…a few years back when the big panic was all about how Teh Muslims[TM] were out-breeding us and we needed more Christian children. Also how Teh Gummint[TM] was robbing us of the chance to be charitable with its damned social safety nets for the poor and vulnerable (cuz us Christians who put a dollar in the collection plate are just *burning* to out-do Caesar in proving our charitable zeal). So now comes a flood of desperate children with no parents, groping for haven in a strange land and providing a golden opportunity for us to kill two birds with one stone.
Response (primarily from the demographic that self-identifies as “prolife conservative”)?: Cry “Disease laden border crashers!!!” (in the immortal words of one reader), scream at busses of terrified kids, and generally communicate dissent from that whole “I was a stranger and you took me in” thing. Two charming fellows on Facebook, one of whom (the latter) featured a “Massachusetts for Life” link on his page, bore eloquent witness to a somewhat extreme sample of the tenderness and compassion on display for these children:
But this sterling Witness for Life was just advocating a slightly more swift efficiency than his peers. Much of the rest of the “prolife” commentary simply advocated the more hands-off approach of turning the busses around and sending them who cares where as long as it’s not here: effectively abandoning the children to their fate in Mexico, (meaning “being sent back to the desert, sex slavery, or death”). Others were recommending bullets and land mines. A deeply affecting prolife witness.
At some deep level, this kind heartlessness is difficult to live with. So finding a way to blame somebody else for such an appalling response to naked human need became a psychological priority for some. Among many strategies for doing this has been the murky conspiracy theory by which frightened, unaccompanied minors surging north in unprecedented numbers due to desperate conditions at home (typically Central America) are transformed into stooges of a shadowy conspiracy, probably orchestrated by George Soros and Obama, to get parents in these countries to send their children north so that they can make conservatives look bad with their heartless responses to them. (Somebody on FB was seriously suggesting this). Nobody seems to be asking what might prompt thousands of families to be so desperate as to send their children north unaccompanied on the slender hope that if they get across the border, somebody might take them in. The assumption appears to be that poor Latino people are incapable of forming the normal parent/child bonds that we in North Abortica naturally form due to our natural superiority, so these “idiot parents” cynically sell them to Soros/Obama on the cheap for this stunt that is totally being orchestrated by liberals to make conservatives look bad when they respond with wisecracks about Zyklon-B.
Also prominent in the response of many “prolife conservative” readers has been the promotion of Scary Tattoo Thug pictures, which are so much more affirming of the Heartless Response than pictures of desperate frightened children warehoused in border towns.
Another prominent disconnect (aside from “The gummint is evil and private charity can handle everything/We’re being swamped and there’s no way private charity can handle this” contradiction) is the “Government is absolutely inept and cannot possibly help these people”/”Government is vast, well-coordinated conspiracy moving with laserlike precision to organize this crisis for the sole purpose of making conservatives look horrible”. And, of course, there is the disconnect between “Why don’t family-friendly, prolife, hard-working Catholic Latinos vote for conservatives merely because our prolife conservative Catholic rhetoric declares that showing them compassion is tantamount to abortion?” Who can penetrate the mysterious mind of these loathsome, disease-bearing aliens?
Relatedly, nobody gives a lot of thought to the fact that a number of the countries these desperate kids are coming from were client states of the US. Nor that the scary screams of “disease!” that Drudge has been blaring for the past week are referring to things that are cheaply and easily treatable. For the price of a cruise missile or two, we can treat the lot of them. Which is the prolife thing to do with desperate poor children whose family is God knows where.
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Lk 10:25–37)