand” (quoting your boss) you stop this injustice. It’s a clever sleight of hand. When you say “illegal” immigrants, you then further the ignorant assumption ALL immigrants are “illegal”. (No human is illegal. Maybe undocumented, but not illegal.) Even the recent Caravan from Central America declared they were going to present themselves to border authorities in accordance with U. S. immigration law and plead asylum, according to international humanitarian law. So, to rip babies from their mother’s arms while calling them “illegal” is not just a lie and violation of human rights and standards. It is evil, indecent and most certainly un-Christian.
A child finds a safe and comfortable place to sleep in our overcrowded GateWAY Loft. You can sponsor a bed.
I count among both family and friends some who identify as white evangelicals. I know them to be caring, loving folks. To paint all with one brush would be wrong.
But don’t tell me you are “pro-life” or preach “family values” when you permit your government to break apart families. You are being hypocritical and your testimony rings hollow. For two years, we have operated a refugee welcome shelter that has helped over 6,000 migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. I know from firsthand experience that over 90% of these were “broken family” units. We have received refugees in our shelter not only from Haiti, but several from Central America. Recently, I am pleased to say, we received another intact family of four from Central America. At least one refugee from every continent (except Australia) has found shelter here.
First, I am “white”. I even checked with Ancestry.com’s DNA. And it’s official: WOW! I am REALLY WHITE! Secondly, it may surprise you that in many ways I consider myself “evangelical”, but not in the common use of that hijacked word today. I believe in God. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I am a sinner saved by grace. And I love God with all my heart, soul and mind; and my neighbor as much as myself. And I believe the Bible. Yes, that’s right: The Bible. Just a reminder, the Bible says
“And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6)
And, “the stranger that resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the stranger as yourself” (Lev. 19:34, NRSV). I will spare you my oft-quoted Matthew 25 this time. Now tell me you are OK with separating these babies from their parent(s). But then, we don’t seem to care enough about our own children being mowed down in our classrooms to make common sense laws that reportedly 90% of Americans support.
I have done everything in my power to keep families in migration intact. And even under my roof, to keep children who cannot be with their parents for whatever reason, connected until they can be reunited.
A radio commentator recently said something like this: “The haters look in the mirror and see an administration that validates their anger, hatred, racism, and fears. They see in that mirror themselves and see America as they perceive it.” God have mercy! I look in that same mirror, and see lies, fake news, alt-facts, hate, racism, misogyny, and the erosion of the institutions and foundations of our democratic republic. I weep for what our country has done and has become. One more thing. I am damned tired of Christians either remaining silent or twisting themselves into theological pretzels to justify what is not only un-Christian, but down right evil. For Christ’s sake Dr. Bill Jenkins
CMC's GateWAY Loft is one of only nine (9) Immigrant Welcome Shelters along the Southern Border.
Bill is founder and Executive Director of Christ Ministry Center (United Methodist) in San Diego. He is a lifelong social justice advocate who grew up in Mississippi during the Civil Rights era. Bill is a Methodist Elder who failed retirement. Contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (888) 282-6367.