Friday, June 15, 2018
Cleaver: Where in the Bible does it say place immigrant children in harm's way?
Last month, the Trump Administration began to enforce their “zero tolerance” policy for individuals illegally entering the country. Many of these families arrived at the border seeking asylum. Since that mandate, undocumented children have been routinely separated from their families. It has been reported that nearly 1,800 families have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border since the policy was implemented.
In one case, federal agents told two female immigrants they were taking their daughters away for a bath, then never returned with them. Another mother reports having her child taken away from her while breast feeding. This is happening in the United States of America in 2018. According to media reports, more than 500 immigrant children have been separated from their parents in just one U.S. border town since the policy was announced in May.
As a father of four, I cannot imagine having my children taken from me for simply seeking a better life for my family. Separating children from their parents in this manner is inexcusable – and in no way reflects the values of this great nation. Earlier this week, we celebrated flag day. The flag is a symbol of the American values we as a nation hold so dearly. That all men and women are created equal, that we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that freedom shall always triumph over tyranny. Ripping children away from their families is antithetical to what our flag should represent.
The U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, used religion to justify this cruelty citing the Apostle Paul in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government. But where in the bible does it say place immigrant children in harm’s way?
Religion has illimitable power. It has inspired people to kill as well as heal. It has been used to justify almost everything, good or evil.
When the words of the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Church in Rome, Chapter 13, are used to justify ripping children from the arms of their mothers on our southern border, Christians of all political spectrums should be appalled. These same words were used to justify slavery when slave owners quoted from Ephesians 6:5, “slaves, obey your earthly masters,” and World War II German Government officials used it to defend their atrocities against Jews during the Holocaust.
I would like to close with this reminder from Matthew 18:14 “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them…”