Good morning. I normally refrain from making political or religious statements. My opinion is my own. Yours is yours. And Ceci Giltenan exists to entertain readers with romantic stories.
But the fact is, I am more than Ceci Giltenan. It is absolutely no secret that Ceci Giltenan is a pseudonym, my real name is Susan Cusack and today, both of us are furious.
Separating children from their parents at the border is monstrous.
This isn’t an opinion. This is a matter of human decency.
That was the political statement. Here is the religious one. I try to live my life by the following:
Matthew 22: 36-40
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
There are an awful lot of people in the world who use the bible to prooftext. If you are unfamiliar with this, it means to take an isolated quote out of context, in a way that it may not accurately reflect the author’s intent.
A perfect example is Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoting the New Testament as follows:
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,”
To suggest that separating families fulfills God’s purpose is prooftexting. Several verses later the Apostle Paul is also clear and wise:
Romans 13: 8-10
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, [namely] “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.
If the greatest commandment is to love God and neighbor, and love fulfills the law, then what we are doing is wrong. It is not loving. If by some convoluted logic you can convince yourself that it is, I’ll pray for you.
If you agree that the policy as it is being implemented is wrong, then do not remain silent. Let your elected representatives hear you. Don’t be lulled into complacency by thinking your voice means nothing. Your voice means something to you. Your voice means something to God. And perhaps enough voices together will mean something to our government.
If you don’t know who your senators or representatives are, you can find out here:
Or you can call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. From there, follow the prompts to your senators and representatives. (Thank you Patricia Denke for posting this number on Facebook).
I will close with this letter my son composed to send to his senators and representative. Feel free to use any of it that you wish.
I am a voter in your constituency.
Last night, on fathers day, I left my little girl in Florida. I left her with her mom, so she could spend more time with her grandparents and great-grandparents while I returned to work; I’m trying to save all the vacation time I can so so that when my wife gets her green card, we can take our daughter to Ireland and China to meet the rest of her family. It was my choice, she is still with family, I know I’ll see her again soon, and it was still hard.
My happiness on my first father’s day was tainted by the heartbreak of knowing that for parents at the border, separation is not a choice, their children aren’t with family, and they don’t know when they’ll see them again. If that were the case for me, I’m not sure how I could go on living. Marco Antonio Munoz certainly wasn’t, and he hung himself in jail after he was restrained so that CBP agents could take away his wife and child indefinitely.
The “zero tolerance” policy as enforced by this administration has the all but stated purpose of being as cruel as the law will allow to anyone who arrives at our border without the right paperwork. The idea is that by making arrival in the USA worse than their situation at home, this administration will deter people from seeking a better life in our country. It is a scare tactic, and it cannot continue.
If this administration cannot be convinced that human dignity should be valued, and intends to continue its policy of cruelty to the fullest extent of the law, then it is the urgent moral imperative of the legislature to change the law. Every day that children sit in detention camps, separated indefinitely from their parents, the moral integrity of our nation decays more and more rapidly. I hope to never be nostalgic about a time when my country took basic human rights seriously.
I plan to vote for you in the upcoming midterm elections, but if you do not sponsor or vote in favor of legislation to end this inhumane practice of separating families by the end of this year, I plan to work tirelessly to replace you with someone who will.
I know that a republican controlled Congress might not support such a bill, and that a President (whose practices the bill would challenge) may likely invoke his veto authority. I’m begging you to do it anyway. Make them vote to separate families, or if the bill passes, make the President veto a bill that has widespread popularity and bi-partisan support. If the current government can’t make the right moral choice, let it be known to the public so we can elect one that can.
(… and other things you can say to your congressional representative. Remember to adjust “midterms” to 2020 or 2022 for your senators that aren’t up for re-election this year.)