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While visiting Texas recently I observed two rather different approaches to accommodating Latino migrants released from federal detention into the United States—and learned a lesson applicable to the pro-life movement.
At one non-denominational church, Christians received a Latino family into their care. The pastor promptly scheduled a press conference, at which he denounced the government’s inhumane treatment of migrants. He cited his church’s guests as evidence of his intention to oppose enforcement of unjust laws. Anti-immigrant protesters gathered. Federal authorities, embarrassed and/or annoyed, avoided further cooperation with that church.
Time - Institution - Families - Process - Bishop
At the same time, a nearby religious institution was receiving a dozen—sometimes two dozen—such families daily. After personally inspecting the process, the bishop responsible for the program had retained a security service to keep the press away, “lest they exploit the vulnerable for the sake of a hot story.” His officers screened volunteers for those seeking to aid migrants, avoiding those seeking publicity. Federal authorities made it work: They called in advance to coordinate transfers and delivered former detainees to the right doorsteps and into welcoming arms. Businesses contributed food, supplies, phones, and transportation for migrants en route to family elsewhere in North America.
The nondenominational church and its pastor did good, but their good-doing was sharply limited by the pastor’s eagerness to contrast it with others’ wrongdoing. The bishop and his institution, meanwhile, did good and helped others participate in the good-doing, even to the point where otherwise much-maligned federal authorities were actively contributing to the care of the former detainees.
Takeaway - Prolifers - Harder - Winners - Attention
My takeaway is that we prolifers ought to work harder at winning and not so hard at being seen as winners. Many rightly call attention to the parallels between welcoming refugees and welcoming the unborn: No matter the difficulties both will face in a sometimes-hostile world, they have a right to humane treatment...
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