My faith does not support the suffering of children.

I experienced a variety of emotions after hearing about immigrant children who were forcibly separated from their parents in border states — at first shock and disbelief, then anger and heartbreak. My faith does not support the suffering of children or the separation of families, no matter what their country of origin is.

Last week, my church, along with many others, opened our doors and welcomed children from across our communities for vacation Bible school because we love them, because we enjoy them, because we are called to serve them. Our schools opened their doors for enrichment programs. Our libraries are open for summer reading.

Our country’s future depends on how we treat our children and what we teach them by our actions now. If they are all His children, they are all Our children. “And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the Land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34.

 

Dawn Mitchell, Greer

 

Selfish hypocrites

It sickened me to hear Attorney General Jeff Sessions originally defend the Trump administration’s inhumane policy of separating children from their parents to keep immigrants from seeking refuge in our country. Many of them are fleeing deplorable circumstances where they fear for their lives.

Sessions quoted passages from Chapter 13 in Romans where Paul expressed the idea that everyone should submit to government authorities. Most of these people have come to our borders in a submissive manner, willing to seek asylum in a nation where laws could protect them, only to find repressive conditions that immediately lead to imprisonment.

If Sessions had the foresight to read the rest of Chapter 13, he would have seen that the submission Paul emphasized primarily focused on the payment of taxes and conducting oneself in a moral manner, “not in sexual immorality and debauchery.” Perhaps the text in its entirety could be shared with his superiors. Merely reading the prelude of the chapter distorted the intent.

Sessions further used an Old Testament passage about the wall in Jerusalem to support the proposed border wall. History shows us that the wall was primarily a symbolic structure and never prohibited conquest.

It amazes me that people who profess Christian values want to base prejudice on Old Testament Scriptures and ignore the teachings of Jesus. His instructions are to exemplify God’s love, even to Samaritans, a Syrophoenician woman, widows, orphans, children and others who represented “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40).

Jesus’ greatest criticism was reserved for hypocrites who professed a love of God but were consumed with their own selfish desires and prejudices.

 

Steven G. Smith, Boiling Springs