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Angels, Millstones and Little Ones

July 9, 2019

Unless you've been living under a rock the past few weeks, you've heard about the sickening conditions migrant children are being subjected to in the government detention centers.  So there's no need for me to go into all the painful details.  A few highlights should suffice.

 

The New York Times reported on conditions at a facility in Clint, TX, "Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met, the lawyers said. Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.

"Most of the young detainees have not been able to shower or wash their clothes since they arrived at the facility, those who visited said. They have no access to toothbrushes, toothpaste or soap."  (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/us/migrant-children-border-soap.html?smid=pc-thedaily)

 

According to another New York Times report, "The conditions under which children are being held 'could be compared to torture facilities,' Dolly Lucio Sevier, a pediatrician who visited the Clint facility, said in her declaration. “That is, extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.”" (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/29/us/migrant-children-detention-texas.html) 

 

In response, the government went to federal court recently to argue that it was not legally required to give detained migrant children toothbrushes, soap, towels, showers or even half a night’s sleep inside Border Patrol detention facilities. 

 

"The position bewildered a panel of three judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Tuesday, who questioned whether government lawyers sincerely believed they could describe the temporary detention facilities as 'safe and sanitary' if children weren’t provided adequate toiletries and sleeping conditions. One circuit judge said it struck him as 'inconceivable.'" (https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/21/detained-migrant-children-no-toothbrush-soap-sleep/?utm_term=.d38af457f0a2)

 

Meanwhile, James Dobson, a Christian Right leader whose ministry is called, ironically enough, Focus on the Family, is trying to convince his followers all this never happened.  He attempted to divert attention from the inhumane conditions by focusing on the influx of migrants, who, according to him, "'come in large groups, from 100 to 400 people at a time. As I write this letter, a record 1,200 people arrived together at El Paso.'"

 

Dobson went on to say, "'The refugees quickly give themselves up to agents. That is why they have made this journey. They know they will be fed, medicated, and treated humanely, even if they are in holding areas while they are in our custody. Then they will be released on American soil.'" (As if refugees obeying the law is somehow suddenly a bad thing--and these desperate people are cynically exploiting the system!!)

 

Of course, he went on to blame Democrats and liberal policies for the crisis, claiming, without support or corroboration, that Democrats refused several urgent requests for funding to alleviate this crisis.  And, of course, he claimed that President Trump is the only one who cares about this crisis and the only one whose policies would resolve it. (https://www.christianpost.com/news/james-dobson-says-media-not-truthful-migrant-detention-centers-231823)

 

Thank you, Mr. Dobson.  God has a few things to say to you and to all your colleagues who claim to be Christian leaders, but try to justify and deflect attention from the inhumanity of this Administration's unconscionable treatment of the smallest and most vulnerable.   

 

God has a very special love for children.  In fact, more than once, Jesus pointed to children as models for all His followers “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."  (Matt. 18:3)  And because of this special love, He has provided special heavenly support and protection to weak and defenseless "little ones."

 

Jesus made it clear that He is very well aware of these evil acts and those who perpetrate and support them.  They are under constant, minute observation by the celestial surveillance and reporting system. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." (Matt. 18:10)

 

And for those who do not heed this advice, Jesus has an even more direct warning. "If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone one were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea." (Mark 9:42) 

 

Bring on the millstones!

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