"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." - Matthew 19:14
As Christians, we don't always agree on everything. Okay, that's the understatement of the year -- perhaps I should say that we very rarely agree on anything. But there's a few things that pretty much all of us can get behind -- a few things that, well, are just so basic that agreement comes swiftly and simply. The importance and safety of children has always been one of those basic things, wouldn't you agree?
Until recently -- and for a reason I still can't quite seem to understand.
I simply don't understand why any self-professing Christian -- a person who proclaims to follow Jesus, and who in theory is familiar with Jesus' stance on children (see above) -- I don't understand how any such person could reasonably argue against the safety of children.
And yet that's what seems to be happening.
Let me be clear: it doesn't matter whether or not you think former President Obama overstepped his bounds when he created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). At this point, arguing that point is arguing semantics -- because the reality is, if you take DACA away, innocent children are in danger. People who were taken, by no choice of their own, into our country as children and grew up here, went to college here, even serve in the military here -- they're in danger without DACA. And NONE of them are criminals, since you cannot apply for DACA if you have a criminal record. They are all law-abiding citizens in practice, but -- through no fault of their own -- they don't have the piece of paper necessary to verify their citizenship.
Without the protection of DACA, these people are in danger, point blank. Full stop. There's no if's, and's, or but's. If you're telling yourself that going back to a country they fled from 'isn't actually dangerous,' consider: you might be telling yourself this because it's emotionally easier to believe a lie rather than to face the truth that your current stance puts children in active danger. That's a very difficult truth to face. Changing our minds is a difficult thing to do for anyone; it requires humility and compassion, both of which are extremely uncomfortable the first time you try them on. Especially for Christians.
If you think DACA is unconstitutional because it came from the executive branch, the obvious solution is to create something from the LEGISLATIVE branch. If you are in favor of protecting children in general, but against the technicalities of DACA, then why not work that much more fiercely to create a bill to replace DACA appropriately? One that could bless these people with the safety and semantics you prefer? And yet some people are fighting against that, too. People who claim to be Christians are fighting that bill (or, just as bad, they are remaining silent about it).
It simply doesn't make sense to me for our government to take DACA away without a new bill in place -- unless you don't really feel that excited about a new bill, and are using this delay as an excuse to get rid of Dreamers altogether. If you care about protecting children, why would you want to leave DACA recipients ("Dreamers") in the purgatory of possible deportation, stuck waiting while Congress works out that bill? Do you for some reason expect that bill to happen quickly and easily -- and why would you expect anything in Congress to happen quickly and easily?
I can only conclude, then, that people who are against any bill to protect Dreamers really don't believe in the importance and value of children. Or, rather, they don't believe in the importance and value of children who were not born in America. And that is not Christianity, my friends. Christianity has no patriotism; Christianity does not put country above humanity, much less above children. At least, it shouldn't. And if you honestly can say that you think Dreamers should be deported, then I certainly hope you don't call yourself a Christian -- because your statements are spitting full in the face of Christ himself, who was a child immigrant, a refugee, and who said "Let the little children come to me."
Let the little children come to us. Do not hinder them. For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Whoever welcomes one of them in Christ's name welcomes Christ himself, and if any person causes one of them to stumble, it would be better for that person to have a millstone tied around his neck and tossed into the sea.
At least, that's what Jesus told us in Matthew 18:5-6.
Stop making excuses. Realize, here and now, that you will be held accountable for the way we, as a nation, treat our neighbors -- and especially for how we treat all children.
Let the little children come.
(PS: If you are a Dreamer and you need to renew your DACA status, you can now do so: click here for more information)
(PD: si eres un soñador y necesitas renovar tu estado de DACA, ahora puedes hacerlo: ¡haz clic aquí para obtener más información)
Photo by Leonardo Burgos via Unsplash