Those of you who follow the Spirited Reasoner know that I typically post new messages weekly. Today, I’m making an exception, because our government is making it a practice to separate the children of illegal immigrants from their parents.
How can a website devoted to reasoned debate address a government practice so barbaric?
It does so by speaking out, hopefully in a reasoned manner designed to be both forceful and effective.
Let’s start with a few observations.
First: The Statue of Liberty–which I hope all Americans revere as one of our most precious national symbols–is inscribed with a poem written by Emma Lazarus. Here it is in its entirety:
THE NEW COLOSSUS
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Our nation became great by serving as the Mother of Exiles. It did not become great by acting like “the brazen giant of Greek fame.”
Second: Those who quote the Bible to justify tyranny against exiles have apparently forgotten that Jesus’s parents were exiled into Egypt to protect their baby against the persecution of King Herod. Should Egypt have torn the baby away from Joseph and Mary or sent them all back to Herod?
Third: If anyone is construing any federal statute so as to require the separation of children from their parents, that person should strongly consider the practice of respectful civil disobedience. As our nation so righteously told Nazi officers during the Nuremberg Trials after World War II, the phrase “I was just following orders” might not be sufficient when the orders required the denial of basic human rights. Separating children from their parents was the beginning of numerous atrocities committed against Jews in Nazi Germany. Are we witnessing the beginning of similar atrocities right here in the United States?