The children at our border…

are a prolife issue every bit as much as children in the womb.  The bad news is that some politicized Christians are perversely playing the part of Dives to their Lazarus, and some are absurdly claiming that helping children at the border is somehow supporting abortion. If there was ever a living laboratory demonstration of the moral catastrophe of the right’s rejection of the Seamless Garment, this is it.  Anti-abortion-but-not-prolife Christians demanding that children be remanded to rape, poverty, sex slavery and death is a classic example of what I call Truth Cancer–the weird process whereby movements that fixate on one aspect of the Church’s teaching at the expense of the rest tend to mutate, over time, into their opposites.

On the other hand, The good news is that, though the hostility to these defenseless children is coming almost entirely from the right, I would say that the majority of my readers here and on Facebook (who hail almost entirely from the right) are breaking with the inhuman responses of the “send them back” crowd and opting for the response of Jesus to desperate human need. That’s purely anecdotal, of course.  But I do get the sense that, in Catholic circles at least, this is proving to be a clarifying moment and that most people simply can’t bear to hear slanderous claptrap like “Catholics are trying to help these kids in order to increase their tithe revenues” or “We can’t help children in desperate need if it might benefit our political enemies” or all the similar ugly swill being ladled out by culture warriors bent on justifying the inexcusable.

God bless our pope and our bishops for speaking the truth here!  I have to believe that “my sheep hear my voice” will be borne out by rank and file Catholics who can see our plain duty to these desperate kids.

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  • JmcBoots

    “Though the hostility to these defenseless children is coming almost entirely from the right”

    More demagoguery…

    You sound more like Michael Voris every day.

    20% of the people apprehended are these “Defenseless Children.” The other 80% are bad people who want to do bad things. You are becoming as unreasonable as the people who want across the board deportations.

    1 out of 5 need our help. 4 out of 5 are trying to take advantage of us. But all we get from Mark Shea is “All these people on the right are evil because they want deportations.

    Which in and of itself is a pile of dung.

    Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Danny Malloy in Conneticuit have said “Not in my State” in the last week. Both Democratic governors, so its not just on the right.

    Rick Perry, that EVIL C-Word guy, because he called out 1000 troops to manage the border is a big old rotten right wing bad guy, yet he is out there housing, feeding, and processing these people. AND he has taken the time to go to those shelters. To look these refugees in the eye and to talk to the people working at the border. You been to the border Mark?

    You are one who is always preaching moderation. And most of the time I agree with you. But you have gone off the wall on these refugees and lost all sense of perspective in your effort to paint that “Thing that used to be conservatism” into something it is not.

    The children flooding our borders because their homes are hell and Obama has promised them a free ride to the good life DO need our help. Because the liar in chief is NOT going to help them. Even if he wants to, he is incapable, as has become evident. That is where,we, the faithful need to step in and do what we are called to do.

    However, thats only 1/5 of those traveling across our border. The other 4/5th want to do us harm and take advantage of us. You saying everyone should be accepted with loving arms, is just as stupid as those saying everyone should be deported.

    Until both side of this argument can agree that there is a middle ground in our immigration policy, we never be able to do right by anyone.

    Screaming “Defenseless Children” every time someone else says “Deportation” is not going to get us anywhere.

    • BillyT92679

      so let’s take care of whoever we can

    • BHG

      Well said

    • neoconned

      Since its too difficult to sort the bad from the good, maybe we should just help everyone who asks and have faith that God will guide the entire process.

      • JmcBoots

        Why is it so difficult to sort the good from the bad?

        • neoconned

          OK, so skip the sorting part. Bad actors need food and water too. Just do what the Lord commands and have faith. Nobody said it was easy. And just to be fair to Martin O’Malley, what he said was “… But before they hung up, O’Malley told Muñoz not to send any of the children to the facility in Westminster, Md., that the White House was looking at. It’s a conservative part of the state, he warned. The children were at risk of getting harassed, or worse, he said.
          Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/martin-omalley-border-children-maryland-108959.html#ixzz38CqO2gjC

          And believe me, I have no political dog in this fight. I am agnostic when it comes to political parties.

          • JmcBoots

            So its conservatives fault that O’malley didnt want these refugees? Conservatives are going to harass and harm the children? Because they’re all evil right? Oh brother…

            And no one is saying starve and dehydrate these people. Unless of course you think “people on the right” are evil and “that’s just what they want.”

            You CANT skip the sorting part. House them, feed them, give them the medical attention they need, and sort them out.

            Good people stay, bad people go. THAT is the immigration policy we want. Why is that so hard to accept?

            Prison ministries dont take the prisoners home to evangelize them, they go to the prisons.

            • neoconned
              • JmcBoots

                So one ignorant politician mistakes school kids on a field trip for refugee children. From that we can assume:

                A – He must have also harassed and harmed them even thought that’s not in the story

                B – Every other conservative will do the same, so we can’t put children anywhere near these people.

                • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                  Just remember, every state legislator trying to make a name for themselves in the middle of a campaign for higher office is representative of an entire political movement… if they’re conservatives and Republicans.

                  Liberals and Democrats of similar prominence saying and doing just as foolish things are only representative of themselves.

                  This is because…

                  Shut up.

          • JmcBoots

            And is a guy named “NEOCONned” really politically agnostic?

            • neoconned

              Yes.

      • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

        Since when is asking “why are you here” in a language the border crosser understands such a difficult thing? Really, a lot of these people just say flat out they’re here because they can’t get a job at home.

        The ones with drugs on them get deported. The ones with obvious gang tattoos get separated out for closer screening, criminal checks, and will probably end up deported (because they likely are members of violent gangs) unless they have active warrants in which case they get deported after their criminal case gets resolved. The ones who say they’re just looking for work, deported. The ones who fail the health checks and are inadmissible because of them, deported.

        None of this is novel except in terms of volume per day. This is the same process that the USCCB talked about here:
        http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationenforcement.cfm

    • chezami

      You seem to be incapable of reading because the voices in your head are drowning out what I actually wrote. You should have that looked at.

      • JmcBoots

        Which part of “though the hostility to these defenseless children is coming almost entirely from the right” did you not actually write?

        And “voices in my head”? Now if that doesn’t sound like Voris, I dont know what does.

    • Marthe Lépine

      Do you have actual figures, or speculation about this “only 1 in 5 is good”? If you do have figures, where do they come from? It sounds as if you have already made up your mind before any sorting-out can have been done. There is a name for that attitude…

      • JmcBoots

        I have Governor Rick Perry to thank for those figures

        “The plight of these unaccompanied alien children has rightfully captured the national attention… Equally as concerning, however, is the fact that unaccompanied children only make up 20 percent of those apprehended crossing the border illegally.”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc9aJuD6kAA#t=20

        Oh and what would that name be???

        • Marthe Lépine

          And… Was it Gov. Perry’s opinion only? Where did HIS figures come from? Did he do a survey among those children?

          • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

            I suspect that border state governors get briefed on such things by law enforcement because they mostly have to deal with the financial consequences. Over the past century, this has probably gotten to be routine.

            Please use your head a little. Texas governors have needed to know how many illegals are coming in for decades.

          • JmcBoots

            No Marthe… He just made it up.

            Did you actually watch the whole video? Or does not fit into your predetermined facts and so you choose to ignore it…

            What was that the name of that attitude you accused me of?

        • Peggy

          It is also reported that only 1 in 4 illegal aliens is a “UAC”.

          http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/22/istook-secret-out-unaccompanied-minors-are-only-on/

          We have “family units” crossing, aka mothers and children. Most of the kids are older teens. Likely many are single young adults.

        • Elmwood

          perry says that 80% are adults (+18 years old). how does that translate to 4/5 are coming here to harm us? surely some are associated with drug cartels, most probably are just trying to improve their lives.

          what’s up with his glasses? why did it take perry so long to deploy the nat’l guard?

          • JmcBoots

            It doesn’t. What I should have stated is 4/5 need to be vetted, then bad guys kicked out.

    • Joe

      When did he mention the other 80%? All he was talking about were the children. It’s like you read the word ‘children’ and thought “well, he must also mean that other 80% who aren’t children! Time to get my straw man-making kit!” I read through his post twice, and he only mentions CHILDREN! What is this weird tendency for people to put words in other people’s mouths. Especially when the words are added to something written!

      • JmcBoots

        speaking of strawmen Joe, please note I was responding to:

        “Though the hostility to these defenseless children is coming almost entirely from the right”

        I was making the point that the hostility is not to the 20% that NEED help, its to the 80% that need to be vetted.

        Every time some “Rightwing” person mentions deportation, the first response is “Why do you hate Defenseless Children.”

        This is called demagoguery. We can not have rational conversation in this country about immigration until some folks on one side realize that all of these people are not evil, and some folks on the other side of this conversation realize that some are.

        • Joe

          “speaking of strawmen Joe, please note I was responding to:

          ‘Though the hostility to these defenseless children is coming almost entirely from the right’

          I was making the point that the hostility is not to the 20% that NEED help, its to the 80% that need to be vetted.”

          And I will reiterate (though I don’t know why I should bother) that he was talking about the children. In the previous post, he showed a video showing right-wingers being hostile to the idea of helping children. Not really seeing many Lefties do this. No where in that post or the current one mentions that “80% that needs to be vetted.”

          “Every time some ‘Rightwing’ person mentions deportation, the first response is “Why do you hate Defenseless Children.'”

          Documentation please. Exact quote and blog post, etc. If you are making a general point, not really appropriate in the context of the current blog post or the one titled “Devastating.”

          “This is called demagoguery. We can not have rational conversation in this country about immigration until some folks on one side realize that all of these people are not evil, and some folks on the other side of this conversation realize that some are.”

          I identify (increasingly tentatively) as conservative. I do not think it is demagoguery to point out when conservatives are being assholes. I witnessed enough instances of Fox New picking on poor people (e.g., Fox News reported on all the appliances poor people have–“they have all this stuff, how can they be poor? They must be taking advantage of welfare!” Gee, poor people rent apartments, and oftentimes apartments come with these appliances). And enough Republicans seem quite eager to pick on poor people too. Seeing the Colbert video showing conservatives picking on the kids (Obama authorized $50M to put them in a crappy “resort”).

          And no rational conversation is possible as long as people’s minds are clouded by ideology. And no Catholic can be a true Catholic with the divided loyalties that ideology causes.

          • JmcBoots

            You are right, you should not have bothered dealing with such a tiny little person.

            You are so transparent its not funny.

            • Joe

              Vague. In what way?

  • Dave G.

    How I see this crisis being framed here, and how I see it being framed by spokespeople and interviews with multiple individuals on various sides of the aisle across a host of media outlets just doesn’t look the same.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    We still need to follow it to the logical conclusion- these children are running from evils that need to be stopped *far more* than worrying about a Caliphate a half a world away. We’ve neglected our own backyard, and now we’re paying for it.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

      From the DHS:

      “DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as children”

      http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals

      This statement is why the kids are coming. It’s David Dinkins law enforcement but on a national scale and focused on immigration.

      Change the message and the kids will stop coming in such huge numbers.

      • Joe

        Because these poor kids have access to the Internet and can read this document? And also because these kids would be in the habit of reading pages on the DHS website?

        • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

          Somewhere on a cartel hard drive is a business plan outlining the commercial possibilities of this nasty engineered crisis. That’s the guy who read the DHS web site. Or maybe he listened or watched a relevant Obama speech that laid out the policy.

          I have a bunch of people in my skype list who are between 60 and 80 years old. None of these friends of my parents and elderly relatives was a big Internet fan. It’s like you’ve never seen word of mouth work before.

          • Joe

            So how many copies of “Catcher in the Rye” do you own?

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        Have you asked the kids why they are coming?

        • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

          I don’t have to, DHS does that every day. It’s part of the standard operating procedure. If you are interested in the question, look it up.

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            I am, and have. I was just wondering if YOU have, since your stated reason (due to expectation of amnesty) is not in line with the more recent surveys (gang violence in Central America as the region breaks down into civil war).

            The policy was signed into law by George W Bush before he left office, and kept by the Obama administration. What has changed after 6 years? Something did, drastically.

            • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

              Not all bad decisions show up right away. In 1974 the ratings industry was given a privileged legal position. New entrants couldn’t go up against the big incumbent ratings bureaus. It took decades for that bonehead mistake to feed into the housing bubble and help crash the market.

  • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

    I’m sorry Mark, but you’re just wrong, just about as wrong as you can be because you’ve misunderstood what is actually happening at the border. The DHS position of prosecutorial discretion for kids is a humanitarian disaster and is causing excess deaths, excess injuries, and needs to end.

    By condemning the only people who are trying to fix this horrible policy decision in such brutal terms, you’ve made an error, a significant one, and I would say a moral one.

    Your position is not the Church’s. You might want to fix that. In a comment below, I referenced the USCCB position on the matter. Try sticking to that and you’ll do better.

  • Joe

    I do not understand the spectacle I witnessed in the comboxes of your “Devastating” post from a couple days ago. Making a simple statement about not kicking a baby you find on your doorstep into the street gets attacked by overcomplicated straw men arguments and dismissed as a “false premise” (as someone who will remain nameless said).

    Of course, I recognized this when I was younger when I realized that Catholics no longer exist–they all became Republicans and Democrats. I’ve been struggling lately with whether I should consider myself a conservative. Catholics were once accused of having split loyalties as citizens. Now it seems they now have split loyalties in their hearts and minds–and their political ideology seems to win.

    “The Enemy loves platitudes. Of a proposed course of action He wants men, so far as I can see, to ask very simple questions: Is it righteous? Is it prudent? Is it possible? Now, if we can keep men asking: ‘Is it in accordance with the general movement of our time? Is it progressive or reactionary? Is this the way that History is going?’ They will neglect the relevant questions.” — C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

    • Dave G.

      I think the first thing is to read, watch and listen. I’m sorry to say, this is not as simple as good people versus conservatives who hate babies. Nor is it about liberals itching to exploit terrified children to ramrod agendas. It’s actually one of those ‘agree more than disagree.’ It’s becoming more partisan, no thanks to the continued ‘let’s not make it political, unlike those people who don’t agree with me because of political.’ But there’s still time. Most conservatives, liberals, and everyone else agree we should help the children. But most also realize we have to solve the larger problems. Some along the border have obviously gone overboard, but most people realize that those living along the border aren’t to be chucked either. On the whole, most want to: 1. help the children, 2. solve the larger problems, 3. try to avoid a partisan slug fest, 4. make sure everyone is being considered. For instance, look at TMLutas. You may not agree, but clearly he is not about hating babies. He’s actually about remembering all the children, including those not making it this far.

      • Joe

        When I made my comments, I was not addressing the larger problems, which do need to be solved. I observed “conservatives” (I always think of conservatism as being based on traditional values) picking on and criticizing attempts to help children. Therefore, I made my “baby on the doorstep” comment–“on the doorstep”, the children here now.

        Between “He That Shall Remain Nameless” calling what I said a false premise, “Miss Strawman” adding words that I did not say, and the “World’s Most Clueless Racist” saying something about “the only thing we owe other people’s kids”, how can I not get a little salty (or question whether I want to self-identify as conservative).

        Now, I can accept that “He That Shall Remain Nameless” has a point about establishing refugee camps in Mexico rather than allowing kids to trek through the entire Mexico to get here. I can accept that. But before someone decides to enact that idea, and the unlikely event that Mexico signs off on it happens, we are still going to have more children at the border. That is the reality.

        The issue that Mark is pointing out is quite simple. There are kids here now that need help. Conflating this issue with that of the larger illegal immigration issue is entirely unnecessary, but that is what people are doing. I’m observing ideology making people stupid and uncharitable. Especially to Mark, who is only focusing on the kids on our border.

        I’m also observing that getting into Internet arguments is about as smart as hitting yourself in the balls.

        • Dave G.

          And see, that is the issue. Is conflating this with the larger issue unnecessary? Some believe it is, some believe it isn’t. But it doesn’t follow that those who disagree don’t care about the kids. And that is where the problem arises. If we say ‘you don’t care about kids’, expect the dialogue to heat up quickly. And that goes both ways, since it could be argued that those who don’t want to tackle the wider issues are, in fact, the ones who don’t care about kids. For me, if we really don’t want it to spin into partisan sniping, then we won’t let people who want it to become partisan sniping be the ones who frame the debate. With few exceptions, most I’ve heard say they want to help the kids, and with few exceptions, most I’ve heard say they want to solve the wider problems because they realize there are other kids being threatened by this. Trying to box this or that group in goes a long way toward suggesting we may be the ones more interested in scoring points than helping kids, even while we’re insisting otherwise.

          And regarding your observation about arguing it out on the Internet: yep.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Following from the USCCB’s report on the matter from this past November, the USCCB/MRS (Migration and Refugee Services office) has recently put out a flyer on ways to help these unaccompanied children.


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