A Good Word from the Rector: Responding To Family Separations

Dear Parish Family and Friends,

When my fourteen-year-old son was younger, he would explain misbehaviors by claiming to have “accidentally” done what he was not supposed to have done. Over time, my wife and I helped Michael realize that he had, in fact, purposely pushed his sister despite knowing better, and while we appreciated his regret about the earlier action, his guilty feeling did not alter history and recast his mistake as an “accident.”

As I watch and listen to defenders of the conditions at our southern border, I am reminded of my son’s adolescent defense strategy. Like Michael sought to deflect responsibility for his role in his misbehavior, our Executive leadership has attempted to deflect direct responsibility for the mass incarcerations that have resulted in the separation of children from their parents. However, the depravity being endured at this very hour is neither an “accident,” nor an inevitable consequence of “enforcing the laws,” but the result of this administration’s “zero tolerance” policies and prioritizations. Rather than a mere sibling squabble, our government, at its discretion, is irrevocably injuring children.

The President has the authority to end this practice immediately just as he initiated it, and his effort to exploit this self-created situation to drive Congress toward accepting his other policy and political goals should not be tolerated.

Texas’ House Speaker Joe Straus has written to President Trump: “I know that members of Congress from both parties have proposed various ways to address this issue in the form of legislation, and while I applaud their attention to the problem, I also know that congressional action does not come quickly. In order to at least begin addressing this issue, there is no need to wait for Congress to act. That’s why I respectfully ask that you move immediately to rescind the policy that General Sessions announced in April and any other policies that have led to an increase in family separations at the border.”

The immediacy of this situation demands immediate action, and I support Speaker Straus’ appeal, not as a partisan matter, but as a moral necessity. As the Body of Christ and as members of Good Shepherd, let us ask our elected representatives to pressure the President to change this policy immediately, rather than allowing the torment of these vulnerable families to continue for even one more minute.

To learn more about The Episcopal Church’s ministries of advocacy and how you can make a difference, visit our Office of Governmental Relations, and as our shared labor for righteousness continues, I encourage your prayers for all those suffering in these untenable, unacceptable, and unnecessary cruelties.

With hope for justice and mercy,

The Reverend Morgan S. Allen,
Rector

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