A hallmark of being a conservative Christian is supposedly being “pro-life”.
In the age of Trump and “nuke em’ all,” we of course know that the modern concept of being pro-life is a total farce– right along with the second hallmark of being a conservative Christian:
The claim of being “pro-family.”
Now, I think it’s important to note that “pro-family” never *really* meant pro-family to begin with– it was just a fancy dog whistle for “anti-gay,” and all of us in the Religious Right knew that. But for those who still use the term and think it actually means what the words say at face-value, tell me again how this “pro-family” thing works?
Because when I look at the daily news stories, I’m seriously confused how Trump and the policies advocated by the Religious Right, specifically around immigration, are anything but anti-family.
The other day I asked, “Is Trump still pro-life if he gets us all killed?” and today I have a similar question:
Are you still pro-family if you’re actively breaking up perfectly good ones?
A case in point is the Garcia family, who was ripped apart this week when Jorge Garcia was deported back to Mexico. Jorge had been brought to the United States when he was just 10 years old, through no choice of his own– he was just a kid. He grew up in America, went to school in America, got a job and paid taxes in America, and eventually built a family in America. He even spent many years trying to do the “right thing” by getting legal status in the United States.
Even though he’d spent many years, and reportedly $125,000 attempting to fix his legal status, he was ordered for deportation several years ago– but was given a stay of deportation under the Obama administration. However, this year that stay was taken from him; his family was notified that Trump wanted everyone out, and that he’d have to leave the country the day after Thanksgiving. He was given a brief reprieve– told he could stay and have one last Christmas with his family– but after a tearful goodbye Jorge has now been taken from his family and returned to a country he hasn’t lived in since he was 10 years old.
Deporting him from the United States didn’t make us safer– he hadn’t as much as even had a traffic ticket.
Deporting him from the United States didn’t save us money– he worked, paid taxes, and now his wife will have to figure out how to make ends meet without a working spouse. In fact, she quite likely may even need to seek public assistance moving forward.
The only thing that was accomplished by deporting Jorge Garcia, is that the Trump administration functionally widowed a wife, and functionally orphaned two teenage children.
How are you able to lay claim to the title “pro-family” if you’re actively breaking up perfectly good ones?
I mean, how does that even work? This logic strikes me as being as twisted as an abortion doctor claiming to be pro-life… it just leaves you scratching your head.
How can you hold rallies and tell men that the solution to a wide-array of social problems is for them to be more present and engaged with their families, when you just ripped a dad away from one?
How can you scoff at poverty and crime statistics and say, “The problem is a lack of parenting” when the reason two children will get far less parenting in their teen years is your own immigration policies?
And how the actual you-know-what can your church hold Orphan Sunday every year when you just functionally orphaned two American kids? How does taking away a loving dad, and creating a situation where a mom will have to work twice as much to survive, show your care and concern for orphans?
This situation is yet another example of where many of us who have left the Religious Right still hold to many of the original ideals we were taught growing up, even though those who taught us these values have since completely abandoned them.
I still believe that as Christians, we are called to be “pro-family.” I still believe that the family unit is the foundational unit that forms society, and that families should be nurtured and protected in every reasonable way we can do so.
And I certainly still believe that the Bible calls us to “defend the cause of the fatherless.”
But unlike the Religious Right, I still think all this should apply to Mexican families, too.
Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com.