Tag Archives: justice

Loving Our Immigrant Neighbor

For my birthday, Keith got me an ancestry.com DNA test because I’ve always been interested in seeing where my family originated from. My dad’s side of the family has been in the United States since before the Revolution, and so has some of my mom’s (my mom and grandma are big into genealogy and have looked into this.) But I wanted something more concrete, and there’s nothing as definite as DNA, right?

It turns out, my mom’s theory that we had a Native American relative could possibly still be true, but it did not show up in the testing. I’m not going to be on any television shows about surprise DNA discoveries – I’m as white as they come. My people hail from Western Europe, Scandinavia, and Great Britain for the most part, with a sprinkling of a few other European areas.

At some point, my people were immigrants. Across the board, my dad’s family were Mennonites seeking a place to practice their faith without persecution. My mom’s family were farmers and who knows what else, but they were still searching for a better life when they made the trip to America. I’m unaware of a pre-Revolutionary immigration system in the Colonies, so they didn’t violate any man-made laws to come here.

This country has a history of being unkind to immigrants. One of our very first laws were the Alien and Sedition Acts, which made it harder to become a citizen and allowed the imprisonment and deportation of those the President deemed dangerous. We have repeatedly demonstrated our ill-will towards those coming to this country – unwanted groups have included the Irish, Germans, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexicans. We have continuously persecuted blacks first in the form of slavery, then with Jim Crow laws that kept life separate but incredibly unequal, and now with the prison industrial complex and many other ways.

White America others people of color because it is afraid of becoming the other. The Trump Administration’s policy has mandated the separation of parents from their children.

I think about my own young kids being forcibly separated from me and placed in a tender age shelter where they are not permitted to be touched by an adult. I picture Henry having to change Elliot’s diaper because a caregiver cannot do it. I hear their cries for mama and daddy when I hear the devastated screams of the kids currently being detained alone.

Our immigration system has been in need of a vast overhaul for years, but this is my breaking point. This is not okay. This is not Christian.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions forgot to include the most important part of Romans 13 when he used the text to justify the separation policy – Romans 13:10, “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Love is what life is all about. God’s love for us and our love for others are vital to serving God’s will. Anything else is insufficient.

Micah 6:8 is probably my favorite verse…so much so that we named our firstborn Henry Micah because of it. It states, What does the Lord require of you? To do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Our government is wrong on immigration; they are acting in direct contradiction to the latter parts of this verse as well has God’s commandment to love.

We must demand they stop this atrocious practice. Donate to organizations actively helping the least fortunate – the ACLU, RAICES, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service are great ones to consider. Contact your Representatives and Senators and demand change. Ask what they are actively doing to stop this practice. Ask follow up questions. Tell them you will continue to follow up on their action plans. Tell them these people matter because we love.

Because most of our ancestors were immigrants looking for a new and better life.

Because it is our duty to love our neighbor, no matter what.

Because we are commanded to treat them as if they are our loved one.

Because God loves us, no matter what.

What’s Next?

My blog revolves around raising my boys in the Tampa Bay Area. Mostly it provides an accounting of our weekly activities and milestones, which are similar to other stay-at-home-mom’s experiences. I like looking back to see Henry’s stats versus Elliot’s, and reminiscing over our field trips and vacations.

But growing a kid involves more than just play (which we definitely excel at doing). It requires teaching my boys to be kind to others as well as to stand up for (with) the oppressed. Henry’s middle name comes from the minor Old Testament prophet – Micah – who told the people of Israel what the Lord required of them to do good in the world: 

Seek Justice. 
Love Kindness.
Walk Humbly with God.

Micah 6:8

With this verse in mind, I’ve been formulating an Action Plan for myself to hold President Trump’s administration and the legislative branches of the federal government accountable for their actions. One part of my plan is to compile a list of three issues that matter to me each week. I’m doing my best to do my research, but I don’t have tons of time with two littles. Any help here would be greatly appreciated!
 
Using my issues list, I plan to call my senators and representative’s offices weekly to let them know my concerns (and praises). This is kind of a big deal for me because I HATE to talk on the phone. BUT making your voice heard is a key part of democracy in action, and speaking directly with someone in your legislator’s office is one of the best ways to let them know how you feel about an issue. Your legislators care about what you care about – it’s why they have jobs!
 
Finally, I’m holding myself accountable to doing this by posting here. I don’t care if anyone reads it (although I plan to share each new post like I usually do) because it helps me to write out my thoughts before verbally discussing them with others.

Talking Points This Week:

Vote No for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education (my friend, Rudy, an educator working on his PhD, has an excellent blog post on this topic)

  • No training or experience in education. 
  • She supports school choice privatization schemes, despite a lack of evidence they provide better education. 
  • She’s invested millions lobbying for laws that take money away from public schools.
  • She’s fought against regulating charter schools.

Vote No for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

  • Threat to civil rights
  • Republicans thought he was too racist to be a federal judge.
  • Supports voter identification laws, which are a form of voter suppression akin to poll taxes and literacy tests.

Vote No Against H.R. 193 – Restore American Sovereignty Act of 2017

  • This Bill would have the U.S. terminate its United Nations membership and prohibit the authorization of funds for UN peacekeeping or otherwise.
  • It’s a global world, and removing ourselves from the UN would be disastrous for everyone.

Contact Information for My Senators and Representative:
Sen. Bill Nelson – DC: (202) 224-5274 or Tampa: (813) 225-7040
Sen. Marco Rubio – DC: (202) 224-3041 or Tampa: (813) 287-5035 
Rep. Charlie Crist, FL-13 – DC: (202) 225-5961

This is only Phase 1 of my plan…stay tuned for more.


Miscellaneous Websites I’m Following Right Now:

  • Swing Left – https://swingleft.org/
  • Women’s March 10 Actions in 100 Days – https://www.womensmarch.com/100/
  • Showing Up for Racial Justice: Tampa Bay – https://m.facebook.com/SURJTampaBay/
  • Southern Poverty Law Center – https://www.splcenter.org
Books I’m Currently Reading With My Boys