This Father’s Day weekend, along with posting throwback photos with dad, the nation was busy posting views on a recent crisis. Stories and statements about the U.S. policy to separate immigrant families illegally crossing the southern border flooded social media and other online platforms.
Many Christian individuals and organizations took a leadership role in this conversation. Franklin Graham told CBN that the policy is “disgraceful.” “It’s terrible to see families ripped a part and I don’t support that one bit,” he said.
Ruth Graham reported for Slate: “Groups including the Southern Baptist Convention and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have denounced the family-separation policy. Eight leaders of organizations including the National Association of Evangelicals and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities signed a letter on June 1 condemning the policy on the grounds that ‘God has established the family as the fundamental building block of society.’”
The nation noticed not only the voices of those Christian groups, but also the silence of one group in particular – Focus on the Family (FON).
“The silence has been especially glaring because so many conservative Christian organizations and leaders see the situation at the border as a moral emergency,” Graham reported. “In response to an interview request last week, a Focus on the Family representative initially sent a brief statement on behalf of Daly. ‘We’re mindful of the fact that children being separated from their parents can be harmful and traumatic,’ it read in part. ‘We’re following the current debate closely and awaiting the specifics of the proposed legislation intended to address these and other concerns related to immigration reform and border security.’
Graham reported that when she asked FON this past Monday, the organization told her not to expect any statements about the issue soon.
The silence was broken yesterday when Jim Daly, President of FON, posted: “Thoughts on the Border Crisis” on his blog. Portions of it read:
“Like many of you, I’ve been following its many twists and turns, straining to gather reliable information and, at times, struggling to separate the fact from the fiction… As I’ve previously indicated, separating children from their parents can be harmful and traumatic… [S]eeing images of innocent, crying boys and girls in custody is enough to rip your heart out. The current crisis is a tragedy, pure and simple.”
Daly then talks about Planned Parenthood’s Father’s Day tweet, which said: “In our hearts and minds today: all of the fathers and parents who have been separated from their children at borders. Keep families together … You deserve to be together regardless of immigration status. Keeping families together is reproductive justice.”
“Are they serious?” Daly wrote. “Surely, this is the height of hubris. Planned Parenthood permanently separates children from their parents each and every day…”
Daly drew connections from the current crisis at the border to long-standing problems “of bad policy, unenforced laws and an inability of politicians to make difficult and often unpopular decisions. It’s also the result of tyrannical and unpopular governments – and the attractive bright light of America that has historically drawn people to her shores.”
He urged those with power in government to “work together towards a humane and God-honoring solution that best preserves the integrity and sanctity of the family unit while also protecting our borders and assuring the safety of our citizens.”
Daly also asked Christians to pray and to “move beyond shouting snappy soundbites in social media and understand that it’s not so much what you say as what you do. Focus on the Family is committed to working with leadership on both sides of the aisle, often behind the scenes, both shaping policy and advocating for solutions that serve the greater good and thereby honor God.”
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash/Hermes Rivera
Publication Date: June 20, 2018