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I’m beginning this column with a quote, the origin of which I will reveal at its conclusion. As you read it, my guess is you will judge it as coming from one of those “fake news” media sources so vilified by right-wing politicians and more radical evangelical Christians.
Here it is, read on: “How can it ever be reasonable to tear a child from its mother’s arms for the issue of having crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally? Detain these families and send them back — fine. But do not violate the family bond. These children are not to blame for their parents’ decision. Why should they suffer?”
“This is a vicious and inhumane policy, and it is repulsive that Christians in this administration are defending it on biblical grounds. The Trump White House, Fox News and conservative radio are not any kind of Christian magisterium.” That’s from The American Conservative, founded by Pat Buchanan.
Who would have ever believed that as a so-called Christian nation, we would be tearing innocent children and infants from the arms of their mothers and putting them in wire cages and wire holding pens?
When you “concentrate” hordes of undesirables into camps where these fellow human beings must stand on toilet seats in order to breathe, we, as a nation, have created concentration camps! You might cringe at the very use and sound of this term. Good! You should. Because it’s exactly what is being executed right under our noses and many Christians are cheering it on. Even the Nazi camps started out small, housing only criminals.
Let us never forget, Anne Frank and her sister were not gassed by Hitler’s Third Reich. They died of typhus, a result of living in a crowded camp with poor sanitation. We have already witnessed the death of several innocent Hispanic children in these overcrowded camps.
U.S. history tells us the origins of this racist hate and the beginnings of the legal statutes making illegal entry into the U.S. a crime. The federal law criminalizing unlawful entry was created by a dedicated white supremacist, Sen. Coleman Livingston Blease, who opposed the education of black Americans and favored lynching, which he justified by saying, “…to hell with the Constitution.”
The law referred to as Section 1325 is the same law the Trump administration is now enforcing and the law that Democrats and a few Republicans are seeking to nullify, and with good, moral reasons.
Be aware, this statute, adopted in 1929 is the basis for Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. It’s the same statute and policy Trump has used to justify separating families at our southern border.
From this writer’s perspective, today there are many Senator Bleases, and some of them reside in the White House and in the Congress of the United States.
When a nation’s leader puts people in camps to stay in power, history tells us he usually does not stop with the first group he detains!
Andrea Pitzer, author of, “One Long Night,” wrote, “Every country has said their camps are humane and will be different. Trump is instinctively an authoritarian. He will take this policy as far as he is allowed.”
If the historic Jesus I know and in whom I believe were to walk among these horrible detention camps which we have stood by and allowed Trump to construct, while his minions whose only excuse is, “I am only following orders,” I envision Jesus embracing these precious children with tears of both tenderness and rage.
Then with jaws set and whip in hand, Jesus heads straight for Washington and the White House. It is time to “clean out the temple!”
“Suffer these little children to come to me…..for such is my kingdom.” — Jesus
Edward “Ned” Walsh of Princeton is a retired Baptist denominational worker who served as executive director of Johnston County Habitat for Humanity from 2004-08.