Serious evils will triumph if good men and women do nothing

I started this article before President Trump reversed his stance and signed the executive order ending the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border. Two-thirds of Americans have condemned the practice and practically every religious leader has called this policy “immoral.” I am still sending this to the press in the hope this will never happen again.

Child psychologists described this practice as “child abuse.” These children might be scarred for life. They cry for their parents and are very insecure because they do not know what is going to happen to them. A government should never abuse innocent children.

Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” Thank goodness we have many good men and women who spoke up for a change to a more humane, Christian policy that would respect the dignity of every person.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions sparked a heated debate when he quoted a Bible passage from Romans 13 trying to justify the administration’s policy of separating children from their parents. He said, “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” This is the same Scripture quotation used by slave owners and segregationists in the past.

A good Christian knows an unjust law does not have to be obeyed. Only just laws need proper obedience. Besides there is no law saying that children should be taken from their parents. The administration played the “blame game” and tried to fault the Democrats for passing such a law. The fact that Trump signed an executive order reversing the practice proves that no law ever existed. Again, Trump was not very honest with the American people.

As a Sunday School teacher for the United Methodist Church in Mobile, Ala., Sessions should have known that Jesus talked about loving others in more than 40 gospel passages. The most important, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12)

Jesus’ love was unconditional, without any “ifs, whens, or buts.” In other words, we are to love all peoples, all the time, no matter what race, creed, sex, gender or nationality they belong to.

Jeff Sessions should have also known that Jesus preached mercy. Again the gospels have Jesus speaking about mercy more than 20 times. In Matthew’s gospel he says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” (Matt 5:7) Again in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus says, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” (Matt 9:13) Maybe we as a country should be practicing Jesus’ teaching on mercy.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FL, issued the following statement. “At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.”

They also reminded us, “Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”


About Wilmer Todd 125 Articles
Father Wilmer Todd is author and lives in Bourg. Until his retirement, he lived in Thibodaux.

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