In response to the humanitarian crisis at our nation’s southern border, the Leadership Council of Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, in communion and solidarity with First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo, issues the following statement: We vehemently condemn this administration’s policy of separating families and criminally prosecuting all people who enter the U.S. without previous authorization — removing children, including many as young as 2 or 3 years old, to detention facilities away from their parents — as a cruel practice, an outrage, and a travesty.
We affirm the family as a foundational societal structure to support human community. The security of the family provides critical mental, physical, and emotional support to the development and well-being of children. Leaving their communities is often the only option some parents have to provide safety for their children and protect them from harm. Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children. The harm done to these children is long lasting and has a lifetime of health consequences.
We further condemn the use of cruelty as a potential bargaining chip to achieve increasingly draconian immigration policies.
Finally, we condemn the misappropriation of scripture to justify this loveless action. It is disgraceful for a government official to use scripture in order to say, “obey me.” Approached from a Christian perspective, relying on Christian teachings, the Bible honors the stories of people looking for new homes and condemns ripping children out of the arms of their parents; to argue otherwise is to misrepresent the full text of scripture to justify the cruelty imposed upon children.
The Christian scriptures speak to the well-being of all the vulnerable, not the government’s. These families are the very neighbors Jesus commands us to love. In fact, Jesus says that there is nothing more imperative than to
love and to welcome. Separating children from parents is not loving in any way, but instead, is an inhumane practice that must end with all families reunited, safe, and free.
-The Leadership Council of Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church, July 8, 2018