Immigration, Separating Families, & the Glory in the Ordinary
Wisdom for Your Weekend is your regular installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web. Presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with guidance from Pastor J.D., this is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” While we do not always agree with everything these authors post, we share these resources because we find them challenging and enriching. As we often say around the Summit, when it comes to reading, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”
Of Immigration, Government, and Families
Regardless of the government’s position on immigration, our stance as the church is clear: we are to love our neighbor and care for the vulnerable in our midst. At the recent meeting of the SBC, the messengers passed a resolution reinforcing this stance: Resolution 5, “On Immigration.”
Politically, we recognize that the issue of immigration is complex; but splitting up families in the name of “keeping the law” is far too harsh of a response for the crime. Even if families broke the law in the way they came to the United States, we should still be advocates for keeping the family together. Separating children from their parents is a response that should simply be taken off the table.
This specific instance has revealed, for many, that we must also look at the bigger questions surrounding immigration—realizing that any responsible immigration policy will involve laws and procedures that need to be enforced. We need to take a serious look at our immigration policy and we urge our President and Congress to do so immediately.
In the midst of this often contentious conversation, there have been a number of helpful reflections on immigration, government, and family this week. The following are just a handful of them.
Reflections on Our Current Border Situation, Ben Sasse. “The administration’s decision to separate families is a new, discretionary choice. Anyone saying that their hands are tied or that the only conceivable way to fix the problem of catch-and-release is to rip families apart is flat wrong. There are other options available to them. The other options are all messy (given that some overly prescriptive judges have limited their administrative options), but there are ways to address this that are less bad than the policy of family separation they’ve chosen.”
The Truth About Separating Kids, Rich Lowry. “Needless to say, children should not be making this journey that is fraught with peril. But there is now a premium on bringing children because of how we have handled these cases. They are considered chits [i.e. vouchers—that give families a greater chance of staying in the United States].”
Owning Up to the Moral Crisis on the Issue of Immigration, Al Mohler. “What we are looking at here is a zero tolerance—intended for adults—being applied haphazardly toward children, too. The current administration seemed unaware of the sheer number of people this would affect. But the greater question is, Why? Why would parents make this incredible (even death-defying) with their children? The answer is profoundly simple: Even the threat of arrest and separation in the United States appears to be less threatening than what they are facing at home.”
The Glory in the Ordinary: Other Articles of the Week
I Feel Called to Write. Now What? Lore Wilbert Ferguson. “If you don’t want to read, or consider reading unnecessary for a writer, you will run out of things about which to write, you will be a one-trick pony, you will taper off, and ultimately you are not called to write, you just wanted what you thought was a quick way to get noticed. Readers can tell when writers don’t read. If you don’t read and you can’t figure out why nobody wants to read you, this is probably a big part of it. You can’t cheat this system.”
God Doesn’t Need Talented People, Silverio Gonzalez. “Ministers may be talented people. They may be good public speakers with sharp minds and inspiring personalities. Yet, God uses human weakness. God is happy to use the ordinary and even the less than ordinary to accomplish his saving purpose. … The challenge of Paul’s message is this: is your God big enough to use foolish and weak ministers, or does your God need a powerful personality to accomplish his will?”
The Best Gift for Dad This Father’s Day? Diaper Duty, Chris Pappalardo. We’re aware that Father’s Day was last week. But we were busy, okay? Anyway, this one is still relevant. “Parenting children is the most significant, difficult, and beautiful task any father will ever be given. Yes, there are sleepless nights and dirty diapers. But there are also everyday joys that fill my heart to overflowing—seeing my son smile for the first time or teaching my daughter to read her first words. I cannot imagine a work achievement that could rival these most mundane experiences. When we give our first and best to our family—rather than to work—we mirror God himself, who reveals himself to us most intimately not as Creator or Savior but as ‘Our Father.’”
On the Lighter Side
Animals Predicting the World Cup, Saeed Ahmed. Perhaps you’re already familiar with Paul the Octopus, the animal prognosticator that predicted 85% of the World Cup matches in 2010—including the eventual champion. There’s a new cat in town (literally) for the 2018 World Cup: Achilles. As his handlers note, “Achilles is deaf, but his hearing loss is an advantage that allows him intense concentration in making his picks.” So that’s … something.