Monday, June 18, 2018

"Pro-Life" White U.S. Christians Don't "Risk" Being Implicated in the Horrors Unfolding on the Nation's Borders: They Are Directly Responsible for Those Horrors

Huffington Post lead headline, morning of 15 June 2018.

Given their support of the administration, and an unwillingness to speak critically about immigration policy, "pro-life, pro-family" organizations now risk being tied to these and other horrific practices.

I have news for Charles Camosy: "pro-life" white U.S. Christians don't "risk" being tied to the horrors now unfolding on the borders of the U.S. "Pro-life" white U.S. Christians are directly responsible  for what's now taking place in the U.S., as children are taken from their parents and placed in cages at the nation's southern border. "Pro-life" white U.S. Christians set this into motion by their votes in 2016 and by their continued support of the man they placed in the White House.

This is what white "pro-life" U.S. Christianity is.

This is what white "pro-life" U.S. Christianity is all about.

And until we begin to be minimally honest about this, we'll get nowhere as a democracy and nowhere in any meaningful discussion of authentic pro-life values.

A new survey reports that the core support for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policies derives from white Christians, most of whom also believe their religion — and even their race — is now disproportionately discriminated against. 
According to a report released Thursday by PRRI, majorities of every major white Christian group in America support Trump's dual proposals to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and ban all Muslim immigration into the country.

That article was written in June 2016. Five months later, those same white Christians went to the voting booths and elected Donald Trump president of the U.S. More than half of them pulled the lever for the man now occupying the White House. As they did so, they knew full well what he stood for. It was the racism and the immigrant bashing and the promise to build the wall that got him elected — it was all of this that made white U.S. Christians pull the lever for him.

White U.S. Christians don't "risk" being connected to the horrors that are happening now on the nation's borders, as children are taken from parents and locked in cages. White U.S. Christians set these horrors into motion, telling pollsters as they cast their votes that they were doing so for "pro-life" reasons.

White Christian voters were the backbone of Donald Trump’s electoral coalition.

Cody Fenwick, "'A Crisis of America's Own Invention': MSNBC Guest Chokes Up While Giving Powerful Rebuke to Trump's Cruel Immigration Policies": "It is a crisis of America's own invention," says one guest in the televised discussion featured in this article. Another says, "This is a self-imposed humanitarian crisis unfolding before all of our eyes."

But let's focus on the data honestly. Let's be honest about who elected this man, who set all of this into motion: this is not a humanitarian crisis of "America's" invention. 

It is a humanitarian crisis that the nation's white Christians chose for the nation, claiming they were doing something pre-eminently "pro-life" and "pro-family" as they made that choice.

Until we are honest about this, and stop allowing big-name media religion interpreters to spin this crisis as a "risk" for pro-life voters, a risk that they may be somehow implicated in some hazy future in what we see going on at our borders right now, we'll come nowhere close to resolving the problems that underlie this crisis.

Until we start demanding more honesty and accountability of our top media gurus in the field of religion reporting, as they pretend that the Southern Baptist Convention recently took a decisive turn away from toxic politics and towards the love of Jesus, or that the SBC is cutting ties with the GOP, we will get nowhere as we try to figure out why we're facing the crisis now in front of us. To make claims like this when a recent PRRI poll shows nearly 8 in 10 white evangelicals still supporting Donald Trump is journalistically irresponsible.

It is journalistic malpractice. It is journalists allowing themselves to be used as megaphones for spin-doctoring that is all about selling the public an image belied by substance. Bona fide journalism is always about reaching the substance underneath the façades spun by authority figures who want us to be entranced by glitzy masks and not to see what really lies behind them.

If these top media gurus in the field of religion reporting chose to listen, for a change, not to authority figures who so easily beguile them and control their spin-doctored reporting — if they'd listen, for instance, to the growing number of ex-evangelicals who know the real story about who evangelicals are and where they stand, to women in the #ChurchToo movement, to LGBTQ people — they might write more honest reports about the role white evangelicalism and white Christianity in general is now playing in American culture. A conspicuously ugly role directly connected to the crisis now unfolding in front of our eyes….

Inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of children wait away from their parents in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.

NBC anchor Alejandra Briones posted this video of children and apparently staff arriving on Friday:

The Guardian, 16 June 2018

Jacob Soboroff reports that we, the American people, are keeping these fellow human beings "essentially in what look like animal cages or kennels."

That’s one we see again and again. "Your child needs to come with me for a bath." The child goes off, and in a half an hour, twenty minutes, the parent inquires, "Where is my five-year-old?" "Where's my seven-year-old?" "This is a long bath." And they say, "You won't be seeing your child again." Sometimes mothers—I was talking to one mother, and she said, "Don't take my child away," and the child started screaming and vomiting and crying hysterically, and she asked the officers, "Can I at least have five minutes to console her?" They said no. In another case, the father said, "Can I comfort my child? Can I hold him for a few minutes?" The officer said, "You must let them go, and if you don't let them go, I will write you up for an altercation, which will mean that you are the one that had the additional charges charged against you."

The child consequently, being taken away from its parents by people whom it has never seen, and of whom it knows nothing, and finding itself in a lonely and unfamiliar cell, waited on by strange faces, and ordered about and punished by the representatives of a system that it cannot understand, becomes an immediate prey to the first and most prominent emotion produced by modern prison life–the emotion of terror. The terror of a child in prison is quite limitless.

This is America; this has always been America. This reprehensible moment in America is not an anomaly, but a continuation of the intertwining of race, nation and slaveholding Christianity.

R. Laurence Moore and Isaac Kramnick, "Blame Evangelicals for the Decline in Christian Faith":

A recent poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute placed white evangelical approval of President Trump at 75 percent, a level of adulation higher than when he was elected…. 
What is new and epitomizes what's gone wrong with American religion is the moral bankruptcy of the single largest group of American Protestants, white evangelicals.

See also Sarah Burris, "Right-Wing Evangelicals Are to Blame for the Sharp Decline in Christians in America: Report."

They not only got in bed with him, they conceived an evil. These right-wing Christians who support Donald Trump conceived a troubling, barbarous, monstrous child of insistent white innocence tethered to nearly unprecedented, bigoted power. When you've got that, you've got something horrible on your hands. Shame on these conservative evangelical Christians, who were lambasting Barack Obama, berating him as a morally detestable figure. The right-wing, the evangelicals, the white Christians who constantly dare to criticize black and brown people for their supposed "bad culture" and "immorality" stand here not only ignoring Donald Trump, not only embracing him, but insisting that his particular way of doing things is the manifestation of a divine edict to change the culture. This, my friend, is not only blasphemous, it is ultimately traitorous to the faith that Jesus Christ has inspired. The real religion in America is not Christianity. It’s whiteness.

This, increasingly, is our fight today. What is morality, and whose God is it, anyway? Will we, as a civil society, put our faith in the heartless rigidity and exclusion preached by Jeff Sessions, or in the social gospel of loving our neighbors and comforting the poor, the sermonizing of William Barber.

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