Keeping Parents and Children Together: A Call for Humanity

 "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and

sisters of mine, you did for me"

~ Matthew 25:40, 45, The Holy Bible (NIV)

 

The spectacle of children of refugees, most fleeing violence in their homelands, being separated, often with force, from the arms of their parents at the United States border, is an offense against humanity devoid of any sense of compassion. This policy of the Administration of President Donald J. Trump, ordered by United States Attorney General Jefferson Sessions, is being done without being enacted into law by the Congress and without current review by the courts. At this writing, over 2,000 children have been separated from parents and are being held in detention centers in the United States. Mr. Sessions also did away with a policy that made it possible to give asylum to women who are victims of domestic abuse or who are raped or threatened by gang members in their home countries.

 

“We are for human rights in every instance,” said Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon, Spiritual Leader of Centers for Spiritual Living. “We call on the White House to reverse this inhumane policy immediately and to reunite the many families who have been forcibly separated.”

 

Centers for Spiritual Living joins the many voices of religious denominations and civic organizations in calling for an end to these practices and a return to a more humane set of policies for families as their cases are processed. Basic human decency requires nothing less. We must also recognize the emotional damage being done to parents and children alike, and work to heal the damage done.

 

The fact that the administration cited Biblical references to justify their actions is an affront to anyone who holds sacred scripture dear. We should remember that separation of children from their parents by force, according to the Bible they cite, was done by the Pharaohs of Egypt and Pontius Pilate. The core message of The Holy Bible is love, not obedience to secular authority. Tearing children from the arms of their families for the purpose of deterring migration is both cruel and unlawful. Family unity is a fundamental human right, recognized by the U. S. Supreme Court and the United Nations. Since many of those families being separated are seeking asylum, the current policy is even more egregious.

 

We call on our local spiritual communities to speak out on this issue. We call on the U.S. Congress to act to overrule this cruel administrative policy if the administration will not act. We join other communities of faith in demanding a more humane governmental approach to issues of migration and asylum-seeking. We know that when we recognize our mutual humanity, our fear dissipates and compassion pours forth. Let our actions reflect that wisdom.

 

“I salute the God-presence in everyone I meet, and I know that as surely as I do this, the Love dwelling in them responds to the same Presence that is within me. We act in a unison of peace and understanding.” 

~ Ernest Holmes

 

Link to United Methodist Church statement:https://www.umcjustice.org/news-and-stories/a-shocking-violation-of-the-spirit-of-the-gospel-697 

 

Link to Jewish Groups statement:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-jewish-groups-condemn-policy-that-separates-children-from-migrant-parents/ 

 

Link to Jewish Orthodox Union statement:

https://www.jta.org/2018/06/14/top-headlines/orthodox-union-expresses-concern-family-separation-border 

 

Link to Evangelical Lutheran Church statement:

http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7935 

 

Link to US Catholic Bishops statement: 

https://www.ncronline.org/news/people/us-bishops-condemn-immigration-policies-separate-families-border 

 

Link to United Church of Christ statement:

http://www.ucc.org/news_ucc_leaders_keep_families_together_06152018 

 

Link to Unitarian Universalist Statement:

https://www.uusc.org/action-center/end-family-separation/ 

 

Link to Interfaith Immigration Organization statement:

http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/2018/06/01/familiesbelongtogether-faith-leaders-decry-family-separation-urge-national-leaders-to-protect-family-unity/ 

 

Link to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service statement:

https://www.lirs.org/press-room/posts/lirs-responds-to-jeff-sessions-announcement 

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