One Indianapolis church found a creative way to protest the Trump administration’s current immigration policies: They locked up Baby Jesus.
Indiana’s Christ Church Cathedral placed statues of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus as part of its “Every Family is Holy” campaign, reports local ABC affiliate RTV6. Church dean Steve Carlson explained that the campaign is meant to bring awareness to and denounce Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance child-separation practices at the southern border.
Though Trump has since reversed this particular element of his immigration overhaul, the majority of the 2,500 undocumented children have yet to be reunited with their families. According to CNN, “government statistics released over the weekend showed more than 2,000 were still in federal custody, and just over 500 had been reunited with their parents.” Furthermore, Trump plans on deporting people without judicial proceedings.
Holy Family #Detention: Indy’s @CCCathedralIndy puts Joseph, Mary & Jesus inside a fence on its lawn. When asked how long the display will remain, Dean @Steve_Carlsen said “My greatest hope would be that we, our nation, will search its heart & say this is not who we want to be.” pic.twitter.com/AgcOZv4xSz
— Michael R. Hartz (@MikeThePhotog) July 3, 2018
“They were a homeless family with nowhere to stay,” Dean Carlson said of Joseph, Mary and Jesus. “I think our faith tells us where we need to be.”
He went on to clarify that he was not courting controversy for controversy’s sake. “The fact that it’s controversial isn’t because I want to be controversial. What’s controversial is that we’re turning away from the values that should be guiding us. The point of a religious icon is to move our hearts. If at first, people are upset by it, that might just be God trying to move their hearts. I hope their hearts soften.”
According to a new Department of Justice announcement, Trump’s new plan amounts to detaining families in immigration facilities indefinitely. Which is why when asked how long the church would keep the fences up, Carlson’s response was, “How long are we going to keep detaining families indefinitely?”
A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to immediately move to reunify immigrant families that were separated under the zero tolerance policy in late June, but it is unclear whether any concrete steps are being taken towards this.
Though some people missed the point completely — pointing out that “Jesus wasn’t an immigrant” thus the church “should be ashamed of themselves”, many prided the church on its eerily appropriate symbolic stand.
Talk about a hell of a message!
While organized religion has tended to err on the side of conservative everything, certain groups of Christians have lately been making us proud with their enlightened approach towards human beings; Just last weekend, a group of Christians marched in an LGBT pride parade in the Philippines holding “I’m Sorry” signs, apparently apologizing for their religion’s historical persecution of the community.