A growing list of bishops respond to the family separation crisis

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Also see previous coverage, including statements from the Rt Revd Thomas E Breidenthal (Southern Ohio) and the Rt Revd Don Johnson (West Tennessee) here;

The Rt Revd David Rice (San Joaquin) here;

The Rt Revd Mark Hollingsworth, Jr (Ohio) writes here. “As Christians, we believe that all children are God’s own. … We may or may not have an immigration crisis; that is up for debate. But we clearly have a moral crisis. We can hold immigrant parents accountable for their actions in bringing their children to our land, whatever their reasons and legality. But we must equally hold ourselves accountable for how we treat them when they arrive here.”

The Rt Revd Nicholas Knisely (Rhode Island) writes here. “The Trump administration’s new policy of separating children from their asylum-seeking parents is morally wrong, not in keeping with the teachings of Christianity or other world religions, and should stop.”

The Rt Revd C Andy Doyle (Texas) writes here. “Families are the bedrock of American society and our government has the discretion to ensure that young children are not separated from their mothers and fathers and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Separating babies from their mothers is not only unconscionable, it is immoral.”

The Rt Revd William H Stokes (New Jersey) writes here. “The rationale given by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who cited Romans 13 saying, ‘I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,’ and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who echoed this, stating, ‘It is very biblical to enforce the law,’ is an abuse of sacred Scripture, and violates the fundamental interpretive principle of all Scripture and of the Christian faith: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength and Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).”

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Philip B. Spivey
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Philip B. Spivey

The events of recent weeks here and across the globe have been breathtakingly ominous. The "family values" coalition in the united States has shown itself for what it is: A craven coven of white supremacists more concerned with the unborn than with the living.

I also find it distressing at this late date to find ANY Episcopal bishop silent on these matters. To paraphrase Niemoller's admonition : First they came for the Muslims, but I was not a Muslim and so I remained silent. Then they came for the first Black president of the United States, but he didn't satisfy me as president and so I remained silent. Then they came for the first electable woman candidate for the presidency, but I wouldn't vote for her if they paid me, so I remained silent. Now they are coming for our children---children of God's beloved community. Shall we remain silent, again, because they are not our blood?

To borrow a slogan from the Act Up Aids Coalition: Silence = Death...perhaps now more than ever.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

The term 'family separation' is fine so far as it goes, but how far does it go? By some estimates less than 15% of these cases actually involve children accompanying their real parents, but rather unattached minors. This bespeaks a horrible child trafficking reality than drug dealers engender and profit from.

BDH is right on target, in addition. It is the legislation from years gone by that eliminated family housing units altogether, and has left the situation in such disarray.

Trump ought to target the genuine parent-biological child reality, insofar as the law gives him leeway, if for no other reason than to expose the kidnapping and trafficking dimension as a terrible child abuse problem. Incentivized given the present border reality.

Concentration Camp language is an offense to the reality of Nazi Germany we cannot dilute by false analogy so as to score political points

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Gregory Orloff
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Gregory Orloff

There is no "false analogy," Presbyter Christopher. The definition of "concentration camp" is "a camp where persons (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, or refugees) are detained or confined." And those in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were not birthed as places of torture and death, but were advertised as an utter necessity for "law and order and national security" at their inception -- eerie echoes heard today. Slippery slopes start with seemingly innocuous steps. As for the "biological parent" (what, no adoptive?) red herring, please cite the sources for your statistics and suggest a solution. DNA testing, perhaps? In the meantime, the gospel teaches us that Christ Jesus is found not in occupants of the White House or the halls of Congress or the board rooms of corporations, but in the very least, even the homeless and the jailed — and what we do to them, we do to him (Matthew 25).

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Professor Christopher Seitz
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Professor Christopher Seitz

Please take comfort in your private definition of a well-known term.

Grown-ups know what the word Concentration Camp means. What marching kids to showers is meant to mean. What Nazi this or that means.

Hot meals, health care, recreation, legal processes, HHS professionals -- only a sick imagination can liken that to Auschwitz.

May God have mercy.

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B. D. Howes
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B. D. Howes

Can we stop grandstanding and playing partisan politics? The is not, as the Rt Revd Nicholas Knisely echoed, “The Trump administration’s new policy . . .”

It’s not a “policy” and anyone willing to look at this through an objective lens will clearly see this is a legislative problem that needs a legislative solution.

This current rush for headlines is misplaced and telling at the same time. Some of us have been aware of this going on and have pushed against it for years when it received little, if any, attention. This not-so-new “policy” predates the Trump administration. Where has this “outrage” been hiding?

The route to change is to put the pressure on our respective members of Congress. Demand the demogoguery, photo-ops, and sound-bites stop. Demand a legal solution. Don’t allow the politicians to drag this out for partisan gain.

Keep in mind, none of us will get everything we want, but if we can agree this needs to stop, it can be done.

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Cynthia Katsarelis
Member

Separating children from their parents, even that of asylum seekers is/was the administration's policy, enacted in April, as part of the "zero tolerance" policy. Since then, approximately 2300 children were taken from their parents. And we now have something called "tender age shelters." It is not a legislative snafu, as the administration would have us believe, otherwise, the president would not have been able to end it with a stroke of his pen yesterday, as he did.

Separating children from their parents is the face of evil. And now we're learning that some were given psychotropic drugs, without their parent's consent, or any knowledge of the child's medical history. We also know that some children were mistreated. Do not conflate this with unaccompanied minors.

The Trump policy is a violation of international law protecting children and asylum seekers. Sure, we've needed immigration reform. but traumatizing kids to extort conditions is evil.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

The facilities for processing were used for 8 years by Clinton and 8 years by Obama. The shelters are HHS facilities newly available, necessitated by liberal judges who eliminated ALL housing. Were was your outrage during the Obama period separation of children from parents? You mention 2300, but miss out the 10,000 alongside trafficked by cartels and other profit makers. Talk about incentivizing child abuse. There is the face of evil. Why such a selective account of the reality on the ground?

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