With thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the U.S./Mexico border, Americans are being challenged with how to respond. “This is what our Catholic faith calls us to do, to come to the aid of those who are desperately in need of our help,” says John Andrews of the Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino County. Andrea Rockwood from Murrieta, California has a different perspective. “We need to fix our system before we can even help anybody. We can’t even help our own.”
Religion and Ethics News Weekly
These two perspectives need to be thought out carefully. And both may have a precedent in the words of Jesus.
Suffer the little children to come unto me.
First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
How do we help others when there is so much want in our own communities?
Does turning away those at the border in desperate need result in more for the desperately needy in our cities or the ones in rural poverty?
Is there a fallacy in reasoning going on?
The poor you will always have with you.
I can’t even count the times I argued with my dad over United States poverty and helping those in need. He often quoted the above line. And yet, he was always ready to help a neighbor. He always tithed at church. He was a careful man, yet kind to animals, kind to others, avoided judging.
Is the issue so big, so untreatable, that we say whatever comes to mind to express our frustration at the enormous complications?
My position is that since so many of these children already have family here in the United States, legally or illegally, let them go to families who will care for them rather than send them back to danger. But I’m at a distance. I don’t see the turmoil that many children create in other areas and cities.
How do we offer ease to some at the expense of others?
There are no easy answers to any of the crises going on in our world and local communities. But we can have respect for one another; we can dialogue without rancor; we can find solutions if we are willing to listen; if we are willing to care and be kind to one another, regardless of our differences.