Sunday, July 8, 2018

At the Border - an immigrant family story

A family arrived at the border, the mother, father and baby. They were so weary -- they had walked day and night - fleeing for their lives.  Now they arrived at the border where they hoped to find refuge. Their every desire was to cross that border and be safe, to have peace and be able to rebuild their lives.

The guards at the border asked them question after question: "Where are you from?  Why are you here? Do you have relatives to go live with? Do you have special work skills?"
From a place of poverty and fear, they were here to find peace and safety. No, very sorry, no relatives who could take them in. No, she was a young mother, he was a simple carpenter, no rare and valuable job skills.

The guards asked for their papers, but they had none, how could they when they had to leave in the middle of the night, or forfeit their lives?

After a brief conference in a language the refugees could not understand, the guards approached and took the baby from his mother's arms. The babe cried and reached for his mother. The hard faces, hard arms of the guard frightened him. His mother was soft, full of smiles for him. His mother cried too, and asked for her son. The guards shook their heads no. The father approached to reason with them, but the guards put their hands on the weapons holstered at their sides -- a stronger way of saying "No!"

A translator arrived, and told the mother and father they had committed a crime, and would be held for sentencing. They would be kind, they wouldn't lock the baby up - he would be cared for elsewhere.

The mother fell to her knees, her arms held out in pleading: "Give me back my baby. We are sorry, we didn't mean to break your law -- we didn't know. Please just let us have our son and we will leave your country and never return."

"No", the translator said with head shaking no. "You have to be tried now that you are criminals. Probably you were criminals in your country too."

Maria could no longer hear the cries of her baby, faded away to silence as he was carried off. Would she ever see him again? She looked at her husband, and said through her breaking sobs:

"Jose, we never should have come to this terrible place. Now we have lost our son Jesus, our only treasure. Who will help us when they hate us in this place?"

Friday, July 6, 2018

How are Christians supposed to treat immigrants?

How do we know what God expects of Christians?

In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus is talking about the judgement, and says in verses 42 - 43:

For I was hungry, and you gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you took me not in;  Verse 44:  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger...

Verse 45 - 46: Then shall he answer them, saying Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment...

Perhaps some of the refugees we are putting in cages are actually angels:
Hebrews chapter 13 verse 2:  "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."  What kind of report will those angels be making to God about the United States of America?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Law? What Law? So who needs the Law!

This letter arrived in my email this morning, and I need to share it with you.

President Trump tweets outrageous things so often that it's tempting just to shrug them off.
But when he tweets that immigrants coming across the border should have no due process rights – as he did this weekend – it's time to stand up and take notice.
Due process of law is a fundamental bulwark against tyranny. It traces its origins back 800 years to King John and the English Magna Carta. In our Constitution, the principle was first enshrined in the Fifth Amendment and provides that "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The same principle was later repeated in the Fourteenth Amendment.
As the language of the amendments makes clear and as the Supreme Court has recognized many times, "No person" means citizen and noncitizen alike. "[O]nce an alien enters the country, the legal circumstance changes, for the Due Process Clause applies to all 'persons' within the United States, whether their presence is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanent." Zadvydas v. David, 533 U.S. 678, 693 (2001).
So, when the president of the United States starts talking about taking due process rights away from anyone, we shouldn't shrug it off as just rhetoric meant to energize his base. Instead, we should be alarmed – not simply by the president's profound ignorance but by what he might try to do next.
I always recoil whenever someone starts suggesting that we're on a slippery slope heading to something akin to the Holocaust. But, I must admit that when I read about the president's anti-immigrant tweet, I thought about the famous words of German theologian Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
The lesson, of course, is clear. We can never shrug off threats to liberty. We must always speak out. We must always resist.
Sincerely yours,
Richard Cohen Signature
Richard Cohen
President, Southern Poverty Law Center

Saturday, June 2, 2018

What is "gun violence"?

My husband showed up at the door to my office this morning, saying:

"I'm not against guns -
I'm against hunting children."

This is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Wearing Orange is to show unity with all the families who have suffered the loss of their loved ones due to gun violence.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

True Colors

The NRA showed its true colors yesterday on their Facebook page.

Equating the Parkland assault rifle massacre with Tuesday's school hand gun attack, the NRA ads are desperately trying to divide us by race, by income, by age, even throwing a sneer at Parkland students for being "only" known for the shooting at their school. Vicious 'false flag' memes worked so well last year, they tried it out for Parkland, calling the student activists "actors". Big fail -- people weren't buying it.

What is the big deal with shutting up these courageous young people? The NRA has lied about them, demeaned their serious work to save their lives, pretended that they are ignorant puppets being used for a political agenda. WHO is a puppet being used for a political agenda? Follow the money trail. The gun manufacturers who bankroll the NRA and their political lackeys are the ones pulling the strings here.