Immigration and Families: The Complex Issue of Separating Children From Illegal Aliens

Lately, there has been a huge emotional reaction against the Trump administration for separating children of illegal immigrant parents who are undergoing criminal proceedings for crossing the border illegally.  The loudest voice is on the left because they obviously hate Trump for everything (ironic, given their disdain for the family unit in general), but many on the right as well have been vehemently critical of the administration’s handling of this issue because it seems to strike at the family.  Though most children in federal custody came across the border alone, there are still about 2,000 children that have been separated from their parents (or alleged parents) that the federal government has to figure out what to do with.

However, though simplistic takes are legion (as usual), this is a more complicated situation than many think.  Frankly, it is obviously more complicated than what the Trump administration itself thought because it severely underestimated the problem that would be on its hands after adopting this zero tolerance policy against illegal migrants.  Add yet another bungled reference to Romans 13 from AG Jeff Sessions, and you have an administration that isn’t exactly on top of things here.  On a summary note: No, Mr. Sessions, Romans 13 does not mean absolute submission to the government and certainly does not mean we cannot criticize it.

In any case, Christians should be concerned about this because while Sessions’ and Jeffries’ use of Romans 13 in the past have been bad, the text still teaches that we should try to be good citizens who obey and respect laws.  We should also obviously care about the family unit and children, and certainly, the family is far more important to Christians than to progressives who often find it to be an institution of oppression.  Also, Christians should care about those in need.  Even if someone is not a Christian, they should be able to agree that children are important, laws are important, and families are important.  It creates a tricky problem for this reason (and let me make this very clear): If the law is enforced thoroughly and consistently, then this situation is unavoidable if illegal immigrants are caught and especially if they claim asylum.

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Controversy at SWBTS and the SBC and Moving Forward

I haven’t updated this blog for a while, a combination of being busy and… watching too much basketball.  In any case, there’s a situation that I do want to briefly address, but I’ve held off due to the fact that I am a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and didn’t want my words to be twisted to target anyone else that has nothing to do with me voicing my opinion.  It’s probably a good time to state something obvious but often needed: What follows are my thoughts alone and nobody asked me to write them down.

The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention was recently held in Dallas, and it occurred during a time of controversy.  One of the stalwarts of the Baptist faith, Dr. Paige Patterson, was supposed to preach at the meeting but removed himself due to first being pushed into early retirement and then being fired outright from being the president at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  If he didn’t remove himself, there was probably a good chance that they would have changed to someone else anyway.  From what I hear, it didn’t get prettier at the meeting because someone put up a motion to immediately remove the executive committee of the trustees for the school due to them firing Patterson while he was overseas in Germany.  The motion overwhelmingly failed (though evidently an internal report on the actions of SWBTS’ executive committee will be given next year), but it illustrated the fact that Patterson’s firing was polarizing, just as the man himself often was.

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